View Full Version : NUD (New Ukulele Day): Tenor Of The Phoenix

Lawn Jockey
11-19-2008, 01:17 AM
Well.....I completely jumped the shark on this one. It is an absolute one of a kind ukulele made by second generation ukulele builder Takayuki of Japan. His father, Mori, is also a master luthier.

This ukulele was on display at the 2007 Ukulele Guild of Hawaii......and discussed during the ensuing conference.

Not to shabby for a first ukulele.



The Tenor of the Phoenix is made from AAAA master grade curly koa, cutout soundhole rosette (abalone), one piece SA Mahogany neck with inlaid curly maple strips, ebony headstock overlay, back of headstock overlayed with curly koa, open geared Gotoh tuners, ebony pin bridge, MOP and Noh wood inlay on the headstock logo, bone nut saddle and nut, and the fingerboard is ebony with the inlay being koa, MOP, turquoise, abalone, kamani, and bone.



It comes in a custom built, leather bound, 7 ply birch archtop case made specifically for this ukulele.

With any luck I should have it today.

Lawn Jockey
11-19-2008, 01:19 AM
.......and the final set of pics:


The Peter Lieberman (Maui Music) that I was initially going to get had a couple of finish flaws......and I could have lived with it......but when this became available I knew I had to have this one of a kind instrument for my collection.

11-19-2008, 05:17 AM
Congrats on the purchase and I must say that is one hell of a uke. Looks flawless from the pics.

Lawn Jockey
11-19-2008, 05:32 AM

Here's the label......signed by the builder Kazu Takayuki......


11-19-2008, 05:37 AM
awesome! I love that wood.

11-19-2008, 06:31 AM
What an absolutely stunning uke! I'm green with envy!

11-19-2008, 08:02 AM
Thats an awesome uke! But I can't exactly tell what the inlay is supposed to be of. (It looks very cool though with all the differnet colors...distinctly asian design.) Actually, based on the title, I guess it is a phoenix. That is SICK. One day I hope to have something like this. :)

Kaneohe til the end
11-19-2008, 08:35 AM
K, I gotta ask, how much did it cost? That is friggin nuts

Lawn Jockey
11-19-2008, 09:21 AM
Yeah, the inlay is of the Phoenix.

How much did it cost? More than I wanted .......but less than I had.

It originally sold for $2,800.00USD I believe.......and I'm the second owner.......so that should narrow it down a bit for you.

11-19-2008, 12:49 PM
Beautiful, yes. But I'd be afraid to play it which would kind of defeat the purpose...

11-19-2008, 01:39 PM
It is an absolute one of a kind ukulele made by second generation ukulele builder Takayuki of Japan. His father, Mori, is also a master luthier

Here's the label......signed by the builder Kazu Takayuki......

Nice uke, does it sound good / the way you want it to sound?

Just checking: Mori Takayuki is a slightly aged luthier, and you can find his website here (http://www010.upp.so-net.ne.jp/ms-craft/pro.html). Takayuki is a first name, while Mori is a last name. It would seem odd to name the son exactly like his father. In your uke, it says "Kazu". Kazu Takayuki is probably not a valid Japanese name, because it's made up of two first names (unless it's a fake name, but still). Perhaps his son, if it was built by the son, is named Kazuyuki or something?

Lawn Jockey
11-19-2008, 01:43 PM
Nice uke, does it sound good / the way you want it to sound?

Unfortunately I won't receive it until tomorrow.

As far as the name.......I'm certain you are correct. The name Takayuki is all I know......and I have NO idea about Kazu.......but he was the builder.

I never could figure (or cared to) out Japanese names. Perhaps I should now.

11-19-2008, 02:24 PM
Great ukulele and great buy......still from me in a roundabout way LOL...I will be seeing Mori in a few days the builder.....

Lawn Jockey
11-19-2008, 02:29 PM
Great ukulele and great buy......still from me in a roundabout way LOL...I will be seeing Mori in a few days the builder.....

Michael!!! Aloha!!!

How does this thing sound? I couldn't find any soundclips anywhere of it.

Thanks again man for all of your help!! :bowdown:

11-19-2008, 03:04 PM
Wow, that uke's incredible. I wonder how ling it took for you to save enough cash for it. Wow, i'm sure it'll be worth it though.

11-19-2008, 03:26 PM
when you get it could you post a larger/clearer pic of the fingerboard inlay?

11-20-2008, 03:25 AM
UkeNinja, thanks for the link to the builder's site. What gorgeous instruments! And he has a Maneki Neko Tenor. Drool....

Lawn Jockey
11-20-2008, 03:47 AM
Here (http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ja&u=http://music.geocities.jp/makani_ukulele/main.html&sa=X&oi=translate&resnum=6&ct=result&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dmakani%2Bukulele%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG) is another link for some other eye-poppers.

11-20-2008, 08:08 AM
Very cool and beautiful!

There be some significant bling there!

Kaneohe til the end
11-20-2008, 08:16 AM
how many times have i come back to this thread just to look at the pictures. damned poverty.

11-20-2008, 11:50 AM
Here (http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ja&u=http://music.geocities.jp/makani_ukulele/main.html&sa=X&oi=translate&resnum=6&ct=result&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dmakani%2Bukulele%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG) is another link for some other eye-poppers.

Well, there is the answer. The maker of Makani Ukuleles is called Mori Kazuhisa, hence "Kazu" as an abbreviation of his first name. Problem solved, thanks for that link, I couldn't read what's on the headstock if my life depended on it!

Lawn Jockey
11-21-2008, 07:49 AM
Well, the uke arrived last evening about 5:30PM. It had been cold out all day (temp in the 40's), so I left it in the box for about an hour. Then I unboxed it and left the case unopened for about 2 hours. I then cracked the case about an inch and let it slowly come up to room temperature. By this time it was about 9:30PM.........my bedtime.

Before sauntering off to bed......I looked at it again......and it was clear that this uke had some problems. I won't go into the details here.....but some of them were readily apparent.......even to a newbie ukulele player.

This morning when I booted my computer and got online I had an email from the seller (from eBay). He stated that he forgot to tell me that he had shimmed the saddle with a piece of plastic.

That coupled with the obvious problems I could see visually were enough for me to exercise my return privilege. He offered zero resistance........and has already refunded the monies to my PayPal account. I will ship the uke back to him on Monday (at his request).

So, I went from having a uke........to no uke..........overnight.

One of the last builders I had looked at (before jumping on the Makani) was Andy Poe. Andy builds uber high end mandolins in Missouri. He has built two ukuleles to date. Both are visually stunning.........and knowing of his reputation for building banjo killer mandolins I decided to put an offer in to him on a piece that was consigned (by him) to Elderly Instruments.

A short while later I received an email indicating that he would accept my offer.......and I just finalized the transaction with Elderly. I had the package sent 2nd Day Air.......so I will have it Tuesday.

Here is the scoop on the Poe Tenor 4 string:

Adirondack Spruce Top
Claro Walnut Back, Sides and Neck
Ziricote Headstock Overlay
Ziricote Bridge
Ziricote Fingerboard
Ziricote and Maple Binding and Rosette
French Polish Finish
Abalone Logo
Abalone Position Markers
Gotoh Tuners (geared, gold, ebony buttons)
Bone Nut
Bone Saddle
Custome Ameritage Case (with Poe logo)

Here (http://www.poestrings.com/PoeStrings/Home.html) is Andy's website..........and here (http://www.poestrings.com/Ukuleles/001.html) is Andy's first ukulele........and here (http://www.poestrings.com/Ukuleles/002.html) is my ukulele (#2).

The wait time for a Poe instrument is about a year and a half.

Here are a couple of pics for those not wanting to click the above link:





Hopefully now I can go forward with actually learning the instrument.

Thanks to all here..........and I apologize for all of the extra posts to get to this point. It's just a huge investment (at least for me) and I wanted to get it right.

11-21-2008, 07:53 AM
I saw that Poe on the elderly site, very nice!

11-29-2008, 05:58 PM
Sad to hear that your Phoenix uke didn't turn out the way you wanted, but the good news is that the seller was good and refunded your money promptly!