NUD: Kimo Custom Super Tenor Mood Spruce/Koa

Arik

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NUD: Kimo Custom Super Tenor Moon Spruce/Koa

Hi all. Just wanted to share a new creation that I just got from Hank Johnson of Kimo Ukuleles. The is my second custom super tenor from Hank and this one came out gorgeous. We went with a Moon Spruce Bear Claw top and 4A Koa for the back and sides.

The uke is very comfortable in playability. Sounds clear and articulate with some great volume. A little brighter sound than my Redwood/Rosewood but significantly lighter in weight.

Hank is a master craftsman and an underrated luthier. Highly recommend him. He is a great guy to work with.

Edit: The upload of these pictures is funky. Maybe check this one out.

Body: 4A Koa
Soundboard: Swiss Moon Spruce (bear claw)
Purfling and Rosette: Ebony with B/W purfling
Binding: Ebony
Accent woods: Asian Black Palm
Neck: Satin finish Honduran Mahogany
Fingerboard and Bridge: Ebony
Headstock: Ebony
Strings: Romero Low G
Tuners: Gotoh UPT
Amp: Misi
 

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That's a great looking uke - congrats! I've been a Kimo ukulele lurker for some time. Visually, there's no doubt that some great looking instruments come out of this luthier. How's the sound compared to anything else you've admired?
 
Stunning, absolutely stunning. I'm so jealous and I don't even play tenors. Congratulations!

I love how the bear claw spruce livens up the look of the soundboard which is usually pretty boring looking when spruce is involved.
 
That's a great looking uke - congrats! I've been a Kimo ukulele lurker for some time. Visually, there's no doubt that some great looking instruments come out of this luthier. How's the sound compared to anything else you've admired?

Thanks! So far this new uke sounds great. I'll hold final judgment on the sound after a couple of weeks. I'm in the camp of solid instruments opening up. Just got the uke today and I know hank just glued on the neck and bridge last Saturday. So this thing is still brand new. I could say that my other kimo opened up and got warmer after a month or 2. It already resonant, balanced, and a tone of volume. I actually ended up getting rid of my k brand ukes over the past couple of months because I really enjoyed Hank's builds.
 
I am sure the OP will chime in (pun intended) regarding sound. I own 2 Kimo ukuleles and I would put their over all sound quality right up there with the best customs.

I own a tenor with koa top maple back and side and that one has a sweet mellow sound that is very balanced. The other one is a super concert in sinker redwood and curly walnut. It is bigger sounding then a lot of tenors. It is warm will really good resonance projection and volume. It is a very lively sounding instrument.
 
Oh and to the OP congratulations on your new Kimo. Hank has some really great koa, way better then most. One of my friends and playing partners has a Kimo tenor in bearclaw Sitka spruce with koa back and sides and it is fantastic.
 
Wow, what a beautiful instrument! I love how the contrast of the top to the back and sides is strong, but not stark-- if that makes sense? Everything just comes together so well visually.

I can't wait to hear more-- of the instrument, and of your impressions over time.

Enjoy!
~ S.
 
Beautiful!!!!
 
Stunning, absolutely stunning. I'm so jealous and I don't even play tenors. Congratulations!

I love how the bear claw spruce livens up the look of the soundboard which is usually pretty boring looking when spruce is involved.

Thank you Dohle!

Oh and to the OP congratulations on your new Kimo. Hank has some really great koa, way better then most. One of my friends and playing partners has a Kimo tenor in bearclaw Sitka spruce with koa back and sides and it is fantastic.

Thanks DownUpDave. I have always admired your collection! But yes I also agree with Kimo ukuleles being warm and having a big sound.

Wow, what a beautiful instrument! I love how the contrast of the top to the back and sides is strong, but not stark-- if that makes sense? Everything just comes together so well visually.

Thanks Spieler

Beautiful!!!!
:shaka:
 
Really beautiful instrument. I love the black binding/rosette against the white soundboard and the minimalist fingerboard markers - very classy.
 
This is really a beautiful instrument with the bear claw spruce subtle pattern up front and the curly koa. Agree w Spieler in the koa not being so dark to contrast but rather complement the front.
 
Congratulations! Lovely looking uke. I think Kimo ukes have wonderful aesthetics. All the elements on your uke really come together.

I confess, I didn't know Moon spruce came in a bear claw. I suppose any spruce can have that grain variance.

I do have a question: Is the depth of the body what makes this a super tenor? The lower bout doesn't seem to be wider. Or is it a larger body overall?
 
Really beautiful instrument. I love the black binding/rosette against the white soundboard and the minimalist fingerboard markers - very classy.

Thanks Siv. I wasn't sure how the black rosette would turn out but I wanted a black and white theme for the front side of the uke

This is really a beautiful instrument with the bear claw spruce subtle pattern up front and the curly koa. Agree w Spieler in the koa not being so dark to contrast but rather complement the front.

Thanks:)
 
I confess, I didn't know Moon spruce came in a bear claw. I suppose any spruce can have that grain variance.

I do have a question: Is the depth of the body what makes this a super tenor? The lower bout doesn't seem to be wider. Or is it a larger body overall?

Hi Kenn2018. I didn't know moon spruce came in bear claw either until I saw that hank had built one. He said that they are hard to find but he was given some by a friend.

Also, I think for Hank the Super Tenor size is really just a bigger size than his tenor. It is deeper, slightly wider, and he added a little to bottom and rounded it out. I think the spruce top and ebony binding make it look deceptively small. When I got the uke I thought it looked smaller than my Kimo Redwood/Rosewood but I compared the 2 and they are the same size. The uke is on the bigger side of ukes. Not quite baritone size but it definitely bigger than many tenors.

Here is an image of Kimo Redwood/Rosewood with some of my other tenor ukes to compare the size (I don't have some of these anymore).
121063953_345250020227614_1109198357897612951_n(1).jpg
 
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Thanks Deznuchs, Interesting how your Kimo redwood/rosewood compares to the aNueNue UT200. The Ko'Aloha KTM-00 looks positively petite.
 
Very nice, I had never heard of Kimo Ukes before.
 
Thanks Deznuchs, Interesting how your Kimo redwood/rosewood compares to the aNueNue UT200. The Ko'Aloha KTM-00 looks positively petite.

Interesting question. The Anuenue is a UT214, so it is a cedar top. Both the Kimo R/R and UT214 are loud, resonant, and warm sounding ukes. They both have a radius fretboard so they are very comfortable to play. The Kimo has a deeper body by about 1/2 - 3/4 of an inch and is heavier. Sound-wise, its a little hard to compare because the Kimo is strung up with Uke Logics high tension, wound C and G. The Anuenue is strung with stock black waters and wound C and G. Both are very articulate but the Anuenue has a little more bottom end (weird because the body isn't as deep) and a little mellow in sound but projects a lot. This might be because of the black fluorocarbon, which is similar to Fremont blacklines. The Kimo is a little brighter but I also think it because its high tension and clear fluorocarbon strings. Both sound great but different.
 
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