New Uke Day (NUD) NUUD: Ko'olau Tenor Delux - Spruce/Rosewood Slothead

hands_on_lanzon

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Me and the 'ukulele market...


I know. I KNOW! i know.

This is one I couldn't stand the thought of anyone else on the entire planet getting... except maybe ONE person.

When the Reverb algorithm brought this Ko'olau across my screen, I knew the "I" in "AI" was working just fine. Yes, I just got my new Pohaku soprano and yes, also recently traded for a gorgeous Pohaku concert (hey!! *pats self on the back for an actual 1-in-1-out). But I got news that the KoAloha Black Label was to be put on hold for a little while. I was ready to wait patiently, as I know that KoAloha sound is one I love... been mainly playing my cedar/walnut KoAloha for my tenor sounds for a bit now with tough thoughts of eventually letting it go, along with my cedar Kinnard, once the Black Label was to arrive.

Sure, I could peruse the interwebs, knowing nothing would ever take my fancy away from that future Black Label. Well, boy was I wrong. When a listing came up for Corey's old personal uke, my *just recently subsided UAS jumped to 11. (*isn't that how it always goes?) Well, he's that one person I woulda let snatch thing up, aside from myself... so snatch I did!!!

Check this thing out!!

Here's a pic from the Reverb listing:
Corey's ukes.jpg

A pic from the old TUS listing, likely over 10yrs old

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A video of Corey playing it on his own YouTube channel from April 2013.


And some pics from today, below.
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I love how the spruce has aged and darkened. I just got into the uke a couple years ago and have one spruce uke that I was hoping to see age over time.
Alas, it turns out that custom Tiny Tenor isn't for me (check my listings if you're interested), but I was lucky to find this gem that's already been aged a decade! The gents at TUS have mentioned on the podcast that they like spruce for it's clarity, but cedar gives them more immediate warmth, similar to aged spruce, without having to wait for it to warm up. In that, I've been very much a cedar man to get that fresh out the box warm sound. Well, I basically got to skip that spruce wait and got the warmth right out of the case!

Speaking of (head)case, I've been a complete nut over the uke these past couple years. The journey has been pretty insane, but the TUS/HMS podcast has been a HUGE source of constant inspiration and an endless well of uke knowledge!! I can definitely say the same for this UU forum. (It's also safe to say that both have been huge UAS enablers).

In the short amount of time I've been swept away by this little instrument, I've felt that there's something magical about it... it lifts spirits, it brings people together, spreads joy, a lot of things that have been said on this forum that doesn't exist for many other instruments in this world. For my journey, so far, Corey's played a big part of that magic. So getting to own a little piece of that easily means more to me than all my ukes leading up to this one. I know for a fact that this would be my "house-on-fire" uke that I would grab on the way out the door.

I know it's gonna be hard to list, and eventually pack and ship, some of my others. But the more I play this one, the more the magic grows and the easier it will be. I'm heading out of town again soon and this one's coming with me this time. Once I get back in Spring, hopefully I'll have come to terms with listing those other ukes. 🥹
 
What a great catch, I am so happy for you and wish you years of enjoyment!
 
Happy for you, it looks beautiful!
 
Thanks for the full story and congrats on your new one
 
Congratulations, it looks gorgeous and sounds absolutely spectacular! Plus all that Corey mojo, what’s not to love 😍


(If and when it comes to tricky listings I’m very happy to help you out by taking, say, that little Cuban hog Pohaku off your hands 😂 No need to thank me, I’m just a really decent person)
 
Thanks, all!

I've already gotten thru my first ever restring on a slotted headstock. Fun little learning experience there. It came with some beautiful Worth Browns with a wound C and unwound low G that sounded very sweet. In order to A/B, I wanted to hear the Ko'olau with high tension E and A, low tension C and a wound low G. It definitely brought the sweet shimmery voice down a notch, but kicked up the punchiness and attack to high with some real nice warmth! I'm not opposed to going back to low tension in the future. It'll be fun to explore more string options with this one... just not as fun actually changing them with that slotted headstock.

Congratulations, it looks gorgeous and sounds absolutely spectacular! Plus all that Corey mojo, what’s not to love 😍


(If and when it comes to tricky listings I’m very happy to help you out by taking, say, that little Cuban hog Pohaku off your hands 😂 No need to thank me, I’m just a really decent person)
You're far too kind! Unfortunately, my sopranos are currently safe and will definitely get their time in the rotation.. at least for now. The tough decision will be which tenor will need to find its way to the next happy home.
 
Wonderful instrument and wonderful story. Corey has been a particular inspiration for me as well, so I appreciate your sense of connection to the instrument and to Corey through the instrument.

Do you know what instrument Corey is playing now?
I think both Corey and Kalei play Anuenue right now, you can see them playing and talking about their playing instruments on the anuenue youtube channel
 
I think both Corey and Kalei play Anuenue right now, you can see them playing and talking about their playing instruments on the anuenue youtube channel
@ailevin

Quite right!! Since they rep aNueNue USA, that's what they usually go-to at gigs or on the podcast when accompanying guests.

I always love with Corey picks up Andrew's Ko'olau guitar... then you known it's gonna be something truly special.

Corey did recently get a cedar/walnut Kamaka that he sound sampled on the pod a while back, but I believe he ended up selling that. Maybe to make space for the chambered body electric Ko'olau thar I saw he was having made when I visited the warehouse last yr.

Aside from those, I can only imagine what they play in the comfort of their homes. If I recall correctly, Corey has himself a Moore Bettah and I bet Kalei hung onto his old Kamaka.

Now, what they play on a daily basis at the shop and warehouse?! That's a whole 'nother story... basically anything that comes thru from some of the finest 'ukulele luthiers on the planet!! 🤩
 
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Spruce and rosewood is one of my favorite wood combos. Congratulations on scoring a beautiful instrument, man the koa on the headstock is curly city.

I know exactly how you feel about Koolau. I have a spruce/myrtle CS model that TUS had listed as used. As soon as I heard the video, it had just been listed, I called Andrew and gave him my credit card number over the phone. That was about 5 or 6 years ago and the spruce which was already aged has turned a nice warm yellow hue.

Enjoy that Koolau for a long time.
 
I have a base level Ko'olau koa tenor that's very good. I can only image how wonderful your spruce/rosewood tenor must be.

Congratulations! Safe travels.
 
Spruce and rosewood is one of my favorite wood combos. Congratulations on scoring a beautiful instrument, man the koa on the headstock is curly city.

I know exactly how you feel about Koolau. I have a spruce/myrtle CS model that TUS had listed as used. As soon as I heard the video, it had just been listed, I called Andrew and gave him my credit card number over the phone. That was about 5 or 6 years ago and the spruce which was already aged has turned a nice warm yellow hue.

Enjoy that Koolau for a long time.
Thanks!! I forgot to mention the strong impression Abe and Mika's Ko'olau ukes left on me from the LA Uke Fest!! Those things SANG!!!

For your viewing pleasure (also recently posted in the headstock thread)...
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And for your listening pleasure, I just recorded this for Season of the 'Ukulele 618 and will be posting there as well shortly. I started learning my favorite Christmas song the Thurs before last. Here's how far I got so far...
 
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