This Hawaiian tenor pictured is an instrument that we bought at the 2013 NAMM show. It’s labeled “iT” retailing for $1179. But as you can see, it’s figured like the curly wood upgrade model which retails for $380 more. And it would easily pass for the premium koa wood model, and those are up to $1779 with no other difference. So we bought it. We haven’t added the line, but I gotta say,
I really like the design. It’s traditional enough, yet the rounded neck and tail block, along with curved headstock edges gives it a smooth modern flow. I also like the logo concept, abalone dot inside the mother of pearl line, very clean. My personal opinion, the stock Hilo strings aren’t really doing it any favors. The Worth CT with a wound low G is what you can see in the pictures. I thought it was sweeter, just my opinion.
Imua ukes are designed by Shinji Takahashi. A classical builder from Japan. These are somewhat conservative in construction, but built with proper luthier techniques, and I don’t doubt they’ll last a lifetime. They have the “open pore” gloss finish where the final coats aren’t sanded and buffed, so it’s not that glassy perfect type of gloss, but it can look nice and is common to the islands.
I think Imua will continue to grow as a company. They have a lot going for them, namely that they’re a Hawaiian ukulele company striving for efficiency and excellence, and there’s always a place for that.
A’ hui ho’ from HMS. Any thoughts on Imua at first glance?