Ukulele Review, Hawaiian Ash Wood, Koolau Tenor Ukulele:)

Hawaiian Curly Ash, otherwise known as Tropical Ash or Shamel Ash (Fraxinus Uhdei) – is a blonde hardwood growing throughout the Hawaiian Islands, however Hawaii Island (the Big Island) is the only island with a significant volume of saw timber at present. Hawaiian Ash has a beautiful, fine textured grain with attractive figure similar to White Ash, but much lighter in weight and density. . Weight is 35lbs per cubic foot and specific gravity is .50 (similar to Swietenia Macrophylla, or commonly known as Honduran Mahogany). Tone and volume are excellent.” www.koolauukulele.com

We just picked up this very nice tenor Ko’olau ukulele. Hawaiian Ash top back and sides, Koa binding and headstock, and dark rich rosewood fingerboard and bridge.This uke just has a really warm sound. It comes through at a lower frequency than koa, yet it cuts through on the highs very well. I would say the most notable qualities of this ukulele would be – Balanced frequencies, Warmth in tone, and Comfort , aka- low action and smooth feel. Of course it looks quite sharp as well with a unique and figured Hawaiian Ash wood framed off with curly koa binding and vintage style herringbone purfling. When I saw this one being made I knew it would be good, but I honestly did not expect it to sound and feel as superb as it does. This is a great example of what Ko’olau has set out to do with using alternate local woods and showing other voices of the woods grown here on our islands. With Ash, as was with Toon, the sonic outcome has been .. as we say here- “winners” !~

Comments 1

  1. My wife, Cali, and I have four custom Ko’olau tenors between us and are expecting a fifth! Ko’olau’s attention to detail is impeccable and sound qualities, superb. Our wood choices include combinations of Koa, Brazilian Rosewood, Sequoia Redwood, Spruce and Cedar. All of our instruments have well balanced and clear tones. Also, working with John and the boys is a true pleasure. Please see my website (listed above) for pictures and sound samples in the “media” section.

    Again, I cannot speak highly enough of our Ko’olau ukuleles.

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