About 10 years ago John started the Pono line in Indonesia and Noa took over the custom building for Ko’olau. Noa’s had small crews in the past but now focuses on the finest quality possible with just him building and Ryan Condon finishing. Together, what they have been offering for the last few years is impeccable craftsmanship and master level voicing. Ko’olau ukuleles are light in weight, full with rich overtones, gorgeous with the best woods, and truly a joy to play. Check out a few models we highlight below. Custom order and see any available at our website HERE.
Deluxe Spruce Top Myrtle Sides & Back
Kalei gives us a “raw” sound sample with a low G fluorocarbon set.
Deluxe Tenor Sinker Redwood Top Koa Back & Sides
Aside from the striking aged sinker redwood and gorgeous Hawaiian koa, this tenor has an ebony faceplate, fingerboard, and bridge.
The fingerboard has the 12″ radius for extra comfort chording. All of the CS models come with it but it’s optional on the Deluxe models. Other optional upgrades include the gloss finish and a slotted headstock.You’ll notice that this one has the Gotoh “Stealth” tuners which are ultra light weight and an impressive 18:1 gear ratio. These are an option with slotted headstocks at no additional uphcarge.
The Deluxe model is the classic Ko’olau model. Used by Lyle Ritz, Benny Chong, Abe Lagrimas Jr., Paul Hemmings and other amazing ukulele players.
Custom Deluxe Tenor
European Spruce Master Grade Koa w/ Bronze & Silver Koi Inlay
CS Spruce Top Koa Sides & Back
There are some upgrades on this one including Madagascar rosewood for the bridge fretboard and faceplate. This strain of exotic rosewood is extremely light and conductive to tonal vibration. Also you will notice the slotted headstock and Waverlys’ most expensive tuning keys with Ko’olau koa buttons. Stylin’!
CS Sinker Cedar Koa Cutaway
Sinker cedar is western red cedar that sank in the river on the way to the mill. After sitting under water for many years the mineral deposits leach into the wood resulting in a streaking “multi-color” top that yields a wonderful tonal quality. Complimenting that is a stunning koa body framed off with a very rare light curly koa wood binding. This was taken from the sap wood of the koa so it is nearly as light as maple.
Sinker Redwood Top/ Guatemalan Rosewood Sides & Back
Other options to notice on this one is the bone bridge pins, which some think adds to the sustain and clarity, and offset fretboard markers, which add to the sleek style.
Adirondack Spruce Top Hawaiian (Cuban) Mahogany Sides & Back
CS Slimline Spruce/ Rosewood
This is a video we shot at NAMM 2016 and the first part is featuring a similar instrument to this one but with Koa back and sides.
CS All Koa Tenor
Click to see more examples at the Ko’olau CS Custom order page.
C100SP & 20 Yr Anniversary Concert
Concert Premium Redwood/ Milo
Ko’olau custom concerts like this will be very light in weight and full in sound. The tone, look, and feel are among the absolute best. Kalei samples this superb concert.
These videos are done using transparent recording equipment and we are dedicated to showing true tone, as much as possible, so use quality speakers or headphones for the most accurate listening experience.
Archtop Tenors!Ryan Condon hand carves out the top and back to these archtop tenors. Je only makes one or two a year but they are always amazing to the eyes and ears.
CE- Chambered Solid Body Electric
The CE is a Ko’olau original creation in partership with LR Baggs. It’s been the perfect solution for many musicians looking for a great, light weight electric tenor with a pro-level acoustic tone that can play loud without feedback. It maintains a natural tone but can also take effects better than your regular acoustic.
5 String T100
Lots more to look at and listen to here from Ko’olau Ukulele(UPDATING SOON)
Podcast w/ Ko’olau & All the Links to Ko’olau related posts & artists
I love all the possibilities the Ko’olau CE opens up. I had the Pono version and it too was beautiful. I hope to have one again soon.
Agreed. In my opinion the CE is the ultimate plugged in player’s holy grail. The pickups designed by LR Baggs in partnership with Ko’olau produce a better sound then the Five.O/Mi-Si pickups, and a more natural one then say the RMC Acoustic Gold/Graphtech individual piezos(not to mention more durable and can be directly lined in). Best pickup on the market, would like to see these in the Pono TE’s some day, or an improved Five.O element with a 9-volt.
I forgot to comment on how amazing this company is. I emailed them once with a question And John responded within the day. You can’t find customer service like this anywhere else. AMAZING.
I recently bought a Ko’olau CS-O Spruce/Myrtle and I can’t put it down. Looks and sounds amazing. It’s also noticeably easier to play than my other ukes.
Awesome! I love that combo on Ko’olau. Thanks Michael.
Do you have baritones?
Yes, Ko’olau makes baritones too.