Imua iCG-C5 Solid Koa Concert Ukulele
What a dilemma with this Imua concert ukulele review! Do I pretend it isn’t very good, hope that nobody ever buys it and keep it here at World of Ukes HQ for my own personal pleasure? Or do I share the fact that it so wonderful, so exquisite, so light, playable and magnificent that I desperately, desperately, desperately want one! If angels played ukuleles they’d surely be sporting an Imua iCG-C5, an all solid, Hawaiian made concert uke constructed from epically beautiful master grade koa. I think I’ve spilled the beans haven’t I!
In essence this is a relatively simple ukulele from Imua, the company headed by Mr Winkler, a specialist in koa in Hawaii. Brilliant quality tonewood, a flawless gloss finish, good components and some strings. No soundhole rosettes, no binding, no inlaid tree-frog tooth diamond motifs. (Ok, getting a bit silly there…). Just lovely wood, brilliantly put together, to deliver a fantastic instrument. Now, this simple explanation I’m sure overlooks much of the great work done in the Imua factory by their master Japanese luthier – but for us, ukulele players, it is perhaps best just to experience and enjoy such an amazing instrument, rather than concentrate too much on the magic that has created it. Truth be told, I don’t know exactly why this ukulele sounds and feels as good as it does, I just know that having played it, I’m in love.
To get into more specifics, there’s an Indian rosewood fingerboard, mahogany neck, rosewood bridge and compensated bone saddle, together with a 38mm wide bone nut. The neck is really comfortable, and the body is relatively shallow, both factors which make this Imua iCG-C5 feel feather-light and super comfortable. Low action and the wide fingerboard make moving around the frets a dream. Grover geared tuners are reliable and nice and light too. Aquila super nylgut strings are fitted, but I suspect this thing would sound good if strung up with old rope.
I have to keep a hold on myself now, as I move on to describe the sound this concert uke makes. Make sure I don’t start talking about its crisp highs sounding the like the distant cry of birdsong on a paradise island. Or point out that the resonant bass vibrates and enters your body like a gentle caress. No, none of that from me, no sir! Suffice to say, it is incredibly expressive – a real tonic for developing players who want to put more light and shade into their play. It can sing loud and proud, or whisper gently, all the while retaining a sweetness of tone and wonderful sustain.
If you fancy plugging in, we can provide this uke with a Mi-Si acoustic trio active pickup system too - but allow an extra week for it to get to you!
So, in conclusion, well, it’s ok I suppose. If you happen to like goosebumps when you play.