Kanile'a KPE-T Hawaiian Made Solid Koa Tenor Ukulele
Even before I tried this Kanile'a KPE-T tenor ukulele, my eyes were dazzled at the sheer beauty of the gorgeous case. A black and silver carbon fibre hard case which is just lovely. However, once I got the uke out, the case was swifltly put to one side as I grabbed this brilliant Kanile'a Hawaiian made instrument.
At first hold, I was enamoured with it, with the wide 38mm nut working well with the shallow neck profile, giving the best of both worlds for me - plenty of fingerboard space but without too much stretching caused by a chunkier neck. The ebony fretboard is simply flawless - the wood used is so smooth it could have been carved from stone.
The solidkoa body has a rich grain which varies from sandy hues to rich, chocolate brown, and positively glows under the gloss finish. The ebony and binding headstock faceplate really pop out - not something you'd usually say about black... but it really adds a visual punch. And there's a pretty soundhole rosette made up of an abalone ring, and another made from compressed Hawaiian beach sand, no less.
Of course, the proof of the pudding is in the playing. If you can say that... and I just did! It has great volume, projection and a real punch. Not lacking in body but splendidly forward. Picked and the clarity and great note separation come to the fore. Strummed gently and it delivers warm, washes of sound - and hard... you get that percussive crispness that so many of the Hawaiian masters are famous for.