Uluru Kohola III Cutaway Tenor Ukulele
This Uluru Kohola IIIC is a fantastic instrument, a tenor ukulele the Vietnamese manufacturers should rightly be proud of. When the World of Ukes showroom opened, ukulele artist Liam Capper-Starr visited to make some product videos and he declared this Uluru tenor uke his ‘best in store’. He got to try all the instruments and thought this one his favourite. I am not going to argue with him as this is a stunning uke to play, a gorgeous uke to look at, and a beautifully melodic ukulele to hear. Ok it sounds better in his hands than mine, but still… it is mesmerising.
I do like a cedar top, which gives a lovely sweetness to the tone. Crisp-edged yet complex, with a full body and fabulous overtones and harmonics. The solid cedar used works brilliantly with the harder, solid rosewood back and sides to deliver a loud sound that never loses that cedar sweetness. Things are changing a little, but still so many ukuleles arrive from factories strung with Aquila regular nylguts. No problem with that, if they suit the instrument… And suit this Uluru Kohola III down to the ground they do.
You can shut your eyes, play this tenor ukulele and be transported to a better place – it is that good. Yet, it is also to die for on the looks front, particularly with its elaborate abalone-inlaid whale motif on the headstock. The gold hardware matches the biscuit-brown cedar top and the ebony buttons on the geared machine heads are a tactile and visual treat. The nicely rounded ebody bridge and bone nut and saddle help bring about excellent sustain, while the ovangkol bound ebony fingerboard is slick-playing. The nut is 35mm, which isn’t the widest, but the low action makes fingering a treat, without ever the fretboard feeling cramped.
The name Uluru suggests the link to Australia that this ukulele company has, with Gerard Gilet the renowned luthier from that country who oversaw the early design process. The results are simply fantastic quality without a Hawaiian-made price tag. Meaning that it compares favourably in price, not the price tag is printed in the Pacific Islands, you understand.
This Kohola IIIC cutaway shape tenor ukulele has lovely ovangkol and maple body binding and a gorgeous abalone soundhole rosette, together with the natural beauty of first rate tonewoods. In my opinion it is the best sounding ukulele Uluru have produced to date (just pipping the Lehua IIICX, which is a little more expensive, and the one I have… I feel a swap coming on!).
For a truly professional tenor ukulele, we can add a MiSi Acoustic Trio pickup, a fab bit of kit. This makes the uke take a few extra days to arrive but boy will you have a brilliant tenor on your hands when it gets to you! Either way, the Uluru Kohola III comes with a fantastic hard case.