My ukuleles feature the design considerations I have learned from my mentor in guitar building, Jeff Elliott. He suggested I consider bridging the transverse bars and use a fan bracing similar to the Torres/Hauser classical guitar. I have found that these design considerations make for a more responsive top and hence produce more pleasing, lyrical tones with longer sustain.
The Ku’uipo Model (ku’uipo meaning “sweetheart” illustrates the stunning beauty and the subtle complexities of love that often captivates our hearts)
This is a tenor instrument with a 17 inch scale length. Most often the body connection is at the 14th fret but I have made 12th and 13th fret instruments as well. Most often the tenor is built with Koa from the Big Island where I live. I have experimented with alternative woods but Koa has a particular resonance here on the Big Island. All wood is responsibly harvested from fallen timber and has been seasoned many years before I build with it.
“This is my favorite ukulele” – Keoki
The Puka is a Ku’uipo with a sound port. Reducing the size of the soundhole on a guitar or ukulele increases bass response. Not wanting to lose bass I reduce the sound hole on the front of the uke by ¼” to compensate for the additional opening (puka).
I am currently designing a concert size instrument (the Hana Hou) and a baritone as well. The Keiki model (soprano) is also under development.
I am also currently building an electric Hawaiian slide guitar – The Ono –