What is a 'Platinum' Ukulele?
In recent years, Kanile'a have produced a special limited edition model for each year with elite specification and innovative ideas. Last years Platinum saw the company produce a Pineapple for the first time, in previous years we have seen astounding innovations such as new and improved TRU-R bracing that has become a staple on every Kanile'a produced today, they also experimented with the Super Concert shape, Super Tenor shapes and even used Torrified (scientifically aged) spruce tops on a Platinum four years back (two years before the big Guitar companies produced prototypes of their high end offerings). Kanile'a have always been trend setters and the Platinum model is the model where much of those trends begin.
The 2020 Platinum is special to Kanile'a in so many ways. The company wear their hearts on their sleeves and as 2020 sees a bit of a changing in the guard at the top of the company with Kristen and Joe's 3 sons Kaimana, Iokepa and Kahiau all stepping up into bigger roles within the Kanile'a umbrella; it felt to them like this years stand-out model needed to be a collaborative effort and it is just that. This years Platinum is a master grade Hawaiian Koa Super Tenor with Kanile'as Platinum Crown Slotted headstock. Those beautiful tiny tuners you see are Gotoh stealth tuners with custom Kanile'a made buttons... Joe Souza spent much of 2019 working on soundhole placement to produce the optimum sound for his Super Tenor design and chose a D shaped soundhole on the upperside top bout. The placement of this soundhole allows a warmer and richer sound to emanate from the Ukulele whilst the increased floor-space inside the Ukulele allows for a completely unique tonally enhanced bracing pattern to be nurtured over various prototyping stages... Joe talks about this with Alex in the interview below from NAMM 2020.
How does it sound? Here are my first impressions; when i pick it up to strum it; It sounds massive, It weighs nothing, this Ukulele has so much depth but isn't boomy in the slightest and even just playing and holding a C chord on this Ukulele has a kind of sparkle and intangible glow to it - It feels like the first time you pick it up every time because even with the wealth of experience I have had holding Ukuleles, nothing has felt quite like this. It really is a joy to play, even now just writing about it I am smiling.
Did we talk about the deluxe appointments you may have missed at first glance such as the original script headstock logo exclusive to this model, Curly maple bindings everywhere, Kolohala Armrest and Bevel, Curly Maple Tail strip and Oval side sound port that allows the player to get even more of the tone and sound. I find on this particular instrument that the slim side sound port does more to increase the smaller touches and tonality of your playing rather than the projection and volume. It's a nice touch!
Finally lets talk about the family collaboration and how it interweaves with the design of this Uke. The family tree inlaid in Hawaiian sand up the length of the top and onto the fingerboard traces and celebrates both past and future generations of the Souza family and the Kanile'a company. Here at SUS we love this Ukulele and are honoured to be one of the only dealers in the world able to sell them. The 2020 Platinum is a fantastic way for Kanile'a to look to the future, a high end ukulele however you spin it for true lovers of the Ukulele and one of its premier families.
Unique 2020 Platinum Super Tenor #22020
Master Grade Curly Hawaiian Koa (selected by Alex Beds from SUS and signed off by Kaimana Souza) Ebony Fingerboard, Bridge and Head Plate Platinum Crown Slotted Headstock Gotoh Stealth Tuners with Kanile'a Custom Knobs Ebony Bridge Pins Gloss Body Silk Neck Beach Sand Side Position Markers Beach Sand Logo inlay (unique Retro script style for this model only) Beach sand inlay on Soundboard and Fingerboard D-Shaped Soundhole with Kolohala and Sand Alternating Rosette Oval Side Sound Port Kolohala Trim Kolohala Armrest Kolohala Bevel Curly Maple Front and back binding, tail strip and back strip Nubone Nut and Saddle - 38mm Nut Width Deluxe Kanile'a Gigbag