Millar Custom 5A Hawaiian Mango Grand Tenor Ukulele 'The Pilikua' #212
The Millar custom 5A Hawaiian mango grand tenor ukulele is an instrument that really makes you sit up and take notice.
Just before Christmas, we announced the Millar jumbo tenor as one of the top 10 ukuleles of 2021. We also promised 2022 would be Millar's year. That was in part because we have several small batches of custom shop Millar ukuleles in the works for this year. The first one focuses on the Southern Ukulele Store (and particularly Alex's) love for mango and the unique, full bodied and surprisingly articular sound you can get from a Millar jumbo tenor body.
The unofficial name for this batch of custom models has been the Millar 'Pilikua' which loosley translates to grand or jumbo in Hawaiian. Eric at Millar built these using a special batch of 5A Hawaiian mango which as you can guess is basically the good stuff!
It's highly figured and intricate to look at with tighter grain and a warm, bubbly and rich sound not unlike koa but with a smoother, more pronounced bass response. We have learned a lot about mango from working with Kanile'a on the Manako series, Flight on the Carabao and Big Island on the Uli so choosing the right wood is about so much more than looks but when it has the right sound and looks like this - well, that is just heaven.
We have found some of the best sounding Millars have had satin finishes, in part because this more traditional style of finish allows the wood to really shine through. Although visually I think slightly more people prefer gloss, it is important to match the finish with the size and wood. These Millars are fine tuned to give just the right sound and overall shape for a strummer who wants to cover the whole frequency spectrum or a finger picker that just wants to make people swoon.
The decorative choices were made by Matt Warnes at World of Ukes who has joined us on this voyage with Millar. Several instruments have been made with mixtures of bindings and soundhole rosettes but none of them detract away or distract from the frankly stunning presentation of the mango itself.
The grand tenor ukuleles are topped with a slotted headstock which is just a touch more lightweight than on the production Millars we stock. The slotted headstock adds just a hint more tension to the strings pulling them back at a tighter angle and the lightweight Gotoh machineheads are a personal favourite of the staff at SUS and World of Ukes. This one arrived with Worth BT strings on it which are just the right side of mellow and sound lovely.
We are supplying the first of these customs with a case. The instrument you see in the listing is the one you will receive.
Millar custom - SUS/WOU - Pilikua
Grand tenor (Jumbo body)
Body made of 5A figured Hawaiian mango
Gotoh geared tuners
Rosewood/maple traditional front rope binding and rosette
17' scale length
35mm nut Width with 28cm string spacing at nut
Millar custom wooden label and decal
Ships in a CNB hard case (the case is ex-display but currently the only case we have to fit this ukulele)