KoAloha Solid Hawiian Koa KTM-06 "Imaikalani" 6 string Tenor Ukulele (Limited Run) #01
The Imaikalani 6-String KoAloha tenor ukulele is the creation of Master Luthier Paul Okami. It is designed like most common “Lili’u” (short for Queen Lili’uokalani), however the sound is incredible! “Imaikalani” is actually Paul’s Hawaiian name, meaning “Gift from Heaven”, as give to him by his mother Patricia.
The Imaikalani Tenor 6-String model is similar to the Tenor Ukulele: an all Hawaiian Koa body, hand shaped Sapele neck, Hawaiian Koa soundboard and a high gloss finish. It has octave courses of strings on the C string and A string. Tuners are inline, with three per side. Soundwise, this is a KoAloha, so expect full, luscious but crystal clear sound, with bags of volume and expressive range.
2021 has been a bit of a transitional year for many of us... the best laid plans were put on hold for many people in 2020 including KoAloha's Silver Anniversary. Having to down tools during a landmark year was the perfect recipe to go back to the drawing board and redesign the companies staple instruments. The 25 series anniversary models brought about a more streamlined appearance and new geared tuners across the range as well as improved gloss finishing. The Tenors have also had further tweaking with the body shape changed (the waist has slimmed making the upper and lower bouts slightly wider and curvier) and the number of frets to the body and bridge have moved slightly to increase the overall bass response of the Ukulele.
What does this all mean for us 6 string Ukulele lovers? Well it means that KoAloha are moving into a new period in the companies history and I can tell you hand on heart that all of these changes have made for a more exciting and refined Ukulele. KoAloha were to us here at SUS the cheeky sibling of the Hawaiian K brands with an untamed and open sound. The KTM-06 Imaikalani is a traditional 6 string Tenor (not a guitalele) with double courses on the C and the A strings. These doubled up courses produce a unique chorus effect that puts emphasis on lower and higher octaves that don't follow the conventional trail a player might take when voicing a chord... KoAloha make very few of these, in fact this is only the 3rd one we have had at SUS in 12 years. When KoAloha say they only make batches of these every 3-4 years they are not kidding!
This particular one has a couple of cosmetic blemishes that I feel it is only fair to point out including a small patch on the underside of the neck where the body join meets the fingerboard (pictured) and a couple of small glue marks that are only possible to spot when you observe the uke up close with a fine tooth comb.
The new gloss has given the wilder frequencies a bit of a haircut and the overall appearance of modern KoAlohas and the sound is sleeker and smoother. These new appointments and the quality of the wood make for an instrument at 'standard' Hawaiian prices that more closely resemble the popular factory/custom Red Label Ukuleles that we would fawn over in previous years.
This uke has all the brightness you expect from koa, bags of volume and sustain owing to the fabulous proprietary unit brace system that the clever people at KoAloha use. It feels very light in the hand, very balanced. What you notice most when you play is the clarity of its voice. It has great note separation and a huge expressive range.
Bear in mind that no grain filler is used on these ukes, which helps to keep the instrument sounding as good as it does. But, it can mean that you can find a few small pits in the finish, where the gloss sinks into pores, features or grain in the wood. There is one such mark to the top on the bottom bout just near the edge shown in the pictures, but there are other similar around the body.
Pictures show actual instrument you will receive.
All Solid Hawaiian Koa body
CNC shaped neck
Ebony fretboard & bridge
TUSQ(tm) nut and saddle
6 String g Cc e Aa tuning
KoAloha 5-pointed crown headstock
Fretboard inlay dots made of abalone
Wooden Label (new for late 2021/early 2022)
KoAloha's patented "Musubi" soundhole
37mm nut width
KoAloha High G strings installed
KoAloha Branded Der Jung Geared Tuners
New KoAloha abalone headstock logo
KoAloha Woodshell Hard Case Included