Today, I played the range of TkiTki ukuleles for the first time. I can say without hesitation that this collection of soprano, concert and tenor mango ukuleles are the most faithful replica or perhaps more of a homage to the early Martin ukuleles that I have ever seen.
It's barely a secret at this stage that Japanese brands and luthiers have been building 'Martin' style ukuleles better than Martin for many years, Kiwaya have after all been producing mahogany ukuleles for over 100 years themselves... Takumi, Imua, Kawakami, Seilen, TODA, Sumi and Naturel have one foot planted in tradition with each piece of useable art they produce.
The build quality of these TkiTki ukuleles is traditional and eerily reminiscent of some museum grade instruments we have had the pleasure of playing, the finish is open pore and lightly glossed in such a way that the instrument feels both immaculate and played in. Mango can be many things to many people as a tonewood but the sound of these ukuleles is best described as aged, smoky and a real top shelf whiskey of a uke.
soprano in the range has the delicacy of a decades old Martin style 1, the concert retains that but is slightly throatier and has brighter highs and deeper lows, whilst still sounding traditional. The tenor is elegant, head of the table and the mango acts as the perfect speaker cabinet for a smoother, richer sounding tenor.
All solid curly Hawaiian mango body Light gloss finish, with no grain filler Ebony fretboard and bridge 346mm scale length 36mm fretboard width at nut Bone nut and saddle Tortoiseshell effect binding front and back Slotted bridge Compensated saddle High G clear fluorocarbon strings Gotoh UPT planetary tuners Curly mango faceplate Mahogany neck, light gloss finish, shallow profile Comes in TGI ABS hard case