Live Performance with Paul Iinuma
Beautiful custom tenor ukulele handcrafted by luthier Yuki Nishihara of Kyoto, Japan. One of Japan's rising stars, Yuki continues to be praised by his luthier peers and has since gone on to be featured in numerous Japanese publications for his remarkable attention to detail, design, and the tone of his instruments. Born in Kyoto City in 1984, Yuki first pursued his passion for luthiery with custom guitar company, 'Headway Guitars' - Japan where he apprenticed for five years before returning to his hometown in 2012 and established his own label, 'Nishihara Guitars & Ukuleles'. Incorporating his knowledge and understanding of guitar luthiery in to each ukulele commission, Yuki utilizes the finest materials and aspires to handcraft instruments that inspire professional musicians and recreational players to improve on their playing and enjoyment of their music.
This wonderful Custom Nishihara Tenor Ukulele is crafted from a gorgeous master grade set of German spruce top with a rare African Blackwood back and sides. African Blackwood has a fine, even texture, with small pores and is also known as grenadillo and mpingo. It is a short tree that normally grows to about 25' and rarely reaches 40'. The tree can be easily recognized by its fluted trunk and is in the family of true rosewoods. African Blackwood grows primarily in the savanna areas of East Africa and is an excellent tonewood for ukuleles and guitars although it is most frequently used on woodwind instruments such as clarinets, flutes and bagpipes. Tonally, this wood is remarkable! It is frequently compared to the coveted 'Brazilian Rosewood'. African Blackwood is denser and harder than Brazilian Rosewood and is known for great power, punch, clarity, and complexity. Paired with a German spruce top, this ukulele is a remarkable combination with great punch and projection as well. The instrument also incorporates an Ebony wood fretboard and bridge and a Hawaiian Koa wood top and back binding and matching Hawaiian Koa wood rosette. In keeping with the theme of the instrument a stylish African Blackwood headstock plate with matching sapwood was also used on the headstock with a classy 'Nishihara' logo inlay in 'paua' or abalone shell. The neck is carved from Mahogany wood for added stability and the soundboard has elegant black-white purfling lines for a classy appeal. Paua shell position marker inlay on the fretboard for quick reference on positions 5, 7, 10, and 12. Bone nut and saddle and a satin finish. The instrument also boasts a slotted headstock and Stealth geared tuners for smooth and precise tuning.
Excellent clarity and projection. Bright sound with a nice punchy midrange and balanced lows. The instrument is also easy to play all the way up the neck. Highly recommended player piece from one of Japan's best upcoming luthiers.