A tenor ukulele built from top-grade flamed koa.
by Teja Gerken
September 18, 2017
Larrivée Guitars is best known for its steel-string flattop guitars, but over the course of the company’s 50 years in business, it has also built classical and electric guitars, mandolins, and ukuleles. Larrivée ukuleles are available in soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone sizes and in a variety of wood choices. We recently had a chance to check out a UT-40KK0 tenor uke.
Our demo UT-40KK0 had spectacularly flamed koa top, back, and sides. Not only was the wood beautifully rich in color, its figure had a three-dimensional holographic quality that is only seen in the finest examples of this Hawaiian wood. Built in the same Oxnard, California, shop as Larrivée’s guitars, the ukulele had the same high level of craftsmanship, with excellent fit and finish all around. The instrument includes handmade “rope” binding and rosette, and the peghead, which has the same rounded shape as most Larrivée guitars, is home to a set of open-geared tuning machines with engraved buttons. The UT-40KK0 ships with D’Addario Pro-Arté Titanium strings, which are secured to the bridge using a traditional tie-block.
The UT-40KK0 was a joy to play. It had a nicely balanced sound that could be loud when strummed with some force or delicate when picked quietly. Overall, the UT-40KK0 is a high-quality instrument, and anyone in the market for an upscale ukulele would do well to check out Larrivée’s models.
SPECS:Tenor ukulele. Solid flamed koa top, back, and sides. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. 17-inch scale. 1⅜-inch nut width. Chrome open-gear tuners with engraved buttons. Made in USA. $2,000 list. Larrivee.com
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