I named this Ken Franklin ukulele Korina, which is another common name for the black limba that I used for the back and sides. I like it's beautiful figure and contrasting colors. Black limba is quite variable and this set is evidence of that.
The top is incense cedar that I think must have been exposed to water in some way. Looks a lot like the sinker redwood tops I have but it may be just from a salvaged old tree. In any event it is quite light and yet stiff along the grain making for a very responsive ukulele.
The neck is laminated Peruvian walnut. The binding and bridge are ebony. The fingerboard is black palm which I think adds to the overall rustic look of this Ken Franklin tenor. The aluminum fret markers are randomly placed by the appropriate frets, I think that makes finding the right fret easier. Tuners are Pegheds with internal 4:1 gearing. Frets are Evo Gold. The finish is a minimal oil varnish that accentuates the open pores with extra protective layers on the incense cedar top where there is also a clear pickguard.
While I had a lot of fun conceptualizing the look for this Ken Franklin ukulele, what I ended up liking best about Korina is the sound. Loudness is always something that players appreciate and this ukulele has plenty of that. You can make a ukulele quieter but it takes more effort to make it louder. So it's nice when the ukulele has plenty of natural volume. But that's not what draws me in. It's the note to note separation and beautiful clarity of the tone that stands out. It lasts and it shimmers. I'm expecting to have some sound samples made for this and all the other Ken Franklin ukuleles so you'll hear what I mean. I could make a recording myself but it wouldn't do Korina justice.
As it is I'm a little reluctant to part with her. If I make something I like as much as Korina I might let her find a new home. But I have more of this wood so if you want a similar custom Ken Franklin ukulele send me an email to the address on my contact page.
Here's Alex de Grassi with his arrangement of Buddy Can You Spare Me a Dime.
All compositions and arrangements by Alex de Grassi, published by Tropo Music (BMI)
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