Heaukulani 'ukulele & guitar
Catalog - Ainahau

Rose of Ainahau

Biography and specifications

 Birthplace: Koa wood for the sides and back of Rose of Ainahau was harvested from the forest above Lapahoehoe on the Big Island of Hawaii by Winkler Woods by permit with the Hawaiian Home Lands Department.  Boards from the parent tree were milled on Oahu and several lots were purchased by Uncle Dave for crafting into Heaukulani ‘ukulele. The spruce for the sound board comes from Sitka, Alaska. Spruce is a preferred soundboard for quality guitars because of its tonal qualities.

Uncle Dave gives each instrument he builds a personal name. This ‘ukulele is named Rose of Ainahau in honor of Princess Victoria Ka’iulani of the Kingdom of Hawaii. Her home was in Ainahau and she was nicknamed the Rose of Ainahau.
This was inspired initially by slack key guitarist John Keawe who wrote the song Ainahau for the same reason. When Uncle Dave heard John play this song and tell the story of the princess in a concert in 2006 he immediately began designing this instrument. All of Uncle Dave’s instruments are one of a kind. This is a baritone scale intended to be played in slack key tuning to retain the essence of John Keawe’s inspiration in his slack key song to the princess. This picture was taken before the pick-guard was applied after 100 songs were played. Uncle Dave plays at least 100 songs on each uku he crafts to break it in and test the stress response on the joints.

Specifications: Baritone size. Overall length is 29.5 inches. Upper bout 7-5/8 inches wide and lower bout  9-7/8 inches wide. Weight is 2.5 pounds. The scale is 20 inches. The sound box is Hawaiian koa with a Sitka spruce top.  The neck is Honduran mahogany, and the fret board and head plate are rosewood. Interior braces are spruce, the heel block, tail block, back plate brace, sound hole patch, and tentalones are mahogany. Three tone woods are employed under the sound plate. Nut and saddle are corian. Instead of a truss rod, kala koa like all Heaukulani ‘ukulele is fitted with a brass echo chamber design to provide both neck strength and acoustic transfer enhancement. This is the same concept in the non-adjustable truss rod of Martin guitars. The finish is lacquer. Tuners are encased gears Gotoh brand.

Design: Rose of Ainahau is the first in a line of rose theme instruments in the Heaukulani ’Ukulele series. It features a rose design  inlay on the fret board made of mother-of-pearl and paua abalone, a paua abalone rosette, tortoise binding, herringbone purfling on the sound plate and roses of paua abalone on the headplate. The sound box end graft is Brazilian rosewood (pre-ban).

Electronics: Ainahau is fitted with an Align active UST system made by Mi-Si electronics. It is the latest generation of electronics using a battery charger rather than live batteries. The charger is a separate unit and comes with the ‘ukulele. One charge of 60 seconds will last up to eight hours. Do not overcharge the unit. It leaves the Heaukulani shop charged to activate and test. Sound test to see if the charge is still active before plugging in the charger. All Heaukulani ‘ukulele are played for 100 songs before it is shipped to allow joints to adjust and see if the adhesive is set tightly.

Tuning: Ainahau is tuned to DGBD which is known as taro patch slack key tuning in the Hawaiian style slack key technique. A book on how to play this style is provided for your pleasure.

Care and feeding: Ainahau was allowed to season in a controlled environment of 45 percent relative humidity. Any stringed instrument cannot survive in a hot car or hot climate which causes wood shrinkage. Likewise, areas of high humidity may cause wood swelling. Keep the instrument in a case in a climate controlled location when in storage as much as possible. To remove bridge pins use the puller that is provided with the ‘ukulele. Polish with a combined beeswax-citrus polish for best results.

                         MSRP $1,250.00 (sold)

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