Ken Franklin Custom Tenor (Honu Alaskan yellow cedar/ Pernambuco)


Ken Franklin Custom Tenor (Honu Alaskan yellow cedar/ Pernambuco)

Availability: In stock



This beautiful instrument was built by Ken Franklin in Ukiah, California. Ken has been building guitars since 1973 casually and then professionally since 2003. His mom had an ukulele from the 1930's and when she passed away he decided to fix it up, and in 2012 decided to start building his own. This is great for the ukulele community because he makes excellent ukes!

About this uke Ken said,

"I suppose it doesn't look much like a green sea turtle but the rosette and the snakewood appointments made me think of one. The body is pernambuco, the Brazilian hardwood that was almost logged to extinction for its use in making a red cloth dye for wealthy Europeans. Now it's used for making violin bows. This set is a brighter orange than most with a chatoyance that is hard to photograph. It really shimmers. And the tone shimmers too. It's a special ukulele, at home in high or low G. The top is Alaskan yellow cedar with very fine grain. Due to the density of the exotic woods and a hard maple neck this ukulele is heavier than my other ukuleles. But the tone doesn't suffer."

No, it doesn't. This is one of the best sounding ukes we've gotten in. Take a listen as Mika and Corey sample and review it.

The design of this tenor is unique with a mini X brace. Ken says this has opened up the warmer tones on his ukes and you can hear that with this acacia tenor. It has a slight 20" radius to the fretboard for easy chording, a top arch with a 30' radius and the back with an 18' radius. This allows for structural stability with a lighter build. This one has dense woods so does have a little more weight, but those woods are what give it such excellent sustain and clarity.

Like, Ken noted, the bridge, fretboard, and bindings for this uke are snakewood which really gives it this exotic custom look. Fret markers are brass. Tuners are 4:1 gold Gotoh UPTs with snakewood buttons. Frets are Evo gold. Gloss oil varnish finish. This is a special instrument with a wonderful feel and tone and we think you will love it. Includes wooden hard case and Humistat humidifier, upgradable in the options on this page.

Additional Information
  • Top: Alaskan Yellow Cedar
  • Body: Pernambuco
  • Binding: Snakewood
  • Rosette: Originial wood design
  • Neck: Maple
  • Bridge: Snakewood
  • Nut & saddle: Bone
  • Tuners: Gotoh
  • Strings: Worth Clear
  • Finish: Gloss oil varnish finish

This ukulele comes with a wooden hard case.

Setup Options

Most people shop with us because of the extensive quality control and final setup work we provide at no extra cost on all ukuleles we ship out. However this is time consuming work and creates a delay in shipping. We are now offering an "Expedited Setup" for those wanting to receive their instrument faster. See details on the Full Setup and Expedited Setup options along with current turnaround times for each at the link- HERE.

Extra Options

One of the options for this ukulele is to trade out the Humistat Model 1 included humidifier for the more expensive Oasis Ukulele Humidifier (OH-18). This is suggested if you live in a low humidity area (parts of California, Nevada, Arizona, etc.) or also areas with winter seasons, especially if you heat the air most of the day and night. For more info see our Ukulele Care page

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