The Koa: This Hawaiian Koa is only taken when the tree is dead, it is never cut, and it can only be locally sourced and used. The Koa is from the Slopes of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa at an elevation about 5000 ft, known locally as the best. This is handpicked and milled into large cants, which we then mill and dry for instrument grade use. We source Koa that is very consistent, dense and not too mention highly figured. Typically we source aged trees that have lived their life out and have developed a great density and figure, which produces a better sound.
The Finish: The guitar is finished with a shellac and oil combination, which is an older method that was used by Hermann from 1916 to 1926. At the time Hermann also had a great source of dense Hawaiian Koa that was air dried, rather than kiln dried, which he used for nearly all his weissenborn builds. This era was known as the best sounding Lap Steels that he has produced, and it also gives credit to this finish process, before he switched to Lacquer. This is a similar method used by Stradivarius on his violins, which today sell for upwards of a million dollars, and many credit the sound to the Shellac and Oil combination he used. The thin layer of shellac/oil enhance the soundboard and brings out the natural tone and complexities of the Koa.
The Instruments: The instruments sound beautiful and rich with deep complex tones with an almost infinite Resonance. This Koa is a very superior tonewood with a beautifully crisp even range.
Quality Control: Instruments are made with the upmost quality and precision control.