Great Guitar! I just received my new Iseman Weissenborn. It is a beautiful instrument built from stunning Koa, with great care and craftsmanship. It will quickly become a favorite I am sure.
Stephen Sykes Oregon July 9, 2016
I have three weissenborns, one from Australia, one from New Zealand and this new one by Iseman has a warmth and tone that is purely magical. It feels light weight, durable and full bodied in its sound. Mahalo for this beauty!
Shems Heartwell Maui, Hawai’i January 9, 2016
Aloha Mark & Matthew,
I’ve had my new Style 1 Weissenborn for about 3 weeks now. It arrived in good order, and, as expected, is far more gorgeous in person than the production line photos were able to capture. It’s just good old fashioned fun to sit back and take in the different grain structures and variations in the tone and colour of the Koa. Although I’ve been pretty busy over the last few weeks since the instrument arrived, I’ve managed to find a little time to work with it on most days. “Opening Up” is a maturing process that will go on for a long time, but even over these few short weeks the guitar has begun to warm up considerably. I’m already hearing more volume and bass register response, better performance up the fretboard, and some nice shimmering overtones and harmonics beginning to reveal themselves as notes die away. This, of course, bodes well for the future. In my experience with any new quality built instrument, the next 6 months to a year should be pretty interesting as all of the little married parts become accustomed to living and working with each other. The Seymour Duncan SA-6 Magmic which I ordered with the guitar sounds awesome as well. That too will only get better as the instrument continues to open up acoustically. Having the pickup installed opens up a whole other world of effects and tonal versatility that will be a gas to explore. Many thanks to both of you for a well built and inspiring instrument that I will be able to grow old with. A tasty treat indeed. My compliments to the Chef!
Saint John, N.B. August 30, 2015
Just received my new style one from Matthew and Mark at Iseman’s. What can I say? It’s a work of art guys. I was looking for a Weissenborn to take into the studio to record with and this is everything I hoped it would be, visually and sonically.
The attention to detail in the finish is exemplary, not a single fault could be found anywhere on this instrument. It’s light as a feather and the Koa is stunning in natural light. A bone bridge and rosewood pins give it a definite warm aura which is to my liking, lots of projection and volume which is what you want in a Weissenborn.
Made in 3 months from deposit to delivery is unheard of! I had heard great things about these guys weissenborns and they were all true, amazing value for money in today’s market place.
Here’s a small video of the guitar being played; http://youtu.be/yDDKzEImq44
Aron Radford Weissenborn Artist – www.aronradford.com / Weissenborn Information Exchange England August 23, 2015
Well my #88 Style 1 Tenor ukulele finally got here to Vermont from its Hawaiian birthplace at Iseman Guitars in Honolulu. Mark and Mathew did a spectacular job on this beautiful instrument!! The tones are complex, and richer than I had experienced previously playing a Koa uke..almost pre EQ’d…a true pleasure to play, the neck is shaped wonderfully, especially the curvature at the base of the headstock when playing on the lowest fret, the crook of your hand fits perfectly into the contour(at least mine does!)…..Sustain forever!!… The frets are very nicely done, the ends polished, absolutely no snags.. The fretboard is quite thick, leading me to believe the neck will be less apt to twist.. The oil and shellac finish on the body and neck is somewhat porous, not perfectly glassy, which I believe also attributes to its rich tone……Plugged it straight into the amp set flat and dry, without my preamp.. It was KILLER!! And no extraneous noise due to being a sound board applied passive pickup… I’d highly recommend the K&K Aloha Twin, especially for the price!!! This instrument has to be the best bang for the buck uke I’ve seen!! All completely hand made from milling the Grade 5A Curly Koa, to the Curly Maple Rosette, hand carving the neck, headstock, saddle and nut….these guys did it right and I’m ecstatic!!……..It’s well…. AWESOME!!!!! Thank you Mark and Matthew for the expert craftsmanship… Aloha!! Many Mahalo!!!
Ken Pallman Blues Sanctuary Vermont April 16, 2015
Well, it(Style 2 Tenor Ukulele) arrived last week. I cant put it down ,It is handmade and lovingly so and It is as sweet and warmly rich in tone as any tenor that I have ever played. Thanks again; it just really “shines”. And the koa is exceptional. Much aloha and success,
Bob Morecock Virginia Beach, VA April 15, 2015
Thank you so much for building a Great guitar. I got my Weissenborn Model 1 yesterday (fast!) and have been playing it ever since. It sounds fantastic and I know it’s just going to get better and better as the years go by. Great job, great workmanship, I’m going to record this guitar, perform this guitar, and generally make a Lot of music with it.
Kirk Smart Hanalei Strings Kauai, HI October 27, 2014
Dear Mark and Matthew,
Just wanted to drop you a line to let you know how pleased I am with my Style 3. There’s just something really cool about a Weissenborn that’s actually handcrafted in Hawaii. A Weiss is, after, a life-style instrument rooted in Hawaii and you just can’t get that vibe from guitars made elsewhere. I just received my guitar last night and could almost hear the surf as I first opened the case to reveal that sweet Koa curl. Taking inspiration from such prominent lap-slide players as Thomas Oliver, John Wilde, Ed Gerhard, Ben Harper, and David Lindley, I took up lap steel a couple of years ago starting with moderately priced Gold Tone, Anderwood and Imperial guitars. These served the purpose adequately but are no comparison to the Iseman for ease of play, craftsmanship, greater volume and consistency throughout the guitar’s range and just great looks. When I was ready to step up to the next level, I did extensive online research and found Bill Hardin of Bear Creek Guitars, Bill Asher, Tim Kill and Tony Francis are among several custom builders whose passion for unraveling the secrets of the original Weissenborns has enabled them to build very accurate and beautiful reproductions both in terms of construction and tone. Luckily, I found your website and was intrigued by the “cool factor” and positive reviews and decided to take a chance on buying an instrument sight unseen. Great decision, great instrument, great work!
John Merrill Gulf Breeze, FL July 1, 2014
Ive been looking around for a another Weissenborn guitar. After playing one at Westwood music in Los Angeles, I by no doubt wanted to get an Iseman Weissenborn. I talked with Mark and Matt a few times on the phone and they nailed it. I love my all Hawaiian Koa Iseman. The craftsmanship is very clean and I had no complaints with their work. Can I say CLEAN all the way around.They were the very nice to talk with and were very patient with me. It sounds so sweet and warm. The koa is amazing!! Aloha guys for your time and building my dream guitar.
Sean Askins California June 11, 2014
I got the Weissy today. Fast shipping! All I can say… O . M . G . !! Box was well packed and it got here in 2 days. Opening the excellent case literally took my breath away. It is soooo beautiful. Took it out, super lightweight of course, feels strong and sturdy tho. Love the oil finish. The build quality is flawless. Tuned it up to DADGBD, and more wowwww. I have a long way to go to be able to play it well. But sonically it is wide and deep, rings like a bell,sustains for days, plays like buttah, and just sounds totally amazing. I’m so happy I took a chance on your build, after considering several. You guys nailed it. I’ve already recommended you to 3 friends of mine here. Couldn’t wait to get on the phone and tell them about it. Pics were sent and they responded with the same gasp at the beauty as well. Who says something this gorgeous can’t also sound this good!? It’s all here! Thanks for the great instrument, and excellent customer service. I’m happy I got the Style 3, coz if I saw the Style 4 I might have have fainted. This one already looks like the most amazing sunset I’ve ever seen. Probably a Hawaiian sunset. So thanks again. My Weissy hunt is o.v.e.r. Can’t wait to get good enough at playing it to then set a mic up in my studio, and compare the live vs pup sounds. I’m sure this will keep me busy for some time. How fun!
Tony Blondal California March 26, 2014
I’ve had my Koa Style 2 for about a month now. I had been playing the old 30’s National Hollow necks for so long, I was at first a little taken aback by how mellow and quite this weissenborn is. I’ve played the weissenborn exclusively over my vintage national for the last month and the tone has opened up so much. It’s such a rich and complex tone that reminds me of some of the uber high end Bob Taylor guitars. It just sings and I feel such a deep connection to this instrument. I call it the “Soul Communicator”. I love it so much in fact that I just sold the vintage national to get one of your Style 4’s!!! I can’t say enough about what a joy your instruments are! The prices are so reasonable considering the level of detail you guys pay attention to on these instruments.To those of you who are thinking of getting one, grab one now while the wait time isn’t a year long. These dudes are about to blow the competition out of the water.Breath taking,
Rob Badger Spotsylvania, VA January 12, 2014
Hello Matthew and Mark,
The guitar arrived quickly and in good condition. It is everything that I’d hoped for. I bought my first Weissenborn in the 80’s before the prices skyrocketed. I’d always intended to get a second Weissenborn, because of the complexity of sounds that the guitar produces.I was impressed by the quality of the koa, and craftsmanship of the Iseman guitar. I was definitely sold on the guitar, when I strummed it the first time. It has the sound and complex tones of my original Weissenborn, along with the usual incredible Weissenborn sustain – I am truly happy with the purchase of my Iseman Weissenborn. It is an exceptional guitar. I look forward to many hours of playing this fantastic guitar.Good luck on your business! With these quality instruments, I believe your future will be bright.Thanks,
John Allen Arkansas Valley, CO November 27, 2013
Just got my Iseman Koa Weissenborn style one with built in Seymor Duncan Mag Mic SA-6 from Hawaii. What a beautiful and nice sounding instrument !Was looking for a good Koa Weissie for some time but didn’t wanted to spend much more than 2.000USD. Then I saw those Iseman instruments on Ebay and checked out some audio/video samples on YouTube. Still found it risky to order one blindly without checking it out by myselves but finally decided to go for one because probably I would never get a chance to play it over here beforehand. Decision was right !! Perfect craftmanship and sound. And the PU system delivers a very good sound as well. Overall very good communication with Iseman company.For those who are looking for a real good Koa Weissie Iseman is definitely a good choice…
Wolfgang Reimer Germany October 29, 2013
I am a long time guitar player and collector who appreciates a good instrument, but I am new to the Weissenborn. I wanted a quality instrument but did not want to spend a very large sum before knowing how I was going to take to it. The Iseman Style 1 seemed like the perfect solution, and has proven itself to be a great sounding, good looking guitar. The style 1 is a no frills instrument, but the quality of Koa and the fine workmanship are typical of higher cost guitars. Thanks for the perfect introduction to lap slide, with a beautiful weissenborn at a price I could justify.
Tony Horlor Parksville, BC August 26, 2013
All arrived safe and sound! The guitar is beautiful and the tones are sweet, even, and ring forever. It is very comfortable and the sweet satin finish keeps is on my lap nicely. The tuners are smooth and the instrument stays in tune very well. The pickup installation is perfect and it sounds amazing whether the goal is a sweet sound or raunch growling tones. I can’t wait to try it with the band! I can only imagine where this will all go as the guitar opens up…Thanks much
Lance Belle Harbor, NY August 15, 2013
I just got style 1, number 27….great sounding instrument…you can pay more, but you can’t get any better!!!! The reviews posted before mine were not exaggerations….it just doesn’t get any better than this!!
Ernie Sides North Carolina August 9, 2013
Dear Iseman Guitars,
Just took possession of Iseman Style 1 #26 today. Great tone from top to bottom, featherweight build, strong sustain and great volume all the way up the “fretboard.” Even after only playing it for a few hours, it seems like the tonal bloom is already occurring. GORGEOUS aesthetics and beautiful Koa. I never thought I could afford an all Koa Weis, but damn….you guys have done really, really nice work here.
Greg Herder Saint Paul, MN August 8, 2013
Got Weisse 005 last week and all I can say is WOW!!! Super solid and a treat to look at. The guys were a pleasure to work with on every level.This thing sounds amazing, with bell like clarity and ringing sustain, I love playing this instrument. I’ve made the rounds playin’ Fahey, old blues ala’ Charley Patton, some hillbilly and Hindustani music and it just sounds so darn good whatever I happen to play!!Love the simple herringbone around the soundhole and the sand inlays, so unique. And the Koa…..WOW!! It’s a flaming beast, better not get too “hot” on it, lest it bursts into flames!Awesome……thanks guys!
Oliver Citrus Heights, CA June 6, 2013
I’m absolutely loving my new Iseman Weisse! The craftsmanship, sound and beauty of this instrument is making my other guitars jealous. Haven’t stopped playing it since I got it last month! It’s great to see these style guitars being made here in Honolulu, where it all began! And from the most gorgeous wood ever, KOA no ka ‘oi! Thanks guys!
Emmett Mahoney Honolulu, HI April 5, 2013
I am 003. No…not a precursor to James Bond and MI6…but the serial number of my all solid Koa Weissenborn from Iseman Instruments. The third one! Pretty cool. I have had it now for about a month. Played most days…I am learning. I am a relative accomplished traditional 6 string player having started playing in the Beatles craze in about 1968. I grew up down the street from David Lindley in San Marino, CA and had with a very short (like 4 times) stint in my garage with Eddie and Alex Van Halen in ’69…but then on to a routine life of a 9 to 5’r. But I know quality when I lay my hands on it and now in my mid-life crisis I am all Koa and this slider is simply amazing. Sustain forever, clarity of voice, sweetness of tone. Some like cedar…some like spruce…but make mine Koa from these boys on the beach. You will not be disappointed.
Ken Sanchez Sacramento, CA December 20, 2012
Dear Iseman Guitars,
I received the new guitar today all the way from Hawaii in good condition and I love it! What an absolute gem of an instrument, both in aesthetics and sound. Herman Weissenborn would have been proud. The luthier’s craftsmanship is immaculate, simply a work of perfection. Clean and beautiful, with the stunning koa wood grain patterns, it is a naturally something exceptional to look at. The sound is awesome, with warm intonation and a rich, clear projection. A lovely sounding lap guitar. I am so happy. As you know, I have broken my finger and it will take me many months before I can ever make a regular left hand chord on my little Martin 0015M. This new guitar is amazing and the Martin is already getting jealous, because it is sitting there while I play the Iseman Weissenborn with the left hand sliding. I am real proud to have been you first buyer and it is great to get in on the ground floor of your new luthiershop. Judging by this instrument, you will be a great success and certainly these will be widely sought after gems. Tomorrow night I am meeting with Ed Gerhardt, one of the best Weissenborn players in the US, and I will show it to him. He plays about a million times better than me, but he is gracious and kind and surely will enjoy playing it.How cool is it to look inside the label and see that my serial number is Iseman 00002- Made In Hawaii.This guitar takes me back to the glory days of koa wood Hawaiian Weissenborns of the 1930s.Congratulations and thank you very much. I feel extraordinarily privileged and happy to own this wonderful instrument.
Frank Matheis Music writer, radio producer and publisher of www.thecountryblues.com Hudson Valley, New York October 18, 2012