Name: AO (Hawaiian meaning: Light, daylight or dawn)
AO Logo: Initials stand for Alvin Okami, also the Hawaiian word “AO”
Frets: 17 to the neck
Fretboard: Ebony (Koa is also available)
Fretband: Zebrawood (Koa, maple and mango also available)
Top: Engleman Spruce
Back: Engleman Spruce (Or others upon request or availability)
Sides: Select Pine void of unsightly knots
Neck: The neck is shaped from Pine
Headstock: Select Pine laminated with an Ebony plate with Koa Inlay
Bridge: Choice of wood echoes the fretboard
bottom: Select Pine with Ebony stripe and Koa inlay
Tuners: Grover geared Tuners
Strings: UkeSA Fluro Carbon
Body Feature: Upper bout on both sides is tapered downward to promote ease of fingering chords beyond the 12th fret. Works equally well for right and left-handed players.
Body Accents: Top of the body is capped with a distinctive Ebony plate and the bottom has a touch of Ebony with Koa inlaid strip. The top and bottom embellishments are connected by Ebony edge banding strips that run from the top Ebony plate to the bottom Ebony Strip.
We are proud to introduce the AO standard size ukulele that comes with many uniquely original functional features. Allow us to share in the thoughts that went through Pops’ mind as he started on this project.
Pops always wanted to create a design that would be simple yet elegant and we believe that the AO exemplifies everything he was looking for. Upon first glance, the ukulele immediately grasps one’s attention because of the unusual shape of the body.
Instead of standard figure-eight shape, the two upper bouts have been altered with a sloped or tapered appearance. Without any difficulty, the viewer would quickly realize that the taper serves as a “cutaway” feature that was cleverly integrated as part of the smooth uninterrupted flowing lines. The taper is not obtrusive and is perfectly symmetrical with the other sides. Pops had experimented and made several standard “scooped” out cutaway ukulele and the cutaway somehow seem to Pops to make the ukulele look unbalanced. Because of this, Pops ventured into creating an entirely new approach of designing a “cutaway” that would have smooth uninterrupted flowing lines from the top to the bottom of the ukulele to achieve the look of flawless symmetry.
Another aspect worthy of mention is the employment of Ebony wood to command the impression of elegance through the simplicity of design and functionality. Beginning at the top, the headstock is adorned with a laminated Ebony plate that automatically denotes a ukulele of superior quality. The Koa inlay of the AO logo is like icing on the cake. The simple arch crest of the headstock can not be stated simpler to indicate the profile of the sun rising early in the morning to shed its light upon the world.
Next is the Ebony fretboard’s turn to shine. Ebony is the choice wood that many luthiers employ for fretboards because the action is like butter when moving up and down the fretboard. It also has the quality of making the sound very polished and smooth. Of course, in this situation, the AO needed to have the “look” of elegance so everything worked out beautifully.
There is one feature that Pops chose specifically for the AO when it was first introduced. Pops employed “fret bands” instead of the universal “fret dots.” A truly functional feature is that the “Fret bands” are much easier to see than the small “fret dots.” The “fret bands” will be one of several woods, i.e. Koa, Maple, Mango, Zebrawood. The Ebony bridge is not forgotten and like a little brother mimics the Ebony fretboard and has a Koa band running lengthwise.
Continuing the Ebony theme, the body is well covered with a top plate, bottom band, and edge banding that runs from the top Ebony plate and running down the sides of the body and integrated to blend with the bottom band.
The AO logo is also the initials that stand for Pops’ real name Alvin S. Okami. If you look carefully, you can make out the script initials ASO.
Pops will make the ukulele for you upon order. There are none in stock. Each uke is custom made.