Pō Mahina 'Ukulele & Guitars - Nylon String Guitars

custom guitar, nylon string

I make several style of Nylon String guitars. These are commonly called Classical guitars because this is the style used by "classical" guitarists.

I want to be clear that the nylon string guitars I make are designed for modern Fingerstyle, Jazz and Slack Key players. I aim for a sound that has more overtones and sustain than what is ideal in a straight classical guitar.

I particularly am fussy about how a guitar will play in tune up the neck, particularly for Slack Key players in C and F.

All of my Nylon Strings, with the exception of the Owana Salazar Artist, may have a nut width of 2" (or a little more if desired) or 1 7/8" which may feel more familiar to steel string players.

Kapania Nylon String Model

custom hawaiian guitar kapania model custom guitar kakahimodel

My Size 5, this is the familiar shape of the nylon string guitars you are used to seeing. It is in fact a variant on the modern Spanish pattern.

I can make this either as a cutaway or non-cutaway - both are excellent sounding. It can be made in any combination of woods, shown here is a Koa Cutaway with a European Spruce top and a nice Koa rosette, being played by my friend John Thomas when he picked it up at my home.

Also shown is a very custom all Koa nylon string, very pleasant sound, a little quieter than Spruce, but very nahe-nahe which is exactly what my client was looking for.

Keola Beamer Artist Nylon String Model

custom guitar, nylon string

This is the nylon sting version of Keola's guitar. This is a little larger than the usual classical guitar and shares the same body dimensions as the steel string.

The sound is extrordinaryily special - lots of overtones and sustain with an especially strong bass response even in the lower C and F Slack Key tunings.

I think the sound is a little sweeter than the Halia Aloha O Kaupoa model and works especially well with Keola's nahe nahe Ki Ho`alu style.

This may be ordered with any combination of woods, but I am particularly fond of Koa with a European Spruce top.

The labels are signed by Keola as well as myself.

Halia Aloha O Kaupoa Model

custom guitar, halia aloha O Kaupos model nylon string guitars custom guitars

This is a nylon string guitar for Slack key. The design is taken from the split soundhole guitars designed by the great early 20th Century Spanish maker, Francisco Simplicio.

I have taken his basic thoughts, slightly increased the overall dimensions to modern size, (my Size 5), and made minor modifications to the bracing. I have also lengthened the neck to 13 frets clear of the body which works very well for Ki Ho`alu.

The idea behind the soundholes being higher on the body is to increase the usable vibrating area of the top. This guitar has wonderful strong overtones and lots of sustain. It may be slightly crisper sounding than the Keola Beamer Artist.

The narrow rosette is wood tiled in the Spanish tradition.

The name is in honor of a very special place on Moloka`i and for my friends Keith Marzullo, Chris Yeaton and Rich Cook, whose support and encouragement made this instrument possible.

Owana Salazar Artist Model

custom guitar, owana salazar model

This is a truly unusual guitar - it was designed to the specifications of multiple award winner Owana Salazar. It worked so well she has given me permission to offer it as a special model.

This is a nylon string guitar built for stage use and to feel as much as possible like a steel string. It has a slightly smaller body, with a much different shape, really easy to hold and play and 14 frets to the body.

The neck is 1 7/8" at the nut with a slim profile. The sound is an excellent, with a jazzy edge.

The body is Koa with a Master Grade European Spruce top. It has a beautiful simple Koa rosette and at the 5th fret is an incredible inlay of the Mamo bird.

See Owana's comments on her guitar in the endorsement section.

Mamo Bird detail
custom guitar back detail
Headstock detail
custom guitar headstock detail