PDA

View Full Version : How much do you think back / side wood species contribute to tone?



Beau Hannam Ukuleles
12-31-2014, 09:01 AM
What percentage do you think uke back/sides contribute to tone compared top wood?

I think about 10% back&sides / 90% top.

I base this on that my sides are inert and my backs stiff (they are 0.080") and that said backs are 99.9% of the time resting against someones chest while being played which ceases any vibration/tonal contribution, rendering backs as reflectors of top vibrations only.

If this is even vaguely accurate, are our decisions re back/sides purely aesthetical- ie we like figured brownish coloured wood rather then dark non descript wood?

My last public thought for 2014 :)

katysax
12-31-2014, 09:36 AM
If it could be measured scientifically I would bet that back and sides contribution is 0%, that's right absolutely nothing. I know people will pipe up with the qualities of rosewood vs mahogany vs maple etc. But I think its purely psychological.

I play woodwinds and you will find extensive discussion about wood affecting the tone of clarinets. Most clarinetists will tell you that a wood clarinet is inherently superior to a plastic one which is better than a metal one. I read an entire book about the acoustics of clarinets and there has been extensive scientific testing done. There is absolutely no, zero, nothing, nada, measurable difference in sound based on the material used. What does matter is that wood clarinets are made by hollowing out the wood while plastic clarinets are made on a mold. If you smooth the bore of a plastic clarinet with the same precision as is used on the wood ones then they are every bit as good. In fact Buffet makes a green line R13 that is a plastic clarinet with wood thrown into the mixture and I don't think anyone can tell the difference from their wood clarinets. In the 40s a company called Grafton made plastic saxophones that were superb. During World War II some companies made professional quality metal clarinets.

Since the back and sides are stable and the sound comes from the chamber and strings and the top I don't really see how the wood on the back and sides can be in any way relevant.
I know different ukes sound different but there are way to many variables in most comparisons to say that the wood in the back and sides is the difference. So I agree with Beau except that i think the back and sides contribute even less than he surmises.

Pete Howlett
12-31-2014, 10:00 AM
None - the back acts a a reflector so I think shape is probably the important factor here. L also think that because volume is required over anything else with these instruments that expectation tends to colour our judgement of the other important factors - tone and sustain.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
12-31-2014, 10:20 AM
None - the back acts a a reflector so I think shape is probably the important factor here. I also think that because volume is required over anything else with these instruments that expectation tends to colour our judgement of the other important factors - tone and sustain.

I would prefer an instrument with a full spectrum of tone over a loud instrument-
ie, when I listen to a uke/guitar record/cd, i don't know if that instrument was loud or soft acoustically, but i can tell if its tone is full or dull. Loudness usually translates somewhat to tone though, due to the top (presumably) vibrating more etc

DennisK
12-31-2014, 10:24 AM
I base this on that my sides are inert and my backs stiff (they are 0.080") and that said backs are 99.9% of the time resting against someones chest while being played which ceases any vibration/tonal contribution, rendering backs as reflectors of top vibrations only.
Yeah, probably very little due to the way ukes are held. But what about adding an internal resonating plate? Called a "double back" by some guitar builders. Then it can make a big difference in tone, just as the back of a guitar can. Hard to put numbers to it since it's really a matter of personal preference whether the live back tone is better at all. But I definitely prefer it.

Michael Smith
12-31-2014, 10:25 AM
They can contribute or subtract quit a lot when you go to the extremes. The thick redwood or cedar back and sides of a cigar box ukulele even with a lightly braced top will tend to have a very mellow soft tone. Much more so than if the box was made of thin rosewood. Best guess 15 percent at the extremes.

jcalkin
12-31-2014, 02:15 PM
Its been quite a few years now since I wrote "The Heretic's Guide to Tonewoods", suggesting that the back and sides of an instrument don't make much of a contribution to the sound/tone. At the time, the online community would have put my health in serious jeopardy if they had known where to find me. But the last time that article was brought up on this forum the response was "He's preaching to the choir." My, how times have changed.

Allen
12-31-2014, 02:35 PM
The question is does the back and sides species contribute to tone......pretty much none in my experience. You pick them for the color, grain, workability, cost, source, sustainability etc. But as for tone.....nope.

When it comes to how you use them then yes. Shape of the back. How stiff it is, as well as side stiffness. Then yes, that is were you can affect the tone and volume.

Titchtheclown
12-31-2014, 03:10 PM
If the back and sides contribute so little then why does the players' tip of holding the uke away from your body make so much of a difference? Keep your wrist off the top while we are at it, use a strap if it helps.

Doc_J
12-31-2014, 03:55 PM
If the back and sides are primarily a reflector for the sound waves from the sound board, is there a better material than wood for back and sides? (aluminum, graphite fiber composites, ABS, polycarbonate, bamboo, ? ) I'm just thinking out loud.

jcalkin
12-31-2014, 04:24 PM
If the back and sides are primarily a reflector for the sound waves from the sound board, is there a better material than wood for back and sides? (aluminum, graphite fiber composites, ABS, polycarbonate, bamboo, ? ) I'm just thinking out loud.

We don't know that yet. But for now you can have a wonderful uke made from a lovely set of wood. I don't know what the future will bring, but from an aesthetic point of view I can't imagine it getting better. Satisfaction is such an abstract thing. "Better" is an abstract concept, too. So is "sound" and "tone". I've only known a couple of people who could pull extraordinary music from a given instrument and I don't know how they did it. The rest of us will have to muddle along making musical noise as best we can. So would you rather have a TIG welded metal instrument in your hands, or a wooden thing that makes you contemplate the benevolence of God? You choose, I've already made up my mind.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
12-31-2014, 04:51 PM
If the back and sides contribute so little then why does the players' tip of holding the uke away from your body make so much of a difference? Keep your wrist off the top while we are at it, use a strap if it helps.

Holding an instrument off the body certainly gives more response as doing so allows the back to wobble. While my primary question included that the back was 99.9% held against the body, we are talking about species affecting tone, not back vibration however even with the back held off the body, I think the results would be similar, ie very very little tone colourization from the back species.

Kekani
12-31-2014, 07:30 PM
At one point in time, I had a Quilted Maple/Spruce right next to a Curly Maple/Spruce. While they did not have that "broken-in" sound like my current slivers at the time, it "seemed" the Curly was more focused, while the Quilted was more harmonic, for lack of a better term. Basically, you could tell the difference between two, but ONLY when they were right next to each other.

It was then that I described the relationship between the top and back like a marriage - the top being the husband, and the back being the wife; one brings power, the other adds finesse. In reality, that would make it 90% back/10% top (for those that are married).

What does this prove? Nothing. Its only 1 data point so no trend is being set. However, since most of my instruments are Spruce topped, I have a somewhat relative grasp of what the back and sides are going to do. Of course, the Quilted was flat, and the Curly was quartered, which probably had more to do with the difference than the type of figure.

I'll dare say that I think most of my instruments sound alike, regardless of the back and sides. I'll venture to say those that have recorded my instruments would disagree. Then again, this may have more to do with string choice, rather than wood selection.

Allen
12-31-2014, 07:49 PM
If the back and sides contribute so little then why does the players' tip of holding the uke away from your body make so much of a difference? Keep your wrist off the top while we are at it, use a strap if it helps.

No one said that the back and sides don't contribute anything to the tone. It was the SPECIES that doesn't.

If you make a back light and responsive, then there is a huge difference in the sound, tone and volume you get when the instrument is either held against your belly, or not. But that the said species is irrelevant. Just as if you build the back and sides like the proverbial brick out house. It becomes a reflective back and it doesn't matter what they are made of, and for that matter if you hold the instrument against your tummy or not.

Pete Howlett
12-31-2014, 10:34 PM
On my recent builds I have made the backs thicker but with only 2 braces - a wide low one in the lower bout (Martin guitar style) with a high thinner one at the waist. The taper is still 10mm and the curvature, a 12' sphere. I'm getting more projection (I think) from this slight modification. I am also adding a 'V' brace to the Englemann or Alpine spruce fronts at the neck block end where I was getting 'pull' and now I have a greater focus in the sound. However, regardless of the specie of wood I use for the back and sides - in my case rosewood - Santos and Indian, makore, walnut - English and Claro, English cherry, True mahogany and myrtle, the overall 'sound' remains very much the same. I therefore conclude that most bespoke builders have 'their' sound which they put into their instruments and clients tend to buy that rather than one that sounds like a vintage Martin, Gibson or Kamaka. Most noticeable is the number of students who have completed tenors on my courses who when they string up their piece remark, "It sounds like a Howlett!" Well it would wouldn't it? :) Check out this video at 1.50 to see what I mean.


http://youtu.be/i_CRPvgkt5U?list=UUpEEkVut5PHOcWNkN-T4exg

and then this one recorded in a slightly different area of the workshop but a different combo still pretty much the same sound to my ears...
go here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VTo3hW3RMY&index=18&list=UUpEEkVut5PHOcWNkN-T4exg) to hear.

hammer40
12-31-2014, 10:48 PM
No one said that the back and sides don't contribute anything to the tone. It was the SPECIES that doesn't.

If you make a back light and responsive, then there is a huge difference in the sound, tone and volume you get when the instrument is either held against your belly, or not. But that the said species is irrelevant. Just as if you build the back and sides like the proverbial brick out house. It becomes a reflective back and it doesn't matter what they are made of, and for that matter if you hold the instrument against your tummy or not.

This isn't to argue your point, just to try and understand it. Wouldn't the hardness of the different species make the difference then? How well it can resonate or reflect back the sound. Doesn't that add a color to the sound? Or would that just pertain to the volume or sustain of the instrument?

Dan Uke
12-31-2014, 11:13 PM
dang, I gotta stop paying a premium for special woods!

Dougf
01-01-2015, 06:32 AM
If the back acts as a reflector, it seems to me that some species would be better at this than others. Imagine a back made of hard and shiny ebony, versus one made of soft and spongy cork. I'm guessing that all other things being equal, the ebony would reflect much better.

However, the reflective properties of commonly used wood species for backs are not likely to be nearly as different as that between ebony and cork, so the difference might in practice be negligible.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
01-01-2015, 08:38 AM
On my recent builds I have made the backs thicker but with only 2 braces - a wide low one in the lower bout (Martin guitar style) with a high thinner one at the waist. The taper is still 10mm and the curvature, a 12' sphere. I'm getting more projection (I think) from this slight modification. I am also adding a 'V' brace to the Englemann or Alpine spruce fronts at the neck block end where I was getting 'pull' and now I have a greater focus in the sound. However, regardless of the specie of wood I use for the back and sides - in my case rosewood - Santos and Indian, makore, walnut - English and Claro, English cherry, True mahogany and myrtle, the overall 'sound' remains very much the same. I therefore conclude that most bespoke builders have 'their' sound which they put into their instruments and clients tend to buy that rather than one that sounds like a vintage Martin, Gibson or Kamaka....

IM thinking of going to 2 back braces (mostly because that 3rd brace interferes with my label placement, but also to loosen the back) and trying a 10 foot radiused back (mostly because a 15 foot looks flat on a uke- 15 foot has a nice curve on a guitar though). I was thinking that perhaps the angle of the back in relation to the top and sound hole plays a part. ie- if sound radiates off the top straight down to the back and if the back (as a dish) is angled to focus those vibrations towards the sound hole- this might promote volume. not sure. Thinking of some renaissance guitars the backs are pretty extreme

74574.

Perhaps it is better for the sound to bounce around a bit?? I dont know. Michael P. Nalysnyk might know more????



If the back acts as a reflector, it seems to me that some species would be better at this than others. Imagine a back made of hard and shiny ebony, versus one made of soft and spongy cork. I'm guessing that all other things being equal, the ebony would reflect much better.

However, the reflective properties of commonly used wood species for backs are not likely to be nearly as different as that between ebony and cork, so the difference might in practice be negligible.

Yer- i think Mahogany and ebony would share similar reflection properties when sanded to 220 and shellaced.

OregonJim
01-01-2015, 03:37 PM
It's not possible to measure this scientifically and come up with cold and hard numbers. Why? Tone is predominantly a subjective parameter. Our ears and preferences are as varied as the choices we have for tonewoods. A large number of studies have been done already on violins and guitars. It has been proven that the species of back and, to a lesser extent, side woods DO color the spectral analysis of the sound generated by a given instrument. But, how an individual's EARS interpret that difference is unquantifiable. Even the SAME person with the SAME ears on a DIFFERENT day will produce a different result.

jcalkin
01-01-2015, 03:57 PM
This reminds me of a story told to me by a well known banjo and guitar dealer/maker/repairman. He sanded his first guitar to 600 grit on the inside, and after completion it sounded so glassy and bright that he hated it. So he poured water into the guitar and slopped it around for a few minutes, then drained it out through the sound hole and dried it with towels as best he could. It raised the grain, roughing up the interior, and gave him the sound he wanted. I'm not recommending it, just telling the story.

aaronckeim
01-01-2015, 04:00 PM
I would love to chime in on this. I am in a unique position because of how we do things at Mya-Moe. We don't do all the creative, amazing custom work that many of the great builders do here. We pretty much stick to our same design but offer customers many choices for tone woods. Over the past four years I have braced and voiced 700+ instruments from 30+ woods.

My two cents:
I tend to put ukes into two camps: 1) A uke where the top back and sides are all the same wood. It has to be a medium density wood like Koa, Myrtle, Mahogany, Mango, etc...to work. This design is part of the "traditional" ukulele sound. Yes, the top is thinner than the back and sides. The top pumps and the back reflects. I hear small differences in the sound between the species, but not too much.

2) A uke where the top is spruce, cedar, redwood, etc...where the back and sides are a harder wood. Maple, Walnut, Rosewood, etc...This design has more sustain and volume and a different tone than the first sort. This is how violins, mandolins, guitars, etc...are usually made.

I try to stop customers from comparing tone across these lines. They are just different animals altogether.

I agree with Alan, that the species doesn't matter as much as how you deal with it. I prefer that the backs and sides are as dense as possible for maximum stiffness and sound reflection. I do hear a difference between a rosewood back and a koa back if they have the same top wood for comparison. But, it is not a lot of difference.

BUT! This is all within our design and building system, so it may be completely different for others. Many factors affect the tone, including the subtle differences in thickness, bracing and brace carving that we tweak for each instrument. When it comes down to brass tacks, it still sounds like a Mya-Moe, no matter what wood we use.

In a perfect world, I would encourage everyone who orders to choose:
-All myrtle
-All mahogany
-Spruce and maple
or
-Spruce and walnut

aaronckeim
01-01-2015, 04:04 PM
Pete and Beau- We also use two back braces and a rather stiff/thick back. Over the years I have leaned towards a very stiff top between neck block and sound hole and a responsive top below the brace below the sound hole. Sometimes the best sounding instruments collapse after a year, and I don't want to have to re-build a top down the road!

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
01-01-2015, 05:21 PM
Pete and Beau- We also use two back braces and a rather stiff/thick back. Over the years I have leaned towards a very stiff top between neck block and sound hole and a responsive top below the brace below the sound hole. Sometimes the best sounding instruments collapse after a year, and I don't want to have to re-build a top down the road!

I too have a rock solid top from headblock (mine are 62mmish wide and 1.5" deep [from memory]) with a solid upper and lower transverse brace and a layer of veneer between them as s sound hold reinforcement.
Below that lower trans brace is darn thin though

Sven
01-01-2015, 09:21 PM
A very interesting thread. Jcalkin's "a heretic's guide to tonewood" inspired me to use ash and alder for uke bodies a few years back and it worked fine. And as for different woods, I've often heard two players getting the same uke to sound completely different.
Two quotes from guitar builders do come to my mind;

1. Give them volume and they'll hear tone.

2. By the time you can afford the best guitars, you'll have reached an age when your ears are shot anyway.

DownUpDave
01-02-2015, 01:22 AM
So two identical ukulele models made by the same builder one with a spruce top and mahogany back and side and one with spruce top with rosewood back and sides will sound identical. Is that what everyone here is saying. If you were building an instrument for yourself as your main player you would use any wood for your back and sides with full confidence it would still give you the sound you want??? Because if it is 90% top that remaining 10% would be hard pressed to make a difference, or would it.

I am just asking because I find this fascinating. Martin guitar guys (I am not one) would be freaking out regarding these conclusions.:p

mzuch
01-02-2015, 05:04 AM
In the world of fly fishing, they say that many of the flies tied for commercial sale are designed to catch fishermen, not fish. The same holds true in the world of fretted musical instruments, IMO. Manufacturers like Martin encourage their customers to believe that back and side woods are tonally important because it leads to upgrades and higher profits. In contrast, most of the guitarmakers I've spoken with about this admit that the choice of back and side woods makes only a minor tonal contribution that is overshadowed by other factors, such as top design and bracing.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
01-02-2015, 08:05 AM
So two identical ukulele models made by the same builder one with a spruce top and mahogany back and side and one with spruce top with rosewood back and sides will sound identical. Is that what everyone here is saying. If you were building an instrument for yourself as your main player you would use any wood for your back and sides with full confidence it would still give you the sound you want??? Because if it is 90% top that remaining 10% would be hard pressed to make a difference, or would it.

I am just asking because I find this fascinating. Martin guitar guys (I am not one) would be freaking out regarding these conclusions.:p

Perhaps not identical, but pretty similar.

In Guitars, I think the back plays (can play) more of a part due to having a good 15"-17" of lower bout, over a tenor ukes 8 3/4" - 9". With that wide lower bout it can vibrate and contribute a bit more to tone...im guessing.

Also, It is possible that guitars (and ukes, but more guitars) that have Brazilian rosewood backs (or other very expensive woods such as African Blackwood) can sound better as people usually spend more $$$ to get the very best top they possibly can and take more time carving the braces.

I, and I think most luthiers, carve braces and voice tops with the same focus regardless of the back/side woods.

As for Martin guitars, a good marketing strategy for the oldest guitar maker in the US is the say that the old methods of construction are the best- good way to beat Taylor.

The promotion of unsubstantiated luthier myths (dovetail vs bolt on ...etc) also helps is marketing of such things.

jcalkin
01-02-2015, 10:51 AM
So two identical ukulele models made by the same builder one with a spruce top and mahogany back and side and one with spruce top with rosewood back and sides will sound identical. Is that what everyone here is saying. If you were building an instrument for yourself as your main player you would use any wood for your back and sides with full confidence it would still give you the sound you want??? Because if it is 90% top that remaining 10% would be hard pressed to make a difference, or would it.

I am just asking because I find this fascinating. Martin guitar guys (I am not one) would be freaking out regarding these conclusions.:p

FWIW, C.F. Martin made a few mahogany guitars in the 1850s, but he then abandoned its use. The records are incomplete, but Martin may not have made another mahogany guitar until the 1900s, when competitors began a campaign to besmirch rosewood and promote mahogany. I'd give a lot to know what C.F was thinking when he forsook mahogany.

DownUpDave
01-02-2015, 11:12 AM
@ Beau, thank you for the very detailed and well thought answer. It does make sense that the larger area in the lower bout of an acoustic guitar would allow the type of wood at the back to add a little more "flavoring" to the sound

@jcalkin, that is a very interesting tidbit regarding Martin and how public opinion can dictate what is used and ultimately sold.

Thank you both for taking the time to answer my questions

sequoia
01-02-2015, 06:51 PM
Look, this question about back and sides contributing to tone was a hot topic with luthiers in the 1800's and the answer was definitely settled by Torres with his infamous paper mache guitar. To settle the question he built a guitar with paper mache backs and sides and put a beautiful top on it out of spruce and challenged anybody to tell the difference. Of course it sounded great and the question was settled. But it keeps coming up because we like to talk about these things. My feeling: As long as the back and sides are decently dense and reflective, it doesn't matter what it is made of. But I will always prefer redwood over mycarta thank you.

Below, movies of the inside of Torres paper mache guitar. Built in 1862 it is interesting to see the repairs over the years. That is one knarly instrument. Also check out his bracing. ... Interesting...

http://www.granadaexpert.com/johnray/a-look-inside-torres-paper-mache-guitar/

BlackBearUkes
01-03-2015, 10:02 AM
Ukuleles are not guitars and many of the building principles are different. As long as you keep comparing ukes to guitars you will never get it right, just as flutes are not saxophones.


Look, this question about back and sides contributing to tone was a hot topic with luthiers in the 1800's and the answer was definitely settled by Torres with his infamous paper mache guitar. To settle the question he built a guitar with paper mache backs and sides and put a beautiful top on it out of spruce and challenged anybody to tell the difference. Of course it sounded great and the question was settled. But it keeps coming up because we like to talk about these things. My feeling: As long as the back and sides are decently dense and reflective, it doesn't matter what it is made of. But I will always prefer redwood over mycarta thank you.

Below, movies of the inside of Torres paper mache guitar. Built in 1862 it is interesting to see the repairs over the years. That is one knarly instrument. Also check out his bracing. ... Interesting...

http://www.granadaexpert.com/johnray/a-look-inside-torres-paper-mache-guitar/

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
01-03-2015, 11:41 AM
Below, movies of the inside of Torres paper mache guitar. Built in 1862 it is interesting to see the repairs over the years. That is one knarly instrument. Also check out his bracing. ... Interesting...

http://www.granadaexpert.com/johnray/a-look-inside-torres-paper-mache-guitar/

I like the white paper that has musical staves (lines?) on it.

Also interesting is how many side splints are used, ie alot!

sequoia
01-03-2015, 05:31 PM
Ukuleles are not guitars and many of the building principles are different. As long as you keep comparing ukes to guitars you will never get it right, just as flutes are not saxophones.

That is such a great point. Ukuleles are not guitars. However... however...many of the principles and physics of guitar design and building do in fact relate to the ukulele. Bracing, intonation, top thickness, etc., etc. All those things are relevant... but different. Don't really think the flute and saxophone is a good analogy.

Not sure about the part about never getting it "right" as "right" is a real moving target subject to interpretation.

Pete Howlett
01-03-2015, 08:25 PM
It's a perfect analogy - they have the same fingering... As long as you erroneously lump guitars and ukulele in the same category and believe what you read you are never going to understand what experienced builders mean when they make such definitive statements. I can't understand why people keep pushing against this open door. What is it going to take to get this simple message into the ukulele consciousness? Ukulele are not guitars!

OregonJim
01-03-2015, 09:03 PM
It's a perfect analogy - they have the same fingering... As long as you erroneously lump guitars and ukulele in the same category and believe what you read you are never going to understand what experienced builders mean when they make such definitive statements. I can't understand why people keep pushing against this open door. What is it going to take to get this simple message into the ukulele consciousness? Ukulele are not guitars!

Perfect analogy? A straight, cylindrical, bored flute and a curved, fluted, reed blown saxophone with a completely different method of air travel are as similar to each other as a ukulele is to a guitar??? I think flute vs. piccolo would have been a much more representative analogy.

Perhaps that's why so many people refuse to walk through your open door...

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
01-05-2015, 06:45 AM
I guess i'm in the minority here but I actually view softwood topped ukuleles as small classical guitars.

It is harder to make an impressive sounding ukulele then an impressive sounding classical guitar for while the top & brace thickness are pretty much the same, you have half the top to work with.

I mention in my interview in ukulele Rhythms mag that uke makers are the MacGyvers of the instrument world, ie able to magically wrangle quite impressive tone out of such a small vibrational area.

I don't think uke makers should distance themselves from guitar makers and players as they seem to,... perhaps in an attempt at identity? Not sure.

Its all the same baby

Pete Howlett
01-05-2015, 09:29 AM
I gave up guitar making to become a ukulele maker. For me I'm either one or the other and have decided to be 'the other'. I agree with Beau also that spruce top ukulele have a guitar-like quality and some would argue are not ukulele. I think what we have happening is an evolutionary leap going on and the emergence of a sub-set of the ukulele promoted in part by recidivist guitar players who want the kudos of a ukulele but the sound of a guitar . I'm personally moving away from koa because it is too expensive and the market acceptance for different wood combos is strengthening. I'll miss it when its gone from my pile because I learnt my building chops on it but I can't justify any longer the huge carbon footprint my koa builds end up having.... So, I'm currently working on a slotted headstock, 8 string baritone in English cherry and Englemann spruce. I don't expect it to sound in the least like a ukulele! I am promoting spruce builds and yes, I'm sorta moving to the dark side. Sorry folks but you can reclaim me if you want to sell koa at $75 a bd ft to a foreigner :)

BlackBearUkes
01-05-2015, 02:26 PM
Agreed, the market has shifted to a more guitar like sound. I don't plan to join my fellow luthiers in this quest, I'm going to hold back and continue to try and build ukes that sound like ukes. That is one of the reasons I don't build tenor ukes anymore, too guitar-like. I'm getting very close to stop building altogether, but if and when I offer ukes for sale, they will be concert size or smaller. I have enough old koa to build for a few years to come if I chose, the rest I will sell or give away.

Steveperrywriter
01-09-2015, 10:28 AM
I guess i'm in the minority here but I actually view softwood topped ukuleles as small classical guitars?

Two of my three tenors came from luthiers who make classical guitars, at least one of whom says the same thing. Since my first real instrument was a classical guitar and I prefer low-G, I think this is a good thing. Nothing against reentrant tuning or the traditional ukulele sound, but this goes to taste.