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View Full Version : lacewood - does it make a good top?



khrome
02-28-2009, 02:48 PM
It seems like any uke I've seen with lacewood has a different wood top. Does anyone know why that is - does it not resonate well? It's a shame to have such a beautiful wood but not be able to see it.

Kekani
02-28-2009, 03:01 PM
The only guy I know that consistently gets away with various hardwood tops (particularly Maple and Walnut) is Rick Turner. Doesn't means others are bad, just that Rick is consistently good.

And why would it be a shame that its not used as a top? Oftentimes, a nice, clean, tight Spruce top contrasts very greatly to beautiful wood, and adds to the overall beauty of the instrument, especially if it sounds and plays well.

I have some Spruce with so much Bear Claw that it can almost walk away on its own, yet, I'm somewhat hesitant to use it on certain instruments (especially Quilted Maple) because then it would be too much and may possible detract from the body woods. I'm even hesitant to use it on a straight grained wood like Milo, just because I like Milo THAT much.

-Aaron

khrome
02-28-2009, 03:53 PM
And why would it be a shame that its not used as a top? Oftentimes, a nice, clean, tight Spruce top contrasts very greatly to beautiful wood, and adds to the overall beauty of the instrument, especially if it sounds and plays well.


I love how spruce and lacewood compliment each other, actually. But say if you wanted to have a variety of different wood in your uke collection, you might end up looking like you just have a bunch of spruce ukes. :) But my personal reason is I just love the way it looks and I'd like to have it in front where people can see it better.

Thanks for the tip - I will look up this Rick Turner fellow. I hadn't heard of him.

GX9901
02-28-2009, 04:15 PM
Thanks for the tip - I will look up this Rick Turner fellow. I hadn't heard of him.

FYI, Rick Turner builds Compass Rose (http://www.renaissanceguitars.com/tenor-ukulele.php)ukuleles. I had posted some pictures (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7908&highlight=compass+rose)of an all walnut one a while back when I sold mine. It sounds great but the extra narrow nut width (1-5/16") was the main reason I sold it. I like 1.5" nut width. These are pretty much custom level instruments. I haven't seen any for sale for a while. Kind of wondering if they been in production lately.

freedive135
02-28-2009, 05:01 PM
What I was told by the folks from Mya-Moe Ukes is that the woods with the most consistint(sp) grain pattern will make the best tones.
He said think of the top of your Ukulele as a pond, toss in a rock and on a non windy day the waves will go out is a smooth pattern, make it a windy day and you get ripples that interupt the wave pattern, and anything that will disrupt the wave pattern is bad.
Basicly he said the prettier the wood grain the worse the sound the plainer the wood the better the sound.

This is why spruce makes such good tops stright even wood grain.


xcuse the spellin and typn... to many Mai Tai's!!!!

khrome
02-28-2009, 05:54 PM
I had posted some pictures (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7908&highlight=compass+rose)of an all walnut one a while back when I sold mine.

Jeebus!!! I love that compass rosette!!!!!! It looks so steampunk. Add brass fixtures instead of silver and it would REALLY look steampunk. His stuff definitely looks pricey. Very beautiful tho. I think I need to get much better at playing the uke to justify getting something like that.


He said think of the top of your Ukulele as a pond, toss in a rock and on a non windy day the waves will go out is a smooth pattern, make it a windy day and you get ripples that interupt the wave pattern, and anything that will disrupt the wave pattern is bad.


Aaaah science! You're speaking my lingo. I get it now. I guess that's why some were saying that the curlier the koa doesn't necessarily mean it's going to sound the best.

seeso
02-28-2009, 06:09 PM
Another reason why you don't see many tops made with woods other than spruce, cedar, redwood, etc... is because all these woods are softwoods. Softwoods will resonate much more than hardwoods, which is what you want in a top.

hoosierhiver
03-01-2009, 03:18 AM
I believe it also has to do with the length of the wood cell structure.Woods that have longer cells make for better resonance.

Faricelli
03-01-2009, 05:37 AM
Also, lace wood soaks up the stain or varnish etc. This can be a problem with resonance.

khrome
03-01-2009, 01:16 PM
Thanks for the info! This is very helpful. Not just with lacewood but for trying to determine what other kind of woods would make, or not make, a good top. :D