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fretie
04-04-2015, 04:53 AM
After a serious hit of disgruntlement when trying to restring my slot bridge Kamaka soprano last night my mind got wandering...and the Mya Moe fascination rekindled.

I took a workshop with Aaron and Nicole at the Vancouver ukefest earlier this year and my admiration for the Mya Moe ukes grew.

In my dreams I see a Cascade series figured sycamore soprano, simple with no binding but with some handsome abalone fret markers and the classic MM headstock design.

Anyone played a MM sycamore soprano....how did it sound? Could be too similar in sound to my mango soprano, maybe, eh?

katysax
04-04-2015, 05:24 AM
I had a Mya Moe Mango soprano that I sold. It had a very sweet sound and I enjoyed it but it was on the quiet side and I have other sopranos I like more. Having had a soprano, concert and two tenors I sold the soprano and one of the tenors. I think soprano is the size where the Mya Moes are the weakest. I think they get better as they get bigger. I do like my myrtle concert because it is very easy to play and it does seem to have "opened up". I sold one of the tenors only because I did not want to keep two Mya Moe tenors.

Recstar24
04-04-2015, 05:31 AM
For whatever reason, the super sopranos sound excellent to my ears - something about that extra tension from the concert scale seems to really bring the soprano body come alive.

Continuing to enjoy my Myrtle MM tenor. You gotta love the customer service, Gordon has helped me out with a few things no questions asked. Sycamore should be pretty close to Myrtle - they have it ranked slightly warmer on their tonal scale, but on the recordings I hear the sycamore as having a little more crispness on top which I like. The build quality as you have seen is impeccable, and my Mya moe runs a very fine line from being built very durable and well constructed, but also being light and responsive.

As for the volume, and the notion mya moes are quieter than other ukes, I think that is subjective. Mya moes have always sounded very even and consistent from top to bottom to my ears, I know my other uke a stansell Blanca has more treble and bass which makes it seem like it's louder, but I love the sweetness that Myrtle and sycamore offer as well.

AJ Hill
04-04-2015, 10:01 AM
I've had three Mya Moe ukes a Myrtle Tenor a bean sprout banjo uke and a reso all were very well made and looked great,,,,,but when I got to play a Kamaka and also a Koaloha there was no contest ,,,,all three sold I now have a Kamaka and a Deering banjo ukulele and I am very happy ,,,,

coolkayaker1
04-04-2015, 12:38 PM
I had a Mya Moe Mango soprano that I sold. It had a very sweet sound and I enjoyed it but it was on the quiet side and I have other sopranos I like more. Having had a soprano, concert and two tenors I sold the soprano and one of the tenors. I think soprano is the size where the Mya Moes are the weakest. I think they get better as they get bigger. I do like my myrtle concert because it is very easy to play and it does seem to have "opened up". I sold one of the tenors only because I did not want to keep two Mya Moe tenors.

i had the exact same experience with a mm sycamore soprano.

i agree that mms get better as they get bigger; sadly, at each size level, they are considerably smaller-bodied than other brands.

Have owned, i think, five mya moes in the past. nice ukes, but how many in my signature now? 0

Hippie Dribble
04-04-2015, 12:57 PM
i had the exact same experience with a mm sycamore soprano.

i agree that mms get better as they get bigger; sadly, at each size level, they are considerably smaller-bodied than other brands.

Have owned, I think, five mya moes in the past. nice ukes, but how many in my signature now? 0
Yeah. Don't know why but I just kept on selling mine*. Bought my first one in early 09. Think I've owned 12 but I may have lost count somewhere. Had a sycamore in every size, just cause the wood is so beautiful. All sounded great. Tenor was no doubt the most alive and full. Concert was bright. Soprano was sweet and mellow but like the concert, lacked volume. As far as playability, feel and sweetness of tone goes, MMs are impossible to beat at any scale/body length. But as Steve mentioned above, they don't tend to cut through acoustically that well. Never bothered me to much as I play alone, but if it does there's one easy answer: install a pick-up. I still have one long scale soprano and it is - like all the others - immaculately built and remarkably even and lush in tone, though on the quieter side, whatever that means. Not really sure myself anymore.
(* disclaimer: I have sold on almost every uke I've owned so this sorta means nothing re quality of the instruments. :p )

fretie
04-04-2015, 04:03 PM
Hummm....you've really got me thinking!

I'm on the build list for a MM now but hey, its a two year wait....I've got time to bail, right?!

estreya
04-04-2015, 04:59 PM
I can't speak to the comparison between mango and sycamore, having had no experience at all with the latter. But my Mya Moe mango (which i have in the tenor size) is just spectacular in every way. I'd get another mango in a heartbeat.

AJ Hill
04-04-2015, 11:24 PM
Yes you have Gordon is great to deal with I actually bailed out on a Taropatch and I got my deposit back

dkcrown
04-04-2015, 11:59 PM
Hummm....you've really got me thinking!

I'm on the build list for a MM now but hey, its a two year wait....I've got time to bail, right?!

I agree with everything that Steve and Jon have said. Just get the K&K pickup installed. You'll love the tone and playability. I generally play mine plugged in.

hollisdwyer
04-05-2015, 01:12 AM
I have bought and sold a few MM's over the past year. It wasn't because I didn't love them but because I lusted after something else and had to follow the rules of sacrificial expansion (sell one off to afford the next). I have a MM myrtle tenor 6 string that is just fabulous. I can't see a future not owning that particular instrument.
It is also interesting to note that instruments from makers that have even longer wait lists than MM enter the market. Does that mean that they are not great instruments? Personally I just can't warm to any of the K Brands despite knowing they are great sounding Uke's. I guess there are as many opinions re what are the best ukes as there are players who are willing/able to purchase a custom build.
PS. I bet a MM sycamore Super Soprano would be a great choice.

fretie
04-05-2015, 04:40 AM
I agree with everything that Steve and Jon have said. Just get the K&K pickup installed. You'll love the tone and playability. I generally play mine plugged in.

Yes, I think that may be a really good idea to go with a pickup. What amp do you use with your MM dk?

Hey, this could start getting expensive!

katysax
04-05-2015, 05:00 AM
It's a really good idea to get it with a pickup. Not solely because it isn't loud enough but because a pickup gives you more options and adds to the versatility.

hollisdwyer
04-05-2015, 05:18 AM
It's a really good idea to get it with a pickup. Not solely because it isn't loud enough but because a pickup gives you more options and adds to the versatility.

Also agree. K&K make excellent passive pickups (have one on a Larrivee parlour guitar beside both my MM tenors). If you did want an active PU I'd also recommend the MiSi Trio.

coolkayaker1
04-05-2015, 05:28 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82x3hJE0Z0s

I think Jon has a great notion about getting the pick-up. Agree. (Wish MMs had bigger bodies, but oh well).
Gordon has done a whole video on "the perception of loudness" here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bz6IRTcqolA

The video above, week 39, discusses MM pickups, Fretie. I've linked the video here for your convenience. And week 40 (the next one) shows more about pickups from MM, and it's here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hH_zQMOGM-s
Week 41 talks about modifying the pickup signal off the uke:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDAXNPt7FOk

It's my feeling, and I understand that these are installed pickups and the payment is for installation included, but I feel that MM charges quite a premium for installed pickups (with the K&K Twinspot being the most economical of their offered lineup at $150; for comparison, HMS will sell and install a K&K Aloha Twinspot pickup on a new Pono for only $99 http://www.theukulelesite.com/pickup-installation.html). A K&K Twinspot pickup is quite inexpensive, by itself, and many players have self-installed. Not saying this is the way to go if buying new build, fretie; just saying that if you see a used MM w/out a pickup that strikes you, then you or local luthier could install a K&K pickup, and, perhaps, for less than you could get it installed by MM.
http://elderly.com/new_instruments/names/k-and-k-twin-spot-internal-pickup-system--KK2.htm

This is subjective, but I think (and others' opinions may differ) that MM charges the absolute most I have ever seen for upgraded "Master Grade" woods. Wow, some of those woods are $300-$500 for the upgrade alone. Seems that other makers charge less for fancy wood upgrades (e.g. curly Koa). And then Mya Moe doesn't prefer glossing the stuff, so some of the "bang" of the expensive fancy grain is not brought out (i.e. enhanced). Weird.

That said, I recall my Mya Moes to have had outstanding playability, just as Gordon mentions, with a narrow and thin radiused neck, and ideal intonation. I mean really spot-on up the neck. :-)

Laouik
04-05-2015, 06:04 AM
Also agree. K&K make excellent passive pickups (have one on a Larrivee parlour guitar beside both my MM tenors). If you did want an active PU I'd also recommend the MiSi Trio.

+1 on the MiSi Uke Trio. But it's tricky to install, strongly suggest it be done by a professional.

NewKid
04-05-2015, 06:11 AM
I like the ukulele because it's an intimate instrument and I play mostly alone. Right now I prefer my instruments without pick-ups but I've learned to never say never.

I think a Mya-Moe super soprano would be a wonderful instrument. As to specific woods used, I've played several Kamaka koa tenors and they have a consistent sound but I have noticed that a couple sounded sweeter than the others. Same with vintage Martin sopranos. All were made of mahogany and some had "the mojo" and most did not.

So one Sycamore MM super sop may or may not sound exactly like another. Hopefully you give the one you get a chance to open up and are able to bond with it. Early in my UAS, I did not give some of my instruments enough time and that was my fault not theirs.

fretie
04-05-2015, 06:43 AM
Great info on the pickups, coolyaker, thanks!

All in all, some really helpful suggestions and insights in this thread - much appreciated!

Lucky I have ample time to ponder these points.

Dan Uke
04-05-2015, 06:46 AM
I find it interesting to say that a uke needs to be played with a pickup unless it's a semi-hollow or solid uke. If that was the case, a pickup would be standard

AJ Hill
04-05-2015, 10:29 AM
,,,,I think I would want a uke that didn't rely on a pick up,,,yes it's nice to have one ,but for the money I would want it to sound loud and proud with out one

sam13
04-05-2015, 11:21 AM
I have been listening to MM's New Build videos with interest.

There are some exceptional Super Soprano's. I really like the Engelman Top, Indian Rosewood back and sides. Not quiet at all. Low G. Very cool. kayaker. ��

Recstar24
04-05-2015, 05:02 PM
I find it interesting to say that a uke needs to be played with a pickup unless it's a semi-hollow or solid uke. If that was the case, a pickup would be standard


,,,,I think I would want a uke that didn't rely on a pick up,,,yes it's nice to have one ,but for the money I would want it to sound loud and proud with out one

Wow this thread has veered off. Loudness is one of the most subjective elements of music. Even if you equalized ukes to the same decibel level, the ear will hear the one with the most treble and bass as being louder.

To draw a conclusion that mya moes require a pick up is a very far stretch. My tenor myrtle plays plenty loud, but it also plays very softly without sacrificing tone, and I can get real dynamics on it. I am sure there are other ukes that have a ballsier sound, but I don't think that was mya moes original musical intent to be the loudest instrument on the planet. With that said, I've been listening to tons bof the new build videos and every single one to my ears sounds plenty loud.

Hippie Dribble
04-05-2015, 05:13 PM
Weird how the Mya Moe thing divides people. Folks tend to either love them or hate them. Not sure why that is. I love them, which is why I keep buying them. As I said in my first post, I have yet to play a uke with a more evenly balanced sweet tone as what you get from a Mya Moe. Never put a pickup in any that I've owned nor have I wanted to. That I keep selling them is no different to other awesome ukes I've purchased. I've sold em all eventually. I think it would also do the OP some good to get around youtube a bit. Heaps of loner MM vids and you would never say they were quiet ukes. All a bit different. Personally I found their koa ukes to be the loudest and punchiest, the myrtle and mango to be less loud - talking soprano and concert scale here. Of the three MM tenors I've owned, sycamore, walnut, mango, all were beautiful players with superb tone and volume. My favourite one ever was mango soprano #250: not the loudest but oh man, what tone it had. Just gorgeous.

Hippie Dribble
04-05-2015, 05:26 PM
Hmmm...just gonna record a couple of quick sound demos for y'all. I don't reckon you'll think they're "quiet" somehow.Back soon...

Recstar24
04-05-2015, 05:35 PM
Well said. And looking forward to your clips, hearing you play your covered bridge was a big part of my interest in my own CB!

Interesting to hear you felt the koas were the loudest and punchiest - my build slot is coming soon and I was thinking a spruce top with maple to go counter with my myrtle, but a punchy and loud Koa tenor would be very interesting...

Hippie Dribble
04-05-2015, 09:23 PM
Here's a sound demo of a super sop. I also played it side by side with a few other sopranos and concerts and the volume discrepancy really was neglible. No doubt at all though which one sounded the sweetest and smoothest.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF0Hv4852gc

jksk8in
04-06-2015, 02:03 AM
Love Mya-Moe! They have that sparkle and tonal depth that's hard to beat! Sound is just "noise" IMO. Tone however, is "color". Mya-Moe has it pegged!

DownUpDave
04-06-2015, 03:03 AM
Love Mya-Moe! They have that sparkle and tonal depth that's hard to beat! Sound is just "noise" IMO. Tone however, is "color". Mya-Moe has it pegged!

This right here hits the nail on the head. Between my Collings UT2, Pono ET-PC and Mya Moe sycamore tenors the Mya Moe is the least loud, it is NOT quiet though, has decent volume. But the Mya Moe has the nicest over all tone to my ears. It is funny because it does not floor you but the more you play it the more you appreciate and love the tone.

I would not worry about a Mya Moe soprano in sycamore sounding like your mango soprano, different builder different sound.

katysax
04-06-2015, 06:58 AM
Interesting how people interpret what gets said. I think a pickup is a good idea, not because it is needed with a Mya Moe but because it is just a good idea. I have pickups in about a third of my ukes. To be clear I like Mya Moe a lot.

dkcrown
04-06-2015, 01:52 PM
Yes, I think that may be a really good idea to go with a pickup. What amp do you use with your MM dk?

Hey, this could start getting expensive!

I have a little VOX DA5 fretie. It is perfect for me in my uke room. Plenty loud enough to drown out my singing.

vcs700s
04-06-2015, 01:53 PM
Well, I just bought my first Mya Moe. I will let you know what I think once I receive it. Can't wait!:cool:

coolkayaker1
04-22-2015, 12:00 PM
Well, I just bought my first Mya Moe. I will let you know what I think once I receive it. Can't wait!:cool:

Okay. :o~

Leigh Coates
04-24-2015, 06:41 AM
Here's a sound demo of a super sop. I also played it side by side with a few other sopranos and concerts and the volume discrepancy really was neglible. No doubt at all though which one sounded the sweetest and smoothest.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF0Hv4852gc

Beautiful playing! And beautiful super soprano! That is now my "dream uke" Hippie Dribble......

lizziep
04-26-2015, 09:43 AM
fretie,

I have a sycamore soprano pineapple (Mya-Moe stock instrument), a sycamore super-soprano (Mya-Moe stock instrument), and a sycamore super-soprano with cedar top & shiny finish (Mya-Moe custom. I bought it used). All of them sound unique. I love the sound of sycamore in a smaller uke because it is very clear. I love to play all three of them. If you PM me, I'll tell you which of these 3 is my favorite. I don't want to post it publicly, in case one of my ukes finds this thread; I don't want to hurt their feelings because they are all special to me.

I usually take the pineapple to my beach holidays because it's great for strumming; pineapple ukes make me think of vacations and piņa coladas! I purchased it specifically because it has a very small body and I wanted a "travel" uke that fits under the seat in front of me. When I play it on the beach, people around me can hear it over the sound of the waves, but it's not so loud that it intrudes (like the teenagers' radios).

Of these three ukes, the one with the shiny finish sounds the quietest to me. It also gets a lot of attention because it has a custom inlay on the fretboard. I know very little about the original owner, the story behind the inlay, or why it was sold, so I like to make up stories about this ukulele's past.

The "plain" sycamore super-soprano always surprises me with its very smooth, slick Port Orford Cedar neck. It is a Cascade series (without the fancy leaf inlay) and I love the look of the cedar with the sycamore. When it was posted to the website as a stock instrument for sale, I purchased it immediately because I loved the way it looked and I was smitten with sycamore tone. This instrument is very light-weight and lively.

I cannot compare these sycamore soprano ukes to a mango soprano because my only experience with mango is in the tenor size. However I have lots of Mya-Moe ukuleles and they all have a unique sound and a unique personality: Some are uke group strummers, some are finger-pickers, some are open mic specials.

I actually don't really care much about having big volume because I am usually playing by myself in my bedroom on Saturday nights. However, when I occasionally play with uke groups, people have often commented that my uke is very loud. This surprises me. Maybe it just means that I'm playing poorly and need to take it down a notch! However, I was interested, so I got a decibel monitor about a year ago and measured the volume of all my ukes. As far as the decibels go, there was very little difference in any of my ukes! The only one that was slightly louder, according to the meter, was the super-soprano koa and spruce top. That little uke has some punch!

As far as re-stringing ukes goes, I think Mya-Moe ukes are very easy to re-string. I sold my Kanilea because I hated re-stringing it. (It was a really loud uke.) Re-stringing my Collings also feels like a chore. They have instructions online, but anytime I have to follow instructions to re-string, I just feel deflated.

fretie
04-26-2015, 12:59 PM
Lizzie, I very much enjoyed reading about your Mya Moe flock!

You sound like you have quite a bit of overall uke experience.

Any chance you could post a few pix of your sweet Mya Moe trio?