PDA

View Full Version : Tell Me About Cherry



wayfarer75
05-13-2015, 04:35 AM
I have some money to spend on a ukulele, and I'm going to get a tenor. I've been thinking about mahogany, koa, and such. I already have two solid koa ukes (soprano and concert), and somehow I think I would like a different wood. I'm pretty sure I would like a LoPrinzi, and I know they use a number of different woods, including cherry.

I'm mostly split between getting a cherry or mahogany LoPrinzi, and while I know I'd be getting the LoPrinzi sound above all, I do realize that wood makes a little difference. I've read that cherry sounds sorta like maple, or between maple and mahogany, has a clean sound, etc. I know Martin uses in in some instruments. I think my hesitation is partly because I don't know much about cherry as a tonewood. Also, since this is my first tenor, I'm not sure how my little hands will deal with it--resale may be in my future. I don't know how much others might want a cherry uke.

So tell me what you know about cherry, if you have a cherry LoPrinzi, etc. I will probably make this a low G instrument, so if you have any insight into that, too, I would appreciate it.

Thanks! :shaka:

Recstar24
05-13-2015, 04:43 AM
You are probably not going to like this answer, but I honestly would pick the one that looks better to you. The MyaMoe website has cherry listed as a slightly brighter sound whereas mahogany is closer to the darker side of the spectrum, but honestly I think those differences can be pretty subtle. If anything, your playing style will have more impact on tone and color than the wood choice within a specific brand.

I love the look of a figured mahogany but its not as common. I do like the look of cherry though, visually its more interesting to me.

Ukulele Eddie
05-13-2015, 04:46 AM
As you note, the luthier/build ultimately determines the tone, but I can say my experience with cherry -- albeit with a sample of one and a soprano -- was very positive. I had a Martin 3 Cherry Soprano that had a lovely, lovely tone that I found quite balanced across the spectrum. Hopefully others will chime in with more relevant feedback (great samples size, tenor and maybe even somebody with a LoPrinzi Cherry Tenor).

LoPrinzi makes a very nice uke and generally has nice re-sale value. Let us know what you decided!

wayfarer75
05-13-2015, 04:55 AM
You are probably not going to like this answer, but I honestly would pick the one that looks better to you. The MyaMoe website has cherry listed as a slightly brighter sound whereas mahogany is closer to the darker side of the spectrum, but honestly I think those differences can be pretty subtle. If anything, your playing style will have more impact on tone and color than the wood choice within a specific brand.

I love the look of a figured mahogany but its not as common. I do like the look of cherry though, visually its more interesting to me.

I know what you mean--strings, playing style, tuning can all make a difference in sound. I'm not searching for a fancy-looking ukulele, but something that sounds great. I'm really leaning toward mahogany because it's so commonly used and well-loved. I play fingerstyle, picking with the pads of my fingers rather than with a pick or nails, and I know how that makes a difference in how the uke sounds. I'm hoping to be able to try it out in person, but it may not be possible. Elderly is the closest LoPrinzi dealer (a four-hour drive), and they have one koa tenor right now. Not that there's anything wrong with koa, I'm just looking for something different.

Ukulele Eddie
05-13-2015, 05:00 AM
Uke Republic is a LoPrinzi dealer and has both the mahogany and cherry in stock. Plus, they have two more cherry en route including their unique Nova model (twin sound ports where neck meets body). Why not call them and ask their opinion? I've never done business with them but I've heard wonderful things and I'm sure they have a reasonable inspection/return policy.

http://cargo.ukerepublic.com/product/loprinzi-cherry-model-a-tenor-w-case

gyosh
05-13-2015, 05:11 AM
I have a Compass Rose with cherry back and sides and an adirondack spruce top. The tone is incredible but I have a feeling that has much more to do with the magic of the builder than it does the resonance of the wood. Rick started using a variety of woods that weren't traditionally considered tone woods and makes them sing. I know there will be the trolls who will have much to say about that last statement but I'm actually paraphrasing something Pete Howlett stated a few years back. Anyhow, I love the way my uke sounds and according to Rick, it will turn a deeper red as it gets more and more exposure to light.

79497
79498
79499

wayfarer75
05-13-2015, 05:30 AM
I have a Compass Rose with cherry back and sides and an adirondack spruce top. The tone is incredible but I have a feeling that has much more to do with the magic of the builder than it does the resonance of the wood. Rick started using a variety of woods that weren't traditionally considered tone woods and makes them sing. I know there will be the trolls who will have much to say about that last statement but I'm actually paraphrasing something Pete Howlett stated a few years back. Anyhow, I love the way my uke sounds and according to Rick, it will turn a deeper red as it gets more and more exposure to light.

79497
79498
79499

That is gorgeous. I love the sound of Compass Rose. I did read that cherry darkens over time, too.


Uke Republic is a LoPrinzi dealer and has both the mahogany and cherry in stock. Plus, they have two more cherry en route including their unique Nova model (twin sound ports where neck meets body). Why not call them and ask their opinion? I've never done business with them but I've heard wonderful things and I'm sure they have a reasonable inspection/return policy.

http://cargo.ukerepublic.com/product/loprinzi-cherry-model-a-tenor-w-case

Yes, Uke Republic seems to be THE place for LoPrinzi, and I've been eyeing both their available tenors for sale. I haven't bought a uke from them, but strings and such. If it comes down to one of their ukes, I'll definitely contact them. LoPrinzi also has a spruce/mahogany tenor listed on their own site that looks fabulous.

I'm probably over-thinking this decision. :rolleyes:

PhilUSAFRet
05-13-2015, 05:50 AM
Some awfully happy cherry Lo Prinzi owners out there. You can get a good mahogany uke nearly anywhere. Those cherry ukes have the kind of reddish hue that good mahogany furniture, etc. use to have and that I grew up with. With string changes, you could be happy with either. Since they are equal in all other ways, let your eyes be your guide.

wayfarer75
05-13-2015, 06:34 AM
Some awfully happy cherry Lo Prinzi owners out there. You can get a good mahogany uke nearly anywhere. Those cherry ukes have the kind of reddish hue that good mahogany furniture, etc. use to have and that I grew up with. With string changes, you could be happy with either. Since they are equal in all other ways, let your eyes be your guide.

Yes, happy LoPrinzi owners, regardless of the wood, I think!

Recstar24
05-13-2015, 08:41 AM
I know what you mean--strings, playing style, tuning can all make a difference in sound. I'm not searching for a fancy-looking ukulele, but something that sounds great. I'm really leaning toward mahogany because it's so commonly used and well-loved. I play fingerstyle, picking with the pads of my fingers rather than with a pick or nails, and I know how that makes a difference in how the uke sounds. I'm hoping to be able to try it out in person, but it may not be possible. Elderly is the closest LoPrinzi dealer (a four-hour drive), and they have one koa tenor right now. Not that there's anything wrong with koa, I'm just looking for something different.

Duly noted - with that said, I think cherry would be a nice compliment to your playing style. Mahogany can be a bit warmer, and with a fingerstyle that is mostly flesh/pad of finger, I fear might sound muddy to your ears. Cherry could possibly be a nice balance, being a harder denser material should have a little more cut and focus to balance your most flesh pad fingerstyle.

Doc_J
05-13-2015, 08:57 AM
Another great flamed cherry Compass Rose here. Warm sounding, lots of projection.
Haven't noticed the wood darken in the last four years.

http://i1298.photobucket.com/albums/ag56/Doc_Jenkins/Compass%20Rose/P1050136_zpsb774ab20.jpg

wayfarer75
05-13-2015, 09:57 AM
Duly noted - with that said, I think cherry would be a nice compliment to your playing style. Mahogany can be a bit warmer, and with a fingerstyle that is mostly flesh/pad of finger, I fear might sound muddy to your ears. Cherry could possibly be a nice balance, being a harder denser material should have a little more cut and focus to balance your most flesh pad fingerstyle.

Good point there; I've listened to a few recordings of cherry LoPrinzis and did think they had a nice clarity of sound. They didn't all have the same strings/player, though, so it is hard to differentiate.


Another great flamed cherry Compass Rose here. Warm sounding, lots of projection.
Haven't noticed the wood darken in the last four years.

http://i1298.photobucket.com/albums/ag56/Doc_Jenkins/Compass%20Rose/P1050136_zpsb774ab20.jpg

That's another gorgeous uke! Unfortunately for me, Compass Rose isn't in the budget!

ksiegel
05-13-2015, 11:18 AM
I have played exactly ONE Cherry uke - and I fell in love with it - but there were two exceptional things about it.
#1, it was a Compass Rose ukulele.
#2, it was one of Rick Turner's personal instrument, strung Low-G with Savarez Classical Guitar Strings, if I recall correctly.

After my experience with Rick's ukulele, I would not hesitate to have a custom-built cherry ukulele made for me, if I had the means to do so.



-Kurt


I have a Compass Rose with cherry back and sides and an adirondack spruce top. The tone is incredible but I have a feeling that has much more to do with the magic of the builder than it does the resonance of the wood. Rick started using a variety of woods that weren't traditionally considered tone woods and makes them sing. I know there will be the trolls who will have much to say about that last statement but I'm actually paraphrasing something Pete Howlett stated a few years back. Anyhow, I love the way my uke sounds and according to Rick, it will turn a deeper red as it gets more and more exposure to light.

79497
79498
79499

bonesigh
05-13-2015, 04:24 PM
Here's Cherry, though I don't know why you want to know about her. 79514 She's a sweety and found me in a thrift shop. She came up and licked my toes when she was no bigger than a baby's shoe. LOL

wayfarer75
05-14-2015, 05:58 AM
I have played exactly ONE Cherry uke - and I fell in love with it - but there were two exceptional things about it.
#1, it was a Compass Rose ukulele.
#2, it was one of Rick Turner's personal instrument, strung Low-G with Savarez Classical Guitar Strings, if I recall correctly.

After my experience with Rick's ukulele, I would not hesitate to have a custom-built cherry ukulele made for me, if I had the means to do so.



-Kurt

Lots of CR cherry fans! I think I'm sold on cherry, unless something else shows up in a few weeks.


Here's Cherry, though I don't know why you want to know about her. 79514 She's a sweety and found me in a thrift shop. She came up and licked my toes when she was no bigger than a baby's shoe. LOL

Aw, so cute! Pets are better than ukuleles. :)

Pete Howlett
05-14-2015, 08:37 AM
English or European cherry is blonde with green streaks. It is a fabulous wood for building with, produces fabulous tone and sustain; above all it is a cinch to finish... cannot understand why this has not become THE substitute for koa and mahogany since it straddles both of these woods like a colossus.

wayfarer75
05-14-2015, 09:04 AM
English or European cherry is blonde with green streaks. It is a fabulous wood for building with, produces fabulous tone and sustain; above all it is a cinch to finish... cannot understand why this has not become THE substitute for koa and mahogany since it straddles both of these woods like a colossus.

Sweet! I hope the same goes for North American cherry.

Pete Howlett
05-14-2015, 12:33 PM
Should do - I made a great 'J200' style tenor from American Cherry about 10 years ago that sounded fabulous.

DownUpDave
05-14-2015, 12:41 PM
Should do - I made a great 'J200' style tenor from American Cherry about 10 years ago that sounded fabulous.

That is great information and nice to hear from someone who has built with it. Cherry can be very lovely in colour with just enough grain to make it interesting looking. Thanks for the valuable insight Pete.

wayfarer75
05-14-2015, 01:39 PM
Yes, a ringing endorsement if I ever saw one. I really appreciate it.

There will have to be more to ukes than koa and mahogany. For those, like me, who have to buy online or travel a distance to try out a ukulele, it helps to know what others' experiences are. One just looks at a cherry or myrtle or sycamore or maple uke online and thinks, "Hmmm, what does that sound like... oh, wait, there's a mahogany ukulele, I'll just go with what I know. <Click-buy>"