View Full Version : Spruce and maple

10-11-2015, 08:43 AM
I,m interested as to what members feel about spruce and maple in a tenor would do for the sound.Would it be bright or will it depend on the luthier?

10-11-2015, 08:53 AM
Listen to all Maple from Loprinzzi and you will hear a very suite sound. Not too bright and definitely not harsh. I am hoping to play a Moodyville gypsy tenor in Sitka and maple next weekend and suspect the same.. I'll update if I get opportunity to play but judging how sweep my Sitka/black Walnut Moodyville is......... I would think they would sound very similar. So my feeling is builder makes difference.

10-11-2015, 08:58 AM
Sorry fat fingers on my iPad. The Loprinzzi all maple was a video on HMS ...see what you think. Still trying to figure out how to upload sound samples of my tenor. Suite = Sweet. And Sweep=Sweet... My bad! (g)

the flat tire
10-11-2015, 01:37 PM
It will depend on the luthier, but generally, spruce and maple make for a fairly bright, guitar-like sound, near the other end of the tonal spectrum from mahogany (mostly due to the spruce top).

I have three spruce top tenors and I like the "guitar" like sound. You can change that to some extent with different strings but you will still have a fairly bright sound. Not really sure, but I think with spruce the back and sides make more of a difference, i.e. spruce and rosewood vs spruce and mahogany.

I haven't strummed a maple top I liked yet; all sounded a bit dead. Sort of like spruce but without the 'ring' and projection. I think maple really depends on the builder for I have heard maple top guitars that sounded great.

10-11-2015, 02:04 PM
I recently acquired a solid maple/spruce topped concert uke and am amazed at it's high volume, sustain, and sweet brightness, without being overly brash. I will likely mellow it out a bit with some new strings as it came with Aquilas. It always matters how it's made.

10-11-2015, 02:40 PM
One of my favorite combinations. I think its better described by others, than me (self serving of course):
easy google search for:

HMS Quilted Maple Tenor
Ukulele Friend Quilted Maple Tenor

MGM designed one, and "made" me make it, which I didn't initially agree with. However, Andrew had other comments if you care to read. Another search for:

Ukulele Review Exremely Awesome 2012 (below the Kamaka and Koolau)

Personally, Rick Turner makes the best all Maple Tenor I've heard (which is exactly why I was not thrilled that MGM had me make one, thinline no less - no pressure there. . . )

10-11-2015, 03:18 PM
So much depends on the builder and his designs. I have an all maple tenor from Steve Grimes that's warm and loud with incredible clarity.

10-11-2015, 03:24 PM
as long the builder is good. spruce and maple combo is really good. best ive heard or played was a Engalmann Spruce with Birdseye maple BnS.

10-11-2015, 05:53 PM
I agree that the build of the uke will have a huge impact on the sound.

I have a Kamoa that is all solid - spruce top, maple back and sides. It is a factory uke but has a big bright rich sound. It rings clear and full. Interestingly, it has an arched back design. I'm sure this contributes to the quality of the sound.

the flat tire
10-11-2015, 06:31 PM
Personally, Rick Turner makes the best all Maple Tenor I've heard (which is exactly why I was not thrilled that MGM had me make one, thinline no less - no pressure there. . . )

I was just looking/thinking about a flame maple sunburst Compass Rose...

Ukulele Eddie
10-11-2015, 06:58 PM
Well, the guy who played a big part of Compass Rose ukulele's and who now builds under his own Hive Ukulele brand, shows that in the right hands Spruce/Maple can be exquisite. But, then, I'm an admitted "maple addict". Hard for me to turn away from that combo when done well. Links to two that I could not turn away:

Hive Adirondack Spruce/Quilted Maple Tenor:

Collings Spruce/Quilted Maple Concert:


10-11-2015, 09:36 PM
Thank you.I think ,overall,it's a winning combination.

10-12-2015, 01:59 AM
As others have mentioned, it too has been my experience that the general opinion that maple provides a bright tone and is an excellent tone wood to achieve that tonal purpose. Additionally, next to a highly figured Koa grain, Flamed maple is my second favorite for eye appeal as well. Ultimately the way the instrument is built and braced will have a significant effect on the sound as well, so shop around and check various manufacturers and price points, you may be surprised what appeals to you the most...

10-12-2015, 05:13 AM
It's not custom-made, and the maple back and sides are laminate, but it's for sale on the marketplace now. And it's a great player.


10-12-2015, 09:03 PM
Has to be well made, but even then maple can be brash and jangly in combination with spruce. I seriously want a maple guitar, and I love bright, and haven't found one yet that I can stand. I came thisclose to a flamed maple Larrivee parlor but they are loud, crisp, and thin, it's all one spectrum of sound. Even some bigger bodied guitars I checked were the same. With the way smaller body I'd think a maple uke should be crisp and articulate.

Check out Brukos, they do a lot of maple, or used to.

Ukulele Eddie
10-13-2015, 04:24 AM
Has to be well made, but even then maple can be brash and jangly in combination with spruce.

If it's brash and jangly, I don't think it's well made. ;-)