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View Full Version : Low G on spruce or cedar uke



fopianki
10-21-2015, 06:25 AM
Hi folks, I own "sister" Loprinzi ukes...identical model (tenors) but different soundboards (spruce vs cedar). I would like to make one a high G and the other a low G. The spruce has a brighter tone and the cedar is much more mellow. Any advice as to which would be a better choice for a low G? thanks Frank

DownUpDave
10-21-2015, 06:32 AM
I have spruce and cedar and mahogany topped ukes with low G. To my ear I like low G on spruce top if you are doing a lot of strumming, it helps to warm up or balance out the bright sound of spruce. The cedar and mahogany with the low G can sound kinda muddy or dull if agressively strummed with low G. But finger picking those two in low G is fabulous. YMMV

Just more reasons for mor ukes with different strings and tuning,

ukuleleden
10-21-2015, 06:33 AM
I have my Solid Cedar-topped Kala KA-ATP-CTG-CE strung with high G and really like the tone just fine from this combination. No desire to put a low G on it at this juncture.

La Perdrix
10-21-2015, 07:06 AM
I have spruce and cedar and mahogany topped ukes with low G. To my ear I like low G on spruce top if you are doing a lot of strumming, it helps to warm up or balance out the bright sound of spruce. The cedar and mahogany with the low G can sound kinda muddy or dull if agressively strummed with low G. But finger picking those two in low G is fabulous. YMMV

Just more reasons for mor ukes with different strings and tuning,

totally agree.

Ukulele Eddie
10-21-2015, 09:03 AM
Try them both in each tuning and see which tuning you prefer for each uke. Let us know what you end up deciding!

etzeppy
10-21-2015, 06:02 PM
I'm currently looking at Pono rosewood body tenors and trying to decide between cedar and spruce. The instrument will be strung low G and will be used more for strumming than finger picking. I do like the warmth of cedar but I am concerned that it won't perform as well as spruce with low G strumming. There seems to be mixed thoughts on the subject with a little more leaning toward spruce as preferred.

If I already had both tops like the OP, I would try a low G on both and compare.

PhilUSAFRet
10-22-2015, 02:01 AM
I agree with DownUpDave in terms of effect, but in my opinion, it's better to exploit the natural tendencies and virtues of these woods: go low-G on cedar, maximizing it's warmth and relative "depth"; go reentrant on spruce, so you have greater clarity on the high notes (more needed in reentrant tuning) and a less guitar-like sound. I've tried both woods in both tunings, and have ended up putting my spruces high and my cedars low.

:agree: Just my preference, but when I buy a bright uke, I don't want to try and "mellow it out" unless it sounds "harsh" to me. I think low g on that cedar topped uke would sound awesome. I still remember the amazingly bright tone on Tom Guy's "Flying Owl" that bounced around UU to multiple owners. It was like nothing else I had heard before.

DownUpDave
10-22-2015, 02:11 AM
Try them both in each tuning and see which tuning you prefer for each uke. Let us know what you end up deciding!

I agree with both ubulele and phil regarding playing to the strengths of the tone wood. Eddie basically nailed it, try both. Strings are relatively cheap and you won't know which is best until you actually try it. I have tried both high and low G on most of my tenors for that very reason.

stevepetergal
10-22-2015, 02:30 AM
The answer is...
Try both.

PhilUSAFRet
10-22-2015, 02:32 AM
Only have to get one low g string!

photoshooter
10-22-2015, 03:11 AM
I purchased a Pono mahogany tenor and set it up low g with a squeakless wound G. Picking it sounds beautiful but strumming was not as nice. It sounded a touch muddy and the wound string resonated much more than the others. I switched to a low g set with no wound string and I like it much better. It's a warm, mellow tone but I'm also starting to wonder if I'd prefer a spruce top for low g to give more of a balance. Ok I confess, it's a reason to buy another uke :)
Side note: my current string set is the GHS Sarah Maisel Artist Curated low G set. So far I really like these strings.