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View Full Version : Do you like spruce? Poll: Which uke sounds the best?



Dan Uke
04-08-2016, 05:57 PM
I have 3 spruce tenor ukes and wondering which one sounds the best to you?

Let me know which one and why. Thanks


https://soundcloud.com/nongdam/spruce-ukulele-tenor-comparison

robinboyd
04-08-2016, 06:14 PM
I don't like No. 3. It sounds a bit dull. No. 1 sounds the punchiest, and the spruciest, I suppose, but I'm not a huge fan of spruce, so I like 2 best. I could be imagining the differences, though. I'm hardly an expert.

actadh
04-08-2016, 10:04 PM
Second one has the richest sound.

Peace Train
04-08-2016, 10:21 PM
The first one is the most resonant, melodious, and rich. The second is louder and is neither better nor worse than number one, just different. That said, I prefer number one's richness over number two. Number three isn't too exciting. Maybe a string change would help it. I'm guessing it might be a laminate. My vote is for #1.

Rakelele
04-08-2016, 10:42 PM
All three sound excellent, great playing, and a nice comparison. I hear number 1 to be somewhat fuller in the low end, number 2 balanced, and number 3 slightly brighter. Just some wild guessing:

1. LFdM
2. Ko'olau
3. MBU

DownUpDave
04-08-2016, 11:17 PM
These thread are great because it usually demonstrates how little I really know, sometimes other people as well.

Peace Train thinks # 3 is a laminate, Rakelele thinks it a Moore Bettah........cant get much farther apart than that:p

I am not guessing at what they are because all three sounded nice and I would be happy owning any of them, even the laminate :biglaugh:.

My favourite sound of the three is #1

dkcrown
04-08-2016, 11:52 PM
Tough call Daniel, they all sound great. Either 1 or 3 for me

UkingViking
04-08-2016, 11:56 PM
To me it depends on the application.

In the first two demonstrations, I disliked the third one. It sounded kind of "hard" to me. But in the third thing you played, the sound suited it nicely.

As it progressed, I think i preferred the first one in the first piece, the second in the second, and the third in the third.
Or perhaps it is just hard for me to make up my mind.

Probably Rakelele got the differences right.

I ended up voting for #2.

Kyle23
04-09-2016, 12:32 AM
To me it depends on the application.

In the first two demonstrations, I disliked the third one. It sounded kind of "hard" to me. But in the third thing you played, the sound suited it nicely.

As it progressed, I think i preferred the first one in the first piece, the second in the second, and the third in the third.
Or perhaps it is just hard for me to make up my mind.

Probably Rakelele got the differences right.

I ended up voting for #2.
These are my exact thoughts. They each sounded best in each clip but #2 was most consistent to my ears throughout.

Croaky Keith
04-09-2016, 12:58 AM
Just a thought, but are you comparing with the same strings on each.

I have just bought a solid spruce concert, & I don't find it a great deal different than my other ukes, which are mainly mahogany laminates.

Presently it has the Aquilas that it came with, (the majority of my ukes have those strings on them), but I find I am preferring flourocarbon so maybe it needs a string change.

DownUpDave
04-09-2016, 01:09 AM
Just a thought, but are you comparing with the same strings on each.

I have just bought a solid spruce concert, & I don't find it a great deal different than my other ukes, which are mainly mahogany laminates.

Presently it has the Aquilas that it came with, (the majority of my ukes have those strings on them), but I find I am preferring flourocarbon so maybe it needs a string change.

It is always an interesting debate regarding the use of the same strings on multiple ukes being sound sampled.

I am of the camp that subscribes to finding the very best sounding strings for each individual instrument. This way all three are optimized and it is a fair fight

PhilUSAFRet
04-09-2016, 01:19 AM
I thought #1 sounded fuller and cleaner. To my ears, 2 and 3 sounded slightly "muted" by comparison. When I get a spruce topped uke, I want it to do what spruce does best. I also have a subwoofer connected to my computer sound.

Doc_J
04-09-2016, 02:12 AM
You have 3 great sounding spruce tops. Thanks for putting this together.

My preference picking 1,3,2. Number 1 had no thunky notes, and best clarity, warmth, resonance
My preference strumming 2,1,3. I really liked number 2's balance, good bass and mids.

Guessing 1 is MBU, 2 is Koolau, and 3 is LFdM

Voted for 1

Alytw
04-09-2016, 03:13 AM
They all are really sweet. I thought that 1 has great sustain, more low end and less clarity relative to the others. 2 sounded the best balanced to my ears and great clarity and nice sustain. 3 sounded like it had a bit less bass and sustain than the first two but had good clarity.

All were really good, but 2 was my favourite followed by 1 then 3.

I love the blind comparisons, thanks for posting.

A

bonesoup
04-09-2016, 04:14 AM
Awesome, Dan! Thanks for doing this. Your picking and strumming are great.

1. Warmest.

2. More mids.

3. A bit more guitary.

They all sound fantastic. For me personally, I prefer 1. I really enjoyed this, thank you.

TheCraftedCow
04-09-2016, 08:00 AM
As they ARE and WHATEVER they may be, I liked #1 consistently as having fuller harmonic overtones. Two was close. three was lacking in tone quality..which I would describe as thin and lacking the tone quality of the other two. For a piece where you want to sound to decay quickly, #3 would be my choice. Fingerpicking Irish fiddletunes, it would be my first choice.

Mivo
04-09-2016, 08:03 AM
I can't possibly guess which is which, but, my clear favorite is #3, followed by #1 and #2. The "spruciest" sounding is #2, but it's not a confident statement. :) I felt all three sounded good.

Great blind test, really like those -- they usually put things back into perspective for me.

sam13
04-09-2016, 08:49 AM
You have 3 great sounding spruce tops. Thanks for putting this together.

My preference picking 1,3,2. Number 1 had no thunky notes, and best clarity, warmth, resonance
My preference strumming 2,1,3. I really liked number 2's balance, good bass and mids.

Guessing 1 is MBU, 2 is Koolau, and 3 is LFdM

Voted for 1

First, great playing Dan. Well done! I hope to play like you some day ... over the Rainbow! ;)

I am with Hodge on this one ... although I would say 2 is a very close 2nd.

M3Ukulele
04-09-2016, 11:09 AM
Thank you for doing this thread. Confirms what I have determined two + years into taking up Ukulele......spruce is my top of choice. I will look forward to the reveal. I picked #1 first and then #3 but all were very close and sounded excellent. For me, picking the final one of these three fine ukuleles, if they were in front of me would be determined with ukulele in hand and other factors would no doubt come into play. You always hear things differently when playing a Ukulele. Curious about other factors in make up of each .........back/sides, neck wood etc. Nice playing a by the way.

Jim Hanks
04-09-2016, 12:07 PM
I picked #2 but it is very close to #1. #3 is my least favorite as it sounded harsher than the other two. But that is with a HUGE caveat of listening over iPad speakers.

Osprey
04-09-2016, 12:40 PM
My favorite by a slim margin is Uke # 1. All sounded pretty good.

guitharsis
04-09-2016, 11:22 PM
Also picked #1. They did all sound good.

kissing
04-10-2016, 12:06 AM
Second one has the richest sound.

I agree. At first I thought I would choose #1 because it is a bit mellower, but listening to #2, to my ear, it has a wider frequency of response.

The highs are brighter, and the bass rings and sustains longer than #1, in my opinion.

They all sound sprucey, but I would consider no.2 my favourite kind of sprucey.

Listening through Bose Companion II speakers + subwoofer

Dan Uke
04-10-2016, 02:16 PM
Ok, now for the results! Moore Bettah Ukes sounds just as good as they look!!

1) MBU: Sitka Spruce with Milo
2) Ko'olau: European Soruce with Koa
3) LFDM: Adi Spruce with Macassar Ebony

Now knowing the woods, do you think it affected the tone?

M3Ukulele
04-10-2016, 02:23 PM
Great thread Dan. Thanks for taking the time to present these great ukulele. You are very fortunate to have such a wonderful collection..how about pics (g).....I would love to see the actual ukuleles.

Doc_J
04-10-2016, 02:46 PM
Ok, now for the results! Moore Bettah Ukes sounds just as good as they look!!

1) MBU: Sitka Spruce with Milo
2) Ko'olau: European Soruce with Koa
3) LFDM: Adi Spruce with Macassar Ebony

Now knowing the woods, do you think it affected woods?

Not sure that the wood variations matter as much as the builder and the build/design differences.
Thanks Daniel, enjoyed the blind comparison. For once I guessed correctly.

hawaii 50
04-10-2016, 03:41 PM
nice comparision Daniel.....
like you i like the tone of Spruce,Redwood or Cedar more than hard wood soundboards...but i think the builder makes the most difference....the ukes you played all sound close to each other.....my Sinker Redwood Ko'olau sounds way deeper than my Spruce top ukes....i do think Chuck has a way to make his Koa ukes sound really good though.....

natchez
04-10-2016, 03:54 PM
Fun thread- thanks for the thread and the excellent playing. Made my choice before even seeing there was a reveal- #1 sounded a bit more balanced, #2 had a bit better deeper notes, and #3 was also quite nice, but did not quite sound up to the other two. However, all of them sounded very good to me.

ukinator
04-11-2016, 02:13 AM
I thought 1 was the most balanced and was then also the fullest at each range played. 2 had nice highs but lacked a bit up the middle tone-range... it sounded good but almost guitar-y to me. 3 was a nice sound, but lacked in all categories compared to the other two.

EssexRiver
04-11-2016, 03:19 AM
Number one for me. I felt 1 was the warmest of the three and had better range. Two was close behind, though, and I went back and forth. Three sounded good, but I liked it least. Nice comparison and fun thread.

kkimura
04-11-2016, 03:47 AM
I have weird ears. #1 seemed the brightest, #2 a little better low end and #3 seemed the most balanced across the range of high to low. Like I said, weird ears.

bearbike137
04-11-2016, 03:51 AM
Spruce is my favorite top wood.

Nickie
04-11-2016, 04:19 AM
For some reason, my ears tell me I enjoy listening to them all just about equally. If I had to pick one to play myself, I think I would have to choose #3.

Ukejenny
04-11-2016, 04:25 AM
On the first 2 samples, uke #1 spoke to my ear better. On the strumming sample, uke #2 was right up there with #1, and may have had even more of a nice strumming sound.

wayfarer75
04-11-2016, 05:08 AM
Not sure that the wood variations matter as much as the builder and the build/design differences.
Thanks Daniel, enjoyed the blind comparison. For once I guessed correctly.

I agree. Also the strings make a difference; I'm curious what strings were used.

Dan Uke
04-11-2016, 07:50 AM
Not sure that the wood variations matter as much as the builder and the build/design differences.
Thanks Daniel, enjoyed the blind comparison. For once I guessed correctly.

I figured you would guess correctly Hodge since you own all these brands at one time or another. I'm not sure if you still do. I agree that the luthier makes a bigger difference than the wood combo.


As for strings comments from several:
MBU: Southcoast HML-RW
Ko'oalu: Oasis plus something for G&C
LFDM: SC HML-RW

I am not sure how old the strings are are but Ko'olau is the newest, MBU within 3 to 4 months, LFDM - I don't remember but that's the uke that I keep at work so could be older but not more than 6 months?

Thanks everyone for commenting.

DownUpDave
04-11-2016, 01:13 PM
I figured you would guess correctly Hodge since you own all these brands at one time or another. I'm not sure if you still do. I agree that the luthier makes a bigger difference than the wood combo.


As for strings comments from several:
MBU: Southcoast HML-RW
Ko'oalu: Oasis plus something for G&C
LFDM: SC HML-RW

I am not sure how old the strings are are but Ko'olau is the newest, MBU within 3 to 4 months, LFDM - I don't remember but that's the uke that I keep at work so could be older but not more than 6 months?

Thanks everyone for commenting.


Life is good when your "workbeater uke" is a LfdM.

Thanks again Daniel great playing as always

Peace Train
04-11-2016, 11:45 PM
Life is good when your "workbeater uke" is a LfdM.


Good use for it. No offense to the laminates. :biglaugh:

jollyboy
04-11-2016, 11:51 PM
Every time I read the title of this thread a little voice in my head tacks on "... How do you like them spruce?"

Apologies for the irrelevance/inanity of this post but I just needed to get it out of my system :)

Dan Uke
04-12-2016, 07:26 AM
Life is good when your "workbeater uke" is a LfdM.

Thanks again Daniel great playing as always

On the contrary, the uke at work gets the most play these days and it's well protected in its own drawer. I've rotated them in the past.

DownUpDave
04-12-2016, 07:36 AM
On the contrary, the uke at work gets the most play these days and it's well protected in its own drawer. I've rotated them in the past.

Just a little joke there Dan.

I know you love LfdM as much as I do.

el fuego
04-24-2016, 02:09 AM
Spruce alone as a generic defenition canot be basis for comparison, Adirondack spruce is a very stiff and bright spruce beter suitable for a stell string guitar. so the comparison is distorted by that alone.

johnson430
04-24-2016, 05:56 AM
Perhaps because I am not a big fan of spruce I had a different listening experience.
I liked #3 the best.

I listened with my headphones on. That is the best way, IMHO, to hear a sound sample properly.
#1 has more treble focus to me and has a bell-like tone.
#2 has a very good balance of highs and lows.
#3 has more feeling in the bass notes to me. That might be why I like it. It seems to not be not so spruce in sound.

coolkayaker1
04-24-2016, 06:33 AM
Spruce is fantastic in poetry, easily coupled with goose, loose, obtuse.

Cocobolo? Not so fantastic.

rappsy
04-24-2016, 04:44 PM
As someone who likes it brighter, I have been leaning away from Koa tops to Spruce. Thanks for doing this. It's a great way to demonstrate the different spruce top sounds on different models, and still maintain that bit of high end kick.

hollisdwyer
04-24-2016, 06:46 PM
Late to comment on this thread, especially as the reveal has already been published, but I liked all three. 1 & 2 slightly more than three. Somehow though I think the other differences in the build influenced the sound as much or even more than the top wood. Nice to have some good sound samples of these brands.