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View Full Version : what wood is best?



pie_man_25
04-14-2009, 01:54 PM
yeah, this is my first post, so I'll introduce mysel:

I've played bass for a few years, and was curious about its tiny second cousin, the soprano uke, so I made a cigar box uke last year. Since then, I've learned a few songs, and made about $130 busking. I've fallen in love with this little demon.

This uke sounds OK, but the fretboard is uneven, and has bad intonation, so I may be making a new fretboard, but am probably making a whole new soprano uke. Any requests for fingerboard wood? or, should I take this to "luthier's corner"?

scooterguitar
04-14-2009, 02:50 PM
Rosewood or ebony is pretty much standard, unless it is koa.

Link
04-14-2009, 03:29 PM
I think ebony is nicer than rosewood. Purely a cosmetic thing, I don't know how it effects the sound. And my fingers are so calloused that I can never feel a difference.

What would be really cool is if you used Maple...

koalohapaul
04-15-2009, 08:31 PM
If you're looking for durability, ebony is hard to beat. It stands up to our grimey hands very well and doesn't show wear and tear as much as lighter colored woods. Ebony is my personal favorite. Aside from the durability, ebony feels nice and smooth, and produces nice deep tones.

Rosewood is also very nice, although lighter in color and not as dense as ebony. Tone-wise, I find rosewood to produce a slightly brighter tone, relative to ebony.

Most of our production line uses conversion varnished koa fret boards. (With the exception of the tenor scale instruments.) Koa looks nice and can be as hard as some rosewoods, but it isn't as oily. An unfinished koa fret board will wear down quicker than a naked rosewood fret board, so we coat them.

Maple is also nice, but it's white, and the wear and tear from your finger dirt and oils will be very distinct.

There is a lot of preference in choosing a fret board, much like choosing what woods to use for the body and neck. There are advantages and disadvantages to anything you choose, but there isn't one choice that is correct.

Hope that helps!

toyrtle
04-15-2009, 11:32 PM
yeah, this is my first post, so I'll introduce mysel:

I've played bass for a few years, and was curious about its tiny second cousin, the soprano uke, so I made a cigar box uke last year. Since then, I've learned a few songs, and made about $130 busking. I've fallen in love with this little demon.


Who's the first cousin of the bass?