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View Full Version : Another Ancient Spruce Tenor



Allen
02-18-2017, 04:36 PM
I've had a client that has been really wanting to get a tenor with an Ancient Spruce soundboard since she came across a picture of one I built several years ago. She finally pulled the trigger on a commission, and it's now complete.

3000 year old Sitka Spruce (natural color) and and Ambrosia Maple with earthy tones. Bindings in Curly Jarrah. Fret board in Honduran Rosewood, and streaky ebony head plates and bridge. Rosette is from another lighter set of Ambrosia Maple off cuts that were just too pretty to toss in the bin.

Gotoh machine heads, K&K Aloha Twin pickup and Worth Brown strings. All under high gloss lacquer.

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Diogenes Blue
02-18-2017, 04:43 PM
Stunning. Love every aspect of it, especially the headstock design. Looks like you fill the ambrosia holes with ebony, that's what I do. I call them beauty marks.

sequoia
02-18-2017, 05:20 PM
I like how you left the streaks in the ebony peg head veneer. I think they add a touch of art. Many would resort to black dye in order to cover up the "imperfections".

mainger
02-18-2017, 08:06 PM
I'm not normally a fan of that ancient spruce colour, but with the ambrosia maple, it's quite amazing! I'm sure your client will be mighty pleased!

greenscoe
02-18-2017, 09:13 PM
As always, a spectacular looking instrument.

I've tried to find a sound sample on Youtube of an instrument with an ancient soundboard, uke or guitar, but found nothing. I know ancient spruce is rare and expensive and looks great, but what have you to say about its acoustic properties. Is there a possibility of a sound sample or are you able to link us to one?

Mutantmoose
02-19-2017, 07:24 AM
I don't know why, but the backstrap is just wonderful. I'm glad to see such a nice detail on a uke.

lauburu
02-19-2017, 08:39 AM
Wonderful use of colour. Another triumph.
Miguel

Jim Hanks
02-19-2017, 08:45 AM
Love the back. It's like the uke is rising up from the flames. :cool:

Allen
02-19-2017, 10:04 AM
To my ear, the Ancient Spruce sounds more like a hardwood sound board than a soft wood.

Like all instruments string choice will make a huge difference to what sort of tonal responce you get. Unless a client specifies otherwise I string them with Worth Browns. I like the "woody" tone you get from them, and I get good feedback and I can assess more easily from each of the instruments I build using the same strings.

I'm not aware of any of my clients doing sound samples.

rubykey
02-19-2017, 12:59 PM
As always, a spectacular looking instrument.

I've tried to find a sound sample on Youtube of an instrument with an ancient soundboard, uke or guitar, but found nothing. I know ancient spruce is rare and expensive and looks great, but what have you to say about its acoustic properties. Is there a possibility of a sound sample or are you able to link us to one? I have the ancient spruce soprano that Allen made for Julie. I was lucky enough to snag it third-hand. I believe it has the original Southcoast strings on them. Bearing in mind that it is a soprano I don't think the ancient spruce is bright. My ukulele is well-balanced with a lovely rich plinky sound. My ear always prefers mahogany and rejects koa, spruce, and mango for being too bright. It was this sound sample linked here.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?106495-FS-Soprano-Barron-River-Ukulele/page5

That sold me on the tone, along with discussions with the second buyer who had a similar preference for tone as I. While I would be quite happy to croon this song while I play it, I'm not prepared to Showcase my ukulele playing skills. I hope this sound sample satisfies the Curious even though it is for a soprano.

greenscoe
02-19-2017, 09:40 PM
Thanks for the info Allen.

Rubykey, I thank you for posting the soprano sound sample (which is on the first page of the thread). Again I note what you say.."I don't think the ancient spruce is bright...well-balanced with a lovely rich plinky sound". It seems to be a fair description.