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View Full Version : Is Myrtle the new Rosewood?



Rakelele
11-04-2017, 06:44 AM
Seems like Myrtle is being used more often as a tonewood recently, and that it gets high praises from many experienced builders and players. Most striking, to me, is the output of Myrtle ukes from Ko'olau and Jay Lichty, but I know that other builders like Ono, Les Stansell, and of course Mya Moe have been using Myrtle for several years now.

What are your thoughts about Myrtle as a tonewood? How do you like it compared to other tonewoods?

Josť de Londres
11-04-2017, 06:53 AM
Seems like Myrtle is being used more often as a tonewood recently, and that it gets high praises from many experienced builders and players. Most striking, to me, is the output of Myrtle ukes from Ko'olau and Jay Lichty, but I know that other builders like Ono, Les Stansell, and of course Mya Moe have been using Myrtle for several years now.

What are your thoughts about Myrtle as a tonewood? How do you like it compared to other tonewoods?

I do like myrtle, especially the work Mya Moe are doing with it. It seems to have a nice balance tonally, but I think one if its main strengths at the moment is that it's not affected by CITES regulations like rosewood is.

DownUpDave
11-04-2017, 06:55 AM
Seems like Myrtle is being used more often as a tonewood recently, and that it gets high praises from many experienced builders and players. Most striking, to me, is the output of Myrtle ukes from Ko'olau and Jay Lichty, but I know that other builders like Ono, Les Stansell, and of course Mya Moe have been using Myrtle for several years now.

What are your thoughts about Myrtle as a tonewood? How do you like it compared to other tonewoods?

I agree with what you are saying Rainer. Everything I have read has been very favorable, most state it gives a clear full round tone. I own a Koolau CS spruce/myrtle tenor and it is among the finest sounding tenors I have ever played. Simon thinks it is the best sounding uke I own, it is all very personal of course.

I would not hesitate to commission a build using myrtle as a back and side wood. Espiecally for those of us living outside the US, it solves the "restriction" problems. Some of it comes close to koa or flamed maple in its curl and striping. So it can be as beautiful looking as it sounds.

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Josť de Londres
11-04-2017, 06:59 AM
Agree about the looks. The stuff Mya Moe bill as "chocolate heart" myrtle is stunning.

DownUpDave
11-04-2017, 07:04 AM
Agree about the looks. The stuff Mya Moe bill as "chocolate heart" myrtle is stunning.

I just added some pictures of my tenor above, I think it's pretty

Josť de Londres
11-04-2017, 07:31 AM
I just added some pictures of my tenor above, I think it's pretty

Wow. Is there a "drool" emoji around here?

Ah yes, there it is... :drool:

frianm
11-04-2017, 08:06 AM
I agree with what you are saying Rainer. Everything I have read has been very favorable, most state it gives a clear full round tone. I own a Koolau CS spruce/myrtle tenor and it is among the finest sounding tenors I have ever played. Simon thinks it is the best sounding uke I own, it is all very personal of course.

I would not hesitate to commission a build using myrtle as a back and side wood. Espiecally for those of us living outside the US, it solves the "restriction" problems. Some of it comes close to koa or flamed maple in its curl and striping. So it can be as beautiful looking as it sounds.



104156104154104155

I was thinking that it is more Koa-like than rosewood. One day I would love to see and maybe play one a bit.
Yes I am drooling over that tenor!

kohanmike
11-04-2017, 11:21 AM
I've been contemplating a custom thinline leaf multi-hole (Ovation like) tenor uke from Bruce Wei in spruce and flame maple, but I'm going to ask if he has myrtle, beautiful grain patterns.

Doc_J
11-05-2017, 02:36 AM
I was thinking that it is more Koa-like than rosewood. One day I would love to see and maybe play one a bit.
Yes I am drooling over that tenor!

Myrtle properties are closer to koa than rosewood.
https://breedlovemusic.com/soundstudio/tone-woods/

hollisdwyer
11-05-2017, 03:49 AM
Myrtle properties are closer to koa than rosewood.
https://breedlovemusic.com/soundstudio/tone-woods/

Yep, having owned 2 MyaMoe Myrtle Tenors, I would agree with that statement. Myrtle is warm like Koa, not bright like the various Rosewood species.

DownUpDave
11-05-2017, 04:09 AM
Myrtle properties are closer to koa than rosewood.
https://breedlovemusic.com/soundstudio/tone-woods/

Yes I agree, myrtle does have a clear full tone so a very useful tone wood.

Padauk seems to be a wood that luthiers are using that has similar tonal qualities to rosewood. Used for back and sides of course. I owned a Kinnard spruce top padauk backed tenor which sounded very nice

Peace Train
11-05-2017, 12:33 PM
Pau Ferro actually resembles the tonality of rosewood more closely than Myrtle. It is also called Morado or Bolivian Rosewood, but is not technically a rosewood nor does it fall under CITES restrictions. Pau Ferro has long been used for fingerboards due to its fast, clean response, and is coming into vogue for back and sides too. From the sound samples I've listened to, t's near impossible to tell the difference.

saltytri
11-05-2017, 01:41 PM
I've built several tenors with Bolivian rosewood backs and sides. It's become a favorite for both tone and appearance. Downsides are that it is among the tropical woods that cause an allergic reaction in some people and care has to be taken in finishing because oils in the wood inhibit the drying of some products. It's also become much more expensive lately, perhaps in response to the CITES listing of all true rosewoods. The last board I bought was $35/bf. It's definitely harder and denser than koa, myrtle, mahogany and that ilk. Quarter sawn stock isn't too hard to find. Here's the last one out the door:

https://www.theukulelesite.com/ono-custom-the-wahoo-tenor-spruce-bolivian-rosewood.html