View Full Version : Question about wood tones?

07-31-2009, 08:47 AM
i don't know if i'm posting in the right place but i had some questions about different woods and how they sound and different brands of ukuleles.
i'm deciding on buying among these:

Oscar Shmidt OU5 Concert Koa Ukulele

Kala KA-FMS LN Long Neck Soprano Ukulele [skita spruce top/spalted flamed mapleback and sides]

Oscar Shimdt Long Neck Concert Ukulele [spalted mango]

can anyone give any input on these ukes? it would be greatly appreciated :shaka:

07-31-2009, 08:54 AM
Hi ukunubu. Perform a tag search (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/tags.php) on "tonewoods" and you'll see a few threads that will help you understand what different woods sound like.

07-31-2009, 08:58 AM
I don't know anything specifically about the ukes in question but there is info about different tonewoods in:

This thread (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7161&highlight=tonal)

and here. (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2404)

A big thing to consider is if the uke is made with solid wood or laminate, or at least a solid top. I think the OS ukes are laminates but not sure. I have a tenor Spruce top/maple side and back. It is a pretty nice instrument.

Edit: sesso beat me to the tonewood search.:bowdown:

07-31-2009, 10:22 AM
thanks seeso and dnewton2!
can i get your opinion on which of those ukes i should get??

07-31-2009, 10:26 AM
thanks seeso and dnewton2!
can i get your opinion on which of those ukes i should get??

You're welcome. Which should you get? Id go with the Kala. I always go with a solid top over a laminate.

07-31-2009, 10:31 AM
thanks! i was leaning more into the kala direction too
those threads gave me more understanding on spruce tops

thanks again guys :D

07-31-2009, 06:12 PM
I have the Kala, and really love it. It came with Aquilla strings, but I like it even better with Worth's Clear mediums!


07-31-2009, 10:17 PM
cool! can you post a video of you playing?? i'd like to hear it :D

08-01-2009, 01:57 AM
The Oscar Schmidt OU-5 is a nice ukulele, but as Seeso points out, it is a laminated body (including the top). To me, that is not such a big deal because I have so many ukes and most of mine are solid. I do love the tone of the OU-5LCE, though, and I love playing it through an acoustic amp or PA system.

The Kala is laminated back and sides, solid spruce top. That, in my opinion, is one of Kala's best ukes. I really like the look and feel of it.

The Oscar Schmidt spalted mango is is pretty and is also a laminated body. It is a soft-mellow voiced uke.

Tone-woods are more a factor with solid-wood instruments. The glue used in laminated ukes make them sound pretty much the way they did when they were new. There is not much seasoning with age.

08-01-2009, 02:13 AM
In general - and it varies with each brand, instrument, size, bracing, string type, finish and phase of the moon - spruce is at the bright end, mango at the mellow end, and the rest in between. Search tonewoods online to get some idea of the variability.

You can brighten or mellow a sound through the material in the saddle and bridge, too.

PS. The Kala would be my choice of the three (I had a nice Kala solid spruce top uke and it was loud and bright), but I also recommend you look at Mainland.

08-01-2009, 02:00 PM
thank you guys for all your replys! this has helped a lot
looks like the kala is the winner here haha

i have checked out a few mainland ukes... maybe for the future :D

08-01-2009, 04:21 PM
I'd recommend the Kala as well. I had a long neck (tenor scale) soprano that had solid spruce top and laminated mahogany back/sides and thought it was a pretty nice uke. Here's a review (http://gx9901ukes.blogspot.com/2009/02/kala-giraffe.html)I wrote for it.

08-01-2009, 09:44 PM
thanks for the review GX9901!

i just ordered it from MGM, should be in within the week! i'll be sure to let you know how it turns out :D

08-02-2009, 01:40 AM
I don't think you will be disappointed. I recently bought a Pono solid mango tenor that I had a few issues with and had to send back to Ko'olau (no worries - those guys are awesome to deal with). I swapped the mango for a solid spruce-top model (PTS-CE) and the sound is, in my humble opinion, much brighter and it projects better. The mango is nice, but a bit too mellow and low for me... almost muffled. I am sure you will love the KAla - good luck!