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View Full Version : Buy mahogony laminate or solid mahogony?



mds725
10-13-2009, 09:31 PM
I'm about to buy my first ukulele (from MGM at his eBay store) and I was wondering if there are any noticable differences between laminate and solid wood. I'm trying to decide between the Kala solid mahogany concert ukulele (KA-ASMC) and the Kala mahogany concert ukulele (KA-CG). I'm hoping to find a store in the SF bay area that carries both so I can compare them, but if you have any thoughts about laminate vs. solid wook, it would be helpful to me if you shared them. Thanks! (P.S. -- Great forum!) (P.P.S. -- Yeah, I spelled mahogany wrong in my heading. Doh!)

NewMexicoDawG
10-13-2009, 11:28 PM
I would go solid alllllll the way may cost u more but has a better sound:)

UKISOCIETY
10-14-2009, 02:16 AM
look at top right

http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh103/grumpycoyote/Ukebuying101draft.jpg

Uncle Rod Higuchi
10-14-2009, 05:37 AM
Great Chart Uki,

Anyone going to fill in the Buying Basics 101?

That would complete the project and make it even more useful.

Thanks,

UKISOCIETY
10-14-2009, 06:08 AM
Great Chart Uki,

Anyone going to fill in the Buying Basics 101?

That would complete the project and make it even more useful.

Thanks,

GrumpyCoyote is responsible for the chart, I believe.

spots
10-14-2009, 06:14 AM
I always found flow charts to be helpful:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2656/4011165587_f231fc3f9c_o.gif

kissing
10-14-2009, 06:42 AM
I think these buying guides could be improve to take into account having an electric pickup system :)

A laminate uke with a good pickup is a good combo IMO :)

mds725
10-14-2009, 07:55 AM
Wow! Thanks for all the responses and the great chart! So what kind of wood preferences do people have?

blueskyuke
10-14-2009, 08:16 AM
Great chart! I'm curious what kind of care a solid requires. I just received a solid wood soprano in the mail yesterday(waverly street #100). My other uke (KA-ST), I just keep in the case. Do I need to get a humidifier for the solid?

NewMexicoDawG
10-14-2009, 08:18 AM
Don't have a solid yet Thinking if I can I will order my Mainland MaHoG on Friday depending on if Money happens I have nothing at the moment I had a Kala Flame maple super soprano:D

ukantor
10-14-2009, 08:18 AM
A uke with laminated sides and back, but a solid front, can be an excellent choice. I prefer the sound of mahogany. My next purchase will be a Kala solid mahogany soprano. I compared two Kalas last weekend - koa back and sides with spruce front, and all mahogany. Both were lovely ukes, and I'd be delighted with either, but the warmer sound of the mahogany swayed me.

Ukantor.

NewMexicoDawG
10-14-2009, 08:18 AM
Great chart! I'm curious what kind of care a solid requires. I just received a solid wood soprano in the mail yesterday(waverly street #100). My other uke (KA-ST), I just keep in the case. Do I need to get a humidifier for the solid?

You most def need one:)

kissing
10-14-2009, 08:19 AM
Great chart! I'm curious what kind of care a solid requires. I just received a solid wood soprano in the mail yesterday(waverly street #100). My other uke (KA-ST), I just keep in the case. Do I need to get a humidifier for the solid?

A humidifier is generally recommended for ukuleles with solid wood :)
But it also depends on the humidity conditions of your area

NewMexicoDawG
10-14-2009, 08:27 AM
Yeah I live in New Mexico there is noooo Humidity here I need a in case and a in the wall outlet One to keep mine good.Leave your uke outta the sun and keep teh humidity right you will be ok needs to stay as close to 50 % OmG I almost sound pro now LoL:D

molokinirum
10-14-2009, 09:36 AM
I'm about to buy my first ukulele (from MGM at his eBay store) and I was wondering if there are any noticable differences between laminate and solid wood. I'm trying to decide between the Kala solid mahogany concert ukulele (KA-ASMC) and the Kala mahogany concert ukulele (KA-CG). I'm hoping to find a store in the SF bay area that carries both so I can compare them, but if you have any thoughts about laminate vs. solid wook, it would be helpful to me if you shared them. Thanks! (P.S. -- Great forum!) (P.P.S. -- Yeah, I spelled mahogany wrong in my heading. Doh!)

If you are serious about playing and plan on taking care of it then get the solid wood uke. If you are not sure if you will continue to play it or plan on traveling around with it and be outside then lean towards a laminate.
That flow chart was a great idea and it should really help you decide.
Also...the solid wood ukes will sound a bit better!!:) But that is my opinion!!
Good luck and have fun playing, that is what it is all about!!!:D:D
Another also...Look at the ukulele reviews threads (section) there are some excellent reviews on various ukes!!

buddhuu
10-14-2009, 10:13 AM
Opinions differ. Here's my :2cents: ...

All other things being more or less equal (similar size, design, strings etc etc etc) then there is a difference between the sounds from solid ukes and laminate. That difference is sometimes quite marked - not always.

If you play mostly unplugged or into a mic, and want the best volume and tone for your budget, if the quality of the sound is of overriding importance, then go for solid wood - so long as you're prepared to look after your uke.

A decent laminate uke may still have good tone and volume, but it'll be less fragile and more resistant to problems caused by environmental factors such as humidity.

If you play mostly amplified, and use a piezo pickup (which won't faithfully reproduce the acoustic sound anyway) then, IMHO, a laminate uke may be absolutely fine for you.

Personally I prefer solid woods in my acoustic instruments, but there's much to be said for laminates in many situations.

Horses for courses.

LazyPancakes
10-14-2009, 10:34 AM
Imo solid wood sounds better in most cases.

ive noticed through videos on youtube

mds725
10-15-2009, 09:33 AM
Thanks again to all for your input. I'm considering as a starter ukulele the Kala solid mahogany and the Kala solid acacia, both of which are available through MGM. I understand that the acacia ukulele's sound is a little brighter than the mahogany's sound, but the acacia has friction tuners and the mahogany one has open geared tuners, which I think I prefer. I'll let you know what I decide.

Valerie
10-15-2009, 01:34 PM
(?)

I've a question. In the chart *the first one with breakdown of sizes and such*

What is meant by "top" and "bottom" sound? (Ex: Cedar- good top-end... Mango limited bottom???)

~Valerie

kissing
10-15-2009, 08:13 PM
he's referring to what sound frequencies that certain woods generally emphasise. For instance, spruce tops generally produce a bright tone with more high-pitched tone than a mahogany top.