View Full Version : Who would a thunk it?

10-22-2009, 01:30 PM
I'm home alone this evening and decided to have a ukulele party. As I had an episode of UAS a while back, I'm now the proud caretaker of a Kala Acacia tenor and an old and somewhat battered Martin soprano. I play the Martin more than the Kala because it sits out on a stand while the Kala resides in its case, but tonight I popped open the case and played through my songbook on the Kala. I then grabbed the Martin to strum while I caught up on e-mail and a couple of you tube videos I have been wanting to watch. The first few strums on the Martin reminded me of something that I had forgotten - different instruments demand different playing styles. The Martin is much more responsive than the Kala, but the Kala takes better to enthusiastic strumming (perhaps it's as much a difference between the soprano and the tenor as it is the brands).

I really feel that I need to investigate this further. To do so will, of course, require a greater selection of ukes with which to make comparisons. Do you think I need to add a concert size to the set? Or perhaps I should study the effect of different woods? Or different brands made out of the same wood? Or older versus newer instruments?

So many questions, so many ukes, and so little time (and money).

10-22-2009, 01:44 PM
You mention that the vintage Martin is "more responsive" than the Kala. Could you elaborate for me?

Certainly a concert uke would add valuable data to your comparison/research.
The Kala is (of course) solid Acacia, the Martin is (I presume) solid mahogany. Perhaps a concert uke made of yet another tone wood would allow comparison and contrast based on both size AND type of wood.... ;)

Perhaps mango? Maybe koa? How about maple? Ah, sweet UAS....

10-22-2009, 02:15 PM
Concerts are my favorite size.

10-22-2009, 02:58 PM
I think you need to give yourself at least three more ukulele's, all different, and then play them and report back....then you can start with different strings!

Seriously, I also notice that each instrument has a different voice and different feel. I have a Vintage Martin Soprano, solid mahogany from the 40's, and a Vintage Favilla Soprano, solid mahogany also from the 40's both strung with Aquillas and they sound and feel significantly different from one another.

Treat yourself to another uke!

10-22-2009, 03:22 PM
Mailman - The Martin (soprano) takes a less enthusiastic strum to produce a good clear sound than the Kala (tenor), which requires a stronger strum to really bring out the tone. As I said before, it may be as much the size, and string tension, as anything else.

Ryan - Three more would be an absolute minimum. I'm thinking a full set of Kala acacia ukes is necessary just to determine the influence of size. Then a set of Martins to test the mahogany vs acacia hypothesis and another modern set to factor out the vintage vs modern issue then another vintage set to address the brand issue then ...

but I can still only play one at a time.

10-22-2009, 04:57 PM
Concerts are my favorite size.

Seconded. It's something about the fret spacing agreeing with my hands :)

10-22-2009, 05:02 PM

I'm lovin my concert uke

10-22-2009, 08:53 PM
Concerts are my favorite size.

I'm with you on that, Mike.

10-23-2009, 09:51 AM
Thay is the same logic I use on my other half on why I need lots o' Ukes.

I'm just glad the shop I go to has so many different one so I can keep a little money in my pocket!!!!

10-23-2009, 10:19 AM
You definitely need one, if not two, if not six of each size.