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haolejohn
01-26-2010, 05:32 PM
So we (SEUkers West chapter:)) had our 2nd bi-weekly meet-up tonight at the Hiram Starbucks (maybe the greatest baristas that starbucks has) and UkeRepublic obviously brought some of his goods. After passing our ukes around I decided to spend the night playing an ohana zebrawood soprano. I let one of my students, who showed up, play my wife's koaloha long neck soprano and I picked and s trummed that zebra. I know a lot of us are interested in these zebrawood ukes because they are absolutely beautiful but the sound has a reputation of being suspect. After spending about an hour with this uke I noticed two things. First the looks are stunning. I think zebrawood might be prettier than koa. Second is that if you were wondering what the sound is like I am going to attempt to tell you. To my untrained and sometimes tone deaf ears, i think that the zebrawood is similiar to koa but it is brighter. I'm not sure if that makes sense but that is the best i can do. So...If you like bright sounding ukes, you might want to give these babies a try.



BTW-If you can teach a kid to play an ukulele. It will make you smile.

maclay
01-26-2010, 05:56 PM
i would agree, zebrawood ukes look and sound great. i have one with a spruce top.

Ken Middleton
01-26-2010, 08:24 PM
I have noticed that people either love the looks of zebrawood, or hate it. Most love it.

Ohana now has a concert version. We had it on display at NAMM.

SweetWaterBlue
01-26-2010, 08:32 PM
As I posted elsewhere, I have to agree with Haolejohn - I loved the sound of the Ohana zebrawood. I am not one that likes the look of it a whole lot, but the sound totally blew me away. I think I spent almost as much time playing it as Haolejohn's sweet little koa Koaloha soprano. I thought the zebra sounded a bit brighter than the cedar top CK-50G UkeRepublic brought, and I discovered I like the thinner neck on the 25's better. UkeRepublic said he will try to bring a sold body mahogany soprano to compare it to next meeting. A great time was had by all. Thanks for organizing it john.

haolejohn
01-27-2010, 02:23 AM
As I posted elsewhere, I have to agree with Haolejohn - I loved the sound of the Ohana zebrawood. I am not one that likes the look of it a whole lot, but the sound totally blew me away. I think I spent almost as much time playing it as Haolejohn's sweet little koa Koaloha soprano. I thought the zebra sounded a bit brighter than the cedar top CK-50G UkeRepublic brought, and I discovered I like the thinner neck on the 25's better. UkeRepublic said he will try to bring a sold body mahogany soprano to compare it to next meeting. A great time was had by all. Thanks for organizing it john.

Not sure if I'd call that organizing but it was fun to hang out with everyone.

iDavid
01-27-2010, 03:00 AM
I recently bought a soprano Zebra wood from Uke Republic and the sound is quite full. I also have a Bushman Mahogany soprano in the house and the Zebra is head and shoulders above, IMO.

It is bright, but not overly and it has plenty of warmth. It is silly how inexpensive these Ukes are, huge bang for the buck. However, I do not dig the friction tuners. They appear to be quality friction tuner, but are a pain. I bought a Mainland Mahogany Tenor at the same time with geared tuners and it is SOOOOO much easy to tune, it just isn't funny.

The built qualtiy on the Zebra is great, no extra glue inside and the outside is perfect. I love the look, and sound... I need to figure out a better option for the tuners.

david

jvann
01-27-2010, 04:36 AM
I bought the Ohana Zebrawood this past summer and I've been very satisfied with it. Sounds great with the Aquilas and the build quality is very good. The only thing that bugs me is that the lines of the Zebrawood are a little angled which gives the optical illusion that the neck is not mounted straight. I've measured it several times and it really is mounted correctly, so that's just my own obsessiveness. Hard to beat for the price and people who see it always comment on the wood grain and want to know what it is.

Uke Republic
01-27-2010, 04:44 AM
I'm glad everyone liked the Zebra. I should have the first Ohana concert Zebra in next week. I've also heard it's tone also compared to rosewood and cherry. Next week a solid cherry soprano by LoPrinzi comes in so maybe we can do a sound comparison.
Great fun last night!

SweetWaterBlue
01-27-2010, 05:20 AM
Juding from this article, a LoPrinzi might be just a touch outside my range, but it sure would be fun to hear on in person.

http://www.sptimes.com/2002/01/21/Floridian/The_Duke_of_Uke.shtml

Ahnko Honu
01-27-2010, 05:46 AM
I have noticed that people either love the looks of zebrawood, or hate it. Most love it.

Ohana now has a concert version. We had it on display at NAMM.

Please beg Ohana to make a zebrawood pineapple, please?

Paul December
01-27-2010, 05:51 AM
how would you rate the following, Most Bright to Least:

Zebra
Cedar
Koa
Spruce

I've intentionally left off Mahogany, and any other wood I haven't personally heard. Yes, I understand this can change manufacturer to manufacturer.

SweetWaterBlue
01-27-2010, 06:12 AM
Paul. I think it isn't really possible to give meaningful results, unless you do use comparable sizes, strings, player, and recording setup. That said, I saw this Ken Middleton video of 6 Ohana sopranos (cedar, mahogany, zebrawood, and even a laminate, but no koa) that is about as close as you can probably get without being there and playing them yourself. MGM has a very good soprano koa vs mahogany video on YouTube. See my previous comment on koa vs zebrawood, and realize I am fairly new to the uke game so my tastes and discernment are still developing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YatHdcIy6A

Uke Republic
01-29-2010, 03:19 PM
Please beg Ohana to make a zebrawood pineapple, please?

Begged the kind Louis Wu of Ohana about a Zebra pineapple and he said he would consider it! Hooray! Ahnko I'm down witcha on the pina Zebra. I'll keep ya's posted on the progress. Hey saw you turned 50. Don't think of it as fifty but that your 1/2 way to 100! 2/3 way to 75! You were 25 25 years ago. 5 years from an AARP card. See it's a positive thang:) I will always be 29

Ahnko Honu
01-29-2010, 04:23 PM
Well I'm hoping 1/5 of the way to 500. PLEASE Keep me posted on any progress in the zebra pineapple department. Mahalo Mike!

dkcrown
01-29-2010, 04:29 PM
Begged the kind Louis Wu of Ohana about a Zebra pineapple and he said he would consider it! Hooray! Ahnko I'm down witcha on the pina Zebra. I'll keep ya's posted on the progress. Hey saw you turned 50. Don't think of it as fifty but that your 1/2 way to 100! 2/3 way to 75! You were 25 25 years ago. 5 years from an AARP card. See it's a positive thang:) I will always be 29

Having passed the half century mark over a year ago, my AARP card arrived in the mail a week BEFORE I turned fifty. Ouch! I just couldn't bring myself to keep it and join up. The cold hard reality is just that. On the plus side, (which there are many), I decided to do something different and teach myself how to play the uke. One of the best decisions of my life. Welcome to the club, Ahnko

iDavid
01-29-2010, 07:28 PM
concert pinapple zebra with quality geared tuners and I am so THERE!

ichadwick
01-30-2010, 06:01 AM
...If you like bright sounding ukes, you might want to give these babies a try.
I bought one, mostly for the looks. As nice as it is - yes, it is bright and cheerful sounding - it's a wall hanger for me, because I just can't warm up (or down) to soprano. Would that they amde a tenor scale in that wood! Mine's for sale, just because I have too many wall hangers.

ichadwick
01-30-2010, 06:08 AM
[QUOTE=Paul December;308801
Zebra
Cedar
Koa
Spruce
[/QUOTE]
Spruce and cedar at the top for brightness. Spruce generally has better width in its range and more high-end, cedar is a little more mid-tone.
Spruce has the fullness of range that makes it ideal for guitars, mandolins and ukes.

Koa and Zebra next. Since I've only heard a zebra soprano, I can't say it's brighter than a koa (I've only heard tenors).

All of it depends on a dozen things though, including thickness of wood, area of the sound board, size of the soundhole, thickness of the finish, bracing, type of strings, humidity of the room, phase of the moon...