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View Full Version : Mahogany Lovers Unite!



luvdat
01-27-2010, 12:29 AM
Feel free to let your feelings flow about why you love (and even prefer?) mahogany ukuleles...

I'll flow later. Got to get ready for work.

micromue
01-27-2010, 01:06 AM
If I where Chuck Norris and had to pick one kind of ukes to exist solely on planet earth, it would be the humble mahogany soprano.

I love the barky sound when it is new and I love it even more, when the mahog has aged. It suits my style of strumming and produces exact the kind of percussive "vintage" sound I associate with ukulele style music. Of course that association is corresponding with my preference of the mainland style over the hawaiian style.

Unfortunately I am not Chuck Norris.:(

Plainsong
01-27-2010, 01:36 AM
I have some of the best koa I'm going to be able to afford IMO. I think my next big purchase has got to be mahogany. I know a custom uke would be more healthy for me, but when I think yummy mahogany, I start looking at Collings...:drool:

buddhuu
01-27-2010, 02:31 AM
I can't claim to prefer mahogany, as I have owned no other solid wood 'ukulele and those I have played that belong to other people have only played for a few minutes - not time enough to make a proper comparison.

What I can say is that my Kala mahogany tenor delivers the sound I have in my head when I think "'ukulele", and it is a sound that I like very much. It is loud enough for gigging with a mic and for modest acoustic pub sessions. It looks nice.

I am very happy with my mahogany uke, and I feel no strong need to get another 'ukulele. I can't think of anything I'd want one to do that my Kala doesn't do for me already.

euchre
01-27-2010, 03:05 AM
I can't claim to prefer mahogany, as I have owned no other solid wood 'ukulele and those I have played that belong to other people have only played for a few minutes - not time enough to make a proper comparison.

What I can say is that my Kala mahogany tenor delivers the sound I have in my head when I think "'ukulele", and it is a sound that I like very much. It looks nice.

I feel the same way about my mahogany Mainland soprano. I can see a concert model in my future.

kenikas
01-27-2010, 07:06 AM
I've only had my Melokia mohogany concert for a couple of weeks but I love the sound. It's my only solid uke so can only compare it to solids I've tried in the shop, a Kamaka and a Martin so not a very fair comparison.

Moller
01-27-2010, 07:26 AM
For me mahogany delivers the warmth i need in an instrument to inspire me.

casarole45
01-27-2010, 07:33 AM
It sounds beautiful on ukes/guitars, after messing around on trying different woods I always think.. doesn't sound as good as mahog. One thing I don't think anyones mentioned yet, you don't pay over the moon for mahogany. I've just been looking at ukes and Koa ukes seem to be really expensive compared to the same class mahogany ones, if you prefer the sound to mahog then that is surely a bonus!

raecarter
01-27-2010, 11:58 AM
I have a solid mahogany kala concert I love the mellow sound with worth browns o hated the aquilas! I'm gonna get the same kala but a tenor with electrics and put Golds on it!

SamD
01-27-2010, 12:18 PM
I have a solid mahogany kala concert I love the mellow sound with worth browns o hated the aquilas! I'm gonna get the same kala but a tenor with electrics and put Golds on it!

Also have a solid mahog Kala, although it's the soprano model. While I didn't "hate" the Aquila's that came on it, I do prefer it woth Worth BMs. The Aquilas were very loud and bright, but he BMs have a lovely soft sound that works nicely with the warmth of the wood. Haven't played anything else though, so like above posters I'm not in much of a position to comment!

luvdat
01-27-2010, 12:41 PM
Hands down the most underrated tonewood and at times slightly mislabeled even by its fans. The clarity of mahogany, treble and bass, is what first me hits me when I hit it. And it cuts though. "Mellow?" I can get that too because of its responsiveness to touch and attack. Aside from its responsiveness when playing it is particularly responsive to design and construction. This is a flaw, of course, when a manufacturer cheaps out, esp. in construction, but when things lighten up with this tonewood...it's bright AND warm...and can bark. Frankly I think the term "mellow" can get used somewhat euphemistically with regard to "alternative tonewoods" till it becomes at times almost meaningless, more like an explanation than a true description.

Whether as a quality laminate (are koa lams better?), part of a not-all-solid design or an all solid wood, mahogany's reputation as a workhorse sometimes mistakenly consigns it to the status of "functional" in some people's minds. For me mahogany is classic and simply great.

No amount of paternalism subtle or directly stated on the part of koa purists can convince me otherwise, since in the first place the most uniquely "Hawaiian" ukulele is less a factor of tonewood IMO than design: the pineapple ukulele.

The imagined "context" for mahogany's second-class status (for some) in 2010 is somewhat anachronistic. Why? Since the 1920's, the popularization of the ukulele can hardly be said to be primarily koan or even Hawaiian, and to state otherwise would be to deny historical facts including the names of many ukulele players and even virtuosos who were not Hawaiian, didn't play koa ukes and even such a Hawaiian great like Ohta-San who made much of his name and career playing a mahogany ukulele.

pdxuke
01-27-2010, 03:24 PM
I feel the same way about my mahogany Mainland soprano. I can see a concert model in my future.

I feel EXACTLY the same way. I would like a concert and a tenor, but only to play with sizes. I am absolutely happy with the Mahogany sound. And my Mainland.

luvdat
01-27-2010, 04:16 PM
I feel EXACTLY the same way. I would like a concert and a tenor, but only to play with sizes. I am absolutely happy with the Mahogany sound. And my Mainland.

IMO, mahogany can truly pull it off in all three sizes. Honestly, I could say that about koa. IMO, however "alternative tonewoods" even with pretty good construction...not convinced.

itsme
01-27-2010, 06:16 PM
I only own one uke, a mahogany tenor, and I like it a lot, although I have no frame of reference for ones made out of other woods. But I find myself kinda lusting after a more exotic looking wood.

When I voiced this concern to my husband, he said, "But the mahogany is a beatiful wood." I think he just doesn't want me buying any more ukes. :)

pdxuke
01-27-2010, 06:26 PM
I only own one uke, a mahogany tenor, and I like it a lot, although I have no frame of reference for ones made out of other woods. But I find myself kinda lusting after a more exotic looking wood.

When I voiced this concern to my husband, he said, "But the mahogany is a beatiful wood." I think he just doesn't want me buying any more ukes. :)

What brand is your tenor? Looks like the Kala but the image us too small...

itsme
01-27-2010, 08:00 PM
What brand is your tenor? Looks like the Kala but the image us too small...
Actually, it's a Cordoba LaPlaya Donavon Frankenreiter signature model. It's very well made and I'm happy with it.

http://www.cordobaguitars.com/104.php

Bluke
01-27-2010, 08:15 PM
Here's why I like Mahogany.......My latest from Collings....

http://www.machinearts.com/otherpics/UT1_1.jpg

http://www.machinearts.com/otherpics/UT1_3.jpg

http://www.machinearts.com/otherpics/UT1_7.jpg

http://www.machinearts.com/otherpics/UT1_8.jpg

casarole45
01-27-2010, 10:30 PM
I only own one uke, a mahogany tenor, and I like it a lot, although I have no frame of reference for ones made out of other woods. But I find myself kinda lusting after a more exotic looking wood.

When I voiced this concern to my husband, he said, "But the mahogany is a beatiful wood." I think he just doesn't want me buying any more ukes. :)

oo be very careful, I have bought with my eyes rather than my ears on beautiful looking woods and designs, they can be like sierens, draw you in but when you get them they can be eviiil.

luvdat
01-27-2010, 11:54 PM
Is it possible to form a group: Mahogany Lovers Unite?

ibking
01-28-2010, 05:22 AM
My mahogany Martin barks with Aquilas will go with the Browns next set. My Martin just turn 51 years old.

obxtom
01-28-2010, 09:43 AM
I chose a ko'olau mahogany tenor after researching tone woods, because I wanted a warmer and richer sound, rather than a brighter and better projected sound. I think I got what I wanted, though I'm pretty much a newbie with little/no experience with other woods. I thing my mahog tenor sounds great, even when I play it badly, which is whenever I play it! At least it draws me to play it often, which, it is my hope, will eventually lead to me playing it better. Glad to read others enjoy mellow mahog as well.

mealfrog41
01-28-2010, 09:54 AM
Actually, it's a Cordoba LaPlaya Donavon Frankenreiter signature model. It's very well made and I'm happy with it.

http://www.cordobaguitars.com/104.php

I didn't know Dovavon played uke, much less had his own sig model, that's awesome!