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luvdat
02-11-2010, 11:08 PM
Inclined these days to sopranos with a slight plunky mid thing going on...waiting on a Mango Flea...

Picked up a Dolphin for my wife yesterday and yeah some decent plunkiness in that plastic backed bargain.

Any other sopranos kind of middy (less banjoey) now that I'm down with the "plunk?"

micromue
02-11-2010, 11:28 PM
Bruekos are either loved or hated for their plunkiness. īspecially the all mahogany models and the cedar-topped ones deliver a lot of plunk.

Thumper
02-12-2010, 02:27 AM
A Flea is an excellent choice for the sound you're describing. Put Aquila strings on it to maximize the Plunk Factor. :)

Sambient
02-12-2010, 02:59 AM
I think all of mine have plunk.

csibona
02-12-2010, 06:08 AM
Plunk? What's Plunk?

luvdat
02-12-2010, 02:16 PM
Bruekos are either loved or hated for their plunkiness. īspecially the all mahogany models and the cedar-topped ones deliver a lot of plunk.

If I came across one this week, I'd probably buy one without hesitation. I wish they were still easily available here in the States.

luvdat
02-12-2010, 02:17 PM
Hopin' to have some of that plunk tomorrow...I even asked them at Flea to put on some Aquilas before shipping.

pdxuke
02-12-2010, 05:29 PM
I just got my SK35 from MGM, and it has the plunk. That good, mahogany plunk. I know you played the gloss in the City last weekend; this is the matte, and it has that great sound you are describing.

SweetWaterBlue
02-12-2010, 05:32 PM
I just got my SK35 from MGM, and it has the plunk. That good, mahogany plunk. I know you played the gloss in the City last weekend; this is the matte, and it has that great sound you are describing.

It looks like you have a real nice "plunk" collection going. You could do a great comparision with all of those soprano hogs. All you need now, is the gold standard (a Martin).

I had started a YT Playlist that I called "Oldstyle," but I may have to rename it "Plunk."

Plunk Playlist (http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=6646E55DDB11C229)

pdxuke
02-12-2010, 05:53 PM
It looks like you have a real nice "plunk" collection going. You could do a great comparision with all of those soprano hogs. All you need now, is the gold standard (a Martin).





Yes, ha ha, I've found my love, and it's mahogany. Someday, but probably not until school is out (teacher) I'll do a comparison. The Ohana and Mainland are clearly same factory, the sound is probably the same. But with the Mainland geared tuners and Ohana pegs I have the best of both worlds because I now have--uh--both worlds. The Jenny looks similar but it has this crazy, bright sound, that I actually like too, so it's a bit different.

The Martin would be nice--someday. My Sprucehouse SO has a very close look, and my guess is it sounds close too. I have to learn more about the different Martin SO eras before I even think of buying. Oh, and I also have to be willing to fork out several hundred bucks!

I'd like a matte finish mahogany pineapple to match the mango. Mainland, or maybe a mele--I think they have a matte finish.

PLUNK!

SweetWaterBlue
02-12-2010, 06:05 PM
Pdx - it sounds like we are on similar trajectories. I had heard a lot of bad things about the Mexican Martin SOs, but I got a chance to compare one to some more expensive ukes of other woods, and even the SO impressed me with its plunky mahogany sound. I can only imagine how much I would love a vintage Martin. I just picked up a used SK-35G, but don't have it yet (hurry mr postman). I wanted the matte finish, but that is what the guy had. I hope they didn't slather on too much gloss coat. BaronK69 has the gloss 35 , and his sounds pretty good on YT, as does Casserole45's. I can't wait to play it.

pdxuke
02-12-2010, 06:22 PM
Pdx - it sounds like we are on similar trajectories. I had heard a lot of bad things about the Mexican Martin SOs, but I got a chance to compare one to some more expensive ukes of other woods, and even the SO impressed me with its plunky mahogany sound. I can only imagine how much I would love a vintage Martin.

Speaking of Martin's and plunk, I think before I bought a vintage Martin, as the next step I'd like to play and consider the Kiwaya 4TS-4.
http://www.kiwayaukuleles.com/kiwayaukuleles_gallery/thumbs/Kiwaya%20KTS-4.jpg

SweetWaterBlue
02-12-2010, 06:48 PM
Speaking of Martin's and plunk, I think before I bought a vintage Martin, as the next step I'd like to play and consider the Kiwaya 4TS-4.


Yeah. Many of the people that have the Kiwaya seem to lean more to a different kind of music, but I have heard a few plunky old tunes on it, and it sounded great. For the money, its probably a way better deal than a vintage Martin. I have also heard that many of the old Martins are not the easiest things to tune and keep in tune.

luvdat
02-13-2010, 12:41 AM
Pdx - it sounds like we are on similar trajectories. I had heard a lot of bad things about the Mexican Martin SOs, but I got a chance to compare one to some more expensive ukes of other woods, and even the SO impressed me with its plunky mahogany sound. I can only imagine how much I would love a vintage Martin. I just picked up a used SK-35G, but don't have it yet (hurry mr postman). I wanted the matte finish, but that is what the guy had. I hope they didn't slather on too much gloss coat. BaronK69 has the gloss 35 , and his sounds pretty good on YT, as does Casserole45's. I can't wait to play it.

I played one S-O that was a dud (blurred plunk) another that was a loud plunkmeister. I think it's hit or miss with those things and the reviews vary.

And yeah, the right amount of gloss is nice, but too much ends up sounding faux bright and sluggish.

I played the 35G last week...I had to control myself not to buy it. A decent amount of plunk, but hey, this is a thread with Fleas and Bruekos.

To my ears, especially in UKISOCIETY'S (Alan's) review of that Mainland mahog soprano, there's a decent amount of plunk in that gloss finished? soprano. And Alan can blues/plunk it till the cows come home.

Theory: I think plunk also comes out of neck width, with a slightly wider neck yielding more plunk. The Mainlands have a 1.5"? neck width (Fleas 1.4") with that slight difference desirably (in this case) less compressed in strumming...and the frequently higher action (in the Mainland..can give you not just better tone (in a mahog) but a higher plunk factor. The Flea with a lower action still manages to succeed.

micromue
02-13-2010, 01:08 AM
Yeah. Many of the people that have the Kiwaya seem to lean more to a different kind of music, but I have heard a few plunky old tunes on it, and it sounded great. For the money, its probably a way better deal than a vintage Martin. I have also heard that many of the old Martins are not the easiest things to tune and keep in tune.

True. The Kiwaya has a lot of lovely plunkiness. I would really like to hear more oldstyle tunes on youtube sporting a KTS-4. Comparison to the vintage martins is rather difficult. I would prefer the Kiwaya over a 50īs Martin anytime, but never over a pre 40īs Martin in good condition. They can be really amazing! Also donīt forget about them vintage Gibsons! The classic Style 3 Soprano can be heads up to a martin regarding the plunk!

SweetWaterBlue
02-13-2010, 03:33 AM
True. The Kiwaya has a lot of lovely plunkiness. I would really like to hear more oldstyle tunes on youtube sporting a KTS-4. Comparison to the vintage martins is rather difficult. I would prefer the Kiwaya over a 50īs Martin anytime, but never over a pre 40īs Martin in good condition. They can be really amazing! Also donīt forget about them vintage Gibsons! The classic Style 3 Soprano can be heads up to a martin regarding the plunk!

What about the vintage Rutans? I hear they are copies of the Martins of the day, and some say that they are often just as good sounding. I have never heard one, so I don't know if that is true. I was watching this one (http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-1920s-Rutan-Soprano-Ukulele_W0QQitemZ230431885336QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH _DefaultDomain_0?hash=item35a6cf8818) with no cracks, but some fret problems. on Ebay last week, but didn't bid on it, since I don't know anything really about vintage instruments. It went for $165.

On his comparison video, Ken Middleton's sk-25 sounds as loud and plunky as his sk-35G. I played a Vineyard mahogany soprano and it didn't seem to have much projection compared to the Martin SO with Aquilas I was playing as a comparison. They guy who owned the SO said it was dull for months after he bought it. It could also have been strings. Supposedly the Vineyards and Ohanas are pretty much the same as an SK-35, 35G and Mainland soprano, without the binding, bling, and better tuners.

SweetWaterBlue
02-13-2010, 04:59 AM
Just another plug for the Kiwaya - here is MGM's description of it:


This is a brand New Kiwaya Made Soprano ukulele of Solid Mahogany made in the Martin style. Since Nakanishi has retired this is the closest thing I have found in the Martin type sound soprano with lots of volume bright and clear yet with full richness. Made by Shinji Takahashi and T's Guitars in japan these finely crafted ukuleles rival any vintage Martin in looks and sound without any of the issues old ukuleles have. Comes with deluxe Nickel plated Gotoh tuners and Oahu deluxe form fitted hardshell case. One strum and you will hear that magic tone. Here are the specs:

* Model Kiwaya KTS-4
* 21-1/2" OVERALL LENGTH
* 9-9/16" BODY LENGTH
* 5" UPPER BOUT
* 4" WAIST
* 6-1/2" LOWER BOUT
* Rosewood FRETBOARD
* 12 FRETS
* 1-3/8" AT NUT

Ken Middleton doesn't do a lot of 1920s-1940s style strumming, but here is a pretty good compilation of him finger picking the KTS4 and the tK-35G (the TK-35G is a tenor, or course):

http://kenmiddleton.co.uk/MP3.aspx

pdxuke
02-13-2010, 08:15 AM
I recall Ken doing a review just of the Kiwaya 4 on youtube, and had praise for it.

At any rate, it is now my Birthday wish, at the end of April.

ambrose
02-13-2010, 10:13 AM
Martin SO's can sound nice , but they don't sound anything like a vintage Martin. I have a late 40's Style 0 which plays like butter, stays in tune better than any other uke I've played and sounds wonderful. The main difference between my Martin and some of the better Martin style mahogany Chinese ukes I've played, is that the Martin has a lot more headroom. It can be played very quietly and sound full and rich, and if you dig in it comes alive. I've heard 3 or 4 Style 0's and Style 1's from different era's and they all sounded pretty similar. Kiwaya's are nice as well but if you want a real Style 0 replica a Ken Timms is hard to beat.

pdxuke
02-13-2010, 12:06 PM
Martin SO's can sound nice , but they don't sound anything like a vintage Martin. I have a late 40's Style 0 which plays like butter, stays in tune better than any other uke I've played and sounds wonderful. The main difference between my Martin and some of the better Martin style mahogany Chinese ukes I've played, is that the Martin has a lot more headroom. It can be played very quietly and sound full and rich, and if you dig in it comes alive. I've heard 3 or 4 Style 0's and Style 1's from different era's and they all sounded pretty similar. Kiwaya's are nice as well but if you want a real Style 0 replica a Ken Timms is hard to beat.

I'm not sure I understand the term, "headroom." Would you explain?

ambrose
02-13-2010, 01:34 PM
Headroom is often used to describe the dynamic range of an instrument. It's probably incorrect terminology, I see it used to describe audio equipment as well. In this case I mean that the uke responds well at different volumes, and seems to have an extra kick when played loud. So it's not just louder, like some ukes that i've played, it's also chunkier and more percussive, but without losing any of the sweetness and sustain that's exhibited when played at a quieter level. Most of the other ukes I've played including my very plunky sounding old Koa Kumalae sound the same at different volume levels. Just louder or quieter.

I'm mostly a drummer and have noticed this in certain snare drums. Especially ones made of solid wood, not ply, which is the norm. They seem to be crisp and responsive when played softly and when played harder they add another level of sonic complexity. I suppose it's an overtone thing happening when the shell vibrates. This is not necessarily a good thing though. It means that the instrument is harder to control, you're strumming (or drumming) has to be very consistent to have a consistent sound.

That's why a lot of studio musicians like to record with instruments - guitars, drums, cymbals that might seem kind of one dimensional when played in person but record well. They are easier to control. To go off on a bit of a tangent, in the early 1980's Yamaha came out with a drumset called the Recording Custom kit. It was designed for studio recording and was used by famous session drummer Steve Gadd. The shells were Birch ply and on the thick side. Everything was computer engineered and they became very popular in studios. Still are. I played on quite a few of these kits over the years and they all sounded the same and responded the same. Boring perhaps, but for someone like Steve Gadd who would do lots of sessions they were a useful tool. He didn't have to fiddle with tuning and setup. Just play. Usually brilliantly.

luvdat
02-13-2010, 01:44 PM
Just to add: things distort. With more headroom in a ukulele, whether soft or strongly played, things hold up...

definitely applies to amps as well across a range of dB's/volume...