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View Full Version : Here's my new MP Negra Uke custom tenor!!



fumanshu
05-14-2010, 08:08 AM
Hi guys! I just want to drop by to show what I just reveived from MP ukulele (http://mpukuleles.com/) today. I've owned already a lot of ukes and custom from Koaloha, Kanilea, Kamaka, Pahu Kani, etc......but I always come back to Mike Pereira's uke as my main uke.... I don't know, I just love the way it feels and the tone of them...

So, here's my latest one from him....I wanted something different from all koa stuff. So I went for a Engelmann Spruce top combined with Madagascar Rosewood for back and sides.

I really like the Mad Rosewood headstock that Mike did...it change a lot from ebony headstock like the previous I've had...

I just love Madagascar Rosewood look and sound!!!!!!

Anyway, hope you enjoy the pics....in real it's even more amazing!!!


Thanks!!!

http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c212/bao1975/mpwhole.jpg


http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c212/bao1975/mpbackcloseup.jpg


http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c212/bao1975/mpheadstock.jpg


http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c212/bao1975/mpsides.jpg

Rzr
05-14-2010, 08:10 AM
Beautiful!

SailQwest
05-14-2010, 08:13 AM
Gorgeous! Spruce/Rosewood is my favorite. :love:

fumanshu
05-14-2010, 08:32 AM
SailQwest wrote:
Gorgeous! Spruce/Rosewood is my favorite.

I really spruce top combined with whatever....I just have enough all koa ukes that I'm kind of tiredof all koa sound.... But my preference is really spruce top ukes....

thanks

StereoJoker
05-14-2010, 11:53 AM
Agh all these customs are so, so purty! That Madagascar rosewood looks absolutely amazing -- how would you describe the sound of that particular combo? Any different from spruce/rosewood? (Or is there a sound sample lying about?)

fumanshu
05-14-2010, 12:49 PM
StereoJoker wrote:
Agh all these customs are so, so purty! That Madagascar rosewood looks absolutely amazing -- how would you describe the sound of that particular combo? Any different from spruce/rosewood?

Mad Rosewood definitely looks good!!! I was looking for Brazilian Rosewood but Mike doesn't have any so I choose Mad Rosewood that I think is probably the closest to the Brazilian's one.

I'm still breaking up the uke so it's hard for me to compare to my other MP ukes. But so far I can compare it to my other MP Sitka Spruce top-koa back and sides.

I can say that Madagascar Rosewood definitely sounds rounder and has more bottom end to the sound compare to koa. As far as Sitka vs Engelmann, I can say that Sitka has more projection than Engelmann but maybe a less articulate sound. So it's very strong and powerfull for strumming but for more picking stuff, I prefer Engelmann spruce.

So to sum things all, I can say that my Mp Sitka spruce top-koa back and sides is projecting more but my new Engelmann Spruce top-Madagascar Rosewood has a rounder and fuller sound and is more articulate and maybe more precise when comes the time to fingerpick.

I think both combos are very nice it's only a question of what you prefer and what you want to do with your uke.......and that's why I have UAS too!!!!! hahaahah!! :)

thanks

GVlog
05-14-2010, 12:59 PM
Whoa! Madagascar Rosewood! At first glance I thought it might be dark-stained Zirocote. That's one beautiful ukulele!

It looks like it has a larger plantilla than the typical tenor. It looks more rounded from the photos; almost like a guitar.

EDIT: I checked Mike's website. He does use a larger plantilla. That probably adds to the tone. :) Nice choice.

fumanshu
05-14-2010, 01:45 PM
GVlog wrote:
Whoa! Madagascar Rosewood! At first glance I thought it might be dark-stained Zirocote. That's one beautiful ukulele!

It looks like it has a larger plantilla than the typical tenor. It looks more rounded from the photos; almost like a guitar.

EDIT: I checked Mike's website. He does use a larger plantilla. That probably adds to the tone. Nice choice.


Thanks GV. Mike has a few sets of Madagascar Rosewood and send to me the pics so I choose the set I wanted and I choose this set...You can see the set at the beginning:

http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c212/bao1975/mprosewood.jpg

And this is before finish coating:

http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c212/bao1975/mpbacktop-1.jpg

I think I made a good choice with that set because results are very nice!!!

As for the plantilla, Mike's uke has definitely a deeper body and I think he's doing it for all his uke sizes. Even my concert has a deep body like that.

What I really about his uke is that where ever you play on the fretboard and this even at fret 12-13, etc... you still get lots of volume and intonation is always perfect. My Koalohas and Kanilea don't have that volume and precise sound at the 12th and up fret for sure and I consider that I own a nice Koalohas and kanilea!!!

veep
05-14-2010, 01:49 PM
BeautifulBeautiful!

MPereira
05-14-2010, 06:13 PM
Thanks Bao, I appreciate the kind words. You always have a good eye for tonewoods. Also, thanks to everyone else for your kind comments on the uke.
Mike

DeG
05-14-2010, 07:00 PM
Everyone is commenting on the wood, which is remarkable for sure, but what about those lines? Rubenesque comes to mind. Very shapely, a work of art.

pulelehua
05-14-2010, 10:57 PM
Wow. Had never heard of Mike Pereira. I was really amazed to see how reasonable his prices are on the website. I noticed he uses redwood a lot. Any idea what the sounds quality is like from that? As a native Californian, I have a particular love of redwood, but have never heard it in an instrument.

(I'm actually a bit of a saddo. Any time I see a redwood tree in England, I go charging at it like it's going to run back toward me in slow motion, arms outstretched.)

xjumper
05-15-2010, 02:31 AM
I have two of Mike's ukulele's, a rosewood/cedar baritone and a red wood topped baritone pineapple. They both are incredible instruments. As I said in a previous post, they are tone monsters. Very simply, they are the best ukulele's I've ever played.

KevinV
05-15-2010, 02:41 AM
That is a very beautiful ukulele. I'd love to hear it. Why though is there a "thumbs down" icon on the heading of the thread?

fumanshu
05-15-2010, 02:43 AM
pulelehua wrote:
Wow. Had never heard of Mike Pereira. I was really amazed to see how reasonable his prices are on the website. I noticed he uses redwood a lot. Any idea what the sounds quality is like from that? As a native Californian, I have a particular love of redwood, but have never heard it in an instrument.

Hi pulelehua! You never heard of Mike...Well I think it worth that you take a look at his work. He's very affordable too!!!
I've been commissioning him for my ukes for a while now... Actually he build for me already 4 ukes!!!! I have to say that I like them all.

I noticed that his ukes really shines after a good breaking time though. At the beginning, everything is there but once you get it and played with it for a while and find the good strings combo, it's there that you realized the potential of his ukes. I would say that it ukes from K's company most of the time sound good right away but don't open up that much. Mike's ukes do open up with time.....Well after 4 ukes from him...I start to know them better!!

As for redwood, Mike really like redwood, I think it's actually one if not his favorite tonewood for soundboard. My first custom uke from him was a combo of Redwood with Padauk back and sides.

http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c212/bao1975/DSC03540-correct.jpg


http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c212/bao1975/DSC03545-back.jpg

I really like that combo too!!!! Maybe it sounds a little but warmer than spruce top but the sound is still very crisp. The look of Redwood with Padauk is very cool too!!!

By the way, Padauk is an amazing wood for back and sides.....It makes very boomy and loud ukes...so if you want good projection, I think it worth to consider the redwood-padauk combo.

I think the Sitka spruce-top with Padauk must be a very good combo too...

Anyway, if you have any questions, Mike is very open and very kind so ask whatever, he will answer to you!!

thanks

GVlog
05-15-2010, 04:37 AM
Mike has a few sets of Madagascar Rosewood and send to me the pics so I choose the set I wanted and I choose this set...
Now that's a good luthier who collaborates with his customer!




http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c212/bao1975/mpbacktop-1.jpg
Thanks for that photo. The size and shape of the lower bout suggests that the top would have a larger active area than a typical ukulele. Combine that with a deeper body for added resonance and that should produce a really interesting tone.

Make sure you share any recordings that you might have. :)

fumanshu
05-15-2010, 05:03 AM
GVlog wrote:
Now that's a good luthier who collaborates with his customer!

Seriously, Mike gives really good service. It's really nice to be able to see what the luthier has in stock and even more nice when you can pick or choose what you want.. But for someone who is new to all that, Mike can help a lot too.



Thanks for that photo. The size and shape of the lower bout suggests that the top would have a larger active area than a typical ukulele. Combine that with a deeper body for added resonance and that should produce a really interesting tone.

Make sure you share any recordings that you might have.

I'm a true believer that the larger of the soundboard can play a significant role in how the sound will resonate. I'm saying since I do own a Super Tenor Kanilea and it's really clear that the larger bout on it really brings something to the tone and projection of the uke.

I'll try one of these day to do a clip to compare a few tenor ukes that I own.

thanks

happyslappysoong
05-15-2010, 05:04 AM
Amazing grain.

SweetWaterBlue
05-15-2010, 05:08 AM
Here's a nice interview with Mike:

http://ukulelereview.com/2008/10/28/interview-with-mike-pereira-of-mp-ukuleles/

It sounds like he probably built a lot of the necks some of you are playing.

MPereira
05-15-2010, 05:29 AM
KevinV, the thumbs down icon appeared after my last reply... it's something I think I unintentionally did.

fumanshu
05-15-2010, 05:36 AM
MPereira wrote:
KevinV, the thumbs down icon appeared after my last reply... it's something I think I unintentionally did.


Hey nice to see you on the UU forum Mike!!!! So it was you that put that thumbs down!!!! I was looking to see if it was me or why it is always there.....so now I know where it comes from!!!! hahahahahah!!!!!

Pippin
05-15-2010, 06:02 AM
That really is a beautiful grain pattern.

redheadedali
05-15-2010, 07:12 AM
So pretty!

Deets
05-15-2010, 08:52 AM
Goodness, that is BEAUTIFUL.

GVlog
05-15-2010, 01:11 PM
Mike, you're in Shandon, eh?

Maybe I should swing by if I drive down to San Luis Obispo this summer. You do ukes in Cocobolo or Zirocote?

MPereira
05-15-2010, 02:43 PM
Hey GVlog, Yes I'm in Shandon...I'm suprised you know where Shandon is. There's a lot of people who live in San Luis county who never heard of Shandon, we are a very small town. Please do drop me an e-mail through my website or call if you come down, I'd be glad to show you around the shop and I can see the woods I have in stock here.

I have used Cocobolo for bindings, trim and bridges, but not yet for back and sides. But like Madagascar, it is another great alternative to Brazilian Rosewood. Zirocote I have not yet used...one day I will find a good stash of it :)

GVlog
05-15-2010, 03:25 PM
Zirocote I have not yet used...one day I will find a good stash of it :)

Something with a "landscape" like this. Boo-yah!!

http://nathanaeliversen.com/music/Ziricote%20Back%20%20low%20res.jpg

deach
05-16-2010, 01:53 AM
What is "negra"?

fumanshu
05-16-2010, 02:10 AM
deach wrote:
What is "negra"?

Hi deach! Just to put you in the context, when I commission Mike for a new custom, I wanted a uke for playing mostly flamenco. And in the flamenco guitar world, there's 2 types of guitar that are mostly used.

First is the Blanca, which is spruce top with Cypress back and sides. It can be recognized by the all light ''yellow'' tint of the whole guitar.

Then there's the Negra, which is a combo of spruce top with a darker Brazilian Rosewood, Indian Rosewood or Madagascar Rosewood, ect...for back and sides. So it was called like that because of the mix of wood that we're used.

So that's where the name come from and it's what it was refered too.

And since I didn't want a uke with spruce top with Cypress back and sides because it would be way too bright for my ears, I wanted a more balance and mellow tone which is the spruce-Mad Rosewood gives me.


Thanks

ukecantdothat
05-16-2010, 02:14 PM
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm... Madagascar... :nana:

fumanshu
05-17-2010, 03:06 AM
GVlog wrote:
Something with a "landscape" like this. Boo-yah!!

Woahhhh!!!! This is sooo amazing!!!!!!!! Is this a uke or a guitar?? Who's the builder of this one...man it's insane how nice it is....just wondering how does it sounds like!

thanks

GVlog
05-17-2010, 03:44 AM
Is this a uke or a guitar?? Who's the builder of this one...man it's insane how nice it is....just wondering how does it sounds like!
It's a guitar and I don't know who the builder is. But that's a sample of why zirocote is preferred both for its tone and looks (if you can find good pieces).

fumanshu
05-17-2010, 07:37 AM
GVlog wrote:
It's a guitar and I don't know who the builder is. But that's a sample of why zirocote is preferred both for its tone and looks (if you can find good pieces).

That's what I thought too!!! But if you ever find a uke luthier that build with Ziricote, let me know, I would like to hear and see it!!!

As for my Engelmann- Madagascar Rosewood, the more I play with it, the more I recognize that reverbery kind of sound associated with rosewood. She's very resonant too....seems that sound will last forever!!!

But as with all MP ukes, you have to find the perfect match for strings to get the full potential of the instrument. You really need strings that can drive properly his ukes.

GVlog
05-17-2010, 07:55 AM
But if you ever find a uke luthier that build with Ziricote, let me know, I would like to hear and see it!!!
Mike Pereira said he was looking for material so give him some time. It's not easy to find woods with those wonderful shade variations and "southwest landscape" pattern. :)

Mike DaSilva made one but I don't feel that he exploited the wood's texture to full visual potential.

http://ukulelereview.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/dasilva-3.jpg

fumanshu
05-17-2010, 08:34 AM
GVlog wrote:
Mike Pereira said he was looking for material so give him some time. It's not easy to find woods with those wonderful shade variations and "southwest landscape" pattern.

Mike DaSilva made one but I don't feel that he exploited the wood's texture to full visual potential.


If Mike is working on this, I would wait for Mike since I'm just used to the way he's working.

I've seen that Dasilva one, it's nice but like you said, I think the texture is not out of this world like the one you showed to me!!! I think I prefer my MP better!! :)

I'm just wondering how Ziricote sounds like compare to Madagascar or Brazilian Rosewood....

I would like to see it paired with a spanish cypress top....Mike has some spanish cypress that he used as top for a flamenco uke for one of his customer and it seems to be very loud!!!!

GVlog
05-17-2010, 09:03 AM
I'm just wondering how Ziricote sounds like compare to Madagascar or Brazilian Rosewood....
According to luthiers that I've spoken to, they're comparable but much will depend on the quality of the Zircote. I think it's considered an alternative tonewood because some builders have found it harder to work with. Some builders say that Ziricote is more brittle so greater care or skill is required when building with it. Cocobolo is supposed to be as good as Brazilian Rosewood (and some say better) but it's an oily wood to work with and I know two luthiers who are allergic to its dust.

Never heard of cypress being used for a top; only the sides and back. I've read that redwood can be used for a top.

My top wood preference still tends to be spruce (Adirondack, German or Engelmann in that order) but tonal differences in all top woods can be offset by the skill of the luthier.

jehicks87
06-25-2010, 08:18 AM
According to luthiers that I've spoken to, they're comparable but much will depend on the quality of the Zircote. I think it's considered an alternative tonewood because some builders have found it harder to work with. Some builders say that Ziricote is more brittle so greater care or skill is required when building with it. Cocobolo is supposed to be as good as Brazilian Rosewood (and some say better) but it's an oily wood to work with and I know two luthiers who are allergic to its dust.

From the bit of research I've done, I came across similar claims about Zircote being brittle.

Hey Foo, waaaay nice uke man! And thanks again for pointing me in Mike's direction!

mm stan
06-25-2010, 12:29 PM
StereoJoker wrote:

Mad Rosewood definitely looks good!!! I was looking for Brazilian Rosewood but Mike doesn't have any so I choose Mad Rosewood that I think is probably the closest to the Brazilian's one.

I'm still breaking up the uke so it's hard for me to compare to my other MP ukes. But so far I can compare it to my other MP Sitka Spruce top-koa back and sides.

I can say that Madagascar Rosewood definitely sounds rounder and has more bottom end to the sound compare to koa. As far as Sitka vs Engelmann, I can say that Sitka has more projection than Engelmann but maybe a less articulate sound. So it's very strong and powerfull for strumming but for more picking stuff, I prefer Engelmann spruce.

So to sum things all, I can say that my Mp Sitka spruce top-koa back and sides is projecting more but my new Engelmann Spruce top-Madagascar Rosewood has a rounder and fuller sound and is more articulate and maybe more precise when comes the time to fingerpick.

I think both combos are very nice it's only a question of what you prefer and what you want to do with your uke.......and that's why I have UAS too!!!!! hahaahah!! :)

thanks
Aloha Fumanshu,
That looks like an awesome ukulele, would you say it it has a well balanced tone with
that combination of woods, deep rich tones crisp highs and good mid range. BTW-
it looks like it is one piece top and back? is it??? Anyways congrats on your new uke...
After it breaks in , let us know how it turns out.....

Nuprin
06-25-2010, 01:23 PM
Thanks jehicks87 for reviving this thread! I just posted a thread about how I'm looking for a uke with a wood rosette and slotted headstock and lo and behold, this thread shows up! From what I've heard about MP Ukes, the prices are very, very reasonable. I was originally thinking I couldn't afford another custom ukulele but, if what I've heard about this company is correct, I might be able to grab out of these! Now I'm excited...gonna e-mail Mike now!

fumanshu
06-25-2010, 02:57 PM
mm stan wrote:
Aloha Fumanshu,
That looks like an awesome ukulele, would you say it it has a well balanced tone with
that combination of woods, deep rich tones crisp highs and good mid range. BTW-
it looks like it is one piece top and back? is it??? Anyways congrats on your new uke...
After it breaks in , let us know how it turns out.....

Hi mm..., I would say that this wood combo might now be as loud as my Sitka spruce top-koa back and sides but I think the sound is richer. I would say that it's like that I have a kind of reverb in each of my sound. It's quite hard to describe. I think the Madagascar Rosewood give that kind of reverb to the sound.

I would say that it sounds maybe a little bit like the Ebony Macassar tonewood which is also not very loud but it has deep sound with lots of reverberation to the sound.

I have to say that with time, I prefer much more a uke with a rich and complex sound than a uke that is very loud and only has only crispy highs.

I think I'm kind of sell out to the Rosewood family!!!

I also own a custom tenor that has Brazilian Rosewood and again, sound is very deep and round!!

But what I do know is that my MP Negra will sound even better with time just like my 3 other MP customs that I own. Mike's uke really open up after quite a long time of playing and it's only then that you can really appreciate it's true virtue. So just play with the uke and you will see, you won't recognize your uke!!

thanks

jehicks87
06-26-2010, 06:28 AM
Thanks jehicks87 for reviving this thread! I just posted a thread about how I'm looking for a uke with a wood rosette and slotted headstock and lo and behold, this thread shows up! From what I've heard about MP Ukes, the prices are very, very reasonable. I was originally thinking I couldn't afford another custom ukulele but, if what I've heard about this company is correct, I might be able to grab out of these! Now I'm excited...gonna e-mail Mike now!

Nuprin, absolutely no problem. I believe you commented a few times on my other thread, correct?

Mike's prices are incredibly reasonable. Also, if you check out his "instruments for sale" page, you can pick up a beautiful hand-made uke for even cheaper than his prices for a custom-built instrument. So far I think he only has concerts on there, but they are all really nice-looking. Also, I do not think you could find a better guy to work with. He is just such a personable guy in his e-mails and he really really goes out of his way to make sure you will be happy with the outcome.

All in all, I am deffinately an MP fan now. I just can't wait to get my hands on my baby girl! :D

SnakeOiler
06-26-2010, 10:43 AM
GVlog wrote:
What I really about his uke is that where ever you play on the fretboard and this even at fret 12-13, etc... you still get lots of volume and intonation is always perfect.

I have to agree, I love the way chords onmy MP sound so good all the way up the neck. No dead notes.

franulele
06-26-2010, 11:42 AM
Beautiful ukulele Bao!

Nuprin
06-26-2010, 12:14 PM
Nuprin, absolutely no problem. I believe you commented a few times on my other thread, correct?

Mike's prices are incredibly reasonable. Also, if you check out his "instruments for sale" page, you can pick up a beautiful hand-made uke for even cheaper than his prices for a custom-built instrument. So far I think he only has concerts on there, but they are all really nice-looking. Also, I do not think you could find a better guy to work with. He is just such a personable guy in his e-mails and he really really goes out of his way to make sure you will be happy with the outcome.

All in all, I am deffinately an MP fan now. I just can't wait to get my hands on my baby girl! :D

After a couple of pm's from member fumanshu (who owns a number of MP ukes) I shot Mike an email last night with what I'm looking for. He got back to me today and I'm going to pull the trigger...more than I originally was planning on spending but still an amazing price for a custom uke! Also he mentioned it would be ready by the end of August...2 months for a custom??? Amazing! I'm really excited about this!

fumanshu
06-26-2010, 12:54 PM
Hey Nuprin! Congrats on your decision, I don't think you will regret, well I never regret any of the customs that I get from him and I own 4!!! One day, I think I'll ask him to be my sponsor one day if my club become as popular as the Langley Ensemble....I know I'm dreaming since they are really good!!!!!!! hahahahah!!!

But take it easy when you will receive it, take your time to play with it to get used to Mike's sound and uke. It's really different from other more traditional uke such as Koaloha, kanilea, G-String... It's not the same kind of sound at all.
Also, you will have to find the perfect strings for his uke.You will realize that different strings react a lot differently with his uke.

I never play with his uke with the strings that he's strung with when he ship to me. I find that they are not driving enough his soundboard and consequently not gettting the best from his uke. Talk to him about all the test I do with strings on his uke, he will let you know that I'm have a SAS (strings acqui...syndr...!!)

Finally, what did you take as wood combos finally?? And did you do with concert or tenor??

Thanks

Nuprin
06-26-2010, 03:30 PM
I think I'm going to go with a tenor spruce/koa combination (with a beautiful koa rosette) with a slotted headstock. I did ask Mike if he had any other suggestions or opinions for tonewoods and the tone difference between the topwoods and I'm waiting to hear back.

fumanshu
06-26-2010, 03:37 PM
Hi Nuprin! If I remember well, Mike has a very nice piece of Bearclaw Spruce top that he showed me not long ago when he did my Negra. His Bearclaw looks and sound very good. I have one Sitka Bearclaw-koa back and sides tenor that he made for me and it's the loudest uke of what I have from him.

I think spruce top-koa combo is always a sure shot....

jehicks87
06-27-2010, 06:20 AM
Nuprin, congrats on the decision to purchase a custom MP!

I'm still fanigling with Mike about the soundboard for my uke. It's between his figured Redwood, Koa, or maybe some Red Spruce if we can find it. Spruce has a nice punchy sound, but I've found it to be a bit thinner sounding when played softly... though you probably have much more experience with spruce-topped ukes than I do.

Mike is a fantastic person to work with, isn't he?

fumanshu
06-27-2010, 07:39 AM
jehicks wrote:

I'm still fanigling with Mike about the soundboard for my uke. It's between his figured Redwood, Koa, or maybe some Red Spruce if we can find it. Spruce has a nice punchy sound, but I've found it to be a bit thinner sounding when played softly... though you probably have much more experience with spruce-topped ukes than I do.

Mike is a fantastic person to work with, isn't he?

Hey, I'm curious about that red spruce!!! In what it is different vs Sitka and Engelmann?? There's also Port Orford Cedar that is a nice soundboard wood but I think Mike doesn't have any right now.

pulelehua
06-27-2010, 09:31 AM
Is that Adirondack? It's the most red spruce, I think. Warmer than other spruces, but quite rare these days. (I'm no expert, at all.) I've actually been chatting with Mike about the possibility of a custom, and mentioned Adirondack. I'd read some stuff about it on some sort of vintage instrument thing. It used to be the standard, then the forests were mostly cleared, and it's just recently been reintroduced.

So many decisions to make!!! Those of you getting MPs, please keep posting as to your progress.

jordan bello
06-27-2010, 09:38 AM
jehicks wrote:


Hey, I'm curious about that red spruce!!! In what it is different vs Sitka and Engelmann?? There's also Port Orford Cedar that is a nice soundboard wood but I think Mike doesn't have any right now.

If you type in Red Spruce v. Sitka in google, there are a million discussions. I found this off of a guitar builder's site:

Red (Adirondack) Spruce

(Picea rubens)

Red Spruce (also known as Adirondack Spruce, Blue Spruce or Canadian Spruce) is native to the Cape Breton Islands, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, west to Maine, southern Quebec and southeastern Ontario and south to central New York, northeastern Pennsylvania, northern New Jersey and Massachusetts. It also grows in the Appalachian Mountains of extreme western Maryland, eastern West Virginia, northern and western Virginia, western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee.

Red Spruce was used for the tops on many of the great pre-war (now vintage or collectible) American guitars. Red Spruce exhibits a slightly lighter color than Sitka, but is generally not as white as Engelmann. Like Engelmann, Adirondack is a softer than Sitka and requires a bit more care, but this slightly softer wood results in a top that is a bit less "stiff" and offers a quicker response, with more "snap" to the note. Red Spruce, like Engelmann, is also slightly lighter in weight than Sitka Spruce, weighing approximately 26 pounds per cubic foot. Because of the genetic qualities of this wood, as well as the extreme rarity of guitar-width sets, Red Spruce will exhibit more grain width and color variation than either Sitka or Engelmann, and will often have a "striped" appearance along its exceptionally straight grain.

Many players and collectors believe that the use of this wood was a significant contributing factor to the strong, clear tone of those older instruments. Adirondack has been in short supply for decades (which is why the major makers seldom use it anymore), and is therefore far more expensive than other species of Spruce, but is considered essential to many collectors and players seeking the ultimate "vintage" sound.

fumanshu
06-27-2010, 09:51 AM
Hey thanks Jordan Bello for the infos on this wood!!! Well, I'm from Quebec, Canada!!!! I'm wondering if it's easy to get some here...but I know Adirondack spruce...I just didn't know that it was called the Red Spruce!!!

Ok...now that I have a tenor with Sitka and another one with Engelmann....I have to get one with Adirondack I think!!!! hahahah!!!! UAS you're saying??!!! :)

But Port Orford Cedar seems to be a very nice alternative to spruce also....I really like the yellow tint of it!!!

Thanks!

jehicks87
06-27-2010, 10:29 AM
Is that Adirondack? It's the most red spruce, I think. Warmer than other spruces, but quite rare these days. (I'm no expert, at all.) I've actually been chatting with Mike about the possibility of a custom, and mentioned Adirondack. I'd read some stuff about it on some sort of vintage instrument thing. It used to be the standard, then the forests were mostly cleared, and it's just recently been reintroduced.

So many decisions to make!!! Those of you getting MPs, please keep posting as to your progress.

No problem with keeping yall updated haha. It's part of the fun.

See, I've got a Spruce top Kala, a Koa traditional Honu, I'm having a cedar topped MP concert sent out here, and now I've got this custom in the works. I like the sound my spruce kala puts out, nice and punchy for that old-timey country/bluegrass sound, but I like softer stuff, too... like if Damien Rice or Jack Johson played the uke, I think they'd dig the redwood top. I just don't know which one to go with. The Koa seems well-rounded, but as they say "A Jack of all trades, a Master of none."

I told Mike I was looking for a glassy smoke tone. I want it to be "hot" and able to be "blistering" but be able to be mellow and soothing and smooth at the same time, dig? So far he's thrown out Spruce, which I love but is not quite rounded enough for me (hence my suggestion for red spruce), koa (which is good, but does not have the distinction in the high notes), and redwood, which absolutely sounded fantastic in the figer-style playing he did on the sound sample he sent me. It blew me away. But, I have reservations about it as well, namely hard strumming (is it going to muddy out?) and durability, as it is so soft.

And you guys got it: red spruce and adirondak spruce are one a d the same.

fumanshu
06-27-2010, 10:58 AM
Hey jehicks... What I'm doing with all the ukes that I don't intend to sell, is to put a clear protection kind of transparent sheet...just like you find on flamenco guitar. Just find the spot where you use to strum and your fingers always go and protect it. After you can strum like hell and your uke will always be perfect!

Thanks

jehicks87
06-27-2010, 11:31 AM
Hey jehicks... What I'm doing with all the ukes that I don't intend to sell, is to put a clear protection kind of transparent sheet...just like you find on flamenco guitar. Just find the spot where you use to strum and your fingers always go and protect it. After you can strum like hell and your uke will always be perfect!

Thanks

Thats a cool Idea! However, mike just emailed me an even BETTER idea that I am totally psyched about. I've locked in on all my specs except for one minor cosmetic detail... but you'll have to check out my thread to see what that is. muhuhahahah

Nuprin
06-27-2010, 04:31 PM
My Boat Paddle custom has a red spruce top...didn't realize it was rare until I saw jordan bello's post. Wow, I feel privelaged!

Mike sent me a few sound samples...Spruce/Koa, Redwood/Koa, Redwood/Mahogany, Spruce/Madagascar Rosewood (which belongs to fumanshu). He did warn me that these hadn't opened up yet as he sells all of his ukes before they get to that point. They still sounded amazing though. The Spruce/Koa combination nailed the sound that I was looking for...really nice and crisp.

So, I'm going to let Mike surprise me with some of the decisions (neck material, etc.) but this is what I've asked for:

Tenor
Spruce top/Koa back & sides
Slotted headstock
Koa Rosette
Koa Fret Markers

Can't wait! Mike is an amazing guy to deal with and (even without having played any of his builds) I fully recommend him to anyone looking to get a reasonably priced custom!

jehicks87
06-28-2010, 03:23 AM
Nuprin, that Red Spruce top is a dandy, too. If I get the itching to get another custom one day (which I totally foresee), I'm going to have a red spruce top put on it.

But for now, that Redwood is too good to pass up!

Your girl sounds like she'll be a looker, and a Koa/Spruce combo is always a good combo. Keep us updated, man!

fumanshu
06-28-2010, 02:10 PM
Nuprin wrote:
Mike sent me a few sound samples...Spruce/Koa, Redwood/Koa, Redwood/Mahogany, Spruce/Madagascar Rosewood (which belongs to fumanshu). He did warn me that these hadn't opened up yet as he sells all of his ukes before they get to that point. They still sounded amazing though. The Spruce/Koa combination nailed the sound that I was looking for...really nice and crisp.

hi Nuprin!!! It's true what Mike told you, all the sound samples are straight recordings that he's doing once his instrument is done, so most of the time, the sound is ok but not great at all!!! Also Mike used to strung with Brown BT which I think just don't drive enough his uke. I just emailed Mike yesterday with my recommendations for strings that he will used on his future ukes.

It's a good decision that you took to go with a spruce-koa combo. I have one like that and it's definitely my loudest uke and the sound is very resonant too. Actually, all wood combos have something special and nice to it, it's just really what kind of sound you are looking for!!!! :)

Mike is very dedicated to what he's doing so he will take of your uke!!

jehicks wrote:
But for now, that Redwood is too good to pass up!


Hi jehicks!!! I've read that you will have a nice pickguard in koa to protect the Redwood??!!! Nice Nice!!!! I wish he did that when he buid my ukes in the past!!! You're really lucky!!
But the Redwood is a very nice wood for the soundboard. I know it's Mike favorite wood for top. I have one concert with Redwood-padauk and it's sound soooooo nice!!!! And very loud and boomy but at the same time quite mellow because of the redwood.

Also, there's so much nice wood combos, that it's really to decide which ones to choose....and that,s why I owned so much ukes too!!!!!!

nikolo727
06-28-2010, 02:14 PM
very nice! so beautiful. must hear the sound! :D

jehicks87
06-29-2010, 07:04 AM
jehicks wrote:

Hi jehicks!!! I've read that you will have a nice pickguard in koa to protect the Redwood??!!! Nice Nice!!!! I wish he did that when he buid my ukes in the past!!! You're really lucky!!
But the Redwood is a very nice wood for the soundboard. I know it's Mike favorite wood for top. I have one concert with Redwood-padauk and it's sound soooooo nice!!!! And very loud and boomy but at the same time quite mellow because of the redwood.

Also, there's so much nice wood combos, that it's really to decide which ones to choose....and that,s why I owned so much ukes too!!!!!!

I. Absolutely. Agree. :D

Mike is sending me my Cedar/Myrtlewood Concert uke tomorrow. If you check out his "For Sale" page, you'll see it. Very excited to get my hands on her.

iDavid
07-10-2010, 07:07 PM
I. Absolutely. Agree. :D

Mike is sending me my Cedar/Myrtlewood Concert uke tomorrow. If you check out his "For Sale" page, you'll see it. Very excited to get my hands on her.

Did your MP get to you yet?

Nuprin
07-11-2010, 03:58 AM
Did your MP get to you yet?

Yup, he posted a review here. (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?32855-MP-Concert-091-Review)

fumanshu
07-11-2010, 04:31 AM
Since I own a few MP ukes, I decide to create a youtube channel, so you will be able to hear and see a few sound samples of all my MP ukes that I will upload videos slowly as soon as I have time to record some. You can subscribe too!

At least you will have an idea of how Mike's uke sounds like!

http://www.youtube.com/user/baouke

Thanks

jehicks87
07-11-2010, 08:08 AM
Did your MP get to you yet?

It did, David. And I love her soooo much.

I kind of wish I had waited to get her before finalizing my order with Mike, as I really feel the Myrtle Back and Sides adds a bit of ring to the sound. It's MUCH different than Cedar/Mahogany or All Koa. Still, I am very excited about my custom as is.