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musiccityuker
11-16-2010, 01:30 AM
Need another uke... but torn between a red cedar top and a spruce top. I have hands-on experienced with the "punch" of the spruce tops but have also been pretty impressed with the sound samples of the Mainland red cedar top ukes. Anyone with real world experience with both types? Does the red cedar have the same "punch" as the spruce?

SweetWaterBlue
11-16-2010, 02:05 AM
I would say no - the spruce has more punch. I only have a spruce top tenor but I chose it for its punch. Cedar topped ones seem more mellow to me when I play them at the SEUkers gatherings.

When I was looking for a guitar last year, I played a lot of spruce and a lot of cedar. In almost every case the spruce was more punchy and less mellow. Since I wanted a mellow guitar, I chose cedar there.

I would say that cedar is somewhere between my mahogany ukes and spruce in mellowness.

musiccityuker
11-16-2010, 02:14 AM
Thanks, Sweetwater. Kind what I figured. Your info is very helpful... thanks for taking time to educate me. And I see you're just down the road from me! So you'll understand when I say.. "aloha y'all!"

wheelgunner
11-16-2010, 03:07 AM
I've built ukes with both cedar and spruce and the cedar will be a somewhat more mellow sounding instrument. Choice of strings will make a really big difference as well. If you want to try out a couple and see the difference some time let me know, I'm about 70 miles east of you near Cookeville.

musiccityuker
11-16-2010, 03:11 AM
You're on. That would be helpful. I might surprise you one day very soon. I can be reached via email at ukuleleguy@att.net. Really want a spruce top but love that new Mainland Red Cedar... gorgeous piece of work!
I've built ukes with both cedar and spruce and the cedar will be a somewhat more mellow sounding instrument. Choice of strings will make a really big difference as well. If you want to try out a couple and see the difference some time let me know, I'm about 70 miles east of you near Cookeville.

Jason Paul
11-16-2010, 03:27 AM
I don't have any personal experience, but I have read that cedar is likely to mellow out over time, and that spruce is less likely to do so.

Jason

ichadwick
11-16-2010, 03:32 AM
The Mainland red cedar is a great instrument. Loud, rich and tons of sustain. I prefer cedar over spruce on ukes because spruce emphasizes the brightness, which isn't really necessary on a small-bodied, high-pitched instrument. Cedar adds some colour on the lower end.

musiccityuker
11-16-2010, 01:48 PM
Thanks Jason. Good info.
I don't have any personal experience, but I have read that cedar is likely to mellow out over time, and that spruce is less likely to do so.

Jason

musiccityuker
11-16-2010, 01:52 PM
From the videos I've watched it sounds fantastic. Had my heart set on a spruce top until I heard those Mainland red cedar sound samples. Seems like an incredibly nice uke. So... sorting it out. By way of this forum I found out one of the posters lives very close to me. He builds ukes and has one of each in his present arsenal. Heading over there this weekdnd to meet and new friend and hear both types. Gotta love ukers! Thanks ALL for your input... REALLY appreciated.

The Mainland red cedar is a great instrument. Loud, rich and tons of sustain. I prefer cedar over spruce on ukes because spruce emphasizes the brightness, which isn't really necessary on a small-bodied, high-pitched instrument. Cedar adds some colour on the lower end.

TCK
11-16-2010, 03:55 PM
Looking at cedar now as I have Spruce...so different to my ears. Of course, this is all the conjecture of a newbie (who gets to hang out and play ukes at the music store if I want...figure I own half of it) Spruce gets the point across, and is great on some songs with it's punch and brightness. I like the cedar though for it's warmth. It is well rounded in tone to me, whereas Spruce seems to accentuate the upper and lower tones. Spruce is great for me as a beginner- I find it less forgiving than my Mahogany (really gotta mean it forming clean notes), but the notes on a cedar seem to blend so well. I played a Bocote Kala the other day and had a similar impression, but really like how cedar looks.
Guess the Uke leads to one becoming a tone-wood junkie, and at this stage I cannot really imagine not having both.
Likely to change (or be defeated by the boss).

localmana
11-16-2010, 06:58 PM
I have 2 cedar/rosewood concert ukes. One is a mainland with a high G and the other, my favorite, is a Ohana with a low G. The sound is very different. The Mainland sounds more "ukey" and I noticed that it has a lower saddle making the strings have a lower action. The Ohana has a higher saddle, fuller sound. I like the fuller, guitar like sound which comes from the cedar.
Alan