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widespread
01-11-2011, 08:39 AM
Hello, I'm a first time poster.
I asked about this uke on Ukulele Cosmos, and was told to f&@# off.
Just kidding, someone there suggested I try my query here.

Has anyone has played, or at least heard, this uke? What were your impressions? How would you describe the sound, compared with mahogany, koa, spruce, etc.?

It's bamboo, so obviously it's a laminate, but if anyone can do a good laminate, I reckon it's Kiwaya.

TIA,
David

Tudorp
01-11-2011, 08:42 AM
We'll take ya here. Welcome to the site. Awesome people (yeah, that includes me too, lol). Awesome resource for info, however at this time I have none for ya, but I'm sure somebody will.

I have seen the ukes (pictures only), and I really do like them, but Im not so sure they are laminate, someone might confirm right or wrong though. I think there are some sound clips on youtube if my memory serves. I'd love to have one..

Again, Welcome to the forum..

bazmaz
01-11-2011, 08:44 AM
There is a great review of this uke on this superb blog

http://ukeeku.com/2011/01/04/bamboo-paulele-kbus-full-review/

widespread
01-11-2011, 10:31 AM
Exactly the information I was looking for, pauljmuk!!
Thanks a bunch,
David

EDW
01-11-2011, 02:40 PM
Maybe there are some issues that need to be addressed the the Paulele. I am not crazy about the sound. Maybe I need to hear one live and play it.

I have to admit, from the clips I have heard, I am more impressed with the ukes from

http://www.tallgrassukuleles.com/

I also like the styling.

pdxuke
01-11-2011, 03:48 PM
Maybe there are some issues that need to be addressed the the Paulele. I am not crazy about the sound. Maybe I need to hear one live and play it.

I have to admit, from the clips I have heard, I am more impressed with the ukes from

http://www.tallgrassukuleles.com/


I also like the styling.


I want tuning pegs on soprano ukes....

olgoat52
01-11-2011, 05:05 PM
According to the tall grass ukes sites, the top is supposedly not laminate. It is strips of bamboo assembled into a top. That is still alot of glue as those strips aren't very wide but maybe it vibrates better than plywood. Guess you have to listen to decide. Not much help, I'm sure.

haolejohn
01-11-2011, 05:14 PM
I have played the paulele and it sounds better in person than the clips. It isn't a laminate in the normal laminate sence. It is bamboo stuck together somehow. Superb action and tonal sound on the one I played. Different than mahog/spruce/koa but not bad. If i was in the market for a uke, I'd get it.

OldePhart
01-11-2011, 05:26 PM
There's nothing intrinsically wrong with laminating wood (or grass). In fact, theoretically you should be able to build an instrument that is louder and more open using very thin laminated materials - even composites. As for tone, while the type of wood certainly affects tone it is less of a factor than is the body and bracing.

The problem is that usually laminated tops imply inexpensive "factory" construction with too-heavy top wood, too-heavy and poorly placed bracing, etc. I'd love to see "k-brand" quality builders put some real time into laminated materials - I bet we'd end up with better ukes than are available now. Of course, until they do, I'll keep my KoAloha koa and Mainland solid mango, thank you. ;)

John

EDW
01-11-2011, 05:40 PM
I'd love to see "k-brand" quality builders put some real time into laminated materials -

Well, there is one instrument that is high tech laminate- the Kiwaya KS series are very highly regarded

pdxuke
01-11-2011, 05:45 PM
Well, there is one instrument that is high tech laminate- the Kiwaya KS series are very highly regarded

For a laminate, the KS1 is wonderful.

http://soundcloud.com/pdxuke/kiwaya-ks1-kts4-and-sprucehouse-so

Sound comparison

mm stan
01-11-2011, 05:51 PM
Aloha David,
Welcome to the UU and our forums....have fun and enjoy....You came to the right place buddy...you hit the ukulele information jackpot here...were all nice and helpful.....I think the owner/builder is a
member here too....a few members here bought some....they come on later and tell you about them......Happy Strummings...MM Stan..

OldePhart
01-12-2011, 01:34 PM
Well, there is one instrument that is high tech laminate- the Kiwaya KS series are very highly regarded

I might have to check one out. I know there is a company that makes hand-laid carbon fiber mandolins - they are quite expensive and said to have killer projection and tone.

John

EDW
01-12-2011, 04:55 PM
http://bernunzio.com/inventory/Instruments/Ukuleles/Soprano+Ukuleles

will give a look at a couple models.

http://www.fernandezmusic.com/Kiwaya_Ukuleles.html

Has some great pics and some excellent info

JoshFromTallGrassUkes
01-13-2011, 03:29 AM
Ukeeku told me that there's a spirited debate raging about the solidness of bamboo instruments. His reasoning is this: If you buy a top-dollar uke, it will likely have a bookmatched top––ie. two pieces glued side by side. At what point––how many pieces and how much glue--does this instrument go from solid to laminate? Is a three piece back on a Martin guitar a laminate? Or does laminate refer to layers of wood (grass)? If so, does that make a Les Paul a laminate (maple slab over mahogany)? A question for the ages, I'm afraid. Call it what you like.

What I do know is that my personal bamboo uke continues to sound better the more I play it, which I think is what we're after when we buy a solid-topped instrument.

EDW
01-13-2011, 04:15 AM
One could also question what is the difference between pieces of bamboo glued side by side and bookmatched pieces of wood. I for one would rather have a great sounding instrument with great action, balance and intonation that is well made, whether laminate, pieces etc over a poorly made solid.

Uke Republic
01-13-2011, 04:26 AM
Hello, I'm a first time poster.
I asked about this uke on Ukulele Cosmos, and was told to f&@# off.
Just kidding, someone there suggested I try my query here.

Has anyone has played, or at least heard, this uke? What were your impressions? How would you describe the sound, compared with mahogany, koa, spruce, etc.?

It's bamboo, so obviously it's a laminate, but if anyone can do a good laminate, I reckon it's Kiwaya.

TIA,
David
All that we have sold have given positive feedback and none have been returned. The Paulele is a well made instrument as you would expect from the distributor Kiwaya USA.

Tor
01-13-2011, 05:27 AM
What's called laminate in instrument building is layers of wood, i.e. plywood. A 3-piece back on a Martin D-35 is never called laminate, at least never among the illuminati! :)
Then you have veneer, which isn't really the same as laminate either - it's a thin covering of another surface, and this doesn't have the properties of laminated wood. What matters (w.r.t. humidity and tonal qualities) is dominated by the wood underneath the veneer.
I'm not sure what to call the Les Paul.. even though I own one I don't know exactly how it's put together. But it's not laminate in the traditional way (i.e. it's not plywood). It doesn't matter too much for solid body electric guitars anyway.

The build method used for bamboo ukuleles seems to me to require an entirely new definition.

harpdog
01-13-2011, 06:39 AM
What Tor said about laminates... I'd call the Paulele a solid instrument for our purposes. I think I want one.

I wouldn't go with the Les Paul analogy - solid body electrics are a different beast.

fromthee2me
01-14-2011, 07:54 PM
The Paulele looks very good and nicely made, pleasing to the eye, and I think that arched back is a very nice feature, but it would be very attractive to me if the neck was extended for the soprano model, similar to the long neck koaloha model sopranos. So I am holding out for when these options become available, or an e-mail from Kiwaya informing me that they can make me a proper longneck soprano (figure eight) Paulele............................

rem50
01-15-2011, 05:24 AM
Ukeeku told me that there's a spirited debate raging about the solidness of bamboo instruments. His reasoning is this: If you buy a top-dollar uke, it will likely have a bookmatched top––ie. two pieces glued side by side. At what point––how many pieces and how much glue--does this instrument go from solid to laminate? Is a three piece back on a Martin guitar a laminate? Or does laminate refer to layers of wood (grass)? If so, does that make a Les Paul a laminate (maple slab over mahogany)? A question for the ages, I'm afraid. Call it what you like.

What I do know is that my personal bamboo uke continues to sound better the more I play it, which I think is what we're after when we buy a solid-topped instrument.

Does your uke require any additional care regarding humidity than say my KoAloha? rem

OldePhart
01-15-2011, 06:07 AM
Just guessing, but I'd think it would be, if anything, a bit more robust. Raw bamboo will split pretty easily as it dries out but we're talking about flat-sheet laminated products so I would assume that they're pretty stable - of course, we all know what happens when we assume something... :) Actually, my guess (again) would be that they're pressure-sealing the bamboo with some type of stabilizer when they make the laminated sheets. You would almost have to.

I do know that they make flooring materials out of laminated bamboo and those are said to be far more durable than hardwood.

Bamboo is a bit of a miracle plant (well, okay, it's basically a weed) - varieties of it will grow almost anywhere in a tropical to temperate climate and some varieties grow, and spread, so fast that you can plant a small "screen" of bamboo in your landscaping and if you don't stay on top of the maintenance it will take over your yard and your neighbor's too in a handful of years. It's almost as prolific as the kudzu that is taking over parts of southern California - and far more useful.

John

Uke Republic
01-15-2011, 06:16 AM
Just guessing, but I'd think it would be, if anything, a bit more robust. Raw bamboo will split pretty easily as it dries out but we're talking about flat-sheet laminated products so I would assume that they're pretty stable - of course, we all know what happens when we assume something... :) Actually, my guess (again) would be that they're pressure-sealing the bamboo with some type of stabilizer when they make the laminated sheets. You would almost have to.

I do know that they make flooring materials out of laminated bamboo and those are said to be far more durable than hardwood.

Bamboo is a bit of a miracle plant (well, okay, it's basically a weed) - varieties of it will grow almost anywhere in a tropical to temperate climate and some varieties grow, and spread, so fast that you can plant a small "screen" of bamboo in your landscaping and if you don't stay on top of the maintenance it will take over your yard and your neighbor's too in a handful of years. It's almost as prolific as the kudzu that is taking over parts of southern California - and far more useful.

John
Kudzulele would be so awesome! Loads of that stuff growing here along with bamboo:)

kenikas
01-16-2011, 08:25 AM
I was in our local shop yesterday and they had both the regular and cutaway style. They both sound quite nice, and bright sounding. I really liked how light they were (both wieght and color). I just wish they came in concert size.

pdxuke
01-16-2011, 08:35 AM
I was in our local shop yesterday and they had both the regular and cutaway style. They both sound quite nice, and bright sounding. I really liked how light they were (both wieght and color). I just wish they came in concert size.

And again, I wish they came with friction tuners!

EDW
01-16-2011, 09:34 AM
I just wish they came in concert size.

you could consider

http://www.tallgrassukuleles.com/

Their's are bamboo concerts

Doc_J
01-16-2011, 11:53 AM
Do the bamboo ukes need humidification like a solid wood uke?

Uke Republic
01-16-2011, 12:09 PM
Do the bamboo ukes need humidification like a solid wood uke?
Yes indeed! They are still a natural material (grass/wood) that will require some humidity. But I'd imagine they may be more forgiving than many other tone woods/grass:) The finger board and bridge are even bamboo

JoshFromTallGrassUkes
01-17-2011, 07:36 AM
Does your uke require any additional care regarding humidity than say my KoAloha? rem

It doesn't require any additional care beyond the same attention to humidity (I hope) you're already giving your KoAloha or any other stringed instrument.

widespread
01-17-2011, 10:35 AM
I've never considered myself an aesthete. When Proust bangs on and on about his damn madeleines, I wanna say, "Shut up and eat your f&cking cookie already."

So I don't much care whether a uke has geared tuners or friction tuners, as long as they work. When people wax rhapsodic about roping, inlays, rosettes or curly koa, my ignorance is surpassed only by my indifference.

Therefore, I was surprised to find that I don't like the looks of the Paulele. Specifically, I don't like that the body and fretboard are the same color, with no contrast. I didn't know it until now, but apparently I feel fairly strongly about this.

I noticed that Tall Grass Ukuleles do have a dark neck. But when I checked the website, I didn't see any sopranos, only concerts.