View Full Version : Ukulele Tonewood Sound Samples!

02-24-2011, 05:02 PM
Want to hear what five different ukulele tonewoods sound like?

02-24-2011, 05:14 PM
That's a really good vid! I wish he'd included a spruce top.

02-25-2011, 01:54 AM
Interesting. Keep in mind that the sound also depends on other factors, such as body shape and size, saddle material, sound hole size and placement, strings, cut of the wood, finish and even how it's held, so while the video is very informative, it is only a general guide and applies more to that line of ukes than to ukes in general. Two of their koa ukes may sound different simply because the wood cut is from different parts of the tree and has different grain patterns. I think the caveat at the end is very important.

Plus there's a whole question about the fidelity of the recording... placement and style of mic, etc. that affect the result.

Personally I can't hear a huge difference is sounds or tone until the fir top, which to my ears has a marginally brighter sound. But nonetheless, I appreciate the comparison and will link to it on my own site as useful for people trying to decide what woods to look for.

02-25-2011, 04:59 AM
I thought it was a good guide because the ukes were all of similar "black stripe" build, playing the same riffs, by the same player on the same recording equipment. It's as same as you can get, with the only huge difference being tonewood. Using youtube is never perfect, but it's all we got. :)

Myrtle was the favorite for me.

02-25-2011, 05:49 AM
Ian's caveat should be kept firmly in mind. I once built two ukes as close to the same as I could and put the same strings on both. If your back was turned while someone played them you would be hard pressed to tell the difference. Most people said that they couldn't tell any difference at all. One uke was maple with a spruce top the other was mahogany with a western red cedar top. Should have been different as night and day. A lot of the time people tend to hear what they expect to hear.

02-25-2011, 10:57 AM
I might add that it helps that Aaron Keim is doing the demonstration. At least you can count on his skills and playing consistency.

What doesn't help is that Mya-Moe ukuleles are much beyond the means of many players. Though remarkable instruments, I would much rather have seen a comparision from the line of Kala or Lanakai.

That would be a helpful demonstration. Perhaps that demo is out there and I am unaware.

Hippie Dribble
02-25-2011, 12:01 PM
Thanks Aaron. Loved the demo mate. Without noticing huge differences, it was the myrtle that did it for me too.

02-25-2011, 03:41 PM
Yeah I'm a big one for complaining, but I don't get all the complaining in this case. It was a great demo! Thanks for taking the time to post it!

02-26-2011, 12:04 PM
Just updated with new WAV soundfiles recorded on a Zoom H4:

Much better audio than youtube!

02-26-2011, 12:41 PM
Geez, the Zoom is a nice piece, too. I'm getting DMAS (digital microphone acquisition syndrome...)

02-26-2011, 01:05 PM
Cool video! I agree that it'd be nice to have compared some within a lower price range, but it's still nice to hear.

I can actually hear a difference between the first two, from the comments I didn't think I would.. I do like the Myrtle, sounds more "Ukulele" like to my hears - yes I know that doesn't make sense! The Walnut is so different from the rest to my ears...and the Fir/Walnut sounds only slightly different to the Walnut, but I guess that's because it's a mix...

Remember I am merely a beginner six months in to this journey with the Ukulele, so I may have untrained ears.

Great Video thanks for sharing!

02-27-2011, 08:36 AM
Yup- The myrtle seems to be a favorite so far, with the walnut coming in second.