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JoeC
06-13-2011, 09:17 AM
Aloha!

I'm pretty new to ukulele's, but I've been learning fast and loving everything about ukes more and more :D and I think now I'm ready for the 2nd member of my uke collection :P

So I've been looking all over for a pretty nice ukulele, that won't burn a whole in my metaphorical pocket...

I came across this one ukulele, which I pretty much love:

http://i1180.photobucket.com/albums/x413/JosephCotton/TanglewoodMapleUke.jpg
http://i1180.photobucket.com/albums/x413/JosephCotton/TanglewoodMapleUkeBack.jpg

I was just wondering what you guys thought of maple, how does it sound?
How does it compare to koa or mango?

I'm really not a mahogany kinda guy lol

Thanks :)
Joe

KimosTherapy
06-13-2011, 09:30 AM
Aloha Joe,

Generally, it all comes down to personal preference. Each individual has their own likes and dislikes. The sound and tone of an instrument is "Subjective" according to each individual depending on their taste. Generally, maple has a brighter tone than other woods. Ukes are made entirely of one type of wood for the tops, backs, and sides ... or also made with a combination of two different types of woods such as mahogany for sides and backs with a spuce top. Basically, it comes down to your own individual taste for aesthetics and sound.

Hope that helps. Welcome to UU and I hope to see you around the forums.

Aloha,

kenikas
06-13-2011, 09:43 AM
I love the looks of maple, but I've never played one. But it all comes down to personal taste and the way it sounds to you.

Tudorp
06-13-2011, 09:45 AM
Maple tends to have a tighter, brighter tone than Mahogany, and even Koa/Acacia. I find it similar to Spruce in tone. Here is the maple I offer.

http://i1238.photobucket.com/albums/ff490/Tudorp/For%20Sale%20Ukes/concert6a.jpg

byjimini
06-13-2011, 09:46 AM
I love maple; the look and the sound of it, which is why I have an Ohana TK75G on order. :D The uke you've got pictured looks superb.

Not so keen with the looks of flamed or spalted maple, mind.

Tudorp
06-13-2011, 09:49 AM
I love maple; the look and the sound of it, which is why I have an Ohana TK75G on order. :D The uke you've got pictured looks superb.

Not so keen with the looks of flamed or spalted maple, mind.

A few fokes may not know this. But, you know the famed, flame/quilt maple, maybe even the curl like mine above gets that pattern due to a disease of the wood causing that effect? It's pretty, but also has a cool trivia factoid to it.. ;)

RichM
06-13-2011, 09:52 AM
Maple is a very hard wood that does not resonate very freely. As a result, you tend to get a very bright, treble-focused sound with a very sharp attack and quick decay. Maple is very commonly used as a side and back wood on larger guitars, as the larger guitar body can encourage resonance to the point of muddiness, and the maple can help balance that. Of course, maple is also very commonly used as the back and side wood on violins and mandolins, which are quite small, but here, too, the goal is to increase the sharpness of the sound. It's worth mentioning that guitars, mandolins, and violins usually have a softer, more resonant topwood-- commonly spruce, but also cedar and redwood. Some guitars have maple tops, but usually only electrics or acoustic electrics.

I've never played an all-maple uke, but I imagine it would have a piercing, strident tone. This may be exactly what you're looking for, but I recommend trying before you buy-- it might not be for everybody. If I were to have a maple uke, I'd probably use a spruce or cedar top, to balance out the maple. But as others have said, it's all about how it sounds to you.

Tudorp
06-13-2011, 09:58 AM
Maple is a very hard wood that does not resonate very freely. As a result, you tend to get a very bright, treble-focused sound with a very sharp attack and quick decay. Maple is very commonly used as a side and back wood on larger guitars, as the larger guitar body can encourage resonance to the point of muddiness, and the maple can help balance that. Of course, maple is also very commonly used as the back and side wood on violins and mandolins, which are quite small, but here, too, the goal is to increase the sharpness of the sound. It's worth mentioning that guitars, mandolins, and violins usually have a softer, more resonant topwood-- commonly spruce, but also cedar and redwood. Some guitars have maple tops, but usually only electrics or acoustic electrics.

I've never played an all-maple uke, but I imagine it would have a piercing, strident tone. This may be exactly what you're looking for, but I recommend trying before you buy-- it might not be for everybody. If I were to have a maple uke, I'd probably use a spruce or cedar top, to balance out the maple. But as others have said, it's all about how it sounds to you.

The one I showed above is all maple. It does have a brighter tone, but sounds darn good. I have a sound sample of that one somewhere here on the forum. Personally, I am a Mahogany lover. But do like the sharper maple for a change every so often.

byjimini
06-13-2011, 09:59 AM
A few fokes may not know this. But, you know the famed, flame/quilt maple, maybe even the curl like mine above gets that pattern due to a disease of the wood causing that effect? It's pretty, but also has a cool trivia factoid to it.. ;)

Manky wood. :P

hobblecreek
06-13-2011, 10:01 AM
I've never played an all-maple uke, but I imagine it would have a piercing, strident tone. This may be exactly what you're looking for, but I recommend trying before you buy-- it might not be for everybody. If I were to have a maple uke, I'd probably use a spruce or cedar top, to balance out the maple. But as others have said, it's all about how it sounds to you.

Yes, Maple is a much brighter sounding tonewood than Mahogany, Koa, Rosewood, etc., and as such you might also want to experiment with different strings from different manufacturers to find a set that doesn’t overly amplify the brightness brought out by the tonewood (in addition to the choice of wood for the soundboard).

Personally, I think Maple would be a cool and diverse choice for a uke from the norm. I would just be sure I had played a couple of different brands (live A/B sessions) and had the chance to make sure the sound is what I wanted before laying down my money.

mm stan
06-13-2011, 10:47 AM
I'd stick with Mahogany or Koa....buy for sound not looks...if it looks nice and sounds bad you will not play it....if it sounds nice and looks bad, believe me you'll play it...you'll overlook it's
shortcomings...

JoeC
06-13-2011, 10:55 AM
I'm not just looking for looks, but as I'm looking on the internet, looks is all i have. Which is why I am doubting this Tanglewood. I didn't realise maple was so bright sounding, I'm looking for something a little warmer, which brought me to the Kala KA-FMS, which I saw in a music shop, just today, in fact, and really loved the sound it made. And it's undoubtably very pretty, too.

Might have to go back there tomorrow ;D

Thank you guys for all your comments and suggestions!
Big help!

JoeC

gioconbrio
06-13-2011, 11:02 AM
I think it tastes great on pancakes.

JoeC
06-13-2011, 11:33 AM
om nom nom :D

RichM
06-13-2011, 11:34 AM
It's a tonewood AND a pancake topping!

Hippie Dribble
06-13-2011, 11:48 AM
G'day Joe

I have an all maple uke and I love it because it is different. Yes it is certainly brighter than conventional ukulele tonewoods and less sustain, but I have heard it mellow through use. It has a crispness that is striking, but not too brittle. The trick is to get the right strings to bring out the strengths of your particular uke. I use worth flurocarbons on mine and they're awesome.

If you're looking for a balance between the warmer koa and mahogany and the brightness of maple, walnut etc, why not go for a uke made out of mango or myrtle?

bbycrts
06-13-2011, 12:29 PM
I very strongly suspect it is a maple laminate - spalted maple like that often is as the spalting (the darker areas in the grain) is a fungal invasion that can potentially weaken the wood. Laminate ukes don't have quite as much of the characteristics of the featured woods, as the laminate (fancy name for plywood) mutes quite a bit of the vibration with its crossed grain patterns.

I've had several solid maple ukes and I just don't care for them because of the brightness. Total personal opinion there - but decide on the sound first, appearance second!

mds725
06-13-2011, 12:35 PM
Here's some written stuff about the characteristics of different tonewoods:

http://www.ukuleleworld.com/wood-types.html
http://www.ianchadwick.com/ukuleles/woods.htm
http://www.jemsite.com/jem/wood.htm


And here's a video comparing three ukuleles -- one is a Flea, one is a solid koa KoAloha, and one is a maple Bruko.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bu24ec908Fk

PhilUSAFRet
06-13-2011, 12:43 PM
Aloha!

I'm pretty new to ukulele's, but I've been learning fast and loving everything about ukes more and more :D and I think now I'm ready for the 2nd member of my uke collection :P

So I've been looking all over for a pretty nice ukulele, that won't burn a whole in my metaphorical pocket...

I came across this one ukulele, which I pretty much love:

http://i1180.photobucket.com/albums/x413/JosephCotton/TanglewoodMapleUke.jpg
http://i1180.photobucket.com/albums/x413/JosephCotton/TanglewoodMapleUkeBack.jpg

I was just wondering what you guys thought of maple, how does it sound?
How does it compare to koa or mango?

I'm really not a mahogany kinda guy lol

Thanks :)
Joe

I think I want to add a maple uke to the stable. This uke looks very good. Certain types of music like bluegrass, blues and ????? benefits from not too much sustain. I like that "mandolin" sound for some things. Fell in love with maple ukes first time I heard Bluegrass Uke's "Flying Owl."

olgoat52
06-13-2011, 02:42 PM
Not indicative of all maple ukes but fwiw..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRajnI54WU0

Rick Turner
06-13-2011, 03:44 PM
According to Bruce Harvey of Orcas Island Tonewoods, one of the best suppliers of NorthWestern lutherie timbers, flame and quilt maple are genetic anomalies, not the result of stress or disease attack. He has managed to clone figured maple, kind of proving the point.

Also, maple need not be strident at all used for a top. If it's graduated and braced properly, maple can sound just wonderful. I gave a sunburst all flame maple bodied Compass Rose tenor to my ex-wife that I wish I had! Punchy, yes, but clear and mellow, too.

We're right now finishing up our first concert sized Compass Rose with a flame maple top and rosewood back and sides. The tap tone is great; I can't wait to hear it strung up.

Kekani
06-13-2011, 05:08 PM
And there you go. . . I was going to post earlier that the ONLY all Maple `ukulele even worth considering is a Compass Rose. There is no other all Maple `ukulele that I've played or heard that comes close to what Rick does with it.

On a personal note, Maple/Spruce is one of my favorites, and its one of those combinations where if I put a Quilted Maple (flatsawn) Spruce next to a Curly Maple (qtrsawn) Spruce, anyone can tell the difference between the two (both being Big Leaf Maple from the West). But, by itself, hard to tell; and they're a completely different visual. Of course, most Maple Spruce that I've heard sound tinny and bright, with no character, for the most part. Its a challenge to bring out sweetness and resonance to balance out the crispness and clean sound of a Maple Spruce, but its been done.

Rick Turner
06-13-2011, 05:31 PM
Aaron, you're too kind!

One interesting thing that I've found is that ukes do NOT follow "guitar tone wood" guidelines. I'd never use maple or walnut or cherry, for instance, as an acoustic guitar top...acoustic-electric, to be sure, but I just am not "going there" on full acoustic guitars with those woods. Yet, they can work really well for ukes. The combination of size and nylon strings + being careful not to over...or under-build seems to change the sonic rules of the game.

That said, I'm still not ready to try rosewood as a top on an acoustic uke...

Pippin
06-13-2011, 09:40 PM
I have always loved the look of curly maple. I played a Gretsch Electromatic archtop guitar for many years and it was all solid curly maple. It really was built for playing with the magnetic pickup, not so much acoustically, so, although it was "quiet", it was beautiful to behold.

musiccityuker
06-14-2011, 12:50 AM
I like the chime of maple... just a nice ukey sort of sound! For what it's worth... there is a really great explanation of the various uke wood types and their properties on the Koolau website. I think you'd appreciate it. Check it out... http://www.koolauukulele.com/


Aloha!

I'm pretty new to ukulele's, but I've been learning fast and loving everything about ukes more and more :D and I think now I'm ready for the 2nd member of my uke collection :P

So I've been looking all over for a pretty nice ukulele, that won't burn a whole in my metaphorical pocket...

I came across this one ukulele, which I pretty much love:

http://i1180.photobucket.com/albums/x413/JosephCotton/TanglewoodMapleUke.jpg
http://i1180.photobucket.com/albums/x413/JosephCotton/TanglewoodMapleUkeBack.jpg

I was just wondering what you guys thought of maple, how does it sound?
How does it compare to koa or mango?

I'm really not a mahogany kinda guy lol

Thanks :)
Joe

hobblecreek
06-14-2011, 06:54 AM
I gave a sunburst all flame maple bodied Compass Rose tenor to my ex-wife that I wish I had!

Curious Rick - does the "wish I had" reference refer to your ex-wife or the Compass Rose tenor? I don't know her, but I do know how much I'd like one of your instruments! I absolutely covet one of your walnut beauties.

Rick Turner
06-14-2011, 08:35 AM
Let's see now...!

She's wonderful...the woman...but we cannot live together and that's all fine. The uke I could live with! I'll just have to make another.

hobblecreek
06-14-2011, 08:40 AM
Have you ever considered going down one size to make a concert?

maclay
06-14-2011, 11:31 AM
That said, I'm still not ready to try rosewood as a top on an acoustic uke...

Come on Rick, we have done just about everything else.

mandrew
06-14-2011, 04:07 PM
Maple looks nice. Fact is, you need a good solid mahogany for sound.

iDavid
06-14-2011, 05:04 PM
Maple looks nice. Fact is, you need a good solid mahogany for sound.

I have a Compass Rose California Sycamore that I would put up against any uke on the planet.

and I love Mahogany, btw....

Hippie Dribble
06-14-2011, 06:20 PM
Maple looks nice. Fact is, you need a good solid mahogany for sound.

wow.. that is VERY much a matter of opinion!!!! Why not both. And a mango, and a koa, and a sycamore, a walnut, myrtle, a spruce top.....aaaaaaaarrrrrrgghghghhh...I need my medication again :o