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View Full Version : Characteristic Sound from Each Uke company?



DreamerZz
07-18-2011, 07:45 AM
From your experience, what is the typical sound quality
(as in warm/mellow/bright/loud/full/quiet/clear/etc) associated with each company?

also what is the general difference between a koaloha and a kamaka ?

Pippin
07-18-2011, 08:52 AM
The "sound" changes with the combinations of wood, the bracing, the body size and shape, and variables in construction. Many companies have different sounds on different instruments depending on the choice of woods used. So, here is a basic rundown...

bright sound.... maple back and sides, spruce top (very loud).
fairly bright sound, warms with age.... solid mahogany
warm sound, warms slightly with age, not as loud as koa.... mango
bright sound, can give a pronounced "bark" with warm tone, yet very loud.... solid koa
warm sound with a sweet tone that gets sweeter with age.... mahogany back with cedar top
bright, yet warm sound that will mellow with age, but remain loud.... mahogany with spruce top
warm sound, middle-volume, with smooth sweet tone.... koa back and sides with a cedar top
warm, rich sound with good midrange and lower registers... rosewood back and sides, cedar top
warm, rich sound with brighter highs and good volume.... rosewood back and sides with spruce top


less common woods...
myrtle... bright, mid-range tone with good balance
zebrawood... chipper, bright tone, average volume (add a spruce top for increased volume)
monkeypod... sounds similar to Koa, not as pretty, but nice straight grain
blackwood... nice grain, sounds a lot like koa, warms with age
walnut... bright, loud, not commonly used in ukes... used a lot in hammer dulcimers.
sycamore... bright, mid-volume, but soft
redwood... very soft, but warm tone

DreamerZz
07-18-2011, 09:20 AM
wow, where did you get all that . its great
@_@ thanks alot

Pippin
07-18-2011, 09:24 AM
wow, where did you get all that . its great
@_@ thanks alot

I publish Ukulele Player Magazine. I play and write reviews of a lot of ukuleles.

DreamerZz
07-18-2011, 09:26 AM
How would you describe the difference between the High end ukuleles?

I haven't head a chance in person to play the Kamaka and Koaloaha, so how do the two generally compare?

Hippie Dribble
07-18-2011, 09:27 AM
The "sound" changes with the combinations of wood, the bracing, the body size and shape, and variables in construction. Many companies have different sounds on different instruments depending on the choice of woods used. So, here is a basic rundown...

bright sound.... maple back and sides, spruce top (very loud).
fairly bright sound, warms with age.... solid mahogany
warm sound, warms slightly with age, not as loud as koa.... mango
bright sound, can give a pronounced "bark" with warm tone, yet very loud.... solid koa
warm sound with a sweet tone that gets sweeter with age.... mahogany back with cedar top
bright, yet warm sound that will mellow with age, but remain loud.... mahogany with spruce top
warm sound, middle-volume, with smooth sweet tone.... koa back and sides with a cedar top
warm, rich sound with good midrange and lower registers... rosewood back and sides, cedar top
warm, rich sound with brighter highs and good volume.... rosewood back and sides with spruce top


less common woods...
myrtle... bright, mid-range tone with good balance
zebrawood... chipper, bright tone, average volume (add a spruce top for increased volume)
monkeypod... sounds similar to Koa, not as pretty, but nice straight grain
blackwood... nice grain, sounds a lot like koa, warms with age
walnut... bright, loud, not commonly used in ukes... used a lot in hammer dulcimers.
sycamore... bright, mid-volume, but soft
redwood... very soft, but warm tone

wow Mickey. Awesome breakdown. Thanks so much mate.

Pippin
07-18-2011, 09:39 AM
How would you describe the difference between the High end ukuleles?

I haven't head a chance in person to play the Kamaka and Koaloaha, so how do the two generally compare?

KoAloha are louder than Kamaka. I personally like the KoAloha necks better than Kamaka, but, that is a very personal thing. I also think that the quality control is better on KoAloha ukuleles. The sound of the Pineapple Sunday is totally distinct and Kamaka has nothing like it. KoAloha is more innovative. Kamaka is more traditional.

The company became Kamaka's biggest rival in fifteen years of business compared to Kamaka's 95 years in business. That really means a lot.

KoAloha has "sponsered" performing artist. Kamaka claims that they do not and everyone that plays a Kamaka on stage, including Jake, bought it. I do think that KoAloha gets the nod on that count too.

Both companies produce high-quality instruments.

The one Kamaka I would love to have is their baritone.

Pippin
07-18-2011, 09:39 AM
wow Mickey. Awesome breakdown. Thanks so much mate.

My pleasure.