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View Full Version : Sound of solid mahogany vs other woods.



SaxManiac100
08-29-2008, 12:39 PM
I'm in the market for another uke. How does the sound of solid mahogany ukes compare to other woods and laminates w/solid spruce or cedar tops. I'm mainly interested in tenor sized instruments. I see all solid mahogany instruments priced reasonably. Do the vintage Martin ukes sound good to everyone's ears?

grappler
08-29-2008, 01:23 PM
theres so many things that you need to consider first

ill give you the heads up.
i find it that the cedar tops have a more mellow and warm sound. Rather than Spruce has a more bright and a punchy sound. IMO it doesnt go well with my ears...:(
A solid Mahogony uke would sound sweet, but really depending what your comparing it against AND also what you prefer
its just a matter of personal choice

My custom is solid blackwood and Curly Koa.
Im thinking about either getting the soild acacia tenor uke from Ebay OR just my all time favorite kamaka..

As for the Martins, Have a look at Aldrine's Video of his new Martin here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdLxWthcHT8)

hope that helped man

:)

Kanaka916
08-29-2008, 01:25 PM
Came up with a couple of threads about mahogony as well as other types of woods using the search feature;
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2404
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1113
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3017
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4156
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5058
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4217

grappler
08-29-2008, 01:29 PM
Came up with a couple of threads about mahogony as well as other types of woods using the search feature;
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2404
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1113
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3017
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4156
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5058
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4217

nice links dude =]

ichadwick
08-30-2008, 05:37 AM
...cedar tops have a more mellow and warm sound. ...Spruce has a more bright and a punchy sound.
Cedar also seems to have a better sustain than many other woods, but without the bright high-end of spruce. Both are very nice on a uke with the right strings (and that's an entirely different thread).

Mango is even more mellow, with fat mid range, but not as much high or low.

SuperSecretBETA
08-30-2008, 08:52 AM
They say mahogany produces a soft, sweet, and mellow tone... and they say the same for mango!

Mango and mahogany originate from a completely different family with different grain directions, which makes me somewhat skeptical of the dearth of comments currently out there--often mixed. From what I read, they sound similar, but I also read that mango has a bright tone like koa. Koa similar to Mahogany similar to Mango similar to Koa? Well, I guess it makes sense why people buy these ukulele woods so frequently.

Tony Graziano says mango is "similar to mahogany though a bit harder." So far, that's the only thing I've heard from any distinguished persons. For now, I'll just go off the assumption that mango keeps "the ukulele sound" well enough for anyone to enjoy. That's probably all anyone needs to know anyway.

Sorry, ichadwick, but your posts I read the various ukulele forums seem a little too overanalyzed. =P Don't get too caught up out there. LOL

Pete Howlett
08-30-2008, 10:16 AM
English Yew produces an incredibly 'dark' sound... I love Mahogany but it's now a 'historic' resource since any legal FSC mahogany is stringy and more like Luan. I'm glad I have a huge stash of pre-ban stuff - enough for about 200 ukulele. Should last me a few years. I also buy every stick of interseting Mahoganythat gose up for sale on eBay in the UK - next week I am picking up a 6 1/2' x 6 x 6" Victorian support post for a veranda. Now whadya think that will be? I am plumping on Cuban myself and close on 50 sets to boot! Oh, all for $55 and half a tank of gas :cool:.

Dane
08-30-2008, 12:11 PM
I played my mahogany for about 5 hours before the A string snapped. But I can tell you that it did sound very nice and sweet. I'm eager to try different strings on it as well.

nikolo727
08-30-2008, 12:43 PM
I'm in the market for another uke. How does the sound of solid mahogany ukes compare to other woods and laminates w/solid spruce or cedar tops. I'm mainly interested in tenor sized instruments. I see all solid mahogany instruments priced reasonably. Do the vintage Martin ukes sound good to everyone's ears?

solid mahogany ukuleles have a very rich, warm, and almost deep sound. they sound much fuller than many other types of ukuleles and in my opinion are the best kind.

I wouldnt ever get a laminate ukulele because thats just a fancy way of saying, "plywood" they dont sound as good and they are basically a lot cheaper because they are cheap peices o crap.

i would go with the ohana tk-35G. solid mahogany with a nice gloss finish. very great sounding ukulele. you can find a review for that ukulele on youtube. type in, "ohana tk-35G ukulele review" on youtube and you should be able to find a very nice review by Ken Middleton. He is actually a member here at UU, so if you ever run into him(figuratively) on the boards talk to him about the ohana uke.

all in all i would definetely go with a solid mahogany uke. if you want a brighter sounding uke, i would get a solid koa uke. let us know what you get and put up some pics!!!

happy strumming

nikolo

sukie
08-31-2008, 06:28 AM
I wouldnt ever get a laminate ukulele because thats just a fancy way of saying, "plywood" they dont sound as good and they are basically a lot cheaper because they are cheap peices o crap.

nikolo

I guess I'm gonna have to step in here and say "Not necessarily." I have a laminate and while I don't love it and I can't really even play all that well yet, someone else has played my uke and it sounded really sweet. The player was Jake Shimabakuro. When he played it, it was magic. Skill level really has a lot to do with sound. I sound way better when playing a nice uke, but at what cost? When price is an object -- and for young people with little money it should be -- sometimes compromises need to be made. It's really fun for me to listen to my ukulele sound better with different strings and better playing skills. Maybe I'm just cranky today. If I was rich I think I'd want a Kamaka.

Did I just go OT too much?

SaxManiac100
08-31-2008, 07:06 AM
I've been thinking seriously about a Hamano Tenor. I read somewhere that this is a faithful copy of the early Martin uke. Has anyone had any experience with them? How do they compare sound-wise with the Martin and other ukes of the same type out there?

nikolo727
08-31-2008, 09:55 AM
I guess I'm gonna have to step in here and say "Not necessarily." I have a laminate and while I don't love it and I can't really even play all that well yet, someone else has played my uke and it sounded really sweet. The player was Jake Shimabakuro. When he played it, it was magic. Skill level really has a lot to do with sound. I sound way better when playing a nice uke, but at what cost? When price is an object -- and for young people with little money it should be -- sometimes compromises need to be made. It's really fun for me to listen to my ukulele sound better with different strings and better playing skills. Maybe I'm just cranky today. If I was rich I think I'd want a Kamaka.

Did I just go OT too much?



no dude your cool. i dont know much about them anyway, but thats all ive heard about them. lol. nevermind then i believe you. you didnt seem cranky. critisism is always constructive here and i will take it in stride! and i will thank you for it so i dont continue on my parade of, "laminate sucks". :D