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Daysailer
11-25-2011, 07:31 AM
...what sub-species of acaica is being used ??

I own a very nice Larriveé guitar made with Australian Blackwood (Acacia Melanoxylon) also sometimes known as Tasmainain Blackwood.

This is a very well respected tonewood in the guitar world (Taylor has also used it). From my research concering custom guitar builders, some of them prefer the Austrailian Blackwood to Koa for its sound qualities.

After many recent weeks of research on the ukulele use of 'acacia', I can find no references as to which of the many species of acacia is being used by the current ululele builders like Kala. I also can not find any 'tonewood' references to Mimosa or Shower Tree.


After a couple of years with my Pono Tenor PT...(Sapele, not mahogany) I want to add another tenor for a different voice and keep in other tuning...ie one re-entrant and one LowG.

Thanks..

Ryan<3Ukes
11-25-2011, 08:28 AM
...what sub-species of acaica is being used ??

I own a very nice Larriveé guitar made with Australian Blackwood (Acacia Melanoxylon) also sometimes known as Tasmainain Blackwood.

This is a very well respected tonewood in the guitar world (Taylor has also used it). From my research concering custom guitar builders, some of them prefer the Austrailian Blackwood to Koa for its sound qualities.

After many recent weeks of research on the ukulele use of 'acacia', I can find no references as to which of the many species of acacia is being used by the current ululele builders like Kala. I also can not find any 'tonewood' references to Mimosa or Shower Tree.


After a couple of years with my Pono Tenor PT...(Sapele, not mahogany) I want to add another tenor for a different voice and keep in other tuning...ie one re-entrant and one LowG.

Thanks..

On kala's website, they reference the mimosa tree under their solid acacia series ukes. I didn't even check. I just remember Lol. Also, Koa pili koko makes a fantastic cost effective solid acacia series and their highest price is $235. I might just really like their ukes but I think it's one of the more highly reccomended ukes on the forum.

Daysailer
11-25-2011, 10:37 AM
Ryan, thanks for your response. I have been following your threads, learning from and enjoying your journey, as I lurk here.

I have been looking at the Kala and KPK's.
My concern is that If they are using the Acacia Melanoxylon, Australian/Tasmanian Blackwood, or Black Acacia,
Why are they choosing to call it Mimosa or Shower Tree?

If they are using the Acacia Melanoxylon it would be great selling point to use that name.
It has a wonderful reputation and a wealth of easily researched info available.
Here is link to a description from LMI; http://www.lmii.com/CartTwo/thirdproducts.asp?CategoryName=+Backs+and+Sides&NameProdHeader=Black+Acacia
It is actually not much cheaper than Koa, except for the highest grades.


There are many many trees and plants in the Acaica family. Which one is Kala, KPK and others using?

My radar blips a bit when information is unspecific and cloudy like this.

Ryan<3Ukes
11-25-2011, 11:06 AM
Ryan, thanks for your response. I have been following your threads, learning from and enjoying your journey, as I lurk here.

I have been looking at the Kala and KPK's.
My concern is that If they are using the Acacia Melanoxylon, Australian/Tasmanian Blackwood, or Black Acacia,
Why are they choosing to call it Mimosa or Shower Tree?

If they are using the Acacia Melanoxylon it would be great selling point to use that name.
It has a wonderful reputation and a wealth of easily researched info available.
Here is link to a description from LMI; http://www.lmii.com/CartTwo/thirdproducts.asp?CategoryName=+Backs+and+Sides&NameProdHeader=Black+Acacia
It is actually not much cheaper than Koa, except for the highest grades.


There are many many trees and plants in the Acaica family. Which one is Kala, KPK and others using?

My radar blips a bit when information is unspecific and cloudy like this.

Come to think of it, this was actually one of the things I was thinking about some time ago. KPK and Kala are the only brands I think of when it comes to soild acacia ukes. Leolani has a laminate curly acacia uke and I think a straight acacia uke. Your thread interests me more now. I also have yet to see Acacia used for more than cheap high end ukes. I'm pretty sure there are a lot of people that like their Kala acacia slothead or KPK uke better than their K-brand uke. I guess for a lot of people, when there's koa as an option they won't look back to acacia because they're so similar.

Daysailer
11-25-2011, 07:28 PM
Thanks Ryan..

One very experienced guitar player I know describes the sound of Austalian/Black Acacia as;
"Koa on steroids"..........guess he really likes it.. Sez there is a rosewood like richness that koa doesnt have.

Anyone else know if the Kala or KPK's use the Acacia Melanoxylon for thier all solid acacia's ?
If not....what species are they using?

efiscella
11-27-2011, 01:22 PM
Hello there-- just saw this from Ko'olau:

Ko‘olau Pono Guitar & ‘Ukulele, Inc.

Acacia Series

Beginning mid 2011 we will introduce a new Pono model called the Acacia Series. In our continual endeavor to find plentiful and sustainable instrument grade woods, we will now use a species of Acacia called Acacia Preta and Acacia Melanoxylon. They are all related to the world famous Acacia Koa that grows only in Hawaii. Although originating from the tropical rain forests of South America, there are now over 1300 species of Acacia are now found throughout the world.

Acacia woods have a long and interesting history. The same species of wood is recorded to have been used by Noah to build a 450 foot ark or floating box (a football field is 360 feet long). So Acacia trees have been around a long time, and they are plentiful. Due to its durability and beauty, Acacia woods are still used for boat building, furniture, guitars, and ‘ukuleles.

The Acacia’s are commonly known by their English name “Rain Tree” due to leaves that fold up during rain storms and subsequent moisture that collects under its large umbrella like canopy. Acacia’s belongs to the family Mimosaceae and the larger family of Fabaceae. Other common and scientific names are Albizia Saman, Samanea Saman, Mimosa Saman, Coco Tamarind, Trembesi, and East Indian Walnut.

Our Pono Acacia Series design is patterned after our Mahogany Series, with a rosewood fingerboard and bridge, simple rosette, and a satin finish. The Acacia Delux Series includes an ebony fingerboard and bridge, gloss finish, and beautifully figured top, back, and sides. All are available in Soprano, Concert, Tenor, and Baritone size.

Rick Turner
11-27-2011, 05:45 PM
If they're not telling exactly which acacia they're using, then you're on your own. 'tis also known colloquially as "wattle". And, yes, it seems to grow on just about every continent and a lot of islands other than Antarctica and Greenland. England? I dunno...

BTW, Acacia melanoxylon was brought to Southern California over 100 years ago, and it has now spread at least up into Marin County. I just got about a ton of quartered log sections of a newly felled tree. It's going to be wonderful, though plain, uke wood. I also agree...it's like koa about half way towards good Indian rosewood. Great tone wood. Grows fast, has a fairly limited life expectancy...less than 100 years...and we should all be planting it for future luthiers.

mr moonlight
11-27-2011, 07:13 PM
If you're looking for a uke with a different voice, I would look more at how the different brands sound vs. the differences between acacia species. You can get tremendously different sounding instruments made with the same woods by making reletively minor changes in the Ukes construction. A couple days ago I played around 10 different guitars all with solid Indian rosewood backs and sides with Sitka spruce tops. Their sound qualities ranged from warm and dark to clear and defined. There were just as much variation in volume and sustain.

Both my Ukes have cedar tops and koa backs and sides. The sound quality between the two is night and day.

Liam Ryan
11-27-2011, 09:39 PM
Call me cynical but I suspect that some uke companies are using any old Acacia and rather than calling it by its common name like most tonewoods (as annoying as that is) they call it a non-descript "Acacia" just to associate it with Koa.

BTW we've got Acacias growing from the desert to the rainforest in Australia. Some of the desert Acacias are so hard they put ebony to shame. Also, most of the Acacia Melanoxylon I've got is indistinguishable from the Koa I've got.

hoosierhiver
11-28-2011, 04:42 AM
Call me cynical but I suspect that some uke companies are using any old Acacia and rather than calling it by its common name like most tonewoods (as annoying as that is) they call it a non-descript "Acacia" just to associate it with Koa.

BTW we've got Acacias growing from the desert to the rainforest in Australia. Some of the desert Acacias are so hard they put ebony to shame. Also, most of the Acacia Melanoxylon I've got is indistinguishable from the Koa I've got.

I agree, I'm a tree buff and I've always been annoyed when ukes are described as "acacia". There are over a thousand species of acacia.