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View Full Version : MonkeyPod Issues Starting To Arise Already



AC Baltimore
12-03-2011, 05:51 PM
I have only had it about a week and have kept it in a hard case when not playing. The in case humidity has stayed at a solid 52%. Yet the monkeypod lam on the headstock is starting to lift and the already porous body wood seems to be getting wider? A lemon maybe?

JT_Ukes
12-03-2011, 06:11 PM
I have only had it about a week and have kept it in a hard case when not playing. The in case humidity has stayed at a solid 52%. Yet the monkeypod lam on the headstock is starting to lift and the already porous body wood seems to be getting wider? A lemon maybe?

If it is a week old, contact the store/retailer you got it from.

coriandre
12-03-2011, 06:50 PM
Definetly return it........almost sound like too much humidity though. Is the wood wet ?

vanflynn
12-03-2011, 10:28 PM
Lanikai is usually great at returns, especially that new. Bring it to the dealer and show him.

Btw, I have a smp-c and brown worths are a great choice. Ko'olaus also work very nice.

allanr
12-04-2011, 05:03 AM
Wood swelling. Delaminating. Most likely the uke is being over-humidified.

vanflynn
12-04-2011, 06:34 AM
52% humidity is fine. The quality assurance at the smp factory is pretty loose. The first smp-c I got had a big wood knot in the side with some hairline cracks. They took it back no questions and sent me one with no problems. Just to forewarn you, it take the monkey pod about 3 months to open up. It seems quieter than most but has a nice full sound. I'm glad I got mine.

Good luck and keep us posted on how it gets resolved.

Mim
12-04-2011, 06:50 AM
Got it from me! No worries! Just shoot me an e-mail if you want to swap it out for a different one and I will get workin' on it first thing tomorrow! 52% is fine. I try to keep my stock room at aroung there so it should not have happened because of humidity flux either. But things happen. If you can shoot me a picture of what is going on I will forward it to my sales rep and get the party started on the return. My returns run a little different because I like for the defective uke to be sent out and then the new one to be sent from me so that I can set it up. It would stink for you to get a non-set up one because something happened with the set-up one.

I have 2 more in stock. So getting you another wont be a problem.

BUT... other option...yours was unusually pretty for a monkey pod, so if you want to shoot me a picture I can look at it and see if a little wood glue may fix the problem. If a problem continues to arise after the fix, then I will still swap it out. Whatever you are the most comfortable with!

vanflynn
12-04-2011, 07:00 AM
You rock Mim

AC Baltimore
12-04-2011, 10:23 AM
Thanks for all the input folks, and for your crazy great service mim. I took care of the headstock peel with a lil glue last night. It really is a stellar cut of monkey pod. It is starting to sound real good and tweaked to my tastes, so I would hate to swap it. I'll shoot you a PM mim

haolejohn
12-04-2011, 12:24 PM
I got to play a monkey pod uke today. I was surprised at how pretty it was...well not really. Sounded nice and was a little heavy but I think that was b/c of the cutaway and the p/u system.


Back inthe day didn't kamaka make some ukes out of monkey pod but then stopped?

allanr
12-04-2011, 05:15 PM
52% humidity is fine. On the other hand, it's hard to think of anything besides humidity that would lead to swelling wood and delamination. Is the case new, or one that you have used for other instruments?

If its a brand new case, it might be the hygrometer that's defective. Can you test with a different case or another hygrometer?

kenikas
12-04-2011, 05:29 PM
Back inthe day didn't kamaka make some ukes out of monkey pod but then stopped?

I don't know about Kamaka, but Pono had an Ohai (another name for monkeypod) series recently, and from what I understand they were a bit heavy and kind of muted sounding. But it sure is pretty wood!

haolejohn
12-04-2011, 05:40 PM
I don't know about Kamaka, but Pono had an Ohai (another name for monkeypod) series recently, and from what I understand they were a bit heavy and kind of muted sounding. But it sure is pretty wood!

I didn't know that ohai was another name for monkey pod. a friend of mine has a ohai pono and it is stunning but very muted. Pono stopped using the wood.
It seems like I read somewhere that kamaka used monkey pod on some of their tourist or student models back in the day but stopped using it b/c of the instability. It may not have been kamaka, could ahve been someone else. I just wonder if this will become a problem. Acacia is known for being unstable (and we saw a lot of QC issues with the first runs of acacia).

It will be a shame if we do see more problems b/c it sure is a pretty wood.

southcoastukes
12-04-2011, 06:25 PM
"Monkeypod" is native to Central America where we build. The name in it's native range is Cenizaro. It is a beautiful flowering ornamental tree, and for that reason it has spread throughout the tropical world, including Hawaii and Asia.

It has been used for fine furniture and decorative carvings for centuries. I sent containers of furniture made with it across the humid heat of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico north to the US, and it never caused a problem. The we shipped it from Nevada to Florida, from the arid states to the humid, and it never caused a problem. I have never heard of a problem. If there is one with this instrument, it's not because of the species.

Although it's use in instruments is more recent, it is now recognized by some as one of the true premier tonewoods in the world. It pains me somewhat to see it being used in mid to low quality instruments.

Of course, Mahogany was used that way for a long time. In both cases, it was plentiful enough, and the cost was low enough, that it could be used to bring decent sound to instruments that had very little else to recommend them but the wood. Mahogany eventually became appreciated for the outstanding tonewood that it is. I hope Cenizaro doesn't have to go through the same process.

I think it may avoid it, simply because in the guitar world, Asian buillt instruments are winning International Competitions - blind sound tests - against the world's best known makers.

Here's a video of an award winning model from Jeffrey Yong. A rather lenghty review (but well done), the playing starts a bit after the 7 minute mark. It is compared to a Taylor model:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMNCkhrA2Ig

It's often said that it falls between Mahogany and Koa as far as tone. This is true as far as it goes, but doesn't even begin to tell the whole story. The instruments we have built with it have a very smooth, even quality - balanced, full, plenty of power, and with the kind of ring you get from a rosewood, but without the muddiness.

Kind of got carried away here, but this is an outstanding, emerging tonewood - don't let some factory's poor workmanship make you even the slightest bit leery. Au contraire, a builder who has a nice stash of this wood and knows how to do it justice, has a little treasure chest.

Mim
12-04-2011, 06:49 PM
I have been playing my Monkeypod Concert all night. It sounds better with time and I really like it a lot. It is a Lanikai SMP-CCA. I have had it in all sorts of weather and conditions and it is holding up well. I feel, like South Coast Ukes, that it is a great tonewood. If that is the tone you are seeking. Know what I mean. Yes, between mahogany and Koa is a great description. I just would hate an idea to spread that Monkey Pod = Bad. Trust me, every brand, every tonewood, every type of uke I sell has something weird happen from time to time. That is the nature of factory made, they dont get the eagle eye dealers would give them. And heck, even dealers sometimes miss things owners then see (because they spend even more time with there uke). Crazy things happen from time to time. It just does... it happens. Even some brands that if I told you I had a problem with from time to time you might be shocked. B-stocks happen. This is just something weird that has happened. I hope it does not progress to something else, but I have 12 more Monkey Pods in my workshop right now with no problems. But sometimes, weird things happen when they get shipped, climate change, home change, or just... somehow it was not glued properly (which is what I am suspecting right now) And something weird just happens to be up with this one, so we are gonna watch it carefully and make sure it is an isolated part of the uke. If not, there are plenty where that one came from and I can swap it out :)

AC Baltimore
12-05-2011, 09:32 AM
I have owned many solid wood guitars through the years, my hygrometer is calibrated and the 50ish percent humidity is in its natural state, not humidifier induced. So I feel sure it was not a humidity issue. At any rate, The headstock is fixed and like MIM says we are just watching the rest. That lady is aces... above and beyond the call.

AC Baltimore
12-05-2011, 09:38 AM
It does feel a tad heavier than my acacia, but its not an issue for me. I think it has a unique tone. I would not say this one is opening up yet, but starting to loosen up a bit. The worth browns sound fantastic on it and I am quite enjoying the wider fretboard. It sounds nothing like my acacia, also with worth browns. in my mind thats a good thing. So far I find myself most often reaching for the monkeypod over the acacia.


I got to play a monkey pod uke today. I was surprised at how pretty it was...well not really. Sounded nice and was a little heavy but I think that was b/c of the cutaway and the p/u system.


Back inthe day didn't kamaka make some ukes out of monkey pod but then stopped?

vanflynn
12-05-2011, 10:32 AM
Glad you like it. My SMP-C has become my "go to" uke and since of it's hardier built, I'm not afraid to take it places.

Happy Strummin

Piikea
12-06-2011, 02:50 PM
Not that it matters of any interest at all, but I have an 1950 Jessie Kalima Soprano made out of Monkey pod. The interesting thing is that the headstock, neck, the back and sides are all carved out of a single block of wood.

I didn't know what it was, thinking it was a Kamaka, I took it over on South St. to the Factory for refurb which they would not do, but did give me an interesting history on the instrument.

Monkey pod is nice wood. Unfortunately, this piece was a family hand me down and is beyond repair with cracks and missing parts. But it has some family history carved on the back which makes it invaluable to my wife, who is the family owner.

vanflynn
12-06-2011, 03:13 PM
Piikea, if you have this could we see some pics? It sounds like a wonderful piece.

MGM
12-06-2011, 05:43 PM
Kanaka didn't use much monkey pod but a maker in the shop made them.... copy of kamakas under the name kalae Ukuleles Label except his pineapples had an unusual one piece neck and sides from one piece...I