View Full Version : Tenor Ukulele Comparison Video

12-15-2011, 10:00 PM
My latest comparison video. I used the same mic, same mic placement, same gain, same levels, same reverb settings, no EQ, and no compression. I tried to eliminate as many variables as possible to show the differences in the ukes.

For the picking section, I played an exert from Aldrine Guerrero's "Four String Waltz." For the strumming section, I played the chord progression from the intro of Iz's "Over the Rainbow."

I used the following ukuleles in no particular order for this video:
1. MP Custom (spruce top, koa back & sides) (strung with D'Addario T2s)
2. Moore Bettah Custom (koa top, back, & sides) (strung with Savarez classical strings)
3. Breedlove American Series (spruce top, mahogany back & sides) (strung with Worth Browns)
4. Luis Feu de Mesquita Custom (cedar top, rosewood back & sides) (strung with Savarez classical strings)

I wanted to change it up a little and do a blind sound sample as well as a video. So, first up is a link to the sound sample. Take a listen and see which you liked best. Then check out the video to see what you chose!

Blind Sound Sample (http://www.box.com/s/qbef5hbg638ipd012tlc)

Video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wh46H7yyv0k&list=UUfPcsnrnmZ9aObT-ugXRoIQ&index=1&feature=plcp)

12-16-2011, 01:57 AM
Hi Chris! It's nice to see you do a comparison with your top tenors. To my ears, it's obvious that the Luis Feu one is by far the fullest sound and much much louder than all the other tenors. The soud is much clearer and much more defined too, specially when you play above the 7th frets.....well I always found myself that my Luis Feu uke is always amazing when I play in the high notes.

Also, I noticed when you did just the little strum, the sound coming from Luis uke is much fuller and clearer than the rest.

But I also really the MB uke. I think it sounds very sweet....Sweetness is how I would describe it. Richness would be LFDM.

I think the MP sound a little dull in the upper register.....well compare to the 2 others....but if you take it alone, it sound s very nice too... Actually, my MP is the uke that I reach most of the time, when I want to practice something very quick.... I pick the LFDM when I want to have a more serious practice....

Anyway, thanks once again for this comaprison, I know at least now how my LFDM uke sound compare to the MB.

Talk to you soon. I'll send to you my strings combo for my LFDM so you can try it.

12-16-2011, 02:53 AM
Been waiting a long time for this video with interest. I did the blind test and must admit number 2 pipped it followed by number 1.

Was also surprised by the quality of the Breedlove as well....


12-16-2011, 03:08 AM
Thanks for the comparison. Would be interesting to hear all 4 ukes with the same strings. Thanks again.

12-16-2011, 05:42 AM
Nice work! great comparison.
I think I like the Luis Feu de Mesquita for the finger picking (probably due to the rosewood and cedar it was made from) and I'd give the strumming to the Moore Bettah. Although I think the Savarez string on the Moore Bettah do make it a little on the bright side for my personal taste.

Dan Uke
12-16-2011, 06:26 AM
I liked MBU the best but LFDM was great as well.

12-16-2011, 06:49 AM
Chris, thanks for this excellent comparison. Great playing & outstanding collection of ukes there. I have to say that the LFdM certainly sounds stunning. To my ears (old as they are), the Moore Bettah & LFdM clearly take the top two spots & are pretty much tied - if they had an "Iron Chef" equivalent, like "Iron Luthier", I'd love to see the "cook-off" between those two. Fine instruments all.

When you tire of the rest of your collection, I'll be glad to assist you in the liquidation - still loving that G-String I got from you a while back!

12-16-2011, 07:20 AM
Thank you for this! I enjoyed your playing and it was fun to hear instruments I don't get to see in the flesh.
I have to say ... here's another vote for the Luis Feu de Mesquita Custom.

Drew Bear
12-16-2011, 08:58 AM
Thanks, Chris. I think this is the best format of all your comparison videos. A couple of different picking sections shorter in duration might be even better. You're obviously not using the MacBook camera or mic, but are you inputting both video and audio to the Mac?

I agree with most of Eric's characterizations. The LFdM picking clip had deeper tones that gave it a richer sound that I liked. But certain phrases sounded crisper on the MB, which I also liked. To my ear, the deeper tone translated to a slightly more "muddy" (I use the term with reservations) strumming sound compared to the MB. Overall my choice would be the MB, especially when you add in the aesthetics (purely a personal preference).

On your selection of strings: are these your final choices for each instrument, or are you still searching & tweaking?

12-16-2011, 09:22 AM
On your selection of strings: are these your final choices for each instrument, or are you still searching & tweaking?

This is a good point. Strings can change the way an instrument sounds so dramatically. It would be cool to hear them all with the same strings.

12-16-2011, 10:57 AM
Fantastic comparison, interesting to hear the different qualities of each instrument, thanks for sharing this information. Merry Christmas.

12-16-2011, 11:05 AM
Thanks for doing this, Chris! I had the following two reactions:

1. All of the ukes sounded wonderful. At some point, you stop talking about "better" and just start talking about "different." I would be delighted to own any of the ukes shared here.

2. Sometimes we get so gear-headed that we forget about the player. Chris, I love your style, and I imagine you would sound pretty good playing a 29.99 plywood special.

I always tell the story about when I used to take lessons with banjo wizard Tony Trischka. I had a $300 import special and Tony had a $4000 custom Stelling Sunflower. At one point, I asked Tony if I could play his banjo for a lesson. I was not surprised to discover that on my $300 knockoff, Tony still sounded like a genius... and on Tony's $4000 super machine, I still sounded like a putz.


12-16-2011, 11:36 AM
Thanks for the video---fun to hear such lovely ukes being played so well. Have a great (and musical) holiday season!

12-16-2011, 12:10 PM
On your selection of strings: are these your final choices for each instrument, or are you still searching & tweaking?

I'm still experimenting with the string selections.

The Breedlove came with the Worth Browns...according to their site they use those for all of their ukes.

The MP came with the D'Addario T2s...seems like these are Mike's favorite strings to use for his ukes. I've tried a couple of other strings and keep coming back to the T2s.

The Moore Bettah actually came with T2s as well as I had asked Chuck to use them. He said he really prefers Aquilas and Worth Clears. I didn't mind the T2s but felt it wasn't the right sound so I switched them out for Worth Clears. A few weeks later Chuck said a friend of his suggested the Savarez strings and he liked them and he would set me a set if I wanted to try them out. I didn't notice a huge difference between the Savarez strings and the Worths so I just left the Savarez on.

The Luis Feu de Mesquita came with Aquilas. Luis said that he actually likes Oasis strings (which is what fellow UU member, fumanshu, uses on his LFdM) but couldn't source them in Canada. When he has a free moment, fumanshu said he will shoot me a link to the Oasis strings he uses...I'll give those a try once I get the info.

2. Sometimes we get so gear-headed that we forget about the player. Chris, I love your style, and I imagine you would sound pretty good playing a 29.99 plywood special.

Thank you so much Rich! Not sure how accurate but such a great compliment!

Thanks for your kind words everyone!

12-16-2011, 07:21 PM
Very cool comparison and excellent playing.

Taking the blins test, I came up with these results :

Pickin 1- LFDM 2- MB 3-Mp 4-Breedlove

Strumming 1-MP 2-LFDM 3-MB 4-Breedlove

But that all depends on what sound we prefer. You can really hear the rosewood (rich with overtones and sustain) of the lfdm. It was very cool to take the blind test