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cornfedgroove
01-17-2012, 03:51 PM
http://www.ebay.com/itm/MIM-Kala-Soprano-Solid-Cedar-Top-Koa-KA-KSG-CT-Ukulele-Uke-Setup-w-Case-59-/180756928238?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a15f3d6ee

over something like this...cedar top, mahogany back and sides with koa veneer. how does this effect the sound? will it still sound like a cedar/mahogany uke or more laminated or dampened or what?

bynapkinart
01-17-2012, 04:21 PM
I guess it depends...apparently my new Fender is Koa veneer over mahogany, and to my ear it sounds kinds like koa. YMMV, and every laminate is different!

Gadzukes!
01-17-2012, 04:42 PM
To your ear it sounds like koa, but if you close your eyes it sounds like mahogany. ;)

Daysailer
01-17-2012, 05:09 PM
If there is a veneer, it ain't solid. ...

...Unless you get that one in a million, it wont sound like anything but what a lam sounds like. May look pretty, but the veneers and core, will still be plywood, so it can not take on the tonal qualities of a true solid tonewood.

In the guitar world, you get run off if you try to pass off any kind of laminate as solid tonewood. The word 'solid' is held up as true, no plywood, solid.

I often see some brands claim "solid 'x' covered with 'pretty' veneer".
Misleading descriptions, trying to justify prices that are in the region of true, honest, genuine all solid instruments. :mad:

With a very few exceptions, carbon fiber and properly designed "double tops" (honeycomb core), $$$, no laminated plywood insturment will sound as good as a solid tonewood. Unless the solid is very badly made. There is a reason the boutique and high end luthiers do not use laminates. Threre is a reason we pay top $$$ for genuine solid wood insturments.

Please don't get me wrong, I don't hate laminates, just those who try to 'mislead' us by stealing the 'solid' word and sell us laminated instruments at true solid wood prices. I have a pretty nice all lam guitar that I keep in my work truck for lunch time pickin'. It was snowing today, and I would not put a solid one in that cold-heated-airconditioned, all over the map conditions. Solid wouldn,t survive. I am thinking pretty hard about the Islander MT-4 (lam) to add to my work diversions. ((bought one for my son-in-law for Christmas, sounded pretty good)).

The Uke community seems to be more tolerant of the misleading descriptions. But in the end, none of the "veneered solid" ukuleles are at the top of anyones, money no object, Dream List.

just my $.02

cornfedgroove
01-17-2012, 05:11 PM
that's what I needed to hear daysailor

Paul December
01-17-2012, 05:11 PM
http://www.ebay.com/itm/MIM-Kala-Soprano-Solid-Cedar-Top-Koa-KA-KSG-CT-Ukulele-Uke-Setup-w-Case-59-/180756928238?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a15f3d6ee

over something like this...cedar top, mahogany back and sides with koa veneer. how does this effect the sound? will it still sound like a cedar/mahogany uke or more laminated or dampened or what?

The back & sides are laminate, while the top is solid cedar. It sounds like cedar.
I've played this line from Kala and IMO it sounds better than the cedar Mainlands, and more lively you can feel the vibrations down the neck. Also better finished than Mainland. I think they were (still are?) billed as "Limited Edition".

mr moonlight
01-17-2012, 05:47 PM
I have owned the tenor and concert from this line and they both sounded excellent. In this price range you will be hard pressed to find a better sounding uke, 100% solid or solid top+laminate back and sides, that will sound and play better.

It's still a budget uke, but it's a pretty damn good one.

Liam Ryan
01-17-2012, 06:06 PM
It's less about what you've got and more about how you use it.

You'd be better off with a laminate uke built by someone who knows what they're doing than a solid uke by someone who doesn't.

Bill1
01-17-2012, 09:41 PM
Its a Kala Uke. A lot of people take up ukulele because a reasonable instrument can be got for a low purchase price and its easy to play. Most do their homework on value and end with a uke they like for a price they like. Many couldn't care less if the uke is made of solid koa or laminate or cedar if it sounds ok for the right price, and they can get their lifetime dream of actually being part of the music. Perhaps one of the reasons guitar players are flocking to the uke is that useless technical stuff is not as important as getting a uke and having some fun amongst many uke players.
Looking at the pickings for someone wanting to buy a uke today, Mims ebay offer looks as good an any of the others, and offers a free set up. $380 delivered to Australia with some bling on board. Who cares what the advertising spiel says if it sounds like some other Kalas we have all seem in the same price range? It says Mim is living it up at Namm until 25 Jan, I hope the champagne is chilled properly.

Plainsong
01-17-2012, 10:49 PM
Today, I learned on the internet that my Sailor Brand must suck because it's got solid poplar back/sides with a eucalyptus veneer. Nevermind that the top is solid and the sides matter not one bit, and the back matters more than the sides and less than the top. That's not the point. It just sucks. Yet another case where "All of X must equal Y, and no I've not proved all of X myself, but I'm an expert." - come on!

There's a good reason to do that to the back and sides, and one of those is stability? Nah, I don't need to play a uke during the winter.

hellotracy
01-18-2012, 01:07 AM
You're being sarcastic when you mention your sailor, but I e been wondering about them and their use of laminate.
I'm debating between a sailor, Pono ms and mainland cedar for my first upgrade and just cannot find much info on the sailors.
Can anyone else chime in? Does it seem silly to upgrade to a laminate when there are less expensive and / or same price solid woods available?

bynapkinart
01-18-2012, 03:30 AM
I bought my laminate Fender for a number of reasons, one of which was cost. Laminate appeals to me because it will be significantly less of a hassle to care for than my beautiful KoAloha. Would I say that it is as good an instrument as the KoAloha? Of course not, it's a budget laminate. Despite that fact though, it is a fantastic sounding instrument and really opens my eyes to what's available at that price range. The lam does have a touch of that Koa sound, too, which is really nice.

It also opens my eyes to the possibility that those Eco Kiwayas made of thin Koa laminate might be a great buy....

RichM
01-18-2012, 03:55 AM
I've said this in other threads, but it's worth saying again: design, build quality, and bracing will have more to do with the sound of a uke than whether the back & sides are solid or laminate. With equivalent build quality, yes, I would definitely give the edge to solid; with that being said, I've played many instruments of all types with laminte back & sides that sounded absolutely wonderful. As the primary vibrating surface, the top is the most important issue for me, and I would not compromise with a laminate top. However, laminate back & sides very often produces a fine instrument.

I think part of the problem here is that very cheap instruments are very often all-laminate, and people have associated laminate with cheap. And high-end instruments are typically all-solid, so people assume all-solid equals good. Solid has definite tonal advantages over laminate, so I won't argue that point. But I will point out that I have played many fine instruments with laminate b&s, and many disappointing instruments with solid b&s.

In the end, trust your ears. If it sounds good, it is good. I have the tenor version of the Kala in question, and I think it sounds great, and is one of the better instruments that I've played in that price range. And since you linked to an ebay auction from Mim, you're absolutely safe; Mim is a very active member of this community and one of the most trusted instrument sellers around.

Gmoney
01-18-2012, 04:06 AM
Today, I learned on the internet that my Sailor Brand must suck because it's got solid poplar back/sides with a eucalyptus veneer. Nevermind that the top is solid and the sides matter not one bit, and the back matters more than the sides and less than the top. That's not the point. It just sucks. Yet another case where "All of X must equal Y, and no I've not proved all of X myself, but I'm an expert." - come on!

There's a good reason to do that to the back and sides, and one of those is stability? Nah, I don't need to play a uke during the winter.

So, on the Sailor brand - laminate vs. veneer, vs. whatever. If you search the forum (I'll try & find the threads later), you'll find at least one thread where several of the more accomplished luthiers in our midst talked about "luthier made laminates" of a veneer over solid wood as the Sailor uke is constructed. The luthiers who make the Sailor (located in the CONUS , well-known & respected in their own right but officially unnamed as they currently are...) in my understanding, do not purchase or create their laminate in bulk like the Chinese factories, but instead manufacture it in house in small production runs. A "typical" laminate uke might be more like a cheap grade of construction plywood w/a thin outward veneer than the solid wood core w/figured wood veneer created by an accomplished luthier. Look at many of the most expensive brands of guitars & you will find plenty of similarly constructed instruments.

Anyway, I'm quite comfortable owning a Sailor along w/my other solid ukes & enjoy its brilliance as well as the obvious skill of the luthiers who built it. But hey, from my signature, its obvious that I'm suffering from a bit of UAS... Mahalo!

haolejohn
01-18-2012, 05:25 AM
Today, I learned on the internet that my Sailor Brand must suck because it's got solid poplar back/sides with a eucalyptus veneer. Nevermind that the top is solid and the sides matter not one bit, and the back matters more than the sides and less than the top. That's not the point. It just sucks. Yet another case where "All of X must equal Y, and no I've not proved all of X myself, but I'm an expert." - come on!

There's a good reason to do that to the back and sides, and one of those is stability? Nah, I don't need to play a uke during the winter.
I agree with you. I was going to chime in with your argument but you beat me to it.

haolejohn
01-18-2012, 05:29 AM
You're being sarcastic when you mention your sailor, but I e been wondering about them and their use of laminate.
I'm debating between a sailor, Pono ms and mainland cedar for my first upgrade and just cannot find much info on the sailors.
Can anyone else chime in? Does it seem silly to upgrade to a laminate when there are less expensive and / or same price solid woods available?

Of those you are listing...Sailor by far. I know the process that a Sailor goes through. IT is made in America. It is made by one of the best luthiers in America. It uses a solid wood base with the veneer over it to cut down production costs. It is hand made. Check out the thread that Nurpin did where he compared his sailor with some other high end ukes. It was very surprising b/c it hung with ukes worth much more.

PoiDog
01-18-2012, 05:34 AM
I'm just wondering why anyone would want to put a veneer over a solid wood body? Isn't that sort of just plain old silly?

Another question I've always had is why would a builder opt for an all-solid wood uke, but with a mahog top and koa back & sides? I see some Meles described that way. I always figured Koa was either the more expensive wood, or more desirable for uke building, so why waste it on the back & sides? I mean, I'd understand of koa were significantly less expensive, but if it's on par wth mahog or more expensive, this doesn't make sense to me. Particularly when it is the top that is the overwhelmingly predominant sound producer?

Just a couple of things that make me wonder a bit

YooperUker
01-18-2012, 05:37 AM
To me, the important consideration here is that the top is solid cedar, not laminate. As I have come to understand it, the soundboard quality and the physical size of the chamber generally affect the sound (most importantly, volume and sustain) much more than the quality of the shell material.

For instance, choosing nearly bullet-proof, acoustically-dense, 1/4"-thick, 5-ply Baltic birch plywood for the back and sides rather than thin, vibration-responsive, solid koa might actually have less deadening effect on sound quality than a decision to go with a durable nitrocellulose lacquer on your top instead of a light tung oil finish.

Even so, what's your style of playing? Are you a stage musician? Do you need every bit of volume you can get out of it? If so, a $300 soprano might not even be enough uke for you. But, otherwise, I wouldn't worry too much about the acoustic dampening on this one. Sure, I understand that an instrument is way more enjoyable to play if every note sounds sweet and tickles your brain. But the uke in question is a Kala; I doubt you'll find that they compromised much, if anything, on the sound in the process of making it pleasing to the eye.

Now, that said, one Kala uke that *does* have me scratching my head a little is this current model of Pocket Uke:
http://www.kalaukulele.com/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=KA-PU-SSFM

The description says "Solid Spruce on Top, Back, and Sides with Flame/Spalted Maple veneer", but the photos clearly show spalted figured maple on the soundboard. Does that mean that they laminated a hardwood veneer onto a spruce top?!? (Or even, as the description literally indicates, that the back and sides are also spruce? Pretty unlikely. Getting solid spruce to curve around the shell would not be an easy task, and there probably wouldn't be any tonal or structural advantage to be gained for the effort.)

I have a Greg Bennett/Samick concert uke (with which I'm actually quite pleased--considering the price I paid) that has a spruce veneer over a mahogany top (that its rosewood and spruce are merely veneers is, of course, mentioned nowhere in the product information, but I confirmed it by examining the instrument prior to purchase--No surprise. . .solid tonewoods would have been far too much to expect at that price).

Now I knew that the spruce on my uke was there just for visual aesthetics (I guess to make it *look* like it's louder than it actually is), but the thought of Kala putting maple over top of an otherwise solid spruce soundboard was a surprise. Wouldn't such lamination rather negate the tonal reasons for having a spruce top in the first place? Hardwood veneer over a mahogany top, I could understand. . .but hardwood over spruce?

What's more, even ignoring the veneer issue, can solid spruce even make that much difference for such a small soundboard? (Pocket Uke is a sopranissimo/sopranino size--soprano's even smaller sibling.) Then again, maybe I have that backwards. Maybe it makes even *more* difference the smaller you go.

Done digressin', back to uke-in'

OldePhart
01-18-2012, 06:36 AM
+1 on design and construction - especially bracing - being biggest factor in how an instrument sounds

Also +1 on prefering solid top over laminated, but not to the point that I'd exclude a lam top from all consideration. In fact, my all laminated Kiwaya longneck soprano doesn't give up as much ground to my KoAloha longneck soprano as you might expect.

Technically, it should be possible to actually build a louder, better sounding uke from the right laminates than can be accomplished with solid wood. Of course, it would actually end up being more expensive than a good solid wood uke and most laminated instruments use the laminated wood so that a very fancy exterior can be achieved while saving money.

BTW, except for the very cheap ukes, most of the laminated woods used in instrument construction are not your typical "paneling grade" plywood. Usually they are one or two plys of a decent but inexpensive tonewood with very thin fancy "appearance" veneers applied to one or both sides. The biggest single problem with laminated ukes is that builders tend to brace them as if solid wood was being used. Laminated woods are much stronger than solid wood of a given thickness, yet most mfrs use laminates as thick as solids and braced as heavily.

So, yeah, a solid top is prefered if you can afford it (and if it's not going to be a "trunk uke"). But, the sides and to a slightly lesser extent the back could probably be made of concrete without having a huge impact on the tone and projection. The real issue is that most laminated ukes are "cheaper" in other ways - not as well designed, not as well constructed, and so on.

DaveVisi
01-18-2012, 07:33 AM
Who here remembers musicguymic's A/B comparisons of lam vs. solid ukes? It wasn't that long ago. The listeners picked lam over solid in several of the tests, or at least couldn't name which was which based on listening alone.

Although it makes more difference on larger instruments such as guitars with their larger vibrating surface, it doesn't seem to matter so much on a uke except to the purists among us.

A famous guitar luthier used to line the inner back and sides with a different wood to get his unique sound. Technically they'd be considered laminates, but they are some of the most highly prized instruments out there.

Drew Bear
01-18-2012, 08:37 AM
Who here remembers musicguymic's A/B comparisons of lam vs. solid ukes? It wasn't that long ago. The listeners picked lam over solid in several of the tests, or at least couldn't name which was which based on listening alone.I wasn't around when that took place, but I've heard it mentioned several times. I think that only emphasizes the point that recordings (especially low audio quality ones made with a video camera or phone) blur the differences in sound quality between the ukes. Hearing the ukes played in person would remove a major layer of abstraction and actually playing the ukes (blindfolded, of course) would provide the best comparison testing ground.



A famous guitar luthier used to line the inner back and sides with a different wood to get his unique sound. Technically they'd be considered laminates, but they are some of the most highly prized instruments out there.There was a discussion recently about custom-made laminate wood. Those are a very different beast to the mass-produced laminates we're discussing here. That said, if someone prefers the sound, look & feel of a laminate uke to a solid wood one, then they should buy the laminate.

haolejohn
01-18-2012, 09:54 AM
I'm just wondering why anyone would want to put a veneer over a solid wood body? Isn't that sort of just plain old silly?

Another question I've always had is why would a builder opt for an all-solid wood uke, but with a mahog top and koa back & sides? I see some Meles described that way. I always figured Koa was either the more expensive wood, or more desirable for uke building, so why waste it on the back & sides? I mean, I'd understand of koa were significantly less expensive, but if it's on par wth mahog or more expensive, this doesn't make sense to me. Particularly when it is the top that is the overwhelmingly predominant sound producer?

Just a couple of things that make me wonder a bit

i have two ukes with koa back and sides. One is a Mele and the other is an Ana'ole. I ahve a redwood top on the Mele and Spruce on the Ana'ole. I have seen a koa back and sides with mahog top advertised but only once. I think...key word think...is that this is b/c people maybe like the sound of mahog but the look of koa. I once owned a koa top Mele with mahog back and sides and that was my first uke with real solid koa. Many companies do this to save costs.

I know that the Sailor with the veneer over the solid wood is a cost saving step. This is the reason you get a completely handmade (semi-custom) made in USA uke for a fraction of the cost of a completely solid wood uke in the same prioce range.

haolejohn
01-18-2012, 09:57 AM
Who here remembers musicguymic's A/B comparisons of lam vs. solid ukes? It wasn't that long ago. The listeners picked lam over solid in several of the tests, or at least couldn't name which was which based on listening alone.

Although it makes more difference on larger instruments such as guitars with their larger vibrating surface, it doesn't seem to matter so much on a uke except to the purists among us.

A famous guitar luthier used to line the inner back and sides with a different wood to get his unique sound. Technically they'd be considered laminates, but they are some of the most highly prized instruments out there.

True but the solid koa Hawaiian K uke was picked overwhemingly as the best sounding uke out of the bunch:)

ksiegel
01-18-2012, 10:16 AM
Count me as one of the owners of the Tenor sized cedar-top Kala (KA-KTG-CT).

It sounds great, plays great, and is one of my favorite instruments (although nothing can touch the KoAloha Sceptre, which is Solid Koa.).

I got mine from MusicGuyMic a little over a year ago, and it is a phenomenal instrument - rich, sweet, and clean. Mike recommended it based on my budget, did the setup, and I'm very happy with the instrument . For the price, I think it was a real winner.

And everyone I know who has dealt with Mim has nothing but positive things to say. Keep that in mind.




-Kurt

PhilUSAFRet
01-18-2012, 10:25 AM
If there is a veneer, it ain't solid. ...

...Unless you get that one in a million, it wont sound like anything but what a lam sounds like. May look pretty, but the veneers and core, will still be plywood, so it can not take on the tonal qualities of a true solid tonewood.

In the guitar world, you get run off if you try to pass off any kind of laminate as solid tonewood. The word 'solid' is held up as true, no plywood, solid.

I often see some brands claim "solid 'x' covered with 'pretty' veneer".
Misleading descriptions, trying to justify prices that are in the region of true, honest, genuine all solid instruments. :mad:

With a very few exceptions, carbon fiber and properly designed "double tops" (honeycomb core), $$$, no laminated plywood insturment will sound as good as a solid tonewood. Unless the solid is very badly made. There is a reason the boutique and high end luthiers do not use laminates. Threre is a reason we pay top $$$ for genuine solid wood insturments.

Please don't get me wrong, I don't hate laminates, just those who try to 'mislead' us by stealing the 'solid' word and sell us laminated instruments at true solid wood prices. I have a pretty nice all lam guitar that I keep in my work truck for lunch time pickin'. It was snowing today, and I would not put a solid one in that cold-heated-airconditioned, all over the map conditions. Solid wouldn,t survive. I am thinking pretty hard about the Islander MT-4 (lam) to add to my work diversions. ((bought one for my son-in-law for Christmas, sounded pretty good)).

The Uke community seems to be more tolerant of the misleading descriptions. But in the end, none of the "veneered solid" ukuleles are at the top of anyones, money no object, Dream List.

just my $.02

Glad your analysis was only $.02 worth.....how many pages would a buck have gotten us! :)

Drew Bear
01-18-2012, 10:45 AM
I'm just wondering why anyone would want to put a veneer over a solid wood body? Isn't that sort of just plain old silly?I think the title of this thread leads to some confusion. The Kala offered by Mim's does not specify the composition of the laminate sides & back. Here's the description from Uke Republic on one of the Sailor brand ukes:

Solid Poplar Back/Sides - covered inside/out w/ Figured Eucalyptus VeneerFirst, isn't a laminate, by definition, multiple layers of solid wood? In this case we have three plies of solid wood glued together. The insertion of the term "solid poplar" in describing a laminate is on the edge of misleading. All the layers are "solid" wood, just very thin and probably not the highest quality wood except for perhaps the top veneer.


The luthiers who make the Sailor...do not purchase or create their laminate in bulk like the Chinese factories, but instead manufacture it in house in small production runs.I think they'd do better to state this fact rather than throw around "solid" to describe a laminate.

ChrisRCovington
01-18-2012, 11:46 AM
I had a few thoughts about this topic (i'm sure none are very valuable lol). The first comes from something I learned from my mother. Today we tend to want solid wood furniture. We seem to relate it to being stronger and more durable. And to be honest it usually is. The veneered furniture we have today is usually veneer over some sort of particle board or cheap plywood. A couple hundred years ago veneer over wood (granted it was solid wood) was a mark of taste and wealth. I think some of the ukuleles made with solid woods that are veneered are more like this. When I see laminate I assume it is more like the cheap plywood or particle board they make furniture out of today, and what they make cheap Chinese ukuleles out of. I have a feeling these veneer over solid are a much higher quality and have qualities that are close to solid wood ukuleles. Which brings me to my next point. Back in the day (same time they were using veneer over solid wood on furniture) I think they were doing the same with guitars. I was looking at antique guitars online a while ago and saw a very old (I think Martin?) guitar. It was from the mid 19th cen. It was some sort of solid wood (I forgot what and I lost the link) covered with a birdseye maple veneer. I have a feeling this was pretty common practice back then as it is now, but I think the thin veneers over solid wood back then (like the Sailor brand ukes today) were a very different animal than the laminates most companies use today. I think build quality is much more important than the wood until you get into custom pieces or high end production instruments. I would rather have a high quality laminate like a Kiwaya over many solid import ukuleles.

buddhuu
01-18-2012, 11:53 AM
Solid Poplar Back/Sides - covered inside/out w/ Figured Eucalyptus Veneer
Although I really hate it when people claim solid when the fact is laminate, I find it hard to justify any real objection to the description above. It is over-complicated, but it is also explicit, detailed and (presumably) accurate. Nothing hidden.

As for solid versus laminate. ALL other things being equal, solid woods will generally produce more volume and arguably better tone (depending upon preference). However, all other factors are rarely or never equal. Few people with a wide experience of guitars and ukes would dismiss laminate instruments per se as inferior.

One of the loudest and nicest sopranos I have heard was a laminate Kiwaya. It sounded better than any of the solid ukes I have owned (I've never owned any kind of "K" uke, BTW!). Similarly, I have had some fine laminate guitars, and some solid wood ones that weren't as good.

It is not a clear cut issue. Too many variables.

At the end of the day, the best instrument is the one you like the sound of.

Bill1
01-18-2012, 12:22 PM
There are over 600 species of eucalyptus, does anyone know which one is used in the Sailor Uke? I suspect that in the US there are only one or two types growing so it is assumed that one of them will be in a Sailor uke. Is this misleading, probably not in the US, but certainly it would be in Australia? The terminology of the far East is different to the US and Australia. Currently there seems to be a lot of fuss about a bill in the US Parliament about censoring the internet, would it be censorship to force far East advertising writers to conform to US speak in internet advertising? The answer to this question is at the heart of the discussion about the bill and freedom of speech.
Veneer has been used for centuries to make the most of nicely figured wood, they find a piece and cut it into thin slices so it can be used like a wooden paint over less figured, and lower cost wood. I don't know its history in musical instruments, but I have seen advertisements for "drop in" tops for electric guitars, which are essentially veneers and seem to be sought after. Some veneer I have seen has been processed so much that its only relationship with the original wood is how it looks, it has lost most of its strength and has been made more flexible. Veneer is generally about looks, some people like pretty wood in their ukes and are attracted to the koa look, so some nicely figured koa has been sliced up and glued onto some ukes to satisfy those customers, big deal. If the ukes don't have a good sound they will earn a bad reputation and wont sell, no matter what you type here. Build quality, price and sound are the main determinants of long term sales for musical instruments, problems with the advertising spiel only cut in when a price point is passed. The ukulele is a happy instrument, the market has a lot of room at the moment, enjoy the time when ukes rule and follow the concept that a rising tide floats all boats, it wont last forever. Details like wood/laminate are great to pass the time on BBs but are really not as important as construction quality, price and sound in the long run.

clayton56
01-18-2012, 12:23 PM
Years ago I was reading an advertisement for a type of piano with a laminated soundboard. They went on about how the layers improved the tone, because it was done so the grains were running in different directions, carrying vibrations to all corners of the soundboard instead of in just one direction. Another selling point was its increased durability and stability.

I didn't hear it but they said a majority of testers picked their sound in a test. The point is there might be acoustic reasons for building a laminate, so someone should do it.

I have a Stewart MacDonald kit mandolin that has laminated back and sides with solid top, and that thing has always sounded great - very strong, lots of overtones. I never felt inferior with it and never bought the 10x-priced Gibson.

If someone makes a laminated uke for logical reasons and approaches it in a skilled, quality oriented way I would consider it. One reason for laminating poplar is it might not look too good.

Bill1
01-18-2012, 12:28 PM
There are over 600 species of eucalyptus, does anyone know which one is used in the Sailor Uke? I suspect that in the US there are only one or two types growing so it is assumed that one of them will be in a Sailor uke. If the eucalyptus is Blue Gum it may have a problem selling in Australia because Blue Gum is not seen as a tonewood, and is a cheap wood grown for woodchipping. Is this misleading, probably not in the US, but certainly it would be in Australia? The terminology of the far East is different to the US and Australia. Currently there seems to be a lot of fuss about a bill in the US Parliament about censoring the internet, would it be censorship to force far East advertising writers to conform to US speak in internet advertising? The answer to this question is at the heart of the discussion about the bill and freedom of speech.
Veneer has been used for centuries to make the most of nicely figured wood, they find a piece and cut it into thin slices so it can be used like a wooden paint over less figured, and lower cost wood. I don't know its history in musical instruments, but I have seen advertisements for "drop in" tops for electric guitars, which are essentially veneers and seem to be sought after. Some veneer I have seen has been processed so much that its only relationship with the original wood is how it looks, it has lost most of its strength and has been made more flexible. Veneer is generally about looks, some people like pretty wood in their ukes and are attracted to the koa look, so some nicely figured koa has been sliced up and glued onto some ukes to satisfy those customers. If the ukes don't sound as good as their price, they wont sell for very long as the word gets out. Most buyers want a good sound for their money, no matter what the advertising spiel says.

bynapkinart
01-18-2012, 03:16 PM
I don't think we can discount the effect our preconceptions about laminate has on how we view lam now. Musicians dig solid wood; we always have and we always will. Maybe because it sounds better, probably because it is how it was done in the golden age of instrument making.

On another forum a while back there was a discussion about laminate on guitars, and the general consensus was that if the Asian boom hadn't of happened then there would be a chance that musicians could give good laminate a chance. After all, one of the most sought-after series of electric guitars (the Gibson ES series) was made of 5 (5!) sheets of wood pressed together...plywood by any means. The reasons we tend to give them a pass usually revolves around our heroes playing them, and that they're made in the USA.

There's no question that a solid wood top (at least) on an acoustic instrument will sound better than a laminate. The real question is: is it really worth the money?

My Fender is extremely pretty compared to my KoAloha. If you look at the cost of each and where they were made and by whom, you'd think that it was a little strange that the cheaper, foreign one looks nicer. The KoAloha sounds beautiful, and manages to be louder than the Fender...but not by much. I own both and love both, but I don't think that the KoAloha sounds 2+ times better than the Fender. They are surprisingly similar.

According to HMS, Fender is pressing Koa on Mahogany for a three layer laminate (K-M-K). The thickness of the top is roughly 1.5 mm. I don't know how that compares to other overseas laminate, but I trust my ears and it sounds pretty dang nice.

People buy lams for different reasons. A lot of them are purchased by or for beginners because they're cheap and easy to maintain. I bought mine because A.) I needed a tenor; B.) I wanted something that I could play despite the elements; C.) I got an insanely good deal on it; and D.) It is gorgeous. As it stands, I got something that sounds a heck of a lot like my KoAloha, without all the worrying about humidity and theft and accidents.

If they made a solid-top or all solid Koa one for $200 or $300 more, I might have considered the solid top, but I doubt I'd have gotten the all solid one. I don't need it right now.

haolejohn
01-18-2012, 04:39 PM
I think the title of this thread leads to some confusion. The Kala offered by Mim's does not specify the composition of the laminate sides & back. Here's the description from Uke Republic on one of the Sailor brand ukes:
First, isn't a laminate, by definition, multiple layers of solid wood? In this case we have three plies of solid wood glued together. The insertion of the term "solid poplar" in describing a laminate is on the edge of misleading. All the layers are "solid" wood, just very thin and probably not the highest quality wood except for perhaps the top veneer.

I think they'd do better to state this fact rather than throw around "solid" to describe a laminate. I don't see where there isanything misleading about that.

Drew Bear
01-18-2012, 05:22 PM
I don't see where there isanything misleading about that.I agree there is technically nothing misleading about that description. Just like there is technically nothing misleading about not ever using the word "laminate" to describe 100% laminate wood ukes. The latter I consider outright misleading the uninformed (yes, I know it's buyer beware), the former is right on the edge. As I tried to clarify, I think they'd be better served by touting the difference in their laminate process.

We're not arguing in a court of law here. I don't claim that anyone is doing anything illegal. But I still wish uke makers and retailers would change the accepted convention of only adding "solid" to distinguish between a solid wood uke and a laminate uke.

How many unsuspecting tourists come home from Hawaii with a $300-400 "koa ukulele" to discover that it's a koa veneer? I know reputable retailers will point out the difference. But you know how that goes. And with so many first-time buyers getting their ukes online, why not flood cyberspace with the term "laminate uke" so that people are clear about the distinction?

Uke Republic
01-18-2012, 05:32 PM
The reason I state solid poplar is this- It is solid poplar :) Poplar is a very uninteresting looking wood but it's very strong and has tonal characteristics comparable to maple. The veneer is stated and that's what it is. So solid core-veneer on top and bottom . Many people often think of a traditional laminate it seems as a acoustic composition wood with a veneer on the back and sometimes on the top.
We might make a poplar without veneer in the future but with a stain or burst finish.
I give details so as not to be misleading.I state words like cherry veneer not solid cherry. I don't see how any more clear one could be. Bottom line is they are great sounding instruments, great looking, domestically made and are sold at a great value. I'm rather proud of them.
Now onto other news- Sailor brand has the Sailor Blues in the works and they are all solid with no laminates(maybe lam on some headstock) for those that prefer that. Different strokes for different folks (loved that show) Coming up- all mahogany, mango, tamarind and more! These will be stated as such and have a different label-blue compared to the parchment label. Will they cost more? Why yes, yes they will:)

cornfedgroove
01-18-2012, 05:38 PM
hmmm didnt realize this post would be such the discussion.

Here's clarification on why I asked:

I dont like laminate.
TO MY EARS they project less and sound relatively thin.
IN MY HANDS, it feels lite and cheap.
I like solid wood everything, including furniture..and I prefer darker woods...still including furniture. I just dont like laminate.
You can hear all the youtube comparisons you want...they all sound comparable through a stupid mic. There is night and day between youtube audios and actually picking it up, hearing it, and feeling the resonation. I dont like laminate:) lol

To the point and conclusion...my question was posed in order to gather information to satisfy my personal tastes in music and musical instruments. If you like laminates, awesome...go buy three:) I personally do not like them. I'm sure this uke has great tone and I have total confidence in MIM, and maybe that uke sounds better than an all solid Hawaiian K brand. The problem is that that ukulele is hanging on MIM's wall hours and hours away from here, and I dont desire to spend my money on an uke of that description without playing it and being convinced.

I am of course familiar with MIM, duh, I was around before she started peddling ukes...I have zero concerns with her, but I do have concern with all these manufacturers and their descriptions. So I asked for some clarification regarding the description. If manufacturers would just call a dog a dog, we wouldnt have to "relearn" what all these words "mean".

ps. also I have no problem with UkeRep's descriptions or Sailor's or Kala's even persay...just learning the lingo so I'm not misinformed as things continue to change I'm sure.

UKEON TERRITORY
01-18-2012, 06:09 PM
VENEER IS NOT .......... ALLOW ME TO INFORM YOU ONCE AGAIN ......... VENEER IS NOT THE SAME AS A LAMINATE ........... IT IS SIMPLY VENEER ......... THAT'S ALL IT IS .



Yes , veneer is often and commonly used to hide laminate on cheaper stringed instruments . Although VENEER is also used to beautify WONDERFUL SOLID TONEWOODS as well . Such as poplar . Poplar is pretty much a very basic looking wood that offers little to no exaggerated grain patterns almost never . It would be a freak for poplar to be highly figured .

But solid tonewood is solid tonewood . PERIOD ! A blind man cannot hate nor be prejudice due to appearance as a seeing man can . Never mind my curiosity of this one fact . Do the test yourself . For one , ever tried to burn mohagony , cedar , koa , rosewood , maple , etc.etc.etc. They pop crackle and whislte like mad and burn very quickly . Ever tried to burn poplar . You'll be lucky to get it to smoke . IT'S TOUGHER THAN TOUGH for one thing .

NOW ! Tough doesn't mean good tone . But tight grain does . NOW ! Why do you think poplar is so hard to burn . BECAUSE OF THE TIGHT GRAIN AND DENSITY . Which makes for WONDERFUL TONE !

TO LET THE THOUGHT THAT VENEER IS EVEN REMOTELY CONSIDERED TO BE A LAMINATE INSTRUMENT , is to not have the beginning understanding of what laminate is . NOW ! Laminate is cheaper and is often made of even particles and hidden behind veneer . But let's face it . One should have full understanding of all components before believing your Sailor Brand is junk . I have one thing to say to that person who told you that . " UNINFORMED " and ill armed with truth and facts .

SO ! With that said . I'll tell you for real . I love my Sailor Brand with a passion and was drawn to it not only because of it's beautiful veneer , but because I know that SOLID POPLAR will out last them all in ageing accpet maybe for ebony . Hoe often do you see a solid ebony stringed instrument ? NEVER , because it is really expensive and is GRAINLESSLY NON-FIGURED . And to boot , I'll stand my Sailor concert up next to any of them for sustain, projection , accurate voicing, intonation , durability , etc.etc.etc. right along with ANY OTHER Uke , production and oR luthier made .

NO ! I am not a professional Uke player and in fact , I am quite new to the Uke . But with growing up in and around the music industry on a prfessional family level and workinf semi-pro for many years myself , coupled with working in the retail end of wood instruments , there is where I base my reality from .

The real fact of the matter is this . We could all go purchase custom luhtier made, high end ukes made of exact identical components , and NO TWO of them would sound nor look alike . To even say mohgany is the warmest wood definitively would be in error . I've even got a $149 Lankai Nato concert that would flip your lid for tone and quailty sound . But I do know that isn't the norm . Also knowing it won't live near as long as quality luthier made .

If you truly knew the hands that luthier made Sailor Brands were made by , you'd probably tell your friend that made such an uninformed satement he was about as smart as the laminate itself . The hands that build Sailors are not exactly rookies in instrument business and wouldn't waste there time on " JUNK " . They'd not stoop to such .

Anerican Luthier made by the most qualified hands in the business for a half a century . Hint . The tell tale sign is in the heel of the neck .

Never the less . The poplar is used to make an EXTREME QAULITY uke affordable to the uke community because it is not a rare wood and is abundant in the US . Poplar as a visibly attractive wood is not sought for it's appearance , but is sought for it HIGH QAULITY TONE AND LONGIVITY . Don't want a Sailor Brand with veneer ? I have no Idea , but I'd imagine you could order one and get just straight up poplar and you'd still be smokin' with quality sound and build .

I'll stand my small sized concert up next to ANY cutsom luthier made small concert for quality and sound throughout . EVEN A CUSTOM Lo****** ................

Not just my input . BUT THE FACTS ............

Maybe to watch Gordon Mayer's Youtube video on tonewoods would do some educational worlds of good for some reality on this topic .

For instance in preferences amongst different taste . The KoAloha ...... A wonderfully luthier built Uke by all means . BUT THE SINGLE UGLIEST HEADSTOCK UNDER THE SUN . I'd saw the thing off and put a Sailor Brand headstock on it myslef . AAA tonewood or not . The things are horrifically UGLY . But that is my opinion and all mine . But I don't eat sardines either . But if a KoAloha was all I had to play , and sardines is all I had to eat , I'd do both with my chin up and glad of it .

Want Junk , buy a Lanaki . I've got one . I am sure of it . roflol . But I love my Lanikai .

JMHU !

UKEON TERRITORY
01-18-2012, 06:15 PM
OH ! And if you really wanna get stickler and question SOLID WOOD I have one question . Does your high end uke have a " bookended " back on it ? if it does . Guess what ? Then by the accpeted on this thread what " laminate " means , no matter what you paid or who built it ...........


IT'S A LAMINATE ............... roflol .........

Because they laminate the two pieces together . Therefore and technically is NOT a solid wood . I'd veneer that " JUNK " if it were mine . LOL LOL

Just being silly sarcastic to make a point . Not to offend by any means of course .

Just like Your Mya-Moe headstock , or any other uke with a faceplate . LAMINATE . So when you dis someone so called laminate . I'd get my dictionary out first .

But and if ........ you think your Sailor Brand is junk . I will be glad to relieve you of it with not sorrowfulness . But bare in mind , I pay no higher than $10 for a Uke sold as " JUNK" .

Thanks for your time .

haole
01-18-2012, 06:16 PM
Coming up- all mahogany, mango, tamarind and more!

http://www.lolcatpics.com/images/attention.jpg

Drew Bear
01-18-2012, 06:22 PM
The reason I state solid poplar is this- It is solid poplar :) Poplar is a very uninteresting looking wood but it's very strong and has tonal characteristics comparable to maple. The veneer is stated and that's what it is. So solid core-veneer on top and bottom.Mike, your description in this case is clearer than usual. But you are not addressing the confusion caused by the industry-wide policy of using the adjective "solid" to describe non-laminate wood. So the words you use are perfectly clear on their own, but not so clear in the context of what is commonly used in the ukulele industry.

Are you saying that the tonal properties of poplar sandwiched between two plies of eucalyptus is the same as a single SOLID piece of poplar? No disrespect intended, but that sounds very iffy to me.

Drew Bear
01-18-2012, 06:30 PM
Joining two book matched pieces of wood along a seam is not the same as laminating three sheets of thin wood. Maybe the Luthiers or folks with knowledge of carpentry can describe it better, but let's not try to equate the two processes.

Edited to add that a single ply of wood sandwiched between two veneers is, by definition, a laminate. There's no composite lumber involved, so you can say it's high quality laminate.

bynapkinart
01-18-2012, 06:36 PM
Lots of emotion on this thread...let's all remember that your individual experience might vary from someone else's opinion.

If you don't like laminates, don't buy them! And try not to tell everyone who likes laminates that they have suboptimal gear.

If you don't like solid, same goes for you!

I think this thread is a great resource for beginners, but most experienced musicians will agree that the vast majority of laminates (read: asian laminates) come up a little short compared to solids in the tone department. That's not to say that all solid-body ukes are better than lam-body ukes...it's just that in this current environment you tend to get lower quality lam in asian ukes.

Sailor Brand and Kiwaya are another story...they use great lam and know how to properly build their instruments so that the tone doesn't get sucked up by the construction of the uke.

I've played K brand ukes that are solid but completely overbuilt (not naming brands here for the sake of keeping the peace). I've played great looking lams that suck tonewise. It all depends on the bracing and the overall construction of the uke, not just what constitutes lam in a very hard-to-define field. The Fenders that I tried out last year couldn't even come close to the new one I bought. The Kalas that I played last year left more of an impression on me than this year's bunch. Sailor Brand always sounds good to my ear when I hear them on youtube, but Keli'i always seem too thin and plinky for me. Really, I think this is such a polarizing subject that it's impossible to get a solid answer that is completely without bias.

Musicians are musicians, though. Solid will almost always be better, no matter what, to almost every musician.

Uke Republic
01-18-2012, 06:45 PM
I'm only stating what it's made of. It's hard and reflects well.
The topic is getting heated and I'd rather not post on this thread anymore. No offence is taken by me. It's just a subject that gets discussed like strings, tuners- friction or geared which is best etc. I just wanted to explain why I listed it that way.

Mike, your description in this case is clearer than usual. But you are not addressing the confusion caused by the industry-wide policy of using the adjective "solid" to describe non-laminate wood. So the words you use are perfectly clear on their own, but not so clear in the context of what is commonly used in the ukulele industry.

Are you saying that the tonal properties of poplar sandwiched between two plies of eucalyptus is the same as a single SOLID piece of poplar? No disrespect intended, but that sounds very iffy to me.

Drew Bear
01-18-2012, 06:54 PM
Ben, I'm not commenting on the build or sound quality of any uke mentioned here. I am only commenting on the lack of clarity in the words used to describe the woods.

UKEON TERRITORY
01-18-2012, 07:06 PM
OK . Let me describe what " LAMINATE " is , and what it is for .

" LAMINATE " is an inexpensive manufacturing process ( in most cases ) using near indentical thicknesses pieces of wood to use low qaulity wood and glue them together for the sake of structure . PERIOD ! Laminates are NOT known for sound qulity . But look at it thia way . Ever been ina super tall peaked building like a church and look up at massive wooden beams ? I imagine so . I BET YOU MY UKE THEY ARE LAMINATE . For structural strength well above and beyong solid wood . Even when quality wood . And then they will often veneer the beam for asthetic value . Even then , the veneer is not for structural purposes . NEVER !


Veneer is NOT for structural soundness . Veneer is simply for appearance .

A photo of my " AMERICAN MADE , LUTHIER HANDCRAFTED , SOLID TONEWOOD Uke ! Wanna hear a soundbyte ? And get back with me in 50 years when a bookended solid is dead meat .

32546

UKEON TERRITORY
01-18-2012, 07:24 PM
Joining two book matched pieces of wood along a seam is not the same as laminating three sheets of thin wood. Maybe the Luthiers or folks with knowledge of carpentry can describe it better, but let's not try to equate the two processes.

Edited to add that a single ply of wood sandwiched between two veneers is, by definition, a laminate. There's no composite lumber involved, so you can say it's high quality laminate.

Just curious . So glueing two pieces of wood side by side is simply glueing ? While gluein two pieces of wood on top of each other is laminating ? Hrrrmmmm ! Intersting !

And I add binding to my solid wood , I then sammich three pieces of differnt thicknesses of wood to one linear structure . Right ? Then again .....ANY uke built of no matter what that has binding must be a lamite as well .

See where we are going with reality of definition ?


LAMINATION IS STRUCTURAL . . . . . . VENEER IS ESTHETIC ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! . Although it is likely to assist in strength to some small degree . lol

Oh yeah . And if the sides are actually just simply inert , I'd like to see two identical Ukes made of any master grade tonewood . But one with aluminum sides and the other made of " INERT " solid wood . >

Can we all say , " TWANGITY TWANGITY TWANG TWANG TWANG ? lol

bynapkinart
01-18-2012, 07:25 PM
Ben, I'm not commenting on the build or sound quality of any uke mentioned here. I am only commenting on the lack of clarity in the words used to describe the woods.

Very fair. I think it's a bit of a bummer that we don't require clarification, although in this case I think that Sailor is very clear in the construction of their ukes. More so than many brands!

Nickie
01-18-2012, 07:29 PM
I can't say which is better, my cheap laminate ukulele looks just as good, or better than my more expensive solid wood ukulele. The solid, now that I'm used to the thicker neck, is more fun to play. The lam is louder. And has a more tinny tone. The solid is more mellow, kind of subdued compared to the lam, but I don't care. I have no issues with the body, the neck is what gives me heck, on the lam. I wonder if it's warped. Or maybe I'm just warped...

UKEON TERRITORY
01-18-2012, 07:58 PM
very fair. I think it's a bit of a bummer that we don't require clarification, although in this case i think that sailor is very clear in the construction of their ukes. More so than many brands!

AMEN BROTHER .......... PREACH IT !

But please afford and or allow me this opportunity to say why I chose a Sailor Brand .

I don't have alot of money to purchase alot of Ukes . I need bang for my buck . Therefore I only own three Ukes .

I was looking for a Uke to use as my " snake iron " . A uke I knew would hold up to going everywhere with me and take the abuse with hardiness and reliability and structural soundness coupled with sound . I wanted my " snake iron to be AMERICAN MADE . I wanted it to look good and to be something I was proud to own rather than to make excuses for .

I looked and looked and played and played Ukes . I kept going back to the Sailor time and time and then just did the right thing for my needs . This one is the smaller bodied concert and NOT a super saprano . The feel of the neck is like NO other for comfort and speed . I'll hope to soon have another Sailor Brand . Alhough I desire other brands equally in many ways , I know my SB will take the constant use and travel abuse that I'd always be nervous about with most others . It makes me feel like I could drive nails with it and sound good to . lol lol .

With the Freemont medium strings on it it is a cut through it all loud . But I was not expecting warmth in a small bodied concert anyway .

BUY ONE ! YOU'LL LOVE IT !

buddhuu
01-19-2012, 01:30 AM
Bookmatching a back plate (edge to edge) and laminating a plate (face to face) are not at all the same thing. Laminating refers to layers.

From the Merriam Webster online dictionary:



Verb
1: to roll or compress into a thin plate
2: to separate into laminae
3a : to make (as a windshield) by uniting superposed layers of one or more materials
b : to unite (layers of material) by an adhesive or other means

Noun
a product made by pressing together thin layers of material [noncount] ▪ The kitchen counters are made of plastic laminate. [count] ▪ plastic laminates.

The line between veneering and laminating is less cut and dried. By definition (see above), a piece of wood with another layer of veneer is a laminate.

Most definitions of veneer do say that its purpose tends to be decorative.

Most of the "laminate" instruments I have experience of seem to have been laminated with veneer for aesthetic/cosmetic reasons.

In my opinion, an instrument using veneer may correctly be termed a laminate instrument.

This subject is one that crops up again and again; and every time it gets temperatures raised. With that in mind, please do a little research before making loud proclamations of "fact", and, even when you're right, try not to keep SHOUTING to make your point. ;)

UKEON TERRITORY
01-19-2012, 03:01 AM
FACT FACT FACT FACT FACT FACT .................

STRUCTURAL SOUNDNESS IS THE SOLE PURPOSE OF LAMINATION . Veneer is for esthetic value . Ever seen a windshiled with an esthetic veneer ? NOT ! For sure it would be tough to see through . lol


FACT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
LOL LOL

Anyone wanna take the time to post Merriam Websters definition of " LAMINATE " as well as " VEENER " not only posting just the 'verb' of one word . But both verb and noun ?

Veneer is esthetic period . Ever seen a laminated rock wall ? NOPE ! It's called veneer . Veneer is use in a wood application to bring beauty to an ' inferior 'wood . And inferior doesn't particularly mean 'inferior' by structure but implies by appearance .

I mean since we took to the dictionary and all . lol

As for layering , who's to say one can put to pieces of wood together left to right , and or top to bottom and it is , or is not laminate .

Chicken or the egg ? I say this chicken !

But one better than the other ? Not always .

Stringed instruments in eons back were ALL solid wood . Technology caught up and thus laminates and veneer enter our lives . We'd all like to think the way it was done in cave man days was alledge better so we lean to that attempting to pose as purest . We do that in a love of ways . But if purism it best , I say go buy an old rattle trap vehicle with NO computer to control it's finctions and see about affording the gas .

There is great romance in calling something old school or old school style , " better " . But farce at best .

SOLID , SOLID PLASTIC , SOLID VENEER , SOLID NOTHING , SOLD SOEMTHING .

The only thing that makes ANY of that better is the simple fact if the individuals needs were met . FACT ! lol
Do I want esthetics over one thins and or structural integrity over another ? Ones choise to appease the need is what is " GOOD , BETTER , AND OR BEST " . But again ..... LAMINATION IS STRUCTURAL ! Veneer is NOT !
Causing the two of them tewo different things . Why pray tell have two definitions for the same thing if they are the same thing . They are different on ALL facets . But then again , If I call a banana an orange , it only makes it that to me my personal definition . To insist the world suddenly call it what I want it to be just isn't feasable .

And let's not forget those laminated faceplates so many luthiers use on high end so affirmed " solid wood " instruments then . If it has one single laminated component , it would then classify as a " laminate instrument " . Would it not ?

All components are proven to be affective towards sound quality .

So if one asked in regard to MOST ukes , if it were solid or laminate , lot's of folks would truly be found tell the FACTS that their uke is part laminate and part solid and part veneer . Right ?

I'm done with this . Love you all . Hope education was recieved on all parts not excluding mine .

buddhuu
01-19-2012, 03:18 AM
[...]STRUCTURAL SOUNDNESS IS THE SOLE PURPOSE OF LAMINATION[...]

With respect, you are incorrect. The reason I "took to the dictionary and all" is because people often try to win this argument by spreading misinformation.

The verb "laminate" has a definition. That definition does not limit its relevance solely to structural function.

UKEON TERRITORY
01-19-2012, 03:29 AM
Appears as if we might agree we disagree . Never the less , when ones definitions makes declaration as " GOOD , BETTER OR BEST " , we all enter into another entirely different twilight zone . Although veneer is NOT inferior and or superior and neither is laminate . But I still say plywood is a laminate not veneer . Veneer is what is refered to as " OVERLAYMENT " for beautification accomplishment while laminate is by all means STRUCTURAL !


Wonderful day to all !

p.s. Really wasn't intending to pose " shouting " , more just emphasis . Hope no offence was taken to my ' emphasis ' .

buddhuu
01-19-2012, 03:39 AM
No offense taken, I'm sure. It's just that caps are a bit harder to read! ;)

UKEON TERRITORY
01-19-2012, 03:41 AM
No offense taken, I'm sure. It's just that caps are a bit harder to read! ;)

Hey buddhuu . I got a great idea . Let's talk about politics and religion for a while . That'd take away from the topic for a bit ................ lol lol ............... NOT ! ! !



hahahahahahaha , oh me !

buddhuu
01-19-2012, 03:45 AM
LOL. Maybe another day. ;)

SweetWaterBlue
01-19-2012, 03:48 AM
I have to agree with buddhuu- words have definitions in the dictionary, and typing that something is fact in all caps does not make it so, just as its verbal twin, shouting, does not make something so. There is a lot of nonsense in this thread. If you like the way a uke sounds, and can afford it - buy it and play it. My opinion is of course suspect, since the uke I play the most is my laminate side and backed, solid spruce top $90 floor model Lanikai tenor (horrors!), and never feel ashamed. I also enjoy playing my friends' Sailor brands, Ks and other assorted ukes, as well as my solid mahogany soprano. I firmly believe that the thing that makes most ukes sound better is practice.

bynapkinart
01-19-2012, 03:52 AM
I have to agree with buddhuu- words have definitions in the dictionary, and typing that something is fact in all caps does not make it so, just as its verbal twin, shouting, does not make something so. There is a lot of nonsense in this thread. If you like the way a uke sounds, and can afford it - buy it and play it.

I like this plan. Currently waking up with a cup of coffee and strumming on my Fender and KoAloha!

haolejohn
01-19-2012, 04:10 AM
I like this plan. Currently waking up with a cup of coffee and strumming on my Fender and KoAloha!

I at first was wondering about your fender. Iplayed many of them while in Hawaii 2 or three years ago (when they first came out) and not one was I even remotely close to buying, even if it had of been free (well maybe then I would have). But then I read where you bought one of the newer ones. Maybe they are finally figuring it out???

PhilUSAFRet
01-19-2012, 04:17 AM
Aggressive point making, casting dispersions on all opposing points of view, raising one's voice (CAPS) etc is called "Argumentation by Intimidation."

UKEON TERRITORY
01-19-2012, 04:54 AM
Didn't find the definition of " argumentation by intimidation " in the dictionary .But then again , intelligent beings done use Wiki for their sources of knowldege and good common sense .

But hey , take that as a jest and poke from a fun loving fellow Uker as a brother helping you work on an old solid wooden floored pickup . Not as someone looking to deny you the right to be wrong . lol

PoiDog
01-19-2012, 04:57 AM
So, even though this thread has spun off in a wild direction regarding emphatic (and sometimes approaching bellicose) definitions, defense, and assaults on laminate vs solid, I'd like to go back to one of my little puzzles: why people would put a veneer on an otherwise solid top, back, or sides.

My guess is to make it look all purty. Or to make one wood look like another. "Hmmm, I've got this uke made from solid Blibbery wood, but I think it would sell better if I slapped a sticker over it to make it look like Dwingdaddy wood! What a great marketing ploy!"

That just makes no goldarn sense to me at all. What it tells me is that the manufacturer (or the buyer) is embarrassed to have a uke that looks like Blibbery wood, so they gotta hide it in a fake hide of Dwingdaddy, or the manufacturer is hoping the buyer won't actually read that the uke is Blibbery, and hope the sucker just assumes it's Dwingdaddy.

Either way, it just seems way too silly for me. If you got a Blibbery wood uke, let it be one.

Besides that, I still don't get ukes made where the top is solid mahog or cedar or spruce and the back-sides are solid koa. Unless the back-sides are lam koa but the manufacturer is lying about their build.

Okay, back to talking about what constitutes a real lam, and why they are so superior to solids that one day we'll genetically engineer laminate cows for better food.

strumsilly
01-19-2012, 05:02 AM
... and a time and place for every material under heaven. even plastic [going to try my macc Islander in the shower sometime] The thing I have a problem with is trying to pass something off as what it's not. If it says solid wood it should be solid wood. There was a seller on ebay recently trying to pass off a Kala laminate koa as solid wood. He even said solid in his title. when I pointed this out to him he called me a deuce bag. I did not find this the least bit insulting as I have many bags, not just 2. but the fact that he never corrected his ad leads me to think he was purposely being misleading. btw. his uke didn't sell.

austin1
01-19-2012, 05:51 AM
Didn't find the definition of " argumentation by intimidation " in the dictionary .But then again , intelligent beings done use Wiki for their sources of knowldege and good common sense .

But hey , take that as a jest and poke from a fun loving fellow Uker as a brother helping you work on an old solid wooden floored pickup . Not as someone looking to deny you the right to be wrong . lol

Be quiet, please.


when I pointed this out to him he called me a deuce bag. I did not find this the least bit insulting as I have many bags, not just 2.

haaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Drew Bear
01-19-2012, 07:18 AM
I think it's a bit of a bummer that we don't require clarification, although in this case I think that Sailor is very clear in the construction of their ukes. More so than many brands! I agree with the first part of your statement, but not the latter parts. I believe that Mike is honestly trying to give an accurate and more clear description, but I think the end result is added confusion. Again, I am not questioning his intentions or integrity.

One of my first posts on this forum was to complain about the market-speak of the ukulele industry. We all had to learn that when they said "Mahogany", it meant a laminate wood with a mahogany veneer on the outside. We also quickly learned that when the word "solid" was added in front of the wood species, that meant that a single solid ply of wood was being used.

If they want to add clarity to the market-speak of the industry, then they should stop being so afraid of using the word "laminate". From there they can then describe the superiority of their laminate process. But to lead a bullet point with the word "solid" to describe sides & back of a uke that is clearly not made of a single ply of solid wood (the primary definition in the uke market-speak dictionary) -- that's confusing at best.


Solid Spruce Top
Solid Poplar Back/Sides -
covered inside/out w/ Figured Eucalyptus VeneerI now understand uke market-speak, but even I had to look twice at those bullet points to understand what was being described. As someone else already pointed out, I also had to puzzle out why they would use a veneer on the inside layer. Is it to try and make it look like a solid back when you look into the sound hole?

BTW, does anyone know if Ohana, Kala, Islander, etc. use composite wood products in their laminates? Or are all the plies solid wood?

haolejohn
01-19-2012, 07:37 AM
I just asked my students what solid wood covered in a veneer means...They told me it meant something solid with another thing over it...So they understand and they are 8 years old:) Just saying...If one takes the time to read a whole description they will know what it means.

UKEON TERRITORY
01-19-2012, 07:42 AM
i just asked my students what solid wood covered in a veneer means...they told me it meant something solid with another thing over it...so they understand and they are 8 years old:) just saying...if one takes the time to read a whole description they will know what it means.



amen brother .

UKEON TERRITORY
01-19-2012, 07:51 AM
Weak minds are easily confused . But what one likes is also within the budget plan they live within .

The real issue I take with attempting to use any term as a beratement in regard to anothers belongings is at best , discording . If it's a uke , period , I like it . Although gimme a break on KoAloha goth looking heastock and crown bridges . .

See what I mean . I guarantee someone owning a KoAloha looked over at their headstock and said ( angrily ) , " that guys nuts " . But what a great Uke they make . Just ugly . In my opinion of course .

Biggest reasons these type topics go so far and for so long is because not enough time is spent learning music theory . Had we all been attending to music as it ought , more time would be spent fussing over the easiest way to make an E chord , or a Gbminor ( and I speak of my own guilt first here ) .

Peoples hands are manufactured differently and different chords are easier for one than the other . It doesn't make one chord or finger configuration better for to be an E chord . It's still an Echord and it is still a Uke and we should all like both for what they are .

But everyone's hands are laminated . As for ugly headstocks . Have you seen a photo of me yet ? Graicous . Talk about an ugly headstock . WHEW ! roflol roflol

Blessings !

RichM
01-19-2012, 08:02 AM
Besides that, I still don't get ukes made where the top is solid mahog or cedar or spruce and the back-sides are solid koa. Unless the back-sides are lam koa but the manufacturer is lying about their build.


Making instruments with a softer, more resonant tonewood (ie, spruce or cedar) on the top and a harder wood for back & sides has a long, long musical tradition. The majority of guitars are made this way; the vast majority of the violin family is spruce over maple, as is it common on mandolins. Ukuleles are unique in the stringed instrument family in that they are probably most commonly made with a single hardwood (koa, mahogany, myrtle) for the top, back & sides. I personally think spruce and cedar make wonderful sounboards for ukes (especially cedar), but everybody's tastes are different.

PoiDog
01-19-2012, 08:23 AM
Making instruments with a softer, more resonant tonewood (ie, spruce or cedar) on the top and a harder wood for back & sides has a long, long musical tradition. The majority of guitars are made this way; the vast majority of the violin family is spruce over maple, as is it common on mandolins. Ukuleles are unique in the stringed instrument family in that they are probably most commonly made with a single hardwood (koa, mahogany, myrtle) for the top, back & sides. I personally think spruce and cedar make wonderful sounboards for ukes (especially cedar), but everybody's tastes are different.

Thank you for answering my question. I honestly just didn't understand the mixed woods, but now there is some sense to it. Though I still don't get the koa/mahog blend ...

Drew Bear
01-19-2012, 08:23 AM
I just asked my students what solid wood covered in a veneer means...They told me it meant something solid with another thing over it...So they understand and they are 8 years old:) Just saying...If one takes the time to read a whole description they will know what it means.Did you ask them what a veneer was? Or why anyone would put a veneer on the inside of a uke? :) Just saying...

You, I and probably everyone at UU understand what those bullet points mean, but if the purpose of such a description is to be clear and transparent, then be totally clear and transparent. This model has a solid core in the laminate? Fine. Now go and change all the other descriptions to point out the laminates that do not have a solid core.

I'm sorry, but I don't understand why anyone wants to defend this practice of market-speak. It's bad enough the entire industry accepts it. I think this takes it one step further. Do we really want to see spec bullet points like this?

Solid Acacia Top
Solid Acacia Back/Sides -
covered inside/out w/ Solid Acacia Veneer
I would much rather see something like this:

Solid Spruce Top
High quality laminate Back/Sides with a solid Poplar core covered on both sides with Figured Eucalyptus veneer It would be easy to provide a link to a detailed description of the higher quality lamination process. They could even make a case that their laminate ukes sound better than some solid wood ukes. Educate uke buyers, don't just perpetuate vague marketing language.

UKEON TERRITORY
01-19-2012, 08:24 AM
Making instruments with a softer, more resonant tonewood (ie, spruce or cedar) on the top and a harder wood for back & sides has a long, long musical tradition. The majority of guitars are made this way; the vast majority of the violin family is spruce over maple, as is it common on mandolins. Ukuleles are unique in the stringed instrument family in that they are probably most commonly made with a single hardwood (koa, mahogany, myrtle) for the top, back & sides. I personally think spruce and cedar make wonderful sounboards for ukes (especially cedar), but everybody's tastes are different.

AH ! As Mr RichM so wisley states the difference in cedar and spruce being softer of the woods for use as " tops " . Bring to light another definitive element to terminology . In personal agreeance with Mr RichM . I do raise the use of the words used in this thread in reference to , " top , back and side " . What happened to the words " front and bottom " ?

I mean of we refer to the soundboard as the " top " wouldn't it's opposing face actually be the bottom rather than the back . The top of my house faces the bottom . The sided face each other .......... Catchin my drift here ? As to say , if I advertise a uke with a solid and or laminate top , or solid and laminate back , am I being deceptive by not describing what is actually the " bottom " ?

Point and " fact " do your homework and don't let myth interfere with legend . Lot's of scams out there to be had .
I can personally speak for Sailor Brand as for when I called UR and got Mike on the phone and inquired exactly what his very descript terms meant , he clearly stated the facts of how it was manufactured . Even one with as low of IQ points I have grasped it easily . Not only the honesty of it all and the fact that for the price point the Sailor stands out head shoulders from all the rest , but the awesome playability , sound and quality build was a no brainer . He has a golden and successful concept that is a bit different and andventurous that works like few other concepts do to the favor of the musician and the musicians pocket in the same breath .

CONGRATS to Sailor Brand for a wonderful wonderful product that will last more years than most .

I'm outty here !

buddhuu
01-19-2012, 08:37 AM
There are words that have become common usage when referring to parts of instruments. These terms are used by luthiers as well as experienced players. On an 'ukulele, mandolin or acoustic guitar, the plate that points forward when you play is usually called the top (the analogous part on a fiddle is called the table or belly), and the plate that points toward your body has become known as the back. The curvy bits that join the two are known as the sides or ribs.

It's the same as with any other field: a lexicon evolves and becomes the accepted way of referring to things - regardless of whether we, individually, think those terms are good ones or not.

The terms 'top', 'back' and 'sides' are part of the established vocabulary of luthiery.

Paul December
01-19-2012, 08:43 AM
People can debate what "laminate" is, but the definition of "solid" when referring to uke construction is simple and widely accepted.
To work in the word "solid" to describe something that is not, well...
...it's confusing at the least and deceptive at the worst.

BTW - I have a watch with a layer of solid gold over it if anyone wants to buy it ;)

Nickie
01-19-2012, 08:50 AM
... and a time and place for every material under heaven. even plastic [going to try my macc Islander in the shower sometime] The thing I have a problem with is trying to pass something off as what it's not. If it says solid wood it should be solid wood. There was a seller on ebay recently trying to pass off a Kala laminate koa as solid wood. He even said solid in his title. when I pointed this out to him he called me a deuce bag. I did not find this the least bit insulting as I have many bags, not just 2. but the fact that he never corrected his ad leads me to think he was purposely being misleading. btw. his uke didn't sell.

LOL, my sides hurt!
Any group can certainly get deeply involved in a semantics contest. Ever hear a room full of Doctors talk about a procedure? Nursing lingo is different than medical (Doctors use) lingo. Wow.

UKEON TERRITORY
01-19-2012, 09:09 AM
Again , Weak minds confuse easily ! As one never had a confusing moment learning to pla the thing ? Hrrrmmmm ? Or would that be deception . MY MY GRACIOUS . Go pick on the neighbors eight year old . Grown men study .

There is an old saying in dog training that goes . " Train , don't complain " . Meaning the untrained is self ignorant and lashes out with complaint against skill and achievment . It's real simple . No confusion . No deception . Ignorance is the one thing in life we have full control over . I avoid it .

UKEON TERRITORY
01-19-2012, 09:16 AM
There are words that have become common usage when referring to parts of instruments. These terms are used by luthiers as well as experienced players. On an 'ukulele, mandolin or acoustic guitar, the plate that points forward when you play is usually called the top (the analogous part on a fiddle is called the table or belly), and the plate that points toward your body has become known as the back. The curvy bits that join the two are known as the sides or ribs.

It's the same as with any other field: a lexicon evolves and becomes the accepted way of referring to things - regardless of whether we, individually, think those terms are good ones or not.

The terms 'top', 'back' and 'sides' are part of the established vocabulary of luthiery.

Exactly my point . As is laminate is industry wide refered to as a process intended for structural strength and veneer is a industry wide referance to beautification , not sturcture .

Drew Bear
01-19-2012, 09:22 AM
Wow. Just. Wow. I'm bowing out of this one, folks. Life's too short to spend too much energy on this. Everyone go and play their ukes. :)

UKEON TERRITORY
01-19-2012, 09:29 AM
For real here ! Just exaclty how smart does a person have to not be to know solid is just that and a veneer is just that as well . So then . That being the case , then that clear finish on your uke makes it a laminate also ? Or does it just make ot NOT solid . I mean a coating of any form takes immediately away from it being solid . How could it possibly be solid with a finish . Is there a Uke polic to bust up mad deceptive rings of coating bandits or something . Veneer is just a wood coating for pete sake . Who is anyone to say varnish and or paint and or any other finish qualifies as solid because it isn't veneer . This is getting more kinny garten thinking by the minute . Your uke has strings . They are not wood . The whole stinking uke is one big piece of composite for the real matter . And I don't even wanna hear that clear finish isn't to beautify and or isn't and adhesive and or isn't to protect . With that shallow concept , then they are eqaully confusing and deceptive at the least as well . MAN !

UKEON TERRITORY
01-19-2012, 09:30 AM
Wow. Just. Wow. I'm bowing out of this one, folks. Life's too short to spend too much energy on this. Everyone go and play their ukes. :)

Thank you ! lol

Paul December
01-19-2012, 09:34 AM
Exactly my point . As is laminate is industry wide refered to as a process intended for structural strength and veneer is a industry wide referance to beautification , not sturcture .

The only time I've seen the term "veneer" used was to describe the headstock.

UKEON TERRITORY - your posts have crossed-over the point of "impassioned" to the level of "rude". Judging by your low post count, you are new to this forum and possibly don't know that even when we disagree, we do so in a more polite manner here.

UKEON TERRITORY
01-19-2012, 09:37 AM
The only time I've seen the term "veneer" used was to describe the headstock.

UKEON TERRITORY - your posts have crossed-over the point of "impassioned" to the level of "rude". Judging by your low post count, you are new to this forum and possibly don't know that even when we disagree, we do so in a more polite manner here.

I'll deal with you in a pm as I've had to before sir !

In the event my post count is insufficient for good sense , I'll apolgize . For my time was spent getting gigs in nearly all 50 states . roflol !

PoiDog
01-19-2012, 09:41 AM
The only time I've seen the term "veneer" used was to describe the headstock.

UKEON TERRITORY - your posts have crossed-over the point of "impassioned" to the level of "rude". Judging by your low post count, you are new to this forum and possibly don't know that even when we disagree, we do so in a more polite manner here.

This. So much this.

Paul December
01-19-2012, 09:43 AM
I'll deal with you in a pm as I've had to before sir !

Please do not PM me any more of your profanity-laced tirades.
...you are lacking civility here and in PMs. I am only posting this publicly so you would tone-it-down.

UKEON TERRITORY
01-19-2012, 09:48 AM
Uh . Mr Dec , you know better than to say I used profanity . If you knew my capacity in life , you'd apologize for such a berating lie sir . Pitiful at best . Actually , a little laminated if I may add . lol lol

Have a nice day .

austin1
01-19-2012, 09:52 AM
Uh . Mr Dec , you know better than to say I used profanity . If you knew my capacity in life , you'd apologize for such a berating lie sir . Pitiful at best . Actually , a little laminated if I may add . lol lol

Have a nice day .

If you're going to berate people, can you at least do it without putting a space in between your insult and the punctuation? It looks like your keyboard is hiccuping, and it's distracting me from properly enjoying your anger.

UKEON TERRITORY
01-19-2012, 09:57 AM
If you're going to berate people, can you at least do it without putting a space in between your insult and the punctuation? It looks like your keyboard is hiccuping, and it's distracting me from properly enjoying your anger.

I'm a bit iggy in book lernin' and all . I spent my childhood and large part of my adult life around the professional music industry . It will do that to ya . Sorry for my sense of humor . Not intended to be insulting . It's what we call in industry lexicon as " yarnin' your Bro " .

austin1
01-19-2012, 10:00 AM
I'm a bit iggy in book lernin' and all . I spent my childhood and large part of my adult life around the professional music industry . It will do that to ya . Sorry for my sense of humor . Not intended to be insulting . It's what we call in industry lexicon as " yarnin' your Bro " .

Ah okay, that explains it, I definitely got you. As the resident professional then, when do you think they'll start using computers in the music industry?

UKEON TERRITORY
01-19-2012, 10:08 AM
Ah okay, that explains it, I definitely got you. As the resident professional then, when do you think they'll start using computers in the music industry?

I'm hoping never . I'm still fond of analof myself . Resident pro . Not me man . Just a bit seasoned in bad ability to do creative writing . I guess I am what one would call a cruciverbalist I suppose . But if you think that's bad . I ain't to purty either . I make a laminate peel off with one smile .

buddhuu
01-19-2012, 10:18 AM
With apologies to the OP and anyone who tried to have a focused discussion, I'm closing this wreck down.

To whomever it may concern (if the cap fits etc), please try not to fill other people's threads with noise and divert them toward your own tangential issues and arguments.

Thanks to all for your understanding.