PDA

View Full Version : Cedar Talk



CTurner
02-26-2012, 04:01 AM
What are your experiences with cedar in your ukes? Port Orford, Red, etc? Does the quality/thickness of the finish make a difference in keeping the cedar from being "dinged"? I have a Red Cedar/mahogany tenor that sounds great. I've seen cedar/koa as a popular combo. Other combos you have heard or recommend?

Olarte
02-26-2012, 04:19 AM
I LOVE Cedar.

I'm primarily a classical guitarist and the two main woods used are spruce and cedar. Well spruce is nice and loudl bright etc. but Cedar is so sweet, deep and warm. It's beautiful, and somehow it allows the player to express a bit more emotion with the subtleties of the tone.

And so while I like Koa and other uke woods, I love cedar on my concert Kala.

Unfortunately out of the 16 ukes I have that is my only cedar, but I do have a 1/4 size strunal classical guitar and my wonderful Antonio Loriente Clarita Classical Guitar. You can See it in my YouTube videos.

Now I use all my ukes, and but when it comes to classical guitar, cedar is simply the best wood for me. Having said that, I don't have a tenor yet, so use my beautiful Koa Mya Moe which has its own wonderful qualities.

As for dings, I find that with a bit of care it's not that big an issue. In fact dings from cedar are like small dimples, instead of scratches and holes. The wood is soft enough that if careless, it will depress into a dimple if hit.

But I treat all my instruments like a jeweler handling diamonds, with great care and attention. So that's not really a problem. And the one or two dings on my 5 year old guitar add just the right ammount of character.

For the ukes, as I do with other glossy finished, I make a mask of the top half of the sound board on paper then use an iPad screen protector to make a transparent pick guard for the uke. It's almost invisible if done correctly but only on gloss finishes.


You can see my thread about how I made the guard for my cedar top here (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?56582-New-Ukulele-and-my-pick-guard-protection)

And if you look at my profile albums you can see the instruments I mentioned, with the guard applied to the concert cedar, kala spruce top and Big Island mango tenor.

Uke Republic
02-26-2012, 05:29 AM
I love cedars tone. Port Orford is really a cypress , I love its tone.

1931jim
02-26-2012, 05:52 AM
Olarte wrote.........
""But I treat all my instruments like a jeweler handling diamonds, with great care and attention. So that's not really a problem. And the one or two dings on my 5 year old guitar add just the right ammount of character.""
I put a teenieweenie ding in my LaPatrie Presentation classical cedar top about 6-7 years ago and an old friend, who has since passed on, wet his lips and with his index finger put a little saliva on the offending blemish. He held it there for abouta minute and then gently polished the spot with his fingers. The moisture plus the heat generated from the polishing action cured the ding. I have a nice patina on my cedar top classical now from gently rubbing the top with my palm after every playing.......1931jim

Olarte
02-26-2012, 06:35 AM
Oh nice anecdote I'm. It surprised.

On another note, i scored a $2000 brand new Clarita cedar top classical guitar for 700 because of s flaw in the finish, a 1/2 inch scar that does to affect it in anyway exempt my wallet. I now have a backup to my primary guitar.

I guess because it was cedar top made it was cheaper to discount it than to fix it.


Olarte wrote.........
""But I treat all my instruments like a jeweler handling diamonds, with great care and attention. So that's not really a problem. And the one or two dings on my 5 year old guitar add just the right ammount of character.""
I put a teenieweenie ding in my LaPatrie Presentation classical cedar top about 6-7 years ago and an old friend, who has since passed on, wet his lips and with his index finger put a little saliva on the offending blemish. He held it there for abouta minute and then gently polished the spot with his fingers. The moisture plus the heat generated from the polishing action cured the ding. I have a nice patina on my cedar top classical now from gently rubbing the top with my palm after every playing.......1931jim

ichadwick
02-27-2012, 01:37 AM
My favourite ukes all have had cedar. The red cedar Mainland is remarkably loud with great sustain. Cedar is a nice tonewood because it doesn't convey the high end as hotly as spruce, and this benefits a uke.

pulelehua
02-27-2012, 08:53 AM
I have cedar envy. It's the only consistent thought in my UAS. I've never even played a cedar ukulele...

Doc_J
02-27-2012, 09:33 AM
What are your experiences with cedar in your ukes? Port Orford, Red, etc? Does the quality/thickness of the finish make a difference in keeping the cedar from being "dinged"? I have a Red Cedar/mahogany tenor that sounds great. I've seen cedar/koa as a popular combo. Other combos you have heard or recommend?

Hi Craig, I've got a zebrawood + cedar top concert. I think you can match cedar with just about any sides and back. Cedar has a warmer tone compared to spruce (to my ears). While cedar is softer than spruce, a good hard glossy finish can help protect it somewhat.

hibiscus
02-27-2012, 09:54 AM
My Ohana Port Orford Cedar/Myrtle sounds beautiful (& looks beautiful, too). Check out Uke Republic and take a peek!

chrimess
02-27-2012, 10:19 AM
I looooove Cedar, on my guitar, on the uke there is only two woods for me personally:
- Mahogany for the tradition of Martins
- Koa, in the words of Chuck Moore: "If it is not Koa, it is not a uke"

CTurner
02-27-2012, 03:04 PM
I appreciate all the responses. I'm convinced that a cedar top......something....is somewhere in my future.

pepamahina
02-27-2012, 04:31 PM
My Pohaku has a cedar top, and it has a great tone, particularly in the upper range. I decided on cedar after hearing so many people rave about it and because it seemed to be a favorite of classical guitarists. I haven't been disappointed.

keliiyama
02-27-2012, 06:15 PM
I love cedar as well!!! AWESOME warmth and rounded tone. But what about REDWOOD! Pretty much the punch of Spruce with the warmth of cedar. The best of two worlds. But that's if you can find the stuff...

Dougf
02-27-2012, 06:17 PM
You might also consider redwood, which like port orford cedar and western red cedar, is actually in the cypress family.

erivel
02-27-2012, 06:26 PM
Craig,
I'm thinking Cedar might be the top for my next uke too. Possibly paired with rosewood back and sides...

mr moonlight
02-27-2012, 06:53 PM
I have a cedar top + koa back and side uke and I really love the combo. cedar has that nice warm sound while putting out a lot of volume, but still maintaining a lot of clarity. Koa may be the traditional wood for Ukes, but personally I prefer cedar or spruce tops.

Liam Ryan
02-28-2012, 12:17 AM
I'm a big fan of Western Red Cedar as a top wood. Saying "What do you think of Cedar?" is like asking "What do you think of beer?" Some I like lots but for different reasons, some I'll drink if someone else is buying and others I wouldn't let a brown dog drink.

Remember, it's not so much about what (tonewood) you've got it's about how you use it. At the end of the day a crappy cedar uke is still a crappy uke.

mr moonlight
02-28-2012, 09:37 AM
I'm a big fan of Western Red Cedar as a top wood. Saying "What do you think of Cedar?" is like asking "What do you think of beer?" Some I like lots but for different reasons, some I'll drink if someone else is buying and others I wouldn't let a brown dog drink.

Remember, it's not so much about what (tonewood) you've got it's about how you use it. At the end of the day a crappy cedar uke is still a crappy uke.
Quite true. Quite true.

JamieFromOntario
02-28-2012, 09:59 AM
I find a big difference between my cedar (Red cedar, I believe) top uke and my redwood top. Mind you, the two ukes are very different; one pretty heavily built (cedar) and tuned down while the other is very light (redwood) and tuned to standard tuning.

I love the warmth of the cedar top - mine is paired with walnut back/sides. The redwood top, on the other hand, has a much punchier attack. Not as strong as spruce but still very different than the cedar.

Both of these ukes have pretty light finishes. So far, I haven't put any dings in the redwood, but I have certainly put a few in the cedar.


It strikes me that, to get a redwood top, you're likely going to have to go custom. Maybe there's one or two production ukes that have redwood tops (Ohana?) but not many, particularly compared to how common cedar tops are.