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View Full Version : Tanglewood TU7 - XM - Lacewood or mango? Confused



barefootgypsy
03-20-2012, 06:13 AM
I've tried to research this but no success. Saw a lovely Tanglewood concert uke in shop, TU7 -XM - was told it's exotic wood, mango. Another customer came in, said it was lacewood - shop fella said no, it's mango! Got home, looked on the net - one supplier has one - described "mango". Tanglewoods website says lacewood! I have found out that lacewood is sometimes called leopardwood but that's as far as I can get. Can anyone throw any light on this, please? :)

mschway
03-20-2012, 07:30 AM
I've tried to research this but no success. Saw a lovely Tanglewood concert uke in shop, TU7 -XM - was told it's exotic wood, mango. Another customer came in, said it was lacewood - shop fella said no, it's mango! Got home, looked on the net - one supplier has one - described "mango". Tanglewoods website says lacewood! I have found out that lacewood is sometimes called leopardwood but that's as far as I can get. Can anyone throw any light on this, please? :)

Big difference between the two, and once you've identified it, you'll immediately recognize it the next time. Mango is characterized by a very open grain with numerous large dark pores and is often spalted...a dark, almost blue/black streaking which is actually the result of a fungal infection. Lacewood has a much more closed grain, and when quarter-sawn (the best instruments use quarter-sawn wood), exhibits a pronounced light-toned flecking. I'm enclosing a couple of screen grabs. The first shot is mango (although it's only minimally spalted). The lacewood shot is from two different pieces, showing the variation between samples.

In the case of the Tanglewood, things get confusing. The web-shots of the TU7-XM say they're mango, but it really looks like lacewood, and at least one vendor lists both a mango and lacewood model. At any rate, at the price-point the Tangewoods are at, they're nearly certain to have laminated construction anyway.

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mschway
03-20-2012, 07:33 AM
Unbeknownst to me, the website included a "bonus" image in the last post which I had tried to edit out. It's a Pono uke in Mango. The top is a well-spalted piece.

barefootgypsy
03-20-2012, 08:23 AM
Thanks for that, mschway! Yes, Tanglewood should be called "Manglewood", the way they've made this confusion! Sure, the uke in question has to be laminate at that price. But If I buy it, I do want to know what I'm buying! Even with laminate instruments, I find it amazing how the wood alters the tone, E.g. I don't like the sound of ukes with a spruce top at all, far too bright - whereas my little Greg Bennett in nato mahogany is so far at the other end it's almost treacly. I had my own uke in the shop and I was comparing the sound, to see whether I could justify buying another! It was an interesting experience. I loved the Tanglewood, whatever the wood is - still warm and rich like mine, but it sang a bit more, and made mine sound a bit mushy in comparison. I'm tempted. If I have one, and someone says "That's an interesting wood, what is it?" I don't want to have to say "Well actually I don't know, it might be mango, it might be lacewood!" But from what you say, I do think it's lacewood. :D