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WhenDogsSing
08-02-2012, 01:02 PM
There has been some discussion lately about maple bodied ukuleles. I personally love ukuleles with maple sides and back. I do prefer a spruce or cedar top given the option. Maple as a top wood has been questioned by some. Here is a link to a Bluegrass Ukuleles' website video of the "Flying Owl", an all maple bodied and top instrument being played by Tom Guy's father, I don't know his first name. The gentleman can really play and brings out the best in this instrument. I hope you enjoy...!!!

http://www.bluegrassukes.com/products/Curly-Maple-Tenor-Ukulele-%22Flying-Owl%22.html

Scroll down to get to the video.

Hippie Dribble
08-02-2012, 01:41 PM
Yeah Tim, many (most?) builders seem loathe to go down the maple-for-tops road. Makers I know of who readily use it for tops are Bruko, Tom Guy, Collings, Beansprout. Some point blank just refuse (Pohaku) while some can be talked into it (Mya Moe). I had them build me an all-maple concert and it sounded wonderful but it's a very subjective thing. I think it's a fine line in getting the thickness right to maximise tone and volume. Resonators aren't a problem cause the cone dominates and the top wood has little impact on sound. Mya Moe and Pohaku have each built awesome sounding maple top resonators. Kala also uses it on some of their standard models that I know of though I believe they're laminates. Can't disagree that a cedar and spruce top will give a maple bodied uke considerably more volume and smooth out the brittleness on the treble side. I think guys who utilise maple tops best are Bruko, their little all-maple sopranos sound fantastic, and at less than 300 bucks it's hard to go past them. For 2cents, here's a few sound demos of some maple topped ukes...

Mya-Moe concert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sx9GS44k3I
Tom Guy tenor: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjTTcRcj1qA
Beansprout concert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSwxvW1J2TM
Bruko soprano: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ws5QaN0qdRQ

great thread mate, will be interested to read peoples views

WhenDogsSing
08-02-2012, 01:58 PM
Yeah Tim, many (most?) builders seem loathe to go down the maple-for-tops road. Makers I know of who readily use it for tops are Bruko, Tom Guy, Collings, Beansprout. Some point blank just refuse (Pohaku) while some can be talked into it (Mya Moe). I had them build me an all-maple concert and it sounded wonderful but it's a very subjective thing. I think it's a fine line in getting the thickness right to maximise tone and volume. Resonators aren't a problem cause the cone dominates and the top wood has little impact on sound. Mya Moe and Pohaku have each built awesome sounding maple top resonators. Kala also uses it on some of their standard models that I know of though I believe they're laminates. Can't disagree that a cedar and spruce top will give a maple bodied uke considerably more volume and smooth out the brittleness on the treble side. I think guys who utilise maple tops best are Bruko, their little all-maple sopranos sound fantastic, and at less than 300 bucks it's hard to go past them. For 2cents, here's a few sound demos of some maple topped ukes...

Mya-Moe concert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sx9GS44k3I
Tom Guy tenor: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjTTcRcj1qA
Beansprout concert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSwxvW1J2TM
Bruko soprano: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ws5QaN0qdRQ

great thread mate, will be interested to read peoples views

Great playing Jon, I muchly enjoy listening to you. By the way, I own the "Flying Owl" now, again...Hee! Hee! Hee! Oh yes, add Kamoa 700 series to the list of maple topped ukuleles.

Hippie Dribble
08-02-2012, 02:03 PM
By the way, I own the "Flying Owl" now, again...Hee! Hee! Hee! Oh yes, add Kamoa 700 series to the list of maple topped ukuleles.

Aaaaaaarrrrggghgh Tim, the Owl has flown home!!!!!! That makes me smile mate. She needs to be with you brother. o happy day :)

dkcrown
08-02-2012, 03:25 PM
Tim and Jon. I think that we are going to have to change the name of the Flying Owl to the Carrier Pigeon. It seems to always wants to fly back to it's original owners.

808boy
08-02-2012, 04:25 PM
Aloha Kakou,
I think the "Flying Owl" is the most famous single uke around. Very unique and distiguishable.
Most ukers have heard about or seen pix of the Owl..........WOW!

ukegirl
08-02-2012, 04:47 PM
Even the laminated mapel ukes I've played and heard sound good! I had read somewhere that maple is a bit prone to cracking, so it is not unusual for buiders to use laminates...Gibson has, as has Epiphone and others on guitars with great sounding results...ie:J-200

coolkayaker1
08-02-2012, 06:19 PM
I like maple trees, having grown up in New England. But, when I was ordering my Mya Moe, I discussed an all maple ukulele with Gordon. I saw one on his gallery. It may have been Jon's. Gordon told me he did that one only because a customer wanted it that way, but he strongly urged me to order maple sides and a spruce or cedar top.

Sound good when Jon plays it, though.

I ordered sycamore.

WhenDogsSing
08-03-2012, 01:57 AM
Tim and Jon. I think that we are going to have to change the name of the Flying Owl to the Carrier Pigeon. It seems to always wants to fly back to it's original owners.

That's a good one Dana...Hee! Hee! Hee!

Uke Republic
08-03-2012, 08:38 AM
We have a LoPrinzi all curly maple in the shop and it sounds great. Sadly doesn't smell like maple syrup http://ukerepublic.bigcartel.com/product/loprinzi-solid-curly-maple-concert

WhenDogsSing
08-03-2012, 09:50 AM
We have a LoPrinzi all curly maple in the shop and it sounds great. Sadly doesn't smell like maple syrup http://ukerepublic.bigcartel.com/product/loprinzi-solid-curly-maple-concert

That's a beauty Mike. Someone will get a nice instrument in that one.

pulelehua
08-03-2012, 10:35 AM
Ahhhhhhhh. Eugene Ukulele, you're that bloke! I've been admiring you for ages! :)

Keep up the good work, both here and on YT!

(sorry for all the exclamation marks...)

maclay
08-03-2012, 11:52 AM
I have built several maple top ukuleles, and don't see what all the fuss is about. Some of my favorite ukes have had maple tops.

There are no tricks or secrets.... Every single piece of wood is different (regardless of species) and I treat them as such. While sanding the top, you tap it and flex it. When you reach the desired tap-tone and stiffness, you stop. Any experienced luthier should be able to do this.

Having said that, spruce is my absolute favorite soundboard material to work with :)

mandrew
08-05-2012, 03:06 PM
I like the look of maple, but I also drool over walnut, even walnut tops!

connor013
08-05-2012, 04:54 PM
I'm with you on maple Brukos, Jon.

No matter how many ukes I play (or buy!) the Bruko gets the most time.