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ukulelelearner
08-09-2012, 02:08 PM
My first ukulele was bought from a mom and pop music store two years ago ago and it is an Oscar Schmidt OU3. The owner who sold it to me said that it had a solid spruce top, which will allow the sound to improve a little over time. he also told me it was a tenor ukulele when I looked it up online and learned that it was a concert.

Today I returned to the exact store to find a larger selection of ukes than previous. I played some more Oscar Schmidt ukes, spalted mango and koa, and picked up a phamplet about the Brandt's ukes. It said my model was 'select spruce'. What does that mean? I've noticed a lot of companies describe wood as 'select'. Was the owner correct about it being a solid instrument?

Any info would be great, thanks!

Hippie Dribble
08-09-2012, 02:21 PM
I reckon 'select' means nothing at all except a fancy marketing term to make you think you're buying a uke made out of higher quality wood than it is... If you buy a jar of Moccona 'select' instant coffee it's just garden variety instant coffee in a different label, and you might pay an extra buck or two for it.

My guess is the lumberjack 'selected' a tree to chop down when he went out in the morning with his axe, just like he 'selected' his left foot to go in front of his right one as he was walking along. :p

haole
08-09-2012, 02:29 PM
I don't think "select" has any real accepted definition. But it's usually used to describe laminates. If it were really solid, the company would label it as such. The OU3 has a laminate top. If you like the uke, then by all means enjoy the heck out of it regardless of what it's made of. But the folks at your local store need to brush up on the specs of what they're selling, assuming it was an honest error.

WhenDogsSing
08-09-2012, 02:29 PM
I reckon 'select' means nothing at all except a fancy marketing term to make you think you're buying a uke made out of higher quality wood than it is... If you buy a jar of Moccona 'select' instant coffee it's just garden variety instant coffee in a different label, and you might pay an extra buck or two for it.

My guess is the lumberjack 'selected' a tree to chop down when he went out in the morning with his axe, just like he 'selected' his left foot to go in front of his right one as he was walking along. :p

Very well put Jon.

Pondoro
08-09-2012, 02:30 PM
I've seen guns sold with or without "select" wood stocks. By that I mean a manufacturer makes a model, "GRZ-71" and a "GRZ-71s", where the metal bits are identical and the only difference is that they put the nicer wood stocks on the "select" guns. The "select" guns will obviously cost more.

But unless everything else is identical then I expect "select" means nothing. For example if a maker has a cheap entry-level uke for $30 or $80, and then says that the $150 models have "select" wood it means nothing. Of course the wood is better, the uke costs 2-5x as much! The maker might as well have said, "Better" wood.

OldePhart
08-09-2012, 04:45 PM
BWAAAA-HAAAA - couldn't have said it better if I'd agonized over it for weeks! :)



I reckon 'select' means nothing at all except a fancy marketing term to make you think you're buying a uke made out of higher quality wood than it is... If you buy a jar of Moccona 'select' instant coffee it's just garden variety instant coffee in a different label, and you might pay an extra buck or two for it.

My guess is the lumberjack 'selected' a tree to chop down when he went out in the morning with his axe, just like he 'selected' his left foot to go in front of his right one as he was walking along. :p

mm stan
08-09-2012, 06:21 PM
Well put Eugene...Yup just Like 5A 4A 3A ...ha ha who determines that???? no standard for any grade except the builder of ukes and maybe the wood broker...
as for select, I wood(pun) say, any chosen wood outta the bunch that stands out to the selector .....geez you are paying his wages.....LOL:):o:p

didgeridoo2
08-09-2012, 06:40 PM
My guess is select = non-figured, or non-curly wood. That's not to say it isn't a good tonal wood, just more plain Jane in appearance.

My second guess would be it means you a have garden variety coffee.

Kayak Jim
08-10-2012, 02:44 AM
My guess is select = non-figured, or non-curly wood. That's not to say it isn't a good tonal wood, just more plain Jane in appearance.

My second guess would be it means you a have garden variety coffee.

Funny, I would take it to mean MORE figure, LESS plain in appearance, as in "selected" from the stack of wood available. all very subjective of course as others have pointed out.

didgeridoo2
08-10-2012, 04:22 AM
Funny, I would take it to mean MORE figure, LESS plain in appearance, as in "selected" from the stack of wood available. all very subjective of course as others have pointed out.
William King lists his ukes as curly or select koa and while the "select" koa is still very striking, it doesn't have that rich curl you see in other instruments. Maybe plain Jane wasn't entirely accurate...

PhilUSAFRet
08-10-2012, 04:43 AM
As has been often pointed out, when sellers are referring to tonewood as anything but "solid", assume it is not. OU3 = Select spruce top = not solid, not necessarily bad, just not solid.

kissing
08-10-2012, 05:22 AM
I've always considered "select" to just mean laminate (non-solid).
It ain't solid, so they try to spruce up the sales pitch by calling it "select".

In the end, it means nothing.


And the music store person was probably clueless about that ukulele.
The Oscar Schmidt you got is a laminate. A lot of Oscar Schmidt ukes are laminate.
They do not improve with playing like solid wood ukes do.

uncle david
08-10-2012, 05:44 AM
Many of the replies have been correct. I always consider "select" to be a word to help sell a laminate wood. Another term that is often used is "choice". Nothing wrong with laminate woods, but these descriptors are just sales terms.

OldePhart
08-10-2012, 06:14 AM
I think "select" means somebody "selected" to make a uke out of it instead of making, say, chopsticks... :)

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
08-10-2012, 07:05 AM
I would consider "select" as a "common" or B grade below the A scale. Such wood may have pin knots or other defects and may not be quarter sawn.

Ramart
10-20-2013, 02:19 PM
"Select" implies the luthier actually was discriminating in choosing the particular wood and didn't just grab from the top of the pile. Probably true to some extent because a builder would reject a piece with an obvious flaw.

David Newton
10-20-2013, 03:26 PM
It means whatever the person using the term chooses it to mean.

When I read the term in a description, I think of a suitable wood, chosen by the builder for the part or use.

If you see enough inexpensive ukes, you realize some makers just pick the next piece of wood in a pile, for whatever is being made, with no "selection" at all.

sugengshi
10-20-2013, 03:40 PM
Marketing terms are very confusing at times. I have always wanted to know what it means. Now I understand that select means laminate. Thanks for all the opinions.

pakhan
10-20-2013, 05:20 PM
Totally non standardised. In fact select can be used to refer to laminate or solid woods, but the terms is generally used to indicate a higher than average quality, but not the best quality, which is usually referred to by many A's or mastergrade or any other 'premium' synonym.

Tootler
10-20-2013, 08:53 PM
It's marketing speak to try and make it sound better than it actually is. The term usually seems to be applied to mid-range products that are better than the base level but not really top quality.

AndrewKuker
10-20-2013, 09:45 PM
select can be used to refer to laminate or solid woods


The OU3 has a laminate top.

bottom line above, all correct, as Phil said, not necessarily bad, but not solid.

cdkrugjr
10-21-2013, 01:20 AM
What they're doing is taking a word from softwood grading, where it has an industry standard meaning, and applying it to a constructed object, where it doesn't.

Softwood grades fall into two buckets: "Select" and "Common". "Select" is divided into A-D. Usually the best you can find at Home Depot is "D-BTR" which means, "We promise Grade D" (tight knots) but if you pick through the pile you might find some that are "A or B-ish enough" for your project.

Take a look at the "#2 Common" pile vs the "D Select" pile--and note especially the price.

That said, it has no "Standard" meaning for hardwoods, and if your spruce top is other than "A Clear" I'd be very surprised.

BigMamaJ40
10-21-2013, 03:30 AM
At Martin Guitars, they started using the term "select hardwood" as a neck wood spec, when they could no longer promise if the neck for model of guitar would be made out of mahogany or Spanish cedar.