PDA

View Full Version : Damn you Cedar!



Paul December
10-17-2012, 01:30 PM
:mad: Damn you Cedar...
...everything else now sounds dull :(

After having played my Cedar tenor for the last few months, I'm now let-down by most (all?) other tone woods. They sound nice, but just lack that Cedar punch. I still like sopranos and concerts in other flavors, but this may be the end for me in the tenor department.

Pondoro
10-17-2012, 02:09 PM
I love it but some of my friends consider cedar dull! My cedar Cigar Box has a lovely tone.

PhilUSAFRet
10-17-2012, 02:27 PM
I've become a big sinker redwood fan, will be playing some and maybe buying one at the Tampa Bay Uke Getaway in Tarpon Springs next month.

Paul December
10-17-2012, 02:28 PM
I've become a big sinker redwood fan, will be playing some and maybe buying one at the Tampa Bay Uke Getaway in Tarpon Springs next month.
What other wood can it be compared to for sound?

Dougf
10-17-2012, 03:25 PM
What other wood can it be compared to for sound?

What kind of cedar? If it's western red cedar, that's really in the cypress family,Cupressaceae (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cupressaceae). A close relative is the MacNab Cypress that I used for the two homemade ukuleles I've built. I've used the second one in all my recent videos. Redwood is also in the cypress family.

OldePhart
10-17-2012, 03:53 PM
It's funny, my reaction to a cedar tenor was just the opposite. Gave it to my son-in-law and it will take some convincing to get me into another cedar uke - at least in anything larger than a soprano. There wasn't a thing wrong with it, and it was certainly loud, but if I want to play something that sounds like my guitars I'll play my guitars... :biglaugh:

Of course, now that I have pickups in all my ukes I may actually let my other tenors go, too. The only time I really played them was when I needed a pickup. Now that that isn't an issue I probably won't play them often enough for it to make sense to keep them.

John

ukemunga
10-17-2012, 04:03 PM
IOf course, now that I have pickups in all my ukes... John

Hey John, what are you using for pickups? You've probably said but I've just become interested in it in the last couple of days. I listened to the L R Bags 5.0 review on Tim's site and wow. Do yo have to spend $150 to get that quality? Or close?

OldePhart
10-18-2012, 07:56 AM
Hey John, what are you using for pickups? You've probably said but I've just become interested in it in the last couple of days. I listened to the L R Bags 5.0 review on Tim's site and wow. Do yo have to spend $150 to get that quality? Or close?

Nope, not even close. Keep in mind that I've never been a big fan of under saddle transducers because they introduce quite a lot of compression. That's okay if you want the compression but if you're looking for something closer to the sound of a mic'd acoustic I think internal soundboard transducers work much better. On the recommendation of others here I tried some JJB Electronics pickups in my two Mainland sopranos and was so happy I ordered enough for all of the rest of my ukes that didn't already have pickups (they are quite inexpensive). I even put a two-transducer set in my Meinl wood bongos!

There are downsides to the soundboard transducers. One, they do pick up handling noise more than the under-saddle kind do. Two, they are probably more prone to feedback in a loud stage environment. Neither of those things bothers me but if you're planning on playing with a loud band the latter could be an issue.

On the plus side there is little or no compression. They aren't as prone to picking up "thud" as the under saddle transducers are (meaning you need less, or no, EQ to remove the thud). I think they do a better job of picking up the character of the top wood. In recordings you can clearly tell the difference between the mango soprano and the mahogany soprano even though the ukes are otherwise identical.

Here is a sample in my KoAloha longneck soprano http://soundcloud.com/oldephart/sets/jjb-100-pickup-in-koaloha/

Also, the last video I did for season 35 in the contests forum was using the pickup in the KoAloha.

All in all I'm tickled pink with these pickups. Very economical ($15 plus a $10 endpin jack in the case of the KoAloha), sound quality as good or better than K&K, and little to no compression unlike every under-saddle transducer I've ever used (counting guitars and ukes, that's several).

John

kaizersoza
10-18-2012, 12:32 PM
:mad: Damn you Cedar...
...everything else now sounds dull :(

After having played my Cedar tenor for the last few months, I'm now let-down by most (all?) other tone woods. They sound nice, but just lack that Cedar punch. I still like sopranos and concerts in other flavors, but this may be the end for me in the tenor department.

I get your drift there Paul, My Mainland Tenor Red Cedar sounds so sweet, I could lick it, none of my other ukes compare to it, the fretboard is really roomy and comfortable as well

coolkayaker1
10-18-2012, 02:43 PM
My cedar topped Pono tenor (w/ rosewood sides) that I sold last month on eBay was the best sounding ukulele I have ever owned.

Why did I sell it? Stupidity.

hawaii 50
10-18-2012, 04:04 PM
I've become a big sinker redwood fan, will be playing some and maybe buying one at the Tampa Bay Uke Getaway in Tarpon Springs next month.

I am ordering a Compass Rose with Macassar ebony back and sides /and a sinker redwood top..it should be real nice.. the sound should be very good for fingerstyle

coolkayaker1
10-18-2012, 04:31 PM
I own a Mike Pereira sinker top redwood tenor now. Intonation and tone are exceptional. It's a tad quiet, perhaps, compared to my former cedar top tenor--I don't know if that's part of the "hardwood" of the semi-petrified sinker top (hyperbole in "petrified", but you get my drift). It is, indeed, superb for picking. I have Southcoasts linear mediums on there now. Koa, like Koaloha, is superb for strumming (and good for picking).

PD, perhaps you should order that one custom concert dialed in, just the way you would like it. If you want to jam with any or all of my other ukes to compare sounds and play 80's tunes all day together, I can bring them up sometime.

P.S. I never got that CD :-(

coolkayaker1
10-18-2012, 04:36 PM
I am ordering a Compass Rose with Macassar ebony back and sides /and a sinker redwood top..it should be real nice.. the sound should be very good for fingerstyle Do post a video, H50, pretty please.

hawaii 50
10-18-2012, 04:43 PM
Do post a video, H50, pretty please.

Rick's CR's going kind of strong now..i think he is building way more than a couple months ago..so going to be awhile before this one is done..but i can wait.. my new CR koa uke sounds sooo good! and the Koa to die for..
very low tech..trying to get help posting picture etc..but i will try

Paul December
10-18-2012, 04:47 PM
P.S. I never got that CD :-(

I was being a cheap bastard and mailed it (for free) from one of my schools...
...It will look into it and take care of it first thing tomorrow.

coolkayaker1
10-18-2012, 05:54 PM
I was being a cheap bastard and mailed it (for free) from one of my schools...
...It will look into it and take care of it first thing tomorrow.

Kewl. No rush, but: "We need more cowbell! I mean, piano music!!"

pulelehua
10-18-2012, 09:33 PM
I'm planning a Mya Moe in the near future, and was really sold by the videos of their Port Orford Cedar tops. Which I know isn't a proper, official, botanical Cedar, but has a lovely slightly-brighter-than-Cedar Cedarness to it.

Yum.

Uke Whisperer
10-19-2012, 03:28 AM
:mad: Damn you Cedar...
...everything else now sounds dull :(

After having played my Cedar tenor for the last few months, I'm now let-down by most (all?) other tone woods. They sound nice, but just lack that Cedar punch. I still like sopranos and concerts in other flavors, but this may be the end for me in the tenor department.


Hello,

Here is another one of "those" questions. I have listened to several tenor "Cedars" with Aquila strings including my recently purchased Maple with Port Orford Cedar top. Has anyone tried other strings that you found more to your liking? Just trying to get a "starting direction" of those to try. This is my first tenor and not familiar with differences in those available. Thanks....

ukemunga
10-19-2012, 03:51 AM
Hello,

Here is another one of "those" questions. I have listened to several tenor "Cedars" with Aquila strings including my recently purchased Maple with Port Orford Cedar top. Has anyone tried other strings that you found more to your liking? Just trying to get a "starting direction" of those to try. This is my first tenor and not familiar with differences in those available. Thanks....

Not a tenor... Mainland red cedar soprano - Fremont Blacklines Medium. They really sing. Simply beautiful bell-like sound.

Patrick Madsen
10-19-2012, 05:11 AM
Hello,

Here is another one of "those" questions. I have listened to several tenor "Cedars" with Aquila strings including my recently purchased Maple with Port Orford Cedar top. Has anyone tried other strings that you found more to your liking? Just trying to get a "starting direction" of those to try. This is my first tenor and not familiar with differences in those available. Thanks....


I have two Griffin tenors with tap toned 2400 yr. old Western Red Cedar, 49 growth rings to the inch. I've tried a few different strings on them but nothing brought out the calarity and resonance like Dirk's Southcoast strings have.

I may try Ken Middletons Living Waters Strings someday but for right now, all my ukes are strung with S/C and am loving them.

JamieFromOntario
10-19-2012, 05:17 AM
Hey Paul,

I have both redwood and cedar topped ukes. I'd say that the redwood has much of the same richness and complexity of the cedar but redwood has much more punch in it's initially attack than the cedar. If you've played a spruce-top uke, I think you'll have an idea about what I mean about the punchy attack.

coolkayaker1
10-19-2012, 06:18 AM
I have two Griffin tenors with tap toned 2400 yr. old Western Red Cedar, 49 growth rings to the inch. I've tried a few different strings on them but nothing brought out the calarity and resonance like Dirk's Southcoast strings have.

I may try Ken Middletons Living Waters Strings someday but for right now, all my ukes are strung with S/C and am loving them.

I, too, enjoy Southcoasts on my redwood topped tenor. The tree was only 30 years old, though, if that. No wonder it sounds punky.

coolkayaker1
10-19-2012, 06:22 AM
Hey Paul,

I have both redwood and cedar topped ukes. I'd say that the redwood has much of the same richness and complexity of the cedar but redwood has much more punch in it's initially attack than the cedar. If you've played a spruce-top uke, I think you'll have an idea about what I mean about the punchy attack.

I certainly agree with this.

My redwood is fabulous, and more like my spruce tops than my cedar. The cedar is just, in a word, out of this world.

I just may have to buy another cedar topped uke (not port orford cedar--but the real McCoy). But, the build is everything.