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View Full Version : What's your favorite non-traditional uke wood (non- koa, non-mahogany)?



Doc_J
01-27-2013, 07:48 AM
About a month ago I got a new-to-me tenor with a body of Hawaiian Ash. It sounds great, a nice combination of warmth and nice high note clarity and good projection. I still favor koa, but Ash might be my favorite non-koa/non-mahogany wood for a uke. The figure and color range for ash isn't as interesting as koa, mahoganies, mango, or myrtle but it sure sounds sweet.
https://www.box.com/s/pntjgavo1zsl37r9082y

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=47925&d=1358911464

My mango wood soprano is really bright, and I like a little more warmth. My Sideways 8 monkey pod tenor, is nice while not quite as warm as the ash. It sounds terrific with Savarez strings (very chime-like). I've never played a myrtle uke so I can't say how that compares. That's as much as I have experienced (leaving out ukes that have spruce/cedar or other softwood tops).

What's your favorite non-traditional wood (non- koa, non-mahogany) for a uke?

Curly Koa
01-27-2013, 07:53 AM
I like the warmth too and have enjoyed cedar tops lately. Will soon experiment with brighter vs. darker strings in hope of finding that magical combo for each uke.

OldePhart
01-27-2013, 08:26 AM
Well, I haven't experimented that much but so far of the two non-traditional woods I've tried (red cedar and mango) I have to go with mango.

John

Paul December
01-27-2013, 08:42 AM
Cedar...
...but only on tenors. IMO cedar sounds too plunky on shorter scales.

Dan Uke
01-27-2013, 09:01 AM
First of all, your uke sounds fantastic!! Smellofstrings plays the same one and his videos are superb. I'm a spruce kind of guy but haven't tried many other types. I don't like cedar as it's a little muddy when strummed hard but sounds wonderful picked.

Tigeralum2001
01-27-2013, 09:39 AM
The only other wood I own is Spruce. I would like to try Redwood, Cedar, Milo, and others. Other native Hawaiian woods intrigue me as well as a uke made from woods local to me.

Hippie Dribble
01-27-2013, 10:16 AM
walnut and mango for me.

whepper
01-27-2013, 10:28 AM
redwood, spruce, walnut, myrte, mango, maple

haolejohn
01-27-2013, 11:08 AM
My favorite tone wood bar none at the moment is redwood. I have a redwood top/koa back and sides tenor that I love. when ever I get my money saved up for the MB it will hopefully have redwood top.

hawaii 50
01-27-2013, 11:18 AM
My favorite tone wood bar none at the moment is redwood. I have a redwood top/koa back and sides tenor that I love. when ever I get my money saved up for the MB it will hopefully have redwood top.


Ha you know that Chuck says..it is not a uke unless it is made of Koa? maybe he has changed his mind Haha

haolejohn
01-27-2013, 11:27 AM
Ha you know that Chuck says..it is not a uke unless it is made of Koa? maybe he has changed his mind Haha

LOL. Yeah but I have heard him speak highly of redwood. So I figure if he will do it (if I can get on the list once I get enough saved up that is) then I will.

hawaii 50
01-27-2013, 11:33 AM
LOL. Yeah but I have heard him speak highly of redwood. So I figure if he will do it (if I can get on the list once I get enough saved up that is) then I will.


Ha i have been waiting for quite awhile now to get on Chuck's list..if it happens good, if not ..thats how things go
see my sig below i am waiting for my Sinker Redwood top CR

Rubio MHS
01-27-2013, 11:35 AM
I love solid mahogany, but spruce is good, and I'd love to try a redwood. I have an old Stetson mandolin that's Brazilian rosewood. I don't like koa because except for the high-end ukes, most of the wood is farmed, and the Hawaiian environment doesn't need any more farming.

ukulian
01-27-2013, 11:52 AM
English Walnut and Yew :)

Kyle23
01-27-2013, 12:01 PM
I'm a sucker for mango.

CTurner
01-27-2013, 12:47 PM
My sinker redwood top Lichty tenor is marvelous in sound and richness, coupled with a pau ferro back and sides.

48122

PeteyHoudini
01-27-2013, 12:50 PM
What about bamboo for ukes? Any experience on that one?

Petey

OldePhart
01-27-2013, 12:55 PM
What about bamboo for ukes? Any experience on that one?

Petey

I love the idea of bamboo (very inexpensive, grows almost anywhere, and grows so fast that keeping it from spreading is a bigger problem than growing it) but basically even a "solid" bamboo has to be really a laminate (just a high-quality one and strips glued in parallel) and so far I haven't heard one that got me excited.

It makes beautiful flooring - but flooring doesn't need to vibrate freely.

John

haole
01-27-2013, 01:00 PM
Mango, monkeypod, and milo! If I win the lottery and decide to buy a custom uke made in Hawaii, it would have to be mostly local woods.

Stevelele
01-27-2013, 01:09 PM
I heard that plywood can be nice

hawaii 50
01-27-2013, 01:12 PM
I heard that plywood can be nice


i hear balsa even better..very light

Mercury
01-27-2013, 01:47 PM
I have a starkly beautiful bamboo concert Cordoba, which has a really sweet bell-like tone to boot.

Stevelele
01-27-2013, 03:30 PM
i hear awesome things about african blackwood--a bit afraid to get a high end uke with this, bc it could be hard to resell, but I hear it's very very nice


Jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) and Blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon). Jarrah is strong and hard and can be worked to a nice thin top, it has a red colouring and a very sweet tone, not unlike mahogany. Blackwood is a nice honey colour and has a sweet tone as well.
Of course you may need to find an Australian maker who knows how to use them to get the best ukulele.

Dougf
01-27-2013, 03:57 PM
I've built three from manzanita and McNab cypress. I'm running low on cypress, so I may try incense cedar for my next one.

TheCraftedCow
01-27-2013, 07:54 PM
Quilted Maple for top-bottom-sides-neck. - OR - Northern California/ Southwestern Oregon Myrtlewood. Both provide great sound and have stability not found in koa.

bbycrts
01-27-2013, 08:00 PM
My beloved custom super soprano has myrtlewood back/sides, Port Orford cedar top - I love it, it sounds great, and it smells pretty amazing too...(Port Orford cedar is very aromatic)

Ben_H
01-27-2013, 09:12 PM
English Walnut and Yew :)

I'm loving my English Yew soprano.

Hopefully by the end of this week I will also be speaking highly of an English Yew and Walnut combination ;)

Linho
01-27-2013, 10:25 PM
I like my Custom Brüko made of Rosewood (Top and Back) and Maple (Neck and Sides). :D

http://img716.imageshack.us/img716/9605/84328280.jpg

http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/4766/22905764.jpg

http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/8505/img1027km.jpg

Sound:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUbP3Ithsaw


I also like my Harp Ukulele made of Mahagony (body) and Spruce (top), but since it has Mahagony it doesn't count.
But my Kanile'a Tenor seems to be my favorite Ukulele. ;D


Cheers,
Linho

hawaii 50
01-28-2013, 07:46 AM
I like my Custom Brüko made of Rosewood (Top and Back) and Maple (Neck and Sides). :D

http://img716.imageshack.us/img716/9605/84328280.jpg

http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/4766/22905764.jpg

http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/8505/img1027km.jpg

Sound:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUbP3Ithsaw


I also like my Harp Ukulele made of Mahagony (body) and Spruce (top), but since it has Mahagony it doesn't count.
But my Kanile'a Tenor seems to be my favorite Ukulele. ;D


Cheers,
Linho


Wow i never saw a rosewood top before..how does it sound and how long before it opened up..wow different!

ukeeku
01-28-2013, 07:49 AM
while at NAMM I played an Adler uke? Very light and very nice sounding. I think it was made by AmiAmi?

csibona
01-28-2013, 08:15 AM
I have a koa ukulele and a cedar ukulele by different makers. Both sound great. The cedar ukulele smells nice too.

Sporin
01-28-2013, 08:51 AM
I have a koa ukulele and a cedar ukulele by different makers. Both sound great. The cedar ukulele smells nice too.

My current "want" configuration at Mya-Moe is a koa body and sides, and cedar top. :)