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Sporin
03-14-2013, 11:39 AM
I feel like I'm seeing more and more ukes with solid spruce tops lately. Is this a trend or was I just missing them before?

Who has one? Do you like it? Does it give it a more guitar-like sound?

What spruce top ukes do you like/covet/want/etc?

http://s4ee134128e51b.img.gostorego.com/802754/cdn/media/s4/ee/13/41/28/e5/1b/catalog/product/cache/1/image/6e3e117d8c70e39179cbb6e84d26cc33/i/s/islander_kstcut_1.jpg
http://sylvanmusic.com/inventory/1977_img2.jpg

SamUke
03-14-2013, 12:09 PM
I have Kamaka Ohta-San with a spruce top. I played it next to a Koa top and thought that it had better sustain and was a tad brighter, wish I could play both now after they have had a chance to open up.

50289

mattydee
03-14-2013, 12:40 PM
I have a spruce topped 8 string from Lanikai. All the spruce topped ukes I've heard have been a little bright for my taste, but I actually love this Lanikai. I've toned the brightness down with Worth strings (it shipped with Aquilas), and I think it's next to perfect. Loud, punchy, and great sustain. It's perfect for playing rock which I often do.

Here's me getting the Led out (still with the Aquilas):


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cLPEqrLZo0

ukeeku
03-14-2013, 12:42 PM
I have a David Gill and a boat paddle spruce top. I think it is brighter and more forward sounding.
Been seeing them for a while on most major makers

Nicko
03-14-2013, 12:54 PM
Everything that rises must converge. The great guitar-ukulele convergence?

chuck in ny
03-14-2013, 01:18 PM
it's a funny thing with spruce. depending on the instrument it can be a bit bright or forward, but not harsh or brash. i call the quality 'present'.
anyhow i greatly like it and my next uke is going to be a spruce top. quite a bit of history with spruce tops, so it's been done and all.

connor013
03-14-2013, 02:39 PM
i call the quality 'present'.

+1 on that, Chuck.

I totally dig my spruce-top Bruko.

dkcrown
03-14-2013, 03:04 PM
I am generally a koa guy, but I love my William King Spruce and Claro Walnut long scale tenor. It is clear and bright with great note separation, but not harsh in any way. And since we are posting pics...
http://i1106.photobucket.com/albums/h368/dkcrown1/001-3.jpg
http://i1106.photobucket.com/albums/h368/dkcrown1/002-3.jpg

TCK
03-14-2013, 03:34 PM
I play primarily spruce top ukes. I have a Soprano, a concert (sorta) two tenors and a Baritone with a spruce top and for me it is the chime- they ring like a bell and sustain for days. Bright as they can be. The part of the equation that is missing is the bark you get from Mahog or cedar.

pdxuke
03-14-2013, 04:31 PM
I generally prefer Mahogany. But after seeing Benny Chong (Thanks Dan!) (http://youtu.be/VDugM9aaSlo) playing his solid spruce-top koa sides baritone custom Kamaka I have been yearning for a spruce top barry and yearning bad. I have an inexpensive Regal that's nice, but am starting to add some better modern Barry Tones to my fleet to compliment the vintage, on days when I'm not in the mood to nurse friction tuners, haha!

So, someday a regular Kamaka baritone, but next is a spruce top. Kala makes one--but I haven't been that impressed with intonation in the videos. That's always hard to judge cause it could be just strings settling--but then again, it could be the uke several cents off as it moves up the fret board. But their spruce tops are pretty, and I love my Kala Ka B, so maybe.

Also have my eye on this: http://www.theukulelesite.com/pono-rbc-rosewood-baritone-cutaway-spruce-top.html

Would love to hear from baritone players who have spruce top instruments.

pdxuke
03-14-2013, 04:33 PM
I play primarily spruce top ukes. I have a Soprano, a concert (sorta) two tenors and a Baritone with a spruce top and for me it is the chime- they ring like a bell and sustain for days. Bright as they can be. The part of the equation that is missing is the bark you get from Mahog or cedar.

T:

what brand barry is the spruce?

justinlcecil
03-14-2013, 06:56 PM
I have a Covered Bridge concert being wrapped up that has Claro Walnut back and sides w/ a spruce top. I will report back when I receive it. =)

Dan Uke
03-14-2013, 09:44 PM
If you get the right luthier, they are not as bright and brash as you would think

Dan Uke
03-14-2013, 10:00 PM
I generally prefer Mahogany. But after seeing Benny Chong (Thanks Dan!) (http://youtu.be/VDugM9aaSlo) playing his solid spruce-top koa sides baritone custom Kamaka I have been yearning for a spruce top barry and yearning bad. I have an inexpensive Regal that's nice, but am starting to add some better modern Barry Tones to my fleet to compliment the vintage, on days when I'm not in the mood to nurse friction tuners, haha!

So, someday a regular Kamaka baritone, but next is a spruce top. Kala makes one--but I haven't been that impressed with intonation in the videos. That's always hard to judge cause it could be just strings settling--but then again, it could be the uke several cents off as it moves up the fret board. But their spruce tops are pretty, and I love my Kala Ka B, so maybe.

Also have my eye on this: http://www.theukulelesite.com/pono-rbc-rosewood-baritone-cutaway-spruce-top.html

Would love to hear from baritone players who have spruce top instruments.

Get a Pono Bari Factory Second!! Even though HMS doesn't list, you can call Ko'olau directly to see what they have. I almost bought a Pono RBSHC Pro-Classic Baritone Cutaway. I love Spruce and cutaways!!

Sporin
03-15-2013, 05:36 AM
When I still thought I'd be getting a Mya-Moe (financial restraints make that unlikely now) I was pretty much settled on Koa back and sides with a Spruce top. From the samples I've seen and heard I thought this would give me the "right" balance of warmth and brightness for how I like a uke to sound.

When I aimed a bit lower price-wise I started looking for ukes in the $500-$700 range that had spruce tops as well. I really need to find my way to a store with a large and varied ukulele selection to play and hear a bunch of different ukes (and I will do this before I buy) but there is nothing remotely close to me here in mid-Vermont like that.

UKEonomics
03-15-2013, 06:18 AM
I've got a spruce top on the way (Kamoa E3-P) and you're right, it is become more common for it's acoustic properties. Here's a great article on tonewoods....

http://www.ianchadwick.com/ukuleles/woods.htm

A quote from the above article....

"Spruce is considered by many luthiers as having the optimum elasticity for sound reproduction."

Doc_J
03-15-2013, 06:32 AM
When I still thought I'd be getting a Mya-Moe (financial restraints make that unlikely now) I was pretty much settled on Koa back and sides with a Spruce top. From the samples I've seen and heard I thought this would give me the "right" balance of warmth and brightness for how I like a uke to sound.

When I aimed a bit lower price-wise I started looking for ukes in the $500-$700 range that had spruce tops as well. I really need to find my way to a store with a large and varied ukulele selection to play and hear a bunch of different ukes (and I will do this before I buy) but there is nothing remotely close to me here in mid-Vermont like that.

I've got a really nice spruce top Boat Paddle 12-Fret concert, that I would recommend. Jerry's prices are lower than most, right in your range of $500-700.
My Boat Paddle 12-Fret has nice clarity and is not harsh, currently strung with Nyltechs.
https://www.box.com/s/gqw8th2n9pjefpsg30x3

Wongo
03-15-2013, 06:39 AM
I'm saving to lay a deposit on my custom pete howlett. He has suggested a spruce top with andaman padauk back and sides. I cannot wait to get this started.

dhoenisch
03-15-2013, 06:46 AM
I have a Lanikai solid spruce topped tenor, and that thing really projects. It's really punchy, especially strung with a Aquila Red low G string. I was at the local ukulele group, and one guy from the other side of the cafe heard it over the other 20 ukes that were playing and came over during the break to give it a test drive. He was thoroughly impressed. Now if I can just get over how thin the neck is...

Dan

SailQwest
03-15-2013, 09:27 AM
I'm a big fan of spruce tops, and find that they have have a certain sound that really appeals to me for my own playing.

I have a Bushman Engelmann (Spruce/Rosewood) Concert that I got about five years ago. She's been my "good" uke since the moment we met. Others have come and gone, but she's my fave.

My husband has held onto a spruce-topped Applause tenor for six years. Since moving to the desert, it's become his most played uke (not much affected by humidity and/or temp changes, it sits out next to his recliner and gets played a lot by both of us).