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View Full Version : Dark Koa vs Light Koa?



iDavid
04-11-2013, 06:46 PM
Is there a tonal difference between light and dark koa? We have two KoAloha concerts in my home. One is light with a gloss finish and the other is dark with a satin finish. The darker one is also a few years older.

The darker one sounds warmer for sure, but overal the two sound very similar. I think it has to due more with age than the color, or maybe just that particular set of wood being warmer.

I am looking into getting a concert with a wider neck and was wondering if a darker Koa has a "darker' tone. Could just be a visual illusion.

Thoughts?

Rubio MHS
04-11-2013, 07:05 PM
Wood grows differently in different climates. If you look at the wood used to make the Stradivarius violins, it was made in trees that survived a colder, harsher weather pattern, so the wood grew less. The short answer is that the density of the wood makes more difference than the color of the wood, which could be caused by any number of variables, the amount of sunlight it gets, a particular disease or parasite affecting the tree...

Paul December
04-11-2013, 07:06 PM
Based on cowboy hats, light = good, dark = bad.

hawaii 50
04-11-2013, 07:16 PM
Based on cowboy hats, light = good, dark = bad.

Haha good one Paul

what do you think about the Koa watches..the movement junk but some of them a starting to look nice..but I don't want one light or dark..

I like all Koa let the builder make it sound good..

iDavid
04-11-2013, 08:39 PM
Based on cowboy hats, light = good, dark = bad.

I am bad and that's good, I will never be good and thats not bad...

Now any serious answer?

Hippie Dribble
04-11-2013, 08:50 PM
Haven't got much for you brother, but I've heard several luthiers say that gloss finishes can tend to give a uke a brighter tone and conversely, satin maintains a warmer one.

beyond that I think that wood colour is inconsequential re tonal dynamic, more it depends on broader issues such as top thickness, build design and construction, age and natural variations between specific wood sets...I'll stand corrected though

AndrewKuker
04-11-2013, 09:16 PM
This video was part of a blog article I did at TheUkuleleReview...not like it will prove anything one way or the other but just one point of reference-


https://vimeo.com/63373225

Kamanaaloha
04-11-2013, 09:30 PM
I bought a dark kanilea versus a light one and the dark was brighter...so basically it varies even if the wood is from the same tree...always test drive first imho.

BlackBearUkes
04-12-2013, 03:51 AM
Of all the years that I have been making ukes, I would say you can not determine the sound of a uke by the color of the wood when it comes to Koa. If only it could be that simple.

iDavid
04-12-2013, 04:02 AM
Of all the years that I have been making ukes, I would say you can not determine the sound of a uke by the color of the wood when it comes to Koa. If only it could be that simple.

Now I know.

thanks

Peace Train
11-01-2017, 07:45 PM
Before choosing to go with light or dark Koa on my current build, Eric DeVine told me that the light Koa he uses is typically more open with longer sustain. After hearing that, I went with light Koa and completely forgot what he said about the dark Koa he uses. Realize that we're talking about master grade Koa with tight curl so it's probably more dense than your average Koa. If you buy through HMS you can hear each uke being played. Otherwise, ask the seller to hear them over Skype or phone. I've purchased other instruments this way and have always had a good experience. Hope this helps.