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elydude
07-15-2013, 11:06 AM
Any opinions on the sound quality provided by koa vs mahogany vs spruce sound board wood?

Bao
07-15-2013, 12:42 PM
Each has their own certain traits. If I'm not mistaken, spruce had the brighter tone and mahogany had the warmer and more mellow. Hopefully someone will either back me up or correct me since I'm not 100% sure.

OldePhart
07-15-2013, 12:46 PM
For the most part the construction (bracing, dimensions, how thick is the top, etc.) makes more difference than the wood. That said, as a generality I find most spruce ukes to be very bright (though maybe not as bright as mango). Some people describe Koa as "warm" and mahogany as "bright," other people describe them just the opposite.

The real key is not to worry about the wood when you are starting out - play as many different ones as you can and then choose for yourself the one(s) that push your particular buttons.

John

mm stan
07-15-2013, 03:27 PM
It not only the wood....even wood from different parts of the tree will sound differently....and respond different. also how the builder knowledge on using them and design...

Hammond
07-15-2013, 06:59 PM
Maybe the OP want to just focus on the wood in general situation, and I see no confuse on the thread title. Sometimes focus on single matter can get clearer idea. Then put all the ideas together for the whole picture.

Next questions can be "Thickness of sound board", "Bracing pattern", etc...

No offense here. I am not suggesting the model answers that seems everyone know that "wood is not the only matter" "the way of how it is built is more important" etc...

From what I have read and I believe, Koa has wider dynamic range than Mahogany, more high end. It is quite true from the real world I've tried. But I am lack of experience to compare. This is only base on my very little experience and un-trained ear, of playing and listening one by a time in a quiet room every night.

Mahogany sounds louder in mid-range, this louder sound may give a "sound brighter" confusion. At where I live everyone in the learning lesson play Mahogany, in ukulele shop its the most familiar sound.

Koa sounds more focus/solid, more high-range sound. Some people believe tonewoods will open up in time, when this happens to Koa, it gives more low-range sound. I have played Koa not long enough to experience the open up process. But I played on a acacia black wood long enough to notice the "open up" thing. This should be similar to but not as good as Koa.

Spruce, absolutely loud, bright, more high-range sound. Once I touched the spruce one, I hear guitar.

A while ago I have read about tonewood in somewhere, and this picture is the idea from my memory.
55972

These are just my inexperienced opinion. I wish someone wiser in this regard could correct me and teach us more.

Brian W
07-17-2013, 07:35 PM
Koa definitely has a tighter, more focused sound. I find it to be louder and brighter than Mahogany, with better string to string definition. I personally like the sound of Mahogany ukuleles, though; they tend to have a more harp-like tone, than koa. I do not have experience with spruce on ukuleles, however as a guitar player, I love solid spruce topped guitars as they tend to be more resonant at greater frequency ranges than cedar and mahogany. That said, build quality, in terms of the thickness of the top as well as the bracing patterns, will have an even greater influence on the sound of an acoustic instrument.

ichadwick
07-18-2013, 03:37 AM
My comments are here:
www.ianchadwick.com/ukuleles/woods.htm (http://www.ianchadwick.com/ukuleles/woods.htm)

Not all woods are covered, of course, but most popular ones are. Keep in mind that the shape, size, strings, sound hole location and size, saddle material and bridge size and material also affect the sound.

hmgberg
07-18-2013, 04:22 AM
My comments are here:
www.ianchadwick.com/ukuleles/woods.htm (http://www.ianchadwick.com/ukuleles/woods.htm)

Not all woods are covered, of course, but most popular ones are. Keep in mind that the shape, size, strings, sound hole location and size, saddle material and bridge size and material also affect the sound.

This is a very good read for those interested in tonewood variations, IMO.

ukuLily Mars
07-18-2013, 07:06 AM
This is a very good read for those interested in tonewood variations, IMO.

It is indeed very informative -- thanks, Ian! And also Ian has a beautiful dog. :D