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View Full Version : Single vs. Bookmatched front and back questions



wconley
09-11-2013, 10:04 AM
About two years ago I was fortunate enough to become the owner of a nice Koaloha concert with single piece front and back. Recently a Koaloha Tenor was sold in the Marketplace (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?85607-Koaloha-KTM-00-Tenor-with-Bowtie-Bridge-and-one-piece-back)forum that pointed out a one piece back. This morning I see this stunning Koaloha with bookmatched top and bottom.
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This made me wonder; Is there a tonal difference between the two construction techniques? Does one sound "better" than the other or are they equivalent?

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
09-11-2013, 11:42 AM
If the grain is somewhat consistent, then single piece construction should sound no different than if it were book matched.
It's really a practical issue for the builder. Wider boards are usually more difficult to come by (and resaw) than narrow boards are. Visually, a book matched panel always looks better IMO. I can take a relatively boring piece of wood and book match it and it'll really boost it's visual appeal.

wconley
09-12-2013, 09:27 AM
Thanks Chuck! That's what I thought but was hoping one of the luthiers out there would weigh in. I kind of like the single piece because it's rather unusual, but I agree that it isn't as visually interesting. Now if it was some wild curly Koa, that might be up to debate.

hawaii 50
09-12-2013, 09:45 AM
Thanks Chuck! That's what I thought but was hoping one of the luthiers out there would weigh in. I kind of like the single piece because it's rather unusual, but I agree that it isn't as visually interesting. Now if it was some wild curly Koa, that might be up to debate.

pretty sure you are not going to find super curly Koa for a one piece back...as it is short supply...but I guess someone must have some....
and I really like the look of bookmatched Curly Koa....

coolkayaker1
09-12-2013, 12:41 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqNWuU--VOk

Pueo
09-12-2013, 01:13 PM
I have a tiger maple ukulele that has a one-piece back, and I kind of like it just because it is different, and the grain is interesting enough without being bookmatched.

I was personally wondering if having the glue seam right down the middle of either the top or the back did affect the tonal qualities of the ukulele in any way though, especially the soundboard.