PDA

View Full Version : Walnut?



armchair_spaceman
10-30-2013, 09:21 PM
Hi all,
anyone have a developed view on walnut construction? I need (want) an inexpensive uke for the office and for shiggles was looking at a solid walnut tenor from that bloke from SE Asia who sells a lot on that famous auction site (you know the one). The walnut sure looks pretty, but how does it rate as a tonewood?

anthonyg
10-30-2013, 09:40 PM
I have a Rally Banjo ukulele which I've had for several years and its made of Walnut. Nice instrument although banjo ukulele's have a sound of their own. I have an 8 string baritone made of Brazilian Walnut on the way from said seller. It will take a couple of weeks at least to get here and then I fully expect that it will need some setup work when it gets here. I'll let you know what I think of it when it gets here.

Anthony

bborzell
10-31-2013, 03:37 AM
I have a custom octave mandolin with a walnut body/spruce top. Not as bright as a maple/spruce, but a very pleasing tone, nonetheless.

strumsilly
10-31-2013, 04:07 AM
I have had 1 and didn't care for the sound, but the look was stunning. this had walnut top too. your experience may be different. this was from a quality maker too

OldePhart
10-31-2013, 05:20 AM
Walnut is a nice tone wood. I've not had a uke in walnut but I had a mountain dulcimer in walnut that was quite nice. However, the particular ukes you're looking at the type of wood isn't going to have that much affect on tone anyway. Construction always has more impact on the sound than the type of wood and those ukes are pretty but overbuilt and often rather iffy in the sound and playability departments.

John

Gillian
10-31-2013, 07:47 AM
:agree:

Build and set-up is everything. I have a walnut tenor (sequoia top), that looks and sounds lovely.

GASguy
10-31-2013, 09:52 AM
I have an older Kaneli'a, (Blue Label, KU Exotic Series headstock inlay), tenor ukulele in all flamed walnut that sounds spectacular; but as others have said, build quality will trump tone wood sound variations every time!


60438

JLM
10-31-2013, 10:07 AM
6043460435

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder - and the hearer... I have a spruce top walnut Three Cedar Soprano built by Ben Cram. Love the look the sound and the feel of this instrument! With worth BF strings, it has a wonderful tone. Would not trade it for anything!

prooftheory
10-31-2013, 10:17 AM
6043460435

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder - and the hearer... I have a spruce top walnut Three Cedar Soprano built by Ben Cram. Love the look the sound and the feel of this instrument! With worth BF strings, it has a wonderful tone. Would not trade it for anything!

That thing looks beautiful to me at any rate.

RichM
10-31-2013, 10:52 AM
I have an all-walnut Compass Rose, a walnut and sycamore Compass Rose, and a walnut and spruce Covered Bridge. Thumbs up on walnut from me.

GASguy
10-31-2013, 11:25 AM
Mmm, Walnut!

Sounds as good as it looks!


60440

Radio Flyer
10-31-2013, 11:35 AM
some years ago Taylor guitars made some guitars out of shipping pallets just to see if they could. they sounded good enough to put on the menu and are now 'collector items'. i think the fact that some builders are making some very nice instruments out of plywood speaks to build quality over wood choice. that being said, i love solid, beautiful tonewoods of all sorts.

vetcvm
10-31-2013, 12:06 PM
i have built my first ukulele about a month ago, everything apart the bridge and fretboard is made from one piece of walnut, it turned out very good looking and i personally love the sound which is warm and mellow (warmer than mahogany).

you can see it and ear it here:
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?87450-Just-finished-building-my-first-quot-real-quot-ukulele

armchair_spaceman
10-31-2013, 09:09 PM
Thanks all, some good food for thought there.

Hippie Dribble
10-31-2013, 10:28 PM
I love walnut instruments. I have two all-walnut ukes and overall have owned a few more than that. I agree with those who say the design and the builder have a far greater impact on the tone of an instrument than does the wood. Just as a case in point, I currently own an Ono long-scale concert all-walnut uke that is warm and mellow, quite luscious really in tone and more open and airy the more I play it. On the other hand I owned an all-walnut Mya Moe tenor which was well on the bright side. Sounded super, just different. In each case, the tones are/were emblematic of the general sounds that these builders are getting from the ukes they make.

I love walnut because of it's extreme beauty, because I enjoy the ukes I own and have previously owned that have been built from it, because the nuts taste good :p and because it is sentimental to me. My now ex-wife and I planted a walnut tree in the first months of our marriage.

No worries on the wood, be more concerned about who you choose to build it for you brother. :) Don't buy one from the bloke from South-East Asia.

This is a little sample of the Ono ukulele, gentle and warm: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rs80dJa_cIM

armchair_spaceman
11-01-2013, 02:05 AM
This is a little sample of the Ono ukulele, gentle and warm: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rs80dJa_cIM

Nice...I'm growing to prefer warmer, more mellow ukes, thanks for putting that up.

How Aussie is that backdrop? :)

..and nice work on the roll-your-own Vet, very sweet little uke there.

JelC50
11-01-2013, 01:30 PM
I had a large piece of black walnut that had been laying around my shop for almost 25 years, and was waiting for a special project before I started cutting it up. I decided to build a baritone uke with it. Back, sides, top and neck is walnut with a purple heart fretboard. It looks and sounds amazing. Rich mellow tone. I also have an old Washburn acoustic 6 string (made around 1950) and I like the sound of my baritone better than the Washburn.

saltytri
11-01-2013, 02:53 PM
I love walnut instruments. I have two all-walnut ukes and overall have owned a few more than that. I agree with those who say the design and the builder have a far greater impact on the tone of an instrument than does the wood. Just as a case in point, I currently own an Ono long-scale concert all-walnut uke that is warm and mellow, quite luscious really in tone and more open and airy the more I play it. On the other hand I owned an all-walnut Mya Moe tenor which was well on the bright side. Sounded super, just different. In each case, the tones are/were emblematic of the general sounds that these builders are getting from the ukes they make.

I love walnut because of it's extreme beauty, because I enjoy the ukes I own and have previously owned that have been built from it, because the nuts taste good :p and because it is sentimental to me. My now ex-wife and I planted a walnut tree in the first months of our marriage.

No worries on the wood, be more concerned about who you choose to build it for you brother. :) Don't buy one from the bloke from South-East Asia.

This is a little sample of the Ono ukulele, gentle and warm: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rs80dJa_cIM

Nice, Jon! Of course, I'm biased.

Here's a walnut baritone that is currently underway:

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3703/10618033734_830c13f418_c.jpg

Tigeralum2001
11-01-2013, 08:18 PM
Mmm, Walnut!

Sounds as good as it looks!


60440
hijack- this uke could be valuable, especially to someone affiliated with University of Kansas. Kanilea used that "KU" logo for a short time before the University of Kansas sued them. University of Kansas uses the "KU" logo. both probably know all this though. Does that uke have TRU bracing? What year was it made?

ichadwick
11-02-2013, 04:39 AM
:agree:

Build and set-up is everything. I have a walnut tenor (sequoia top), that looks and sounds lovely.
it's the redwood top that makes it. Walnut is good for backs and sides, but top? I think it's a bit too dense for the size of the body.

saltytri
11-02-2013, 05:33 AM
it's the redwood top that makes it. Walnut is good for backs and sides, but top? I think it's a bit too dense for the size of the body.

Agreed. The top on this one is sinker redwood.

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2875/10627473374_76c546dab0_o.jpg

GASguy
11-02-2013, 08:08 AM
hijack- this uke could be valuable, especially to someone affiliated with University of Kansas. Kanilea used that "KU" logo for a short time before the University of Kansas sued them. University of Kansas uses the "KU" logo. both probably know all this though. Does that uke have TRU bracing? What year was it made?

This ukulele was made in April 2007 if I am interpreting the serial number correctly, and predates the TRU bracing but it has the cured UV finish.

I have an earlier Kaneli'a uke all koa back and sides including Koa fretboard and neck with blue label, signed "Mahalo, Joe", and script headstock logo. This older Koa uke also has a very figured spruce top, it was made in 2005 and has a lacquer finish judging from the finish checking.


One of the reasons I scooped up this Walnut KU ukulele, besides the fact that it came from the personal collection of a long established eBay seller of Kaneli'a ukuleles (woods369), is that I did my undergraduate degree at Kean University here in NJ part time at night and I am currently finishing up my graduate degree in speech - language pathology part time at night at KU.

I bought this uke in 2008 for what I thought was a very reasonable price of $1100.00, it was an offer made for what I recall as an asking price of $1350.00. At that time I was in the early stages of my 84 credit SLP graduate degree program.

It plays and sounds wonderful, and in my mind I think of it as my "Kean Ukulele".

While I believe it has value above the $1100.00 that I paid for it, due to the sound, playability and sentimental value, I don't know if I could sell it.