View Full Version : Need help IDing the wood in my uke

Colonel Uke
02-22-2014, 02:26 PM
I just recently picked up this Kalia soprano uke on eBay. I only know a little about the Kalias, they were assembled in Mexico and setup by Michael Rock of Mele Ukes in Maui for a short time in the late 90's. I'm just trying to ID what wood it might be made of. I can tell that it's all solid, and I think the top is some kind of cedar, but I'm not sure about the rest. I actually messaged some pictures to Michael Rock via Mele's website and Facebook page, but haven't heard anything back yet. Any help or info anybody has would be appreciated. I'm getting ready to put some new Worth clears on it and see how it sounds.






02-22-2014, 02:36 PM
The back looks like zebrawood, the top looks like red cedar. I'd guess the bindings area padauk or bloodwood.

02-22-2014, 03:46 PM
Whatever it is it is beautiful

Colonel Uke
02-23-2014, 11:05 AM
Hadn't thought about zebrawood, you might be right since the grain is so pronounced. Thanks. Hopefully, I'll get a response back from the Michael Rock and he'll have some additional info.

02-23-2014, 11:43 AM
Doesn't appear to have enough contrast to be zebrawood. Pretty little sucker.

02-23-2014, 12:18 PM
That is a nice looking uke - the back looks very similar to some oak furniture that I have. I don't think oak is considered a tone wood, but that's what it looks like and back and sides are a lot less critical than the top so that could probably be made to work. Especially with a cedar top...cedar is so "alive" you could probably get great sound with it even if the body was made of concrete! (Might be a little heavy, though... ;) )


Colonel Uke
02-23-2014, 04:23 PM
The back does kind of look like oak, but the whole uke is very light, so I'm not sure. I'm going to try and give Mele a call tomorrow and see if I can solve the mystery.

Colonel Uke
02-24-2014, 11:11 AM
Talked to the people at Mele today, and confirmed that the top is red cedar and the back, sides, and neck are solid rosewood. I'd never seen that light color of rosewood, but she assured me that she remembered those Kalia's and that's what it was. I asked about it not having the Mele logo on the headstock, because the other Kalia's I've seen had the Kalia label inside and the Mele headstock logo. She said that it either had "fallen off" or was a very early one before they started branding them. Either way, I'm extremely pleased with the sound. Finish does have some cosmetic spots here and there, but it sounds great.