PDA

View Full Version : Which one sounds warmer to you?



Ukulele Eddie
03-16-2014, 03:38 PM
I'm looking at the Pono Classic line and have been eyeing the Rosewood with Cedar top for some time. I found a great deal on a Wi'awa model. The description on HMS describes it as "the warmest sound of the Pro Classic line" but when I compare the two models, the Wi'awa sounds very clear but not as warm as the Rosewood.

I'm just curious as to what others hear and (a) which one they think is warmer and (b) which one they like better (regardless if they think it's warmer or not).

Wi'awa with Spruce top (http://www.theukulelesite.com/pono-wtsh-wi-awa-spruce-pro-classic.html)

Rosewood with Cedar top (http://www.theukulelesite.com/new-pono-rtshc-c-tenor-slothead-cutaway-radius-fretboard.html)

They both sound great to me and I know ultimately I need to please my own ears and wallet, but I would appreciate others' thoughts.

Icelander53
03-16-2014, 04:01 PM
Personally I find it almost impossible to do much comparison from videos. Everything sounds so similar much of the time. I think I have to be in the room with both of the instruments and then have them playing the same thing and then I might be able to seriously compare. But to be honest I don't have a trained ear so some may hear a lot where I hear a little.

anthonyg
03-16-2014, 04:15 PM
Neither of them is a "WARM" instrument. They are both bright due to the Spruce and Cedar tops. Having said that my ear hears the Wi'awa being ever such a tiny bit warmer, probably due to it being full body where as the Pono is a cutaway.

Not much in it.

Anthony

FrankB
03-16-2014, 04:29 PM
Hi Eddie,
I think that the spruce top has a much better tone than the cedar model. More resonant, and not as percussive as the cedar top. The cedar top's response sounded uneven, while the spruce seemed clean all over the fretboard. I spoke to Corey on the phone a couple of weeks ago, and he was pretty excited about spruce tops that night. Hope this helps.

pixiepurls
03-16-2014, 04:39 PM
I'm looking at the Pono Classic line and have been eyeing the Rosewood with Cedar top for some time. I found a great deal on a Wi'awa model. The description on HMS describes it as "the warmest sound of the Pro Classic line" but when I compare the two models, the Wi'awa sounds very clear but not as warm as the Rosewood.

I'm just curious as to what others hear and (a) which one they think is warmer and (b) which one they like better (regardless if they think it's warmer or not).

Wi'awa with Spruce top (http://www.theukulelesite.com/pono-wtsh-wi-awa-spruce-pro-classic.html)

Rosewood with Cedar top (http://www.theukulelesite.com/new-pono-rtshc-c-tenor-slothead-cutaway-radius-fretboard.html)

They both sound great to me and I know ultimately I need to please my own ears and wallet, but I would appreciate others' thoughts.

I've read Mahagony is "warm" and "mellow" so I've been sticking with that so far because I like warm and mellow :)

Doc_J
03-16-2014, 04:43 PM
A split decision.

The cedar with RW was warmer by far to my ear. But I liked the Wi'awa/ Spruce better.

Newportlocal
03-16-2014, 05:43 PM
That spruce top uke sounds sweet! Hope you get it. It is amazing.

UkerDanno
03-16-2014, 06:01 PM
I just don't like the looks of the Wi'awa, that would eliminate it for me.

Hippie Dribble
03-16-2014, 06:17 PM
Hey Eddie, I think the cedar top sounds warmer, but aesthetically I prefer the Wi'awa.

janeray1940
03-16-2014, 06:21 PM
Hey Eddie, I think the cedar top sounds warmer, but aesthetically I prefer the Wi'awa.

My sentiments exactly! I agree with the others that neither is especially warm, but I think the cedar top has a fuller sound - I prefer the sound of the cedar, but the aesthetics of the spruce.

Hmmm. Is "both" an option? :)

Dan Uke
03-16-2014, 07:09 PM
Another vote for the spruce even though the cedar was warmer.

anthonyg
03-16-2014, 09:21 PM
Most are saying the Cedar is warmer where as I say the Spruce is warmer. What I DO agree with them however is that the Cedar is FULLER (more bass). This is the case in the RECORDING anyway. To my ear Warmer and Fuller are two different things. Fuller is the full range of frequencies. Warmer is in the harmonics. Lower order harmonics sound warmer to most people and higher order harmonics sound harsher to most people and I'm hearing more lower order harmonics from the Spruce top. The Cedar top is just a little harsh in the treble range.

Mind you. The recordings could be different. I'm hearing more distortion(and this could possibly create the lower order harmonics) from the Spruce recording and less distortion from the Cedar recording so as someone already said. You really should have them in your hand and judge them side by side. The recordings could be deceptive.

Anthony

PhilUSAFRet
03-16-2014, 09:32 PM
Cedar easily warmer, but the spruce/maple sounds awesome.

Hammond
03-17-2014, 01:29 AM
Agree to some of the replies above. Cedar & RW one gives warmer sound, but Spruce & W'awa one gives overall better sound in my opinion.

guitharsis
03-17-2014, 03:23 AM
Cedar sounds warmer but overall spruce sounds better.

Ukejenny
03-17-2014, 03:37 AM
From the samples, the cedar is warmer, but the spruce is a sweeter and more mellow. I think the intonation was better on the spruce, now is that caused by the instrument or just the fact that one was tuned more accurately than the other? I love the cedar/rosewood combination, but just maybe not that particular instrument. I'd ask for them to pick one with perfect intonation, or as close as possible. That one in the video may have it, but not according to that sound sample.

I definitely like the looks of the cedar/rosewood better and the sound of that one better, again, if the intonation was as good as the spruce. I just don't seem to be a fan of the spruce sound.

Ukulele Eddie
03-17-2014, 03:59 AM
Thanks, everyone for your thoughts. I do appreciate them. It's not possible for me to hold and hear them both but I do have the option to return the Spruce top if I don't like it. Incidentally, this particular one is pinkish red rather than the more common blonde W'aiwa. I do prefer the beauty of the deep colored rosewood and cedar but I like that the W'aiwa is a limited production instrument. Will post what I decide later today.

Keep the comments comin'! ;-)

KnowsPickin
03-17-2014, 07:13 AM
It is very hard to judge sound from a video. there are a ton of variables. How hard is the player picking? Is he using bare fingers vs. fingernails or pick. The microphone used will also vary the tone. Even with all that being equal, it can be difficult from a video. I watched one video comparing ukes below $200 and I could hear almost no difference.

That said, and having never played either of the instruments in question, the cedar SHOULD sound warmer. Cedar is a much softer wood than spruce. But to my ear neither is as warm as mahogany. I'm a big fan of that sweet warm sound. I test drove several ukes at Ukulele Underground and settled on the Mainland Classic Mahogany. It was even warmer than the Mainland cedar with rosewood body.

Is there any chance you couild buy both and return the one you like less? If possible, try to go somewhere you can actually play the instrument in person. That is always the best bet, if you can.

Good luck!

Ukulele Eddie
03-18-2014, 08:35 PM
I did pull the trigger on the Wi'awa/Spruce, but it may be a few weeks before it's in my hands. Will post pics when I have it since it's the reddish variety rather than the blonde.

Again, thanks for all the comments...

E

DownUpDave
03-19-2014, 12:33 AM
Congratulations on the new purchase. Just the fact that the spruce is a limited run edges that model out over the cedar. Now you get to wait, that is always enjoyable :( Thanks for throwing up the two videos for a back to back sampling, that was fun. I am a newbie so it was educational for me to read everyones view about the tone of each uke. Enjoy it when it makes it into your hands.

stevepetergal
03-19-2014, 04:17 AM
Disadvantage to getting old: deafness!
They both sound pretty warm for ukuleles. There are warmer (or darker) ones around, but these qualify. The Wi'awa is surely warmer sounding in the video.

kvehe
03-19-2014, 04:28 AM
I actually have a spruce/wi'awa and the noncutaway version of the cedar/rosewood. When I took both to my office for some blind tests, most people couldn't tell the difference, and of those who thought they knew which was which, about 50% were wrong. :D

Ukulele Eddie
03-25-2014, 04:51 PM
Thanks, Kathryn. That is really interesting. And while it surprises me in some respects, it really shouldn't based on the various studies I've seen cited in similar situations. One had world class violinists play a Stradivarious and a few other modern but exceptional violins in various blind tests and they were unbelievably poor at picking out the Strad, despite all of them being very confident they would be able to. And these are people who make their living in music.

Anyhoo, my new Wi'awa will be here Thursday. I'm sooooooooooooooooooo excited and look forward to sharing my thoughts.

coolkayaker1
03-25-2014, 05:24 PM
One thing is absolutely irrefutable based on the sound samples.

They are both tuned GCEA.

xyz
03-26-2014, 03:03 AM
I've had the White Spruce/Wi'awa for almost a year now. Tuned Low G with Southcoast HML-RW. One thing to note is that it took 4-6 month to really open up (I play it daily), and when it progessively did the change was important : more bass, warmer, more resonant.

Pono ukes are great ukes !

xyz
03-26-2014, 03:07 AM
I actually have a spruce/wi'awa and the noncutaway version of the cedar/rosewood. When I took both to my office for some blind tests, most people couldn't tell the difference, and of those who thought they knew which was which, about 50% were wrong. :D

Doesn't surprise me ! It seems Pono ukes have reached another level of quality last year... and it is certainly extremely difficult to tell the woods by ear.
Thanks for posting :)

Ukulele Eddie
03-26-2014, 03:49 AM
I dunno, six months sounds like a long-term commitment for me when it comes to ukes. ;-) Seriously, thanks for that feedback. Will keep that it mind.