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Icelander53
05-22-2014, 04:16 PM
I hear as a uke wood it cracks easily. Is this true? And how would you describe the sound?

coolkayaker1
05-22-2014, 04:20 PM
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?26406-Oh-Mango&highlight=mango

Some past thoughts on Mango above.

There was a thread that was with many posts, including luthiers, that was none too kind to mango about two months ago. Someone was asking if they should build a mango uke on luthier's lounge, and the luthiers here explained how fickle it is. I wish I could find the thread...I was never keen on mango, but that thread pretty much squelched any shred of desire for the mushy stuff, Ice. lol

Andy Chen
05-22-2014, 04:39 PM
I just placed my deposit for a Mya-Moe and my original choice of wood was Mango, cos it looked so beautiful. Subsequently, after hearing what Gordon had to say about mango having a tendency to "move" more than other woods when being transferred across places with starkly different climates, I changed my wood to myrtle.

coolkayaker1
05-22-2014, 04:44 PM
I just placed my deposit for a Mya-Moe and my original choice of wood was Mango, cos it looked so beautiful. Subsequently, after hearing what Gordon had to say about mango having a tendency to "move" more than other woods when being transferred across places with starkly different climates, I changed my wood to myrtle.

Yes, Andy, that is the basic upshot of the luthier lounge thread (that perhaps someone will post here). The movement. Plus, the extra thick topwood to compensate for that movement.

I think I'll save my Mangos for eating only.

Bonus: This is an awesome video from a few years back of a great singer doing I Love You Like A Mango (but not a mango ukulele), best known as Drop, Baby, Drop. Enjoy!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NT4aZVKrKcU

Icelander53
05-22-2014, 04:54 PM
Thanks everyone. Mango be pretty but I'll have to pass. I'm the only one in my house that gets to be cracked.

Andy Chen
05-22-2014, 04:55 PM
Thanks everyone. Mango be pretty but I'll have to pass. I'm the only one in my house that gets to be cracked.

Definitely the same with me!

Jim Hanks
05-22-2014, 05:00 PM
This one sounds pretty darn good
http://www.theukulelesite.com/pono-mgtp-mango-tenor-pineapple-w-case.html

mketom
05-22-2014, 06:16 PM
I love my MyaMoe mango uke and it's wonderful sound. Mango is not necessarily prone to cracking in a finished instrument any more than other woods unless it's really curly or because of lack of humidity. It does have really wild grain patterns and can have end grain show in the middle of a straight piece or can be really floppy making it bad for a ukulele but the MM folks know what they are doing.

http://www.myamoeukuleles.com/uketracker.php?trackingNumber=508

kenikas
05-22-2014, 07:22 PM
Hmm...I've had a Mainland mango for a couple of years, it plays great, sounds great, never had a problem with it.

bborzell
05-22-2014, 07:34 PM
There's mango and then there's mango. Some wood will move and other stock is stable. The same can be said for most hard wood. I just returned a cocobolo sides/back custom mandolin for seam splits. The luthier told me that nearly the entire stock of cocobolo that he used during that period had betrayed him.

My mango MP is built from stable and hand picked stock and it remains stable with remarkable sound quality. Generalizations about various tonewoods often come about as a result of limited experience with specific wood supplies that can provide as much variability within the same species as among different species. I would not hesitate to have another mango custom built by the right luthier. Luthiers who choose not to use mango would not make my short list.

gtomatt
05-23-2014, 01:52 AM
Interesting.... I've had a mango soprano that I bought from Emil Bader in Oahu a few years back and brought it here to NH. No issues at all - still sounds good, still looks good. Took these photos a few minutes ago. I keep it here in my office.

66997 66998 66999

OldePhart
05-23-2014, 02:21 AM
I've got two mango ukes - the tenor I've had for about four years, the soprano about two. Neither has shown any tendency to crack or be brittle or any of that. I think it might be a difficult wood to work, maybe, but I haven't had any issues with my finished ukes.

The sound can be a bit bright - both of my mangos sound best with mellow strings like Ko'Olau Gold strings. I do love the sound though, probably second only to Koa as my favorite wood.

John

RichM
05-23-2014, 04:24 AM
I'll add my experience and say that I've only ever owned one mango uke, a Mainland concert, and it's been a reliable player for going on five years now. No structural issues whatsoever. I will agree that the tone is on the bright side, but I like it a lot. Whether my experience is typical of mango, or if I just got a really good uke, I can't say.

gtomatt
05-23-2014, 04:50 AM
Don't know if it helps or hurts, but I just took a digital micrometer to mine (measured from outer edge of top/bottom to side in a few spots).

Top = 0.0555 inches

Bottom = 0.0865 inches

Matt

bborzell
05-23-2014, 06:40 AM
According to the luthiers' recent thread, which I now cannot find, the compensation for the movement is thicker top woods and more bracing. With these modifications, no cracking, but sound (esp. volume and sustain) may/might be compromised.

My MP build takes exception to what was apparently suggested in that thread. It is lighter than my acacia Pono with what appears to be typical bracing for a higher end build. Neither volume or sustain limitations. Sounds to me like Mango got an undeserved bad rap from that thread.

The limitations mentioned above sound to me like things that certain luthiers have found necessary to do with inferior cuts of mango. The question that arises with me is why a luthier would choose to continue to work with a tone wood set that appears inferior at the outset. Not all luthiers are on the same level with their knowledge and understanding of wood species and variations of samples within species. Building an instrument from lesser quality wood and having an undesirable outcome should not be a surprise nor should it provide evidence as to the suitability of a given species of wood for a stringed instrument.

kenikas
05-23-2014, 11:47 AM
My MP build takes exception to what was apparently suggested in that thread. It is lighter than my acacia Pono with what appears to be typical bracing for a higher end build. Neither volume or sustain limitations. Sounds to me like Mango got an undeserved bad rap from that thread.

The limitations mentioned above sound to me like things that certain luthiers have found necessary to do with inferior cuts of mango. The question that arises with me is why a luthier would choose to continue to work with a tone wood set that appears inferior at the outset. Not all luthiers are on the same level with their knowledge and understanding of wood species and variations of samples within species. Building an instrument from lesser quality wood and having an undesirable outcome should not be a surprise nor should it provide evidence as to the suitability of a given species of wood for a stringed instrument.

I agree.
Also wondering if that thread was refering to spalted wood, my understanding is the fungus thats creates that can cause localized weak areas in the wood and that could be why they'd need to use thicker wood or heavier/more bracing.

OldePhart
05-23-2014, 12:09 PM
I agree.
Also wondering if that thread was refering to spalted wood, my understanding is the fungus thats creates that can cause localized weak areas in the wood and that could be why they'd need to use thicker wood or heavier/more bracing.

That's exactly what I was thinking. I haven't really had time to read the thread in question but I was thinking that the thread might have been talking about spalted mango. That would make a little more sense. I don't see how regular mango could be an issue because the wood on both of my mango ukes is a very tight, clean and relatively straight grain - it doesn't look like something that would be unstable.

John

coolkayaker1
05-23-2014, 01:12 PM
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?58764-Curly-Mango-Question&highlight=mango+luthier

I'm trying to find the thread from three or four months ago, which was quite long. I am not a luthier, I do not wish to mis-interpret what has been written by those that are luthiers, and wish for you all to see the words of those that chimed in.

I'll keep looking, but in the meantime, here's a thread from 2012 above, please do read.

Addendum: Here's the 2014 thread (but the 2012 thread is good, too).
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?93804-has-anyone-used-mango-for-a-soprano-top&highlight=mango

As with all things in life, experiences are variable, and I am sure those here who have posted that their mango uke is great are sincere and accurate. It's just that, when experienced luthiers like Mr. Moore and Mr. Mayer shy away from a wood, I shy away from it as a uke owner (perhaps I would not if I could play it live and in person).

bborzell
05-23-2014, 01:41 PM
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?58764-Curly-Mango-Question&highlight=mango+luthier

I'm trying to find the thread from three or four months ago, which was quite long. I am not a luthier, I do not wish to mis-interpret what has been written by those that are luthiers, and wish for you all to see the words of those that chimed in.

I'll keep looking, but in the meantime, here's a thread from 2012 above, please do read.

Addendum: Here's the 2014 thread (but the 2012 thread is good, too).
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?93804-has-anyone-used-mango-for-a-soprano-top&highlight=mango

As with all things in life, experiences are variable, and I am sure those here who have posted that their mango uke is great are sincere and accurate. It's just that, when experienced luthiers like Mr. Moore and Mr. Mayer shy away from a wood, I shy away from it as a uke owner (perhaps I would not if I could play it live and in person).

Chucks comment about mango was in response to the notion about using it as a top, i.e., sound board.

"The grain on mango is not straight or parallel therefore it lacks the stiffness that some other woods have. You might want to make the soundboard a bit thicker than you otherwise might to make up for it's inherent floppiness. I personally haven't had much luck in getting the sound I want from mango so I avoid it. Others apparently like it though. Good luck."

I have never considered using a hardwood such as mango, (albeit, a softer hardwood) as a top. My mango tenor has a cedar top. That said, the grain on much of the mango I have seen has been straight. If Chuck's comment relates to curly mango, then I would not disagree. in addition, stating that the mango he was referring to had "floppiness" is a direct reference to its use as a soundboard and using a thicker top does not appear to be in service of keeping the wood from self destructing, but rather helping eliminate the floppiness as a soundboard that he was referring to.

Icelander53
05-23-2014, 01:57 PM
Well I dumped the mango idea and went with solid acacia instead.

mketom
05-23-2014, 06:04 PM
There was a thread that was with many posts, including luthiers...

I think this is what you are looking for...
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?94233-soprano-top-bracing

IMO, comments from Chuck, Ken and Duane are sound advice but don't dismiss mango as a tonewood. The voices of experience just offer the caveats of such a widely varied wood. Can't blame them for wanting to build with their preferred material. My MM mango top is very thin but has the single longitudinal brace recommended in these posts. (Maybe the worm holes add to its strength :) )

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?94693-Finished-mango-top-soprano-Chuck-Moore-was-right

Andy Chen
05-23-2014, 06:13 PM
I'm pretty sure mango is fine or luthiers won't continue to use it, even for the top.

I am changing my Mya-Moe to myrtle to be on the safe side, it will be shipping from the US to Singapore, which are two very extreme climates.

icuker
05-24-2014, 04:17 AM
I bought a Pono Mango Concert about 8 years ago. Great sounding uke and I've never had any cracking problems with it. It is about the prettiest mango I've ever seen as well, not too figurey but just figurey enough! :cool:

ichadwick
05-24-2014, 11:24 AM
Never had it crack on me. Two mangos: Pono and Mainland tenors. Love the spalted mango, but generally find it a quiet, unaffected tonewood. You might call it mellow, but I find it lacks character you get in cedar or other tonewoods.

coolkayaker1
05-24-2014, 11:33 AM
Never had it crack on me. Two mangos: Pono and Mainland tenors. Love the spalted mango, but generally find it a quiet, unaffected tonewood. You might call it mellow, but I find it lacks character you get in cedar or other tonewoods.

Whether it's the necessary additional bracing or the properties of the wood itself, this is precisely what I found in the one high-end mango uke that I once owned.

Doc_J
11-16-2014, 08:57 AM
Much has been said about Mango for luthier use, but I wanted to add new data points. I've had 2 mango ukes.

The first was a custom supersoprano, which was gorgeous but much brighter than I expected. A nice uke but too bright for me.

Took a chance on a gorgeous used Kanile'a custom mango tenor. I was pleasantly surprised. Great tone, currently in reentrant tuning, and killer looks.
Seems a luthier experienced with mango can do well with it.

Kanile'a custom mango tenor Sound sample :
https://app.box.com/s/xfm4omrjf1gc3obhdm6f


http://i1298.photobucket.com/albums/ag56/Doc_Jenkins/kanilea%20mango%20tenor/P1060794_zps2cb9141c.jpg
http://i1298.photobucket.com/albums/ag56/Doc_Jenkins/kanilea%20mango%20tenor/P1060801_zpscbb4cf89.jpg
http://i1298.photobucket.com/albums/ag56/Doc_Jenkins/kanilea%20mango%20tenor/P1060810_zps98455d26.jpg

hammer40
11-16-2014, 10:12 AM
I have a Big Island all mango tenor uke. It's about 2 years old, and no cracks or problems of any kind. I find it to have a wonderfully sweet and very well balanced tone to my ear. Glad I never saw a thread like that before I bought it, might have missed out on an awesome uke.

Rakelele
11-16-2014, 10:55 PM
I have one of the new Pono Mango Pineapple shaped Tenors (the exact one pictured at HMS). The wood might be cut a little thicker than on their Acacia model, it is a tiny bit havier and it might be just a little less loud. But strung with Worth Clear, it is my sweetest sounding uke, and I'd buy that very same Uke all over again.

72953

bborzell
11-18-2014, 02:50 PM
Can never have too many pictures of mango ukes.

http://i315.photobucket.com/albums/ll468/bborzell/369a1372-40fa-4ea8-80b6-69d0f6b16139.jpg

http://i315.photobucket.com/albums/ll468/bborzell/5d7da68346cdfc8e6b57768f7b3205e5.jpg

Tigershark
11-18-2014, 03:32 PM
I've owned old instruments made from just about every kind of wood (except mango!). Mahogany, koa, rosewood of many types, ebony, spruce, cedar and probably others too.

The one thing that all those woods had in common is that they all have some cracks, some bending, some distortion, and some flaws. Under string tension and over time wood can change. A lot depends on the quality of the wood, how it was cut, how it was dried, and finally, how it was used in the instrument.