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View Full Version : Big question: Mango vs Mahogany



NaturalBornCamper
02-11-2009, 03:39 PM
Hi everyone, I recently bought a Kala KA-15S and I am not satisfied at all of the sound, it sounds more like a high pitched guitar than the real hawaiian ukulele, so I want to buy a new one, a really good one, so I narrowed my search to two types of woods:
Mango or Mahogany?

I searched on the forum and I know that it depends on the type of sound that we want, so here's a link to the song "I believe I can fly" from "me first and the gimme gimmes" (for wich I can't find the tabs haha!) try and listen to the beginning, this is EXACTLY the type of sound I am looking for, the one I hear everyone and that my two last ukes can't reproduce (probably because they are laminates):
http://listen.grooveshark.com/#/song/I_Believe_I_Can_Fly/5136712

So I am calling to you, who tried both mango and mahogany, I know that mahogany is supposed to be the best, but mango looks really good.

Oh, and I live in Canada, so in summer in 35 Celcius and in winter -35 celcius, so would it be dangerous for a hard wood ukulele in mango or mahogany? What if it's kept in a hard case?

THANKS!!

Marco

therimidalv
02-11-2009, 04:40 PM
Welp, I've never played a Mahogany, but what I can say is that the Mango is a very warm, rich kinda sound. More even 'bass' if you will. As for the temperatures, I don't think you'll be leaving yur uke outside right? So I'm sure as long as the inside of yur place isn't ice cold, yur uke should be fine as long as its cased when not in use and humidified. :]

Nuke-ulele
02-11-2009, 04:51 PM
I wouldn't say that mahogany is the "best." In fact, it is not a very traditional wood for ukulele at all. Mahogony was really popularized by Martin, and is more closely associated with the mainland ukulele sound...Gibson, Martin, etc. The most traditional of ukulele woods in koa. You will probably find that koa ukulele by and large have the most quintessential Hawaiian sound. Mango is a new wood to ukulele making. I have owned a custom Kanile'a solid mango ukulele for about 18 months, and it does have a warmish sound, well rounded. It does brighten up well with brighter, higher tension strings. I would suggest you put some Worth brown strings on your existing ukulele and you may be surprised how much more mellow and "islands" it gets. These are very low tension string and help with the mellow warm sound. Do NOT use clear Worths...they are high tension and meant for the opposite. For classic Hawaiian strumming, my mango tenor with Worth browns sounded very traditionally ukey.

I woudl also suggest a soprano or concert for a more trad Hawaiian sound. No matter the material and strings, a tenor will always have a little more volume and projection and less of the quaint strummy islands sound. (although tenors seem to be the most popular size in Hawaii, judging by what my music shop friends say.)

NatalieS
02-11-2009, 04:51 PM
Listening to that song, I think mahogany would be your better choice. Mango would be a bit brighter in tone, from what I've heard.

My Kiwaya KTS-4 (solid mahog soprano) sounds pretty similar to the uke featured in that song but it's also strung with some strings I don't like! It currently has strings with short sustain that give it a more punchy sound, good for strumming.

Nuke-ulele
02-11-2009, 05:03 PM
Listening to that song, I think mahogany would be your better choice. Mango would be a bit brighter in tone, from what I've heard.

My Kiwaya KTS-4 (solid mahog soprano) sounds pretty similar to the uke featured in that song but it's also strung with some strings I don't like! It currently has strings with short sustain that give it a more punchy sound, good for strumming.

Natalie- mango is actually the opposite. It is softer wood and much mellower than even koa. Not at all naturally bright. Here is a quote from an objective analysis from another uke site:

I have three Pono sopranos in stock, all solid mahogany (satin finish), all solid koa (gloss) and all solid mango (gloss). (I am not trying to advertise anything here, but if you click on my web-link you can have a look at pictures and descriptions of the three various ukes). I have restrung all of these with Aquila strings, which I reckon suit these ukes very well.

The mahogany uke is by far the loudest - though the satin finish would play a part in that too.

The koa and mango to my ear sound similar, though the koa uke is louder and brighter. The mango is a bit 'sweeter' and mellower. Although, I am not sure, it seems like mango is a softer wood and not as resonant. It definitely has it place in the uke world as a tone wood, but the fact that it looks pretty too helps!

NaturalBornCamper
02-11-2009, 09:23 PM
Wow, THANKS everyone, but now even with all these answers, I still don't know what to do, and now there's another type of wood, the koa... I heard about that type of wood, but I did not know that it was that much used for ukuleles.

Nuke-ulele, that person who wrote that post really looks like she/he knows a lot about those three types of wood. If that person could pop in the thread and explain everything in detail it would be awesome, but so far with what you and the others told me I am quite interested in the mango and kao ukuleles and I am more than confused about the mahogany ukulele, which I was sure was the best wood for a uke.


Ahhhhh!! I want to buy a new one but now I only have more and more doubts!!!

JTY
02-11-2009, 09:59 PM
I got both, I like the look of Mango, curly Mango, checkered looking grain, different colors in the Mango wood. As stated above, many factors can effect the final sound.

grappler
02-11-2009, 10:04 PM
i'd go for mahogany =]:cheers:

deach
02-12-2009, 01:10 AM
Both. You know you'll end up with both sooner or later.

krabbers
02-12-2009, 02:34 AM
that was the song that inspired me to buy my first mahaloz

Nuke-ulele
02-12-2009, 02:49 AM
Wow, THANKS everyone, but now even with all these answers, I still don't know what to do, and now there's another type of wood, the koa... I heard about that type of wood, but I did not know that it was that much used for ukuleles.

Nuke-ulele, that person who wrote that post really looks like she/he knows a lot about those three types of wood. If that person could pop in the thread and explain everything in detail it would be awesome, but so far with what you and the others told me I am quite interested in the mango and kao ukuleles and I am more than confused about the mahogany ukulele, which I was sure was the best wood for a uke.


Ahhhhh!! I want to buy a new one but now I only have more and more doubts!!!

I do not think that person is a member here. It was a quote from another uke site. They are a shop owner.

NaturalBornCamper
02-12-2009, 05:10 AM
that was the song that inspired me to buy my first mahaloz

Yeah me too, did you ever find the chords?


Nuke-ulele: I found the original post and the website, but the website is his ebay store and the descriptions are not.. precise enough.

I think I'm going to buy a koa or mango now. Probably a mango for now and a koa later in my life, so I will end up with both as deach said

freedive135
02-12-2009, 06:36 AM
I'll throw in my 10 cents here...

Not all Koa Ukes, Mango Ukes or Mahogany Ukes sound the same even if they are made by the same person/company.

Not only will the finish change the overall tone but so will the wood grain.
Then you add the different strings to the mix, or even concert strings on a Soprano and it is very hard to tell what a Ukulele will end up sounding like.

Good Luck on the search for that "Perfect Uke Sound" to me that has been half the fun.

cpatch
02-12-2009, 06:50 AM
Great cover, first time I heard that band (love the name)! Reminds me of the Dickies.

haolejohn
02-12-2009, 06:53 AM
I own a solid koa uke, solid mahaghany uke, solid koa top with solid mahaghany back and sides and a mango laminate, as well as a solid spruce top.

IMO the solid mahaghany sounds the best. It is by far the loudest uke i own and i enjoy it's volume since I play with guitar players mainly. The koa is by far the prettiest but since you live in canada I think Koa might not be your best choice if you don't take care of your instruments. Are you looking at buying a solid wood or a lmainate wood uke? Strings do make a difference but not asa much as solid vs. laminate. My mango uke sounds good and I am trying to sale it right now but that is because I have to let one go since I got a new one.

What is your price range?

Also if you continue to play a uke the sound will grow on you.

NaturalBornCamper
02-12-2009, 07:01 AM
Great cover, first time I heard that band (love the name)! Reminds me of the Dickies.

The Dickies? Don't think I ever heard a song from them, are they good?

NaturalBornCamper
02-12-2009, 07:09 AM
I own a solid koa uke, solid mahaghany uke, solid koa top with solid mahaghany back and sides and a mango laminate, as well as a solid spruce top.

IMO the solid mahaghany sounds the best. It is by far the loudest uke i own and i enjoy it's volume since I play with guitar players mainly. The koa is by far the prettiest but since you live in canada I think Koa might not be your best choice if you don't take care of your instruments. Are you looking at buying a solid wood or a lmainate wood uke? Strings do make a difference but not asa much as solid vs. laminate. My mango uke sounds good and I am trying to sale it right now but that is because I have to let one go since I got a new one.

What is your price range?

Also if you continue to play a uke the sound will grow on you.

Hey thanks, your post was really helpful!
I'm looking for a solid ukulele since I already own a laminate mahogany and I want to hear the "real" sound a ukulele should have. Mine sounds more like a high pitched guitar and I don't like that.

But I would definitely buy your mango ukulele if I was looking for one. But.. I guy I know is looking for a ukulele under 100$. I don't know how good is yours, but is it in that price range?

Also, I got the opinions of several people about the song I sent in my first post, so can I have yours as well? wich ukulele would sound more like the beginning of the song (mahogany, mango or koa)? And the strings don't matter as the guy I am buying from can switch to either Fremont or Aquila strings.

Thanks again!
Marco

SuperSecretBETA
02-12-2009, 07:29 AM
I've had experience with mango and mahogany (both solid). Overall, mango seems to have more "boom"--or at least the one I own does--compared to mahogany (a friend's); although, it might be the construction. I played Kamakas before, but I had nothing to compare it to. Despite the minority who think koa is overrated, the general consensus on koa is that you can't really go wrong with it... or almost any common ukulele wood for that matter now that I think about it.

cpatch
02-12-2009, 07:36 AM
The Dickies? Don't think I ever heard a song from them, are they good?
They were one of the first punk bands out of L.A. in the late '70s and did several covers. Their version of "Nights in White Satin" is a classic, as is the "Banana Splits" theme song (anyone else here old enough to remember that show?):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTxdZEB7agA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flMS2gHFOH0

Also search YouTube for their version of Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" (the way it should be played!) and Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction."

NatalieS
02-12-2009, 07:40 AM
Natalie- mango is actually the opposite. It is softer wood and much mellower than even koa. Not at all naturally bright. Here is a quote from an objective analysis from another uke site:

I have three Pono sopranos in stock, all solid mahogany (satin finish), all solid koa (gloss) and all solid mango (gloss). (I am not trying to advertise anything here, but if you click on my web-link you can have a look at pictures and descriptions of the three various ukes). I have restrung all of these with Aquila strings, which I reckon suit these ukes very well.

The mahogany uke is by far the loudest - though the satin finish would play a part in that too.

The koa and mango to my ear sound similar, though the koa uke is louder and brighter. The mango is a bit 'sweeter' and mellower. Although, I am not sure, it seems like mango is a softer wood and not as resonant. It definitely has it place in the uke world as a tone wood, but the fact that it looks pretty too helps!


Oops my bad! From what I read on UU, I thought mango was between koa and mahogany in the brightness factor... In other words, koa is brightest, then mango, then mahogany as mellowest. I hope I didn't spread false info.

Nuke-ulele
02-12-2009, 07:55 AM
Oops my bad! From what I read on UU, I thought mango was between koa and mahogany in the brightness factor... In other words, koa is brightest, then mango, then mahogany as mellowest. I hope I didn't spread false info.

Nooo, no, not at all. These are very general observations, too. Your milage may very. I do think that mango is actually a softer wood than some of the others and actually has a sound more leaning to Koa, though. Thing is construction and the tree itself make a difference. Especially with a solid mango instrument, no two are alike.

SuperSecretBETA
02-12-2009, 09:53 AM
I do think that mango is actually a softer wood than some of the others and actually has a sound more leaning to Koa, though.

Mango's actually harder than mahogany... at least that's what Tony Graziano's website said.

http://www.grazianoukuleles.com/woods.html

freedive135
02-12-2009, 10:55 AM
And yes that mileage will vary....
My KoAloha Koa Soprano is way LOUDER and deeper voiced than my Pono Mahogany Soprano, the Pono sounds like someone stuffed a sock in it (and yes I checked)!!!!

A luither told me it has to do with the different styles of bracing in each.

Also my Spruce top Kala Tenor is brighter than the Pono too.
Who woudda thunk a Tenor brighter than a Soprano????

haolejohn
02-12-2009, 12:06 PM
But I would definitely buy your mango ukulele if I was looking for one. But.. I guy I know is looking for a ukulele under 100$. I don't know how good is yours, but is it in that price range?

Also, I got the opinions of several people about the song I sent in my first post, so can I have yours as well? wich ukulele would sound more like the beginning of the song (mahogany, mango or koa)? And the strings don't matter as the guy I am buying from can switch to either Fremont or Aquila strings.

Thanks again!
Marco

I'm no music expert but the ukulele sounds like either a mahghany or koa. It is hard to tell with out seeing it. If you own the cd look inside the instrument section or sponsors and it should tell you what kind of ukulele it is.

My mango is a Kala and I want more than 100.

Since you are looking for a solid koa you need about $500 to start if you are looking for a concert or tenor. Sopranos are less expensive.

Deach told you to buy both and I agree with him. Try to get one in as many woods as possible.

NaturalBornCamper
02-12-2009, 12:44 PM
There is a solid koa for sale on ebay, but it's a Tangi, so it's custom and not a really well known brand

haolejohn
02-12-2009, 03:30 PM
There is a solid koa for sale on ebay, but it's a Tangi, so it's custom and not a really well known brand

I have never personally played a Tangi. I do know I wanted to buy one once from him and he never replied to my emails or messages after I told him I wanted to purchase a uke from him and I also know that he kinda went out of business.

I have heard mix reviews on the Tangi line of ukes so I have no personal comment on them.

I do know that you can get a Mele (Own three of them and love them) or pono (didn't like the paticular one I played but I still want to get one) for a resonable price. Honu also makes a solid koa uke that is very affordable and quite pleasing to the ears as well as eyes.

Nuke-ulele
02-12-2009, 04:19 PM
Mango's actually harder than mahogany... at least that's what Tony Graziano's website said.

http://www.grazianoukuleles.com/woods.html

..and the other post I submitted said the opposite...so who knows. Here is another source talking about the fact that mango bends and works easily.

http://www.curlykoa.com/mangoguitarsets

I think what we have learned here is that mango is as inconsistant as its grain...some looks blonde, some yellow, some brown and stipey...some has curl...etc. etc. It is exotic and pretty and usually sounds great on an ukulele...but each example is a little (or a LOT) different!

haolejohn
02-12-2009, 05:06 PM
..and the other post I submitted said the opposite...so who knows. Here is another source talking about the fact that mango bends and works easily.

http://www.curlykoa.com/mangoguitarsets

I think what we have learned here is that mango is as inconsistant as its grain...some looks blonde, some yellow, some brown and stipey...some has curl...etc. etc. It is exotic and pretty and usually sounds great on an ukulele...but each example is a little (or a LOT) different!

I guess mango is a lot like humans. I was told by a luthier once that his company would not go to mango because bugs like to get into the wood piles and eat it. Not sure if he told me the truth or not.

SuperSecretBETA
02-12-2009, 06:59 PM
I think what we have learned here is that mango is as inconsistant as its grain...some looks blonde, some yellow, some brown and stipey...some has curl...etc. etc. It is exotic and pretty and usually sounds great on an ukulele...but each example is a little (or a LOT) different!

Yeah, I love the colour on mine--greens, browns, yellows, oranges.


I guess mango is a lot like humans. I was told by a luthier once that his company would not go to mango because bugs like to get into the wood piles and eat it. Not sure if he told me the truth or not.

Yeah, I hear powderpost beetles can be a problem with mango wood. I guess you just have to choose wisely.

Kekani
02-12-2009, 10:00 PM
I've been reading this thread, sort of like one would listen to Howard Stern. . .shaking my head, yet paying attention just to see where it goes.

Don't get me wrong, there is some good info here. As for the rest? Thanks for the entertainment.

NaturalBornCamper
02-13-2009, 04:52 AM
Well, who doesn't risk anything doesn't get anything.. I bought the mango uke and I'll see how it goes. I'll post back after a month to see how's the sound, if the wood changes in the cold over here or if bugs are eating it(I would doubt that, we don't have too much bugs here in the coldness of Montreal)


I guess mango is a lot like humans.

Haha! Nice poetry!!

SuperSecretBETA
02-13-2009, 07:53 AM
Well, who doesn't risk anything doesn't get anything.. I bought the mango uke and I'll see how it goes. I'll post back after a month to see how's the sound, if the wood changes in the cold over here or if bugs are eating it(I would doubt that, we don't have too much bugs here in the coldness of Montreal)

You don't have to worry about bugs. That's an issue for the wood supplier or uke builder... not always, of course, but it can happen. Usually, the pieces they choose are fine and finished with gloss.

haolejohn
02-13-2009, 05:11 PM
Well, who doesn't risk anything doesn't get anything.. I bought the mango uke and I'll see how it goes.


Haha! Nice poetry!!

What kind of mango uke did you decide to go with?
You really aren't risking anything except your savings because once you get this mango, you are going to want to get a mahaghany and then a koa and then a spruce and then a cedar and then a (place wood type here).
UAS is uncurable.

ichadwick
02-14-2009, 05:51 AM
I have a Pono solid mango. Some of the mango models offered are laminates, not solid. That can make a considerable difference to the sound and volume.

My mango uke is stunning, but it has a mellow sound that's not as loud or bright as either cedar or spruce. That's not bad, but if you play with others or in a band, you may have to compensate for it. I had low-G Ko-olau strings I switched for high-G Aquilas and it helped perk it up a bit.

curlykoa
02-14-2009, 10:06 AM
I am neither a luthier or player but a purveyor of both Mango and Koa and hear everyday customers reactions to my woods.
Without exception people are completely in love with the sound of Mango!
Direct quote from local builder (buys 10 sets at a time) :

"well, I'll take all you've got! The mango classic we just made sold 2 days after we strung it. Unbelievable tone!"

There can be powder post beetle holes (very tiny holes, smaller than the head of a pin) but they only attack fresh wood. Once it is dried there should be no problem at all. There are sugars in the wood that seem to really attract the rascals.

Experienced builders have no problems with the holes as they are almost imperceptable and fill easily with resin. Less experienced luthiers are more often leary.

Buy Mango, you won't be dissapointed.....

Steve

www.curlykoa.com

FadaBullet
02-14-2009, 12:07 PM
They were one of the first punk bands out of L.A. in the late '70s and did several covers. Their version of "Nights in White Satin" is a classic, as is the "Banana Splits" theme song (anyone else here old enough to remember that show?):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTxdZEB7agA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flMS2gHFOH0

Also search YouTube for their version of Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" (the way it should be played!) and Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction."

I love the Dickies.They wrote "Stuck In A Pagoda With Trisha Toyota" and the Title song for the movie "Killer Klowns From Outer Space".They made a guest appearance on the 70's TV sitcom "CPO Sharkey"(a Barney Miller spinoff). I remember buying The Dickies 10" EP on white vinyl in 1978. it was their first major release and had "You Drive Me Ape You Big Gorilla","Paranoid" and "Hideous" on it.

Kekani
02-14-2009, 06:35 PM
I am neither a luthier or player but a purveyor of both Mango and Koa www.curlykoa.com

Welcome to UU Steve. You definitely have been hocking some nice wood for some time.

-Aaron

seeso
02-14-2009, 07:18 PM
If you can identify the ukulele that Spike Slawson (singer of The Gimmes) is playing in this picture (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ef/Spike_slawson_playing_ukulele.jpg) and this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-dqDbEP7Jo), you'll have your sound.

It looks like mahogany, but I can't tell the make or model.

thejumpingflea
02-14-2009, 07:52 PM
If you can identify the ukulele that Spike Slawson (singer of The Gimmes) is playing in this picture (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ef/Spike_slawson_playing_ukulele.jpg) and this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-dqDbEP7Jo), you'll have your sound.

It looks like mahogany, but I can't tell the make or model.

The wood is Nato.

It is a Greg Bennett UK50

http://i229.photobucket.com/albums/ee239/thejumpingflea/uk-50.jpg

http://www.gregbennettguitars.com/uk50.html

fergs1
02-14-2009, 09:42 PM
personally I feel the construction has more to do with the sound with the exception of maple which always sounds tinny and scratchy too me.I think the most important thing to do is to try each uke out in a store and forget all the disection of wood types and just listen and compare side by side.I can't say I like a particular wood as connstructioin methods and wood stocks vary so greatly that you've just got to listen and see what resonates in you.Take you time especially if your going to put down some serious lolly on one.The only things I would say with confidence is solid wood sounds better than lams and extremely lightly built ukes tend to respond better and have greater projection than heavy built ukes. The catch is the very light biult ukes usually cost more
but as with anything you get what you pay for.
cheers fergs

curlykoa
02-15-2009, 03:13 AM
Fergs

I would certinly agree that the design of an instrument has the largest impact on its sound but builders defenitely feel that the wood has a sound that is particular to that wood.

The following is a link to a builder that attempts to rate the sound of the various woods he uses.


http://www.myamoeukuleles.com/gallery.html

freedive135
02-15-2009, 04:20 AM
Those are some Sweet Uke's I got to meet them at the Denver Ukefest very nice folks at Mya-Moe's.

Had quite the talk about wood's and bracing and such, He took quite alot of time to explain to me about how the grain patteren make the biggest differences in a given type/thickness of wood.
Using the pebble in the pond theroy, a pebble on a non windy day will make a great wave patteren on the water surface but pick up the wind and you lose the clearity very quickly.
A wood with lots of grain changes losses the crispness of sound wave travel, like the Birds Eye Maple I was asking about, lots of tiny knots to disrupt the sound patteren.
He told me most of the pretty woods don't make for great tops.

I played his all Mango Tenor against Palm Tree all Mango Tenor and WOW what a huge difference and not just in sound the woods didn't look anywhere near the same.

Both builders Uke's sound and played fantastic I wood love to have either or both.

Wish they would have had that Purple Heart Uke to see in person and WOW that Lap Steel Uke what a sound!!!!!

the new guy
02-15-2009, 06:03 AM
i have the kala mango tenor and i think it sounds great. as for temp i dont know how it would do in extreme cold. i live in san jose and the coldest it gets here is in the 30s F

curlykoa
02-15-2009, 06:18 AM
Just a tip about keeping your ukes healthy. The worst thing for them is wildly fluctuating humidity. Temperature isn't the culprit as much as humidity.
My shop is kept at a humidity in the mid fourties throughout the year (same with most builders I know). It isn't cooled in the summer or heated (except when I'm in it) in the winter.
The easiest way to protect it is with one of those humidifiers that you put in the sound hole. Also just wrap it in plastic wrap if you are going to be traveling with it to a different climate.

haolejohn
02-15-2009, 08:42 AM
personally I feel the construction has more to do with the sound with the exception of maple which always sounds tinny and scratchy too me.I think the most important thing to do is to try each uke out in a store and forget all the disection of wood types and just listen and compare side by side.
cheers fergs


This is great advice if one has the luxury of living somewhere where the ukulele is big. (Hawai'i). LOL. For the rest of us there is MGM and other online venders and UU for other folks advice. It gives us excuses to keep buying ukes.

Kekani
02-15-2009, 08:56 AM
personally I feel the construction has more to do with the sound with the exception of maple which always sounds tinny and scratchy too me.

The only things I would say with confidence is solid wood sounds better than lams and extremely lightly built ukes tend to respond better and have greater projection than heavy built ukes. The catch is the very light biult ukes usually cost more
but as with anything you get what you pay for.
cheers fergs

Maple/Spruce instruments are a wonderful combination. Bright, crisp, clean, but, as you stated, depends on the builder. They can be very sweet instruments as well, and have some complex tones once they break in. Unless of course, you're talking about Maple tops, which for the most part, I agree, with the exception of Rick Turner, who does great things with Maple Tenors. Short of Milo, Maple is my (and my clients') favorite. Oddly enough, seems to match James Hill as well.

Generally, lams are a cheap way of building. However, there are some builders (like David Hurd) who incorporate laminations in his build. I also know of a recent factory custom that has a laminated back - super resonant. I'm not particular to laminations, but they're out there. These are higher end instruments, of course. Which, as stated, you get what you pay for.

NaturalBornCamper
02-15-2009, 01:41 PM
What kind of mango uke did you decide to go with?
You really aren't risking anything except your savings because once you get this mango, you are going to want to get a mahaghany and then a koa and then a spruce and then a cedar and then a (place wood type here).
UAS is uncurable.

It's a Kala uke, but it doesn't say what's the model.

generem
02-15-2009, 03:21 PM
It's a Kala uke, but it doesn't say what's the model.

Look inside the sound hole and check the model. We can figure it out from there

NaturalBornCamper
02-15-2009, 04:21 PM
Look inside the sound hole and check the model. We can figure it out from there

I hasn't arrived yet, it's an order haha!

NaturalBornCamper
02-15-2009, 04:22 PM
The wood is Nato.

It is a Greg Bennett UK50

http://i229.photobucket.com/albums/ee239/thejumpingflea/uk-50.jpg

http://www.gregbennettguitars.com/uk50.html

That's some nice job! Thanks for finding all that info.
It looks like he's only playing two chords on the video however. On the CD it sounds different

beautifulsoup
07-05-2012, 03:34 PM
Both. You know you'll end up with both sooner or later.

Ha ha, I'm reading this thread three years later (having just done a Google search for Mahogany Vs. Mango at Ukulele Underground) just to see what you all would say. About a week ago I came to your conclusion. I'll want both. :drool: (After saving up some $, of course). Now it's a matter of soprano or concert.

Hippie Dribble
07-05-2012, 03:38 PM
Now it's a matter of soprano or concert.

ha ha...that's an easy one too....

BOTH.

(touche!!!!) :p

beautifulsoup
07-06-2012, 03:43 PM
ha ha...that's an easy one too....

BOTH.

(touche!!!!) :p

Yep, I set myself up for that one! :cheers:

OldePhart
07-07-2012, 06:18 AM
Well...since this thread has been resurrected...

I now have two very nearly identical sopranos, one mango and one mahogany. Both are Mainlands made in the same production run, owned only by me and for approximately the same amount of time, strung with identical strings, and with about the same amount of play time on them. I.e. they are about as identical as can be expected, other than the wood type.

They both sound great (and both love heavy fluorocarbon strings) but are very distinctly different. Both have very clear voices and are quite loud (they were louder than many ukes even before I put the heavy strings on). The mahogany has a very meaty, mellow tone while the mango is very noticeably brighter. Harmonics are bell-like on the mahogany vs. chime-like on the mango. I guess I would describe the mango as having a tone closer to traditional Koa ukes, and it is actually a bit brighter than my only Koa uke (that one is a longneck soprano with a concert scale and a slightly larger body though, so it's hard to make a direct comparison).

I can't really say that I prefer one over the other. I've been drifting toward picking the mahogany up more often but I think that is because allergies are killing my voice so I've been doing more ballads lately. I would be very loathe to lose either of them and there are certain songs where I definitely prefer the mango.

If I ever get around to getting a decent condensor microphone I'll make some A/B audio samples and post them somewhere (not on YouTube - by the time they mangle and compress the audio you're lucky to be able to distinguish between a tenor and a soprano, let alone fine nuances between two nearly identical sopranos). In-camera mics and even my SM58 and SM57 don't really do justice to acoustic instruments - for a really meaningful A/B test of acoustic ukes you need really flat response, low noise, and wide dynamic range. I tried doing samples with the SM58 and SM57 and, while you could clearly tell the difference between the two ukes, I wasn't satisfied that the microphones really picked up all of the subtleties.

Finally, I've had a couple of people ask why I went to heavy strings on these two ukes - especially since they were pretty loud with standard strings. These are my first sopranos and I found I just never cared for how light and mushy the strings felt. They sounded great but both the stock Aquila strings and the medium fluorocarbon strings that I put on just felt too soft - it felt like my fingers wanted to catch on them and get tangled up. When I got back from UWC I ordered another spool of Seaguar leader and went to the heavy fluorocarbon strings and got tension closer to what I am used to on my other ukes and the added benefit of the ukes becoming "cannons." I also tried a set on my KoAloha longneck soprano (concert scale) and couldn't take them off fast enough - on that uke they really pinched the sound. All this goes to illustrate that you really need to experiment with different strings on ukes and not just go with a "one size fits all" formula.

John


John