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CT Rick
06-07-2014, 01:43 PM
I'm having a custom tenor made with African Blackwood back and sides and looking for opinions for the top, which would you choose and why, Sinker Redwood or Adirondack Red Spruce?

Jim Hanks
06-07-2014, 02:01 PM
I would choose the redwood as it will likely have a warmer tone that i prefer than the spruce which is likely to be brighter - but you might choose the spruce for just that reason.

Pete Howlett
06-08-2014, 01:47 AM
Ask the builder!!!

stevepetergal
06-08-2014, 02:46 AM
Ask the builder!!!

Second. Last custom I had built I chose the back and side wood and, after describing the sound I was hoping for, let the builder decide on the soundboard wood.

Doug
06-08-2014, 05:53 AM
Do what Pete says.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
06-08-2014, 06:05 AM
Do what Doug said.

Patrick Madsen
06-08-2014, 06:10 AM
Do what Chuck said.

hawaii 50
06-08-2014, 06:36 AM
Haha....

I think if you are confused on what top wood to use..you should talk to the builder...
the UU members will try to help(guess) you, but the builder is your builder and he should have the best idea what to use...IMO

Kanaka916
06-08-2014, 06:42 AM
Yup . . . what Chuck & Pete said. Frankly I don't understand why you're asking. When you commissioned the build, the details such as wood choice/combinations would have been discussed to fit your needs.

bearpaw
06-08-2014, 06:54 AM
I think that you, as the buyer, needs to choose to take the advise of either Pete, Doug, or Chuck.

Dan Uke
06-08-2014, 07:10 AM
especially since you are going to pay a premium for ABW, you should talk to your builder

Kekani
06-08-2014, 09:20 AM
If you haven't decided that when you talked to your builder about your order, maybe you should switch your builder to one of the guys that suggested you talk to your builder; you will have a very good chance that your initial question wouldn't be asked here.

Just for kicks, try asking this is UkeTalk and see what responses you'll get. My guess, it won't be as one sided as it is here. Unfortunately (or fortunately), that side taken here was not one of your two options.

Allen
06-08-2014, 11:24 AM
Just for kicks, try asking this is UkeTalk and see what responses you'll get. My guess, it won't be as one sided as it is here. Unfortunately (or fortunately), that side taken here was not one of your two options.

I bet you wouldn't get one giving the above advice.

Mine is also that you ALWAYS ask the builder.

buddhuu
06-09-2014, 08:57 PM
soupking, I see only one post in this thread that looks like trolling. Rather than goading a member who has offered advice, please just pass by quietly if you have nothing helpful or amusing to contribute. Thanks.

Pete's advice is exactly what I would have recommended.

Red Cliff
06-09-2014, 10:36 PM
I wondered if any of the professional builders would care to expand on their (very good) advice to CT 'Ask the builder' to briefly outline why the builder is so key to the decision, rather than just saying - 'spruce is bright' or 'Redwood is warmer' - just to give the new member some background?

If not I will give it a go - but I'm new to this game.

buddhuu
06-10-2014, 05:25 AM
I wondered if any of the professional builders would care to expand on their (very good) advice to CT 'Ask the builder' to briefly outline why the builder is so key to the decision, rather than just saying - 'spruce is bright' or 'Redwood is warmer' - just to give the new member some background?

If not I will give it a go - but I'm new to this game.

Well, I'm not a pro builder, but an experienced luthier will know from experience how certain woods have performed in the past with the specific construction methods employed by that builder. The wood alone is only one element in the sound producing machine. There are many others: thickness of top/back/sides, flat or arched back, strings, bracing patterns, neck attachment. It is simplistic to think that one can generalise about the sound of an instrument based solely upon the woods used to build it.

The builder, if experienced and competent, will be best placed to inform the customer what to expect. Others can guess, based upon limited data and generalisations, but that runs a higher risk of misleading the person.

And then there's the added variable of specific species. Many woods come in a number of varieties.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
06-10-2014, 07:49 AM
Either redwood or Adi are good top choices.
ABW is hard, bright stuff and pairing it with redwood should (generally speaking) yield a less bright tone then with Adi. Sitka is brightest of all, but some sinker redwood is (ive found) very stiff and some Adi quite warm/soft so it is possible (with the right/wrong sets of wood) their roles in warm/bright are reversed somewhat.

Allen
06-10-2014, 09:28 AM
I wondered if any of the professional builders would care to expand on their (very good) advice to CT 'Ask the builder' to briefly outline why the builder is so key to the decision, rather than just saying - 'spruce is bright' or 'Redwood is warmer' - just to give the new member some background?

If not I will give it a go - but I'm new to this game.

The difference between those two tops, or for that matter toss in some more species, has just as much to do with the size of the instrument, thickness that the builder feels is appropriate for his building style, the bracing pattern that is used, the finish, the strings, the arching or the soundboard (or not). Even the back bracing and stiffness in the sides......etc. etc. etc.

Oh, and lets not forget that no two pieces of wood are the same.

It's absolutely impossible for anyone to say what another builders is going to produce from a particular species of wood.

You will notice that the pro's here all realise this and haven't given the type of advice that the original question was asking for, but is all too common from people who with no experience in building and just speak in generalities as if it's the gospel.

Michael Smith
06-10-2014, 09:36 AM
In my perhaps worthless opinion if you use a softwood like redwood or spruce you are much better off with a highly protective lacquer finish unless of course you embrace the wabi sabi concept of beauty. If you look at redwood wrong you are going to put a dent in it with an oil finish.

Ukulelerick9255
08-16-2014, 09:52 PM
I choose the redwood my builder said it rang like a bell and it's warmer that the Adi so it warms up the already bright AB, thanks to Jim Hanks for his answer he was right. Plus we are using Kasha bracing so the sound hole won't be in the middle as it doesn't go there with Kasha bracing, there will be a second sound hole on the upper bout also. Being built in the same manner Eric devine builds his ukes. Slotted headstock, koa binding and Kasha bridge to go with the Kasha bracing.