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Yooke
07-19-2014, 06:08 PM
Hello,

What is your favorite wood combination(s) on a ukulele and please explain why?

I don't have a favorite wood combination ..yet but I'll describe my only ukulele, a Nato Top/ Nato B&S (mahogany-esque) Lanikai.

It is mellow and warm. Has a full round sound but not too loud in volume. Moderate sustain and really quite balanced.

kohanmike
07-19-2014, 06:28 PM
I just received a custom gypsy jazz style uke. I chose solid curly maple top and solid Indian rosewood body. I read that the brightness of the maple matches well with the deeper rosewood, and the price was right from the builder in Vietnam. Having said that, a few months ago I traded in three lesser ukes for a really nice Kala with solid cedar top and acacia koa body that sounds very good, and looks great too. I like projection and sustain, which both have.

http://www.fairfax67.com/images/Gypsy semi side.jpg

Ukejenny
07-19-2014, 07:12 PM
So far, cedar and rosewood, though I enjoy my mahogany and acacia ukuleles almost as much.

Icelander53
07-19-2014, 08:14 PM
Right now I'm digging my Cedar top/ Mahogany S&B. Warm with a punch.

Hell I could describe the sound differently tomorrow but honestly I love the sound of this Pono however it's described. I think it's a truly great combination and I'm guessing the build has something to do with it and the strings.

Freeda
07-19-2014, 08:37 PM
I like the bark of spruce and maple.

trevorg888
07-19-2014, 09:28 PM
my favourite has to be walnut back and sides and redwood top and fav size uke is a concert.
close 2nd would be all mahogany

brimmer
07-20-2014, 02:12 AM
So many great wood combinations - can't leave out all koa! I never get tired of that sound...

I have to say I'm in awe of folks like Trevor, who have so many cool woods in their collection.

Icelander53
07-20-2014, 02:43 AM
I've heard good things about walnut as a tonewood but don't see many around??

Yooke
07-20-2014, 05:39 AM
Cedar usually has a warmer quality, but since a ukulele is already a bright instrument, I guess that's why many prefer cedar.

Dan Uke
07-20-2014, 05:44 AM
soft wood top and hard wood b&s.

dtikim1
07-20-2014, 05:50 AM
It all depends on what you are looking for. If you have no idea on what you really want, then get one that looks prettiest to you. A good all around combination would always be East Indian Rosewood (back and sides) with spruce, cedar or redwood top. The top will definitely influence the tonal quality of brightness or mellowness. Only you can decide. The brand or the luthier of the ukulele also influences the tonal qualities. So you're gonna have to do some research. Remember...sound appeals differently to different people. What might sound very good to someone else may not sound the same to you...hope this helps

haole
07-20-2014, 05:59 AM
Koa and koa.

Doc_J
07-20-2014, 06:05 AM
So far grafted pistachio with a curly redwood top has been my visual favorite (and it sounds good too!).

http://i1298.photobucket.com/albums/ag56/Doc_Jenkins/Leeward%20Lounge%20Pistachio%20and%20Curly%20Redwo od/P1060653_zpscc30af4c.jpg

dtikim1
07-20-2014, 07:00 AM
So far grafted pistachio with a curly redwood top has been my visual favorite (and it sounds good too!).

http://i1298.photobucket.com/albums/ag56/Doc_Jenkins/Leeward%20Lounge%20Pistachio%20and%20Curly%20Redwo od/P1060653_zpscc30af4c.jpg
Looks very pretty. Don't recognize the logo. Who's the maker?

Doc_J
07-20-2014, 08:26 AM
Looks very pretty. Don't recognize the logo. Who's the maker?

Fred Kroner is the maker of this uke.
Leeward Lounge Ukuleles (http://leewardlounge.blogspot.com)

Icelander53
07-20-2014, 09:58 AM
It all depends on what you are looking for. If you have no idea on what you really want, then get one that looks prettiest to you. A good all around combination would always be East Indian Rosewood (back and sides) with spruce, cedar or redwood top. The top will definitely influence the tonal quality of brightness or mellowness. Only you can decide. The brand or the luthier of the ukulele also influences the tonal qualities. So you're gonna have to do some research. Remember...sound appeals differently to different people. What might sound very good to someone else may not sound the same to you...hope this helps

So true, I dropped some change on spruce tops that sound good in online vids. but in person left me cold. One of them was a Pono that is a very nice instrument. When I went to a cedar top I was home free.

Pippin
07-20-2014, 10:17 AM
I love rosewood back and sides with a cedar top. I also love myrtle back and sides with a spruce top.

Steedy
07-20-2014, 03:29 PM
Redwood top with Rosewood back and sides. Redwood sounds like Cedar on steroids! :)

cm3ohana
07-20-2014, 04:46 PM
We don't have any high end ukuleles but we enjoy what we do have - a solid mahogany tenor and a cedar/acacia tenor. I like each for different reasons but my favorite is the cedar top with acacia back and sides. Great projection and volume. It's also got great sustain and is warm but not muddy. I've heard great things about redwood and would love to give that a try one day....

Yooke
07-20-2014, 06:02 PM
I have added a Poll to this thread. It should be read as Top Wood/Back and Side Woods

Other could mean non-wood material, such as plastic.

I voted Other because of my Nato Lanikai.

Oh and forgot to mention it is multiple choice.. not sure how many but its multiple

equina
07-20-2014, 07:00 PM
I love all-solid Koa due to the liveliness and brightness of the tone (I'm thinking of KoAloha)
I love all-solid Spruce with Ebony because of its brightness and power and amazing clarity
I love all-solid Spruce with Rosewood because of its power and clarity and amazing sustain

Ok, by power I mean the tone makes me feel powerful even though I'm holding such a small instrument. I guess a more appropriate word would be volume. I wonder whether pistachio as a b/s tonewood is comparable to ebony and rosewood in terms of volume.

equina
07-20-2014, 07:02 PM
.... I also love myrtle back and sides with a spruce top.

Hello Pippin, what does a myrtle b/s do to enhance the spruce top?

Dan Uke
07-20-2014, 07:15 PM
If you asked this question 5 years ago, most of the answers would probably have been all koa or all hog. Now, people are open to diff't woods, which is good imo.

Icelander53
07-20-2014, 07:37 PM
All-walnut, all-macadamia, all-mahogany, cedar/maple.

Could you describe the sound of walnut?

Pippin
07-20-2014, 08:31 PM
Myrtle is a warm sounding wood. In combination with the spruce, it is warm, sweet, generates great volume.

kkimura
07-21-2014, 03:01 AM
I don't know why and I can't explain it but to me the look of koa reminds me of Hawaii and mahogany sounds like Hawaii to me.

Yooke
07-21-2014, 06:06 AM
Hi, can someone describe what the word "punchy" means, does that mean bright?

ericchico
07-21-2014, 06:48 AM
Spruce Top Mahogany back and sides for sound and cost. Curly Maple top with Rosewood back and sides for looks. To me the sound is all in the top wood, everything else is all structure. My second choice would be Mahogany all around. I have not tried a Redwood top yet.

davidrboy
07-21-2014, 08:17 AM
My preference for players is redwood or cedar tops on mahogany or harder hardwood back and sides.

But it's also nice to have a hog soprano for bark. And koa soprano or concert for that old-school Hawaiian sound.

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
07-21-2014, 08:26 AM
Koa's look, sound and history all appeal to me. Plus my best uke happens to be koa.

Stevelele
07-21-2014, 09:49 AM
I think it depends heavily on the builder, too. Certain builders are particularly good with certain types of wood and can get sound out of it that doesn't sound anything like other ukes using that very same wood.

stevejfc
07-21-2014, 10:21 AM
I've heard good things about walnut as a tonewood but don't see many around??

Compass Rose is famous for his walnut ukes

Steveperrywriter
07-21-2014, 02:14 PM
Best-sounding tenor to my ears so far was redwood top, Tasmanian blackwood back and sides. I'm thinking that redwood/rosewood combo would be really close to that. Spruce over Osage Orange is really loud and bright, too.

Yooke
07-21-2014, 04:27 PM
I hope this thread helps newbies such as myself narrow down the wood choices

hollisdwyer
07-21-2014, 05:10 PM
I've heard good things about walnut as a tonewood but don't see many around??
I have seen a few either all walnut like the one that is for sale in the marketplace now. Also Jerry at Boat Paddle does some great quarter sawn walnut as does Mike Pereira. Here is the one that I own that has a sinker redwood top:
69239
69240

Icelander53
07-21-2014, 05:46 PM
nice looking uke, I'll bet it's loud? Am I right?

hollisdwyer
07-21-2014, 06:16 PM
nice looking uke, I'll bet it's loud? Am I right?
I don't know how to answer that question as it is my first and only luthier made instrument, at this point in time (I just purchased 3 Mya-Moe's that I haven't taken delivery of yet) but compared to a monkey pod Lanikai and a Lacewood/Sitka Kala that I had before, it holds its own in volume. The real difference is the complexity of tone, the great intonation and sustain. Not to mention that it is just a great looking and superbly made instrument.
I'm just a newbie to Uke's but the tech that I had install a MiSi pickup said that he had never seen a better Uke in Perth, Western Austalia.

revyolution
07-21-2014, 08:11 PM
i like Spruce/Rosewood, but also love to play the mahogany/mahogany... both have different character i like.
and i never try Koa before.... :p

hollisdwyer
07-22-2014, 12:24 AM
I really like spruce/rosewood also. Of the 3 MM's that I just bought, one is koa and sitka and the other two are all myrtle (a 4string and a 6 string). When I get them all together I know I will have to choose one to sell. I realise that I just went a little crazy buying 3 quality ukes within a few weeks time but that's what I get by staying home to recouperate after a knee operation. Too much time to read those 'for sale' ads here and on Flea Market Music. At this point I am keeping an open mind on what will stay and what will go.

Edgeguy
07-22-2014, 03:16 AM
Koa/Koa. When I think ukulele I see swaying palm trees and a sandy beach with a ukulele playing in the background. This place is Hawaii and the uke is of course Koa/Koa.

ichadwick
07-22-2014, 04:53 AM
I think it depends on the build and cut, too; two ukes with the same woods and the same design can sound very different.

Me, I prefer cedar or redwood, and think spruce is a tad too shrill for a small instrument. Just a personal preference - since I also have beloved ukes in koa, mahogany and mango...

Rllink
07-22-2014, 06:05 AM
What wood requires the least care and the most durable? Which wood is least effected by humidity? I'm not what one would call fastidious.

Gary52
07-22-2014, 06:37 AM
My best sounding uke is a cedar/walnut Covered Bridge concert. The downside of cedar is its softness, hence vulnerability to strum marks and other damage. Mahogany is my second choice for tonewood.

kkimura
07-22-2014, 06:46 AM
Although not really wood, Martin's HPL is durable and waterproof.

:D

DownUpDave
07-22-2014, 06:52 AM
Mine are ones with internal bracing, you can play 'em

Joking aside, for tenor I like a spruce top and rosewood back and sides. Concert and soprano all mahogany or all koa.

leokiekie
07-22-2014, 07:33 AM
I started with an all koa ukulele. I've been through 23 ukuleles since then and I've found that I have gone back to the all koa that I started with. It's punchy, resonant, and classic sounding to my ear because I grew up in Hawai'i. My favorites along the way? An Adirondack/Cocobolo Compass Rose. A Monterey Cypress/Cambodian Rosewood William King. And an Mahogany Martin. But I keep on coming back to that '70s all koa Kamaka tenor.

Yooke
07-22-2014, 05:35 PM
I started with an all koa ukulele. I've been through 23 ukuleles since then and I've found that I have gone back to the all koa that I started with. It's punchy, resonant, and classic sounding to my ear because I grew up in Hawai'i. My favorites along the way? An Adirondack/Cocobolo Compass Rose. A Monterey Cypress/Cambodian Rosewood William King. And an Mahogany Martin. But I keep on coming back to that '70s all koa Kamaka tenor.

Hey can you describe punchy to me?

Ukulelerick9255
08-16-2014, 09:39 PM
I'm having a custom tenor made with african blackwood back and sides to me it's the best tone wood available as much of the brazilian rosewood out there now is low quality stuff. AB has a bell like quality with deep basses and clear chime like trebles. The top is sinker redwood to add some warmth my builder and I both felt the Adirondack spruce I sent was to bright. Should have it by mid October and will post pics and sound files when I get it.

Ukulelerick9255
08-16-2014, 09:41 PM
As a side note using kasha bracing and the sound holes on the bottom left of the soundboard and a second one on the upper bout much like Eric Devine is building his ukes.

tangimango
08-16-2014, 11:49 PM
Man would love to see pics when u get it. Congrats
I'm having a custom tenor made with african blackwood back and sides to me it's the best tone wood available as much of the brazilian rosewood out there now is low quality stuff. AB has a bell like quality with deep basses and clear chime like trebles. The top is sinker redwood to add some warmth my builder and I both felt the Adirondack spruce I sent was to bright. Should have it by mid October and will post pics and sound files when I get it.

UkerDanno
08-17-2014, 03:23 AM
So far I've been pretty traditional with my 2 Martins being solid Koa and vintage mahogany. Although recently I was in a uke shop and was strumming a fair selection of ukes and the cedar/mahogany really stood out, I'm now very close to pulling the trigger on a cedar/myrtle. Not sure how to describe the sound, it just stood out from the solid koa and mahogany of a couple mainstream brands. It played well and sounded clear and sparkly.

mandrew
08-17-2014, 05:36 AM
There is just something classic and magical about mahogany/mahogany and koa/koa when they open up. I lean toward mahogany/mahogany.

TheCraftedCow
08-18-2014, 01:30 PM
All quilted maple for looks and sound or all Oregon Myrtle of the same reasons. Strung through the body, and with s8543 PEGHEDS to keep them tight and light. All mahogany for traditional wood.

molokinirum
08-19-2014, 07:19 AM
For me, no question: Koa & Koa!!