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View Full Version : And now for another sound direction.



Icelander53
07-30-2014, 02:08 PM
If it's really that dramatic I don't know. Right now my favorite tone wood seems to be cedar followed by mahogany. I'll say right before asking this question that I haven't been impressed by spruce for some reason. But I was wanting another uke and wanted some sound quality that would be somewhat different from either cedar or mahogany. Is there anything or, as I sometimes suspect, the build has more to do with it than the tonewood?

What's your opinion?

rem50
07-30-2014, 02:36 PM
I have a eucalyptus back and sides with a mahogany top that looks and sounds great! Are you not a fan of Koa??

Icelander53
07-30-2014, 02:43 PM
I have limited experience with Koa. I have access to two Acacia ukes that are nothing special to my ear but that may be more the quality of the build than anything in the wood. They sound pretty but are heavy and so very quiet and almost hard to hear at times. That's a turn off for me.

patfia
07-30-2014, 03:43 PM
If you want a deeper sound take a look at walnut. Could top it with cedar or redwood for more range. Click on the video for the Compass Rose all walnut. http://gryphonstrings.com/instpix/43734/index.php Also look for videos of Covered Bridge cedar/walnut ukes.

itsme
07-30-2014, 03:55 PM
But I was wanting another uke and wanted some sound quality that would be somewhat different from either cedar or mahogany. Is there anything or, as I sometimes suspect, the build has more to do with it than the tonewood?
Have you tried spruce? It's considered to be bright and loud. :)

While a luthier's build can definitely affect the ultimate result, certain tonewoods have certain characteristics that can't be entirely changed by the build.

Icelander53
07-30-2014, 03:55 PM
deeper sounds interesting.

Icelander53
07-30-2014, 03:56 PM
Have you tried spruce? It's considered to be bright and loud. :)

While a luthier's build can definitely affect the ultimate result, certain tonewoods have certain characteristics that can't be entirely changed by the build.

I mentioned in the OP that I don't like spruce.

billbarol
07-30-2014, 04:00 PM
I have a mango pineapple soprano from Mainland that I love. It's mellower than spruce, but with a really nice ringing quality. It was totally surprising to me. Take a look at the Mainland site; their mangos go in and out of stock, and I think my model is out right now. But there are others.

Jim Hanks
07-30-2014, 04:01 PM
deeper sounds interesting.
What size are we talking? One way to get deeper is bigger body and lower tunings.

Icelander53
07-30-2014, 05:00 PM
sorry I always forget that. Tenor. The lower tuning you suggested I try did not really please my ears. Well it was kind of nice on one spruce uke of mine. I like playing with others tho and so standard GCEA is where I like to hang .

Jim Hanks
07-30-2014, 05:11 PM
sorry I always forget that. Tenor. The lower tuning you suggested I try did not really please my ears. Well it was kind of nice on one spruce uke of mine. I like playing with others tho and so standard GCEA is where I like to hang .
Gotcha. Hmm, I don't think you are going to get "deeper" than mahogany. You can go to the other end of the spectrum with bright woods like maple or something like a banjo uke or resonator.

DownUpDave
07-30-2014, 05:35 PM
Ice

I tried to PM you but your mail box is full

slackkey007
07-30-2014, 07:59 PM
If it's really that dramatic I don't know. Right now my favorite tone wood seems to be cedar followed by mahogany. I'll say right before asking this question that I haven't been impressed by spruce for some reason. But I was wanting another uke and wanted some sound quality that would be somewhat different from either cedar or mahogany. Is there anything or, as I sometimes suspect, the build has more to do with it than the tonewood?

What's your opinion?

Since you like cedar ... you will love Redwood/Sinker Redwood. Here's a couple of videos:


http://vimeo.com/90353526

slackkey007
07-30-2014, 08:01 PM
And this Beau Hannum Redwood/Tasmanian Blackwood tenor:


http://vimeo.com/74368970

TheCraftedCow
07-30-2014, 08:15 PM
I have limited experience with Koa. I have access to two Acacia ukes that are nothing special to my ear but that may be more the quality of the build than anything in the wood. They sound pretty but are heavy and so very quiet and almost hard to hear at times. That's a turn off for me. What kind of strings? What kind of finish? What brand name(s) ?

Icelander53
07-30-2014, 08:28 PM
Alulu, in satin and one in gloss, both with Aquila strings.

Icelander53
07-30-2014, 08:30 PM
And this Beau Hannum Redwood/Tasmanian Blackwood tenor:


http://vimeo.com/74368970

Redwood intrigues me, somewhat due to the fact that I lived among those giants for a year of freedom fishing daily on the Smith River. Those trees are one of the most amazing things I've seen in this long life.

And btw that ukulele sounds amazing to my ear. I'd like one. I'll bet they're pricy.

coolkayaker1
07-30-2014, 08:32 PM
Redwood intrigues me, somewhat due to the fact that I lived among those giants for a year of freedom fishing daily on the Smith River. Those trees are one of the most amazing things I've seen in this long life.

Redwood's great. Just keep it well humidified as it can be prone to splitting (and even then it might split). I have a gorgeous Mya Moe with Redwood top and I take particular precautions to keep it humidified, Ice.

Many guitar forum and uke forum threads on the brittleness of Redwood; here's one that brings the point home.
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/archive/index.php/t-85548.html

While we're on it, and this is just my thoughts based on videos like these, that I would never get a body made of Brazilian rosewood. Crack city. Can't imagine a redwood top and a Brazilian rosewood body. Lol
http://youtu.be/Q6782J_zJLs

http://youtu.be/HXJPpeD2i_o

Both describe it in the first minute of video. "Two types of Brazilian rosewood: that that's cracked, and that that's gonna." Funny!

slackkey007
07-30-2014, 08:34 PM
Here's Aaron Crowell from HMS. Watch the entire video and listen for his comment at the end:


http://vimeo.com/37221130

Icelander53
07-31-2014, 10:52 AM
lol It sure does

Icelander53
07-31-2014, 11:25 AM
Ice

I tried to PM you but your mail box is full


OK sorry, I think I've got it cleaned out now.

Icelander53
07-31-2014, 11:36 AM
Redwood's great. Just keep it well humidified as it can be prone to splitting (and even then it might split). I have a gorgeous Mya Moe with Redwood top and I take particular precautions to keep it humidified, Ice.

Many guitar forum and uke forum threads on the brittleness of Redwood; here's one that brings the point home.
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/archive/index.php/t-85548.html

While we're on it, and this is just my thoughts based on videos like these, that I would never get a body made of Brazilian rosewood. Crack city. Can't imagine a redwood top and a Brazilian rosewood body. Lol
http://youtu.be/Q6782J_zJLs

http://youtu.be/HXJPpeD2i_o

Both describe it in the first minute of video. "Two types of Brazilian rosewood: that that's cracked, and that that's gonna." Funny!

Great vids, fascinating to see a pro at work. This brings up a question that maybe you can answer. Cracks, small or large, do they have a major effect on the sound of the instrument?

Steveperrywriter
07-31-2014, 12:11 PM
Depends on what you consider "pricey." For off-the-shelf ukes, yeah, they'll run way more. Compared to a custom-made guitar? Not so much. As has been pointed out here and other places more than a time or two, you don't always get what you pay for, but you can look at and listen to Beau's redwood-topped tenor and see and hear what you get. Sometimes, the money is well-spent ...

Newportlocal
07-31-2014, 12:20 PM
I have a Compass Rose with cocobolo body and a sinker redwood top. I am super happy with the tone, and his build makes a difference in tone as well.

Icelander53
07-31-2014, 12:57 PM
I haven't seen a negative comment here on any Compass Rose.

Steveperrywriter
08-01-2014, 08:29 AM
[QUOTE=coolkayaker1;1558600] Can't imagine a redwood top and a Brazilian rosewood body. Lol

Some woods may be intrinsically bad ideas, but folks have been making classical guitars with rosewood bodies for a really long time, and of late, redwood has been used for tops there, too. The tension on a guitar's top, even a nylon-stringer is higher than on an uke, isn't it? And certainly it is on a steel-stringer, which also uses those combinations

I suspect this is going to depend on the builder, and his or her process; the selection of woods; bracing, glue, bridge patches and the phases of the moon. Good luthiers can make instruments out of pallets that sound fine, and in 1862, Torres made a guitar using paper maché, i.e. cardboard, that was playable.

It all depends on so many factors ...

Anyway, stay tuned: My next uke is going to be redwood/rosewood. We'll see how that goes ...

Steveperrywriter
08-01-2014, 08:37 AM
Redwood intrigues me, somewhat due to the fact that I lived among those giants for a year of freedom fishing daily on the Smith River. Those trees are one of the most amazing things I've seen in this long life.

And btw that ukulele sounds amazing to my ear. I'd like one. I'll bet they're pricy.

BTW, it was reading what Beau had to post hereabouts for a year or so, and this video of Corey playing the Redwood/Tasmanian Blackwood tenor that convinced me to have a chat with him. Of course, that's Corey and Andrew making the video, so I have no illusions about my ability versus theirs; however, the tone impressed the dickens out of me, especially when Andrew, in his review, went on about how he didn't get the recording quite like he wanted. Really? You mean it sounded better?