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View Full Version : Who owns a Redwood ukulele?



wayward
08-19-2014, 08:51 AM
How many of you play a ukulele with a redwood top? Some of the reviews I've read of them say they can be a bit fragile (& scratch or crack more easily than other woods), but I love the sound samples of them that I've listened to, so I'm thinking I might be saving up for one in the near future...

Steveperrywriter
08-19-2014, 08:58 AM
Got one on the way. Soft wood tops do scratch or ding easily. My cedar-topped guitars would dent if you looked at 'em crooked, fingernail chatters, scratches, like that. French polish makes for great sound, but it doesn't make soft wood bulletproof.

Wabi-sabi ...

warndt
08-19-2014, 08:59 AM
Redwood is a softwood like cedar...dings very easily so you have to be a bit extra careful when handling the uke. Beautiful sounding top wood...like cedar.

Wicked
08-19-2014, 09:17 AM
I have been wanting one of these Ko'olau Redwood/Milo babies since Kimo Hussey showed me the way.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOiNvJFDmRA

Steveperrywriter
08-19-2014, 09:23 AM
http://player.vimeo.com/video/74368970

Cory, playing a redwood-top tenor, by Beau Hannam.

Doc_J
08-19-2014, 10:01 AM
I've got both sinker redwood topped and curly redwood topped ukes. I think the sinker redwood may be a better structural choice. The unsunk curly stuff can be brittle or fracture easily during the build. But the curly stuff is gorgeous. I haven't had any issues with redwood in a finished instrument.
http://i1298.photobucket.com/albums/ag56/Doc_Jenkins/LFdM/P1060372_zps04d366b4.jpg
http://i1298.photobucket.com/albums/ag56/Doc_Jenkins/Leeward%20Lounge%20Pistachio%20and%20Curly%20Redwo od/025_zps6081da98.jpg

davidrboy
08-19-2014, 10:22 AM
I've got a redwood/sapele. Love the sound of redwood tops. Yeah, softwood is, um, soft. It might scratch and dent. But it can sound great.

Dan Uke
08-19-2014, 10:44 AM
Love my redwood! Crisp notes

69915

mikelz777
08-19-2014, 11:06 AM
I have a limited edition Ohana with a sinker redwood top. I've always been very gentle with my instruments as a matter of practice but I don't feel like I need to treat it as if it were made of egg shells. I was a huge worry wart when it was delivered to me because it was coming from California and was delivered to Minnesota in a period of time when the high temperatures of the day were below zero. I had nightmares about it arriving cracked and damaged. I let the delivered box sit at room temperatures for a day and a half before I even opened it and to my relief, it was fine. I use an in the sound hole type Oasis hydrometer as well as another small hydrometer in the neck area of the case when the humidity starts dropping to make sure it is always properly humidified. I really love the look and sound of the wood.

hawaii 50
08-19-2014, 12:01 PM
one more to compare...deep rich tone....

btw no problems with straight tight grain Redwood...as stiff as any other tops I have seen

http://vimeo.com/95555490

Newportlocal
08-19-2014, 12:10 PM
My Compass Rose is cocobolo body with a Sinker Redwood top. I haven't had any issue with it, and love the tone.

Here is a baby photo of it from June 11,2013

http://i1077.photobucket.com/albums/w466/Deckhand1/imagejpg1-23.jpg (http://s1077.photobucket.com/user/Deckhand1/media/imagejpg1-23.jpg.html)

DownUpDave
08-19-2014, 12:42 PM
Thank you to Doc J, nogdam and others that supplied pictures...........you made my day. I need to take a cold shower now, excuse me!!!

sam13
08-19-2014, 12:44 PM
I've got both sinker redwood topped and curly redwood topped ukes. I think the sinker redwood may be a better structural choice. The unsunk curly stuff can be brittle or fracture easily during the build. But the curly stuff is gorgeous. I haven't had any issues with redwood in a finished instrument.
http://i1298.photobucket.com/albums/ag56/Doc_Jenkins/LFdM/P1060372_zps04d366b4.jpg
http://i1298.photobucket.com/albums/ag56/Doc_Jenkins/Leeward%20Lounge%20Pistachio%20and%20Curly%20Redwo od/025_zps6081da98.jpg

Love that LFdM ... I have my money down for one of them in April 2015. Gorgeous ... I will be looking for Sinker Redwood as the sound board as well.

Yukon Cornelius
08-19-2014, 01:05 PM
How many of you play a ukulele with a redwood top? Some of the reviews I've read of them say they can be a bit fragile (& scratch or crack more easily than other woods), but I love the sound samples of them that I've listened to, so I'm thinking I might be saving up for one in the near future...

I have a redwood top uke. I was told it is a little more fragile than other tone woods. I have pick guards in key areas, that are clear.

SHAMELESS PLUG:
If you do decide to buy...mine is for sale for a very good price. It is not getting played. Sitting in a climate controlled storage 4200 miles away:(

sam13
08-19-2014, 01:45 PM
I have a redwood top uke. I was told it is a little more fragile than other tone woods. I have pick guards in key areas, that are clear.

SHAMELESS PLUG:
If you do decide to buy...mine is for sale for a very good price. It is not getting played. Sitting in a climate controlled storage 4200 miles away:(

What is it? Pictures please ...

Dougf
08-19-2014, 01:52 PM
I've built two ukuleles with sinker redwood soundboards, I used Tru-Oil for the finish. So far, no major dings, but I've been pretty careful.

Jim Hanks
08-19-2014, 02:06 PM
Here's mine - http://iriguchiukuleles.com/portfolio-item/weeble-acousticelectric-keystone-tenor-in-redwood-poplar/

dsummers
08-19-2014, 02:50 PM
I have a tenor Koolau redwood top with walnut b/s and MISI pu and a Talsma concert vita style redwood top Cuban mahogany b/s MISI pu. They are both excellent with superb sound! Both the redwood tops are highly figured. I would post pictures if I knew how.

geetee
08-19-2014, 02:57 PM
Doesn't Corey get to play a lot of nice instruments? Here he is again with a DeVine redwood top tenor:


http://vimeo.com/87796691
http://vimeo.com/87796691

Icelander53
08-19-2014, 02:59 PM
I love this thread. Thanks to everyone who posted and especially with pics. One day, I too shall own a big red. They are awesome. That first Ko'olau knocked my socks off. :agree:

slackkey007
08-19-2014, 03:44 PM
Here's a sweet Ana'ole Quilted Redwood top/Brazilian Rosewood back & sides tenor::drool:

http://vimeo.com/92906193

slackkey007
08-19-2014, 03:49 PM
Here's a Ko'olau Sinker Redwood top/Hawaiian Mahogany back & sides tenor::drool:


http://vimeo.com/90353526

slackkey007
08-19-2014, 04:15 PM
Ok wayward, this is the last one - I promise! Here's a Ko'olau Quilted Redwood top/Macassar Ebony back & sides tenor::drool:


http://vimeo.com/37221130

Icelander53
08-19-2014, 04:19 PM
Both my gf and I have two ponos each and I can't imagine not loving owning a Ko'olau redwood. It's a dream that may stay that way for me but she can easily afford it. (She says she wants a good uke in every tonewood) Must be nice to have old money. lol
It will still be awhile however because she just got a beautiful Cedar/acacia cutaway pono two days ago. My new Pono hog will arrive tomorrow.

The redwood sound just seems to boom out at me. But it's mellow and I love cedar for that. I think I'd really get along with a redwood quite well. They can be quite beautiful also. Sort of in a chocolate/cinnimon latte kind of way.

Just a few months ago I was playing a $90 Lanikai and thinking that I was never going to need much more. lol

hawaii 50
08-19-2014, 05:05 PM
Doesn't Corey get to play a lot of nice instruments? Here he is again with a DeVine redwood top tenor:


http://vimeo.com/87796691
http://vimeo.com/87796691


Haha Greg...yes Corey and Andrew get to see and play the best custom built ukes made IMO....:) he wants all the great builders to send their ukes there if possible....:)

and they both get to see/play the best production brands too...

this DeVine has a layered Curly Redwood top....it has Mastergrade Redwood under the super curly top....sounds good!

coolkayaker1
08-19-2014, 05:33 PM
Len, isn't that your ukulele in the video?

KoOlau is the David next to the other production K brands' high-visibility, highly marketed Goliaths. KoOlaus are superbly refined and, from my experience, better intoned and more meticulously constructed than the other three K brands. It should be--it's a custom, understood.

The "pro" musicians (Paul Hemmings, Abe Lagrimas, Benny Chong, Lyle Ritz, Bruno Mars, Henry Kapono, etc.) that favor KoOLau brand have personalities like the instruments themselves: superbly proficient, yet understated and elegant.

I truly enjoy my three tenor KoOLau instruments. Thank you, KoOLau, Mr. John Kitakis, and master luthier Noa Bonk (I have not yet had the privilege of an instrument by arch-top specialist Ryan Condon).

If one wishes to curb UAS in one fell swoop, go KoOLau.

P.S. Oops, this is the redwood top thread, not the UAS thread. Sorry. Yes, redwood by KoOLau is good. So I'm told. lol

Patrick Madsen
08-19-2014, 06:22 PM
Brian Griffin of Griffin Ukes is getting ready to start on three new tenors. One will be Redwood top and perhaps Brazilian rosewood. Interesting:http://www.griffinukuleles.com/blog

1300cc
08-19-2014, 06:34 PM
I have a custom made by peter murphy of woodend, victoria. Redwood top with tasmanian blackwood back and sides

wayward
08-19-2014, 09:45 PM
Hey, thanks for all the responses! I'd listened to some of the video of Corey and Aaron before (which was partly why I was drawn to redwood) but some are new to me, and they confirm that the tone is sublime. The photos also show how beautiful redwood can be - who was it that said it reminded them of chocolate? Yep, me too :drool: Decision confirmed - have to start saving my pennies now.

davidrboy
08-20-2014, 06:40 AM
69953

Oh, yeah, pictures. Everyone loves pictures...

69952

Skinny Money McGee
08-20-2014, 07:05 AM
Hey, thanks for all the responses! I'd listened to some of the video of Corey and Aaron before (which was partly why I was drawn to redwood) but some are new to me, and they confirm that the tone is sublime. The photos also show how beautiful redwood can be - who was it that said it reminded them of chocolate? Yep, me too :drool: Decision confirmed - have to start saving my pennies now.

There's a beautiful concert size Koolau on Fleamarket right now, with a redwood top, koa back and sides.

GregT
08-27-2014, 06:34 AM
70302I am very pleased with my MyaMoe redwood top baritone. It sounds (and plays) as good as it looks.

pakhan
08-27-2014, 04:52 PM
Sure, redwood needs a bit more care than say, mahogany but even again, you won't get the same tonal response from mahogany as with redwood.
It isn't as terrible cedar though- which can be ding-prone.

In terms of structure, curly redwood can pose problems; especially when the short co-incides with bridge placement.

my 2cents.

Ukejenny
08-28-2014, 03:40 AM
The redwood sound just seems to boom out at me. But it's mellow and I love cedar for that. I think I'd really get along with a redwood quite well. They can be quite beautiful also. Sort of in a chocolate/cinnimon latte kind of way.


I love the cedars as well, and the rosewoods, and the redwoods, and the koas, and the acacias, and ..... Yes, I think I am need of some old money so I can do like your girlfriend and start getting nice ukes in all the tone woods. Now I'm drooling... :drool:

ukelady
08-28-2014, 06:24 AM
I have a Kanile'a with redwood top. Love it. Sound is warm and rich. I also have some cedar top ukes. Again, love the tone. It is softer wood so you have to be more careful but I have not had any problems.

surfink
08-28-2014, 06:43 AM
My custom concert scale Flea has a Sinker Redwood top and sounds amazing.. there are pics on the Flea museum site..

Rick Turner
08-28-2014, 08:46 AM
I just met a local guy who has a sawmill, and his family has a couple of hundred acres of redwoods up in the Santa Cruz Mountains. He's harvesting stumps which are often four feet tall, from first growth trees that were cut down 75 to 110 years ago. There is quite a bit of really beautiful wood here, and my contact understands quarter sawing and how to cut for quality over quantity. He's also got some amazing figured stock that I wouldn't necessarily use for tops, but might make great backs and electric guitar laminate tops and backs. He's also got some great madrone, walnut, etc. And I just went to a party at the home of another local sawmill operator. He's got a great woodworking shop on the ground floor of his house, a 1,000 sq. ft. recording studio above the shop, and great living quarters. The mill is about 200 feet from the house. Heaven!