Looking to buy a Cedar top tenor, but which back and side?

nublele

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Im a new uke player, I have an all solid mahogany tenor and a spruce mahogany concert.
Right now I really want to get a cedar top tenor but i dont know which body should i choose. a lot of people say that rosewood is the best for cedar if so is it worth it? cuz the price range here in my country is definitely higher than a Mahogany or acacia back side.
please give me some insight thank you!
btw im only buying on locally made ukes online, so trying them out is out the equation
 
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Jerryc41

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I like the cedar tenors offered by Kala. They are beautiful, they sound great, the prices are very good, and they have 4, 5, 6, and 8-string ukes available. I know they use acacia for back and sides on some, but I don't know if they all use that kind of wood.
 

UkerDanno

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I think either mahogany or acacia would be good choices...
 

Ed1

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Im a new uke player, I have an all solid mahogany tenor and a spruce mahogany concert.
Right now I really want to get a cedar top tenor but i dont know which body should i choose. a lot of people say that rosewood is the best for cedar if so is it worth it? cuz the price range here in my country is definitely higher than a Mahogany or acacia back side.
please give me some insight thank you!
btw im only buying on locally made ukes

First, it's all about the "build". As an example, Cocobolo has about the same density and hardness of Ebony and one-third the sound radiation of Cedar, yet folks love their all-Cocobolo ukuleles. It's about the build, which wiser and more knowledgeable folks than me have been posting here some time. The build trumps the wood.

So, the best you can do is try out some ukuleles you want to buy. If not possible, then you might want to find some HMS videos comparing different Pono ukuleles. Joel once told me that all the concert ukuleles from Pono are built the same. I assume the same is true for the tenors. This might give you some idea of which woods you would like. You could also listen on their website (theukullelesite.com) to Mika play the Cedar/Rosewood Pono and then the Cedar/Mahogany Deluxe Pono for comparison.

Yes, different woods do produce different sounds. I could give you my opinion on this, but what matters is your opinion. They can all be used in great sounding ukuleles. Enjoy the search for your next uke.
 

nublele

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thanks! i will definitely check them out, if you were to choose, what will you get?
 
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Kala had the cedar top KA-ATP-CTG, with laminated acacia back & sides. It has been discontinued, but was very popular, sounded great, and priced right. Despite being discontinued, there's still some new ones around, and lots of used ones.

Kala's apparent successor to this model is the KA-ASCP-T, solid cedar top with solid pao ferro back and sides. The link below has a video, so you can hear it in action:

https://theukulelesite.com/kala-all-solid-cedar-pau-ferro-tenor-ka-ascp-t.html

Otherwise, rosewood pairs well with a cedar top, as seen in the Ohana TK-50G tenor, also a nice uke.

I bought this one too and loved the sound. Traded it for the concert size of the same uke since my little hands didn't like tenor.
So many uke so little time. I just love the warm tone of cedar
 

nublele

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First, it's all about the "build". As an example, Cocobolo has about the same density and hardness of Ebony and one-third the sound radiation of Cedar, yet folks love their all-Cocobolo ukuleles. It's about the build, which wiser and more knowledgeable folks than me have been posting here some time. The build trumps the wood.

So, the best you can do is try out some ukuleles you want to buy. If not possible, then you might want to find some HMS videos comparing different Pono ukuleles. Joel once told me that all the concert ukuleles from Pono are built the same. I assume the same is true for the tenors. This might give you some idea of which woods you would like. You could also listen on their website (theukullelesite.com) to Mika play the Cedar/Rosewood Pono and then the Cedar/Mahogany Deluxe Pono for comparison.

Yes, different woods do produce different sounds. I could give you my opinion on this, but what matters is your opinion. They can all be used in great sounding ukuleles. Enjoy the search for your next uke.

id love to hear your insight! :)
 

Contrails

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After watching this , I think the build has more of an effect to the sound than the wood itself. Next would probably be strings. This is an interesting video. If you don’t want to watch the whole thing, the blind test starts at 17 mins. At around the 7+ min the guys started taking different ukes out to compare.

https://youtu.be/1msEUUJDb9g
 
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clear

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I've owned 2 solid cedar top ukes: one with laminated acacia back/sides (Kala KA-ACP-CTG) and one with solid pau ferro back/sides (Kala KA-ASCP-C).

uke_side.jpguke_top.jpguke_back.jpg

What is pau ferro:
https://www.fender.com/articles/tech-talk/what-is-pau-ferro

I cannot tell the sonic difference between the two; they sound exactly alike to my ears (but I'm not a very good player). There are more differences than just wood too. The solid-top uke was high gloss finish while the all-solid is satin (supposedly satin allows the cedar to move more freely, so it is a better choice). Their bracing is also different.

Those cedar ukes sound mellower and more bass than my solid koa ukes. Kao might be similar to mahogany; but I've never played any mahogany-top ukes.
 

Kenn2018

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I have 2009 cedar/ebony; 2015 spruce/rosewood; 2017 cedar/mahogany Pono tenors. The builds seem very close but not identical. The first two are cutaways. All are strung with Living Waters Low-G Plain Fluorocarbon sets. The Ebony & Rosewood are very close in density. So they have a very similar sound. Mahogany is warmer.
By far the most projection comes from the spruce/rosewood. Very guitar-like sound.
The cedar/ebony has a warmer sound. Not as loud as the spruce. Very nice mellow sound.
The cedar/mahogany is warmer still. About the same projection as the cedar/ebony. But a bit restrained.
The differences aren't huge, yet you can tell them apart.

I'd go with the rosewood first. The ebony second. Mahogany third. But that's my personal preference. Yours may be different.

There are several different types (species) of rosewood, ebony, mahogany, cedar and spruce woods. So what's available to your local luthiers may be very different. Make sure the wood is properly dried and the instruments made in a climate-controlled facility.

The 3 Tenors:
IMG_4035 crop.jpg

Quick snap using my iPhone.
 
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Nickie

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First, it's all about the "build". As an example, Cocobolo has about the same density and hardness of Ebony and one-third the sound radiation of Cedar, yet folks love their all-Cocobolo ukuleles. It's about the build, which wiser and more knowledgeable folks than me have been posting here some time. The build trumps the wood.

I agree. If I were going for a new uke, I'd go with Cocobolo back and sides with that cedar top....I think that combo would blow everything else into the weeds!
 

Snargle

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I agree. If I were going for a new uke, I'd go with Cocobolo back and sides with that cedar top....I think that combo would blow everything else into the weeds!

Funny you should mention that. Cocobolo made a few cedar-topped instruments and I was fortunate to snag this sweet-sounding baby. My only complaint is the super-thin matte finish doesn't protect the soft cedar very well and it's picked up a lot of little dings and fingernail divots. I finally stuck a clear, removable pickguard on it and it hasn't seemed to affect the sound at all.

IMG_5862.jpg

IMG_5859.jpg
 

nublele

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I have 2009 cedar/ebony; 2015 spruce/rosewood; 2017 cedar/mahogany Pono tenors. The builds seem very close but not identical. The first two are cutaways. All are strung with Living Waters Low-G Plain Fluorocarbon sets. The Ebony & Rosewood are very close in density. So they have a very similar sound. Mahogany is warmer.
By far the most projection comes from the spruce/rosewood. Very guitar-like sound.
The cedar/ebony has a warmer sound. Not as loud as the spruce. Very nice mellow sound.
The cedar/mahogany is warmer still. About the same projection as the cedar/ebony. But a bit restrained.
The differences aren't huge, yet you can tell them apart.

I'd go with the rosewood first. The ebony second. Mahogany third. But that's my personal preference. Yours may be different.

There are several different types (species) of rosewood, ebony, mahogany, cedar and spruce woods. So what's available to your local luthiers may be very different. Make sure the wood is properly dried and the instruments made in a climate-controlled facility.

The 3 Tenors:
View attachment 134767

Quick snap using my iPhone.

Thanks! Can i also ask if the rosewood body is significantly heavier than the mahogany?
Does the mahogany body still sound as good as the other cedar?
Also whats your opinion on finish, is satin or matte better on cedars?
 
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JackLuis

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I have a Ohana TK-50G Cedar and Solid Rosewood tenor. It is beautiful and sounds lovely. It has a big voice, and tuned d-G-B-E fits my baritone voice pretty well. Rosewood is very scarce now and almost unobtainium, so the Mahogany may be your available choice, unless you get lucky on a Cocobola.

Cedar is mellower that spruce which sounds too sharp to me, but my hearing has been effected by gunfire for a long time and my higher harmonics are suspect.
 

deznuchs

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Cedar top ukulele's are a great choice! I have two cedar top ukes one Moon bird (cedar/rosewood) and Kala ZTP-CTG (cedar/laminate ziricote). But are warm sounding and loud, which I love. Sounds like you are not in the US? If you were or willing to buy from theukulelesite my Kala ZTP-CTG is on sale there and an exclusive model for them.

For back and sides recommendations, I think it is always different depending on the brand/builder and what's available to you where you are. If you want to hear sound samples of different brand and materials you can check out the ukulele site and just look for the cedar ukes. They all have samples. theukulelesite.com or go to their vimeo page here.
 
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Kenn2018

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Thanks! Can i also ask if the rosewood body is significantly heavier than the mahogany?
Does the mahogany body still sound as good as the other cedar?
Also whats your opinion on finish, is satin or matte better on cedars?

On the Ponos, the rosewood and ebony bodies are slightly heavier than the mahogany. I don't have the specific weights for them. But the difference isn't much.
Other rosewood ukes, the weight is quite light.

It very much depends upon the maker's build. For instance, my Collings UT2 solid mahogany tenor is lighter than my Martin 1T IZ. My aNueNue UT200 Mood Bird spruce/rosewood is slightly heavier than the Collings. But not as heavy as the Pono. Ask the maker what their models weigh.

Again, if you aren't comparing the same model from a single maker, but with different woods, our general comparisons are not too useful.
 

nublele

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On the Ponos, the rosewood and ebony bodies are slightly heavier than the mahogany. I don't have the specific weights for them. But the difference isn't much.
Other rosewood ukes, the weight is quite light.

It very much depends upon the maker's build. For instance, my Collings UT2 solid mahogany tenor is lighter than my Martin 1T IZ. My aNueNue UT200 Mood Bird spruce/rosewood is slightly heavier than the Collings. But not as heavy as the Pono. Ask the maker what their models weigh.

Again, if you aren't comparing the same model from a single maker, but with different woods, our general comparisons are not too useful.
I see a bit heavier but not uncomfortable i assume