Poll: Can u tell difference - koa vs spruce?

Which is Koa and which is Spruce (Sound test)

  • The uke that plays from the start is Koa

    Votes: 33 60.0%
  • The uke that comes in at the bridge is Koa

    Votes: 22 40.0%

  • Total voters
    55

Kmetzger

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Can you tell which of the two ukes in the sound sample below has a Koa top (with Koa back and sides) and which is the Spruce top (with milo back and sides)?

--> Both are Moore Bettah's and both recorded with no EQ. Both have the same gauge Worth clears on first three strings.

--> One uke plays rhythm part from the start and the other uke joins in playing lead at the bridge (immediately after the words "When you're in my arms") and throughout the remainder of the song, along with the first uke that continues to play rhythm until the end.

It is here: https://soundcloud.com/keithmetzger/the-nearness-of-you

I've seen lots of discussions and opinions characterizing the sound differences between tone woods - especially between Koa and Spruce. And I've often wondered if these characterizations universally apply, or if the uke design, strings and builder are the main contributors, having more of an impact than the tone wood on the overall sound.

Be interesting to hear what you all think.

(I had posted this previously/recently just to share the link when I completed the recording, but wanted to repost in order to pose a question that I think worth asking.)

Keith
 
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Bill Mc

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That is lovely playing Keith. I'd only be guessing if I were to make a choice between the two ukuleles.
 

coolkayaker1

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Lovely, Keith.

Dumb question...can you give me a hint to the time (minutes and seconds) in the sound sample when the instrument changes (that is, the bridge)? Thanks.
 

Kmetzger

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After the words "when you're in my arms", the second uke joins in playing lead, but the first uke continues playing rhythym. The lead uke is panned a little to the left and the rhythm uke remains panned a bit to the right in the mix.

So it isn't that there is a change from one to the other. Just that one joins in with the other.
 

Peterjens

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My vote has been cast and I am very curious about the answer.
Your performance is enchanting.
I love this forum for members turning me on to songs of this caliber. What beautiful lyrics.
 

Jim Hanks

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My vote has been cast. The lows of one sounded warmer to me than the other and that's the one I'm guessing is koa. But that's through an ipad speaker so I reserve the right to blame it on poor playback equipment if I'm wrong. :p
 

katysax

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I guessed that the first one was Koa, but it was really just a guess. Too many variables. I am listening through macbook air speakers. My Moore Bettah is Milo/Bearclaw Spruce. I thought the second one sounded more like mine, but I can't say that I can really tell the difference.
 

Dan Uke

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I thought you were playing two guitars since there's reverb. ;)
 

coolcow

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What a lovely song...love your voice...i've been repeating it over & over again..:eek:
Is there anyway I could download this song??

I'll say the 1st one was Koa follow by spruce.....
 
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Moore Bettah Ukuleles

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Nice job on the tune Keith. The only thing that muddies the question is that those ukes were built about five years apart, and as you know, with slightly different construction methods. So if there is a difference in sound it may be more about the construction that about the wood combination. These days my ukes sound remarkably similar despite the wood used. There are differences, but very subtle ones.
 

strumsilly

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I couldn't really tell. loved the song, playing and singing though. I've always felt an instruments tone came from a variety of factors, the species of wood only one of them. That being said, I'm partial to well aged mahogany for a ukulele.
 

Ukulele Eddie

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I cast my vote but certainly wouldn't have put money behind it. ;-)

Really, really, really enjoyed the playing and the singing. Would love to download that if you would allow (and to hear other recordings if you have any).

Like many here, I dream of owning a Moore Bettah some day. When I hear somebody like you perform, I think it's cosmically much more (or should I write 'moore' ;-) just for such a fine instrument to be in talented hands.
 
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coolkayaker1

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"Can u tell difference - koa vs spruce?"
No, I cannot. And that's the correct answer to your question.
 
R

RyanMFT

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I thought I knew from listening to the song (which I enjoyed very much), but I agree with others, mine is really only a guess. Right or wrong, it was fun!
 

Edgeguy

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Beautiful song. I really enjoyed you playing. As a lot are saying mine is just a guess.
 

Dan Uke

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If I get it right, do I get your ukes? You wanna trade for mine? hahaha

When I read one uke was used to play rhythm, I immediately thought koa. When I first heard the note, I said koa but I didn't hear it decay quickly, then I said dang reverb! Then I started doubting myself and said they sounded the same! :p
 

Kayak Jim

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So when is the big reveal?

Curious whether I nailed it - err- guessed correctly....
 

sam13

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I voted but have no clue which one it was ... nice recording, and I enjoyed your playing and singing. Thanks for sharing.