Spruce/Mahogany or Cedar/Rosewood tenor

nublele

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If you were to choose, which one will you get? And which finish satin or gloss?
These are my final two options and Im looking for your opinion

Im a new player and currently enjoying learning finger picking.

Which is better for strumming and for picking/styling?

Which is mellower and Softer in these 2 combinations?

Any opinion will help thanks!
 
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LukuleleStrings

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Cedar is usually warmer than spruce.

I always opt for gloss bodies and satin necks when possible. If it’s not, just gloss. I can’t stand the sound of satin finishes against my shirts, especially when I’m recording.

As far as pleasing to the ear, that’s very player-dependent.

Hope this helps!
 

Cadia

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Depends on the uke, honestly. The build plays a big part in the sound. I'd be looking at spruce/rosewood myself - this is a classic combo imo. And I like gloss, as it shows off the beauty of the wood. But once again, depends on the uke. I have a koa KoAloha that is good at both strumming and picking. Listen to sound samples, find a good uke that you like. There will be more ukes down the road in your playing.

Editing to add, my aNueNue AMM3, which is all mahogany, is also very nice for both, and is rich and resonant.
 
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nublele

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Cedar is usually warmer than spruce.

I always opt for gloss bodies and satin necks when possible. If it’s not, just gloss. I can’t stand the sound of satin finishes against my shirts, especially when I’m recording.

As far as pleasing to the ear, that’s very player-dependent.

Hope this helps!

Sound against the shirt,do you mean the vibration or something? Haha. Anyways i haven't tried a single gloss yet, do they feel smooth as the satin? Do they stick to the right arm when playing??
 

Kenn2018

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The spruce/mahogany will most likely be a little brighter than the cedar/rosewood.

My favorite combination is spruce/rosewood. Cedar/rosewood is also very nice. They both give a somewhat guitar like sound, especially with fluorocarbon strings.

To be honest, after the build, the next biggest thing that can affect the sound is the string choice.

I own and have owned several spruce/rosewood tenors and they all sounded great. Yet they all had a different sound to each of them.
Cedar tops just warm up the sound a little. The projection, resonance and chime are about the same.
 

kerneltime

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If you were to choose, which one will you get? And which finish satin or gloss?
These are my final two options and Im looking for your opinion

Im a new player and currently enjoying learning finger picking.

Which is better for strumming and for picking/styling?

Which is mellower and Softer in these 2 combinations?

Any opinion will help thanks!
VagueNearAyeaye-size_restricted.gif
 

rafter

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Sound against the shirt,do you mean the vibration or something? Haha. Anyways i haven't tried a single gloss yet, do they feel smooth as the satin? Do they stick to the right arm when playing??

Some people say they can hear the difference between different finishes, but I'm guessing it would be pretty difficult to do so in a blind test. The difference in sound would be very subtle.

For finishes, non-acoustic preferences probably matter more. Gloss tends to look better to most people since it's shiny. It offers a tiny bit more protection. One drawback for gloss finish is it can react with things like your sweat (making the instrument feel sticky) or sometimes with stands and cases, causing imprints/blemishes. But that's not super common, especially the latter. Gloss finishes are unique to the maker, so it can be difficult to predict what will react with what. I get stickiness with certain brands but not others.

Matte feels better to some people. And it's often a bit cheaper, though not always. No stickiness, no reacting to stands and cases. Sometimes builders will do a gloss finish with a satin or matte neck, so the neck doesn't get sticky. One drawback to matte is that sliding your hand or arm, sleeve or shirt or whatever will often make a little swishing noise that you usually don't get with gloss finishes. This might be undesirable for performances and recording. Some people claim that having less finish like matte improves the sound.

Satin is like a middle ground between the two, but in my experience tends to be closer to matte finishes than gloss. There's a really light coating, more than a matte finish, but it typically feels closer to matte than gloss finish. It usually still has the swishing sound, but also doesn't have the stickiness problem. I've seen matte and satin used synonymously, but any manufacturer or retailer should be able to clarify if you ask.

My own preferences: I have all three finishes. While gloss is pretty to look at, and most of my instruments are gloss, I tend to prefer satin or sometimes even matte finishes.

Oh, also apparently you can sand down gloss necks to make it less sticky if you like, and you can shine up matte finishes by playing on it frequently, like how statues sometimes have shiny surfaces where everyone touches it. I have no experience with either, but I've heard as much on these forums.
 
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DownUpDave

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If as you say your preferred tone is soft and mellow then cedar top with mahogany back and sides would suit your tastes. Both of these tone wood are classified as being on the warm side. Let’s assume all examples are from the same manufacture, the cedar with mahogany is going to be warmer. I own all the different finishes and I prefer gloss, I just like the way it highlights the look of the woods, grain and color really pop.
 
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LukuleleStrings

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Sound against the shirt,do you mean the vibration or something? Haha. Anyways i haven't tried a single gloss yet, do they feel smooth as the satin? Do they stick to the right arm when playing??

It makes a sound when it moves against my short when I’m recording. It’s super distracting to me and I have to remain as still as possible which is uncomfortable (and boring) so I opt for gloss finishes almost all of the time. Even better if I can get a gloss body and satin or matte neck because satin necks are easier to move around on.

As far as right arm stuff goes, I’ve never had a problem with stickiness.

Regarding the difference in tone, there are so many variables that even two of the same model ukes in the same size from the same company with the exact same specs can sound different that I would challenge anyone to be able to identify what finish is on the uke and, because of this, I never worry about it for tone.

But it really makes me bananas to hear it scratch on my shirt. Call it a quirk of mine. ;-)