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Thread: NUD: Bruko Cedar Top Mahogany Soprano

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2018
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    West Philly, PA
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    Default NUD: Bruko Cedar Top Mahogany Soprano

    This past fall I bought a Kiwaya KS-5 from another UU member that I absolotuly have fallen in love with. However, I had really been wanting a second good quality soprano. I tossed around the idea of getting an opio or even saving (or waiting for a good deal) on a vintage martin or newer kamaka. However, I've really been curious about the special model Brukos. Long story short, this cedar top mahogany soprano really caught my eye and got the best of me.

    It arrived at my office just before my lunch break today, and I was able to spend the hour messing around with it side by side with my Kiwaya.

    First off, the build is everything people say about Bruko. I also dabble in woodworking and from that perspective it's simply a beautiful and very very cleanly done piece of woodwork. It's gorgeous and has a wonderful silky satin feel in the hand. The photo's don't do it justice.

    I've had mixed feeling about the recordings I have heard of Bruko's. Some I love but some are just way to bright and plinky for my tastes. I did have a pre-1980 no 6 for a short while that had a lovely tone and have generally liked the recordings I have heard of 6s. Given that along with my love for cedar I figured if I were to own a Bruko this is the one I would want to own.

    First impressions. Well it sounds like a Bruko, more or less, but it's definitely not as bright as some, and has some nice low and mid tones that rumble underneath the higher frequencies that you first hear on the attack. I think the cedar mahogany is winning combination. The flourocarbon Pyramid strings that came on it seemed like pretty standard quality flourocarbons (I assume much better than the nylons they used to use), but I put some of my favorites (Martin 600s) on it and to my ear they gave it slightly fuller rounder tone.

    The KS-5 is little fuller sounding and more balanced, but this Bruko brings its own sound to the table and has some really nice note separation when strummed that isn't as pronounced on the Kiwaya. Of course this is an apples to oranges comparison, as these are very different ukes.

    Oh yeah, I was pleasantly surprised by the gig bag it came with. It's not anything spectacular, and I'll likely get something more substantial for this, but it is a totally decent quality gig bag.

    Anyway, enjoy the pics below.
    Attachment 116715

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    Attachment 116718

    And here's a video of me test driving it side by side with my Kiwaya. Bruko is strung with Martin 600s here and Kiwaya is strung with Clear Worth Strongs.
    Last edited by CPG; 04-04-2019 at 03:23 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Wow, that sounds great, the cedar top seems to mellow out things quite a bit.
    John

  3. #3
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    May 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ukecaster View Post
    Wow, that sounds great, the cedar top seems to mellow out things quite a bit.
    Thanks! Yep, I was really hoping that would be the case but wasn't necessarily confident it would end up that way. I am very happy that this wood combo really does seem to have added a lot of fullness and warmth while still keeping some of that Bruko sound. It's exactly what I was hoping for.
    Last edited by CPG; 04-03-2019 at 11:44 AM.
    Weymann Model 10 Mahogany Soprano (c. 1918)
    David Hanson (Cripple Creek Mandolins) Mahogany Teardrop Soprano

  4. #4
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    Wiltshire, UK
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    That's a lovely looking Brüko! I agree about the Pyramid strings; I reckon they're just too thick and heavy. I guess Brüko use them because they're a German brand.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimavery View Post
    That's a lovely looking Brüko! I agree about the Pyramid strings; I reckon they're just too thick and heavy. I guess Brüko use them because they're a German brand.
    Thanks I'm really enjoying it! It looks beautiful and it has a lovely clear sound without being overly bright. It's really a nice compliment and contrast in my ks5.

    The pyramid strings weren't bad but the Martin 600 were a definite Improvement to my ear. My assumption was that the pyramid strings were actually on the thinner/lower tension side of things which is why they arent as full sounding but I didn't actually look at them side-by-side with the Martins. I'll have to do that.
    Last edited by CPG; 04-06-2019 at 02:16 AM.
    Weymann Model 10 Mahogany Soprano (c. 1918)
    David Hanson (Cripple Creek Mandolins) Mahogany Teardrop Soprano

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