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Thread: New Laminated Ukuleles from Ono

  1. #1
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    Default New Laminated Ukuleles from Ono

    Mods:

    I uploaded this using a paste from a Word file. It's coming up here in a strange format. Sometimes. When I click on it, it reappears in correct UU format. Sometimes. Can this be fixed?

    Thanks!

    ___________________________

    For the past year or so, I’ve been working out techniques to laminate sides and backs. The point isn’t to streamline construction and it certainly doesn’t do that. The goal is tonal with the secondary advantage of durability. This is not the sort of lamination that we see at the lower end of the market. Rather, it’s a more refined approach that has long been used by builders of premium acoustic guitars, both classical and steel string. I’ve completed five tenors, two baritones and two concerts and feel that the technique is now ready for prime time.

    Here are the assembled sides of a tenor that is underway. The inner and outer surfaces are Amazon rosewood and the core is anigre. The laminated linings are maple and ebony. The back is similar except the core is spruce laid cross-grain.





    Last month, I took two tenors and a concert to the annual exhibition of the Ukulele Guild of Hawaii and left them with Andrew at The Ukulele Site. Andrew takes much better pictures than I ever will so here are the listings:

    https://www.theukulelesite.com/ono-c...ale-tenor.html

    https://www.theukulelesite.com/ono-c...ote-tenor.html

    https://www.theukulelesite.com/shop-...e-concert.html

    In addition to the construction technique, these also introduce a new body shape for all three sizes. The lower bout has been made a bit wider and rounder to maximize the working area of the top.

    Andrew also did a video that discuses the new instruments and features the fabulous playing of Corey and Kalei:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prAC...ature=emb_logo
    Last edited by saltytri; 12-19-2019 at 09:04 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Mods:

    I uploaded this using a paste from a Word file. It's coming up here in a strange format. Sometimes. When I click on it, it reappears in correct UU format. Sometimes. Can this be fixed?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by saltytri; 12-19-2019 at 09:03 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Glad to see you are still pushing your skills and your ukes forward and upward. The results look and sound beautiful!

  4. #4
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    Wow, they look and sound great.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by saltytri View Post
    Mods:

    I uploaded this using a paste from a Word file. It's coming up here in a strange format. Sometimes. When I click on it, it reappears in correct UU format. Sometimes. Can this be fixed?

    Thanks!
    Those are some Gorgeous ukulele (as always!)

    I'm not 100% sure if this is the issue you may be having, but since UU messages are formatted using HTML tags, perhaps when you cut and paste from Word, some HTML tags get copied in there too and messes up the formatting.

    I think if you select and copy from word, when you paste into UU, try right-click and "Paste as plain text" (assuming you are using Windows).

    If you are using a Mac, then there might be some other way to accomplish the same thing.

    If you paste as plain text, then any HTML tags or other special characters will be visible and you may edit them out if necessary.
    1:5255
    My Quiver: S & J Craft Milo Tenor "Liliu" six string custom and Milo and Lychee concert by Emil Bader
    Pono PKT-1 Koa Tenor w/MiSi, Lanikai LU-21T - Autographed!, Hikare CU 528 Baritone
    R&L all koa mini concert, Mainland Gecko, Epiphone Les Paul Vintage, Kala Concert
    Compass Rose 5 string
    Nothin' left to do but : ) : ) : )

  6. #6
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    David, I had watched your interview with Andrew a few days ago. Very interesting.

    I have to wonder about market resistance to "laminated" sides and back on a high end ukulele. The mfgs have done a good job of portraying laminated ukes as being not as good as solid wood ukes. So the word has assumed a connotation of lesser quality in many players' and buyers' mindsets.

    Yes, I know, there are some excellent laminated ukuleles available that rival the top solids. And that many fine, high-end guitars are made with laminated B&S.

    I think there will have to be a way to persuade people that the quality and craftsmanship is every bit as good as your traditional solid wood builds. And that the sound is perhaps even better.

    Will you be building a direct comparison set of ukes? Identical models of laminated versus solid wood construction? I think that would be most helpful. Especially with very high-quality recordings of both. As nearly identical as one is possible to make.

    I thought they sounded great on the HMS videos.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you don’t begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    —Lou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pueo View Post
    Those are some Gorgeous ukulele (as always!)

    I'm not 100% sure if this is the issue you may be having, but since UU messages are formatted using HTML tags, perhaps when you cut and paste from Word, some HTML tags get copied in there too and messes up the formatting.

    I think if you select and copy from word, when you paste into UU, try right-click and "Paste as plain text" (assuming you are using Windows).

    If you are using a Mac, then there might be some other way to accomplish the same thing.

    If you paste as plain text, then any HTML tags or other special characters will be visible and you may edit them out if necessary.
    I'll bet you're right. Even when I did an edit of the post by deleting everything and then re-entering without the shortcut of pasting from Word, the problem remained. So, it is possible that a tag was still associated with the post in spite of the deletion of text. Live and learn!

  8. #8
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    Great work David. I also watched the full HMS podcast. The ukes sounded fantastic. The comments from everyone at HMS and your explanation had me a believer. It seems to me that this is a much different process, builder laminated and using solid woods but doing the cross grain thing. Than what we all think is laminate on a mass production level on cheaper ukuleles. I wonder about the laminate that Some of the Japanese builder use. Do they buy this in sheets from a supplier. You do your own. I do think people will accept this. The looks is fantastic. The sound is fantastic.

    It would be great for HMS to do the two identical video from you in the future. - one all solid and one with your laminate. Make build at same time and them compare.

    I also really like the durability aspect of you laminate back and sides!

    Thanks for posting. Thanks for explaining. Your cantilevered fretboard is awesome.

  9. #9
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    I'm not too worried that there might be confusion between my work and the relatively inexpensive imports. Just from the price alone any potential buyer is going to realized that these are very different instruments. We all know that there are some good values out there in "production" laminated ukes, particularly those that have solid wood tops. What they don't offer is uniformly high quality tonewood that is molded to shape by hand. The other piece that is missing is the mass of the sides and the laminated linings. What makes a positive difference is that the sides are made relatively massive in the sense given to that term in classical physics, which is a different concept from weight and stiffness. This gets pretty deep and I'm no physicist but I can build it and hear results that are pleasing to my ears. I'm not aware that the mass producers use their plywood with the goal of making their sides more massive. In time and materials, it's just a less costly way to skin the cat and meet marketing needs.

    As for a comparison pair, that has been suggested by a couple of people but I'm not sure what it would prove. When I was getting started in this craft, an experienced ukulele builder suggested that an interesting experiment would be to build three instruments identically as far as possible and then try to figure out why they sound different from one another. The point is that it's pretty unlikely that all of the many variables will line up no matter how much care one gives to the effort and it would be speculative to attribute any differences between the companion instruments to any specific differences in construction technique.

    It's my perception that this new technique can provide good sustain, volume and projection and many players would find those to be a positive. That's not to say that it's objectively "better" or other that builders don't get fine results from other ways of doing things. And we always have to remember that there is the ineffable quality of timbre. You like the sound or you don't and no builder or technique or combination of materials has or ever will achieve a sound that everyone agrees is the true and only holy grail. But I haven't closed my mind on the subject of a comparison pair so perhaps someone will convince me that it would be worthwhile.

    Anyway, thanks for the kind comments!

  10. #10
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    Wow. Those are some very classy looking instruments. One of my favorite parts is the rosettes. Very well done!

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