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Thread: Alvarez Bamboo Uke

  1. #1
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    Default Alvarez Bamboo Uke

    Alvarez is introducing an all-bamboo concert uke. I see it for sale for $200, and $240 electrified. Bamboo is becoming popular with uke builders.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  2. #2
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    Mar 2015
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    Default

    Product page:
    https://www.alvarezguitars.com/guitar/mu55c/

    I clicked on the "hide details" thing and figured out you could see more info.. Solid wood they say. Interesting. I've never played an Alvarez uke but they look nice. Their guitars get some good reviews, but of course that doesn't translate to ukes always.

    I'll just post that here:


    "We are very proud to introduce our first all-solid wood construction Ukuleles in 2019. Not only do they sound amazing, but have a more “planet conscious” element to their design. Our MU55 Masterworks Ukes are made from Bamboo, all solid Bamboo, a wood that grows quickly in abundance and is in no danger of depleting.

    As instrument makers and players, we must look to better source alternative woods and materials that are kinder to the world’s ecosystem but do not compromise our quality or tonal attributes. The MU55s meet these requirements beautifully. Solid Bamboo as a tone wood sounds fantastic for a Ukulele, it’s also very affordable, which allows us to deliver an all solid, stellar sounding professional Ukulele at such value. The MU55’s sustain and tone will put a smile on your face and, by knowing that it’s a better choice for our planet, will hopefully sweeten the sound even more."
    Last edited by jer; 03-01-2020 at 10:28 AM.

  3. #3
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    Jan 2016
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    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA
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    Default

    My local Guitar Center (Harrisburg, PA) has a used Tony Graziano Concert Uke that appears to be made of bamboo. I tried to take a closer look at it a couple of weeks ago, but the clerk was busy shooting the breeze with some guy looking at guitars and refused to even acknowledge my presence. It was hanging out of reach so I couldn't just grab it and play. I really should go back some weekday morning when all the "guitar heroes" are still in school and see if I can get some attention.

    Tony Graziano is a pretty well-respected builder but I couldn't find much info about him working with bamboo.

    https://www.guitarcenter.com/Used/In...ral-Ukulele.gc
    Larry

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  4. #4
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    Default

    I imagine that there are a few luthiers here who would question the idea that bamboo is 'wood'.
    Sustainable, yes, but no way does it ring like real wood, to my ears.
    Thanks, but I don't need another uke, surely not bamboo....
    what do others think?
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

  5. #5
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    Sep 2013
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    Los Angeles, near the Beverly Center.
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    I'm very impressed with the Aklot ALL bamboo tenor cutaway uke I got a couple of weeks ago. I like that it's bright with good projection, especially with the black D'Addario strings, which I had to cull together from 2 sets because the tenor version only came with a wound C so I used a C from a concert set.

    Bamboo is specifically a grass, and being that it's laminated sideways rather than on top of each other, I wouldn't call it solid. Aklot actually said to watch the humidity because it's "solid," but bamboo is known to be very durable, so I'm not going to worry about it.


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  6. #6
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    Default

    [QUOTE=kohanmike;2212653]I'm very impressed with the Aklot ALL bamboo tenor cutaway uke I got a couple of weeks ago. I like that it's bright with good projection, especially with the black D'Addario strings, which I had to cull together from 2 sets because the tenor version only came with a wound C so I used a C from a concert set.

    Bamboo is specifically a grass, and being that it's laminated sideways rather than on top of each other, I wouldn't call it solid. Aklot actually said to watch the humidity because it's "solid," but bamboo is known to be very durable, so I'm not going to worry about it.

    I suspect that the bamboo has been cut lengthwise. Since the plant is a cylinder shape, the material probably retains a "memory" of that shape. And with enough moisture it will want to curl. But that is pure speculation on my part. It may just be that it is one of the materials that tends to curl with humidity.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by jer View Post
    Product page:
    https://www.alvarezguitars.com/guitar/mu55c/

    I clicked on the "hide details" thing and figured out you could see more info.. Solid wood they say. Interesting. I've never played an Alvarez uke but they look nice. Their guitars get some good reviews, but of course that doesn't translate to ukes always.

    I'll just post that here:


    "We are very proud to introduce our first all-solid wood construction Ukuleles in 2019. Not only do they sound amazing, but have a more “planet conscious” element to their design. Our MU55 Masterworks Ukes are made from Bamboo, all solid Bamboo, a wood that grows quickly in abundance and is in no danger of depleting.

    As instrument makers and players, we must look to better source alternative woods and materials that are kinder to the world’s ecosystem but do not compromise our quality or tonal attributes. The MU55s meet these requirements beautifully. Solid Bamboo as a tone wood sounds fantastic for a Ukulele, it’s also very affordable, which allows us to deliver an all solid, stellar sounding professional Ukulele at such value. The MU55’s sustain and tone will put a smile on your face and, by knowing that it’s a better choice for our planet, will hopefully sweeten the sound even more."
    Interesting because bamboo is a grass, not a wood.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenn2018 View Post
    I suspect that the bamboo has been cut lengthwise. Since the plant is a cylinder shape, the material probably retains a "memory" of that shape. And with enough moisture it will want to curl. But that is pure speculation on my part. It may just be that it is one of the materials that tends to curl with humidity.
    I have bamboo kitchen utensils for years that are cut lengthwise in flat strips and glued side-by-side. They get wet all the time being washed in the sink and never change shape at all.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snargle View Post
    ...but the clerk was busy shooting the breeze with some guy looking at guitars and refused to even acknowledge my presence.
    That's a big problem with shopping in stores. Either they don't see me, or the clerk and customer are shooting the breeze. I hate it when a customer decides to tell the cashier his life story. Shopping online has spoiled me.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickie View Post
    I imagine that there are a few luthiers here who would question the idea that bamboo is 'wood'.
    Sustainable, yes, but no way does it ring like real wood, to my ears.
    Thanks, but I don't need another uke, surely not bamboo....
    what do others think?
    Nickie, you know we all need another uke...

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