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Thread: Considering a Custom Myrtle and Port Orford Cedar Concert

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA
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    577

    Question Considering a Custom Myrtle and Port Orford Cedar Concert

    I've finally gotten to the point where I'm considering ordering a custom-built ukulele from a luthier.

    In a conversation with a builder, we were thinking about a concert-size instrument with an Oregon Myrtle back and sides and a Port Orford Cedar top. I'm primarily a fingerpicker and chord melody player and won't be using this for strumming and singing accompaniment, just solo instrumental playing. Music styles are varied; everything from classical, jazz standards, folk tunes, ragtime, blues, to whatever.

    Does anyone have experience with this wood combination? Do you think it would be a good choice for my playing style?

    (ADMINS: I hope this forum is the right one for this question. If not, please move it to the appropriate forum.)
    Larry

    • ROMERO CREATIONS SOLID MAHOGANY "TINY TENOR"
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    • HARMONY MAHOGANY BARITONE (1950's)
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
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    Yes I do. I have exactly that ukulele. It is an Ohana 85 series with solid Port Orford Cedar top, solid burled Myrtle sides and back, and mahogany neck. Concert size. They were limited production and Ohana is showing them as no longer being produced, but I see them around for sale. Anyway, I love that uke. It is very pretty and I like the sound I get out of it with the sugar strings. It also has good volume, and that is number one with me. It is my number one ukulele and I play it everywhere for everything with a few rough and tumble exceptions.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    I just want everyone to understand that I am not a ukulele expert, even though it may look at times like I'm pretending to be.

    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...tective+Agency

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rllink View Post
    Yes I do. I have exactly that ukulele. It is an Ohana 85 series with solid Port Orford Cedar top, solid burled Myrtle sides and back, and mahogany neck. Concert size. They were limited production and Ohana is showing them as no longer being produced, but I see them around for sale. Anyway, I love that uke. It is very pretty and I like the sound I get out of it with the sugar strings. It also has good volume, and that is number one with me. It is my number one ukulele and I play it everywhere for everything with a few rough and tumble exceptions.
    Thanks for that input. I've seen photos of the Ohana 85 and I was wondering how it performs. Glad to hear that it works well for you. I'm pretty sure this is going to be the route I'll take but I want to cogitate on it a little more.

    I just checked and I see that Mim has a CK-85 currently on sale. It looks nice but I'm really ready for a custom build.
    Larry

    • ROMERO CREATIONS SOLID MAHOGANY "TINY TENOR"
    • COCOBOLO CEDAR/COCOBOLO CONCERT
    • ANUENUE UT200 MOON BIRD (ALPINE SPRUCE/ROSEWOOD) TENOR
    • KOALOHA KCM-10 PIKAKE KOA CONCERT
    • PONO ATD-CR CEDAR/ACACIA TENOR (LOW "G")
    • HARMONY MAHOGANY BARITONE (1950's)
    • VTAB TS2401 SPRUCE/MAHOGANY CONCERT

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Kekaha, Kauai
    Posts
    221

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    I have used those woods together and in different combinations many times. They are excellent tonewoods and myrtle can be quite striking in appearance. POC is also one of the most stable woods with humidity fluctuations.
    Brad
    Bradford Donaldson
    Kekaha, HI and Cannon Beach OR
    bradfordj48@outlook.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA
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    577

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    Here's an update. I placed a deposit with the luthier for a concert ukulele with a Port Orford Cedar top and Myrtle back and sides. We picked out the wood last week and he received them yesterday. He just sent me some pics and they look amazing! He's moving quickly on this so I suspect this build isn't going to take too long.

    I'm taking a little bit of a risk by working with a fairly new, young builder, but he's been great to work with so far and from what I've seen of his instruments, he definitely knows what he's doing. The luthier is Peter Morande of Morande Instruments (https://www.morande-instruments.com/) located in Vermont. I could have gone with a more-established builder but I'd be looking a lead time of a year or more, substantially more $$$, and at my age (and the current world health situation) I'd rather have my gratification sooner than later!

    Here's a couple pics of the top and back pieces.

    20200402_123239.jpg

    20200402_123136.jpg
    Last edited by Snargle; 04-03-2020 at 12:38 AM. Reason: Fixed Photos
    Larry

    • ROMERO CREATIONS SOLID MAHOGANY "TINY TENOR"
    • COCOBOLO CEDAR/COCOBOLO CONCERT
    • ANUENUE UT200 MOON BIRD (ALPINE SPRUCE/ROSEWOOD) TENOR
    • KOALOHA KCM-10 PIKAKE KOA CONCERT
    • PONO ATD-CR CEDAR/ACACIA TENOR (LOW "G")
    • HARMONY MAHOGANY BARITONE (1950's)
    • VTAB TS2401 SPRUCE/MAHOGANY CONCERT

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Sparta, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    2,113

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    The pics didn't come through. Myrtle is a really good wood. It's bright so that the cedar should warm it just a touch over using a spruce.

    I have an MP all-myrtle tenor and a Kala Elite spruce/myrtle tenor. The all-myrtle is one of my favorites. Bright, great projection and very clear and clean notes. Sounds excellent strummed as well. The sustain is good but not huge.

    I hope your build is everything you hope it will be and will provide you with years of enjoyment.
    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

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