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Thread: It's all been done..

  1. #1
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    Default It's all been done..

    I know that this has been discussed before, but here goes...

    I'm interested in picking up another soprano uke and I'm looking for a very specific sound... I'd like it to be warm and crisp, loud and very clear in tone.. This one is going to be a Mainland... BUT I can't decide on whether to get a Red Cedar or Mahogany model.

    Any opinions? I know that Mahogany is more mellow and sweet sounding. It seems like the Red Cedar sounds somewhat thin in videos. Anyone own both?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Ataraxia; 08-14-2011 at 08:13 AM.
    "The ukulele is a noble little instrument... anyone serious about music will eventually come to play one.

    Bob Brozman

  2. #2
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    Default

    I think the cedar is more likely to meet your requirements than mahogany. I would think that spruce wold be even crisper and cleaner, but not warm. Mainland makes a spruce top, but I think it is only available as a concert. Not sure though. You really can't judge too accurately by videos.

  3. #3
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    Exactly! I agree completely with not being able to judge by videos, I've come to rely on the input of the awesome UU community instead .

    There are many unknown variables that come into play with recording a piece of music (i.e. the mic, strings used, etc, it's certainly difficult to tell. I kind of had the same thought, that the red cedar might suit me the best..

    I guess I have some thinking to do.

    Thanks!
    "The ukulele is a noble little instrument... anyone serious about music will eventually come to play one.

    Bob Brozman

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    Well, since you've narrowed it down, within your criteria I'd go for the cedar.

    Otherwise I'd say look into the Kala thinline spruce top. My tenor is very loud, crisp and clear.

  5. #5
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    FYI: There were some Kala Thinline travel sopranos with nice case on Ebay (they had 3) were demos at a festival somewhere for $125. Shipping $19.95 though.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by itsme View Post
    Well, since you've narrowed it down, within your criteria I'd go for the cedar.

    Otherwise I'd say look into the Kala thinline spruce top. My tenor is very loud, crisp and clear.
    I really like the look of that uke (the soprano version), but I find it almost impossible to play and do chord transitions without the headstock diving head-first to the ground. It sounds a bit thin tonally, but has a very unique and bright sound that I do enjoy. Did you replace the tuners? I'm sure that the issue isn't quite as bad on the tenor version though. Thanks for the suggestion!
    "The ukulele is a noble little instrument... anyone serious about music will eventually come to play one.

    Bob Brozman

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilUSAFRet View Post
    FYI: There were some Kala Thinline travel sopranos with nice case on Ebay (they had 3) were demos at a festival somewhere for $125. Shipping $19.95 though.
    That's a great deal! I think it's a great size since I'm currently traveling between different countries and sacrificing weight is a good thing. I just can't imagine what Kala was thinking when they put sealed geared tuners on that model. IMO, some nice lightweight open-geared tuners would work just as well and save some of the weight. I don't think that friction pegs would look the part, they'd make the headstock thicker than the body.
    "The ukulele is a noble little instrument... anyone serious about music will eventually come to play one.

    Bob Brozman

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ataraxia View Post
    I really like the look of that uke (the soprano version), but I find it almost impossible to play and do chord transitions without the headstock diving head-first to the ground. It sounds a bit thin tonally, but has a very unique and bright sound that I do enjoy. Did you replace the tuners? I'm sure that the issue isn't quite as bad on the tenor version though. Thanks for the suggestion!
    No, didn't replace the tuners and never really noticed an issue with weight. I suppose it's doable but beyond my capabilities, which pretty much stop with changing strings.

    I also play sitting down with the uke braced on my leg, so that keeps it more stable. You might try a strap.

  9. #9
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    Haha, I hear you there . I'm the same way, I've been playing guitar for over 7 years and uke for almost 1... The most that I ever learned to do as far as maintenance/ repair goes, is minor truss rod adjustments and string changes. I don't even feel comfortable with changing parts on my instruments, I prefer to keep the stock tuners on it and just play the damn thing.
    "The ukulele is a noble little instrument... anyone serious about music will eventually come to play one.

    Bob Brozman

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by hmgberg View Post
    I think the cedar is more likely to meet your requirements than mahogany. I would think that spruce would be even crisper and cleaner, but not warm. Mainland makes a spruce top, but I think it is only available as a concert. Not sure though. You really can't judge too accurately by videos.
    Yep,...you're right about the spruce top,.....crisp and clean of tone, but not especially warm. Nice tone, but a bit
    different than you might expect from a cedar, or even some koa topped ukes.

    My Ron Saul concert is lightly built with flame koa B/S, and a thin and lightly braced fine grain one piece spruce top.
    The volumn is loud, with notes that jump out at you, (especially at the mid position frets where usually there is a noticable volumn drop off), and it plays really easy with it's 15-5/16" scale.

    ........just not as warm in tone as my all koa MB Soprano. Cedar top all the more so if you get the chance to play one.
    Last edited by joejeweler; 08-14-2011 at 12:25 PM.

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