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Thread: veneer over solid wood

  1. #1
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    Default veneer over solid wood

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/MIM-Kala-Sop...item2a15f3d6ee

    over something like this...cedar top, mahogany back and sides with koa veneer. how does this effect the sound? will it still sound like a cedar/mahogany uke or more laminated or dampened or what?

  2. #2
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    I guess it depends...apparently my new Fender is Koa veneer over mahogany, and to my ear it sounds kinds like koa. YMMV, and every laminate is different!
    -Ben

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  3. #3
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    To your ear it sounds like koa, but if you close your eyes it sounds like mahogany.
    A hui hou!

  4. #4
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    Default Sounds like laminate....ply.

    If there is a veneer, it ain't solid. ...

    ...Unless you get that one in a million, it wont sound like anything but what a lam sounds like. May look pretty, but the veneers and core, will still be plywood, so it can not take on the tonal qualities of a true solid tonewood.

    In the guitar world, you get run off if you try to pass off any kind of laminate as solid tonewood. The word 'solid' is held up as true, no plywood, solid.

    I often see some brands claim "solid 'x' covered with 'pretty' veneer".
    Misleading descriptions, trying to justify prices that are in the region of true, honest, genuine all solid instruments.

    With a very few exceptions, carbon fiber and properly designed "double tops" (honeycomb core), $$$, no laminated plywood insturment will sound as good as a solid tonewood. Unless the solid is very badly made. There is a reason the boutique and high end luthiers do not use laminates. Threre is a reason we pay top $$$ for genuine solid wood insturments.

    Please don't get me wrong, I don't hate laminates, just those who try to 'mislead' us by stealing the 'solid' word and sell us laminated instruments at true solid wood prices. I have a pretty nice all lam guitar that I keep in my work truck for lunch time pickin'. It was snowing today, and I would not put a solid one in that cold-heated-airconditioned, all over the map conditions. Solid wouldn,t survive. I am thinking pretty hard about the Islander MT-4 (lam) to add to my work diversions. ((bought one for my son-in-law for Christmas, sounded pretty good)).

    The Uke community seems to be more tolerant of the misleading descriptions. But in the end, none of the "veneered solid" ukuleles are at the top of anyones, money no object, Dream List.

    just my $.02
    Last edited by Daysailer; 01-17-2012 at 05:13 PM.
    If you find any misspelled words.....you can keep them.

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  5. #5
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    that's what I needed to hear daysailor

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cornfedgroove View Post
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/MIM-Kala-Sop...item2a15f3d6ee

    over something like this...cedar top, mahogany back and sides with koa veneer. how does this effect the sound? will it still sound like a cedar/mahogany uke or more laminated or dampened or what?
    The back & sides are laminate, while the top is solid cedar. It sounds like cedar.
    I've played this line from Kala and IMO it sounds better than the cedar Mainlands, and more lively you can feel the vibrations down the neck. Also better finished than Mainland. I think they were (still are?) billed as "Limited Edition".

  7. #7
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    I have owned the tenor and concert from this line and they both sounded excellent. In this price range you will be hard pressed to find a better sounding uke, 100% solid or solid top+laminate back and sides, that will sound and play better.

    It's still a budget uke, but it's a pretty damn good one.

  8. #8
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    It's less about what you've got and more about how you use it.

    You'd be better off with a laminate uke built by someone who knows what they're doing than a solid uke by someone who doesn't.
    Liam Ryan.
    Cairns, Australia.
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  9. #9
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    Its a Kala Uke. A lot of people take up ukulele because a reasonable instrument can be got for a low purchase price and its easy to play. Most do their homework on value and end with a uke they like for a price they like. Many couldn't care less if the uke is made of solid koa or laminate or cedar if it sounds ok for the right price, and they can get their lifetime dream of actually being part of the music. Perhaps one of the reasons guitar players are flocking to the uke is that useless technical stuff is not as important as getting a uke and having some fun amongst many uke players.
    Looking at the pickings for someone wanting to buy a uke today, Mims ebay offer looks as good an any of the others, and offers a free set up. $380 delivered to Australia with some bling on board. Who cares what the advertising spiel says if it sounds like some other Kalas we have all seem in the same price range? It says Mim is living it up at Namm until 25 Jan, I hope the champagne is chilled properly.

  10. #10
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    Today, I learned on the internet that my Sailor Brand must suck because it's got solid poplar back/sides with a eucalyptus veneer. Nevermind that the top is solid and the sides matter not one bit, and the back matters more than the sides and less than the top. That's not the point. It just sucks. Yet another case where "All of X must equal Y, and no I've not proved all of X myself, but I'm an expert." - come on!

    There's a good reason to do that to the back and sides, and one of those is stability? Nah, I don't need to play a uke during the winter.

    Kanile'a dlx super concert / Koaloha concert / Ohana sk-38 / Risa Uke Solid Tenor

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