Mahogany Tenors

mlolya

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I’m wondering if there are any members here who are particularly well versed in Mahogany tenors.
In my quest to satisfy my UAS I have somehow missed getting a Mahogany tenor.
I’m not as familiar with the sound of Mahogany, but I understand that it’s warm and mellow, which I think I’d really enjoy.
I do have a couple of Mahogany sopranos and I enjoy their sound, but I’m not sure how that will translate to a tenor sized instrument.
So, a couple of questions for the Mahogany lovers.
What makers do you feel produce a good quality representation of the classic sound of a Mahogany instrument. (I’d like to get a modern ukulele rather than a vintage Martin)
And, I know this is a matter of personal taste, but any recommendations about what strings go well with Mahogany.
 
aNueNue AMM3 comes to mind.
Different types of Mahogany....it's a rabbit hole.
 
My first decent uke was a (chinese) mahogany tenor and I still use it as my low G tenor as it has a deeper body that helps with lower tone resonance. I don't attribute any tonal characteristics to this wood, as nowadays the term "mahogany" encompasses a large number of tree species and all they have in common is that the wood kinda looks like it's from Swietenia mahagoni.
 
The combination of Spruce and Mahogany has been a "go to" combination for decades.
That said, stick with the better builders as some will build with 2d or 3d rate material.
 
I would highly recommend an I’iwi if you can find one in mahogany. I can assure you that it would not disappoint.
They look lovely, but I don’t seem to find a Mahogany one. I’ll keep looking.
 
Here is a 10 year old thread on mahogany tenors in case you find it useful. Also, you might want to specify your budget as that would help people provide you with advice.

Thread 'mahogany tenors'
https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/threads/mahogany-tenors.78045/

If you are interested in a really inexpensive solid wood mahogany tenor and do not want to jump straight into more expensive models, you might try the Enya DR or MAD. I just bought one new for $160 (including shipping) on sale from Enya and received it last night. I was surprised how good it sounds at that price. I have other really nice ukes, but did not have any mahogany ukulele. It has radius fretboard, which l like. I included links for buying and a link to Baz’s Review below. When you put the uke in your cart it shows an additional 15% discount.

Thread 'Enya EUT-MAD Tenor Ukulele - REVIEW'
https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/threads/enya-eut-mad-tenor-ukulele-review.162378/


 
An inexpensive placeholder could be an Ohana or a Pono. If you have more money the Kiwaya, Anuenue, Singer are great or a Vintage Martin or Gibson. You also may find a Luthier for your instrument (the cost would vary greatly same as those listed).

It's about the sound you're trying to achieve. Happy Wandering.
 
Thanks everyone. I seriously looked at the Anuenue AMM3. I’m sure it would be great. But I was hoping for something other than a gloss finish.
I’m taking a close look at the Ohana TK-38. It has a really classic look and claims to have ‘Premium Solid Mahogany’ although I’m not sure exactly what that means. The ‘vintage’ finish sounds interesting.
 
A bit courious, what a considered a classic mahogany sound for a tenor ukulele?

I only have an AMM3. I might have tried a solid mahogany Cordoba or Kala in a store, dont remember. But from the few tenors of any wood I have tried, the AMM3 sounds... Bigger than an ukulele. Amazing, but is that classic? Is that how old Martins sound?

Mahogany instruments I am courious to try include Kiwaya, Brüko and Eastman. And of course aNueNues new bird ukulele made from cuban mahogany 😆
 
I've only played one Mahogany Tenor in my life. It was a 1960s Martin and it sounded fantastic. Always wished I had an extra grand burning a hole in my pocket.
 
Of the brands mentioned here so far, I vote for Pono, Anuenue, or Kiwaya. Also Martin, especially the US-made models. Not sure what is your price range, but those brands should give you a good range of quality levels.
 
Mainland makes a nice mid range mahog line in non-gloss finish. As usual, I have one I could sell! :ROFLMAO: :eek::unsure:
I have the Mainland mahogany tenor in glossy with the beautiful rope binding. Just bought a matching baritone.
 
I seriously nerded out on this just recently. Long story short: I am getting a custom built uke for my 50th birthday (yay me!) and before I picked the wood I wanted to make a scientific comparison of my options because I am a scientist and I just can't turn it off at 5pm (neeeeerrrrdd).

I discovered some decent audio files of similar ukes made by the same luthier, recorded by the same seller, playing the same tune, and I used Audacity to pull the audio out of the youtube videos. I compared mahogany, koa, mango, and rosewood (back and sides, with a couple different tops) and did some Idiot's Guide To Spectral Analysis type analysis because I'm a scientist but not this kind of scientist. Despite the compression, it was easy to pick out the differences in the different woods, and the one that stood out for me was mahogany. Mahogany had the most interesting and notable resonance, and it was not only something you could catch with your ear, but you could see the difference in the wave forms. I did not save all the files and I'm not going to recreate them all but here's a comparison of rosewood and mahogany, same section of the same song and you can see that they don't look alike. And they don't sound alike: The mahogany has greater resonance, and generally has a warmer tone, whereas the rosewood is sharper, rings out loudly but gets quiet fast.
1711769660036.png
I love those little wave trains—these weren't even the best groupings I observed but they are the best ones I can find right now, it's been a long week. Anyway it felt like a little victory for science, being able to see the difference between the different woods, and to know that it wasn't entirely just in my head.

I guess my point is that the science clearly says that mahogany is awesome.
 
Did the analysis specify what type of mahogany was used (eg Cuban, Honduran, African, Chinese, etc)? There are big differences between the various types.
 
I seriously nerded out on this just recently. Long story short: I am getting a custom built uke for my 50th birthday (yay me!) and before I picked the wood I wanted to make a scientific comparison of my options because I am a scientist and I just can't turn it off at 5pm (neeeeerrrrdd).

I discovered some decent audio files of similar ukes made by the same luthier, recorded by the same seller, playing the same tune, and I used Audacity to pull the audio out of the youtube videos. I compared mahogany, koa, mango, and rosewood (back and sides, with a couple different tops) and did some Idiot's Guide To Spectral Analysis type analysis because I'm a scientist but not this kind of scientist. Despite the compression, it was easy to pick out the differences in the different woods, and the one that stood out for me was mahogany. Mahogany had the most interesting and notable resonance, and it was not only something you could catch with your ear, but you could see the difference in the wave forms. I did not save all the files and I'm not going to recreate them all but here's a comparison of rosewood and mahogany, same section of the same song and you can see that they don't look alike. And they don't sound alike: The mahogany has greater resonance, and generally has a warmer tone, whereas the rosewood is sharper, rings out loudly but gets quiet fast.
View attachment 169610
I love those little wave trains—these weren't even the best groupings I observed but they are the best ones I can find right now, it's been a long week. Anyway it felt like a little victory for science, being able to see the difference between the different woods, and to know that it wasn't entirely just in my head.

I guess my point is that the science clearly says that mahogany is awesome.
That's exactly the kind of nerdy thing I love. Whole new rabbit hole.

Let's see, I have mahogany, spruce, cedar, redwood, mulberry, milo and maybe a couple others, and that's just tops. Wonder if I could turn the TV room (really wife's jigsaw puzzle room) into an anechoic chamber. Then all I'd need is a couple of good mics, a processor and some software. 🤪
 
I seriously nerded out on this just recently. Long story short: I am getting a custom built uke for my 50th birthday (yay me!) and before I picked the wood I wanted to make a scientific comparison of my options because I am a scientist and I just can't turn it off at 5pm (neeeeerrrrdd).

I discovered some decent audio files of similar ukes made by the same luthier, recorded by the same seller, playing the same tune, and I used Audacity to pull the audio out of the youtube videos. I compared mahogany, koa, mango, and rosewood (back and sides, with a couple different tops) and did some Idiot's Guide To Spectral Analysis type analysis because I'm a scientist but not this kind of scientist. Despite the compression, it was easy to pick out the differences in the different woods, and the one that stood out for me was mahogany. Mahogany had the most interesting and notable resonance, and it was not only something you could catch with your ear, but you could see the difference in the wave forms. I did not save all the files and I'm not going to recreate them all but here's a comparison of rosewood and mahogany, same section of the same song and you can see that they don't look alike. And they don't sound alike: The mahogany has greater resonance, and generally has a warmer tone, whereas the rosewood is sharper, rings out loudly but gets quiet fast.
View attachment 169610
I love those little wave trains—these weren't even the best groupings I observed but they are the best ones I can find right now, it's been a long week. Anyway it felt like a little victory for science, being able to see the difference between the different woods, and to know that it wasn't entirely just in my head.

I guess my point is that the science clearly says that mahogany is awesome.
I was previously a scientist and engineer. I love this stuff! My ukulele teacher laughs at me when I nerd out, which is more often that I like to admit;)
 
I always find it so interesting when something I'm doing coincides with a post in a forum. I just ordered a tenor solid mahogany cutaway thinline satin finish uke from Bruce Wei Arts in Vietnam, who has built me numerous tenor and bass ukes. It cost $805 including express shipping, normally $875, discounted a bit for how much I order from him. He said about a 50 day delivery time to Los Angeles. He does excellent work and I'm really looking forward to the mahogany in that it's supposed to have really good projection and resonance, especially because I asked to make the top thinner than he usually does.

I had him make me an all solid acacia one last year, glossy finish, which had a very nice tone, but it did not project or resonate well. When I contacted him about it, he said it's partly because of the thicker top and the heavy glossy finish. He said he would thin down the top and shipping at his expense, but the glossy finish would still limit the resonance. I asked how much better mahogany would be, he said building from scratch with a thinner top and satin finish, much better, so I ordered it.
 
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