Some of the cores of the ukulele, the neck, the neck, and the body are made of wood, so the quality of the wood determines the sound. The main part is a few pieces of wood. The head and neck are one piece, one front panel (panel), one rear panel (back panel), and one side panel (side panel). This piece of wood is roughly divided into two types, one is called plywood, and the other is called veneer. The veneer is a piece of wood that is cut and spliced together. The wood grain is symmetrical, and the plywood is post-pressed. Theoretically speaking, the veneer has a qualitative leap in the performance of the timbre. Even with a single-board piano, different woods can affect the sound. So what are the characteristics of these major ukulele wood and how to choose the right ukulele wood? Especially for beginners or even a professional ukulele player?
The ukulele wood mainly consists of Basswood, Sapele, Mahogany, Maple, Spruce, Acacia, etc. The price of Basswood very cheap and for Sapele and Mahogany are relatively economical, while Acacia is relatively expensive due to its rare wood and unique sound. Acacia has Taiwan and Hawaii Acacia. Hawaiian Acacia wood has a long production cycle and low output. It is now banned from exporting. It is mainly used locally and is rare and precious. It is only used by a few well-known brands such as Mr.mai. Different woods have different timbre characteristics, and different wood grain can be selected according to the psychological price you want. The following are the characteristics of the wood commonly used in the ukulele.
Basswood is a light-weight neutral wood with a very stable tone, a fairly gentle tone, and good sustain, but not grainy. It has been widely used in ukuleles for manufacturing especially for those beginner ukuleles, and colorful ukuleles for kids, and it has a good reputation. A very economical selection.
A wood resembling mahogany with wood color and texture similar to mahogany. Sapele is heavier than mahogany, and the material is slightly brittle, with a balanced sound of high, medium, and low sound.
The higher density of mahogany is more versatile and can handle a variety of styles of music in a balanced manner. Mahogany is wood with excellent texture and natural musical qualities. The sound quality is warm and perfect, the sound is warm and rich in low frequency, and it has very good sustaining characteristics, but it lacks the huge resonance effect like red sandalwood.
Spruce is a good choice for sweeping and playing, with a bright tone and full expression.
Hard maple is also used for the body because of its high density, bright sound, and good continuity. The soft maple is lighter in weight and has a good sense of vibration for the strings. The sound is bright, but it is not as crisp as hard maple, which is milder.
Harder cedar gives a rounded, full-bodied tone that is very popular with finger-guns.
Acacia or KOA is recognized as the top wood for making Ukulele! It is a very beautiful wood from Hawaii and is very rare. It has long been banned from cutting in Hawaii. Due to its excellent sound quality, it has a mild sound like a peach, but it is brighter and more grainy than mahogany. The appearance after the painting is quite beautiful, and the sound must be played after the wood has been played for a few years.
Also, there are other wood been used for ukulele, we called zebra wood ukulele, walnut wood ukulele, Mango wood ukulele, Bamboo wood ukulele, rosewood ukulele, and butterfly wood ukulele, but they are not popular than the above woods.
So in general, Sapele and mahogany is a good selection for ukulele beginner, and spruce is also good. However, for professional performers, Acacia, Maple, and Cedarwood ukulele are good choices. The above article are just for your reference and if you have any better suggestions, the Height Music team welcome to you contacting us, let's share more knowledge together. Thank you so much. : )
Hopefully, this ukulele wood comparison helps you a lot to start off your ukulele journey.
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