I GOT THE OTHER TWO strung up this afternoon, What fun it is to hear them at last- and they are all different. They have identical Redwood soundboards, Identical Southcoast strings, (ML-WB if you are interested), They are as identical as I could make them except for the sides and backs and necks being each different.
I am thrilled with each one of them. They are all strong and loud with plenty of volume and sustain, They all have rich vibrant voices-yet each one is different.
This is the Redwood/East Indian Rosewood. It has a precise, almost dignified sound, not mature yet as the three of similar woods that have preceeded it, yet it holds the promise of maturing into a sophisticated sound and a great uke. My previous experience with this Rosewood/Redwood combination is that it takes several weeks of playing before it begins to open up-and when it does it is really marvelous. I am expecting this uke will do the same and already after only a couple of hours of playing I can hear it coming. It is also a lovely instrument, this East Indian Rosewood takes on a remarkable finish and the Master-grade Redwood is truly grand.
This is the Curly Maple/ Redwood. I was kind of shocked when I first strummed this new uke. It really bellows. Louder than the other two, This ukulele has VOlUME. It also has lovely quiet tones for those kind of moments. I think this will be a very well loved instrument, and it surely is beautiful with the Tiger Striped sides and back and the wonderful Blackwood binding and walnut neck. This beauty is staying in Bellingham with am member of the BUG Ukulele Orchestra. am sure it will be heard.
This is the Australian Blackwood/Redwood uke. I have always had luck with this wood. Sounds rich and full and will only get more so when it is played into maturity. Especially lovely wood and a great almost white contrasting neck of Alaskan Cedar. A very pretty uke. This one is headed East to Steve Ruffin home in Indiana.
and here they all are beside the hearth as I sit there and alternately play each one comparing them to each other and to the now mature and rich sounding Redwood/Rosewood uke hanging on the music stand. It is fascinating to hear new ukes mellow and gain richness as they are played. The three new ukes all sound wonderful, but they are no where near the quality of sound of that broken in uke with several hundred hours of playing on it. They will get there, but it will take a loving owner who will devote lots of hours enjoying their growth as they are played in- just part of the fascination of playing solid wood instruments. They live!