It is much less dense than other hard woods like rosewood and most exotic dark woods, and more dense than softwoods like spruce and cedar. Sharp chisels glide through with a crispy, satisfying crunch, a harbinger of the clear tones the finished instrument will produce. Glossary of Terms. We use laminated sapele on the top, back and sides of our entry level Honu models. From a builder’s perspective, mahogany is a dream to work with. Sapele. Fundamental vs. Overtones A fundamental tone is the initial sound heard when you pick or pluck a note (and which decays at varying rates depending on the sustain); the overtones are complex harmonic layers that can make the note swell after the fundamental is initiated. It produces a focused sound. Early on it became the ukulele sound. Also — and mind you, this is MY terminology, struggling to put what I hear into words, therefore subject to dispute just on the basis of the words I choose — mahogany, especially new mahogany, is harsh to the point of making my nerves frazzle. An African tone wood closely related to Mahogany, Sapele is similar in both look and sound. Sapele trees are protected in such a way as to prevent over-harvesting which makes this a relatively sustainable wood that is being harvested responsibly. As a guitar top, dense mahogany has a solid, punchy tone with low overtone content and good high-end response. Mahogany back and sides often emphasize bass and treble, with more overtone coloration and a “woody” sound (as opposed to the more metallic sound of, say, rosewood back and sides). For the player who values a dry, crunchy, punchy sound, mahogany gets the nod over rosewood’s rum-jug bass and metallic overtones. Sapele is a very popular tonewood used primarily on entry level ukuleles. Mahogany is a hard wood but in the middle of the spectrum. Mahogany sound "has some bark left on the tree"; sapele is more refined. Almost every Martin Ukulele was an all mahogany body. Sapele is visually and tonally similar to mahogany, which means it will give you a rich, warm tone without being overly bright. Sapele.
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