Things To Consider When Purchasing a Uke Part 3

Things To Consider When Purchasing a Uke Part 3

Solid Wood versus Laminate

Let’s start off with explaining what these two things actually are.

Solid Wood

Solid wood is in essence one solid piece of wood that makes up the entire soundboard of the instrument. It is the most resonate and pure form of the tonewood and requires much more finesse to install properly. However the wood is meant to sound, whatever unique tones the instrument might have, it will be most apparent in a solid wood instrument. It is somewhat delicate in comparison to laminate but is highly sought after. As a result solid wood is pricier than laminate and it is up to you the reader to decide if its qualities are what you’re looking for in your purchase.

 

A Kala solid wood Koa Elite (Left) and a Kala solid wood Mahogany Doghair Elite (right) pictured side by side

Laminate

A laminate (or layered tonewood) soundboard is comprised of several sheets of wood that are attached together that form a durable piece of material to work with. Laminate gets a bad rap in my opinion because it is indeed a cheaper option. While in many cases solid wood is the preferred tone option, laminate instruments can still sound absolutely brilliant. Laminate instruments often have very attractive looks as the most visually appealing piece of the wood is chosen as the external layer. Many of the most famous electric guitars are made with this layered tonewood technique, however it is undeniable that solid wood is the more resonate option of these two while also being a higher price point.

A laminate Kala Gloss Koa Ukulele

 

Hopefully with this information you will be able to make a more informed and confident purchase in your next ukulele. At Kala we consider a lot of variables when designing our products and we hope the quality reflects that so you can feel good about the value of your ukulele no matter what you pay.


Please provide any comment, questions, or suggestions below as we’d love to hear them as we seek to better ourselves and our products through this blog! Have a terrific weekend and keep the music going!

January 05, 2018 by Nicholas Cafiero