Here's a educational article about How ʻUkulele Neck Material Affects Tone by Kanilea Ukuleles
Players often put a lot of thought into the body of their ʻukulele, what their headstock looks like or how they can customize with special inlays
But few think about the material used to make the neck of their uke. How important is it? Find out with master luthier Joe Souza in today's edition of The Breakdown.
hello my is Joe Souza here actually in our Sound Studio to kind of touch a little bit on next why is the neck on an ukulele so important well one it allows you to play the instrument but two it actually plays an effect on the tone maybe you didn't know that so we're going to learn a lot on the breakdown. As an acoustic instrument industry ukulele falling right in there mahogany is the preferred choice of tone wood for the neck one it's because of its accessibility and also its workability so ideally South American mahogany or what is also called genuine mahogany is the preferred choice and as an ukulele maker here in the middle of the Pacific literally in one of the most remote places in the world genuine mahogany is actually really hard to find so what we've done is we've worked with the suppliers to the guitar industry to find pieces that may have been invalid for some reason either or not a bar conclusion or a crack that makes that work piece invalid for a guitar but of course as an ukulele maker our specifications are much smaller and we'll go ahead and purchase those work pieces at fair market value bring them here to Honolulu to of course become a Kanilea ukulele saksha brought an example of one of these neck blanks and you can see it's rough it's raw it's actually genuine mahogany this literally vertical grain genuine mahogany sitting here in the middle of the Pacific big ocean is like gold to an ukulele Builder now we'll get one of those raw blanks and we'll actually get two necks like this out of one blank we'll cut those two neck blanks which ultimately will become either a tenor in this case or any size Kanilea ukulele now we'll get that genuine mahogany and actually shape and cut our neck from that raw blank so now that raw material starts to really look like an ukulele neck and mahogany of course is the preferred choice for years as a musical instrument maker but it's not our only choice so here we have an opportunity to really look at what the tonal differences are going to come with let's say a corn neck now of course koi is much rarer than mahogany in fact enough to make a call a neck on an ukulele takes a lot of specialty cutting right from the beginning where we are able to identify work pieces that can ultimately become an ukulele and the neck on that ukulele is really like a polished gem from a raw piece so I brought actually a piece of core one piece genuine core neck which of course has its own unique tonal properties for Kanilea ukulele we found that a koa neck being harder as a wood actually allows for more sustain so when you strum let's say our 2022 Platinum that comes with a core neck you'll feel the vibration in the neck and that vibration is not just felt it's actually heard too so the tone that is coming from an ukulele with a core neck actually is improved so the big question is why don't we build all the Kanilea ukuleles with a core neck and really the honest answer is accessibility and availability core is a rare really hard to find hardwood which in turn makes a unique component when we look at a platinum or our maolino which is built entirely of endemic Hardwoods those are models that you can actually get a Core neck on a Kanilea ukulele even on a custom model like this where we actually have a core book match laminated three-piece neck with a piece of kolohala or what is known as Pheasant Wood as a center strip which in turn of course would work perfect on a custom ukulele we found that using different tone Woods mahogany Co-op and even maple on some of our models as a neck material actually does change the tone of the instrument and enhances the tone in ways that were really undiscovered until we started to build utilizing these other tone ones I hope this gave you some insight to what we do as far as an ukulele Builder and the different materials that were able to build the neck of our ukulele out of if you love what you've seen smash that like button if you want to get more insight to who we are as Kanilea go ahead and subscribe to our Channel and of course if you have any questions on any of the material that you've seen go ahead and leave it right there in the comments and we'll definitely make sure to get back to you I hope you enjoyed what you've seen everybody stay safe .
Reprinted with Permission https://www.kanileaukulele.com/