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Koa or Mahogany ukulele?

Koa or Mahogany ukulele?

mogano koa

If it were a beauty challenge there would not be match. But

if we talking about the sound?
We talk about two very noble and precious woods.

Forced to open parenthesis:

- The mahogany that I speak grows from southern Mexico to central South America, the so-called Honduras Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla). It differs from African Mahogany (Khaya Anthotheca) for various features, I have to give some numbers to dispel any false myth:

Weight: African mahogany 640 kg / m3; Honduras mahogany: 590 kg / m3

The characteristics of strength and elasticity are quite similar even though Honduras mahogany is more elastic but with a lower value of break point.
African mahogany: MOR (modulus of rupture) 13.190 lbf / in2 (expressed in pounds-force per square inch) - MOE (modulus of elasticity): 1,537,000 lbf / in2
Honduras mahogany: MOR 11,710 lbf / in2 - MOE: 1,458,000 lbf / in2
Source: wood-database

Forgive me for the numerical digression but I've read and heard all sorts about these two woods ... The advantage of Khaya is that it's less expensive than Honduras mahogany.

As I said the koa (Acacia koa) aesthetically wins. It figures are amazing and once you led it to final finish the flamed change depending on the angle of light incidence.
Amazing !!!

Mahogany has an fast response and brilliant sound, the tone less cumbersome expresses an extremely clear and "clean" sound. Suitable for "classic" ukulele lovers of swing, jazz and blues and all those sounds that take us back to the roots of American ukulele. Think of the wood used by Martin in the 40 '.

The koa has a more "round" sound , more complex, with a deep timbre and more present, able to express interesting harmonic . Introspective sound. Probably it brings us back to the original Hawaiian roots of the ukulele. In my view it is appropriate for genres such as reggae, rock and pop.

In conclusion the genuine mahogany has nothing to envy to the expensive and beautiful koa!

This considerations are personal although I think there are objective values. The taste and personal feelings are the real value to follow.

Francesco Verginelli

I'll be happy to answer you!

You can contact me via my Contact Page.


Francesco Verginelli
My address
Rome - Italy

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