Spalted Mango Concert Ukulele
Here’s a new Spalted Mango Concert Ukulele. Originally destined for Hale Ukulele in San Diego, this concert was scooped up by the sister of a previous client.
Mango used to be a junk wood–left to rot, cut for pallets or maybe burned for firewood. Somtime ago wood turners and artisans discovered the beauty of this wood for art projects, and more recently, ukulele builders have embraced this wood as plausible for their builds. It doesn’t have great “tap tone”, but then again, neither do some other woods that have been customarily used for acoustic instruments. This particular piece of wood has been aging in a cabinet makers shop for over 25 years. For these small instruments with low volume and nylon strings I think it is more important to talk in terms of wood density. Mango definitely fits the bill in this catagory; and, if you can find the right piece of wood, the appearance can be spectacular. Possibly, for these reasons, mango wood is becoming increasingly expensive and hard to find.
The Mango Wood in this Spalted Mango Concert Ukulele is all from the same billet of wood. You can see how the look varies radically in one piece of this wood. This particular piece of wood was originally abouty six feet tall by five inches wide and one and one-quarter of an inch thick. With such a variety of appearances in one pice of wood making a match can be difficult. I particularly like the marbly sides and the dark “chevron” on the lower bout–definitely one-of-a-kind.
This ukulele is accented with Vanuatu Maidou Burl and India Rosewood binding. The purfling is blue Paua Abalone. The finger board and bridge are Macassar ebony. The neck is Honduran Mahogany with a carbon fiber truss rod. The tuners are Gotoh Planetary 4:1.
The client specifically asked for D’Addario Nyltek “tenor” strings, high “G”. I use tenor strings on most of my concert builds and find that they add a touch of depth to the tonal quality of the instrument for a big sound in a small instrument. Go Mango!