From the beginning of music stores, the main thing that we provide is a place for people to hear, see, feel and acquire musical instruments. Ideally salesman are knowledgeable musicians that can show the potential or at least basic tones to those getting into it or share their experiences and of course the newest toys coming out to their fellow musicians/ gear enthusiast.
The difference in our market now? Not much except that we can service the world thanks to the advent of the Internet. We aim to provide the best ukulele shopping experience online. Right now I want to explain one aspect of this: our video sound samples.
So the question is: “Can you really hear the true and often subtle tonal differences on your desktop, laptop iPad, phone device etc., with a really accurate, unaltered (i.e., “dry”) recording?” I’d say…no.
I do think you can hear many aspects of the instrument. But often our customers are trying to listen beyond the music and get true comparisons. Well our video samples can provide these details, but it requires quality reference monitors or headphones made for mixing (not for enhancing). If you don’t have this tool, then do your musical inspiration a favor and get one. You’ll enjoy the energy of your favorite players and albums, and for those too far away to visit the store, it will allow our resources for comparing sounds to be beneficial, especially with our “listening booth” style videos like this one.
As real as there are differences, there is the reality that some instruments, even made with different woods, can be very similar. I get asked regularly about these three models/woods and how they compare. These are all the same brand, size, batch, finish, strings and made with woods of similar density. Bottom line is, the Pono Acacia (AT), Mahogany (MT) and Mango (MGT), tenors are not so different. Just for perspective on that, the lbs/ft specific gravity for spruce is around 25-30. Macassar ebony 65-70. Those are quite different. But Mango, Mahogany, and Acacia are all within 38-42 lbs/ft. Those are averages. Wood is only one factor in tone. Builder’s methods, player’s style, strings and ukulele size also factor in.