This custom American tenor uke is being built as a wedding anniversary gift. Built with a Sitka spruce top and sapele back and sides that the customer chose via email photos, this American tenor uke has inlaid customizations such as abalone top purfling, abalone rosette and Swallows inlay on the fingerboard.
Top – Sitka spruce
Sitka spruce, picea sitchensis, originates in the Northwest region of the United States. Sitka spruce has been the primary top wood for U.S.A. instruments for many decades. It is strong and light with extended harmonic content, and nearly equals the power of Adirondack. The tone profile is a strong, focused tone with a solid fundamental — perfect for flatpicking styles. Usually takes a slightly longer period of playing time to open up. When compared with Eurpean spruce, Sitka delivers warmer, more fundamental sound, largely free of overtones. It has a straight uniform grain and coloration ranges from white to pink to light brown.
Back/Sides – Sapele
Sapele, entandrophragma cylindricum, originates in tropical Africa. Sapele is similar both visually and tonally to dense mahogany, but both darker and harder, giving it a strong visual presence and a bit more upper harmonic content and low-end clarity. It’s a good choice for many sizes and shapes, and works well for strumming and fingerstyle. Sapele is a highly sustainable, relatively fast-growing wood. The sound is very similar to mahogany, but slightly brighter, with a little extra treble zing and more sparkle and depth. The color is slightly more red in color than mahogany, often features a ribbon figure that runs the direction of the grain.