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The Timbre Characteristics of Various Ukulele Woods

The Timbre Characteristics of Various Ukulele Woods

Do you know the timbre characteristics of various ukulele woods? Even studying sound waves won’t factor things like individual playing styles, or even distinctions in the same species of wood. Of course, a sound being good or bad is ultimately decided by the listener, and their bias/illusion could also be noted.

Mahogany (MAHOGANY)

Warm and rich low frequency, the sound performance is very good. All mahogany is amongst the best ukulele tonewoods. At about the same density though, there is a more exotic wood, an alluring island tree vibrant in look and sound.

Mahogany Ukulele


The tone is warm and bright, and the melody is pulsating with the ever-changing vitality. Sapele is a African Redwood with some similarities to African Mahogany. Sapele tone is very similar to Mahogany it has a warm, rich, and wood tone. Sapele is valued because of it’s figuring and stripes that really stand out when finished. Sapele Tonewood goes is a great all-purpose tonewood that works for many different applications.

Sapele Ukulele

Zebra (WOOD)

It has a strong visual impact, bright tone and long sustain. Zebrawood gets it’s name from the contrasting light and dark striping it has. When used in a electric guitar body, it’s tone is similar to maple. It has a nice full sound with darker overtones.

Zebrawood Ukulele

Acacia (KOA)

The tone is warm and heavy, it has a mild sound similar to mahogany, but the high frequency is more prominent than the mahogany. Acacia wood has a high density, so the tone is brighter and the low frequency is weaker. Due to the oiliness of the wood, the high frequency is slightly weakened. In short, the KOA tone is more focused on the intermediate frequency, the high frequency is smooth and strong, and the low frequency is clear but weak. Compared with other woods, the sound of KOA sound is strong, and when playing strongly, the sound quality is sweet.

KOA Ukulele

Spruce (SPRUCE)

The tone is bright and the resonance performance is good. Spruce is a softwood but very strong, crisp, and vibrant. Known for being bright, and loud , yet still full and warm. Spruce excels across the range of frequencies and it’s dynamics are arguably the best.

Spruce Ukulele

Maple (MAPLE)

The texture is beautiful and the sound is bright. Maple is renown for it’s clarity, less overtone clutter strong dynamic ability. Clean and also fat when done right. Maple sides and back are on some of the best sounding ukes you will find. Excellent for recording and often paired with Spruce.

Maple Ukulele

Rosewood (ROSE WOOD)

The tone is sweet, round, treble and transparent, the bass is steady, and the sustain is good. The voice is clear and not turbid, and the finger is preferred.The treble bass has a large drop and the sound is more abundant, suitable for sweeping strings.It is soft in texture, good in elasticity, especially resistant to low frequency, high in medium and high frequency, soft and varied. Some stuffy compared to the mahogany.

Rosewood Ukulele

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