With the release of the Rose which is completely Kouki sao, how does that compare with a kouki topped sao like the the Eclipse or Akatsuki?
Very excellent question, that’s something I should’ve addressed in the video.
Basically, the solid kouki has a bit of a… harder/colder tone? Not meant in a bad way, it’s more favored in the current tsugaru aesthetic. For the Eclipse/Akatsuki, the combination of the (relatively) softer base with the hard kouki fingerboard gives a more balanced tone. The soft wood gives tonal body/depth, and the hard topside gives clarity and sustain.
Thinking of it in an EQ sense, the result is more well developed ‘Mids’, whereas solid kouki shamisen is weighted towards the ‘Highs’. One isn’t better than the other though.