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Thread: More humidity = louder?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Booli View Post
    I wonder if there was any wine or whiskey involved just prior to these sessions whereby the sound was different from memory....

    It would be easier to blame it on the booze - LOL - than to try and find a scientific reason.
    I agree, Booli, after a few good Irish Whiskies, my ukes sound different and make a lot of mistakes.
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  2. #12
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    I think my instruments used to be much more inconsistent and finicky when I lived in dry and/or mixed climates. Here it's always very humid, even uncomfortably so at times, and the AC is set pretty high and doesn't affect it much. But I can't complain one bit about how my instruments ever sound - this scenario seems to favor them. I even notice when I've purchased one from a drier area that in a week or two as it gets used to Florida, it sounds better to my ears. I can't speak to "loudness" per se, as I'm always more interested in quality of sound over quantity.

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  3. #13
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    Logically, drier would have more "room" to vibrate and should be louder. Imagine a skin drum head and how it sounds when hit, then imagine saturating the head with water, it would be dull and thuddy. Probably too much physics an my background...
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikelz777 View Post
    Well I did get two bottles of bourbon for Christmas........ but I haven't opened either yet.
    Uh, why not? I think you should crack one open, drink some, play some, drink some, etc etc etc.
    I personally hate whisky, but I always sing and play better after a couple of glasses of wine....at least that's what I tell myself.
    Your original question (what was it anyway?)
    Oh yeah, ask the luthiers....
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  5. #15
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    Air humidity is well known to affect sound. The Green Woodpecker is commonly called the rain bird in parts of the UK because the higher humidity before rain causes it's call to carry further and sound louder. So, if you hear the rain bird's call, rain is on its way!

  6. #16
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    I've noticed that higher humidity tends to open up a few of my instruments, especially the ones made in Hawaii, where humidity is quite a bit higher than my area. I think it's more about higher humidity bringing the instrument back closer to the conditions it was designed under, so it resonates as built.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Booli View Post
    I wonder if there was any wine or whiskey involved just prior to these sessions whereby the sound was different from memory....

    It would be easier to blame it on the booze - LOL - than to try and find a scientific reason.
    Well now just because you're always drinking and uking... LOL



    Quote Originally Posted by UkerDanno View Post
    Logically, drier would have more "room" to vibrate and should be louder. Imagine a skin drum head and how it sounds when hit, then imagine saturating the head with water, it would be dull and thuddy. Probably too much physics an my background...
    Good point, seems pretty logical, dry has more crackle and wet equals mushy...
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  8. #18
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    The most likely explanation is that the body has changed shape.

    As humidity increases, wood expands across the grain. So the top and back get a little wider. Top and back are usually domed a little to allow this movement somewhere to go.

    So the top becomes more domed and rises up slightly. The action also rises slightly.

    All this will change the sound - by how much, and whether for good or bad, depends on the instrument and your own definitions of good and bad.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProfChris View Post
    .....As humidity increases, wood expands across the grain. So the top and back get a little wider. Top and back are usually domed a little to allow this movement somewhere to go.....
    Interesting, I always wondered what was the purpose of a domes back on those old Martins.
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