View Full Version : sound board --- what kinda sound is it supposed to make?

12-23-2014, 06:43 AM
** preface: more newb questions

I've seen numerous references to tapping a soundboard before installing to get an idea of what the instrument will sound like. But I haven't found much in the way of video/audio clips of someone doing this to know what to really be looking for, and I don't think thumping a built uke is apples to apples.

I'm trying to rebuild a schoenhut "flake" and the carbon fiber plate I plan to use arrived. Im concerned it may ring too much, and am considering if I need to damp it. I'll try to post a clip later tonight for reference.

Anyone want to post some clips of sound board thumps to help me understand what I should be trying to get to? or is the thump a gimmick?

12-23-2014, 07:27 AM
I was going to ask this exact same question today. I have a bunch of Acacia resawn down to 1/8 in I'm planning on making my first ukulele with. Some clips of just soundboard thumps would be a very us full. This video talks about it a bit at around 27 min but it only has one example and its already fully braced so more examples would be great.

12-23-2014, 08:06 AM
Below is a good clip about guitar soundboard thicknessing. Obviously applies to ukuleles too... This is a tremendously complicated subject and the answer is: There really is no easy answer. It depends. Do your research and good luck and have fun... Oh, and as Pete Howlett(?) stresses: build light rather than heavy.


Just wanted to point out that these are guitar tops in the video which are much thicker than what an ukulele top should be. Ukes can have much thinner tops...

Pete Howlett
12-23-2014, 09:56 AM
Guitar rules, ukulele rules are different. The top on a ukulele is tested by flexing and not tap-tone as is so often erroneously proposed. I haven't read it all but David Hurd conducted extensive research on this topic and at least one leading luthier I know collects deflection data as proposed by Hurd. Me, I can't be bothered. Howlett workshop rules seem to work for me and my clients and as quoted in an earlier thread I posted, I ain't got a clue why they work :)

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
12-23-2014, 11:18 AM
I've never been able to successfully get a good tap tone from the top so I don't bother. It may give you a little bit of a clue as to how the uke will sound but I think uke plates are just too small. Guitars are a different story. You can get a real nice tap tone from a larger plate. As Pete alluded to I go about it differently; deflection testing in which you map out the top and keep notes in the hopes of being able to replicate your successful builds.

12-23-2014, 02:40 PM
Tap tones that I have for reference:
You can see my problem in understanding what it should sound like.


I'm pretty sure the parrot is not what its supposed to sound like ;)
Installed, it sounded horrible.

The CF plate though... do you think it rings too much?

12-24-2014, 10:49 PM
Roger Siminoff.

12-25-2014, 09:54 AM
Roger Siminoff.
Exactly, check out the book by Siminoff called "The Luthier's Handbook"

12-25-2014, 11:49 AM
I believe Chuck Moore, that you don't really get much information tapping a little soundboard like that of an ukulele. But, Char Meyer briefly addresses tap-tone tuning in one of the "Birth of a Mya Moe" videos.