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View Full Version : Tone differences between traditional shaped and box uke bodies.



UkAlele
05-01-2015, 12:41 PM
If you have made both types of uke bodies, how would you describe the difference between the sounds made from each shape?

The more I get told, the more I can learn. The more I apply what I've learnt from the community of expert luthiers, then I can use this knowledge to affect change in my uke workshop.

There's just so much to learn about ukes and I've just gone beyond UAS and now get inspired each day by U.B.B. my coined acronym for Ukelele Building Buzz...

If you have read this and replied, I thank you for you time...

Regards

Uk-Al-lele... Luthier in the making... But not quite there yet...

Habanera Hal
05-02-2015, 06:09 AM
Well, I've made a few of both but I can't say that you can compare them realistically. I'm going on the assumption that you are talking about cigar boxes. which are generally smaller in chamber size and limited to usually cedar, plywood, or Masonite-type materials or a combination of those. (BTW - my favorites tend to be Cohiba boxes which are all cedar). Traditional ukes made of any number of tonewoods are more complex in structure and sound. I think that typically box ukes will have less sustain and projection, especially if they are paper covered, but damn they are fun to build! Here's pics of some of my builds:
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ProfChris
05-02-2015, 07:21 AM
I've made my own boxes from standard tonewoods, so comparable to figure 8 ukes. I'd say you get a less complex sound, fewer overtones. Making a box is about as easy as retopping a cigar Bos, plus you can get the size exactly as you want it.

BlackBearUkes
05-02-2015, 03:34 PM
Without going into construction methods and wood selection, etc., the main difference in tone that I have noticed is the traditional figure 8 style is that they don't sound as mellow or full as the box shape you describe. The only box ukes that I have made are cigar box ukes, but the box wood has to be quality wood, not plywood or paper hardboard. The box shape also has the same overall sound as a pineapple shaped uke because of the sound board surface, there is more of that surface than a figure 8 shape, therefore a more mellow sound. The sound hole placement is also important on a box shaped uke. The main thing to remember is to not put the sound hole in the middle of the box. If you do, you are wasting precious plate area that is needed for the best sound. It is much better to use 2 smaller holes, one in each corner of the box rather than one larger hole in the center of the top, unless the box is big or long enough to accomodate the center hole. The only way you will really understand what I am saying is to build and learn.

QUOTE=UkAlele;1689124]If you have made both types of uke bodies, how would you describe the difference between the sounds made from each shape?

The more I get told, the more I can learn. The more I apply what I've learnt from the community of expert luthiers, then I can use this knowledge to affect change in my uke workshop.

There's just so much to learn about ukes and I've just gone beyond UAS and now get inspired each day by U.B.B. my coined acronym for Ukelele Building Buzz...

If you have read this and replied, I thank you for you time...

Regards

Uk-Al-lele... Luthier in the making... But not quite there yet...[/QUOTE]