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View Full Version : Size vs. Sound Quality



No Talent
03-16-2009, 06:12 PM
I have two ukuleles both from the same manufacturer. One is an inexpensive soprano and one is a moderately inexpensive concert. The soprano is all plywood and the concert has a solid wood top. They both have similar GKS strings. The concert has a much fuller tone and sound range. Is this mainly do to the larger sound box or does the construction material have a larger impact on sound quality. Can I get a soprano that sounds as nice as my concert?

SuperSecretBETA
03-17-2009, 07:35 AM
I have two ukuleles both from the same manufacturer. One is an inexpensive soprano and one is a moderately inexpensive concert. The soprano is all plywood and the concert has a solid wood top. They both have similar GKS strings. The concert has a much fuller tone and sound range. Is this mainly do to the larger sound box or does the construction material have a larger impact on sound quality. Can I get a soprano that sounds as nice as my concert?

I hate being vague, but it's a little bit of both (size and construction). You can definitely get a soprano that sounds as rich as your concert, but it may cost more. It's pretty tough to beat the sound of solid wood, but that doesn't mean you can't have great sound with a laminate.

I have a plywood soprano with plastic strings that I won in a contest. It's extremely loud (louder than my solid tenor with fluorocarbon strings), but it's plunky and harsh. My tenor, although quieter than my soprano, has a richer tone.

I would say that construction (materials and quality) matters more than size, but size shouldn't be discounted. With the multitude of factors, it really comes down to (WARNING: more vague answers ahead)...

the individual's ears.

SailQwest
03-17-2009, 08:36 AM
I hate to break this to you but...size matters!

My husband and I both have Bushman Jennys. I love my concert, but his tenor has a bigger, fuller sound because of its larger size.

freedive135
03-17-2009, 09:12 AM
Don't discount what strings will do also...

I just changed out my Kala KA-T (lam) Tenor strings from Pro-Arte's to Aquilla's (both High g) and it was like pushing a mute button.
The Aquilla's are much brighter but ALOT quieter than my Spruce top with Pro-Arte's.

Now my KoAloha Soprano is the LOUDest Uke I have!!!!!

Dibblet
03-19-2009, 07:53 AM
... Can I get a soprano that sounds as nice as my concert?

I think it depends what you call nice. Sopranos sound different from concerts. All other things being equal, the shorter string length in a soprano means less sustain, the smaller body gives it a brighter sound. Whether that's "as nice" or not is a matter of opinion.

scarrabri
03-21-2009, 10:39 PM
Hi ,and yes i think size matters too,there seems to be a much better sound with the larger ukulele,i have a moana soprano ukulele which i love ,but it does remind me of one of them plastic cheap Beatle guitars they used to make in the 60,s, sound wise that is ,best wishes scarrabri:)

Harold O.
03-23-2009, 04:47 PM
Yes to all of the above.

And a change of strings will be noticeable, even on an inexpensive instrument. I just replaced the nylon strings on my ($20) Vineyard CK55 with Aguila. After a couple of days worth of settling in, the sound is much different/better.

Keep in mind also that some songs sound better on a smaller uke. For instance, I prefer my soprano over the tenor on a song like Five Foot Two.

Hard part coming: it's all up to you.