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View Full Version : Side sound port: Does it improve the overall sound/tone of a uke?



Andy Chen
09-29-2015, 05:44 PM
Or does the feature mostly serve as a "personal feedback monitor" to the player?

Camsuke
09-29-2015, 05:50 PM
They really do look the business, but.... for me.... I don't think they do too much for the overall sound or personal feedback.

Ukulele Eddie
09-29-2015, 05:51 PM
I have one on 2 of my 4 actively played ukes. To me, it's a nice personal monitor without noticeably impacting sound negatively. I suspect it might "cost" something in terms of volume, but both my ukes with it have plenty of volume according to people listening (vs. my being falsely led to believe so due to enhanced personal sound from the "monitor" effect).

I wouldn't not buy a uke because it didn't have one, but I would always elect to have it given the choice.

E

Andy Chen
09-29-2015, 05:51 PM
Thanks, Campbell. I asked because I am trying to keep down the cost of my Hive Hornet. The side sound port costs an extra $150 and I could use the money for a Mi-Si pick-up instead.

NewKid
09-29-2015, 06:05 PM
I have side sound ports on my Kinnard baritone and Boat Paddle ML tenor. I would not miss them if they weren't there and will never order a side sound port again.

One reason is that I no longer play in groups so I can hear my instruments just fine when playing solo. The side sound port wouldn't discourage me from buying a uke already made with one - like a Compass Rose.

For the same reason, mainly playing for my own pleasure, I pass on pick-ups as well.

Andy Chen
09-29-2015, 06:10 PM
Thanks, Eddie and NK.

hawaii 50
09-29-2015, 06:18 PM
Thanks, Campbell. I asked because I am trying to keep down the cost of my Hive Hornet. The side sound port costs an extra $150 and I could use the money for a Mi-Si pick-up instead.

I would pay extra for the SSP...pretty sure almost all of Jake's ukes(from his CR days too) have it....$150.00 a good price for it...but I guess if you play the uke plugged in all the time might not need it....

wickedwahine11
09-29-2015, 06:24 PM
Both of my ukes have side sound ports. I don't know about improving sound quality like you asked, but they greatly increase my enjoyment of my ukes. I have partial hearing loss in my right ear and they direct the sound up at me. It is all personal preference but I would choose the side sound port. You can always add a pickup later, a side sound port though, should probably be done during the build.

fretie
09-29-2015, 06:35 PM
I played a couple of ukes with side sound ports this summer while I was taking the uke building course on Oahu. I was quite impressed with how well the ssp projected sound up to me. If I had had the time I would've added a ssp to the uke I was building at the course.

mm stan
09-29-2015, 06:43 PM
For those who have or tested the difference as to side sound ports, play the uke with a side
Soundport open and closed then decide, many other factors come into play between different
Builds and luthiers. 150 aint too much considering how much your spending on a custom ukulele
I say get one.

perep
09-29-2015, 06:58 PM
YES I have 5 UKES with side ports or holes facing up at me. Have 55 UKES so far & I can tell you with authority that they DO WORK, sound I play comes right up at me, so much more enjoyment when I play yhem. They are all 5 custom for me using KOA from Big Island & local luthier in Salem, Oregon that slices them . What a joy to pick out the boards on the Island, bring them back & choose the figure on top & bottom of them all. He has made 12 so far & I have enough KOA for several more until my next trip in April for more. DO THE SIDE PORTS.
HI to Wickedwahine11 out there

Andy Chen
09-29-2015, 07:18 PM
Hi everyone, thanks for your comments.

Seems to be a pretty resounding thumbs-up for the side port, which is a good thing since Jake says my build has started with provisions for one.

Hikina
09-29-2015, 08:26 PM
I've got two tenors with side ports and 4 without, hoping for delivery of a new Little River long neck tenor tomorrow, I ordered it without the side port I just don't really notice that much difference. They do look cool though and might improve resale

Brian1
09-29-2015, 08:52 PM
I thought that was a cup holder:D... I don't know if they make a difference in the quality of sound however, most people I know who play a ukulele with a sound port do say it sounds louder, some say they are not only louder to the player but make the uke louder all together but I don't know if is because of the port or because many of them have more surface area on the top because of a smaller or offset sound hole.

Rakelele
09-29-2015, 09:26 PM
If the option is available, I'd always go for a side sound port. Not only do they enhance what the player hears, but I think they may add to the overall sound (think Stereo). However, a nicely built instrument will also sound great without one.

hollisdwyer
09-29-2015, 10:12 PM
I have never heard a Luthier say the SSP enhances the sound of an instrument, only that it lets the player get better feedback.
Andy, you know I love them and have included one in all my commissions since getting one on my Boat Paddle ML. But that is neither here nor there as a few commenters have mentioned, such as no longer playing in a group and therefore they can hear what their playing well or playing the uke most of the time through an amp so no need for it there either. When I play with the group, I really can tell the difference, say between my BP with a sound port and my MM without a sound port. IMO, even when I play at home I still prefer the SSP, but that is only my opinion.

I recognise your conundrum though, adding all those nice optional extras can quickly double the cost. I'm facing the same challenge with my up coming Beau Hannam Players model. I have added so many extras and want to add a few more before Beau starts, I feel I might as well go all in and just order his next price level instrument. You only live once and I can afford to go on a diet and not eat for a month or two. That's one strategy for getting slimmer and owning a better instrument at the same time. lol

Andy Chen
09-30-2015, 12:34 AM
I have never heard a Luthier say the SSP enhances the sound of an instrument, only that it lets the player get better feedback.
Andy, you know I love them and have included one in all my commissions since getting one on my Boat Paddle ML. But that is neither here nor there as a few commenters have mentioned, such as no longer playing in a group and therefore they can hear what their playing well or playing the uke most of the time through an amp so no need for it there either. When I play with the group, I really can tell the difference, say between my BP with a sound port and my MM without a sound port. IMO, even when I play at home I still prefer the SSP, but that is only my opinion.

I recognise your conundrum though, adding all those nice optional extras can quickly double the cost. I'm facing the same challenge with my up coming Beau Hannam Players model. I have added so many extras and want to add a few more before Beau starts, I feel I might as well go all in and just order his next price level instrument. You only live once and I can afford to go on a diet and not eat for a month or two. That's one strategy for getting slimmer and owning a better instrument at the same time. lol

You've got that right: $150 in the context of a $3,500 instrument may not seem like a lot, but it all adds up.Sigh...

Andy Chen
09-30-2015, 12:39 AM
Some have observed that a side port seems to "open" up the tone, and I think I can understand why this is said: It's like Rakelele: Perhaps the side port has a stereo effect.

tangimango
09-30-2015, 01:46 AM
one thing for sure gives the player better hearing.
better sound? maybe because depending the size of the hole and placement can damper the G and C string to help balance a over powering C.

stevejfc
09-30-2015, 04:29 AM
On my MBU I have an off-set main port and a ssp. Together they seem to boost up the volume in an all Koa instrument, while keeping that warm/mellow Koa tone. I also find that I can hear my playing more clearly in a group setting.

PhilUSAFRet
09-30-2015, 04:45 AM
My hearing isn't what it used to be. I would only consider a personal sound hole in my primary practice uke so I could hear the subtleties of what I am playing (can't necessarily do that with 1 traditional sound hole.) I'm wondering if placing the sound hole in the upper quadrant instead of the traditional location would be the best of both approaches???

Recstar24
09-30-2015, 05:00 AM
I have one on 2 of my 4 actively played ukes. To me, it's a nice personal monitor without noticeably impacting sound negatively. I suspect it might "cost" something in terms of volume, but both my ukes with it have plenty of volume according to people listening (vs. my being falsely led to believe so due to enhanced personal sound from the "monitor" effect).

I wouldn't not buy a uke because it didn't have one, but I would always elect to have it given the choice.

E

I concur. That's how I feel with my hoffmann. Plenty of stock volume to spare if any, that is for sure.

I would take the option again on a future custom if available, if not, I would be fine with that too.

wickedwahine11
09-30-2015, 05:29 AM
My hearing isn't what it used to be. I would only consider a personal sound hole in my primary practice uke so I could hear the subtleties of what I am playing (can't necessarily do that with 1 traditional sound hole.) I'm wondering if placing the sound hole in the upper quadrant instead of the traditional location would be the best of both approaches???

That definitely helps too...I have heard that allows the soundboard to vibrate more. Both of my ukes have side sound ports, but one of them has an offset soundhole. It is noticeably louder (and actually a tad better in tone) than the other one. There are always variants (could be the slotted headstock, could be the different piece of wood). I'm no luthier so I have no idea. But based upon a comparison of just my two instruments, the side soundport and offset soundhole are wonderful additions to an instrument, IMHO.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
09-30-2015, 08:33 AM
Side sound ports...
1- Raise the pitch of the body's air resonance. (illustrated in the video below)
~ The smaller the sound hole (the normal one) the lower the air resonance is.
~ The larger, the more higher the air resonance is

2- Don't add more actual volume to the instrument, but they do add perceived volume (to the player).
~Said again, it IS louder for the player, but the entire sum of volume isn't added to.

3- Don't contribute to overall instruments tone (to the listener) in any significant way.
~ Said again, ukes with side sound ports don't sound better then ukes without them if you were listening to both in the audience or on an album.

Below is a video to show you all one effect of a side sound port.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSIIv7vK1Eo

70sSanO
09-30-2015, 08:35 AM
I'm no luthier either, but I would think the correct size and placement of a side sound port has to be engineered into the design and not just cut into the side for more volume.

The ukulele that I have had the longest only has a side port. The person who made the instrument specifically designed it so that the maximum amount of sound could be generated using the entire soundboard and the overall projection would be greater than one with a traditional forward sound hole. I can't say whether that theory holds true in practice, but the uke projects good volume towards the listener. The tone actually sounds better, less harsh, when I listen to someone playing the uke than what I hear when I am playing. I have two other sound port only ukuleles and one is really loud.

In reading a few threads on this over the years, here and guitar forums, and I think the conclusion is that adding a side port improves sound unless there is too much open area. I know that there are sound hole dimension criteria. I'm sure there is a science behind what portion of the soundboard generates what tones and how that energy is stored up in the sound box before it is sent out on its merry way. There are just too many high end instruments with side sound ports to merely place them therefor player convenience at the risk of any tonal compromises.

John

EDIT ADDED: I wrote this before the prior post.

hawaii 50
09-30-2015, 08:53 AM
Getting back to Jake's ukes(Hive Ukulele).....I am pretty sure he kind of knows where the side sound port should be....he has built over 400 ukes so I would trust his building....pretty sure he has the experience.....I know not all of his ukes have a SSP so I would ask him his opinion....:)

I have played 3-4 Hive ukes and they sound very nice...and the SSP does help IMO

Nickie
09-30-2015, 10:14 AM
I would opt for one if the uke is quiet. You DON'T have to have it done during the build. My luthier added mine one a completed uke, for $20.
It made the uke throw a lot of sound up at my face.
$150 is ridiculous, and a plain ripoff.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
09-30-2015, 10:55 AM
I would opt for one if the uke is quiet. You DON'T have to have it done during the build. My luthier added mine one a completed uke, for $20.
It made the uke throw a lot of sound up at my face.
$150 is ridiculous, and a plain ripoff.

Enjoy your sides cracking if they are solid wood.

Side sound ports need to be reinforced with some backing material, this CAN be done after it is all built, but i wouldn't do it.

Don't think of a side sound port as simply a hole which we drill out then that's it.

hawaii 50
09-30-2015, 11:07 AM
I would opt for one if the uke is quiet. You DON'T have to have it done during the build. My luthier added mine one a completed uke, for $20.
It made the uke throw a lot of sound up at my face.
$150 is ridiculous, and a plain ripoff.


who is your builder and he always does it once the uke is completed?

mds725
09-30-2015, 12:23 PM
I would opt for one if the uke is quiet. You DON'T have to have it done during the build. My luthier added mine one a completed uke, for $20.
It made the uke throw a lot of sound up at my face.
$150 is ridiculous, and a plain ripoff.

I have met (personally or in cyberspace) a number of luthiers, and without exception, the luthiers I have met are decent and honest people who are passionate about what they do. I have also taken an ukulele building/assembling class with luthier Rick Turner, so I've had some experience with the difficulty of building some of the parts for, and putting together the parts of, an ukulele.

I don't know anything about you and so I assume the best, and I don't know anything about your luthier, the uke he added a soundport to, and what work he actually did to create a soundport for you. I also think it's okay for you to not prefer a side soundport. Different strokes. Custom builders don't need to be defended by the likes of me, but I was bothered by your statement that $150 for a soundhole is a "plain ripoff." Building a soundport isn't just knocking a hole in a piece of wood. From my experience building my own ukulele, even with some of the body parts pre-cut, I have no doubt that $150 for a soundport is a bargain, given the work that goes into doing it right and given the innumerable hours of work that goes into developing the expertise to do it right.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
09-30-2015, 12:36 PM
83960

This is inside of one of my sound ports, reinforced with two bits of veneer, the one you see is BRW.
It takes a while to do this. It also takes a while to bind with purfling a sound port....an oval that has 3 directions for the wood to bend. Try getting a perfect fit.

It ain't a hole... any dim wit can cut a hole.

70sSanO
09-30-2015, 12:41 PM
I found the youtube on the $20 sound port...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnJT-20YbV0

John

Recstar24
09-30-2015, 01:19 PM
i found the youtube on the $20 sound port...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enjt-20ybv0

john

that is awesome. Me do on my mya-moe

Andy Chen
09-30-2015, 02:53 PM
Btw, I don't think $150 is a ripoff for a SSP. it's some decent amount of work there.

mm stan
09-30-2015, 03:09 PM
Rumor says these work well gang... :rolleyes: :biglaugh:
http://www.customholesaw.com/

hollisdwyer
09-30-2015, 03:15 PM
Rumor says these work well gang... :rolleyes: :biglaugh:
http://www.customholesaw.com/

And if they had oval hole saws to attach to your power drill it would be even easier! Lol.

blue_knight_usa
09-30-2015, 04:25 PM
Ok this is f* hillarious! I thought he was really going to cut a hole until he grabbed his other hole making device!


I found the youtube on the $20 sound port...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnJT-20YbV0

John

stevejfc
09-30-2015, 04:25 PM
I have met (personally or in cyberspace) a number of luthiers, and without exception, the luthiers I have met are decent and honest people who are passionate about what they do. I have also taken an ukulele building/assembling class with luthier Rick Turner, so I've had some experience with the difficulty of building some of the parts for, and putting together the parts of, an ukulele.

I don't know anything about you and so I assume the best, and I don't know anything about your luthier, the uke he added a soundport to, and what work he actually did to create a soundport for you. I also think it's okay for you to not prefer a side soundport. Different strokes. Custom builders don't need to be defended by the likes of me, but I was bothered by your statement that $150 for a soundhole is a "plain ripoff." Building a soundport isn't just knocking a hole in a piece of wood. From my experience building my own ukulele, even with some of the body parts pre-cut, I have no doubt that $150 for a soundport is a bargain, given the work that goes into doing it right and given the innumerable hours of work that goes into developing the expertise to do it right.

Well said MDS, well said.

Camsuke
09-30-2015, 06:19 PM
I have met (personally or in cyberspace) a number of luthiers, and without exception, the luthiers I have met are decent and honest people who are passionate about what they do. I have also taken an ukulele building/assembling class with luthier Rick Turner, so I've had some experience with the difficulty of building some of the parts for, and putting together the parts of, an ukulele.

I don't know anything about you and so I assume the best, and I don't know anything about your luthier, the uke he added a soundport to, and what work he actually did to create a soundport for you. I also think it's okay for you to not prefer a side soundport. Different strokes. Custom builders don't need to be defended by the likes of me, but I was bothered by your statement that $150 for a soundhole is a "plain ripoff." Building a soundport isn't just knocking a hole in a piece of wood. From my experience building my own ukulele, even with some of the body parts pre-cut, I have no doubt that $150 for a soundport is a bargain, given the work that goes into doing it right and given the innumerable hours of work that goes into developing the expertise to do it right.

Surely you know enough about Nickie to know that she is a lovely person and always contributes to UU in a positive way. Not all here have your knowledge about such things.

hawaii 50
09-30-2015, 06:28 PM
Surely you know enough about Nickie to know that she is a lovely person and always contributes to UU in a positive way. Not all here have your knowledge about such things.

that is what I thought too...but I have many ukes with a SSP and i know many builders that use the SSP...so being called "a plain ripoff: was a surprising choice of words....did not go well over with me(a buyer) and Beau(a builder) but that is only me....I don't know what Nickie does for work but if someone told her her job was ripoff she would defend herself too....

no big thing this is a chat room so all kinds of opinions are good....but feelings get hurt sometimes....

but back to the topic..i have played a few 4-5 Hive ukes and I believe the SSP does give the uke a better sound/tone...

Brian1
09-30-2015, 06:36 PM
Rumor says these work well gang... :rolleyes: :biglaugh:
http://www.customholesaw.com/

I've heard that rumor as well:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMX9CQJGvzE
For drilling a hole in a laminate. Its been said it doesn't make a difference to the audience and if you like it go for it imo.
This method seems to be worth about $20.

I guess for an oval you need to use a dremel tool:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rp6R9yCMdww
but I think he said it is finished by gluing in veneer and sanding it down as well.

k0k0peli
09-30-2015, 06:59 PM
I am curious. I seem to recall mention (and maybe pictures) of 'ukes and other instruments with ONLY side ports, no holes in the soundboard. Has anyone here built and/or played such? How do luthiers determine the holes' size(s), soundboard bracing, etc? I envision an 'uke with two ports on opposite sides of the top bout. For left- or right-handed play, sure, but also so the player is not TOO blasted with sound. ;) Do plans and formulae for such exist?

hollisdwyer
09-30-2015, 07:13 PM
I've heard that rumor as well:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMX9CQJGvzE
For drilling a hole in a laminate. Its been said it doesn't make a difference to the audience and if you like it go for it imo.
This method seems to be worth about $20.

I guess for an oval you need to use a dremel tool:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rp6R9yCMdww
but I think he said it is finished by gluing in veneer and sanding it down as well.

Brian, I stand in awe! Both of your courage to do that and your repeated success. Do you think that you would be as successful if the guitar had solid wood sides? I think the laminate might protect the side from splitting.
You should realise that when it comes to wood, I fall somewhere between high and low grade moron. The first gate that I ever made was such a disaster that my wife laughed for a month.
PS. Was that you playing on the soundtrack of the video? If it was, I also stand in awe of your beautiful playing.

mds725
09-30-2015, 08:10 PM
Surely you know enough about Nickie to know that she is a lovely person and always contributes to UU in a positive way. Not all here have your knowledge about such things.

I know. I've seen her recent post about playing ukulele for sick children and I am familiar with many of her other posts. I tried to make it clear that I was bothered only by the statement that $150 for a side sound port was a "plain ripoff," and not by her as a person. Good people sometimes say bothersome things and I think it's important, when calling a good person (or any person, really) on something bothersome that he or she said, to address the comment without attacking the person. That's what I tried to do. To the extent that I failed, I apologize.

Brian1
09-30-2015, 09:02 PM
Brian, I stand in awe! Both of your courage to do that and your repeated success. Do you think that you would be as successful if the guitar had solid wood sides? I think the laminate might protect the side from splitting.
You should realise that when it comes to wood, I fall somewhere between high and low grade moron. The first gate that I ever made was such a disaster that my wife laughed for a month.
PS. Was that you playing on the soundtrack of the video? If it was, I also stand in awe of your beautiful playing.

I hope I did not misrepresent myself. Although I am now an official member of the local guitar building club (and have a 10% discount at the expensive wood store) I have not built or modified the body of any musical instrument (I joined to learn more about repairs and so I don't do any damage). That is not me on the video and not me playing. I only know about splitting solid wood sides from this thread. I have seen some electronics put into guitars and ukes without splitting the sides and there does not appear to be much finishing on the holes for the electronics but I defer to those who get a 20% discount at the fancy wood store to answer that question. :)

I can ask the guys at the club tomorrow if they have any issue with splitting sides if you like.

70sSanO
10-01-2015, 05:24 AM
I am curious. I seem to recall mention (and maybe pictures) of 'ukes and other instruments with ONLY side ports, no holes in the soundboard. Has anyone here built and/or played such? How do luthiers determine the holes' size(s), soundboard bracing, etc? I envision an 'uke with two ports on opposite sides of the top bout. For left- or right-handed play, sure, but also so the player is not TOO blasted with sound. ;) Do plans and formulae for such exist?

I have a couple of them. Obviously they are a lot louder for the player. But they do not blast.

83972

83973

The ASD Koa tenor is interesting in that the sound from a listeners perspective is not as harsh/bright and sounds nicer. Keith Ogata has a write-up on his website how he came up with the design. Excuse the saddles as that was during one of my experimental stages.

The poplar Fred Shields concert actually sounds nice, especially for Home Depot pallet "tone" wood. It is loud, and not just to the player. I think the fluke shape helps with directing the sound towards the side port. My wife an I just got a couple of 3-string paddle shape concerts with only side ports.

As you can tell, I pretty much run a little off-the-beaten path.

John

k0k0peli
10-01-2015, 08:20 AM
@70sSanO, all those 3- and 4-string SSP 'ukes look fascinating. I'd like to try building some when I get my workshop together. Do you have a link to Keith Ogata's website and that writeup? I can't seem to find that. I did gargle-up ukulele side sound port development https://www.google.com/search?q=ukulele+side+sound+port+development and I found:

Side Located Soundholes and Ports-Theory and Execution: http://handmadeguitars.tripod.com/soundholearticle.html

The Holey Grail - Why leading guitar makers are rethinking traditional soundhole designs: http://www.tejagerken.com/Article_Folder/soundholes.html

Steveperrywriter
10-01-2015, 10:13 AM
Mark Roberts makes several that feature side-only sound ports. Check it out:

http://youtu.be/kgQEyy-dZxY

70sSanO
10-01-2015, 10:22 AM
Here is the site...

http://www.asdhawaii.com/index.htm

I haven't talked to Keith in a number of years and I don't even know if he is still making any instruments. His website hasn't been updated since I bought the PD-1 in 2010 that is still on the site as sold.

John

70sSanO
10-01-2015, 10:47 AM
Mark Roberts makes several that feature side-only sound ports. Check it out:

http://youtu.be/kgQEyy-dZxY

Interesting sound, not sure how to describe it, but it almost seems far away and it is pretty thin sounding at times. Not sure if that is a result of the sound port or because it is a carved archtop model with a cantilever (floating) fretboard.

It reminds me of a Batson guitar.

I know this sounds funny, but I think there is a possibility that a ukulele (and maybe a guitar) can have too much sustain to where the prior played notes can't get out of the way of the next wave of sound until there is this mix of clarity and a drone of overtones. I probably didn't say that right. A couple of years ago I added armrests to my tenor ukuleles because I was concerned about perspiration on the soundboard. In addition to also being a little more comfortable, it did increase the sustain which is good for one of the ukes, but not always so good for the other depending on the strings and the playing.

John

k0k0peli
10-01-2015, 03:58 PM
Here is the site...

http://www.asdhawaii.com/index.htm Aha! I had found the site but I had not scrolled down as far as the FAQ. Thanks!

hollisdwyer
10-01-2015, 05:18 PM
Interesting sound, not sure how to describe it, but it almost seems far away and it is pretty thin sounding at times.,,,,

John

Sound recorded at a distance from the subject and with, most likely, an omnidirectional microphone, will always sound thin and far away. One of the most important 'secrets' to getting a good recording is close microphone placement and using a mic that has a pickup pattern that favours the sound coming from the subjects direction.

Andy Chen
10-01-2015, 05:43 PM
My Boat Paddle custom A tenor also has only sideports.

JasonTLC
10-01-2015, 05:53 PM
Andy, suppose to be your last uke right? Just get the side port!

Can't wait to go over and take a look... :)

Steveperrywriter
10-01-2015, 08:45 PM
Interesting sound, not sure how to describe it, but it almost seems far away and it is pretty thin sounding at times. Not sure if that is a result of the sound port or because it is a carved archtop model with a cantilever (floating) fretboard.

It reminds me of a Batson guitar.

I know this sounds funny, but I think there is a possibility that a ukulele (and maybe a guitar) can have too much sustain to where the prior played notes can't get out of the way of the next wave of sound until there is this mix of clarity and a drone of overtones. I probably didn't say that right. A couple of years ago I added armrests to my tenor ukuleles because I was concerned about perspiration on the soundboard. In addition to also being a little more comfortable, it did increase the sustain which is good for one of the ukes, but not always so good for the other depending on the strings and the playing.

John

Well, part of it is that I recorded (Travis Stine) using my iPhone ...

Andy Chen
10-01-2015, 09:00 PM
Andy, suppose to be your last uke right? Just get the side port!

Can't wait to go over and take a look... :)

Okay, fine. Let's just pile it on!

70sSanO
10-02-2015, 05:43 AM
Well, part of it is that I recorded (Travis Stine) using my iPhone ...

I understand and probably should not have critiqued the quality of the sound based a poor recording.

I guess you can blame HMS for that.

John

gyosh
10-02-2015, 06:27 AM
Thanks, Campbell. I asked because I am trying to keep down the cost of my Hive Hornet. The side sound port costs an extra $150 and I could use the money for a Mi-Si pick-up instead.

You know. You're spending the money to get a Hive.

Spend a little more to get exactly what you want now because you can't undo a custom later. The money? You'll find a way.

You're getting the absolute best sounding uke out there IMO from one of, if not the best builder.

::jealous::

Nickie
10-02-2015, 06:29 AM
Enjoy your sides cracking if they are solid wood.

Side sound ports need to be reinforced with some backing material, this CAN be done after it is all built, but i wouldn't do it.

Don't think of a side sound port as simply a hole which we drill out then that's it.

Beau, it was an inexpensive laminate. I wouldn't have just told him to do it on my solid mahogany, and I doubt if Charlie would have tried it without bracing. My apologies, I should have explained it better.

Nickie
10-02-2015, 06:32 AM
who is your builder and he always does it once the uke is completed?

Charlie Jirousek, of Arrowhead Music.
I don't have an answer for that, but it worked great on my laminate Kala.
Maybe I got lucky....
Charlie is very very good at repairs. He's built lots of twelve string guitars, and some ukes, but not for me....yet.

Recstar24
10-02-2015, 06:33 AM
You know. You're spending the money to get a Hive.

Spend a little more to get exactly what you want now because you can't undo a custom later. The money? You'll find a way.

You're getting the absolute best sounding uke out there IMO from one of, if not the best builder.

::jealous::

This was basically my thought process going into my custom Hoffmann. For the foreseeable future, my Hoffmann represented to me what should be my most expensive instrument purchase for a very long time, and I went ahead and got all the things I wanted now that I could afford. I remember thinking along the process, "wow, these options are starting to escalate cost a bit," but I knew they would create the instrument that I truly wanted to enjoy for a very long time.

As of now, I see my Hoffmann as a long-term, life-loving instrument. So essentially, I am taking the cost of it, and amortizing the cost of it for at least 20 years or so in my head as justification, and thinking of it in that way, it seems reasonable :) I had the funds at the time, no pressing needs financially anywhere else, and ran with it!

Nickie
10-02-2015, 06:36 AM
I found the youtube on the $20 sound port...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnJT-20YbV0

John

Ha ha John, that was funny. I'm sure that's not what my luthier did, LOL!

70sSanO
10-02-2015, 06:42 AM
Ha ha John, that was funny. I'm sure that's not what my luthier did, LOL!

Nickie...

Thanks. After I posted it I was a little concerned that you might think it was personal on your luthier.

I was actually looking at how a side port could be added and it surprised me as much as anyone; and thought it might be worth a laugh.

I'm glad you liked it an congrats on your successful side ports.

John

Nickie
10-02-2015, 06:45 AM
that is what I thought too...but I have many ukes with a SSP and i know many builders that use the SSP...so being called "a plain ripoff: was a surprising choice of words....did not go well over with me(a buyer) and Beau(a builder) but that is only me....I don't know what Nickie does for work but if someone told her her job was ripoff she would defend herself too....


no big thing this is a chat room so all kinds of opinions are good....but feelings get hurt sometimes....

but back to the topic..i have played a few 4-5 Hive ukes and I believe the SSP does give the uke a better sound/tone...

hawaii, I work as a hospice nurse. I will tell you that I believe that American medicine is a rip-off, a lot of the time, especially chemotherapy, but sometimes that even works, like my $20 soundhole does. I hold people's hands as they die, and give them comfort meds, but I know that's not the best way to die. I'm not even offended anymore if people call me the "angel of death." I shrug it off.
I apologize for calling a $150 soundhole a ripoff, but it sure sounds steep. But then all custom ukes sound expensive to me, I'm just an LPN (Low Paid Nurse) living paycheck to paycheck.

hollisdwyer
10-02-2015, 06:54 AM
This was basically my thought process going into my custom Hoffmann. For the foreseeable future, my Hoffmann represented to me what should be my most expensive instrument purchase for a very long time, and I went ahead and got all the things I wanted now that I could afford. I remember thinking along the process, "wow, these options are starting to escalate cost a bit," but I knew they would create the instrument that I truly wanted to enjoy for a very long time.

As of now, I see my Hoffmann as a long-term, life-loving instrument. So essentially, I am taking the cost of it, and amortizing the cost of it for at least 20 years or so in my head as justification, and thinking of it in that way, it seems reasonable :) I had the funds at the time, no pressing needs financially anywhere else, and ran with it!

I agree with your thinking 100% Ryan. When you compare the short term pain to the long term gain (which you describe well), there is no other way to go once you have made the purchase decision to commission a custom. After spending that much money the last thing you want is buyers remorse every time you open the case.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
10-02-2015, 07:13 AM
$150 is ridiculous, and a plain ripoff.

Ouch!
As with everything in the ukulele world there are varying degrees of quality. On a $100 uke a repair person might spend 10 minutes and punch in a $20 side sound port for a customer. (Honestly, I wouldn't do it at all after the fact.) It'll look like a $20 SSP and will match the quality of the uke and the customer will be happy. More is expected of a custom builder though and he/she will spend much more time on installing a SSP than that which can be had for $20. At a minimum, all SSPs need to be reinforced from the inside. The better ones may be bound. And better yet, they may have purling to match the rest of the uke. All of this takes time and will be charged at the same hourly rate that the builder's shop requires to stay in business.

Rllink
10-02-2015, 07:17 AM
It is always interesting how much reality is based on perception.

k0k0peli
10-02-2015, 08:05 PM
It is always interesting how much reality is based on perception. Reality is whatever bites your butt, i.e. if it affects you, it's real, and if it doesn't, it's irrelevant. If you perceive that your butt has been bitten, whether or not it actually has, then you feel something. If you think a change makes a difference then it does -- for you anyway. My mileage may vary.

But that's a philosophical point. I'm interested by some SSP implications. Seems to me that for a sideport-only instrument, 1) body shape is not critical, hence the fluke-shaped SSP 'ukes; 2) laminated sides rather than solid would better support the SSP(s) and need less reinforcement; and 3) the most flexible soundboard possible would be desired. Would top bracing be lighter than the back? Could they both be lighter?

And I wonder if an SSP-only axe does better with one SSP (and how does its size affect the body's resonant frequency?) or with an arrangement of smaller ports scattered over the side(s). Dang, wish I had some simple-to-use acoustic modeling software!

geetee
10-02-2015, 09:08 PM
I've got a Rebel ukulele that has four SSPs. It sounds good to me. In fact it sounds four times better than it would without them ... maybe.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=84003&d=1443850835

hawaii 50
10-02-2015, 10:09 PM
who will be the first to do the Kevin Ryan Bevel Flutes(wow)....looks cool might work only on guitars....:)

http://www.ryanguitars.com/Innovations/KRG-Innovations-BevelFlutes.html

mds725
10-02-2015, 10:47 PM
who will be the first to do the Kevin Ryan Bevel Flutes(wow)....looks cool might work only on guitars....:)

http://www.ryanguitars.com/Innovations/KRG-Innovations-BevelFlutes.html

Side sound ports IN the bevel!

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=84004&d=1443858408

Andy Chen
10-03-2015, 01:27 AM
You know. You're spending the money to get a Hive.

Spend a little more to get exactly what you want now because you can't undo a custom later. The money? You'll find a way.

You're getting the absolute best sounding uke out there IMO from one of, if not the best builder.

::jealous::

Thanks, I'm really looking forward to it.

Dan Uke
10-03-2015, 04:12 AM
getting more response and self gratification to the player is worth it IMO.

geetee
10-03-2015, 01:31 PM
The side sound bevel mounted flutes in the in the Kevin Ryan guitar pictured above are a $900 option. He has two guitars with the flutes available for sale. One is $14,555, the other $27,000.

The Hive with a side sound port is a relatively good deal. This is another thumbs up for the SSP on your new Hive, especially since you say the build has started.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
10-03-2015, 02:16 PM
Side sound ports IN the bevel!

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=84004&d=1443858408

I've got an order for a guitar with this bevel sidesound port config

rappsy
10-03-2015, 04:04 PM
that is awesome. Me do on my mya-moe

Excellent Ryan. Well said.! :agree:

NatalieS
10-03-2015, 05:33 PM
getting more response and self gratification to the player is worth it IMO.

I totally agree. The majority of the time that I play is just for myself, so why not get the best sound experience possible, rather than projecting it all away from the only person who's listening? Haha.

mds725
10-03-2015, 09:16 PM
I've got an order for a guitar with this bevel sidesound port config

I'm curious, Beau. Do you think a side (or bevel) sound port (or ports) in the lower bout have a different effect on an instrument than a side sound port in the upper bout?

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
10-04-2015, 01:32 PM
I'm curious, Beau. Do you think a side (or bevel) sound port (or ports) in the lower bout have a different effect on an instrument than a side sound port in the upper bout?

Not sure- ive heard people say both- that they do and don't.

One thing I do know through logic is that it doesn't make such a difference as to turn a great instrument bad, or bad instrument great.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
10-04-2015, 03:06 PM
Mark, I've installed side sound ports in the upper bout, in the lower bouts and even both, upper and lower bouts. Doesn't seem to matter where it is but if installed in the lower bout can get covered up with your arm. The flutes in Kevin's guitars are awesome but I see that as Kevin's thing.

Recstar24
10-04-2015, 04:36 PM
http://mapleleafmusic.com/shop/ukuleles/wolfsong-yahoo-concert-ukulele-01814

Can someone explain the positioning of the sound port on the other side of the upper bout?

geetee
10-04-2015, 06:20 PM
Product description says the instrument is a lefty. So, made for the left-handed player, the port will direct the sound up when played by someone of the sinistral persuasion.

mds725
10-04-2015, 07:22 PM
Not sure- ive heard people say both- that they do and don't.

One thing I do know through logic is that it doesn't make such a difference as to turn a great instrument bad, or bad instrument great.


Mark, I've installed side sound ports in the upper bout, in the lower bouts and even both, upper and lower bouts. Doesn't seem to matter where it is but if installed in the lower bout can get covered up with your arm. The flutes in Kevin's guitars are awesome but I see that as Kevin's thing.


Thanks, Beau and Chuck. The bevel flute looks amazing, but it's not my personal taste and I think that if I had an ukulele with one, I'd spend a lot of my time trying to find another place for my strumming arm. And as a former quasi-artist, I understand the whole notion of developing a "signature" look (my penguins look a little like parrots because, at the time, nobody else was drawing penguins that looked a little like parrots). I was mostly wondering whether a hole in the lower bout affects the lower bout's contribution to the instrument's sound, but it sounds like it doesn't. I probably should have paid better attention in my physics classes.

Rick Turner
10-18-2015, 07:04 PM
The one luthier who has done relatively scientific tests of side port vs. no side port in guitars is Alan Carruth. His findings reflect more casual listening tests, that is some benefit to the player, no loss to the listeners. Yes, it will change the Helmholz air resonance some by raising the pitch unless you make the total area of soundholes smaller, but it doesn't seem to have quite as dramatic an effect as making a primary-only sound hole larger or smaller.

We now don't even make Compass Rose ukes or guitar without a side port unless it's custom ordered that way, no up-charge, it's part of the regular build. We back the area with a cross banding of maple veneer to prevent cracks along the grain. I have added side ports to some existing instruments, and there I just add spruce braces on either side of the side port. I did this on the guitar I'd built for Henry Kaiser to take to Antarctica, and all went well, and Henry really liked the addition of the twin sideports to that guitar. I haven't added a side port to my own "player" koa Compass Rose, and I probably won't; I'm used to how it sounds. But the next one I build for myself will have a port.

hawaii 50
10-18-2015, 07:52 PM
Wow!! a blast from the Past....:)

things have changed here lately Rick..pretty sure your opinions will be good and helpful nowadays..hope to see you around these parts.....

mds725
10-18-2015, 08:10 PM
Hi Rick! Nice to see a post from you!

DownUpDave
10-19-2015, 02:16 AM
Hey Rick, I have a Compass Rose 5 string tenor with a sound port. It was made by Jake when he worked for you, Adirondack spruce top with Cocobolo back and sides. I do enjoy a sound port for my own listening pleasure, I've a couple other ukes with them.

This is about 6 years old and I was wondering if you have made any changes to the size, shape or placement of the sound ports now.

84481