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OneIed
08-08-2016, 05:03 AM
What changes the acoustic volume(projection) of a Uke? Is it wood? Size? Combination of both? I was playing a Mitchell at my local Guitar Center, I dont know what model but it cost 2x as much as my Kala. It was louder but my Kala was easier to play. I can thank HMS setup for that. But I was curious the Mitchell was a concert(I believe) and my Kala is a tenor. I know they are different wood. My Kala is an exotic mahogany. The Mitchell was lighter in color, spruce or maple, maybe I dont really know. Just curious because I have been bitten by the Uke bug and are already looking for my 2nd Uke. Which I will most likely buy from HMS

johnson430
08-08-2016, 05:12 AM
Is your Kala a laminate uke? Laminates will, for the most part, have less projection than a solid wood instrument. Although gloss finish can cause compression in a uke too.

Can you please provide us with the model number of your uke and perhaps the model number of the Mitchell.

Yes, wood, size, build, bracing, strings, et al have a factor in how the uke projects.

strumsilly
08-08-2016, 05:27 AM
I would a say the build is the #1 factor. I have played laminate ukes that have tremendous volume(Islander,Kiwaya) and some solid that were quiet. The louder ones seem to be lightly built , my 2 loudest are my Koaloha and C ollings tenors. Both are gloss.

OneIed
08-08-2016, 05:29 AM
Mine is definitely a laminate with a matte finish. The Mitchell had a gloss finish. Looking at my local GC inventory online it say the Mitchell is a MU100CE. Which makes it a concert. Spec say Koa wood but doesnt mention laminate or not. Mine is a Kala KA-TEM which is a tenor

stevejfc
08-08-2016, 06:07 AM
Wood, bracing, strings, soundhole location, depth of bout to name a few. Where you strum. If you are accustomed to a tenor size, you may strum further from the soundhole on a concert........which affects the volume.

OneIed
08-08-2016, 06:09 AM
Wood, bracing, strings, soundhole location, depth of bout to name a few. Where you strum. If you are accustomed to a tenor size, you may strum further from the soundhole on a concert........which affects the volume.

Strumming further from sound hole will make it louder?

Sorry I guess I never said in my original post that the Mitchell was louder then my Kala. I was curious to what made this so

UkerDanno
08-08-2016, 07:56 AM
Strumming further from sound hole will make it louder?

Sorry I guess I never said in my original post that the Mitchell was louder then my Kala. I was curious to what made this so

your Kala is laminate, the Mitchell, you mention is lighter wood, maybe spruce...solid spruce will most likely be louder than a lower end mahogany laminate.

Croaky Keith
08-08-2016, 08:08 AM
Your KA-TEM, as you say, is laminate mahogany, which will give a rounded, warm kind of sound, but less volume than a solid mahogany.

As the Mitchell is made from Koa, it will sound a lot crisper than mahogany, & will ring out, (as would spruce).
(Specs here - http://mitchellguitars.com/product/mitchell-mu100ce-ukulele/ )

OneIed
08-08-2016, 08:29 AM
Your KA-TEM, as you say, is laminate mahogany, which will give a rounded, warm kind of sound, but less volume than a solid mahogany.

As the Mitchell is made from Koa, it will sound a lot crisper than mahogany, & will ring out, (as would spruce).
(Specs here - http://mitchellguitars.com/product/mitchell-mu100ce-ukulele/ )

So tone wood and solid vs. lam has more to do with it then physical size? Eg. concert vs tenor

johnson430
08-08-2016, 08:36 AM
So tone wood and solid vs. lam has more to do with it then physical size? Eg. concert vs tenor

Yep. And how it was built. Even between solid woods there can be big differences.
For instance, the KoAloha Soprano Pineapple I owned was definitely louder than both my tenor Pono ukes.

PhilUSAFRet
08-08-2016, 09:05 AM
It is the thickness of the finish and not whether it's satin or gloss that affects the sound.

actadh
08-08-2016, 09:55 AM
My loudest uke is my 1940's solid mahogany Silvertone soprano. It is also the lightest weight of my ukuleles.

Michael N.
08-08-2016, 10:15 AM
A light weight solid top will be louder than a heavy one. Determining loudness is no easy thing though. Bright instruments tend to sound louder than those with a more rounded tonality.
In the classical guitar world the Smallman concept is often cited as making for loud instruments. It makes sense. Nylon strings have a fairly limited amount of energy. You need to get the soundboard 'working'. Dense or heavy soundboards struggle in this respect. In theory Spruce should be louder than Koa or mahogany, Spruce is less dense than those medium weight hardwoods. The Smallman concept is a thin membrane like soundboard with the back and sides of the instrument being very rigid, the idea being that all the energy is kept withing the confines of the soundboard. It's sometimes referred to as being an acoustically 'dead' back, as opposed to one that is 'live'. They are extremely heavy instruments because of the treatment given to the back and the sides. The actual soundboard is very light.
Whether you like the tonality of such an instrument is another matter.