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greatone88
08-12-2016, 09:58 AM
Howdy all,

I purchased a Cordoba 23T-CE in February of 2016. It sounded great and was nice and loud. Fast forward 6 months later and I can hardly hear myself playing it. I was playing with some buddies and they asked me what was wrong, they couldn't hear my Uke very well. I changed the strings to another set of the same exact strings that it came with and that did not help. Any ideas on why my volume has gone down so much ?

Thanks,
Jim

cml
08-12-2016, 11:07 AM
Have you and your friends visited any loud heavy metal concerts lately :rolleyes:?

Barring that, and if a string change didnt help, I'm guessing it's sounding like it's always done but that your ears have been better trained through playing and learning.

Picker Jon
08-12-2016, 11:17 AM
Does the pre-amp battery need changing? Or a problem with your amp, maybe?

Mivo
08-12-2016, 11:24 AM
Perhaps it "opened up" in the wrong direction. ;)

Seriously, though, did you play it in the same places as before? Room acoustics and positioning can make a large differenceto how the sound is experienced. But even when I play in the same room, I have noticed that I perceive the volume of my instruments different on different days. Background noise (e.g. a computer fan) can also have an effect. Climate? Then there's technique - perhaps you play differently now than you used to? Just random guesses. It may well be that the material changed. (Glue having settled, finish properly dried, etc -- more of a question for luthiers when it comes to noticeable short-term changes of an instrument.)

bearbike137
08-12-2016, 11:57 AM
Loose brace or two? Noticed anything when you press along the top or back?

johnson430
08-12-2016, 12:33 PM
Loose brace or two? Noticed anything when you press along the top or back?

This is exactly what I was thinking.

jer
08-12-2016, 01:04 PM
It could be any number of things.
I like Mivo's answer about room acoustics. That's one. I doubt it would be anything with the bracing. Heck, if a top was not braced at all it'd vibrate even more freely and be louder it seems...of course it wouldn't hold up.

Other possibilities:

Did you have the uke setup and got the action lowered in the process? I know we all like our instruments to play easily, but lower action can take away some volume and sustain along with the tension.

Do you live in a very humid area? An instrument that gets a bit too wet can also sound more thuddy or dead. If you're playing outside, it's possible the sound is carrying less in more humid weather.

Change from high G to low G? High G always sounds louder to me. I'm not sure that it actually is, this might just be perceived.

Were you fingernails longer back in February? Strumming with more of a nail than the pads of your fingers or thumb seems to cause the volume to go up some.

Other than those random guesses, I got nothing.

****Edit: I noticed you have another thread going here saying you got a setup AND went to low G....Hmm..If that uke is the one you're talking about here then maybe....

Nickie
08-12-2016, 04:03 PM
jer,
I have to agree. Atleast on one point, for sure. If he lives in a very humid area, more humid than the place of the uke's origin, that would do it. Especially without climate control (AC).

Or maybe, just maybe, he got a set of dud strings.....

johnson430
08-12-2016, 05:05 PM
Heck, if a top was not braced at all it'd vibrate even more freely and be louder it seems...of course it wouldn't hold up.



This statement is false.
If it was a loose brace: It would vibrate less, it will be quieter but it will still "hold up".

jer
08-12-2016, 08:08 PM
This statement is false.
If it was a loose brace: It would vibrate less, it will be quieter but it will still "hold up".
Yeah well I think your statement that my statement is false is false. :P

Braces are used to strengthen the structure of said instrument. If you take off the bracing, that instrument probably isn't going to hold up over time. It's going to warp, crack, break, etc. at some point since the structure has been weakened.

A thin, un-braced top would vibrate more freely than a braced top of the same thickness. Just like a thin top will vibrate more freely than a thick top.

johnson430
08-13-2016, 03:52 AM
Yeah well I think your statement that my statement is false is false. :P

Braces are used to strengthen the structure of said instrument.

A thin, un-braced top would vibrate more freely than a braced top of the same thickness. Just like a thin top will vibrate more freely than a thick top.

Jer, the difference between you and me is that you "think" and I "know". =)

1. A brace can be loose without causing a loss in structural integrity.
2. A thin top will not always vibrate more freely than a thick top.
3. An unbraced top will not vibrate more freely, just the opposite.

Also, a brace can be loose and not even make a buzz or rattle.
Crazy, right?

Now, go practice on your uke. =P

stevejfc
08-13-2016, 04:58 AM
Jer, the difference between you and me is that you "think" and I "know". =)

1. A brace can be loose without causing a loss in structural integrity.
2. A thin top will not always vibrate more freely than a thick top.
3. An unbraced top will not vibrate more freely, just the opposite.

Also, a brace can be loose and not even make a buzz or rattle.
Crazy, right?

Now, go practice on your uke. =P
Yes sir!........

jer
08-13-2016, 06:49 AM
Jer, the difference between you and me is that you "think" and I "know". =)
Objection! :P
I'm sure there are a lot of differences between you and I....but heck it's an internet message board. I don't take it that seriously.


1. A brace can be loose without causing a loss in structural integrity.
That's debatable. I guess it would depend on the location of the brace and how loose it is. I don't completely disagree. I'm sure it's possible that it could happen with no ill effects. However, the braces ARE there for a reason. It would depend on the particular instrument and situation.
In my extreme example though, I was talking about taking all the bracing off completely, to prove the point I was making.

2. A thin top will not always vibrate more freely than a thick top.
I don't disagree with that either. If you put super thick braces on the thin top but brace the thicker top lightly, you could get similar results.
Here's a good article talking about that sort of thing and more: http://www.masterguitars.com/Article1.htm
That said, if you have two tops that are identical in both thickness and stiffness and brace one while leaving the other un-braced, the one that is not braced will move more easily.



Also, a brace can be loose and not even make a buzz or rattle.
Crazy, right?
Right! :P I don't disagree with that either, for the record.



3. An unbraced top will not vibrate more freely, just the opposite.
Maybe I should throw out the word "vibrate" here. I'm wondering if I'm even using the appropriate word for what I'm trying to say.
What I'm trying to say is maybe most easily seen and heard in a banjo:
If you have your typical old-time open back banjo (not resonator), the only thing touching the top is a very thin and light bridge. Of course the top is under a good bit of tension, but it is really thin. The sound is loud without much sustain. Stick something underneath the top of the same banjo (similar effect to a brace) and the volume starts decreasing. Put a heavier bridge on it, or even one of those metal "mutes" that sits on the bridge and the added mass lead to far less volume but more sustain. So volume goes down and sustain goes up.
The lighter an instrument is built, the more vibrant and loud it is.
The only instruments I've built personally are home-made instruments more in line with cigar box guitars and other various things. I noticed the same principles I'd heard talked about for years apply to those too. I have one that I did use an instrument grade top wood I got from Stewmac on. I built my own box using that wood for the top and back. The same thing happens with these types of instruments, as in the more you brace them, the more the sustain goes up but the more the volume goes down.
If you're saying a braced top can sustain more, I don't disagree. I guess it depends on if you consider "vibrate" and "sustain" to mean the same thing. I was speaking in terms of volume, so maybe I shouldn't have even used the word "vibrate" up there. I'm not sure.

Another, maybe odd example, of what I'm getting at is this: Think about a kite. I think most everyone has played with one of those at some point. I used to have the cheap ones as a kid. You pull it out of the bag and it's a floppy sheet of plastic that resembles a good garbage bag. You then put braces on it and the material doesn't flop around as much. Bracing restricts movement (and volume). That's what I'm getting at.


Now, go practice on your uke. =P
Sound advice...and you can go fly that kite! :P

I'm going to shutup now because this probably isn't helping the person who started the thread at all, even if it is entertaining... You can present your closing arguments and let the jury decide. ha.