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View Full Version : Solid top ukulele opening up?



deznuchs
07-23-2017, 01:29 PM
Hey all,
This might be a dumb question but do solid top and laminate back/sides ukuleles open up after time?

I have a couple solid ukes (Kamaka and Pono) and there opened up (breaking in) beautifully after some time. Reason I'm asking is that I recently got a Kala KA-ZTP-CTG (HMS Ziricote exclusive) with a solid cedar top and laminate ziricote back and sides. Thing is beautiful and is pretty loud. Wanted to get an relatively inexpensive uke to leave in the office and for traveling.

I looked on the forum and didn't see anything about solid tops with laminate sides. Just about solid vs laminate.

Just thought I would ask.

kohanmike
07-23-2017, 07:31 PM
I find with all my ukes, entirely solid, mixed or entirely laminate, that the current atmosphere as an effect on the sound. At times, I think the uke sounds great, then there are times when it's not quite as expected. Having said that, my Kala tenor cutaway solid cedar top, laminate acacia koa body is one of my best sounding ukes in any situation.

Henning
07-23-2017, 10:58 PM
Hey all,
I have a couple solid ukes (Kamaka and Pono) and there opened up (breaking in) beautifully after some time. Reason I'm asking is that I recently got a Kala KA-ZTP-CTG (HMS Ziricote exclusive) with a solid cedar top and laminate ziricote back and sides. Thing is beautiful and is pretty loud. Wanted to get an relatively inexpensive uke to leave in the office and for traveling.

I looked on the forum and didn't see anything about solid tops with laminate sides. Just about solid vs laminate.

Just thought I would ask.

The sound of the ukulele is 90% the top. I think that you out of that can draw the conclusion of the answer to the question of ´opening up´ when it comes to solid vs laminate top. Antonio Torres de Jurado (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonio_de_Torres_Jurado), was for the guitar (almost) what Stradivarius was for the violin, he built a guitar with a solid spruce top and papier mache back (http://www.classicalguitardelcamp.com/viewtopic.php?t=29408)and sides, just to show the importance of the top material.

bearbike137
07-24-2017, 05:35 AM
The answer is "yes". A solid top, even with laminate sides & back, will open up.

deznuchs
07-24-2017, 07:06 AM
Thanks for all the insight and feedback. I really like the sound of my uke, even more now that I changed out the strings to a set of Freemont Blacklines. I was just curious if there would be a change over time with a solidtop.

Thanks again!

Louis0815
07-25-2017, 12:37 AM
Considering the relatively small size of the ukulele body panes I wouldn't hope for too much change in sound just over time - I'd rather (as you did already) change strings, this will definitely and instantly impact the sound. Not all great strings sound great on every ukulele, you will have to find your individual best match for each ukulele you own.

IMHO there's a lot of snake oil and voodoo in all this "opening up over time" when it comes to ukulele.

Ukecaster
07-25-2017, 03:17 AM
Considering the relatively small size of the ukulele body panes I wouldn't hope for too much change in sound just over time - I'd rather (as you did already) change strings, this will definitely and instantly impact the sound. Not all great strings sound great on every ukulele, you will have to find your individual best match for each ukulele you own.

IMHO there's a lot of snake oil and voodoo in all this "opening up over time" when it comes to ukulele.

Yeah, speaking of snake oil, how about those Tonerite devices that some use on acoustic instruments, which shake the instrument, supposedly simulating months of heavy play. Some claim that these "open up" the instrument very quickly. Never tried one, but would, if a buddy nearby had one, or you could rent one.

www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?95797-Tonerite-rental

bearbike137
07-25-2017, 09:28 AM
IMHO there's a lot of snake oil and voodoo in all this "opening up over time" when it comes to ukulele.

I am certain acoustic instruments open up over time, based on both empirical evidence and on support such as this: https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/19720-acoustic-soundboard-the-sonic-effect-of-time-and-vibration