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Henning
02-08-2018, 07:14 AM
Hello, the most of us seem to consider that an instrument built of a quality material, when played will open up. But what about if you have two similar instruments of supposed good quality enough from the same manufacturer, where one of them is well set up and the other isn´t, will that have any affect on the "opening up" of the instruments, please?
I mean of course to ask, will intonation affect the ´opening up´of an instrument?
If we make the assumption that both instruments are played equally much in the same manner too.
Do you maybe even have any personal experience in that?

Thanks

Croaky Keith
02-08-2018, 07:43 AM
I have bought three Ohana solid mahogany ukes which have 'settled in' nicely, (I'm not one for saying they 'opened up'). :)

(As they are made of wood, there will be slight changes as time goes on.)

These are a long neck (concert scale) soprano, a giraffe neck (tenor scale) soprano, & a long neck (tenor scale) concert.

Henning
02-08-2018, 08:12 AM
I have bought three Ohana solid mahogany ukes which have 'settled in' nicely, (I'm not one for saying they 'opened up'). :)

If rumours are true, as they seem to be with Ohanas, they will disqualify being too well set up at delivery, I´m afraid.
If however, one of them had a sibling that could be "set-down", or constantly played out of tune, if you see what I mean...;)

Uke Don
02-08-2018, 10:49 AM
Highly unlikely the setup would make a difference in the tonal change (if any) in the wood. The debate over whether an instrument opens up or not, or how much, and why, is like opening Pandora's Box.

Rllink
02-08-2018, 12:37 PM
It makes sense to me that the tone of a wooden ukulele can change over time, a solid wood more so than a laminate. But what doesn't make sense to me is that it would always change for the better.

70sSanO
02-08-2018, 02:42 PM
Setup probably has no effect on opening up. Neither does playing out of tune or just being a very poor musician.

John

Uke Don
02-08-2018, 03:13 PM
[QUOTE=70sSanO;2040100]Setup probably has no effect on opening up. Neither does playing out of tune or just being a very poor musician.

Thankfully I think this is true :).

Hilomar
02-08-2018, 10:00 PM
Very true..a good player can make any uke sound ok..but a 'opened up' ukulele will sound even better as the good player will make the most of the sound!
Differences between a good player and a run of the mill player? Practice..that's all..no magic..no special talent? Not really..it's just practice..if you love your uke? You will be playing it whenever you can! More you play more the uke opens up..it's all good! Ps noodling is practice!!!

BigJackBrass
02-08-2018, 10:37 PM
The debate over whether an instrument opens up or not, or how much, and why, is like opening Pandora's Box.

Pandora's Box being, of course, something most people agree was better before it opened up.

ukulelekarcsi
02-08-2018, 11:06 PM
Here's an interesting article by Rick Turner (of Compass Rose ukuleles) on your question: https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/19720-acoustic-soundboard-the-sonic-effect-of-time-and-vibration.

In short, every experienced musician and luthier knows it and believes it, but there is very few scientific proof or explanation. Some hypotheses:
- any playing enhances an instrument: wood fibers loosen up along modal nodes and lines, like metal fatigue - hence the fibers move more, and produce more volume and harmonies.
- good playing (in tune) enhances an instrument: change in frequencies makes the right modal nodes and lines are 'imprinted' in the loosening wood fibers.
- time in itself enhances an instrument: finishes and natural oils harden, moisture evaporates (even with well-dried tonewoods, and in climate controlled environments), cell structures crystalyze even, making the wood harder and lighter (better weight-to-stiffness ratio) and more resonant.
- any vibration (even non-musical) enhances an instrument: the parts become more attuned to each other by movement - there are stories about resonator guitars becoming better after having been dropped.
- lots of playing makes the player become more attuned to the instrument, which in itself doesn't change a lot: the player automatically develops an adapted technique to suit the instrument through simple repetitive playing, and starts to recognize more tonal qualities he can coerce from the instrument. This one is more or less a debunking hypothesis.

There is not a whole lot of scientific experimental work to support any of the assumptions above. Wood instruments do become lighter with age, and good players tend to quickly adapt their playing style to their instruments, but it could be a mix.

I do believe instruments change over time, especially the ones that are lightly built out of solid woods and that have been played a lot in tune or out of tune; and that the change is almost exclusively for the better. I'm not sure if intonation and playing in tune is required.

Some luthiers have used 'time machines' for drying or 'playing machines' for either strumming in guitars or playing recorded music close to the finished instrument, but it's not a standard practice.

Bob Taylor also noted that either ageing or playing in (instruments becoming better with the passing of time or lots of hours being played) "is not a myth. But nobody really knows why."

Croaky Keith
02-09-2018, 12:09 AM
If rumours are true, as they seem to be with Ohanas, they will disqualify being too well set up at delivery, I´m afraid.
If however, one of them had a sibling that could be "set-down", or constantly played out of tune, if you see what I mean...;)

Sorry, haven't got a clue what you are inferring here. :confused:

My Ohanas were all good from day one - but they have settled in now - & are sounding more full now than when I first got them. :)

Henning
02-09-2018, 08:37 AM
Thanks for your replies!
One reason for me asking this question is that when I first got interested in string instruments a man in the Music store told me that a good quality guitar would improve over time. But it would have to be tuned and of course, you should change the strings oftenly. So hereby I announce my closing of Pandoras box (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0d/Opened_up_a_Pandora%27s_box.jpg), yipeeee! (Close)

Milehighuke
02-09-2018, 08:45 AM
If rumours are true, as they seem to be with Ohanas, they will disqualify being too well set up at delivery, I´m afraid.
If however, one of them had a sibling that could be "set-down", or constantly played out of tune, if you see what I mean...;)

What rumours?

Henning
02-09-2018, 09:13 AM
What rumours?

I still believe it is a fact that they are well set up already in the shop.

Joe King
02-11-2018, 06:02 PM
Seems like either confirmation bias or snake oil to me.

I have not noticed any changes, but I am only a sample of one person.

Henning
02-12-2018, 08:24 AM
Seems like either confirmation bias or snake oil to me.

I have not noticed any changes, but I am only a sample of one person.

Well, I draw the opposite conclusion also being just one person. And I don´t find it useful to test play any instrument out of tune or badly set up if I can avoid it over a long time.
What I Think most people tend to say above is that an instrument (if it opens up at all) will do so even when played out of tune or not perfectly well set-up. So, no snake oil!