PDA

View Full Version : solid vs laminate



kalmario
08-02-2009, 06:11 PM
re MGM's survey and the question of solid vs laminate, i always thought the sound improves with playing over time as the solid wood changes, do they sound the same at the beginning?

Cliff

haolejohn
08-02-2009, 06:30 PM
I know that a quality laminate sounds good. a guitar player once told me that brand new instruments there isn't a difference between quality laminates and solid woods. The solid wood gains character and volume and sound as it ages where as a laminate stays in the new state forever. Take that for what it is worth.

DaveVisi
08-02-2009, 07:06 PM
Of course, it might mean that as the solid one ages, it sounds worse.

Hey, you never know. :confused:

At least with a good laminate, what you hear is what you get, pretty much for the life of the instrument.

MGM
08-02-2009, 07:20 PM
Really?? It seems to my ears that old laminate is different from brand new laminate...just a thought??? Also the purpose of the challange was not to bolster laminates. Its was just a training excercise......since many do not have the opportunity to take same strung up and size ukes in so many models and try a blind test.. How about the soprano version covering 30 brands...LOL

ukulelearp
08-02-2009, 07:43 PM
Really?? It seems to my ears that old laminate is different from brand new laminate...just a thought??? Also the purpose of the challange was not to bolster laminates. Its was just a training excercise......since many do not have the opportunity to take same strung up and size ukes in so many models and try a blind test.. How about the soprano version covering 30 brands...LOL

I think I'd trust your ears more than mine :D

CDon
08-02-2009, 07:47 PM
How about the soprano version covering 30 brands...LOL
Yea, how about that? Do it, man, do it! :p

haolejohn
08-02-2009, 07:49 PM
Really?? It seems to my ears that old laminate is different from brand new laminate...just a thought???
.. How about the soprano version covering 30 brands...LOL

That is just it. Your ears, my ears, their ears. Isa the sound that much different or is it all in our heads?lol

The 30 soprano test will be something else:) I'm not even trying the test of 12. I know better.

DaveVisi
08-02-2009, 09:04 PM
Really?? ...

I was just bringing it up for sake of argument. I like what you're doing with your blind test. It's forcing people to "put up or shut up" rather than just echoing "*** (insert brand name, string, solid, laminate, whatever) is better" with no evidence to back it up.


I think I'd trust your ears more than mine :D

I'm with Alec on this one. That's why we put our trust in our favorite dealers. They know things we don't.

Pippin
08-02-2009, 09:04 PM
Really?? It seems to my ears that old laminate is different from brand new laminate...

You're absolutely right. A laminated guitar does open-up a bit. Nowhere near as much as a solid wood instrument.

To me, the biggest benefit of a laminated guitar or ukulele is that the body is much more durable and much less likely to crack in dry conditions. They will change a lot less over time due to dimensional stability, so saying what you hear in the beginning, tonally, will always be about the same is pretty much the case, but they do get louder. And to most people, louder is better.

If that where your mind was on that?

Pippin
08-02-2009, 09:05 PM
Yea, how about that? Do it, man, do it! :p

You'll all be pulling your hair out before it's done.

Ahnko Honu
08-02-2009, 09:14 PM
I have a new appreciation for my 12 year old laminate Mahalo pineapple that I restrung with Aquilas last week. I've been playing it all night and can barely put it down. Maybe it's my imagination but this old 'ukulele sounds better than ever, is it only the Aquilas? ;)

ichadwick
08-03-2009, 03:49 AM
Really?? It seems to my ears that old laminate is different from brand new laminate...just a thought???
Possibly - as the glue ages and stiffens, it could be less responsive to energy motion.

cornfedgroove
08-03-2009, 04:17 AM
I made an uke and put some aquilas on it...it sounded loud and sweet, but it was a bad set of strings and the wound C burned out and broke in like 2 weeks. I replaced it with some pro-arte w/o wound C...and it just doesnt sound nearly as good.

Aquilas had more attack and volume on them and the tension felt better to me on my fingers. Then again I have read that aquilas are great for making low-end ukes sound great.

tonally i thought the pro-arte are better, but if you dont got the soundboard and chamber to pump out the volume...then aquilas may be way to go.

Sretnev
08-03-2009, 04:25 AM
Clearly the best fretted instuments are solid wood, never laminate. Solid wood doesn't mean the carefull clean accurate construction that leads to the best instruments, but I've certainly never seen a maker lavish the care needed in construction to get world class results on laminate raw materials.

There are plenty of mediocre solid wood instruments...but that has to do with sloppy construction, over thick finishes and/or lumber, and poor quality solid woods, perhaps not correcty prepared to the right moisture content.

The best of the laminates?? No more than a 6 on a 10 scale...not bad, but never exceptional.

Robin V www.OKC-Music.Com

Sretnev
08-03-2009, 04:29 AM
But even laminates should "open up" as they are played, as the various parts of the whole vibrate and become De-Dampened.....looser more free to vibrate.

fa'a Junior
08-03-2009, 04:37 AM
Maybe in time I can tell but they all sound good and some very similiar. But I like how it was a blind test as if I seen the brands and knew the prices on those, I may tend to lean to the more name brand ones. MGM are you going to let us know what ukes each was?

UkuLeLesReggAe
08-03-2009, 05:21 AM
How about the soprano version covering 30 brands...LOL

nobody would get that... the odds.. over 1m options..

jtafaro
08-03-2009, 06:31 AM
I have been wondering if I could tell the difference between solid and laminate woods. MGM's blind test tells me that I dont have an ear that can tell the difference. So does that mean the average audience can't tell either? I play to a live audience once or twice a week and am more concerned about my exocution of the song. The audence can tell if you don't sing the song well. But that said I don't have any solid wood ukes. I am going to order an Ohana CK35G from MGM this week and then compare it to my other ukes. UAS is really a disease! I am fighting it but not winning.

Joe T

freedive135
08-03-2009, 08:54 AM
I did my own test a couple months back...

I took my Kala KA-T w/Aquilla's to my local music store and played it against the Kala ASMT w/Aquilla's and I could tell the difference but I couldn't hear the $$$$ difference for a 2nd tenor so took home the KA-T and strung it Low G to play out in the sun.

Eric
08-03-2009, 09:18 AM
MGM are you going to let us know what ukes each was?
yes please! there was something very special about #11... I'm hoping it turns out to be some overlooked low-end bargain. ;)

gotrice415510
08-03-2009, 11:39 AM
unless im actually playing these in person, i can't tell which is which.... though the video they sound too similar for me to say anything but guess.

I want to try this at a store and blind fold myself :D

cocohonk
08-03-2009, 03:18 PM
I definitely think that solids open up after being played for a while. I've been having the hardest time deciding whether to return my uke (for a minor defect) for another one because I've really opened it up, and it now has such a beautiful tone compared to the new solid ukes at the shop (though, the strings might be factor too).

But anyway, I do believe that the more time spent on playing a solid, the better it sounds. I can't say the same for laminates. But laminates can be pretty great too.