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ukuDaily
05-11-2010, 03:42 PM
Yes, I know this is a very subjective question, but I am wondering which shape generates a bigger or fuller sound, a boat paddle or a traditional figure 8. It seems to me the larger and closer to round the top and back are, the more sound it would generate. The figure 8 shape seems like it would be less ideal from a vibration perspective?

Any thoughts?

Mike
ukuDaily.com (http://www.ukuDaily.com)
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AC Baltimore
05-11-2010, 04:27 PM
Very subjective indeed. As a rule, your biggest and fullest sounds will come from a solid baritone with the traditional figure 8, ie Ohana ish. Not many seem to be into the Baritone, so the next one would be a Tenor.

Bradford
05-11-2010, 04:41 PM
Much like a marimba, the top and back of a ukulele vibrate in a number of modes. Your observation could indeed be true, if you are looking at a certain note. But because we play a range of notes, the separation of the upper and lower bouts in the traditional shape come into play,ie. different parts respond to different frequencies. The shape of the body is just one of a myriad of variables that go into how a given uke sounds.

Brad

AC Baltimore
05-11-2010, 04:44 PM
I have only recently become an acoustic guy, but I hear that the bracing has a lot to do with tone.

Bradford
05-11-2010, 04:55 PM
The bracing is one of the myriad of variables that effect the sound. It does not effect things as much as most people think however. If you keep all other factors the same in building an instrument, you can make some fairly substantial changes in how you brace the instrument, without making much difference in how it sounds.

Brad

Uke Republic
05-11-2010, 05:43 PM
Yes, I know this is a very subjective question, but I am wondering which shape generates a bigger or fuller sound, a boat paddle or a traditional figure 8. It seems to me the larger and closer to round the top and back are, the more sound it would generate. The figure 8 shape seems like it would be less ideal from a vibration perspective?

Any thoughts?

Mike


ukuDaily.com (http://www.ukuDaily.com)
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That is a great question. One might think the larger the cavity the bigger the sound and in many cases this is true but...Kala's travel uke has wowed loads of people with it's projection and volume. It's quite thin but is amazing. Of course the spruce top and arched back are doing a lot too. I have had some sopranos in 8 and pineapple that were very full sounding. So you may consider tone wood,maker, shape etc. Over time some ukes that may have seemed a little somber will open . No easy answer. Cedar or spruce/rosewood and cedar or spruce/ebony are plenty full in most any shape. Then again there are other tonewoods that are very full.
Thanks for letting me add to the confusion

DeG
05-11-2010, 05:55 PM
...Kala's travel uke has wowed loads of people with it's projection and volume.

Guilty as charged! :)

AC Baltimore
05-11-2010, 06:21 PM
We have had endless debates on the Telecaster forum as to the effects of ash vs alder, 6 saddle vs 3... and so on and so on. I think it really does come down to the "sum of all parts". I learned long ago with instruments... the more you know, the more you know what you are looking for. Keep researching and playing every uke you can get your hands on.

On a side note... I believe that the electric guitar is much less affected by parts than an acoustic instrument. With electric you can change magnetic pups and have a brand new sound. There is not a whole lot to do to an acoustic instrument other than string variations to transform the tone.

ukecantdothat
05-13-2010, 02:48 PM
...On a side note... I believe that the electric guitar is much less affected by parts than an acoustic instrument. With electric you can change magnetic pups and have a brand new sound. There is not a whole lot to do to an acoustic instrument other than string variations to transform the tone.
I agree with this to a point, but then again a Strat sounds like a Strat and a Les Paul sounds like a Les Paul even before you plug in!

AC Baltimore
05-13-2010, 03:57 PM
I agree with this to a point, but then again a Strat sounds like a Strat and a Les Paul sounds like a Les Paul even before you plug in!

I get what you are saying, and I pretty much agree. Unplugged the individual acoustic aspects give even electrics a signature sound. Plugged in I believe it is more about the pickups than acoustic attributes. The magnetic pickups transfer the vibration of the steel string, whereas most acoustic pups are a mic of sorts and tend to amplify the already created acoustic tone.