View Full Version : Tapered sides and back? Just for looks?

06-15-2011, 05:26 PM
Hi, I noticed that some ukuleles don't have a flat back, but one that is tapered to be "thinner" at the front when looking at the side profile. When you set these on a flat surface, the bottom of the ukulele doesn't really lift up when the head is touching the surface if that is a better way to describe it.

How does this affect the sound? Is it seen in more expensive ukuleles only?

06-15-2011, 05:37 PM
That's called an "Arched Back Body design", which helps project the sound better.

It's mainly found on ukulele's ranging from $175 on up.

06-16-2011, 03:34 AM
Yep, it's a sound projection thing. Several brukos have them. Not just expensive ukes though - the makala dolphin has one on the plastic body version!

06-16-2011, 04:31 AM
Arched backs and tops give the wood some place to move (the arch just moves up and down) instead of cracking when the humidity changes. At least that is what I have learned from the luthiers here.

06-16-2011, 01:47 PM
I don't think he's talking about arched backs. I think he's talking about ukes that are thicker at the heel than at the neck join. That could be done with or without an arched back.

Unfortunately, I can't answer his question about what affect the tapered body thickness has on sound/durability. I suspect it's mostly aesthetic, but that's way beyond my pay grade to say for sure. :)