View Full Version : [b]am i crazy or[/b]

06-17-2011, 09:50 PM
I know we have talked about how ukes "open up" after a time and the sound gets better.

I have a Kala Soprano and a Kala concert that I have ignored for some time, while i played my other ukes. All of a sudden the Kalas sound terrific.

Does the "opening up" also apply to laminated ukes or has my ear changed that much?

Hippie Dribble
06-17-2011, 10:24 PM
I always thought it was the solid wood ukes that 'opened up' and the laminates sound was consistent from go to whoa. I stand corrected though if I'm wrong. But either or, I would say there's a fair possibility that your ear has become more refined and able to appreciate some subtleties and nuances in the uke that maybe you might not have been atuned to before. It sure has happened with me over the five years I've been playing them. :)

06-18-2011, 12:24 AM
I think theres a lot of changes in perception about what makes a good uke. For me that has been true. One of my first ukes was the Hamano Soprano and I didn't fully appreciate the tone when I got it. Same with my Luna soprano. The luna sounds really good with martins on it. Now I also got a Martin OXK and while it doesn't have the deep tone of the Luna, maybe it will after the formica opens up a little?

Well I don't expect the tone of the OXK to change. I took classical guitar and the teacher believed in instruments opening up and recommended I put the guitar next to speakers so the vibrations would work it.

I think its the mind that opens up or the ear perception. Theres a decent article on psychoacoustics in Wikipedia.

06-18-2011, 12:55 AM
Laminated instruments can "open up" a little, even though lots of people don't think so. Some of the finest classical guitars in the world are actually laminated instruments and the luthiers who make them will say they open up a bit. Not as much and not in the same way as solid-wood instruments. Bracing is still solid and certain joints and "structure" within the body does settle into place, so to speak. There is some expansion and contraction, too. Laminated instruments don't change nearly as much and, basically, what you hear is pretty much what you get after the initial break-in period.

The advantages of laminated instruments are better stability, less likelihood of cracking, a beautiful veneer can be applied over a less visually appealing layer of wood that is sonically wonderful, just not as pretty.

I love playing laminated guitars when I am in high elevations, like the Rocky Mountains, for example.

06-18-2011, 05:15 AM
Most of the "opening up" is probably just a reflection of your increase in skill over that time. Players tend to "open up" far more in their first year or two of play than does any instrument, solid or laminated! :)

A more skilled player can overcome the limitations of a poor uke much better than a beginner can. I.e., a beginner will sound better on a good uke than an average one by a larger margin than an experienced player on the same instruments. This is why I tend to get my dander up when somebody calls a cheap instrument "perfect for beginners."