View Full Version : Do Solid Top Ukuleles" open up" and mature with age?

06-26-2011, 06:28 PM
I was wondering do they "open up" like an all solid ukulele or do they stay the same like a laminate? I
Thanks :D

06-26-2011, 07:15 PM
My solid sapele-topped SpruceHouse S-O sounds better and better the more I play it. And it sounded great the day I brought it home.

06-26-2011, 07:26 PM
Another question often asked . . . here are some previous threads, hope this helps.


06-26-2011, 08:11 PM
The Ovation/Applause UAE20 acoustic soprano ukulele's I own both have opened up for rich and loud sound. My stained black one is 5 years old and my cherryburst one is 4 years old. When they were brand new, they sounded thin and toneless. Both took about a year and a half of constant playing to open up. Neither are for sale, unless you are are offering 5K$+. Ric

mm stan
06-26-2011, 09:32 PM
I say they do...it's a contrversial subject though, ..some say no........can go on for days..ha ha...

06-26-2011, 10:36 PM
Like I've said on another thread: It doesn't matter if it opens up or not. Just get on with it and play the thing. If it sounds better as you play it - GOOD. That's what is supposed to happen.

mr moonlight
06-27-2011, 02:39 AM
Do solid top Ukes open up with age? Yes, but some much more than others and many times it's not a noticeable amount. If it doesn't sound good to begin with, it will probably never sound good. Learning the intricacies of that particular uke or just changing the strings is much more likely to have a larger impact on sound quality.

If you want a nice sounding uke, buy a nice sounding uke.

06-27-2011, 04:36 AM
Generally ukes will start to sound better with age but some woods take longer to mature than others.

06-27-2011, 05:30 AM
I am noticing my OXK formica uke is really opening up!

06-27-2011, 05:45 AM
I am noticing my OXK formica uke is really opening up!

I'd like to hear one of those some day. I played a few chords on the guitar version at a music store and was blown away by how good it sounded.

06-27-2011, 05:56 AM
I truely believe they do. My Mya-Moe tenor sounds way better today than just three months ago.

06-27-2011, 07:20 AM
I think all quality, solid top instruments are going to "open up" to some degree. I've been playing guitar for over 50 years and have a couple of guitars that are nearly 40 years old and one that's nearly 50. To my ear at least, they've improved as they've gotten older and been played more. Same with my mandolins which are solids.

It's already been said, but just once more for good measure: NEVER buy an instrument on the speculation that it will open up and sound better later. Buy what you like the sound of now and IF it opens up later, you got yourself a bonus. Frees you from unreasonable expectations and you can enjoy the instrument more in the meantime. I have an all laminate Pac-rim clone of a Gibson J-200 that I bought in '73. I liked the sound of it when I bought it, made some slight improvements to it and gigged with it for years. It's a very forgiving workhorse. It sounds the same today as it did in '73. No expectations other than that.

I currently have three ukes. Lanikai concert and Mitchell concert that are both laminate and my father-in-law's early 1960s Silvertone soprano which is all solid mahogany. They all sound pretty good and I think the Silvertone will come around (it probably hadn't been played a dozen times until I picked it up). I"ve changed the tuners and put on a different saddle and now I'm playing around with different strings to see what sounds best on it. The little thing definitely has some volume for something so small.

I'll probably get a couple of more solid wood ukes before I leave this world but I'm not locked into the solid-is-better thing on any musical instrument. I've heard some great sounding lammies and some pretty miserable solids in my life (I'm talking guitars and mandos here, but I imagine it applies to ukes as well) and vice versa.

With ALL acoustics: Play before you buy (or make sure there's a return policy). If you don't like the way it sounds, pass it by. If you like the way it sounds, get it.

07-09-2011, 08:12 AM
I remember when mu black UAE-20 was new I tought to myself, hmm, this sounds a bit muted. I didn't care though because I bought it for being plugable from the get go. Nowadays it really opened up, I never realized that it was a solid top, and it has improved a lot acoustically. I can vouch for the opening up theory, and it is not me that has improved playing, as I had enough hand strenght from playing guitar 15 years or so.

Uke Republic
07-09-2011, 08:16 AM
They do open up

07-09-2011, 10:50 AM
Yes, all solid-wood instruments change with playing and aging. However, whether the resulting sound is good or bad is subjective.