View Full Version : First Build Wakes Up

09-06-2011, 06:25 AM
I finished my first scratch build a couple weeks ago. I've done some kits and partials but this is my real first. It is a cherry body and spruce top. When I strung it up it was a serious sonic disappointment. I expected it but not to that degree and I figured I had over braced it. However, the thing has really woke up. The tone is very focused with a nice, sparkly, fat sound. I wouldn't call it lush but very focused and LOUD. Our local uke gooru was playing it and I told him I thought it had advanced to slightly better than mediocre. Is this what you can expect form a spruce top?

Michael N.
09-06-2011, 07:11 AM
They all wake up (or at least they should). Combination of strings becoming stretched and the wood taking on the initial tension. Throw in the factor of your own ear becoming accustomed to that particular tonality.
I'm not a great believer in instruments becoming better over a long time period. If it happens then it's miniscule. Some may even get worse over time.
My views are a little controversial but there is some anecdotal evidence.

dave g
09-06-2011, 08:00 AM
I think they get a bit better after the first week or so. Maybe the wood gets used to vibrating, maybe the glue and the finish cure to full hardness... I dunno, but it does seem to happen.

09-06-2011, 11:01 AM
Without a doubt they improve. And it's not a trick to my ears.

I've recently completed a series of instruments built from the same board and in exactly the same way. But all strung up at different times, with the first being strung up 6 weeks before the last. They all sounded sort of jumbly (if that's a word) to start out. Notes ill defined and tone uneven. After a couple days they start to come right, and comparing the first to the last would make you think that there was no way that they could be the same instrument. 2 months on from them all being strung up I can't really tell which was the first to be finished or the last though.

09-06-2011, 12:14 PM
Thanks for your responses. The difference is really amazing. I was pretty durn depressed when I was first messing with it but what a difference now. I'm going to string up my second tonight (it's koa/redwood) and well see how that one goes.

Thanks, Terry Harris