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View Full Version : Same size, wood, strings - but different builders : sound quiz



Doc_J
02-05-2012, 11:59 AM
We hear a lot of people talking about the effects wood type and strings here on UU. But I think that the real difference in a ukulele’s sound is the builder.

So, here is a short recording of 3 koa soprano ukuleles, each with Martin M600 fluorocarbon strings. The ukuleles being played are:

traditionally styled Moore Bettah
DaSilva 3K
G-String M1


Can you tell what order the 3 ukes are being played?

http://soundcloud.com/doc-hj/3-koa-sopranos-martin-strings

Each sample is about a minute in length.

The order is posted on page 3.

ukemunga
02-05-2012, 12:12 PM
I have no idea which is which never having been in that neighborhood. But I know which I prefer, to my tastes, at least.

I like the sound of #2 best. Seems much more round, mellow and full. More like a concert, maybe... which is probably why I prefer it.

Hippie Dribble
02-05-2012, 12:19 PM
only guessing Doc as I've never played any of those instruments. In my opinion they all sounded wonderful, and I'm like the munga, preferred #2, with #3 a close second and number #1 a close third. Would be happy with any of em!

My guess:
#1 Da Silva
#2 Moore Bettah
#3 G String

nice post Hodge, thanks for the fun :)

Hippie Dribble
02-05-2012, 12:26 PM
hey Doc...you got a prize for this or what? Does first correct entry get to choose the uke they like the best?

It's cool mate, I'll take care of shipping no probs...he he :p

NatalieS
02-05-2012, 12:30 PM
I'm going to guess

#1 DaSilva
#2 G String
#3 MooreBettah

Although I'm an owner of what I think is #1, I have to say I like the sound of #3 the best.

bbqribs
02-05-2012, 12:31 PM
nope. I also thought #2 was my preference (warmer, more rounded tones) then #3, then #1.
I'm totally guessing the first is G String, the second is Moore Bettah, and the last sound clip is Da Silva.

mm stan
02-05-2012, 12:41 PM
1)Da Silva....What a Wonderful world, Drop Baby Drop, slipping my mind..ha ha
2)Moore Bettah..
3)G-String...

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
02-05-2012, 01:19 PM
Am I allowed to guess? lol
I'll only say to keep in mind that at least one of those ukes is only two weeks old.

nix
02-05-2012, 01:20 PM
I think this thread goes to prove just how subjective sound is. I'm fairly new to ukulele and don't have a great music vocabulary. I liked the first sound clip best because it sounded "sweetest" to me. I thought the second one sounded really solid and the third one sort of punchy and brash (not in a bad way, I just don't have better adjectives). I enjoyed all 3 of them and it was hard to hear and quantify differences but something about the first clip made me want to listen to it again.

Doc_J - thanks for doing this!

Nix

Doc_J
02-05-2012, 01:30 PM
Am I allowed to guess? lol
I'll only say to keep in mind that at least one of those ukes is only two weeks old.

Sure, but I think you have a definite advantage over everyone :) . And you are right, your Honu soprano is still opening up but it sounds wonderful right now. The difference in sound between the ukes is more apparent live than in the recorded and played back samples.


I think this thread goes to prove just how subjective sound is. I'm fairly new to ukulele and don't have a great music vocabulary. I liked the first sound clip best because it sounded "sweetest" to me. I thought the second one sounded really solid and the third one sort of punchy and brash (not in a bad way, I just don't have better adjectives). I enjoyed all 3 of them and it was hard to hear and quantify differences but something about the first clip made me want to listen to it again.

Doc_J - thanks for doing this!

Nix

Glad you enjoyed it and can hear the differences amongst the 3 ukuleles.

Hippie Dribble
02-05-2012, 02:55 PM
I'll only say to keep in mind that at least one of those ukes is only two weeks old.
I thought that too...to me the first one kinda sounded like it could be the Moore Bettah for that very reason...still sounded a bit 'light', thinner, somehow not fully resonant, and I knew doc just bought it. But they ALL sounded fabulous...I picked 2 as the Moore Bettah though just because it was my favourite sound and the MB is my dream...aaaahhh

Lexxy
02-05-2012, 03:04 PM
Am I allowed to guess? lol
I'll only say to keep in mind that at least one of those ukes is only two weeks old.

Wait, so you're saying a new MB uke just got shipped to a fellow UU'er and there isn't a New Uke Day (MOORE BETTAH) thread?

IMPOSSIBLE

Paul December
02-05-2012, 03:14 PM
:rolleyes: I'm going to admit to it...
...all 3 sound the same to me! :eek:

haolejohn
02-05-2012, 03:22 PM
We hear a lot of people talking about the effects wood type and strings here on UU. But I think that the real difference in a ukulele’s sound is the builder.

So, here is a short recording of 3 koa soprano ukuleles, each with Martin M600 fluorocarbon strings. The ukuleles being played are:

traditionally styled Moore Bettah
DaSilva 3K
G-String M1


Can you tell what order the 3 ukes are being played?

http://soundcloud.com/doc-hj/3-koa-sopranos-martin-strings

Each sample is about a minute in length.

I have only heard one MB and a few G-strings in real life. I never heard a G-String that I actually liked.

So with that said...I am going to go with my favorite was #2 and #3 was a close second. #1 wasn't bad sounding but it kinda had that plinky sound that i find most sopranos have.

I'm not even going to make a guess on which one is which. I honestly liked the sound of all three so you must've gotten a good G-String.

bonesigh
02-05-2012, 03:42 PM
Gotta put in a guess. GString then DaSilva and finally Moore Bettah. But sadly, I've never even been close to any of these ukes.

Doc_J
02-05-2012, 03:49 PM
I have only heard one MB and a few G-strings in real life. I never heard a G-String that I actually liked.

So with that said...I am going to go with my favorite was #2 and #3 was a close second. #1 wasn't bad sounding but it kinda had that plinky sound that i find most sopranos have.

I'm not even going to make a guess on which one is which. I honestly liked the sound of all three so you must've gotten a good G-String.

John, I did have to go through a couple of Gstring ukes until I got one I really liked. This one is older, not sure if that makes any difference.

@ Lexxy... uhhh, sorry, I did not do a new uke day post, I have been too busy playing it. So, one of these ukes is the new Moore Bettah "Honu" soprano (just 2-weeks old) on Chuck's website. Think of how good it will sound in a few months!

haolejohn
02-05-2012, 03:52 PM
John, I did have to go through a couple of Gstring ukes until I got one I really liked. This one is older, not sure if that makes any difference.

@ Lexxy... uhhh, sorry, I did not do a new uke day post, I have been too busy playing it. So, one of these ukes is the new Moore Bettah "Honu" soprano (just 2-weeks old) on Chuck's website. Think of how good it will sound in a few months!

I was also playing them right at the time that the company was going through some issues. That could play a big role in it all. so with that said:

I'll make my guess now:
1. MB
2. DaSilva
3. G-string

Doc_J
02-05-2012, 03:59 PM
:rolleyes: I'm going to admit to it...
...all 3 sound the same to me! :eek:

Really? Maybe it is your speakers. Try listening with ear buds or headphones.

ChrisRCovington
02-05-2012, 04:16 PM
I wouldn't even be able to guess which is which since all three are out of my reach at the moment (both due to $$$ and my personal skill level playing). What I can say is I enjoyed number 3 the best followed by number 1. number 2 sounded really good too but the other two just sounded more soprano-ish to me (number two sounded like it could have been a concert, very full sounding to me). All three sound great though. You are a lucky player to have such fine instruments.

ukeykondo
02-05-2012, 04:21 PM
i'm pretty sure that it's
1) dasilva
2) gstring
3) moore bettah

Dan Uke
02-05-2012, 04:45 PM
I liked number 2. Is G String Ukulele still around?

GX9901
02-05-2012, 05:19 PM
I'm guessing:

1) DaSilva (this one most resembles my DaSilva Santos repro)
2) MB (actually sound very similar to #3 to me, so this is a wild guess)
3) G-String (see above. I did own a G-String soprano once, but it was 4 years ago)

Doc_J
02-06-2012, 07:16 AM
I hope I remember what order I played those sopranos. :) Just kidding.

So many of you have great ears and a good mental sound library (Jon, Stan, George you got the order correct). Natalie, I knew you would be able to pick out the DaSilva. Regardless of the order you decided, my point was that these ukes all sound different, despite their similarities in material, scale, strings and notes played. These sound differences are attributed to each builder's design goals, experience, and craftsmanship. Diversity is wonderful. Truly, the differences are more noticeable live than in recordings, and preferences are subjective.

OK, here is the playing order of the ukes in the sound file.

http://soundcloud.com/doc-hj/3-koa-sopranos-martin-strings


1) DaSilva 3K, built in 2006.
I really think this uke has a loud clear Martin-like sound. That was the intent of the builder. For me the Martin strings may not be the best strings for this uke. Other strings make it sound less ‘plinky’. SouthCoast or Worth Clears might be better (less bark for me), and what I will try next.

2) Moore Bettah “Honu”, just finished in 2012
While it is just 2 weeks old, it has started to noticeably open up (notes becoming more full and more overall resonance) after playing it every day. I love this instrument and think it has the best sound for me, certainly it is my favorite ukulele. It has a very balanced, full sound compared to a Martin-like uke sound with bark. Most folks seemed hear it this way, too. The Martin strings seem to be an excellent choice for this uke.

3) G-String M1 Standard, circa ~2003 ?
This is an older G-String, (no serial number) that had little playing time when I first got it. I had to play several G-String sopranos until I found one with a balanced tone that I like. It also seems to have a little of that Martin bark, too. The tone has some slight unevenness, but it is a great player in general.

Thanks for listening and playing the quiz.