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View Full Version : Two "waist" curves not matched, why?



coolkayaker1
07-09-2012, 08:03 PM
The curves at the "waist" of ukuleles (between the upper and lower bouts) are different on one side than the other. They are not mirror images. Why? Thanks.:confused:

bazmaz
07-09-2012, 08:06 PM
Badly cut wood?

Briangriffinukuleles
07-09-2012, 08:08 PM
They should be. The goal is to make them identical. Not always easy to do when you are bending wood.

mds725
07-09-2012, 10:21 PM
Can you post photos of the unmatched curves?

Mandarb
07-10-2012, 03:17 AM
They are not mirror images. Why?

So that you will ask why.

mm stan
07-10-2012, 03:26 AM
Probally using a single bending iron if it's a custom or a asymmetrical mold...

coolkayaker1
07-10-2012, 09:02 AM
Seriously, I have something like four tenors, and they are all the same that way. This includes custom ukes, like my Kiwaya ctsom tenor made impeccably for NAMM. Pono x 2 (yes, both), Kiwaya, Covered Bridge, etc.

CHekc your ukes (at least tenors). The waist is not symmetrical side to side. I'm just wondering why...perhaps a luthier would know.

As one of many (every) example online, here's a Gibson tenor:
http://www.denverfolklore.com/instrument_photos/Gibson_TU-1_Tenor_Ukulele_photos.htm

The waist is not the same.

Fender
http://www.chicagomusicexchange.com/acoustic/fender/fender-ukulele-hauoli-mahogany-tenor-ukulele/

THey're usually "thinner" on the right side as you look at them, and have a wider/longer waist on the left side as you look at them from the front.

Kamakas, too.
http://www.kamakahawaii.com/


You can only tell in photos straight on. Check your ukes people --it's obvious (for tenors, at least). LOL

coolkayaker1
07-10-2012, 09:58 AM
Can you post photos of the unmatched curves?

mds725, you'r e a logical guy... help me know if I'm losing my mind. Look at any of your tenors straight on. re your waists asymmetrical?

Kayak Jim
07-10-2012, 10:17 AM
I don't have a tenor but from the links you posted, honestly, I don't see it. Guess that leaves option B.

The Big Kahuna
07-10-2012, 10:20 AM
I suspect your spectacles may require adjustment:

http://www.steampunkspectacles.com/newsite/displaypages/project_images/Glasses/prevE_165.jpg

mds725
07-10-2012, 10:22 AM
I suspect that Brian is right that bending wood is not an exact science and that it's difficult to bend both side pieces identically. Frankly, I think it adds character to an instrument, sort of emphasizing its handmadeness.

When I visited the Kamaka factory, I discovered that Kamaka's luthiers bend both sides in the same bending device at the same time. I think most luthiers working with these machines do the same thing.

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=23109&d=1303870268

My guess is that this results in as equal a set of curves as is possible, but I suppose it's possible that the two sides might "unbend" a little, and maybe unevenly, during the build process, before the top and back are secured on.

Here's a video of the Mya-Moe build process.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiU9MFhjzBI

At about 2:16, Char takes a SET of sides and prepares them to be bent at the same time by the same device. I imagine this ensures that the sides are as symmetrical as possible.

bazmaz
07-10-2012, 10:52 AM
Mine look symmetrical - sorry!

Markr1
07-10-2012, 11:13 AM
Not meaning to change the focus of this thread or hijack it but why are the bottoms of a lot of ukes flat? My lili'u and blugrass tenor and Kanilea super concert all have flat bottoms. My HF-3 and Collings are rounded bottoms. I never noticed with all my acoustic guitars over the years having flat bottoms.

webby
07-10-2012, 11:17 AM
Not meaning to change the focus of this thread or hijack it but why are the bottoms of a lot of ukes flat? My lili'u and blugrass tenor and Kanilea super concert all have flat bottoms. My HF-3 and Collings are rounded bottoms. I never noticed with all my acoustic guitars over the years having flat bottoms.


It's kinda the same with women, some have flat bottoms some have round bottoms, no one knows why..... (Instert twighlight zone music here).

tattwo
07-10-2012, 11:36 AM
Try tracing a uke on paper then fold in half and see if it is true and not an optical illusion. I dont think too many are perfect

23skidoo
07-10-2012, 11:55 AM
Like human faces..... have you ever seen an image of each half of a person's face mirrored? The left side mirrored, the right side mirrored..... next to each other, they look like two different people. (http://www.julianwolkenstein.com/index.php?/project/symmeytrical-portraits/)

OldePhart
07-10-2012, 12:24 PM
When I visited the Kamaka factory, I discovered that Kamaka's luthiers bend both sides in the same bending device at the same time. I think most luthiers working with these machines do the same thing.

My guess is that this results in as equal a set of curves as is possible, ...


Actually, no, it wouldn't. The radii of the curves are going to be very slightly different (by the thickness of the wood) and you're looking at three different curves (2 "convex" and 1 "concave"). The radius of the bouts is going to be greater on the top sheet and the radius of the waist is going to be smaller on the top sheet. Now, honestly, in the end that shouldn't really matter because they probably go on to put those pre-bent sides into a jig that should hold them in exactly the desired shape before the kerfing, bracing, and top and bottom are added which, of course, serve to lock the uke into that final shape.

But, if we were to assume that the sides being bent in your photograph came out of the bending machine in exactly the shape of the form, i.e. no "unbending" happens at all, and then you traced those sides in a mirror image (or just held them edge to edge) without fitting them into a jig they would be ever so slightly different.

Another way to think of it is this, if the two sheets were bent in a full circle the two circles would not have the same diameter - one would, in fact, fit inside the other.

So, if the builders are bending the sides at the same time, and then not using some form of jig that locks them in shape, yeah...there are probably a lot of very slightly assymetrical ukes out there. :) I would expect it to be more noticeable on sopranos than tenors, though, because the thickness of the wood, and hence the difference in radii, is a larger percentage of the total radius on the smaller ukes.

In any case, Steve, if you lay your uke flat on its back on a large sheet of paper and carefully trace around it, and you can't find a straight fold down the middle that makes the two halves overlap precisely when held up to a strong light then, yes, the uke is a little asymmetrical.

John

UK Paulie
07-10-2012, 12:28 PM
All mine seem fine, even my tenor pono....;)

OldePhart
07-10-2012, 12:30 PM
THey're usually "thinner" on the right side as you look at them, and have a wider/longer waist on the left side as you look at them from the front.


Well, then, the answer seems obvious. Apparently left-handed players are more likely to be overweight than right-handed players so they give a more generous waist on the left side so it will fit comfortably over a lefty's leg if he flips it... :) Which, now that I think about it, means I probably was supposed to be born left-handed... :) :)

John

OldePhart
07-10-2012, 12:33 PM
Like human faces..... have you ever seen an image of each half of a person's face mirrored? The left side mirrored, the right side mirrored..... next to each other, they look like two different people. (http://www.julianwolkenstein.com/index.php?/project/symmeytrical-portraits/)

I saw an article years ago where a bunch of eggheads had studied faces and what made people attractive to other people. Their main conclusion (after probably spending way too many of our tax dollars) was that the biggest factor in our deciding whether a persons face is "beautiful" (or handsome) or not is how symmetrical the face is. Other proportional factors (position of eyes and mouth, the "thirds" we all learned in art class) are important but secondary to symmetry.

After seeing that page I think they just wasted a lot of research money... :)

John

hmgberg
07-10-2012, 01:07 PM
Although some builders may still use an iron to bend sides, most use a bender. We use a bender and put both sides of a soprano in at the same time. Additionally, the sides are placed inside of a mold, which should be symmetrical, and spread to fit tightly inside of the mold. Any excess at the tops and bottoms are cut to fit when the sides are placed in the mold.

If in fact your ukuleles are asymmetrical, and don't just appear to be asymmetrical because of the grain pattern of the wood, I suspect that it has more to do with the placement of the top on the sides than with the sides themselves. The top will be rough cut, a bit larger than the contour of the sides. In other words, there is some play there. The excess is routed off afterward. The sound hole is cut in first. What might be happening is the tops have been poorly fitted on the sides so that the sound hole is off center.

mds725
07-10-2012, 01:08 PM
Actually, no, it wouldn't. The radii of the curves are going to be very slightly different (by the thickness of the wood) and you're looking at three different curves (2 "convex" and 1 "concave"). The radius of the bouts is going to be greater on the top sheet and the radius of the waist is going to be smaller on the top sheet. Now, honestly, in the end that shouldn't really matter because they probably go on to put those pre-bent sides into a jig that should hold them in exactly the desired shape before the kerfing, bracing, and top and bottom are added which, of course, serve to lock the uke into that final shape.

I think you're assuming that the two side pieces are stacked one on top of the other. In fact, they're set into the machine side by side. You can see in the video (at about 2:16) that Char clearly places the side pieces next to each other, not one on top of the other, before wrapping them in a heated blanket. Kamaka doesn't use blankets (the heat source is the machine itself), but it similarly does places the side pieces in next to each other. There may be variations resulting from two pieces of wood behaving dfifferently under the same circumstances, but nothihng in the process causes any one curve to be smaller because it is inside the other and thus has a smaller curve radius.

23skidoo
07-10-2012, 01:21 PM
What might be happening is the tops have been poorly fitted on the sides so that the sound hole is off center.

This discussion actually prompted my to get my good metal ruler and check..... my Kamoa tenor is pretty much perfect, measuring out from the neck to the sides. My laminate Kala does appear a little asymmetrical, but the sound hole is indeed slightly (only just) off center. Measuring out from along the neck, though, the sides are less than 1/16th of an inch off - pretty durn close for a $100 factory uke.

coolkayaker1
07-10-2012, 02:14 PM
Appreciate the replies. Very analytical, some of them, and it's appreciated.

Before I go to the eye doctor, I thought I'd look at (from the front and the back) every ukulele in my house. KoAloha Soprano - asymmetrical, but slightly. Kiwaya Soprano, asymmetrical. Pono concert, asymmetrical.

Then, before committing myself voluntarily to the insane asylum, I checked my Eddie Vedder ukulele songs tab book cover with photo of his uke--clearly asymmetrical. My Hal Leonard Chord Finder with uke on cover -- asymmetrical.

Online: http://www.thomann.de/gb/hal_leonard_3_chord_songs_for_ukulele.htm (click to blow up--asymmetrical).

With the sound holes all in the middle, as they are, I'm not at all seeing that it could be a "it just warped that way during the build" thing. I don;t see the bending as the final step... it's the mold. Question: is the mold asymmetrical, and if so, for a reason? If the mold is perfectly trace paper mirrored as tattwo suggests trying, then it is, as one person points out, a change in the sides after taken out of mold, and before the soundboard and back are applied. This is as hmgberg suggests.

I encourage you to look from the BACK of the ukulele(s). Eliminate hole, strings etc. from your view...it's quite obvious then.

OldePhart
07-10-2012, 02:22 PM
I think you're assuming that the two side pieces are stacked one on top of the other. In fact, they're set into the machine side by side. You can see in the video (at about 2:16) that Char clearly places the side pieces next to each other, not one on top of the other, before wrapping them in a heated blanket. Kamaka doesn't use blankets (the heat source is the machine itself), but it similarly does places the side pieces in next to each other. There may be variations resulting from two pieces of wood behaving dfifferently under the same circumstances, but nothihng in the process causes any one curve to be smaller because it is inside the other and thus has a smaller curve radius.

That was my assumption - I guess I'm misenterpretting what the thumbnail of that video shows. It looks like a blanket over two pieces of wood stacked on top of each other...if that lower "piece of wood" is some sort of feed guide then I'm at a loss how the bending press moves...I guess I'll go watch the full video. :)

...and - eight minutes later I'm remembering why I didn't watch the video before - now I want something I shouldn't really buy... LOL

John

Teek
07-10-2012, 04:04 PM
I saw an article years ago where a bunch of eggheads had studied faces and what made people attractive to other people. Their main conclusion (after probably spending way too many of our tax dollars) was that the biggest factor in our deciding whether a persons face is "beautiful" (or handsome) or not is how symmetrical the face is. Other proportional factors (position of eyes and mouth, the "thirds" we all learned in art class) are important but secondary to symmetry.


After seeing that page I think they just wasted a lot of research money... :)

John

Has anybody taken a look at Harrison Ford's face (http://www.google.com/imgres?q=harrison+ford&hl=en&sa=X&biw=1306&bih=905&tbm=isch&prmd=imvnsol&tbnid=RABJsaiiMRiVCM:&imgrefurl=http://www.therichest.org/celebnetworth/celeb/actors/harrison-ford-net-worth/&docid=n4vaXQwVplbulM&imgurl=http://www.therichest.org/celebnetworth/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/harrison-ford-4-g.jpg&w=400&h=300&ei=FNz8T6qoM4O-2gW-mIzzBg&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=1006&vpy=539&dur=6522&hovh=194&hovw=259&tx=162&ty=105&sig=105314731502734539409&page=1&tbnh=160&tbnw=216&start=0&ndsp=28&ved=1t:429,r:20,s:0,i:203) lately??

It's been like that a long time (http://www.google.com/imgres?q=harrison+ford&hl=en&sa=X&biw=1306&bih=905&tbm=isch&prmd=imvnsol&tbnid=ot72wLE0ObzdlM:&imgrefurl=http://www.palzoo.net/HarrisonFord&docid=Q9e7hs_lGKUuEM&imgurl=http://www.palzoo.net/file/pic/user/HarrisonFord.jpg&w=462&h=347&ei=FNz8T6qoM4O-2gW-mIzzBg&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=442&vpy=291&dur=3947&hovh=194&hovw=259&tx=183&ty=116&sig=105314731502734539409&page=2&tbnh=167&tbnw=227&start=28&ndsp=30&ved=1t:429,r:7,s:28,i:253).

People's eyes often have different visual disturbances (I have an astigmatism in one, one sees color a hair differently, one focuses closer) that they are unaware of. Wood has different grain patterns from side to side, I notice that my bookmatched backs are all a little bit off. I would think it was that first. Also photographs distort dimensions more than you would think, and if the uke is not perfectly centered onto the perfect center of the lens... and then all lenses have aberrations, some of which are compensated for in very expensive lenses, but even then are still there. The Hubble is an example of aberrations in ground glass.

On the Leonard cover, IMO that's just what bookmatched koa does when light hits it, the pieces are reversed, and the light bounces off in different directions, and one side can look 10 shades darker, and grain shows dark on one side and light on the other, so if you just look at the color it looks waaay off, but that is typical of figured koa or any curly or flamey wood grain pattern.

In other words nothing is perfect.

coolkayaker1
07-10-2012, 05:15 PM
Has anybody taken a look at Harrison Ford's face (http://www.google.com/imgres?q=harrison+ford&hl=en&sa=X&biw=1306&bih=905&tbm=isch&prmd=imvnsol&tbnid=RABJsaiiMRiVCM:&imgrefurl=http://www.therichest.org/celebnetworth/celeb/actors/harrison-ford-net-worth/&docid=n4vaXQwVplbulM&imgurl=http://www.therichest.org/celebnetworth/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/harrison-ford-4-g.jpg&w=400&h=300&ei=FNz8T6qoM4O-2gW-mIzzBg&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=1006&vpy=539&dur=6522&hovh=194&hovw=259&tx=162&ty=105&sig=105314731502734539409&page=1&tbnh=160&tbnw=216&start=0&ndsp=28&ved=1t:429,r:20,s:0,i:203) lately??

It's been like that a long time (http://www.google.com/imgres?q=harrison+ford&hl=en&sa=X&biw=1306&bih=905&tbm=isch&prmd=imvnsol&tbnid=ot72wLE0ObzdlM:&imgrefurl=http://www.palzoo.net/HarrisonFord&docid=Q9e7hs_lGKUuEM&imgurl=http://www.palzoo.net/file/pic/user/HarrisonFord.jpg&w=462&h=347&ei=FNz8T6qoM4O-2gW-mIzzBg&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=442&vpy=291&dur=3947&hovh=194&hovw=259&tx=183&ty=116&sig=105314731502734539409&page=2&tbnh=167&tbnw=227&start=28&ndsp=30&ved=1t:429,r:7,s:28,i:253).

People's eyes often have different visual disturbances (I have an astigmatism in one, one sees color a hair differently, one focuses closer) that they are unaware of. Wood has different grain patterns from side to side, I notice that my bookmatched backs are all a little bit off. I would think it was that first. Also photographs distort dimensions more than you would think, and if the uke is not perfectly centered onto the perfect center of the lens... and then all lenses have aberrations, some of which are compensated for in very expensive lenses, but even then are still there. The Hubble is an example of aberrations in ground glass.

On the Leonard cover, IMO that's just what bookmatched koa does when light hits it, the pieces are reversed, and the light bounces off in different directions, and one side can look 10 shades darker, and grain shows dark on one side and light on the other, so if you just look at the color it looks waaay off, but that is typical of figured koa or any curly or flamey wood grain pattern.

In other words nothing is perfect.

Your incorrect. I tested it, live (not a photo) on my wife, my kid, and his two college aged friends. They all see the difference, easily. It';s not grain, shadows, smoke and mirrors.

Tattwo had the best idea...trace. I did it to my least assym. uke, the KoAloha Soprano. Folded the paper. Does not match. Not even close.

Ron
07-10-2012, 06:47 PM
Can't quite believe it and i don't know why...but i just read that entire thread AND watched the video. Gotta get out more ;-)

Teek
07-10-2012, 09:28 PM
My new Pono tenor matches spot on, so does my old Mele tenor.

Are you perhaps doing a sociology experiment to see how many people you can get to measure their ukes?

ukuhippo
07-10-2012, 10:09 PM
FWIW, a roundup of my cheap ukes:

Makala Dolphins: both slightly asymetrical, not so much in the waist, but in the 'shoulders'.
Makala MK-T: asymetrical in the waist
Makala MK-B: asymetrical in the waist, and 'hips'

Pukulele Pete
07-10-2012, 11:55 PM
No offense intended but I think coolkayaker is " waisted " and just having fun with everyone here . I suspect his ukes are symetrical .

Mandarb
07-11-2012, 04:02 AM
My new Pono tenor matches spot on, so does my old Mele tenor.

Are you perhaps doing a sociology experiment to see how many people you can get to measure their ukes?


No offense intended but I think coolkayaker is " waisted " and just having fun with everyone here . I suspect his ukes are symetrical .

Agreed....

ukuhippo
07-11-2012, 05:51 AM
Now tell me this is symetrical:

40103

It isn't.

Teek
07-11-2012, 06:52 AM
Now tell me this is symetrical:

40103

It isn't.

You can't get perfectly symetrical images until you remove ALL shadows, have a lens with NO aberrations (they all have them), prevent a round backed uke from tilting slightly on the wall like this one is, which causes distortion, and also center the lens exactly on the subject. Even so you will get distortion, they used to make special lenses for architecture photography in an attempt to pull apart the receding lines to make the building dimensions more accurate, now it is done digitally. If you really want to show distortion, measure it. A photo will always have distortion, it is the nature of the medium.

This photo has the uke tilted camera left, so the left side recedes, appearing smaller, the right side is closer to the camera, appearing larger. The label however IS crooked.

Ignorance is bliss until someone gets people chasing their own tails because of it..

ukuhippo
07-11-2012, 07:05 AM
Actually this poor picture does show perfectly what I can see with my own eyes: this uke is asymetrical. Ignorance is bliss indeed.

coolkayaker1
07-11-2012, 07:22 AM
ukuhippo is right.

It's not glare, photoshopping, wood grain, camera angles or smoke & mirrors.

When i posed the initial question, I wasn't even asking if ukes were asym, I knew they were. I was simply asking if there's a reason for it, sound-wise, or production-wise or ergonomic-wise for resting on lap. I thought it was done on purpose, it's so ubiquitous

So, in keeping with the theme, I went to a local guitar shop, where my son has his lesson, last night. They sell mostly guitars, but have a couple of ukuleles--one a Martin concert size, and one an ibanez.

I took the ukes to the salesperson, and showed them to him and had him look (from the front and back, both), and asked him if there's a reason they are asymmetrical. He studied them, and within 10 seconds flat, said, "Yes, I see what you mean. I honestly never noticed that before. I know some guitars are like that for positioning on a thigh, but I can't see why it'd be like that on a ukulele. I never noticed it before, but yep...it sure is there."

Frankly, they look just like ukuhippo's photo (or the other photos I have linked below, for those of you that care to look).

I think the most plausible answer seems to be the change occurs after the side bending and molding, and before the top/back is put on (as some have suggested below). I'd think, though, that is that was all of it, occasionally a luthier would have one that simply was too asym , and couldn't be used (and would chime in on this thread to tell us of that). Hmmm.

philrab66
07-11-2012, 08:29 AM
Seriously, I have something like four tenors, and they are all the same that way. This includes custom ukes, like my Kiwaya ctsom tenor made impeccably for NAMM. Pono x 2 (yes, both), Kiwaya, Covered Bridge, etc.

CHekc your ukes (at least tenors). The waist is not symmetrical side to side. I'm just wondering why...perhaps a luthier would know.

As one of many (every) example online, here's a Gibson tenor:
http://www.denverfolklore.com/instrument_photos/Gibson_TU-1_Tenor_Ukulele_photos.htm

The waist is not the same.

Fender
http://www.chicagomusicexchange.com/acoustic/fender/fender-ukulele-hauoli-mahogany-tenor-ukulele/

THey're usually "thinner" on the right side as you look at them, and have a wider/longer waist on the left side as you look at them from the front.

Kamakas, too.
http://www.kamakahawaii.com/


You can only tell in photos straight on. Check your ukes people --it's obvious (for tenors, at least). LOL

A way to tell is lay your Uke on a piece of card draw around it then flip uke over see how far out it is.

AndrewKuker
07-11-2012, 06:29 PM
There are a lot of factors and OldePhart had some good points. The jig pressing the sides to the mold being one. But 99% of the molds out there were made on a band saw by a human. with the top showing symmetry. setting of the neck before laying out the bridge is common and a number of other factors can play a role in this. Of course, these imperfections these will not necessarily effect tone or intonation negatively and have to be extremely off to actually call someone's attention. As far as visually being attractive, if symmetry were the main ingredient more people would part their hair in the middle and wear symmetrical print t-shits. And a cutaway would be hideous. Another point is perception. proportion is distorted by the view, distance and angle, and as a side point, this is further distorted by a camera lens. Some photoshop functions try to correct this and present a more true image by giving them your camera and lens model and adjustments are made, so photoshopping does not equate trickery. The setting on a camera and choice of angle can do just as much. It's close enough to pretty much see what it looks like, but I would not suggest anyone judge minor asymmetry by photo.

Teek
07-11-2012, 09:01 PM
Another point is perception. proportion is distorted by the view, distance and angle, and as a side point, this is further distorted by a camera lens. Some photoshop functions try to correct this and present a more true image by giving them your camera and lens model and adjustments are made, so photoshopping does not equate trickery. The setting on a camera and choice of angle can do just as much. It's close enough to pretty much see what it looks like, but I would not suggest anyone judge minor asymmetry by photo.

Hey Andrew, I took another look at my Pono and the guys are right, it is hideously unbalanced and I need Ko'olau to replace it, look at the photo! The left side of the uke (camera right) is way fatter than the right side. Would you please speak with John on my behalf? Thanks. :)

P.S.: No, it's not my camera, my phone has a perfectly awesome camera, it's every bit as good as my Nikon D700 DSLR.

No, SERIOUSLY.

:agree:







:rotfl:

Teek
07-11-2012, 09:59 PM
Of course just kidding, lolz. It's one of the eBay refurbs and a honey.

mds725
07-11-2012, 11:02 PM
Are we still talking about this?


Of course just kidding, lolz. It's one of the eBay refurbs and a honey.

Beautiful ukulele! I just got my Pono 6-string eBay refurb, and it too is a honey, although I'm disappointed that it came with paired A strings instead of octaved A strings. And I'm sure it's asymmetrical... :)

ukuhippo
07-11-2012, 11:22 PM
Are we still talking about this?


When people aren't taking it seriously, and are pointing to bad photgraphy (which it is on my side) we are. :D
Like I don't know my phone sucks at taking pictures and is nowhere near a decent DSLR, MFT or MILC.

My last post on this:
It is a bad picture, but.... It shows exactly what I can see when looking at the uke: it's asymetrical. Not that I care playingwise or eyecandy-wise, but it is. And all my ukes are.

Happy strumming!

Hippie Dribble
07-12-2012, 01:38 AM
very late to the party. Just wanted to say I've never really noticed this kind of thing much before, until I received this custom concert beansprout last year....he he

401324013340131

...it is sooooo asymmetrical its hilarious, and so bloomin cute. Always regretted selling that one, for the sound, yes, but for it's totally out-there appearance. I mean, it's not even close....but boy was she a lovely instrument :)

AndrewKuker
07-12-2012, 01:41 AM
When people aren't taking it seriously, and are pointing to bad photgraphy (which it is on my side) we are. :D
Like I don't know my phone sucks at taking pictures and is nowhere near a decent DSLR, MFT or MILC.

My last post on this:
It is a bad picture, but.... It shows exactly what I can see when looking at the uke: it's asymetrical. Not that I care playingwise or eyecandy-wise, but it is. And all my ukes are.


Yes, and I didn't mean to question that fact. The topic in general was interesting to me, and should be for any builder. kudos to coolkayaker for making us all look twice. But with the photos... it's just that I do this almost every day, and I don't want people to start looking for asymmetry. For a while I was inspired by those car photos that are taken from a lower close , kind of a filipino squat with a wide angle lens. More dramatic,lol

The Big Kahuna
07-12-2012, 02:33 AM
I wasn't convinced until I took a photo of my Fender. I'm not sure you can see it, but there appears to be a tiny discrepancy between the sizes of the headstock and body. It's difficult to see, but it's there if you look closely.

40135

coolkayaker1
07-12-2012, 03:28 AM
Thanks for the replies.

Sad to see this veer toward photo discussions and spoofing. One need not have a photo to see the asymmetry. It’s cleary visible to the naked eye, and I thought there might be a reason for it.

I suppose ukuhippo and I have all our ukes asym, and some, like Teek, have none. Lol

I think Andrewkuker and oldephart and others have it—it might be the mold band saw cuts. The soundboard and back, interestingly, have to match the asym sides to make it all come together…and somehow that is accomplished (tracing the molded sides on the soundboard wood, I presume?)

Among all my mind-numbing college science courses, I took a blow-off course, “Art Appreciation”, with Professor Lichtenstein. We’d spend the afternoon in a giant lecture hall with the lights out looking at wall-sized projections of famous works: Rembrandt, Picasso, Monet and Manet, you know the score.

Professor taught us that the human eye focuses on a spot. We do this with reading, for instance The tendency, he opined, is to look even at larger objects with a focused eye that scans the object, seeing small parts of it and then assimilating it all in our mind’s eye.

He suggested training the observant eye to look at the whole. Not only step back and look, but actually develop a wide angle perspective to compliment the narrow focus that comes naturally.

If nothing else stuck from that class, I did remember that guidance from Prof. Lichtenstein.

And thanks to him, I sleep poorly at night knowing that all my ukuleles are catty-wampus. LOL

Mandarb
07-12-2012, 03:45 AM
Thanks for the replies.

Sad to see this veer toward photo discussions and spoofing. One need not have a photo to see the asymmetry. It’s cleary visible to the naked eye, and I thought there might be a reason for it.

I suppose ukuhippo and I have all our ukes asym, and some, like Teek, have none. Lol

I think Andrewkuker and oldephart and others have it—it might be the mold band saw cuts. The soundboard and back, interestingly, have to match the asym sides to make it all come together…and somehow that is accomplished (tracing the molded sides on the soundboard wood, I presume?)

Among all my mind-numbing college science courses, I took a blow-off course, “Art Appreciation”, with Professor Lichtenstein. We’d spend the afternoon in a giant lecture hall with the lights out looking at wall-sized projections of famous works: Rembrandt, Picasso, Monet and Manet, you know the score.

Professor taught us that the human eye focuses on a spot. We do this with reading, for instance The tendency, he opined, is to look even at larger objects with a focused eye that scans the object, seeing small parts of it and then assimilating it all in our mind’s eye.

He suggested training the observant eye to look at the whole. Not only step back and look, but actually develop a wide angle perspective to compliment the narrow focus that comes naturally.

If nothing else stuck from that class, I did remember that guidance from Prof. Lichtenstein.

And thanks to him, I sleep poorly at night knowing that all my ukuleles are catty-wampus. LOL

I thought you were trying to stir the pot up a bit like you mentioned that you were trying to do in the thread that you started about playing the uke while driving a car.

coolkayaker1
07-12-2012, 03:52 AM
I thought you were trying to stir the pot up a bit like you mentioned that you were trying to do in the thread that you started about playing the uke while driving a car.

Is that you, Professor Lichtenstein?

mikelz777
07-12-2012, 06:05 AM
This topic would fall under my "Who cares?" file. I think we need to spend less time scrutinizing and obsessing over our ukes and spend more time playing them. If anyone here is too disturbed owning an asymetrical uke, I'd be happy to provide a nice home for them. :rolleyes:

OldePhart
07-12-2012, 08:01 AM
There are a lot of factors and OldePhart had some good points. The jig pressing the sides to the mold being one. But 99% of the molds out there were made on a band saw by a human. with the top showing symmetry. setting of the neck before laying out the bridge is common and a number of other factors can play a role in this. Of course, these imperfections these will not necessarily effect tone or intonation negatively and have to be extremely off to actually call someone's attention. As far as visually being attractive, if symmetry were the main ingredient more people would part their hair in the middle and wear symmetrical print t-shits. And a cutaway would be hideous. Another point is perception. proportion is distorted by the view, distance and angle, and as a side point, this is further distorted by a camera lens. Some photoshop functions try to correct this and present a more true image by giving them your camera and lens model and adjustments are made, so photoshopping does not equate trickery. The setting on a camera and choice of angle can do just as much. It's close enough to pretty much see what it looks like, but I would not suggest anyone judge minor asymmetry by photo.

Good points, Andrew, especially about a little assymetry not affecting play or intonation. I'd rather have a uke that looked like an elephant sat on it but had nice feel and spot-on intonation than a uke symmetrical to four decimal places of the mm that didn't feel good or had poor intonation!

I think it's likely that a fair number of ukes are very slightly asymmetrical and most of us have probably never noticed. I know that I definitely have seen a couple of asymmetrical ukes that were obvious but they sounded fine. I've never cared enough to examine my own that closely - of course, I'm the kind of guy who loves blems - if I can save a few bucks on an instrument that is good because of small finish imperfection or what have you then I'm all over it. :)

John

finkdaddy
07-13-2012, 06:36 AM
I'm sort of confused by this entire thread. Is there a reason not all ukes are symetrical? No, of course not.
But who cares? Does it really bother anybody?

The Big Kahuna
07-13-2012, 07:11 AM
Depends how bad your OCD is I suppose. As there's nothing to count, an assymetrical Uke doesn't bother me personally. Of course, If I had 4 Ukes, and only 3 were assymetrical, I'd have to leave the perfect one against a radiator for a few hours.


I should point out, once again, that I don't have OCD. I have CDO, which is similar to OCD, except the letters are in the correct order, as they should be.

OldePhart
07-13-2012, 08:12 AM
I should point out, once again, that I don't have OCD. I have CDO, which is similar to OCD, except the letters are in the correct order, as they should be.

Now that is worthy of a signature tag line... :rofl:

mikelz777
07-13-2012, 09:22 AM
I'm sort of confused by this entire thread. Is there a reason not all ukes are symetrical? No, of course not.
But who cares? Does it really bother anybody?

I guess I'm not alone. I'm with you and fall into the "Who cares?" category. The time spent pondering and talking about the hows and whys of something one has no control over, can't change and that ultimately doesn't matter in the first place could be much better spent actually playing the uke. Apparently it doesn't bother people very much. I offered a nice home for those ukes whose asymmetry seems to offend their owners sensibilities but I haven't had any takers yet. :)

TicToc
07-13-2012, 11:52 AM
I kind of like the asymmetry, it makes my ukes seem more like individuals, and to me, it makes them more appealing, kind of like when a musician hits a wrong note, it reminds you of the human nature behind it.

Ukuleleblues
07-13-2012, 01:40 PM
People make them not robots or computers. It's hard to make stuff perfect unless you are a ROBOT....just ask one. Their English is not perfect so be patient.