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View Full Version : Forget "Guitar Sound", I Want "Harp Sound"...



Paul December
02-10-2013, 08:37 AM
Earlier this week I posted about the Compass Rose (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?76437-Ever-Play-a-Compass-Rose) sound, and many (all?) described it as having a Guitar Sound...
... I think I'm finally over my guitar envy (failed guitar player here), and love the Uke Sound that sometimes is described as: Harp-like or Bell-like.
If you've played uke (uke/string combo) with that sound, I'd appreciate hearing about it. Preferably Tenor or Concert.

OldePhart
02-10-2013, 08:49 AM
(Concert) KoAloha with factory strings or Worth clear mediums (basically the same thing). For an even more traditional uke sound, but with a concert scale, the longneck soprano, same strings. I've had both (sold the concert once I got the longneck) and, to my ear at least, they embody the traditional uke sound.

I've yet to find a tenor that I would describe as being really strong on the "jumping flea" traditional uke sound and I think it's mostly just an issue that the body size lets too much lower frequencies color the sound. Don't get me wrong, I've got a couple of tenors that sound good, and i've heard others that sound better, but I've yet to hear one that I would say, "yes, that nails 'traditional uke sound.'"


John

itsme
02-10-2013, 08:56 AM
Not a uke/string combo, but John King was a big proponent of the "campanella" style (http://www.ophysics.com/nalu/blog/?page_id=42) which takes advantage of re-entrant tuning to achieve a certain sound quality such as you described.

About the Campanella Style

The early baroque masters of the guitarra espaņola pioneered a style of playing now known as campanella. The campanella style is noted for a bell like quality of sound in which individual notes over-ring one another producing an effect very much like that of the harp. This is accomplished by playing each succeeding note in a melodic line on a different string. The ukulele adapts well to this style of performance due to its hallmark re-entrant (my-dog-has-fleas) tuning.

Dan Uke
02-10-2013, 08:58 AM
personally I think adi spruce is very bell like

Paul December
02-10-2013, 09:06 AM
personally I think adi spruce is very bell like

Yes, this Glyph spruce soprano sure is.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAAAjrQ2Gp4

haole
02-10-2013, 09:11 AM
Maybe a KoAloha super-soprano? They even make a soprano with a tenor neck on it.

soupking
02-10-2013, 09:52 AM
http://youtu.be/A9FeQJR2SOg

Ukey, yet robust...

wayfarer75
02-10-2013, 10:16 AM
Harp, you say? Sounds like you need one of these: http://www.theukulelesite.com/anuenue-harp-ukulele-iii-e.html

soupking
02-10-2013, 10:21 AM
http://youtu.be/y1kUuVnoneU

hmgberg
02-10-2013, 10:28 AM
I agree about the koa logs concert. I don't own one, but I've played a dozen or so, and all of them had the sound I think you are describing. I also agree about the spruce. I'd recommend an Ernest Stradelelelike the one seen in a few John King videos, but I think any of the luthiers who contribute to the forum could make you a nice spruce-top instrument.

Paul December
02-10-2013, 10:34 AM
http://youtu.be/A9FeQJR2SOg

Ukey, yet robust...

That does sound pretty!

Paul December
02-10-2013, 10:35 AM
Harp, you say? Sounds like you need one of these: http://www.XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

WARNING - AVS indicates that link has a Virus :eek:
...please delete from your post.

wayfarer75
02-10-2013, 10:46 AM
WARNING - AVS indicates that link has a Virus :eek:
...please delete from your post.

That's bizarre! It was one of these: http://www.theukulelesite.com/anuenue-harp-ukulele-iii-e.html

Linho
02-10-2013, 10:51 AM
If you want harp like Sound, why Not heading for a harp ukulele?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRVhyWK8EMw

Tim let it Sound like a real harp:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=5LzDT9_0rcU

Paul December
02-10-2013, 10:57 AM
If you want harp like Sound, why Not heading for a harp ukulele?

http://youtube.com/watch?v=VRVhyWK8EMw

Tim let it Sound like a real harp:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=5LzDT9_0rcU

Possibly it's just me, but IMO it does not have a harp tone...
...kind of sound banjo-y to me.

Linho
02-10-2013, 11:06 AM
Banjo? Absolutely not. Ok, never heard a real harp live. ;)

I you want a regular ukulele, I suggest a soprano/concert sized K Brand. :D

BlackBearUkes
02-10-2013, 11:13 AM
Having built several harp ukes in the concert and soprano size, not once did the uke have that "Harp" sound you are looking for. They are going to sound like ukes with a little more low end because of the added bass sound chamber.
Perhaps if you had a tenor size harp uke made with a spruce top and the added bass strings. you could get more to the clear harp sound, but it would have to be steel strings not nylon uke strings, at least for the treble strings. The sub basses could be wound nylon. The uke would require extra bracing to take the added string pressure, but the sound would be more delicate and clear with the steel strings. Just a suggestion. Other than that, I have never heard any uke that sounded more like a harp than a uke.

King David
02-10-2013, 11:20 AM
Having tried dozens and dozens of ukes including all the major K brands, hands down the Pineapple Sunday masterpiece collection from Papa KoAloha, with clear flurocarbon strings you will be playing with the harp angels in the clouds =) (seriously though best bell/harp like sound on the market but it comes with a heavy price as well)

haole
02-10-2013, 01:11 PM
The Pineapple Sunday would be a great choice. Also can't believe I forgot Maui Music. I love mine, and it's one of the most uke-y sounding tenors out there.