Booming C String?

JackLuis

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I have an Ohana CK-22, solid spruce topped mahogany concert with Fremont Black Lines on it. I really like it, but when I strum it the C string booms horribly. My Caramel Concert doesn't do this, it's zebra wood laminated top.

Is it my playing or the strings or the spruce that causes this? I noticed this with other strings on it, but not sure how bad is was as I've had the Fremonts on it for a while now.
 

johnson430

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Is it the sound you are hearing as the player or the sound projected out that you are hearing in a recording?
Have you faced a corner and played the uke to hear what sound is being projected?
Can you make a recording so we can see and/or hear what is going on?

Regards,
Johnson
 

70sSanO

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C strings can sometimes be troublesome on some ukes. Usually it is more apparent when the C is played open and not fretted. On one particular ukulele, I went through different C strings until I got the right balance.

John
 

JackLuis

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Here is a quick comparison between my CK22 and my CC-100. The spruce topped first one has a booming C string. It is more evident in person but you can hear it in the recording.
 

Booli

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Here is a quick comparison between my CK22 and my CC-100. The spruce topped first one has a booming C string. It is more evident in person but you can hear it in the recording.


seems a link is missing, no?
 

JCar

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I've found a lot of times "boominess" is not associated with the strings but rather the Helmholtz frequency of your instrument. Without getting too crazy into it, basically in any enclosed space the air inside will resonate at a specific frequency, kind of like blowing air across the top of a bottle. If the resonant frequency of your instrument is the same as the lowest string it will sound "boomy". Before buying new strings I would tune up a full step to D6 tuning to see if the boominess vanishes. I've mostly seen this on low G tuned tenors where their resonant frequencies are usually somewhere around G/G# but its still a possibility on your concert.
 

Nickie

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I don't understand boomy. I wish someone would show me boomy. All I get outta C strings is thuddy.
 

JackLuis

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Now here is the video! Sorry about that!

Boomy or thudding? The two ukes are 1) my CK22 Ohana and 2) my CC-100 Caramel. pardon the sloppy playing, these were test recordings of my Amazonian Dances I do to try out new strum rhythms.
 

zztush

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Very nice sounds of both uke. I don't think it is booming. If I were you, I just wait for "breaking in" for at least a couple of month. You need to clip your nails on your left hand. :)
 

Down Up Dick

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I don't understand boomy. I wish someone would show me boomy. All I get outta C strings is thuddy.

Boomy is when a string (usually open) is louder than the rest of 'em. When one strums, it really "stands out". :eek:ld:
 

JackLuis

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Unfortunately the video doesn't really capture the effect very well. Perhaps some of what "I hear" is due to my technique, or lack thereof? I couold also be the frequency response of my ear too? I have a rapid fall off of my hearing above ~2K Hz. Maybe I'll just use the Ohana to learn finger picking melody, it does sound pretty good on single notes.

The strings have been on for several months and they stay in tune quite well. I'll switch back to PhD's and see if they have to same problem?
 

Down Up Dick

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Unfortunately the video doesn't really capture the effect very well. Perhaps some of what "I hear" is due to my technique, or lack thereof? I couold also be the frequency response of my ear too? I have a rapid fall off of my hearing above ~2K Hz. Maybe I'll just use the Ohana to learn finger picking melody, it does sound pretty good on single notes.

The strings have been on for several months and they stay in tune quite well. I'll switch back to PhD's and see if they have to same problem?

I have found that the boominess isn't a problem when picking, just when one strums. :eek:ld:
 

JackLuis

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I have found that the boominess isn't a problem when picking, just when one strums. :eek:ld:

That is true and since I'm just a strummer, it makes me a little mad. However it does motivate me to learn to finger pick my notes, you know like a real musician!
 

mm stan

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Why are you doing a fast strum to show us, it does nothing but muddle all. Can you please Strum slow across the strings and or pick each string in order.
 
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hammer40

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I've found a lot of times "boominess" is not associated with the strings but rather the Helmholtz frequency of your instrument. Without getting too crazy into it, basically in any enclosed space the air inside will resonate at a specific frequency, kind of like blowing air across the top of a bottle. If the resonant frequency of your instrument is the same as the lowest string it will sound "boomy". Before buying new strings I would tune up a full step to D6 tuning to see if the boominess vanishes. I've mostly seen this on low G tuned tenors where their resonant frequencies are usually somewhere around G/G# but its still a possibility on your concert.

I agree! This is why I stay away from low g on my tenors. It does vary depending on the instruments body frequency, but when the low string and the frequency of the body are to close, you can get that droning, boomy sound.

That Ohana sounds nice though, at least in the sample video provided.
 

JackLuis

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I just found this same issue with my baritone, when I changed strings last night! I switched out the Worth Browns for D'Addario carbons to see what the switch from "warm" to "bright" would sound like, but now the G sting on the bari is booming. I'll let the stings settle down a bit to see if this changes as the strings settle. (It seems to be fading a little now after a few hours of being tuned.)

I think the CK22's problem is the spruce top being so responsive and the lightness of it's build contributes too. It can be reduced by playing softer so maybe I just need to learn to be gentle with her?
 

padlin

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I've found a lot of times "boominess" is not associated with the strings but rather the Helmholtz frequency of your instrument. Without getting too crazy into it, basically in any enclosed space the air inside will resonate at a specific frequency, kind of like blowing air across the top of a bottle. If the resonant frequency of your instrument is the same as the lowest string it will sound "boomy". Before buying new strings I would tune up a full step to D6 tuning to see if the boominess vanishes. I've mostly seen this on low G tuned tenors where their resonant frequencies are usually somewhere around G/G# but its still a possibility on your concert.

Guess this might be what happened today when I put a wound low G on one of the tenors. Now that is boomy.
 

JackLuis

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Well the booming of the G string on the Big Zebra went away mostly after being on the uke for almost 24 hrs. But wow the D'Addarios sound bad compared to the Worth Browns! I even played it for my wife and she turned up her nose at them. She liked the Browns on the baritone a lot but said the D'Addarios made it sound like a whole different instrument!

This surprised me, as I have used them on my zebra tenors and even my soprano and was very happy with them. On my baritone they sound weak and had no chime. I'm going to switch them out for the Browns. Maybe the problem is that they are Tenor strings, but the diameters are not that different between the two. Intonation is pretty good though. This is the first time I've heard such a difference in strings on an uke. Generally the difference in strings is very slight, even Aquilas Nylguts for Fluorocarbons is a subtle change.