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Thread: The Hype: "Wood Opening Up" or "Breaking In"

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jelow1966 View Post
    It doesn't have to be always positive. A bright uke opening up could lead to one that is too bright. Perhaps that is why I don't like my flamenco uke much anymore. Or perhaps I'm just older now and more sensitive the very bright sound it has.
    Is this really a thing that a bright instrument will "open up" to sounding even brighter? My understanding, coming from Spruce top guitars, is that the process of opening up implies that a bright sounding instrument will sound warmer or "darker" over time.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakelele View Post
    Is this really a thing that a bright instrument will "open up" to sounding even brighter? My understanding, coming from Spruce top guitars, is that the process of opening up implies that a bright sounding instrument will sound warmer or "darker" over time.
    Yes, I have a guitar that I bought new about 40 years ago and it still smells new and looks mint, but when I bought it it was bright and shimmery and now it's really on the mellow and "warm" side (as far as I can tell), and has way too much overtones to be useful. So it is definitely a case where aging was very detrimental to sound changes.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlin666 View Post
    Yes, I have a guitar that I bought new about 40 years ago and it still smells new and looks mint, but when I bought it it was bright and shimmery and now it's really on the mellow and "warm" side (as far as I can tell), and has way too much overtones to be useful. So it is definitely a case where aging was very detrimental to sound changes.
    So if I'm understanding correctly, your guitar used to have a bright tone that has become mellow and warm over time? This is exactly what I meant: the process of opening up usually refers to an instrument becoming warmer sounding, not brighter like someone stated above. (If this process is to one's liking, of course, is up to one's individual taste.)

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by bazmaz View Post
    An age old topic that has been active online since the internet developed - see guitar forums for a flavour.

    My issue with the topic is how utterly impossible it is to measure in any meaningful way. Whilst I believe that solid wood instruments DO change over time, whether they change for better or worse, greatly or minimally is impossible to demonstrate.

    Take a ukulele, made of solid wood, bought in 2000 by a player. It is now 2019 so many years have passed and the player believes there is a difference. Perhaps there is, but surely there is a difference in the player too. We change as much as the ukuleles do. As such there is no way to quantify it. You would need the exact same strings, recorded in the exact same room and conditions in 2000 and 2019. The harder bit is you would need the exact same level of skill and touch from the player too - and that simply cannot be mimiced.

    So I say - sure there may be a change - but dont fret about it, just play the thing.
    As someone married to a scientist whose work revolves around scientific evidence, I must say I have to concur with you on this.
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  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlin666 View Post
    Yes, I have a guitar that I bought new about 40 years ago and it still smells new and looks mint, but when I bought it it was bright and shimmery and now it's really on the mellow and "warm" side (as far as I can tell), and has way too much overtones to be useful. So it is definitely a case where aging was very detrimental to sound changes.
    So if I wait another twenty years my flamenco uke might warm up a bit?

    On a serious note it is now 22 years old and I can't say that there is any noticeable more warmth to it then new but a guitar has a heck of a lot more wood then a concert sized ukulele.

    John

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by jelow1966 View Post
    So if I wait another twenty years my flamenco uke might warm up a bit?

    On a serious note it is now 22 years old and I can't say that there is any noticeable more warmth to it then new but a guitar has a heck of a lot more wood then a concert sized ukulele.
    Just to be clear: What I was trying to say is that the process of "opening up" usually refers to instruments sounding warmer over time. This wasn't to say that this happens to all instruments, nor that it happens at all. Nor that there weren't any other possible processes that might affect the sound in a negative way. My intention was merely to clarify the semantics. If your guitar sounds brighter now, this wouldn't qualify as "opening up" (to my understanding).

  7. #27
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    My Beau Hannam tenor really opened up when Sarah & Craig each played it. Closed up when they gave it back to me. I suspect the reult would be the same if I handed them my Clara.

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  8. #28
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    My new Ohana and I opened up to each other last night. Started out with a rum and Coke, just singing some songs, the Ohana accompanying me. But after three or four of the rum and Cokes, I really opened up to it. We talked about past failures, future expectations, how much we liked playing together. We talked about whether I would take it with me to San Juan this winter. I'm sure that it overheard me earlier saying that I would rather take my older more experienced ukulele, maybe the cute little soprano. I really feel like it is too early in our relationship to take it travelling right now. I really think that it was trying to get me a little drunk, kind of like that Christmas song that everyone was all goofy over about it being cold outside. I think that it was trying to get me to say that I would take it along. Didn't work, I never let myself drink so much that I don't know what is going on. Maybe next time. Anyway, it was really nice to open up like that to each other. I feel like we really made some progress getting to know each other better. I have to admit, this new one is easy to open up to. I've had a couple of ukuleles who were a bit standoffish. They really would not open up and express themselves like this new Ohana has already. I can see us getting much closer, but I just want to take it slow, get to know each other first..
    Last edited by Rllink; 01-07-2019 at 01:56 PM.
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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rllink View Post
    My new Ohana and I opened up to each other last night. Started out with a rum and Coke, just singing some songs, the Ohana accompanying me. But after three or four of the rum and Cokes, I really opened up to it. We talked about past failures, future expectations, how much we liked playing together. We talked about whether I would take it with me to San Juan this winter. I'm sure that it overheard me earlier saying that I would rather take my older more experienced ukulele, maybe the cute little soprano. I really feel like it is too early in our relationship to take it travelling right now. I really think that it was trying to get me a little drunk, kind of like that Christmas song that everyone was all goofy over about it being cold outside. I think that it was trying to get me to say that I would take it along. Didn't work, I know how to keep my head about me when I'm drinking. Maybe next time. Anyway, it was really nice to open up like that to each other. I feel like we really made some progress getting to know each other better. I have to admit, this new one is easy to open up to. I've had a couple of ukuleles who were a bit standoffish. They really would not open up and express themselves like this new Ohana has already. I can see us getting much closer, but I just want to take it slow, get to know each other first..
    I love this!
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  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by bazmaz View Post
    An age old topic that has been active online since the internet developed - see guitar forums for a flavour.

    My issue with the topic is how utterly impossible it is to measure in any meaningful way. Whilst I believe that solid wood instruments DO change over time, whether they change for better or worse, greatly or minimally is impossible to demonstrate.

    Take a ukulele, made of solid wood, bought in 2000 by a player. It is now 2019 so many years have passed and the player believes there is a difference. Perhaps there is, but surely there is a difference in the player too. We change as much as the ukuleles do. As such there is no way to quantify it. You would need the exact same strings, recorded in the exact same room and conditions in 2000 and 2019. The harder bit is you would need the exact same level of skill and touch from the player too - and that simply cannot be mimicked.

    So I say - sure there may be a change - but don't fret about it, just play the thing.
    Baz, this makes so much sense, logically....I'm not gonna concern myself with it anymore, I'm just gonna play the h--- outta my ukes.

    Now, I wanna discuss what happened when I dropped my G harmonica on the sidewalk....
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

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