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Thread: It is a puzzlement....

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default It is a puzzlement....

    I visited a friend who had 2 identical all-solid-hog Ohana tenors, same exact model. He wanted to sell 1 of them.

    I played each of them a while and noticed something odd. Namely, on one of those tenors, the wood vibrated a LOT when I played it. The other tenor manifested only what I would call "normal" vibration.

    I examined them closely and could see zero differences in structure. My friend said he had strung both ukes with nylgut plus Fremont low G.

    Of course I bought the one that vibrated. Several days later, my granddaughter visited. She played it for about an hour. As she was playing she said, "This thing feels like it's going to fly apart but it sure sounds nice."

    I have 17 ukuleles and none of them vibrates like this particular Ohana. In fact, the vibration is almost startling, bordering on "ominous."

    What is going on with this ukulele, I wonder?

  2. #2
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    Default

    Uketergeists. Like poltergeists but fewer exploding TVs and such
    Ukulele:
    Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - A, WoU Clarity
    Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    Imua iET-Bb, M600
    Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    Rogue bari
    Bonanza super tenor, cFAD SC LHU
    Kala KSLNG, Eb SC XLU
    Hanson 5-string tenor, dGCEA
    Bonanza SLN GCEA
    Bonanzalele concert
    Guitars:
    Jupiter #47, G, TI CF127
    Pelem, B reentrant
    Jupiter #71, A, UG1

    !Flukutronic!

  3. #3
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    Tampa Bay, FL
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    Default

    You had ukulele gnomes in your music room.
    I have played several Ohana tenors that had no low range at all.
    "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.

  4. #4
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    It's always interesting how 2 ukes of the exact same model can be so different. Sounds like you got a good one, enjoy!
    John

  5. #5
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    Dec 2019
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    Default

    Sure sounds like a glued piece(s) shakin'

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ukeanixi View Post
    Sure sounds like a glued piece(s) shakin'
    My set-up tech says all the inners are okay. When I pressed him to explain why the thing vibrates so much & sounds so good, he just laughed and said that maybe the uke got kissed by a menehune. Good grief! Can't anyone give me a straight answer?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellgamin View Post
    My set-up tech says all the inners are okay. When I pressed him to explain why the thing vibrates so much & sounds so good, he just laughed and said that maybe the uke got kissed by a menehune. Good grief! Can't anyone give me a straight answer?
    Mine was a straight answer. You might just need to experiment with dampening some sort of wacky resonance...

  8. #8
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    I can give you a straight answer but I do not think it will necessarily enlighten you. First of all, wood is not an engineered material. The physical characteristics vary widely among trees of the same species and even among pieces from the same tree. Factory assembled parts are cut, usually by CNC machines to nominal dimensions, but those dimensions can be changed considerably during the assembly and finishing process. Keep in mind tenths of a mm can make big differences. Usually these variables will work in different ways, resulting in an average sounding ukulele and sometimes they may be additive resulting in a superior sounding instrument. There are of course inferior ones produced as well.
    Brad
    Bradford Donaldson
    Kekaha, HI and Cannon Beach OR
    bradfordj48@outlook.com

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuzzBD View Post
    I can give you a straight answer but I do not think it will necessarily enlighten you. First of all, wood is not an engineered material. The physical characteristics vary widely among trees of the same species and even among pieces from the same tree. Factory assembled parts are cut, usually by CNC machines to nominal dimensions, but those dimensions can be changed considerably during the assembly and finishing process. Keep in mind tenths of a mm can make big differences. Usually these variables will work in different ways, resulting in an average sounding ukulele and sometimes they may be additive resulting in a superior sounding instrument. There are of course inferior ones produced as well.
    Brad
    Thanks, Brad. That makes sense to me. To wit: in any production-line item, "lemons" sometimes happen. Conversely, "peaches" also occur... sometimes (but MUCH less often, sad to say). Maybe I got a peach.

    By the way, does anyone know the "normal" solid-hog topwood thickness (in mm) for a production ukulele? My tech friend says this one's topwood is unusually thin.

  10. #10
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    Apr 2020
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    I'm not a techie, but I would think that the difference would be in the particular pieces of wood used, particularly the top where most of the sound is produced. They're the same instruments, but not the same pieces of wood, so of course they will vary in sound. The thicknesses between the two tops could have varied a bit as well. A nicely vibrating top would be a big plus in the sound it produces. I used to go through several of the same model of guitars looking for "the one". With ukes, I haven't had that luxury.
    "So many ukes, so little money..."

    Kanile'a KSR-T premium koa tenor
    Rebel Double Cheese spruce/mahogany tenor, my BFF.
    Kala KA-ASFM-T-C flame maple tenor
    Pono MT-SP tenor
    Cocobolo concert #467
    Pono ASD acacia soprano deluxe
    Pono MGS mango soprano

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