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Thread: Will Sound Ports Become Standard?

  1. #1
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    Default Will Sound Ports Become Standard?

    More and more ukes are being made with sound ports. I wonder if people will come to expect to see them on all ukes. Given the choice, I'd buy the uke with the port. I'll have to check and see how many of mine have that feature. It seems that Cocobolo has standardized on them.
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  2. #2
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    No...........
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  3. #3
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    Default

    I think a sound port is viewed as a "high end" feature so I doubt that it will become a standard.
    Money can't buy happiness but it can buy a uke which is basically the same thing.

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  4. #4
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    Default

    They're nice, I like them a lot, but they're not essential. They do add cost to the build, so I don't think you're going to see many on entry-level instruments. If done cheaply and haphazardly, they could compromise the structure and lead to future problems. I just looked at the high-end ($2000+) ukes on HMS, and only a small percentage have sound ports, and none of the Hawaiian "K" brands seem to have them at all. I don't think performing professionals need them, as they're normally plugged in and hearing themselves through monitors. It's us serious amateurs that seem to be the target market for sound ports.
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  5. #5
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    It's a fad. They may just disappear or be replaced with multiple small holes in the sides that look like Swiss cheese or some other fad.

  6. #6
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    Well since I mostly play for myself I do like them. When I ordered one of the new all-carbon Klos ukes many months (!) ago they offered a sound port on the lower bout, but relented when I insisted that I wanted one, but only on the upper bout. We'll see how it turns out if it ever arrives. If I were ordering a replacement for my Farallon I would get one.
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  7. #7
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    When sound energy is directed upwards to the player, then that amount is missing from the forward direction (so projection to the audience will be lessened).
    Therefore, I don't think it'll become a standard feature because it is going to be viewed as a compromise.
    Also, the sound from the side portal may give the player a much different tonal characteristic than the audience because of the location (and some might view this as a compromise).

    If the side portals include plugs, then most of the compromising issues are resolved, except for the extra parts, extra weight, and possible changes to the structural integrity/tone (although a properly engineered structure with holes can be stronger than one without, so maybe a benefit is a stronger frame).

    An interesting benefit of the side holes, if big enough, is that they can provide extra gripping spots for the ukulele during transport, assuming a strong overall frame.

  8. #8
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    Jul 2019
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    The uke makers who make a model with and without sound port should be able to answer how much, if any, loss of sound/energy/amplitude someone in front of the player would notice. Like besley, I mostly play for myself, but I'm still curious about this.

  9. #9
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    It is just an ornament. Instruments don't need any sound holes. If violins and mandolins didn't have the F-holes, the music wouldn't be trapped inside. So like all other ornament it will undoubtably have some ebb and flow in terms of popularity. I personally hope they don't catch on to the point of becoming a default part of the uke because as someone who always plays with a strap, I find the side hole to be uncomfortably near the place I rest my arm atop the instrument. Also I suppose I don't prefer to look down and see an open emptiness where there should be some pretty wood. Lastly, I can imagine things falling into the hole.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by clear View Post
    When sound energy is directed upwards to the player, then that amount is missing from the forward direction (so projection to the audience will be lessened).
    Therefore, I don't think it'll become a standard feature because it is going to be viewed as a compromise.
    Also, the sound from the side portal may give the player a much different tonal characteristic than the audience because of the location (and some might view this as a compromise).

    If the side portals include plugs, then most of the compromising issues are resolved, except for the extra parts, extra weight, and possible changes to the structural integrity/tone (although a properly engineered structure with holes can be stronger than one without, so maybe a benefit is a stronger frame).

    An interesting benefit of the side holes, if big enough, is that they can provide extra gripping spots for the ukulele during transport, assuming a strong overall frame.
    Good summary. Another aspect is that this additional opening will collect dust and other debris into the instrument which may not be liked by everyone.

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