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luthier question (Read 1917 times)
Russ
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luthier question
Apr 19th, 2006 at 3:18pm
 
Well, I just finished my second traditional soprano and, while it looks pretty good,  I am rather disappointed in the sound. It sounds just as 'plinky' as the first one I built. It is a close copy of a Martin but the wood is different. The top is sitka spruce (1/16" thick thinned to 3/64" at edges) and the sides, back (1/16" thick) & neck are cherry. Action and intonation are good. Strings are Aquila. Volume is okay but not great but it sounds so darn thin and plinky. I know there are lots of variables, but do y'all have any suggestions? Should I start thinning the top? Will that help? Is it my wood choices? I look forward to your suggestions.
Russ
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Road_Toad
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Eh brah, da buggah flat!

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Kalyfoonya
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Re: luthier question
Reply #1 - Apr 19th, 2006 at 9:36pm
 
You may be a bit thin for a spruce top, but not by much. Sounds like the right thickness for koa or mahogany. What kind of (if any) top bracing are you doing? I'm not experienced with cherry, but I think it's similar to maple which along with the spruce, would put more of an emphasis on the highs. Doing an all koa, mahogany, mango or walnut uke should give you a more balanced sound, though I've only done sopranos in koa to date.
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Russ
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I love YaBB 1G - SP1!

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Re: luthier question
Reply #2 - Apr 20th, 2006 at 1:12am
 
Hey Road Toad,
Hmmmm, all walnut...... now there's an idea. I have plenty of nice, seasoned walnut.
Top bracing is as close to the Martin as I could make it - just two horizontal bars. Same dimensions.
So I might be TOO thin on the top, eh? I know that on my first uke, when I was trying to tap tone the top, it had a lovely tone but, thinking thinner was better, I thicknessed it down and the nice tone went away.
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Road_Toad
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Eh brah, da buggah flat!

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Kalyfoonya
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Re: luthier question
Reply #3 - Apr 20th, 2006 at 9:54pm
 
I think it's all a balancing act- tone vs. volume. I made a koa uke for my brother a while back and it has a .10" thick top. The tone is great, but no volume at all. Walnut is very close to koa in density, so I bet it will work well. I just finished a bass in walnut, but haven't done a uke yet. Here's the bass...

http://www.roadtoadmusic.com/Completed/walnut_bass_024BB.html
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Russ
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I love YaBB 1G - SP1!

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Re: luthier question
Reply #4 - Apr 21st, 2006 at 12:53am
 
Hmmmm..... I guess it's back to the bench for another try. I will pay a lot more attention to  the whole 'tap tone' thing (as I understand it!).
Lovely bass! I'm curious - could one be designed without the need for electronics? I want to buy a guitarron for my acoustic bass needs and I wonder if that body style might be tried for an acoustic uke bass?
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Road_Toad
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Eh brah, da buggah flat!

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Re: luthier question
Reply #5 - Apr 21st, 2006 at 9:00pm
 
Peter Hurney of Pohaku Ukuleles built a little soprano with a guitarron body. I'm sure you could try it, but the body of a guitarron is that size because it needs to be to get as much acoustic volume as bass fiddle. I don't think you enough out of a uke sized body to be truly acoustic. It would be interesting to try going G-C-E-A, but one octave lower than a low G tuning. You could probably get away with it with a double deep baritone sized body. Now tat would be a true base uke.
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