HomeHelpSearchLogin  
 
Page Index Toggle Pages: 1
Send Topic Print
.010" to .015" difference in soundboard thickness (Read 12769 times)
mblue
Junior Uke
**
Offline


Ukulele Lover!

Posts: 65
.010" to .015" difference in soundboard thickness
Mar 17th, 2011 at 9:34am
 
How much difference in sound, tone, volume, would there be between soundboards that are .010" to .015" difference in thickness.
For example, if one is .060" thick and the other is .072" thick? Assuming everything else is the same
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Hana Lima Ia
YaBB Administrator
*****
Offline


Build an Uke!

Posts: 115
Honolulu, HI
Re: .010" to .015" difference in soundboard thickness
Reply #1 - Mar 17th, 2011 at 12:27pm
 
I understand your frustration, but what you're asking has not yet been quantified by science....or anyone else that I know of.
Back to top
 

Hana Lima 'Ia
WWW  
IP Logged
 
mblue
Junior Uke
**
Offline


Ukulele Lover!

Posts: 65
Re: .010" to .015" difference in soundboard thickness
Reply #2 - Mar 17th, 2011 at 3:42pm
 
Hana Lima Ia wrote on Mar 17th, 2011 at 12:27pm:
I understand your frustration, but what you're asking has not yet been quantified by science....or anyone else that I know of.

By that do you mean that you would not expect a easily noticeable difference between soundboards that are .012" different thickness?
If this is the case, how much difference in thickness would make a noticeable difference in sound.
For example, I would think that a .120" thick top would sound different than a .050" thick top.
One reason that I am asking about this is because I am somewhat musically challenged, so the more empirical information I have the better...
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
unkabob
Big Uke
***
Offline


I love YaBB 1G - SP1!

Posts: 225
Re: .010" to .015" difference in soundboard thickness
Reply #3 - Mar 17th, 2011 at 5:02pm
 
mblue:
To prove it out properly you would have to build several identical ukuleles using the same wood from the same boards with the only difference being the soundboard thickness. There are so many variables that it is almost imposible to make a hard and fast rule.
The next problem is what do you measure and how do you measure it. Loudness you can measure using a Radio Shack  sound level meter but tone is way too complex.
I built three pineapple tenors with different woods for the soundboards. The mahogany was brighter, the cedar was mellower and the spruce was louder. Personally, I preferred the cedar.

As usual, I end up with more questions than answers.

Bob Cool
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
mblue
Junior Uke
**
Offline


Ukulele Lover!

Posts: 65
Re: .010" to .015" difference in soundboard thickness
Reply #4 - Mar 17th, 2011 at 6:27pm
 
If I understand you all correctly, 2 ukuleles that are identical, except that one has a .120" thick top, and the other has a .050" top will sound pretty much the same to human hearing, and would take sensitive audio test equipment to detect any difference.
I have probably been misled by the term "soundboard" and I was thinking that the vibration of the soundboard was critical in the way the ukulele sounds.
It does make me wonder how significant the tone bars are, if the thickness of the top that they are glued to is so insignificant.
I have a lot to learn..
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Hana Lima Ia
YaBB Administrator
*****
Offline


Build an Uke!

Posts: 115
Honolulu, HI
Re: .010" to .015" difference in soundboard thickness
Reply #5 - Mar 18th, 2011 at 1:41pm
 
mblue wrote on Mar 17th, 2011 at 3:42pm:
Hana Lima Ia wrote on Mar 17th, 2011 at 12:27pm:
I understand your frustration, but what you're asking has not yet been quantified by science....or anyone else that I know of.

By that do you mean that you would not expect a easily noticeable difference between soundboards that are .012" different thickness?
If this is the case, how much difference in thickness would make a noticeable difference in sound.
For example, I would think that a .120" thick top would sound different than a .050" thick top.
One reason that I am asking about this is because I am somewhat musically challenged, so the more empirical information I have the better...


I mean that there are no solid numbers to give you.  Like Bob says, there are too many variables.

Yes there is a difference between a thickness of .120" and .050"  (you would hear that).

However, you  couldn't say the .050" thickness will ALWAYS give you 15% increase in Amplitude or +3dB, a Frequency change of minus 255 Hertz cycles, a difference of 200 Cents with the same G-string tension of 12 pounds. 

These are all different measurements for different things that will all work together to make the sound of your uke.

You would have to pick each aspect out and measure the differences.




Back to top
 

Hana Lima 'Ia
WWW  
IP Logged
 
mblue
Junior Uke
**
Offline


Ukulele Lover!

Posts: 65
Re: .010" to .015" difference in soundboard thickness
Reply #6 - Mar 18th, 2011 at 2:08pm
 
Quote:
Yes there is a difference between a thickness of .120" and .050"  (you would hear that).
However, you  couldn't say the .050" thickness will ALWAYS give you 15% increase in Amplitude or +3dB, a Frequency change of minus 255 Hertz cycles, a difference of 200 Cents with the same G-string tension of 12 pounds. 

Ok, I am understanding what you are saying better now.
Probably for someone like me, it would be best to always aim for the same thickness, maybe .075".
By doing this, it would eliminate one of the many variables.
Thank you both for your help with this..
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Don_Orgeman
Big Uke
***
Offline


I love YaBB 1G - SP1!

Posts: 140
Minnesota
Gender: male
Re: .010" to .015" difference in soundboard thickness
Reply #7 - Mar 19th, 2011 at 4:44am
 
mblue:

The beauty of wood is that is so variable but that is also the problem in getting sound out of an instrument.  You will notice that there are at least four grades of quaility for instrument tops and part of this rating is the tonal quality of the wood.  This means that you can't just pick up a piece of cedar and expect it to sound the same as every other piece of cedar at the same thickness.

There are two great YouTube videos out there that talk about thicknessing of guitar tops and are worth the time to view.

The first video is by Robert O'Brien dated October 13, 2008 and is titled Tips du Jour - Top Thicknessing where he discusses the variation in top thicknessing of different materials in his class using the wobble method.

http://www.youtube.com/user/OBrienGuitars#p/u/58/JHs7s1_pbAg

The second video is by Chris Paulick dated June 30, 2009 titled Thicknessing The Top Plate where he uses a combination of the deflection method and the wobble method.

http://www.youtube.com/user/chrispaulick#p/u/49/xDDJVAaD9n8

I hope these videos help.  Unfortunately a ukulele top is not big enough for either of these methods to be of use but they do help in the understanding of what you are looking for.

I trust that you thinned the edges of the top as per the Hana Lima book (page 86).

Don
Back to top
« Last Edit: Mar 23rd, 2011 at 9:53am by Hana Lima Ia »  
 
IP Logged
 
Page Index Toggle Pages: 1
Send Topic Print


Home | About Us | About Classes | Shop Store | Shop Tour | Session Tour | Luthiers Diary | Gallery
Class Schedule | Register | Alumni | Message Board | Tool Tips | Building Tips | Contact Us