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RE:tone of uke (Read 5274 times)
kona
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RE:tone of uke
Apr 30th, 2010 at 5:29am
 
I'm a new ukulele builder and I've made a few ukes now.  I have the Hanalima uke construction book and plans.  My problem is that the ukes that I've made have a high pitch to them, and I was wondering if anybody could suggest a way to lower that pitch. I've used different kinds of wood and followed the manual. What changes the tone of an uke?

Paul
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Don_Orgeman
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Re: RE:tone of uke
Reply #1 - May 3rd, 2010 at 4:30am
 
Paul:

I'm not sure what the problem is.  If you have strung the ukulele with high G strings the lowest bass note you have is the C.  There isn't much bass to drive lower tones.  You could change out your strings for a low G set (or just buy a single low G string) which will give you some added bass and this may sound a lot better to you.  I like the low G strings lots better than high G.

I would also suggest that you give Aquila strings a try if you are not already using them.

If the problem is that your ukulele is coming out as a instrument that emphasized the trebble too much, that is a different problem.  I assume that you have thinned the edges of the top as per the Hana Lima book.  That should free up the top to give you a balanced tone.  A spruce top will give you a more mellow sound and may give you the balance you are looking for.

Don
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sailor tim
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Re: RE:tone of uke
Reply #2 - Feb 5th, 2011 at 7:57pm
 
try walnut or redwood for your soundboard, i have had good luck getting a lower quality with these woods, adjusting your bass and trebble tonebars can help a little also,  i was also told but have not tried it myself to drop your sound hole a half inch closer to your lower bout and even not using the middle fan brace.
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unkabob
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Re: RE:tone of uke
Reply #3 - Feb 7th, 2011 at 7:50pm
 
If you want mellow, try redwood or cedar for the soundboard. Cedar is cheap at the lumber yard but it is soft and dents easily.
I suspect that moving the sound hole won't do much for the bass.
could your bracing be a tad large or not tapered out at the ends. The other part is, did you sand the outer 1 1/2" of the soundboard as it says in the book. If the soundboard can't flex, you will lose the bass.

My baritone has good bass. A bigger box should give more bass.

This is a shotgun answer choose one you like.

Bob Cool
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Hana Lima Ia
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Re: RE:tone of uke
Reply #4 - Feb 18th, 2011 at 8:46am
 
Good ideas here, all things to play with.

From what I've seen, the first few ukes have a tendency to be slightly over-built.  If your soundboard is a little too thick or over-braced it will have a harder time reverberating those low tones.

Something to experiment with,  and it is a fine line but the closer you get to too thin the lower (and louder) the tone will be.  Too thin is when the soundboard buckles or warps.  This can take up to a year or more to show.
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