PDA

View Full Version : Do resonators enhance the sound made by a uke and would one work on a microuke?



UkAlele
07-25-2015, 12:43 PM
Hi UU,

Now how's that for a question and does anyone have experience in adding a resonator to a microuke to enhance the sound?

As usual all advice and information gratefully accepted.

Regards

Uk-Al-lele
Itsybitsyuke@Gmail.com

CeeJay
07-25-2015, 01:15 PM
Hi UU,

Now how's that for a question and does anyone have experience in adding a resonator to a microuke to enhance the sound?

As usual all advice and information gratefully accepted.

Regards

Uk-Al-lele
Itsybitsyuke@Gmail.com


I don't understand resonators on a ukulele and nylon strings as a combination. Reso's (guitars)generally are played with slides and steel strings to give that spine tingling ,goosebump effect of a sliding sinuous ,slightly sinister and yet oh so sexy sound synonymous with Blues , Westerns Soundtracks and 30's style street performers with attitude.

For me Uke resos just sound a bit louder than non Reso Ukes and you may as well have a banjo uke...or like me, have two....

On the other hand some weirdos on UkuleleCosmos (The Dark Side _ they rarely come round here as they have "views." about UU...and Pa has not completely gone over yet) and Mr Doleman swear by them:smileybounce:...

So as ever it's make your own mind up time.

I have tried a bottle slide on a Uke ...mixed results ...and a Guitalele ...even more mixed ...has anybody tried one on a Resonator......?

k0k0peli
07-25-2015, 01:51 PM
Some issues to consider:

* You need to find the right gage of sheet metal for resonating a plate only a couple of inches across.
* A similar-size banjo head (maybe a tiny toy drum as the body) will likely have more volume but less sustain.
* Steel strings will definitely be more audible with either a resonator or a banjo head.

IMHO either a nano-banjo-uke (NBU) or a nano-dobro-uke (NDU) would be kick. Build both! Add pickups if you're an electro-perv. ;)

Tudorp
07-25-2015, 02:00 PM
As I see it as it pertains to banjo ukes, is it doesn't really "enhance" the sound, but more projects the sound a little better. Tone would be the same if it were a wood resonator, a metal one would make it more "tinky" than the mini ukes are already. The benefit would be it directs the sound more forward, and a bit louder maybe.

CeeJay
07-25-2015, 03:02 PM
The people at Cosmos are mostly grumpy old men, but they have some good points to make about banjo ukes, particularly when the BU is played poorly in public. The high BU notes travel well and the bass doesn't, leading to an ugly annoying sound at a distance in a crowded place that is not a performance space.


MOSTLY !!!!!

Understatement of the year lol, :biglaugh::stop: OOOps too much ?

Booli
07-25-2015, 04:30 PM
I can't see why you could not build a small resonator, it may have an interesting sound because of the higher pitch.
Maybe to get started you could look up how to make a tin can resonator, and make one out of a small tin or a sawn off coke can. If that works and sounds reasonable, the next step would be to fit the sawn off can or a small pie dish into a tiny uke and get it to work. I think it might be a useful learning exercise, but perhaps not commercially useful, unless you can get an amazing sound.
The people at Cosmos are mostly grumpy old men, but they have some good points to make about banjo ukes, particularly when the BU is played poorly in public. The high BU notes travel well and the bass doesn't, leading to an ugly annoying sound at a distance in a crowded place that is not a performance space. Resonating ukes are also loud, makers of the better instruments do a bit of work in the design and construction to tame the rogue resonances and set up a pleasing sound. In a tiny uke, once you get the reso working, then you will probably need to look at how to do the design and construction to refine the sound, which I expect will be high pitched.

Another source for a resonator (or resonator dish) for a tiny uke could be found in the frozen concentrate orange juice containers (in the freezer section of the grocery store) that are basically a cardboard tube with a tin lid at top and bottom. The top lid comes off easily when you peel the plastic away to open it, but the bottom lid is crimped to the cardboard and somewhat difficult to remove. (see pix below, click to enlarge)

81833

81834

IIRC, they are about 2.5" in diameter, as opposed to a tuna-fish can lid which is about 3.5" in diameter (and will have razor sharp edges that need to be filed smooth unless you want bloody fingers)...don't ask me how I know - OUCH! dammit, is all I will say.

Not sure of the acoustic properties of such tin lids though, YMMV. :)

k0k0peli
07-25-2015, 06:39 PM
Not sure of the acoustic properties of such tin lids though, YMMV. :) I *suspect* they would be too thick to be driven by 6-inch-scale nylon strings. Tinfoil is too thin. Hmmm, maybe an aluminium beer or soda can, cut and flattened and reinforced at the edges, would be the thing. It needn't even be round. Maybe a weird geometric shape would work.

Hmmm, better yet, just have a whole-body resonator. I have a scheme derived from an account by the KonaBlaster's creators, who said they designed the body by tracing around a potted ham can. I thought, "Skip the middleman! Use the can!" Somewhere along the line I'll build a reso-tenor uke whose body is just a ham can with a neck bolted on. Taking that same approach with a nano-uke might involve a sardine or kipper tin, maybe an oval 6-ounce mackerel can. Easy-peasy.

TheCraftedCow
07-26-2015, 08:41 AM
There is a resonator which uses a cone and a piece of wood on top of it to make the cone vibrate and make the sound. There is a piece of wood put across the back of a ukulele banjo or a banjo which is really a sound reflector. It is in error to also refer to it as a resonator. Which are you trying to create ?

jwieties
07-26-2015, 10:37 AM
Homemade tin can reso-uke.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vf1-eMqdI-c

UkAlele
07-26-2015, 01:12 PM
Hi

I am making a 165mm scale, solid mahogany ItsyBitsyUke with round body shape. The experiment will involve adding a can into the body to act as a resonator. The can is less than 1mm thick and will be drilled to allow sound to escape into the chamber of the wooden body. It's a really fascinating experiment and should yield interesting outcomes.

Great video... Check this one out:
https://youtu.be/MRkxyEtd5Yc

Regards

Uk-Al-lele
Itsybitsyuke@Gmail.com

hmgberg
07-26-2015, 01:29 PM
Homemade tin can reso-uke.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vf1-eMqdI-c

Or Aaron's:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRkxyEtd5Yc

Or just use the can:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73pIly3tgiI

PhilUSAFRet
07-26-2015, 02:34 PM
Take a look at what they do with small reso's over at Cigar Box Nation

http://www.cigarboxnation.com/main/search/search?q=resonator

redpaul1
07-27-2015, 02:10 AM
Going back to the OP, I'm not sure that fitting a resonator to any kind of uke (as in modding an existing uke) is a good idea. A reso body needs to be as rigid and unresonant as possible. The body's function is simply to provide a frame to allow the resonator to resonate, i.e., to provide a platform for the resonator cone to move about in.
Sven Nystrom of Argapa (pron - ahry-ah-pa - Angry Monkey - btw :) ) makes wonderful soprano resonators. He blogs all the stages of each one's construction
http://www.argapa.blogspot.co.uk/, and he's very insistent on this point (reso=rigid body). So retro-fitting a resonator to an existing uke is probably not going to yield very satisfactory results.

CeeJay
07-27-2015, 02:12 PM
Or just use the can




Might not need to, but thanks anyway.

hmgberg
07-27-2015, 02:35 PM
Might not need to, but thanks anyway.

Ha! Very good, CeeJay. You made me laugh. I'd chat some more but I gotta go.

UkAlele
07-28-2015, 12:27 AM
What about tin resonator in an ItsyBitsyUke like in pic. Would the tin resonator improve sound?

Regards
Uk-Al-lele
Itsybitsyuke@gmail.com 81933

redpaul1
07-28-2015, 02:33 AM
What about tin resonator in an ItsyBitsyUke like in pic. Would the tin resonator improve sound?

Regards
Uk-Al-lele
Itsybitsyuke@gmail.com 81933
:smileybounce: