PDA

View Full Version : Pepe Romero "skin bracing"... any thoughts?



hammer40
10-13-2015, 07:49 AM
I came across this over at HMS, thought it was an interesting idea. Replacing the the fan braces with a full size piece of thin wood on the top sound board and the back. Has this been done before? Would making a thicker top and back (with relief,) accomplish the same thing?

They describe it in the description tab a little bit.

http://www.theukulelesite.com/pepe-romero-14-fret-spruce-rosewood.html

70sSanO
10-13-2015, 08:25 AM
Not sure about the thickness but I have a couple of ukes that use a similar technique.

KoAloha has been using their unibrace for years. Not sure if they still do.

John

EDIT Added: The ones I have are a teardrop shape and that may account for the bracing.

warndt
10-13-2015, 01:38 PM
IMO, this one sounds, "slightly inhibited" in comparison to the clear & open sound produced by the original style bracing of the Thomas Heller/Pepe Romero ukuleles, which to me sound absolutely amazing. JMO.

stevepetergal
10-13-2015, 02:30 PM
It's a little different, but it is laminated. Then again, so are all those double-top classical guitars that are so beautiful.

ukulelekarcsi
10-13-2015, 09:26 PM
Note that the ukulele still has transverse ('ladder') braces. The 'skin' lamination is a larger bit structural reinforcement and a small bit of dampening overtones, but it certainly doesn't replace the actual 'bracing'. The only ukuleles I've ever encountered without any bracing whatsoever, had thick tops and backs and didn't sound well. Braces spread out, or radiate the vibrations.

Lots of French ukuleles (from the Mirecourt region) had the upper part of the top covered in a second layer of wood, but from the outside rather than from the inside. Same for the Spanish guitaricos by Alvarez, Martinez or Gomez: a darker wood is glued on top of the treble bouts. Some say these are scratchplates/pickguard/golpeadores, I say these instruments are built so lightly and played with nails rather than picks, that they have in fact a sonic purpose.

The Gelas ukuleles even went further: the entire top was cantilevered, with a darker hardwood for the upper side and a softer wood for the bridge area, and a slit in between them.

Doc_J
10-14-2015, 01:37 AM
There must be some similarity between "skin" bracing and lattice bracing (slightly more common). Both cover larger areas of the soundboard. LFdM tenors have lattice bracing, and sound pretty amazing. The Pepe with "skin" bracing sounded pretty good to me.

Stevelele
02-03-2016, 04:28 AM
HMS just posted the latest skin-braced uke from Pepe. It flew off the shelf and Andrew said it was one of the best ukes he'd ever heard: https://vimeo.com/153908073

Nickie
02-03-2016, 04:34 AM
Wow, that's an amazingly good sounding uke!

Mivo
02-03-2016, 10:23 AM
https://vimeo.com/153908073

Sensational sound, and sensational playing. Corey makes it look so easy, too, when it's anything but! :)

What did it sell for?

drmosser
02-03-2016, 10:54 AM
...
What did it sell for?

Currently the original skin-braced Pepe Romero tenor is still showing "In Stock" on the Ukulele Site at
http://www.theukulelesite.com/shop-by/pepe-romero-14-fret-spruce-rosewood.html
(http://www.theukulelesite.com/shop-by/pepe-romero-14-fret-spruce-rosewood.html)
Retail is listed $2995.00.

UkieOkie
02-03-2016, 11:32 AM
I didn't read all of the responses, but it seems like that is just a fancy description of laminate wood. I do think that uke sounds great and further illustrates the fact that there can be huge varience in the quality of sound that laminates can produce. It would still be difficult for me to overcome the thought of shelling out three grand for a laminate.(even if its a really, really nice laminate.)

BlackBearUkes
02-03-2016, 03:10 PM
Interesting, but this is not a new idea, although I suppose it is for a uke. When double top classical guitars hit the market years ago, I remember seeing some classical guitars using this same technique of just gluing the second layer of wood to the lower bout, as this uke has done. I have never heard one of these lower bout only models in a guitar, but if you like double tops, this would sound similar. Fact is, if you build with a dome design, and make the dome stiff enough, you could build with out any bracing on the lower bout without the addition of another layer of wood. I don't know any builders who do this, probably because there is just so much you can dome a piece of top wood before all kinds of stress takes its toll. Just some thoughts.

hawaii 50
02-03-2016, 04:31 PM
Currently the original skin-braced Pepe Romero tenor is still showing "In Stock" on the Ukulele Site at
http://www.theukulelesite.com/shop-by/pepe-romero-14-fret-spruce-rosewood.html
(http://www.theukulelesite.com/shop-by/pepe-romero-14-fret-spruce-rosewood.html)
Retail is listed $2995.00.


I think the Pepe that sold went for over 3.5K.......gone in less than 3-4 hours....

Dan Uke
02-03-2016, 05:25 PM
I actually played that uke and it was amazing. It's very responsive. I was so tempted to ask Andrew the price but have a custom Ko'olau that will be completed in March and can't afford both.

What I like about the skin braced uke is that the notes are so crisp while having sustain. I feel that the deficiency of many high end ukes is that they don't have articulated notes. Many just have warm notes that mainly sound good in arpeggios.

I don't believe laminate is the appropriate word as the whole top isn't just glued together and as Pepe says, the thin piece of wood is the brace that's holding the arch.

Here is a video I recorded with my iPhone of Corey just messing around. I wanted him to improvise to the chords of The Thrill is Gone


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Slm4PWO7-og

kohanmike
02-03-2016, 08:39 PM
I recently went to a ukulele show at U-Space in Downtown LA and Pepe Romero was there to give a talk on his work and inspiration. From everything he said, I believe his entire motivation is to make great sounding instruments. If that technique is something he uses, I'm sure it does improve the sound, as the testaments and sales seem to show.

Stevelele
02-04-2016, 03:44 AM
wow! thanks for posting that video--Corey is the man. Also, thanks for weighing in on the uke--Daniel knows his stuff--if he says it was amazing, it is truly something special


I actually played that uke and it was amazing. It's very responsive. I was so tempted to ask Andrew the price but have a custom Ko'olau that will be completed in March and can't afford both.

What I like about the skin braced uke is that the notes are so crisp while having sustain. I feel that the deficiency of many high end ukes is that they don't have articulated notes. Many just have warm notes that mainly sound good in arpeggios.

I don't believe laminate is the appropriate word as the whole top isn't just glued together and as Pepe says, the thin piece of wood is the brace that's holding the arch.

Here is a video I recorded with my iPhone of Corey just messing around. I wanted him to improvise to the chords of The Thrill is Gone


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Slm4PWO7-og

strumsilly
02-04-2016, 04:06 AM
Sounds great, but everything Corey plays does. I would be hesitant to shell out that much $ on the first of a new design.