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Lewis1980
12-25-2015, 01:17 AM
Hi

I brought a Bruko 6 in April and fell in love with it so I decided for Christmas I'd buy myself a custom model.

I chose a Walnut body concert. It looks beautiful but I'm having a problem with the sound and not sure if it's the scale, wood type or strings.

I didn't like the pyramid strings, they feel sticky or something. It's hard to explain but I didn't like the texture. I swapped them for Worth Browns as I did with my number 6 but the uke is so quiet.

The clarity seems OK but it's nowhere near as loud as my number 6.

Am I expecting too much? Is walnut quieter than mahogany? Should a concert be quieter than a soprano? Or are Worth Browns the wrong strings for a walnut concert use?

Can anybody offer some advice?

Inksplosive AL
12-25-2015, 02:45 AM
I had read that walnut was a darker sounding wood, as an artist I took that as possibly lacking highs. The walnut soprano I purchased from Bruce Wei is very quiet compared to my other ukuleles. I put Aquila reds on it and put it away for awhile. It is a punchy little bugger and can bark out but the energy it takes to do so causes a weird little buzz from a couple strings moving so much.

I bought a cheap pickup/preamp from china to add to it if I decide so it can be played softer and plugged in for volume. My experience so far with a couple BW ukuleles is they sound much better a year or so after you buy them. I imagine a Bruko can open up as well but I think what we really have is just characteristics of walnut.

Keep in mind as I'm a tattoo artist all this information is speculation and observation based only.

~AL~

DownUpDave
12-25-2015, 03:13 AM
Those I have talked to with all walnut ukes say they are strong in the mid range, kinda like mahogany. Worth browns are usually the strings to use if something is too bright sounding and you want to tone it down. That is basically the opposite of what you want to do. Try some Worth Clears, Oasis brights or Aquila Reds or Aquila Nylguts.

Jim Hanks
12-25-2015, 04:16 AM
. Try some Worth Clears, Oasis brights or Aquila Reds or Aquila Nylguts.

That's what I was thinking. Maybe Southcoast non-softs or PhDs

Lewis1980
12-25-2015, 05:33 AM
What I have noticed is that it sounds like a completely different uke when I strum with a plectrum. I'm not sure of the proper term but almost electric, the sound is so clear. It sounds 100X better this way than my 6 which I can get good sound and volume without a plectrum. I may try some other strings but it might just end up as a uke I strum using a plectrum for now. I don't think it's just poor technique because I don't have the same problem with my 6. I'll check out some other strings.Thanks all

Tootler
12-25-2015, 12:18 PM
I have two Bruko custom ukes. A rosewood concert and a pear wood soprano. I also have a No. 9 tenor. All are bright with plenty volume though tuning the soprano up to ADF#B really brought the best out in it. It sounds as if it's the wood as Brukos generally have a reputation for being bright with plenty volume. I have found the pyramid strings fine though many don't seem to like them. When I changed strings on mine I have tried both Worth clear and Living Water and both have been fine for me. I have the tenor tuned to DGBE and I ordered an Aquila DGBE set (high D) for it to try but they wouldn't fit without opening out the bridge and nut slots which I didn't want to risk doing. Even the D & E strings wouldn't fit and those would be similar gauge to the C or E strings of GCEA set so maybe avoid Aquila strings though are generally reckoned to be good if you want volume.

In the end I used Worth CF strings on the tenor and they are just fine.

Lewis1980
12-25-2015, 12:31 PM
I have some Aquila strings knocking about so may give them a try. I was offered some savarez strings too so may grab them whilst I can. They may just need to settle, I could be jumping the gun. It's a new scale for me so maybe I'm just playing it in the wrong position. I guess it's good to try a few sets of strings though. I really didn't like the pyramid strings. It was the texture, they felt really weird like they were sticky.

coolkayaker1
12-25-2015, 02:01 PM
I agree with what has already been written: Aquilas, and if still too quiet, add a pickup. 😧

zztush
12-25-2015, 04:50 PM
What I have noticed is that it sounds like a completely different uke when I strum with a plectrum. I'm not sure of the proper term but almost electric, the sound is so clear.

Same thing happens to me too. Just try to strum near bridge without plectrum. If you've got same sound, your right hand is wrong.
In this case,

Your stroke is too strong.
Your nail is touching rather than hitting strings.


When we strum too strong, we do not hit strings and just touch strings. What I was doing to correct my strum is,


Stay in small room and sit in front of wall in order to get good reverberation.
Try to strum calmly but hit strings.

Lewis1980
12-26-2015, 09:21 AM
Yes, I think another problem I have is that I'm comparing it to my number 6 which I've played everyday for 8 months even if it's just 5 minutes. My new Bruko has had nowhere near the same amount of playing time. I think I was just a little shocked by the difference at first. The strings need to settle, the wood needs to open up and I need to get used to playing a different scale. Crikey, I'm going to have real problems when I get round to commissioning a tenor. :)

Lewis1980
12-26-2015, 09:24 AM
Yes, I get that the sound will be better with a plectrum - for me anyway. But still, I'm comparing to my 6 when strummed with a plectrum. The new uke sounds loads better than the 6 but not without a plectrum. I think the more I play it the more used to the size and sound I'll get. It just struck me as really quiet when I started playing it and wondered if it was something I should expect from Walnut. But from what everyone is saying, that may not be the case. Better play more variety than just Nirvana songs and see how it improves with time and playing.

philrab66
12-26-2015, 11:30 AM
Hi

I brought a Bruko 6 in April and fell in love with it so I decided for Christmas I'd buy myself a custom model.

I chose a Walnut body concert. It looks beautiful but I'm having a problem with the sound and not sure if it's the scale, wood type or strings.

I didn't like the pyramid strings, they feel sticky or something. It's hard to explain but I didn't like the texture. I swapped them for Worth Browns as I did with my number 6 but the uke is so quiet.

The clarity seems OK but it's nowhere near as loud as my number 6.

Am I expecting too much? Is walnut quieter than mahogany? Should a concert be quieter than a soprano? Or are Worth Browns the wrong strings for a walnut concert use?

Can anybody offer some advice?

I found the same with my Bruko concert very disappointed with the volume

coolkayaker1
12-26-2015, 12:56 PM
For me, if I found a uke dull, low volume, etc., right off the bat, it may improve only insofar as I become more tolerant of its shortcomings. It sounds "better" because I have become familiar with it.

Despite all the conjecture about "opening up", I have never fallen deeply in love with uke that I found quiet/soft/not-my-cup-of-tea from the beginning.

Perhaps your experience will be different.

Lewis1980
12-26-2015, 07:16 PM
For me, if I found a uke dull, low volume, etc., right off the bat, it may improve only insofar as I become more tolerant of its shortcomings. It sounds "better" because I have become familiar with it.

Despite all the conjecture about "opening up", I have never fallen deeply in love with uke that I found quiet/soft/not-my-cup-of-tea from the beginning.

Perhaps your experience will be different.

That's depressing. What a waste of money if like you I don't grow to enjoy it. I could have had a tinguitar uke or an entry Peter Howlett for a similar price. It is beautifully made though. Other than the weird choice of maple on the heel of the neck - it's obviously different from the rest of it - there's another gripe. Oh and I didn't get the veneer I wanted but I think that got lost in translation somewhere. I'm starting to see its flaws :(

ukuleleden
12-26-2015, 11:30 PM
That's depressing. What a waste of money if like you I don't grow to enjoy it. I could have had a tinguitar uke or an entry Peter Howlett for a similar price. It is beautifully made though. Other than the weird choice of maple on the heel of the neck - it's obviously different from the rest of it - there's another gripe. Oh and I didn't get the veneer I wanted but I think that got lost in translation somewhere. I'm starting to see its flaws :(

I own several different model Brüko Ukes that you can see listed in my sig line, but none are made from Walnut so I can't give you an exact instrument comparison. The ones I own are all quite loud and project well. Seeing you own a #6 and have experienced the contrast, it's probably becoming obvious that the Walnut is not your tone wood cup of tea, short of exhausting all the string variants to see if you can find a better difference.

Going custom where you can't try before you buy is always a bit of a leap of faith. Sometimes it just doesn't work out. Not everything works out as we perceive it, I have had a few of those experiences. In those cases, putting it up for sale or trade, or returning it when possible is a good option to move onto your next one.

Tootler
12-27-2015, 07:57 AM
...The ones I own are all quite loud and project well.

That's my experience too. That includes the rosewood concert so I think it may be the wood rather than the scale. Both the customs have an arched back which is supposed to help volume and projection which is possibly another factor.

People obviously didn't read what I said about Aquila strings. Nothing wrong with them but THEY MAY NOT FIT IN THE SLOTS on the bridge and nut. That was the problem with my tenor.

It really helps if you READ WHAT OTHERS POST IN A THREAD before adding your comments.

Lewis1980
12-27-2015, 08:19 AM
It definitely plays better picked than strummed, the sound is better than my six although not as loud. The problem is I'm a strummer. I'm going to stick with it and see how it goes. I'm trying to adjust my playing position to see if that helps. It does a little. I'm glad of all the advice it's given me a lot to think about.

coolkayaker1
12-27-2015, 10:46 AM
Ukuleleden below had some good advice, Lewis, about return or trade.

I've owned, I think, seven Brukos. After the first, I bought them three at a time to save shipping costs per uke. I actually had a walnut-bodied, maple-necked Bruko concert. It was just as loud, as I recall, as the others. Anyhow, I sold them all (I don't prefer the very high action of Brukos), but I sold two of the three in every "batch" brand new on eBay and lost no money even after the fee. Buyers like Brukos, they just don't want the hassle of ordering and of international shipping. Well, you've saved them the hassle. You can even use the Bruko shipping box with the straw in it...lol. So, bottom line, you could list on eBay fixed price listing (not auction) as new, which it is, and see how it sells. Someone will likely love it! If it doesn't sell, free listing/no listing fees, and you're out nothing. Just ideas. I sold mine, though, three years ago, before the uke market marshmallowed, so don't know now. These are simply ideas. Or, seriously, add a pickup and it'll be your amplified uke. Good option, too. Some will say sit on it and it'll grow on you, and that may be true for you (but I doubt it). Sounds like your No 6 is bell-like, with good volume, so it's hard to top. I feel your disappointment since the newer one is a custom. Sorry for that. We've all been through it, though. I'm with you (and I no longer order customs, like ukulleleden--actually, he didn't say that now that I reread his post). ✌️Cheers, Lewis.


It definitely plays better picked than strummed, the sound is better than my six although not as loud. The problem is I'm a strummer. I'm going to stick with it and see how it goes. I'm trying to adjust my playing position to see if that helps. It does a little. I'm glad of all the advice it's given me a lot to think about.

zztush
12-27-2015, 01:18 PM
Hi

I brought a Bruko 6 in April and fell in love with it so I decided for Christmas I'd buy myself a custom model.


Can anybody offer some advice?

Hi, Lewis! I've started to play uke since this May, it is almost same as you. I think our skill is still not good enough. There is a scale difference between soprano and concert. Hence the tension of strings are different. Uku has quit dull tension and tune changes very easily by finger press. I took 6 month to get good sound of G7. I could play G but I could not play G7, because my ring finger press too strong and it lead to out of tune of G7 for a long time. I was curious because their difficulty are almost same with three fingers both G and G7. I had a problem with pitch pipe tuning. Eventually soon after I could tune with pitch pipe, I could play G7. I think our ear may be still not good enough.

Woody Ukepicker
12-28-2015, 04:03 AM
It is normal that a soprano like the n°6 produces more sound than a concert. I have a BRÜKO soprano long neck and a BRÜKO concert. The soprano is louder but both of them give a delightful and rich sound. Both are very reactive. I do not intend to sell any of them.

Lewis1980
12-28-2015, 04:10 AM
I've played guitars for years. The chords shapes and playing I haven't found too difficult (other than E chords and D at first - use my thumb now) so I'm OK although I'm sure my technique is still poor. Remember, I have no problems with my 6.

Sorry, should have quoted zztush

Lewis1980
12-28-2015, 04:13 AM
@Woody ukepicker. Thanks, I'm glad it's not just me then. I keep asking people if they notice the difference so I think I'm boring my family to tears.

Pete Howlett
12-28-2015, 12:26 PM
As I am cited let me offer some advice - bespoke instruments always need to be played with a different technique than production models. I don't know how things work in the Bruko custom shop but nearly everyone who moves from an Asian production ukulele to Howlett needs to be a little less aggressive with their technique. It's called, 'over-playing'. Maybe this is the problem?

Lewis1980
12-28-2015, 03:49 PM
As I am cited let me offer some advice - bespoke instruments always need to be played with a different technique than production models. I don't know how things work in the Bruko custom shop but nearly everyone who moves from an Asian production ukulele to Howlett needs to be a little less aggressive with their technique. It's called, 'over-playing'. Maybe this is the problem?

Bore da

Thanks for the response, I'm currently a frequent visitor to your site which is probably why I had your marmite uke in mind :)

The Bruko 6 is made in the same German factory, by the same people and production processes as my custom - or so I believe. I'm sure someone here might know more but that's what I'm led to believe. So it isn't like I've moved from a cheaply made mass produced Asian production model to a bespoke model. I've just specified the wood and scale. I really like the 6.

Or have I misunderstood? Do you mean the 6 doesn't need to be overplayed but the custom most likely would need to be, even though they are from the same maker?

Out of interest, do you find this problem between your standard models and your custom builds?

I know yours are more expensive so it may be an unfair comparison but I expected more of the custom build. The marmite is a similar price to my custom Bruko so the jump between standard and custom may be quite significant with your uke. The Bruko custom was more than 2X as expensive as the standard model.

I know cost isn't everything but I think I expected it to at least sound as good, if not better than my 6. Maybe I was naive

It just sounds so much quieter. I've moved my strumming hand a little which has helped and although I think it sounds OK (until I pick the 6 up again), I'm not as happy as I am with the 6. And I really want to love it :(

Diolch yn fawr iawn.

coolkayaker1
12-28-2015, 05:16 PM
They're all made here, by these fine folks.



http://youtu.be/JYeRnt1nPzU

Another option: sell the outstanding Bruko No. 6 so that you have nothing to compare the quiet custom to any longer. :o

Lewis1980
12-28-2015, 05:27 PM
Love the way it still says "made in W. Germany" on the brand.

Lewis1980
12-28-2015, 09:59 PM
Another option: sell the outstanding Bruko No. 6 so that you have nothing to compare the quiet custom to any longer. :o[/QUOTE]

I'd still have my trusty Octopus soprano. :)

pluck
12-29-2015, 07:18 AM
Does the custom have the same all wood bridge? I have No. 6 that came with a one piece wooden bridge that caused the strings to be set quite high. I decided to file the wooden bridge down a little to make it easier to play. As a result I did notice that the uke lost a little volume, which is to be expected. It may be that the custom has the two piece bridge and that the strings are set a bit lower. You can measure the distance from the top of the 12th fret to the bottom of the strings to get a measurement.

I believe that the No. 6 is built to be played fairly aggressively and possibly the Custom, especially if it has a different bridge, may be set up for more finesse. You could also compare the thickness of the tops. The top of the No. 6 is a pretty thick slab of mahogany. If the custom has a thinner top then you may not really be comparing apples to apples.

Lewis1980
12-29-2015, 04:19 PM
Does the custom have the same all wood bridge? I have No. 6 that came with a one piece wooden bridge that caused the strings to be set quite high. I decided to file the wooden bridge down a little to make it easier to play. As a result I did notice that the uke lost a little volume, which is to be expected. It may be that the custom has the two piece bridge and that the strings are set a bit lower. You can measure the distance from the top of the 12th fret to the bottom of the strings to get a measurement.

I believe that the No. 6 is built to be played fairly aggressively and possibly the Custom, especially if it has a different bridge, may be set up for more finesse. You could also compare the thickness of the tops. The top of the No. 6 is a pretty thick slab of mahogany. If the custom has a thinner top then you may not really be comparing apples to apples.

Yes, it has a 2 piece maple bridge. I'll check it out.

zztush
12-29-2015, 04:35 PM
I believe that the No. 6 is built to be played fairly aggressively and possibly the Custom, especially if it has a different bridge, may be set up for more finesse. You could also compare the thickness of the tops. The top of the No. 6 is a pretty thick slab of mahogany. If the custom has a thinner top then you may not really be comparing apples to apples.

Wow nice explanation. No.6 soprano is very good for strumming and the custom concert is very good for finger picking. Very clever made in Germany. :)

Lewis1980
01-16-2016, 11:57 PM
Now cracked down the seam front and back :( sounds loads better picked. There's only about 0.5 MIL difference in the hight of the strings at the bridge between the new walnut (lower) and my 6