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LarryS
03-28-2016, 04:16 AM
Makes me wonder why more luthiers dont adopt this method

http://www.littleriverukuleles.com/img/slider/sig-nature.jpg

Snargle
03-28-2016, 04:21 AM
Makes me wonder why more luthiers dont adopt this method

http://www.littleriverukuleles.com/img/slider/sig-nature.jpg
Are you talking about bridge pins? I'm coming from the guitar world, so I wondered that myself. It's probably due to the fact that nylon strings don't have that little metal doohickey on the end that metal guitar strings have. But it's certainly not a big deal to tie a nylon string to a bead and use the bridge pin technique. Some say the pinned strings sound better since they transmit vibrations to the top more efficiently, but I've never seen any real comparisons to confirm that.

Soundbored
03-28-2016, 04:28 AM
Makes me wonder why more luthiers dont adopt this method

http://www.littleriverukuleles.com/img/slider/sig-nature.jpg

Probably because drilling four holes at the absolute weakest point of the neck isn't a great idea. The string break angle looks high also. Rarely do things get done a certain way for 500 years for no good reason.

Snargle
03-28-2016, 04:31 AM
Ahhh...nevermind what I said above! :( I see that you're referring to running the strings through the headstock to tuning pegs on the back. I got no opinion on that. :cool:

Snargle
03-28-2016, 04:35 AM
Probably because drilling four holes at the absolute weakest point of the neck isn't a great idea. The string break angle looks high also. Rarely do things get done a certain way for 500 years for no good reason.

Why would four small holes be any worse than two huge slots (i.e. a slothead headstock)?

Booli
03-28-2016, 04:40 AM
Makes me wonder why more luthiers dont adopt this method

http://www.littleriverukuleles.com/img/slider/sig-nature.jpg

In case anyone cares, those are Gotoh Stealth ukulele tuners, part # STV31:

http://www.g-gotoh.com/international/?btp_product=st31

(click on 'For Ukulele')

Down Up Dick
03-28-2016, 04:41 AM
It's great, if one is just going for looks. I don't see a thing wrong with it though, but what do I know. :old:

Inksplosive AL
03-28-2016, 04:54 AM
The g tuner doesn't look straight but mounted downhill a bit.

Ugly tuners IMHO and a large waste of space from an artistic view when an inlay could have easily now filled the head stock.

70sSanO
03-28-2016, 04:57 AM
While it does clean up the appearance of the headstock, it might become more of a pain when replacing the strings. Basically you will be doing it blind or you'll have to flip it over and make sure the windings are going on smoothly. It wouldn't be tough to adjust to it; but a lot would depend on whether or not you have a problem string that needs extra attention at the bridge or tuner. Other than that I don't see an issue with it and it does look pretty cool. I wouldn't pass on a ukulele because of it.

I noticed that the headstock is not angled. That is good because installing these on a a standard angled headstock would result in a pretty steep break angle at the nut.

John

jddennis
03-28-2016, 04:59 AM
I would find stringing an instrument with that configuration difficult, personally. When I wind them, I pull the string taught with my right hand so the string won't overlap on the peg. I also thread the string through the hole on the peg twice It's a habit I got into when playing guitar. It's supposed to help the tension and the strings to stay in tune. So I imagine flipping the instrument over to properly get to the pegs would be cumbersome.

Rllink
03-28-2016, 06:16 AM
The ukulele market is tough. There is a lot of gimmickry going on to attract people. I don't know if that setup is good or bad, but if it gets some people to buy it because it is different than the dozen ukuleles that they already have, then it worked.

spongeuke
03-28-2016, 09:20 AM
If I get up to the Mendocino Coast I'll try to check out one and see how it feels, I think they look great.
Dave Sigman www.littleriverukuleles.com has consistently made wonderful and interesting ukuleles. They play as good as they look. I remember a bamboo one at the Hayward Ukulele Festival a dozen or so years ago.

Soundbored
03-28-2016, 09:24 AM
Why would four small holes be any worse than two huge slots (i.e. a slothead headstock)?

Because of the location. The bend where the neck is joined to the headstock is a weak point.

spookelele
03-28-2016, 10:26 AM
Because of the location. The bend where the neck is joined to the headstock is a weak point.

I've often wondered why some luthiers gouge out a trough right at the bend for the nut. That seems like a way to weaken the neck.

That being said... I think that "hole" is strengthened with what looks like a carbon fiber insert. Because the holes run with the grain of the neck, there really isn't a lot of wood removed in a given cross section, and with the reinforced insert, it might actually be stronger than traditional.

Really though, you need the headstock to be strong enough. Unless you sit on it, it's going to be plenty strong. They make hollow plastic necks which are strong enough and have held up for 50 years.

70sSanO
03-28-2016, 10:55 AM
Just to put the an end to the weakened headstock...

In college I bought a "repaired" freight damaged classical guitar cheap. It was a Made in Japan Ventura Bruno. It actually was an okay guitar. The freight damage was a broken headstock. The repair was gluing it back together and then putting a piece of aluminum molding between the slots. The molding looked like bathroom panel molding and was held on with 2 screws. So I dragged that guitar around for 4 years and then it got loaned out countless times to anyone who wanted to learn to play guitar. It disappeared for a few years and then showed up again. 45 years later that headstock is still together.

I don't think there is an issue, but in case that doesn't convince anyone, go look at a fluke or flea ukulele.

John

TheCraftedCow
03-29-2016, 10:33 AM
What a beautiful, clean uncluttered look. That the strings are equal distance from the spools on the back is a nice look.

But, Like (andlife) is a Matter of Trade-offs. What am I willing to give up.for what I want to get? I am willing to give up the clean face side to not have grips out the side. Geared tuners are probably the best thing that ever made tuning a stringed instrument easy and effective for getting it "spot on" I am not fond of grips out the side.

I think having options is wonderful. It is great to see another one. I can hear the traditionalists whining now.

ukulelekarcsi
03-29-2016, 11:13 PM
Thanks for bringing this to attention!

Actually the reason why guitars (and ukuleles, and worse still, lutes) often break at the base of the headstock, is because that's where the piece of wood has to angle backwards, and most luthiers use some kind of glued joint there. If the headstock can remain in the same plane as the neck itself, it would be more robust, and could even easily be milled from the same piece of wood. Framus and Fender tried it, but they needed 'string trees' to get enough back angle on the strings (pressure of strings on the nut). Open headstocks are another way to solve the problem of the cantilevered headstock. This solution seems more practical. I don't think the string holes are weakening the headstock, remember that in any case much larger holes are drilled for the tuners themselves.

The issue, already mentioned, is that it would take some dexterity in installing and tuning strings - another thought is that the string holes have to be either at a perfect angle or lubricated with carbon dust to avoid stuck or broken strings.

But it's inventive and elegant!

Who invented this?

mmfitzsimons
06-04-2017, 06:55 AM
Hi, I just came across this thread. Dave Sigman is actually building my next uke with one of these pehheads (though I spec'd a 1.5" nut).

The folks who posted here have some good guesses and good eyes. That is indeed carbon fiber lining the holes (bonus points to spookelele!), so the strings have a smooth path with no wood abrasion. And yes, as a few suggested, angles are critically important. If you go to the LRU site, you can see a photo the back of the peghead shown at the top of this thread. You'll see there are four little ramps carved into the back, which allow Dave to mount the tuners at the perfect angle. Somebody also mentioned wanting geared tuners: those are geared tuners. Gotoh just came up with a super compact design (Gotoh Stealth). They are fantastic.

Dave said he was out on a bike ride one day, and the idea occurred to him these tuners might work if they were rear-mounted; . He raced back home, tested it out, and viola! The Dave Sigman "Sig-Nature" Peghead was born.

It tunes like a regular uke, everything turns the same direction and all; it just eliminates the need for four bolts. It's plenty strong; Dave inserts an additional length of carbon fiber down the length of the neck, and it extends up into the lower part of the peghead.

The guys at the Ukulele Site were pretty impressed, calling it "one of the most ingenious ideas we have ever seen" in a write up for one of Dave's ukes (it's available there right now, as a matter of fact).

It's a cool design, and we're going to make good use of the extra real estate on the peghead for a seascape inlay. :)

Nickie
06-04-2017, 06:07 PM
I like it. If I was having a custom uke built, I'd go for this. The stealth tuners are brilliant. The whole setup is nothing less than genius. I'd love to have room for a lovely inlay like that.
Different is good. Diversity is all over in Nature, why not in ukes?
No method of stringing intimidates me anymore, especially since my Kala has an 8 hole bridge. Bring it on!

mmfitzsimons
06-04-2017, 07:32 PM
It is a great idea for those who like to have a decorated uke hanging on their wall or in the display cabinet.

lol, display cabinet? If you printed on the glass "Break Only in Case of Emergency," I suspect my Little River uke still woudn't last an hour in there, haha... Once it's done the big problem is going to be putting it it down long enough to eat, sleep, and get to work on time. ;)

Dave's reputation as a builder speaks for itself; his ukes are players, without question.

Pueo
06-04-2017, 11:59 PM
I thoroughly examined and played this ukulele at the Ukulele Guild of Hawaii exhibition last November. Really elegant design, executed very well.
It is quite striking in person.

stevepetergal
06-05-2017, 09:24 AM
Upside: Looks clean and different. More downward pressure than with more conventional arrangement, which will likely transfer sound well and eliminate any noise from the non-speaking portion of the string at the head-end.
Downside: Friction inside those holes. Unless they are drilled perfectly (absolutely PERFECTLY) tuning could be problematic. May even cause string fatigue, making them age quickly or even break.
I personally doubt this system would weaken the neck enough to matter.

mmfitzsimons
06-05-2017, 09:38 AM
Unless they are drilled perfectly (absolutely PERFECTLY) tuning will be problematic.

Of course. Just as frets must be placed perfectly, necks must be joined perfectly... This is why I don't build ukes; it leaves no room for careless slackers like me. ;)

Plus, the strings never touch wood, they pass through little tunnels of carbon fiber love of a bit wider diameter than the strings themselves.

stevepetergal
06-05-2017, 09:38 AM
On second thought: If you drill the holes perfectly for three wraps on each tuning peg, if you end up with two or four when stringing, the holes no longer line up perfectly.
Looks great, and Little River makes beautiful instruments, but I wouldn't want this feature.

Pueo
06-05-2017, 09:48 AM
The builder got the idea from bicycle brake / gearchange cables, how they pass through tubes to go around corners, etc. on your bike.
Friction is not really an issue - you need to move the string through the tube at a high rate of speed or a great distance under pressure to cause meaningful friction. The total amount of motion of a string running through a tube to be tuned is minimal. Certainly less friction than what is already generated by the break angle over the nut.

mmfitzsimons
06-05-2017, 09:53 AM
Seems to work fine for those who have actually tried it out.... but I hereby pledge to create a video showing myself tuning my Little River with the peghead so no one has to speculate anymore. :)

Should be picking her up by late July, stay tuned!

sculptor
06-08-2017, 06:08 PM
Probably because drilling four holes at the absolute weakest point of the neck isn't a great idea. The string break angle looks high also. Rarely do things get done a certain way for 500 years for no good reason.

Hmmm.... I strikes me it probably wasn't done because they didn't have drill presses. :)

As far as stress issues are concerned the holes aren't drilled at the junction of the neck and the fret, they are not the same distance from the nut and finally they are at different angles with regard to the grain of the wood. Hence I'd say the added stress is trivial. If slotted heads are OK these should be much better.

-- Gary