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Steveperrywriter
06-15-2016, 08:03 AM
Okay, so recently, I had occasion to change the strings on three ukuleles. Normally after such, there is a period where, as they are stretching out, the strings go flat quickly after tuning. No big deal, though I did notice when I was playing classical guitar that the nylon strings took longer to settle than steel strings.

So, a week or so, playing and tuning, the strings start to settle, and there we go.

However, this time I noticed something I hadn't before. A quick bit of background for those new to ukery: There are different methods of connecting the strings to the bridge. (That's the wooden thing down on the body, as opposed to the nut, which is up by the headstock.)

I have had experience with four of these attachments, and forgive me using guitar pictures, but some of these images are hard to find for ukuleles.

Traditional classical, whereupon the bridge has a small hole for each string, which are then looped through these and wrapped.

The Gilbert-style, which is similar to the classical, but features two offset holes and a slightly different wrap.

Pin-bridge, which uses pins to hold the ends inside the ukulele. The ends are knotted and beaded, or feature a built-on tiny button.

Pull-through, or maybe through-the-body is a better term, in which the strings go into the ukulele's body through small holes in the bridge, and are held in place by knots and/or beads.

I have two classical bridges, a pin bridge, and a pull-though on my four ukes. (And a guitar with a Gilbert-style bridge.)

I can't say I have noticed any real difference in the playing, but after the last change, I did notice a difference in how long they hold their tuning. The pull-through comes up to tuning quicker and holds it longer.

I am wondering, is this just me and this particular set of instruments, or have other folks noticed this?

91880918779187891879

Croaky Keith
06-15-2016, 08:42 AM
I don't have any proof, but I would imagine that the length of string passed the bridge is the decisive factor. :)

Booli
06-15-2016, 09:28 AM
Are all the instruments you are comparing the SAME scale length and strung with the exact same string set/materials/tuning?

If no to either question, I feel there are too many variables to make a meaningful comparison beyond an 'observation' which has no baseline.

Also, if during string installation, you are actively stretching out the strings in ANY other way than simply tuning them UP to pitch via the instrument's tuning pegs once they go flat, you are not stretching them in a uniform manner and this will create another layer of variables that are inconsistent with regard to the string behavior and how and when it settles to concert pitch.

Pulling on the strings of an instrument, like the string of an archer's bow, at 'various' points of the string's length, is NOT a consistent method of evenly stretching the string, unless done by a calibrated machine, DESPITE the somewhat religious adherence to this practice by many on this forum.

stevepetergal
06-15-2016, 11:14 AM
Booli knows. No doubt about it.

Booli
06-15-2016, 11:25 AM
Booli knows. No doubt about it.

Thanks, but I admit that I am fully ignorant, and that is why I question everything.

BTW- No disrespect to the OP was meant. I am only trying to help qualify the observations. :)

stevepetergal
06-15-2016, 01:19 PM
I personally haven't noticed a difference, If I have it's been anecdotal.
By the way,
91883
A Gilbert bridge on an ukulele.
I believe Lanikai makes a couple of models with Gilberts as well.

stevejfc
06-15-2016, 02:28 PM
I've noticed that pull throughs seem to hold tuning longer and more precisely after the strings settle in than other string/bridge attachments. Have not noticed any difference in settling in time , but will pay more attention after next change. The benefits of through the sound board attachments have been well documented on many posts here. However, benefits aside, they are a more awkward and time consuming string change.

Steveperrywriter
06-15-2016, 08:26 PM
Are all the instruments you are comparing the SAME scale length and strung with the exact same string set/materials/tuning?

If no to either question, I feel there are too many variables to make a meaningful comparison beyond an 'observation' which has no baseline.

Also, if during string installation, you are actively stretching out the strings in ANY other way than simply tuning them UP to pitch via the instrument's tuning pegs once they go flat, you are not stretching them in a uniform manner and this will create another layer of variables that are inconsistent with regard to the string behavior and how and when it settles to concert pitch.

Pulling on the strings of an instrument, like the string of an archer's bow, at 'various' points of the string's length, is NOT a consistent method of evenly stretching the string, unless done by a calibrated machine, DESPITE the somewhat religious adherence to this practice by many on this forum.

Two of them appear to be the same scale length, but I don't know how to measure that exactly. Both are tenors, both wear the same Southcoast Linear Medium smooth wound basses. I don't prestretch or tune sharp, and come up from flat to pitch using the same electronic tuner. One is classical, other is through, with knots and beads.

kohanmike
06-15-2016, 08:39 PM
I have a couple of ukes with Gilbert and a couple classic, but I really like the idea of string-through with the tension from the strings actually tightening the bridge against the top rather then just pulling on the bridge alone, lessening the possibility of the bridge pulling away from the top.

I first became aware of string-through at the LA Ukulele Expo a couple of years ago when I saw that Pepe Romero did it. I went home and tested it on a Lanikai quilted ash I had by just drilling holes in the bridge, then running the strings through, pulling them out the sound hole and tying them off, much easier then tying them around the base of the bridge. I just might do that again with the last uke I bought.

Mivo
06-15-2016, 09:00 PM
I have only noticed significant differences in "settling time" with different types of materials and (to a lesser degree) brands, but not depending on the bridge. (Several of mine have tie bridges, and one each with a slotted, string-through, and pin bridge, but the most experience is with tie bridges.)

Doc_J
06-16-2016, 01:35 AM
I have only noticed significant differences in "settling time" with different types of materials and (to a lesser degree) brands, but not depending on the bridge. (Several of mine have tie bridges, and one each with a slotted, string-through, and pin bridge, but the most experience is with tie bridges.)

Me too.

Some string types, such as titanium (T2, Alohi) are very temperature sensitive. They go sharp as they warm. Always have to resist the urge to tune up when I first play and they are a bit flat.