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View Full Version : Kanile'a bridge question....



jdmcnasty
05-24-2009, 04:53 PM
I recently bought a Kanile'a K-1 Tenor from MGM. I noticed the bridge was slightly off center (about a 1/4" or less to the left). MGM told me when they line the bridges up for correct intonation, sometimes they aren't perfectly centered on the body. I know this is a very minor cosmetic issue and I do realize this is a handmade instrument, but I have OCD about things like this, especially after spending almost $1000. What do you guys think?

EDIT: The only reason I noticed it was because of that center stripe...
http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t288/jd_mcnasty/DSC_0008-1.jpg

HoldinCoffee
05-24-2009, 05:03 PM
I'd play the uke. If the intonation is off, only then, would I worry. Kanile'a made it that way and MGM sold it that way so you've probably got nothing to worry about.

jdmcnasty
05-24-2009, 05:05 PM
The intonation is perfect and it sounds amazing so it's not a major concern. Just a visual thing.

HoldinCoffee
05-24-2009, 05:07 PM
Good news! In that case I'd brag about it!!:cheers:

jdmcnasty
05-24-2009, 05:09 PM
Oh I brag alright. But I live in Buffalo, NY. No one even knows what koa is...

HoldinCoffee
05-24-2009, 05:13 PM
Yeah, not exactly uke-country in upstate NY. But that's why Al Gore invented the internet!

jdmcnasty
05-24-2009, 05:18 PM
Hahah, very true..

JT_Ukes
05-24-2009, 06:04 PM
it's your money, and this is one of the issues that pops up with buying anything you have not actually seen.

bottom line:

If you are not happy, and if it will drive you crazy, return it.

JT

wickedwahine11
05-24-2009, 07:04 PM
I wouldn't worry about it if it is only 1/4." Plus, if they are occasionally off for intonation purposes, the sound is far more important than that small a discrepancy. That being said, I have found the customer service with Kanile'a (Joe and Kristen are the owners) to be terrific. If it bothers you that much, send them an email. You could always send it to them to have their luthier take a look at it. But to be honest, the cost in shipping it to Hawaii may not be worth that adjustment unless it REALLY gets on your nerves.

ukantor
05-24-2009, 11:15 PM
I'd say that was within normal variables. All instruments are individual. No two look exactly the same, or sound exactly the same. It is quite usual to offset the bridge slightly, to one side or the other. This is usually done to align the strings over the fret board. If it is VERY noticeable, then I personally would probably not accept it, but less than 1/4" would be fine by me.

See it is part of your uke's character.

Ukantor.

E-Lo Roberts
05-25-2009, 04:48 AM
JD, I'm surprised that you can eyeball a 1/4" offset without the aid of a ruler. If you start getting out calipers and measuring sticks with custom instruments if will defianately cause you some OCD ticks. I wouldn't sweat it if the intonation is good. The only thing else I could add is that I see no reason (intonation wise) why the bridge shouldn't be dead center and not to the left or right....e.lo...

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
05-25-2009, 06:53 AM
Intonation has nothing to do with the bridge being centered with the body. Let's not start another myth.
Although Kanile'a is a "factory" their ukuleles are mostly built by hand and as such, stuff happens. The neck set is a little off, the body is a little out of whack, etc, such variables will affect bridge location. Ideally the fret board, soundhole and bridge should all line up perfectly. Your uke just has a little more character. Joe has pretty high standards and I'm sure he wouldn't knowingly let something substandard leave the shop. If it's really bad, contact him and I'm sure he'll make things better.
Unless you absolutely cannot live with it, get over it and just keep playing. You'll smile more often.;)

CTurner
05-25-2009, 07:24 AM
When you're hugging it close to your body and playing, I bet it looks great!

Craig

seeso
05-25-2009, 07:29 AM
Can you post a pic? I'd like to see if I can tell that it's off-center.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
05-25-2009, 07:34 AM
(.......at this moment, about 3,000 UU forum members are pulling out their ukes and looking for a ruler......);)

Toucan Mango
05-25-2009, 07:38 AM
(.......at this moment, about 3,000 UU forum members are pulling out there ukes and looking for a ruler......);)
Your right, I just checked my Pono & Honu :D everything looks good. Now if the strings on the Kanile'a do not center on the sound hole that would bother me to no end I would imagine.

jdmcnasty
05-25-2009, 11:10 AM
It's one of those things that you can only notice if you know to look for it. I'll post a pic asap. (I sold my camera to help cover this uke....irony.)

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
05-25-2009, 11:30 AM
Just don't sell your computer now to buy a camera.

jdmcnasty
05-26-2009, 05:23 PM
I edited my first post with a photo.

JT_Ukes
05-26-2009, 05:29 PM
I recently bought a Kanile'a K-1 Tenor from MGM. I noticed the bridge was slightly off center (about a 1/4" or less to the left). MGM told me when they line the bridges up for correct intonation, sometimes they aren't perfectly centered on the body. I know this is a very minor cosmetic issue and I do realize this is a handmade instrument, but I have OCD about things like this, especially after spending almost $1000. What do you guys think?

EDIT: The only reason I noticed it was because of that center stripe...
http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t288/jd_mcnasty/DSC_0008-1.jpg

Dude.. the stripe is off center not the bridge. Did you actually measure it?

It looks spot on to me. This is a joke... right?

JT

jdmcnasty
05-26-2009, 05:36 PM
Maybe it's a poor photo but i measured it...
2 5/8" and the left and 2 13/16" on the right.
Like I said, not too much but enough to notice.

JT_Ukes
05-26-2009, 05:40 PM
Maybe it's a poor photo but i measured it...
2 5/8" and the left and 2 13/16" on the right.
Like I said, not too much but enough to notice.

If you say so.

jdmcnasty
05-26-2009, 05:43 PM
If you say so.

What's your opinion?

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
05-26-2009, 05:50 PM
If you look closely at the end grain of the top plates you'll notice that the wood isn't exactly quarter sawn but runs at a bit of an angle. This would cause the darker grained area to shift slightly to the right, giving the illusion that the bridge if off center. Unless the wood is perfectly quarter sawn it is impossible to get an exact book match. Perfectly acceptable BTW. Ignoring the grains lines and simply looking at the photo, it doesn't look too off center to me but you're the one with the ruler.
If I were you I'd spend less time worrying about it and more time playing it. Make up for any imperfections with your playing.

jdmcnasty
05-26-2009, 05:57 PM
If you look closely at the end grain of the top plates you'll notice that the wood isn't exactly quarter sawn but runs at a bit of an angle. This would cause the darker grained area to shift slightly to the right, giving the illusion that the bridge if off center. Unless the wood is perfectly quarter sawn it is impossible to get an exact book match. Perfectly acceptable BTW. Ignoring the grains lines and simply looking at the photo, it doesn't look off center to me but you're the one with the ruler.
If I were you I'd spend less time worrying about it and more time playing it. Make up for any imperfections with your playing.

Wise words. I've since gotten over it. I think the OCD was just a side effect after the shock of emptying my bank account. But it hasn't stopped me from playing it. I feel like I've progressed more in the past week with my Kanile'a than I have since I picked up my first uke.

JT_Ukes
05-26-2009, 06:08 PM
What's your opinion?

the strings look like they bisect the neck and sound hole correctly and the amount of bridge and saddle on either side of the G and A strings looks to be the same.

as for the rest, the wood grain and curve of the body make it tough to eyeball the actual bridge placement from a picture.

However... given the slightly slanted pic you posted I did this... the green lines in this pic are the same length (topR = topL), (bottomR = bottomL) so it may be off... but if it is.. it's really hard to see.

http://nightgig.com/jt/xfer/uke-bridge.jpg

jdmcnasty
05-26-2009, 06:18 PM
the strings look like they bisect the neck and sound hole correctly and the amount of bridge and saddle on either side of the G and A strings looks to be the same.

as for the rest, the wood grain and curve of the body make it tough to eyeball the actual bridge placement from a picture.

However... given the slightly slanted pic you posted I did this... the green lines in this pic are the same length (topR = topL), (bottomR = bottomL) so it may be off... but if it is.. it's really hard to see.

http://nightgig.com/jt/xfer/uke-bridge.jpg

Thanks for measuring that out, JT.
I've come to the conclusion that everything that needs to be lined up for correct intonation and tone is correct, so that's all that really matters. Like I said before, purely cosmetic.

seeso
05-26-2009, 06:31 PM
I can't tell from that pic, but I'm glad you're over it. :)

ukantor
05-26-2009, 09:26 PM
If the difference from each side is 3/16", then the offset in relation to the centre line is only 3/32". This is well within normal tolerances, in fact I'd congratulate the maker!

What you are seeing is an optical illusion caused by the way the grain runs. That is a lovely, characterful uke.

Ukantor.