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View Full Version : $40 6-string Baritone Uke with Classic Headstock...



jinny
10-28-2009, 01:40 PM
Yup, hard to believe.

I got one!

I should explain a little first...

Ahnko Honu's thread got my all inspired to buy one of those UK Sponge Bob Pineapple Ukes... here's the thread if interested...

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=20527
well, in researching the item, I noticed that they have Sponge Bob 1/2 size guitar with Classic headstock... and I got to thinking that I might be able to convert it to a 6-string uke pretty easy...

Well, I contacted a company and with shipping... it would have been too expensive to try just for fun... so before I spent too much money on a project that would end in disappointment, I decided to see if I could do it with a 1/2 size guitar that was available here... Well, I found a Lauren 1/2 size guitar on amazon shipped to me for $34.95... wow! cheap!

It also has the Classic Headstock so I was set for my experiment. I got some 6-string Baritone Strings and got to work.

Here is the results of my preliminary tinkering...

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=3145&stc=1&d=1256771192

it might be a small guitar, but it makes a HUGE uke... here it is compared to my Travel Uke (don't look too carefully at all the junk on my table... I hope there isn't anything embarrassing there)...

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=3146&stc=1&d=1256771192

to get the string spacing, I made little rings with a paperclip and fed the strings I wanted together thru them... like so...

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=3147&stc=1&d=1256771192

and luckily for me and this experiment, they use a zerofret so the nut didn't have to be perfect. I just pried loose the cheap hollow plastic nut and flipped it around and cut rough notches into it... I messed up so there are a whole mess of notches in mine... luckily the zero fret masks the butchered nut...

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=3148&stc=1&d=1256771192

and, yes, it IS crooked... hey, it was $40! perfect fretboard it does not have.

I think I strung it wrong... the Aquilla string set packaging says GCEA tuning and has a wound low "G" but I snapped the low G string on the first attempt at tuning it as G... maybe a defective string but I suspect it should be DGBE... I swapped one of the steel strings that the guitar originally came with for the snapped one and while it's not perfect, it gives me an idea of what it will be like. there is also a wound C string in the set (G string for DGBE tuning)... I thought that it should be tuned to an octave lower than the regular C string, but when I get the two "C" strings tensioned the only thing that makes sense is that the wound string is the regular "C" and the un-wound is an octave higher... wierd since they could have used an unwound string to do that. it sorta messed me up since I ordered the strings in hopes that when I did some in-to-out or out-to-in picking it would sounds normal. Oh I forgot to mention that I did re-entrant tuning, by swapping one of the double "A" strings (E string for DGBE) with the Low G and tuned the A one octave lower. hope all that made sense... if not, it's okay, 'cause the result is...

It's not a very good uke... but then again, for a $40 6-string baritone uke it's pretty darn nice.
At minimum, it was a fun experiment... and I'm not done. I think there are few simple things I can do to get it sounding better...

like I'm gonna drill out the bridge to get rid of the temporary paperclip-rings. and probably straighten the finger board at the nut and replace the nut as well. maybe new saddle too. the original plastic saddle was way crooked anyways. I had to file it down to get it the way it is now... and the action is still a little high for my tastes.

I'll keep you posted.

existence
10-28-2009, 02:00 PM
Nice job! I enjoyed the photos. I'm impressed with folks who do stuff like this, because the most adventurous thing I ever do is change strings.

I have to admit I stared at all the stuff on your table. I am very nosy.

mokai
10-28-2009, 02:11 PM
very cool i thought of tryin something like this before but was semi intimidated of the outcome

looking good, keep us updated

UkuleleHill
10-28-2009, 03:06 PM
:iwant:

Oh wait! For that price I can have! Sweet idea!

leftovermagic84
10-28-2009, 03:41 PM
That's pretty sweet. If it wasn't so far beyond my capacity I might try it. As it is, the cheapest 6 string I've come across is from Lanikai, and it runs about 200 for the solid spruce top, and 165 for the laminate.

pamelamama
10-28-2009, 04:44 PM
cool adventure!

jinny
10-28-2009, 10:38 PM
Nice job! I enjoyed the photos. I'm impressed with folks who do stuff like this, because the most adventurous thing I ever do is change strings.
I have to admit I stared at all the stuff on your table. I am very nosy.
thanx! yeah, this is pretty adventurous for me too. but the call of a cool "custom" Sponge Bob Uke was strong. I hope you didn't see anything embarrassing on my table. A lot of that stuff is my daughter's... the area is a giant (4' x 8') multipurpose table... and it is usually full of random stuff. but its just too much for me... I just can't see anything there for all the other stuff there to confuse me.


very cool i thought of tryin something like this before but was semi intimidated of the outcome
looking good, keep us updated
no need to feel intimidated. We all learn from our mistakes... and who knows, my experiment may prove to be one of those mistake... so far tho, it's been really fun. And as mistakes go, it would be a relatively inexpensive one for me. :o


:iwant:

Oh wait! For that price I can have! Sweet idea!

that's the spirit! just don't blame me for problems and bad sound.


That's pretty sweet. If it wasn't so far beyond my capacity I might try it. As it is, the cheapest 6 string I've come across is from Lanikai, and it runs about 200 for the solid spruce top, and 165 for the laminate. yeah, I've priced them too... and I have to wait to afford them.


cool adventure!

thanx! it doesnt sound great yet but its pretty fun and at under $40, it's was worth trying for me.

jinny
02-09-2010, 03:01 AM
I'm finally doing some fine tuning for this project...
I'm planning on drilling real holes for the bridge and carving a new nut...
we'll see how it goes.

rpeters
02-09-2010, 07:33 AM
I would love to hear some sound samples as I am very tempted by a project like this.