View Full Version : so i think im over the 6 string hype

01-08-2008, 09:29 PM
some may remember that when i first started posting on this board, that i was looking for a uke that had very particular features, that i wasnt really willing to compromise on... other than price, maybe, considering the quality of the materials:

1. tenor size and scale
2. slotted aka classical style headstock and tuners
3. cutaway body design
4. electronics
5. 4 string
6. <$400 preferably

well it just dawned on me... that with a little do-it-yourself work, i could take one of my current ukes and make it everything i wanted.

i have two 6 string ukes currently... so i am going to keep the lanikai spruce top as a 6 string, but i will be modifying the more expensive kala "koa" ka-k6e 6 string that i have.

after some research and searching for the availability of parts needed for this mod, im going to take the kala uke (which has 5 out of the 6 "requirements"), and change out the nut and saddle.

1. the nut will need to be measured, shaped, slotted for 4 strings, and installed in place of the current one, which is slotted for 6 strings.
2. the current saddle will need to be replaced with a slightly higher profile one, to allow for 4 slots to be made. this is necessary because of the offset of the holes in the bridge to allow for the doubled C and A strings
3. two tuners and posts (one on each side) will need to be removed from the headstock to clean up the look so there are no unused tuning machines.

doing this will basically still keep everything under the $400 mark, and it will give me that custom "feel", i guess, since im doing some fairly major modification. and i get to set the action on her too. i will attempt to take some video footage of this process in case someone wants to attempt it also. wish me luck... im just a few steps away from having my ultimate ukulele setup!

01-08-2008, 09:36 PM
Cool beans.. looking forward to seeing how it turns on.

01-09-2008, 04:59 AM

ND, instead of a 6-string uke, might you be interested in a 6-course tenor laminated spruce-top uke for about $100 (http://chiyostrings.blogspot.com/2007/06/ordered-yamaha-guitalele.html)? You could then use the remaining $300 to amp it. ;) It's less than 10&#37; the price of a KoAloha D-VI which Daniel Ho plays (http://chiyostrings.blogspot.com/2007/07/eye-poppin-d-vis-of-daniel-ho.html) (the standard model, not his customs).

Details on how to get one are in that blog-post.

And if you don't like that label on the headstock, it easily comes off with a gentle brushing of super-fine steel wool (used by furniture finishers). It doesn't hurt the satin finish.

Also, if you don't like the plain tuners, you can get these for under $20 (http://chiyostrings.blogspot.com/2007/12/yamaha-c45-modification-upgraded-tuners.html). That's my guitar headstock but I recently replaced the tuners of my Guitalele headstock with the same ones.

01-09-2008, 05:44 AM
CD, thanks for the suggestion. but a guitalele is far from what im looking for. ive already got four guitars on top of my four ukuleles. hahaha. basically those six criteria are what im looking for in the "perfect uke". so any deviation from that would be less than desirable. thus, taking my kala ka-k6e (5 out of 6 on the list of needs) and converting it to a 4 string uke will make her just what im looking for. all needs met.

and i already own this uke. so im not spending any more money than i already have, other than $20 for new nut and saddle blanks.

01-09-2008, 05:56 PM
Good luck, dude. Keep us updated.