PDA

View Full Version : what shall I string this custom with?



pondweed
12-04-2010, 06:27 AM
hello all. picked this up on ebay v.cheaply - made by a guitar maker as a first or second uke prototype. Apparently its got "DADI ukulele strings" on it - thin filament metal. Very resonant but they resonate everywhere and its not very pleasant to plunk around with, or on the fingers - feels like one needs to play it 'slowly'.
Its a tenor size.
I was intending to put some worth clears or aquilas on it to see what happens, after stripping back the varnish. The bridge has thin slots - not sure whether to widen them or drill some holes down through so thicker filament can be used.
Any thoughts please before I do something stupid?:eek:
TIA

OldePhart
12-04-2010, 06:55 AM
Hmmm...interesting. That bridge is located so close to the heel that I'm thinking that nylon strings might not have enough tension to get much sound out of that thing at all - esepcially if the top is braced heavily for the steel strings.

Can't hurt to try, though.

Kanaka916
12-04-2010, 07:25 AM
I think you'll get more replies in the Ukulele Building / Luthier's Lounge forum . . .

pondweed
12-04-2010, 07:30 AM
ok, shall I repost... or can someone important move it for me??

Sven
12-04-2010, 07:42 AM
What a strange design. Made by a guitar maker you say? I'd have guessed an enthusiastic amateur. The bridge is clearly a modified Brueko ukulele bridge with a metal saddle, maybe a piece of fretwire? The fretboard looks like it was built for a left hand player. I think stripping off the varnish is a good idea on this one. And maybe friction tuners to reduce the weight of the headstock.

As for strings - I like worths better than aquilas, but that's me. They could be different intonation-wise on that straight saddle. Maybe you should route a wider slot to make room for a compensated saddle.

What did you pay for it?

Atb / Sven

Dominator
12-04-2010, 07:48 AM
Interesting. It almost looks as it the back has a couple of cracks in it, or at least separation of the varnish.

And normally I would recommend Worth Strings but not sure in this case with the metal saddle.

pondweed
12-04-2010, 08:01 AM
yes, I'd say an 'enthusiast' made... (I would not have used the original wording in the luthier area - but the thread was moved!) its pretty rough around the edges. I paid 40 which seemed fair for the time and materials put in. The back looks like its several strips of walnut joined. There is some support under the middle of the top walnut.
The maker (who is not a uke player) said a 'semi-pro' had tried this one and ordered an electric one as he liked the feel. The trouble is, I'm not sure what a steel string uke should play like, so hence taking it apart. It was a big twangy...
Perhaps I should try some other steel strings first?

Kekani
12-04-2010, 10:09 AM
What are DADI `ukulele strings? I've never seen steel `ukulele strings before, especially since `ukulele are nylon stringed instruments. This is not to say I haven't seen `ukulele strung with steel strings, just not with `ukulele specific steel strings.

As for what to string them with, at Tenor scale, look for steel string guitar strings, which you probably have already. If you've never heard a Tiple, Cumpiano has sound bytes of 12 stringers on his site, or listen to some Sunday Manoa (Peter Moon) and you'll hear the Tiple. Here's one I found on the tube:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXhCVs2-F8U

Again, because of the octave multiple strings, the Tiple will sound WAY fuller than what you have. And yes, they'll beat up your fingers if you're not used to it.

As for your instrument, just by looking at it, I'd guess it sounds shallow. You have what should be an archtop, which generates sound from vertical movement, basically. But, you have a bridge designed for radial movement, basically. Not sure why you'd look for nylon strings, unless you plan on installing a UST and just playing it plugged in. This should resemble something like a Kala U-Bass, which is very little sound acoustically until you plug it in.

ksquine
12-04-2010, 05:09 PM
I like the shape....but is it asymmetrical?? Looks like one side bulges out more than the other. Also it looks like he applied the finish with a trowel.
I'd say throw on any set of nylon strings and see what you have.....see if its worth much effort to refinish it

pondweed
12-08-2010, 10:14 PM
hi - thanks all. I attach a couple of other shots now I've sorted the finish a little. It's not asymmetric, but I doubt its symmetrical either! I've put on an aquila low G and some aquila nylgut and its an interesting 'pick up' - not very loud but I can see it will be interesting with some decent steels. I like the shape, but it will be another homeless stray to rehouse now its had its been partially de-flea'd.:) Marketplace...

p.s. these were the v.cheap steels that were on it.
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/SET-UKULELE-STRINGS-UKELELE-/400179505739?pt=UK_Musical_Instruments_Sting_Instr uments&hash=item5d2c8eaa4b#ht_6296wt_921

pondweed
12-12-2010, 09:58 PM
As for what to string them with, at Tenor scale, look for steel string guitar strings, which you probably have already.

As for your instrument, just by looking at it, I'd guess it sounds shallow. You have what should be an archtop, which generates sound from vertical movement, basically. But, you have a bridge designed for radial movement, basically. .
hi - been thinking about this - but can you explain the above a bit more - are all stuck on bridges for radial movement?... and if this instrument should be for vertical movement, is there anything i can do to this bridge or saddle to improve? Or what should I replace it with? As you suggest, I'll put steels back.

Kekani
12-13-2010, 05:11 PM
hi - been thinking about this - but can you explain the above a bit more - are all stuck on bridges for radial movement?...
No.


... and if this instrument should be for vertical movement, is there anything i can do to this bridge or saddle to improve?
Not anything that wouldn't require surgery, and redesign.


Or what should I replace it with?
If it bother's you that much, and it should, replace the entire instrument.

Raven is the only guy I see making "real" archtop `ukulele, but he strings them with nylon strings - right up your alley if that's the sound you want. Nice guy, nice work, not really my cup of tea (archtops, that is). Completely different animal. Maybe he can make one with steel strings for you. . .

rickmorgan2003
12-14-2010, 04:31 AM
They could be different intonation-wise on that straight saddle. Maybe you should route a wider slot to make room for a compensated saddle.

Atb / Sven

Hey Sven, When you widen the saddle slot do you just put a thicker saddle in and then carve the saddle crown to compensate or are you adjusting how the saddle sits in the slot to angle it differntly?

Sven
12-16-2010, 11:08 AM
I would do as your first suggestion, but others of greater talent might angle it too.