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Moore Bettah Ukuleles
07-02-2011, 05:44 AM
It's rare that I get a chance to experiment much anymore. Here's an uke where it really paid off though. Materials are koa, spruce, bloodwood and ebony.
I moved the side sound port to the lower bout instead of the more common location at the upper bout. As ukulele builders we sometimes blindly follow in step with what has traditionally been done on guitars. On a guitar, you wouldn't want the side sound hole in the lower bout because it would be covered by your arm while playing it. But in a ukulele I think it's the logical location since it's closer to the bridge and that's where the sound is generated.
Also, by moving the sound board sound hole up as high as is practical I am able to move the lower horizontal sound brace higher, thereby increasing the resonating surface by about 15%.
Of course the spruce top doesn't hurt either. The back and sides are from a set of koa that is extremely dense and stiff. Even when thinned to .060" I was getting almost no deflection in the top. I threw the top in the scrap pile and went with a spruce top instead. The extreme density of the back and sides may very well add to the overall effect.
Not surprisingly this uke has exceptional volume and response. I learned a lot on this uke and I hope to be doing more of these in the future.
Thanks for looking. Happy 4th everyone!

mustacheukuleles
07-02-2011, 05:53 AM
i am not a fan of soundholes placed in weird locations at all but WOW. now i am and that is just about the most beautiful uke i've ever seen. tenor?

southcoastukes
07-02-2011, 05:54 AM
All makes perfect sense. Bet it will sound great! It's nice to have time to play around, although we have been doing too much of it, lately. Want to get back to build, build, build.

Laouik
07-02-2011, 06:30 AM
Curiosity has me asking: since the sound hole is tucked away and you've much more surface area on the top to play with, what type of bracing system did you use?

johntz
07-02-2011, 06:46 AM
Looks great Chuck! Please post a sound sample. BTW where can I sign up for one? :)

PhilUSAFRet
07-02-2011, 06:46 AM
Wow, gorgeous, love to hear it!

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
07-02-2011, 07:05 AM
Curiosity has me asking: since the sound hole is tucked away and you've much more surface area on the top to play with, what type of bracing system did you use?

In this uke I have a somewhat traditional three fan bracing pattern with a non traditional carbon fiber bridge patch/support. With other tenors I've built where the sound hole (or twin sound holes) is located higher up, I've used both parallel and five fan braces, with no distinguishable difference. The idea is to get the top plate to resonate freely, yet support it just enough to prevent distortion of the top due to the string tension (approximately 40 to 50 pounds with most strings on a tenor uke.) When bracing sound boards I consider the strength, weight and stiffness of the particular wood I'm using. Less is usually better when I'm looking for specific tonal qualities but longevity of the instrument is also a prime consideration. With this in mind the idea is to put 'em only where I need them and make sure they are match properly to the top. The somewhat over sized carbon fiber reinforcement (adapted from David Hurd) throws out a lot of the traditional thinking.
And BTW, if I could post a video I would. I've tried before and it's a daunting task for me. For me it's much easier to build an uke than to make a video. My brain just doesn't work that way. Maybe the new owner will post one though.

garyg
07-02-2011, 07:15 AM
very innovative Chuck, thanks for showing it to us!

TCK
07-02-2011, 07:27 AM
That is one beautiful ukulele, and the bloodwood sets it right off doesn't it? I wish making a uke was easier for me than posting a video...but I show people how to do the latter every day. Hopefully the new owner will give us a chance to hear it.

Laouik
07-02-2011, 07:30 AM
In this uke I have a somewhat traditional three fan bracing pattern with a non traditional carbon fiber bridge patch/support....

No worries, was just curious :)
With a soundboard that uncluttered it's truly a blank canvas! I know people can't see behind it, but it's always interesting to learn how craftsmen with a passion approach novel situations. Thank you for sharing!

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
07-02-2011, 07:48 AM
No worries, was just curious :)
With a soundboard that uncluttered it's truly a blank canvas! I know people can't see behind it, but it's always interesting to learn how craftsmen with a passion approach novel situations. Thank you for sharing!

That's the nice thing about a side sound port, especially when it's in the lower bout. You can see everything that's going on within. No secrets!

Laouik
07-02-2011, 07:52 AM
That's the nice thing about a side sound port, especially when it's in the lower bout. You can see everything that's going on within. No secrets!

That's why a certain someone on here, who got his LFdM with a sound port (AND HASN'T POSTED A REVIEW YET *cough*) is lucky to get a better glimpse of this:

http://laouik.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Untitled-1.jpg

Nuprin
07-02-2011, 06:59 PM
That's why a certain someone on here, who got his LFdM with a sound port (AND HASN'T POSTED A REVIEW YET *cough*) is lucky to get a better glimpse of this:

http://laouik.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Untitled-1.jpg

Subtle...nice!

maclay
07-02-2011, 10:27 PM
Nice uke Chuck. I have yet to try the lower side port.

marymac
07-02-2011, 10:59 PM
The kasha style baritone I just got has a sound port in the lower bout and I love it! I'm sure your new style will be well loved by someone, Chuck.

DeVineGuitars
07-02-2011, 11:59 PM
I've got two words for you Chuck.... Beautiful.

sukie
07-03-2011, 08:17 AM
[QUOTE=mustacheukuleles;716760]...that is just about the most beautiful uke i've ever seen. [ /QUOTE]

True. Almost...

I do like the side sound hole, though. Sigh.

pulelehua
07-03-2011, 09:33 AM
Great to hear when the greats still learn. Some day, Chuck, when I convince my wife that my 600 ukulele was a bargain, I'll be in touch...

(Don't wait up) ;)

Ronnie Aloha
07-06-2011, 11:35 AM
Almost as beautiful as you Chuck!! : )