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View Full Version : Bridge beads... Form, or Function..



Tudorp
07-26-2011, 03:28 AM
A week or so ago, someone mentioned these things. I thought they might add a bit of cosmetics to dressing strings, but I don't see anyway how they would effect tone for the better, or worse. Correct me if I am wrong, but once the string leaves the back side of the bridge, it's effect on the saddle ends there and resonates through the saddle then bridge then onto the sound board..

But, none the less they might look cool, and be a bit prettier upon dressing your strings. So, I made a set. I saw that sets of these things are freaking crazy priced at $12 plus or minus a set of four. I made a set out of bone at a cost of about .40 cents. These are made from bone, and look pretty dang cute, but where is the justification for over $10 a set? I might end up dressing all my ukes like this..

2611526116

Kanaka916
07-26-2011, 03:49 AM
IMO, I believe they are a means of making string changes a simple task. They also add some bling. AFAIK, no one else has offered them. Pricewise . . . well, I do know that several members have purchased them.

Skitzic
07-26-2011, 04:04 AM
IMO, I believe they are a means of making string changes a simple task. They also add some bling. AFAIK, no one else has offered them. Pricewise . . . well, I do know that several members have purchased them.

What he said. Tim (http://ukeeku.com/2011/06/19/bridge-bone-beads-review/) reviewed them not too long ago. They're just to make string changes easier. Some people wouldn't mind paying $12 to make it easier to change strings.

Raygf
07-26-2011, 04:20 AM
IMO, I believe they are a means of making string changes a simple task. They also add some bling. AFAIK, no one else has offered them. Pricewise . . . well, I do know that several members have purchased them.

http://www.southcoastukes.com/stringuide_files/BBBs.htm

Tudorp
07-26-2011, 04:21 AM
Well, I don't mean to knock the price. Frankly, value of anything is what someone is willing to pay. Myself, being a tinker all my life, tend to make things myself (a hopeless DIY'er). But, for what it's worth, I have less than .40 cents in making these, and about 30 minutes which included installing them. I'm not sure it made string change any easier. Different, but I never found lacing strings difficult to begin with. I think they add a little bling for something different. Sometimes, it's all about the details..

Gmoney
07-26-2011, 04:31 AM
They DO make a functional change in the "break angle" of the string over the saddle; in most cases increasing the downward force. I wondered when someone would look at an alternative to Rosette Products creation. One thing to note is that w/their product, one side of the "bead" is flattened to make sure it stays up off the soundboard. If your's don't also have that configuration, you may want to add it.

That was important to me recently when I added them to my LoPrinzi when changing strings. The through-hole exits rather close to the bottom of the bridge, so had to slightly hold the bone in place when initially adding tension to the string so that it didn't rotate & contact the soundboard. The initial photos that I posted after putting them on my Kala "Mighty Uke" shows the bridge wood damage from the factory that the beads could prevent.

Here's a picture illustrating the change in "break angle":

26118

These were originally designed for classical guitars, which are likely to be changed more regularly than ukes & have a couple more strings to tie anyway. As to the price, its capitilism at play - the price probably reflects both "supply & demand" & "what the market will pay".

I'd be interested in purchase if you want to "build" some for sale.

Ingrate
07-26-2011, 05:10 AM
I use beads because string installation is easier (for a non-slotted bridge). It's possible that there is some sound benefit as well, since the string isn't looped back around itself over the bridge - possibly lifting some of the downforce atop the saddle. Sewing/fabric stores have them in bags, very cheap. Look for a bead size that the C-string barely fits thru. With these, it takes just one simple knot in each string.

I suppose bone beads might be stylish, but the beads I found in my wife's sewing kit work fine.

Tudorp
07-26-2011, 05:39 AM
I thought about adding these to my "for sale" stuff. But, I don't want to charge $12 for a set. I enjoy my sleep at night,lol.. I think I am going to include them with ukes I sell. As far as buying a set, what would you deem a fair price to offer these? I will gladly offer you a set or two.. Ya know what I have in them (about 40 cents), and ya know it takes me about 30 minutes to make a set, but I need to look at that beveled spot ya mentioned, because they do touch the sound board as of now. So, as far a value, what would be a fair price to pay for these things do ya think?

BBQUKER
07-26-2011, 06:58 AM
Having built quite a few fishing lures in my day I used a lot of beads. Here is a link to one supplier:

http://www.worthco.com/fish/beads.html

Pretty cheap.

Dan

Mouthy1
07-26-2011, 06:59 AM
You know, if you do the math with your labor and shipping, $12 is a pretty good deal! I don't know what your hourly going rate is but if you half it, then add the parts, then shipping, $12 isn't too outlandish honestly. Do them in bulk and I bet you could feel pretty good about selling them for $6-$8 bucks shipped. YOU HAVE TO INCLUDE YOUR LABOR! I know there are a lot of folks on here that make decent money and I bet $12 wouldn't buy 10 minutes of their time! To buy from them may be closer to $100.

Tudorp
07-26-2011, 09:50 AM
Yeah, ya do have a point. But, what most people find out about me, I do allot of "free time" stuff. I volenteer time on many levels. I tend to cater to the "down and out". I know not everyone "needs" it, but that is just where my mindset is, and typically way underestimate my "time" in work. When I had my graphics business, I wasn't liked very much in the industry by compeditors, because (pat on my own back here) as 100% of my customer base claimed, my attention to detail and craftsmanship was 2nd to none in that business. And it made it even sweeter that my pricing was about half of the industry standard. I simply had a hard time designing, making and building a sign that cost me in materials $100, and maybe a day or two in hours (8-16 hours from design to ready to install) charging what many of the graphics/sign shops used to charge for less quality. A graphic/sign shop would charge a small business $1200 on up for a sign like that. I only charge $500-$800 for that work, and felt like I was ripping them off at that price. I generally tossed in several freebies along with it so I could sleep better. Sure there are some that would take advantage of that mindset, but I try to gaurd myself against that, but generally count on the ethics in everyone and give people the chance to do what's right. If they don't, well, I know better if they show up again wanting more. What I generally do on stuff like this is simply ask for donations of what they feel is fair to go torwards my "ukes for kids" outreach.

BTW: Small world. I too used to be a huge Bass angler, and used to design, and make many of my own bass lures. My bride used to laugh at me, because I would spend hours sitting on the edge of the bathtub testing the action of designs, lol..

hapuna
07-26-2011, 10:38 AM
OK so I presume the plastic ones are all that's needed here right. If you tie a not on the end of the string that should pretty much make the hole size not matter right?? So if I took an 1/8th inch size with a .047 hole would that work with Worth strings???(oopps that was a brass bead example but you get my point right.) Wow Worth strings and Worth beads.....cosmic.
Looks like the strings go from .0224 to .0358 tenor with low G


Having built quite a few fishing lures in my day I used a lot of beads. Here is a link to one supplier:

http://www.worthco.com/fish/beads.html

Pretty cheap.

Dan

Tudorp
07-26-2011, 10:47 AM
I dont see why plastic ones wouldn't work. These that I made are from bone tho. I don't think the size of the hole is too critical. But they do need to be snug so the strings don't slip easily. The holes I had to make for the "C" string is of course slightly larger than the holes for the other strings tho.

sukie
07-26-2011, 11:09 AM
Not to be a downer -- kudos for the inventiveness -- but I might be less than pleased if I purchased a new ukulele and it came looking like that. For a home-made remedy I like it. Just not for purchase.

But that's just me.

sbpark
07-26-2011, 11:16 AM
i'm confused how these supposedly help improve tone?! once they cross the saddle its a moot point. it's like the guitar players who swear that changing their bridge pins from plastic to some other material can tell a difference because you can't. the material that the bridge is made from and it's height, thickness, etc. will have an obvious impact on the tone and to a lesser degree the the nut (i say to a lesser degree because once a note is fretted the material of the nut doesn't matter at all, and only pertains to when a string is struck open, so i feel the saddle material is more important than the nut. as far as the beads go, it's a gimmick.

joejeweler
07-26-2011, 02:19 PM
i'm confused how these supposedly help improve tone?! once they cross the saddle its a moot point. it's like the guitar players who swear that changing their bridge pins from plastic to some other material can tell a difference because you can't. the material that the bridge is made from and it's height, thickness, etc. will have an obvious impact on the tone and to a lesser degree the the nut (i say to a lesser degree because once a note is fretted the material of the nut doesn't matter at all, and only pertains to when a string is struck open, so i feel the saddle material is more important than the nut. as far as the beads go, it's a gimmick.

I haven't got around to trying them myself, mainly because most every guitar (and now ukes) i own have had a
decent string break angle over the saddle. As long as this angle is "healthy", you probably won't notice any sonic
improvement. (although it looks to be quicker to hook up a new string set)

BUT,....if you have an instrument with a very weak break angle over the saddle, that's where these can really
help, imo. Next time you change strings on a tie on style bridge, look at the break angle created before you tie the
string. Just do a temporary tie at the tuner to hold that end of the string, and pull the other end thru the bridge hole but
don't tie it yet. Just pull it a little to put a few pounds of tension on it, and look at how much more break angle is
there without the wrap pulling "up" on the string like those still strung on the ukulele or classical guitar.
(compare it to the other string's break angle still tied on normally)

A shallow break angle can happen for a variety of reasons, but a big one is thru the ravages of time and constant
pull of the strings bringing the top up. (especially on vintage instruments) Players adjust for the higher
action by trimming the saddle down many times over the years, and eventually there just isn't enough break angle
left to drive the top for decent volumn and tone. On an instrument worth the investment, a neck reset is the cure....

.....but beads on your string ends can prolong the need to do a neck reset.

sbpark
07-26-2011, 02:36 PM
I haven't got around to trying them myself, mainly because most every guitar (and now ukes) i own have had a
decent string break angle over the saddle. As long as this angle is "healthy", you probably won't notice any sonic
improvement. (although it looks to be quicker to hook up a new string set)

BUT,....if you have an instrument with a very weak break angle over the saddle, that's where these can really
help, imo. Next time you change strings on a tie on style bridge, look at the break angle created before you tie the
string. Just do a temporary tie at the tuner to hold that end of the string, and pull the other end thru the bridge hole but
don't tie it yet. Just pull it a little to put a few pounds of tension on it, and look at how much more break angle is
there without the wrap pulling "up" on the string like those still strung on the ukulele or classical guitar.
(compare it to the other string's break angle still tied on normally)

A shallow break angle can happen for a variety of reasons, but a big one is thru the ravages of time and constant
pull of the strings bringing the top up. (especially on vintage instruments) Players adjust for the higher
action by trimming the saddle down many times over the years, and eventually there just isn't enough break angle
left to drive the top for decent volumn and tone. On an instrument worth the investment, a neck reset is the cure....

.....but beads on your string ends can prolong the need to do a neck reset.

never thought of it that way and you make some interesting points i have to admit. thats what i like about this forum. seems like i learn something everyday!

southcoastukes
07-26-2011, 05:38 PM
Frankly, this post displays (edited out by southcoastukes). I think Tudorp is crossing a line here.

Past posts have dealt with many of the topics on BridgeBoneBeads. Tudorp could have read them and saved himself some embarrassment.

I won’t deal with all those aspects again here, but I highly resent phrases like “freakin’ crazy priced”, “where is the justification”, and most of all “I don’t want to charge $12 for a set, I enjoy my sleep at night.”

These remarks are from the same Tudorp who “quit the forum” over criticism of his spelling! I guess questioning someone’s sanity, morality and ethics is not nearly as bad as having your spelling corrected?

With this sort of “freakin’ crazy” pricing, I’m guessing that to “sleep well at night” you would need to charge well below our price. Let’s say $8 a pack would let you rest easy. First there are 5 beads in that pack. Not so much a “freebie”, but small items tend to get lost, so if your customer has one bead roll down the heat vent, he’s lost a set if there are only four. That’s the 1st “typical underestimation” of your time.

You haven’t taken care of the bevel. That’s more time. You haven’t included the postage (it’s included in our price) - $.064 for a non-flat package. You haven't included the packaging itself. You haven’t included the time to process the individual orders. Seems to me all told you’d be spending about an hour per set and have about $1.50 in postage & materials – that means your $8 set makes you $6.50 an hour!

Nothing wrong with working for $6.50 if you can. Apparently you have lots of free time, and I gather you have a family. If you spend your working hours providing for them at this rate, then it is you who should have the sleepless nights. If you can work for this rate because you have other sources of income, then it is an unmitigated display of gall to criticize the morality of others who need to work at a decent rate and earn a decent living.

On a luthier’s forum I participate in, the former partner in a well known ukulele company posted the following:


Make a good product. Don't put your name on it until you can and then don't ever look back. Charge a good price! Don't pull the rest of us down with your low price because you don't have enough confidence about your work.

This is a post from someone who has made ukuleles for a living. Kudos, Tudorp, to you if you don’t need or want to do that.

I don’t usually question other people’s character – why should you need to in a forum like this? I won’t sit idle, however, while someone makes these kinds of remarks. Questioning others’ morality with no justification, as you have done, shows you to be either incredibly (edited out by southcoastukes).

By the way – did I mention I didn’t appreciate your remarks?

haolejohn
07-26-2011, 06:02 PM
Well, I don't mean to knock the price. Frankly, value of anything is what someone is willing to pay. Myself, being a tinker all my life, tend to make things myself (a hopeless DIY'er). But, for what it's worth, I have less than .40 cents in making these, and about 30 minutes which included installing them. I'm not sure it made string change any easier. Different, but I never found lacing strings difficult to begin with. I think they add a little bling for something different. Sometimes, it's all about the details..

There is the $12 justification. Your time is worth something in business.

southcoastukes
07-26-2011, 06:18 PM
There is the $12 justification. Your time is worth something in business.

It better be, or there won't be any business.

Funny thing - as you can see in earlier posts, I don't make these, as Tudorp is proposing to do. I don't really care about whether I sell any either. It's something I developed for ukulele use for Rosette Guitar Products. My real interest in doing that was it's use on our Tenor Guitar tailpiece. I put them on our ukuleles too, and I figured to add it to our string line as more or less a promotional item. Since we're using them anyway - why not! I don't make much at all on these.

When I saw Tudorp's post, my first reaction was to just take them off the website and let people buy his version - go to ebay and pay even more, make their own, or whatever! It's one thing to be criticized for your price, but another altogether to be criticized for your ethics. I finally decided, however, not to let ignorance rule the day.

If you'll make a commitment to make these at $8 a set and not wimp out later when it seems like too much work for the money, Tudorp - go ahead! I'll drop them in a heartbeat!

haolejohn
07-26-2011, 06:31 PM
It better be, or there won't be any business.



So true. Our time is valuable (I have learned after having my first child). My dad is a painter, ran his own business for 30 years. Never made any money really but we survived. anyways, he is having to bid jobs for the same price he charged back in the 70s and still isn't getting work. It is sad. He taught me well. Bid your time what you think you are worth. Never sell yourself short.

hapuna
07-26-2011, 06:42 PM
Frankly, this post displays both ignorance, and an attitude of self righteous hypocrisy. I think Tudorp is crossing a line here.


By the way Ė did I mention I didnít appreciate your remarks?
Its odd but you seem to come off here ranting and making a personal attack here. I did not read Tudorps comments as an attack on anyone in particular though apparently you did. His comments seemed generic and seemed to be answered by others as to why the price is what it is. Perhaps there is some personal history or animus here but I must say scukes does not look good with this kind of commentary. I have no dog in this fight and don't know either of you. Perhaps this should go to personal message status as it seems inappropriate on the public forum

southcoastukes
07-26-2011, 06:52 PM
Its odd but you seem to come off here ranting and making a personal attack here. I did not read Tudorps comments as an attack on anyone in particular though apparently you did. His comments seemed generic and seemed to be answered by others as to why the price is what it is. Perhaps there is some personal history or animus here but I must say scukes does not look good with this kind of commentary. I have no dog in this fight and don't know either of you. Perhaps this should go to personal message status as it seems inappropriate on the public forum

hapuna, I can see how you might get that impression.

There's no history or animus - he's referring to my product, however - he knows it well - he just didn't use my name.

Tudorp
07-27-2011, 01:28 AM
Southcoast,

1st, I apologize for offending you. That was not my intent. I messed around and made a set of these beads. I was trying to see what they were all about on my own. I didn't understand why they were the price they are. After some chatter here, I can see why to a degree for some of the reasons you state. I really wanted to know if they served any other purpose other than cleaning up the lacing. I can see it improved the beak angle. After reading my original post. I guess I can see why you took it personally, since you are the one that offers them. That is the reason for my apology. It wasn't my intent.

I'm not going to make these things on a huge level. I am a medically retired, disabled man that likes to tinker. I will continue to tinker with things. But if I did, you should welcome the competition. Competition keeps us on our toes. Keep selling your beads, they apparently are a viable product. I wouldn't spend $12 on em. But I am in the minority. I am not independently wealthy either. I struggle on a fixed income. One of the reasons I try to be self sufficient, and do things on my own, or if there is a product I am interested in, I will try to do the same thing cheaper. many times it is out of neccesity.

southcoastukes
07-27-2011, 01:58 AM
Apology accepted.

If I can offer some advice, it would be to go back and read the advice that was given to me. I know more than a little about the problems of the disabled.

Undervaluing your work (let alone criticizing those who do not) does a disservice to (in this case) the luthier community, but more importantly, the disabled community and yourself.

I don't know your situation, but for goodness sakes - you are lucky enough to be able to do some sorts of work! Of course, you can work at whatever rate you like , but there is no "neccesity" for you to have to sell your time for below minimum wage. You are as valuable as the next fellow, and I hope for your own sake you realize this.

PhilUSAFRet
07-27-2011, 02:54 AM
Lesson to be learned here.......if only! Would have worked out fine to talk about making your own, even how to, without trashing another UU'ers efforts, pricing, etc.
Just Saying :)

ksiegel
07-27-2011, 10:25 AM
I've seen other types of beads on line, which don't appear to be as good as either Southcoast's or Tudorp's, and sell in the $8 -10 range, plus shipping.

I like the concept of the beads, and will probably get some in the future - but I've also read some great things about Southcoast's strings, and will probably combine the purchase at the time.

My only question is, which Uke do I try them on? The Kala, or the Cordoba? Break angle and string tension are concepts that leave a little trail of drool coming out of the corner of my mouth. I just worry about whether or not it sounds good, and leave the engineering to folks who know what they are doing. (Which is why I sent two ukuleles to Tudorp, and asked him to set them up.)

The important thing in this debate is, is it a quality product? I pretty much read this as saying that someone had a good idea, and other people are trying to make similar things. Tony can make them on his own, and this was really a discussion of what he has done. I know that he isn't marketing the product - he's doing it as a hobby. And if Dirk developed them for resale, he is due what he can sell them for- especially since they are sold as an adjunct to his other products.

So Dirk, what do you suggest for a string/bead combo?

-Kurt

southcoastukes
07-27-2011, 12:20 PM
So Dirk, what do you suggest for a string/bead combo?

-Kurt

Your bead choice can be based on which of the colors you like best on those instruments.

The strings are the more important part of that equation. You can take a look at the Ryan Rodriguez videos here:

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?48693-String-Testers-Wanted-for-Southcoast/page5&highlight=testers+southcoast

They're geared toward high reentrant string choices for Tenor Ukuleles.

You can always e-mail me for recommendations specific to what you may be looking for:

southcoast@inbox.com

...and since this is a bead thread - I'll leave it at that.

ksiegel
07-27-2011, 12:37 PM
Your bead choice can be based on which of the colors you like best on those instruments.

The strings are the more important part of that equation.

...
They're geared toward high reentrant string choices for Tenor Ukuleles.

You can always e-mail me for recommendations specific to what you may be looking for:

southcoast@inbox.com

...and since this is a bead thread - I'll leave it at that.

Thanks, Dirk - I thought that the strings would be the more important part.

It will be a couple of weeks until I'm back in Upstate NY, but I will get back to you.

-Kurt

70sSanO
07-27-2011, 02:52 PM
I've seen other types of beads on line, which don't appear to be as good as either Southcoast's or Tudorp's, and sell in the $8 -10 range, plus shipping.

-Kurt

Quite frankly, when it comes to the value of beads, I'll take the opinion of someone from New York over anyone else!

John

PhilUSAFRet
07-27-2011, 02:57 PM
[QUOTE=70sSanO;735471]Quite frankly, when it comes to the value of beads, I'll take the opinion of someone from New York over anyone else!

John[/QUOTE

Multiple yuks and chuckles! :)

ksiegel
07-27-2011, 04:18 PM
Quite frankly, when it comes to the value of beads, I'll take the opinion of someone from New York over anyone else!

John

If I really knew the value of beads, I'd have made a killing in the real estate market a few hundred years ago.


-Kurt

rasputinsghost
07-27-2011, 05:24 PM
Quite frankly, when it comes to the value of beads, I'll take the opinion of someone from New York over anyone else!

John

Hahah. Just got this. Peter Minuit would be proud.