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View Full Version : What is this ukulele made of exactly?



storyofkevin
11-22-2011, 08:50 PM
Does a ukulele (any make) have a truss rod? I recently took a look at my instrument and didn't see a truss rod.. What's up with that? Because of the smaller scale is there less pressure from the string tension that would cause the wood to bow?

Pippin
11-22-2011, 09:14 PM
Very few ukuleles actually have truss rods. Nylon strings don't have near the tension that steel stringed instruments do. No worries.

Liam Ryan
11-22-2011, 09:18 PM
Much, much less string tension. Plus a shorter neck is stronger because less leverage can act on a short neck. If a uke neck needs a truss rod it wasn't built right.

The round number tension figures are:
Soprano 20lb
concert 30lb
tenor 40lb
Classical guitar 85lb
Steel string 175lb

I add a 1/8"X3/8" carbon fibre rod in the neck of the ukes I build. It might stiffen the neck a little but I find it also evens out the tone and volume as you play up the neck.

ukulelecowboy
11-22-2011, 11:25 PM
For the most part, ukuleles don't have adjustable truss rods. Some manufacturers (Mele) use non- adjustable (stabilzing) rods in the necks of the tenor and baritone models for extra strength and stability.

Pono actually uses adjustable truss rods in their tenor and Bari models. This is one of the reasons why I play Pono baritones. Although, it doesn't happen often, it is nice to be able to make very minor adjustments to string height and tension throughout the playing season.

kissing
11-23-2011, 12:52 AM
Classical guitars don't have truss rods either, so it's not a big shock from a guitar background either :)

mr moonlight
11-23-2011, 05:39 AM
Much, much less string tension. Plus a shorter neck is stronger because less leverage can act on a short neck. If a uke neck needs a truss rod it wasn't built right.

But it is a nice feature that can benefit some uke players.

Here's my logic. I travel all over with my uke so it is exposed to various temperatures and humidity levels. I know it's not the best thing for it, but one of the main reasons I play uke is so that I can have it with me wherever I go unlike my guitars. I think a lot of people who play uke use them in a similar manner. Because of this and the fact that I play a tenor, I find that my neck angle could use a slight adjustment depending on where I'm at. Probably not necessary for Soprano's and Concerts though. So far I just use a couple shims under the saddle, but a truss rod would be a better solution.