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View Full Version : What is this called? A "belly plate"? "belly spacer"?



singh44s
07-06-2012, 06:57 PM
In the first few seconds of this video, there's some kind of attachment stretched/squeezed between the strap buttons to make an airgap between the back of the uke and the player's body. I presume it minimizes damping of vibrations on the back of the uke?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ss89r_71MU

Is there a name for it? Is it at all effective? Where might I get one of my own?

WhenDogsSing
07-07-2012, 01:51 AM
That's a good friend of mine in the video who made that attachment. I'll ask him about it and get back with you.

vanflynn
07-07-2012, 05:27 AM
There's been lots of discussion here on how much the vibration of the back (and sides) add to the sound. You'll find most of it in the laminate -vs- solid posts. Haven't seen anything really proving one side or the other.

Personally, I don't like drilling holes in my Uke.

OldePhart
07-07-2012, 05:51 AM
I haven't watched the vid but what you describe sounds like it's probably an adaptation of the "ToneGard" sold for mandolins for just that purpose, to avoid damping the vibrations of the back and increase the volume and projection. My understanding of that one is that it does not require drilling any holes and can be slipped off easily so the instrument will still fit in its case.

A lot of mandolin players swear by them but I can't swear how effective they are.

I do know that when I use a soundhole strap on my sopranos so I don't have to pull them in so tightly against my body that they are definitely louder - whether that is because the back is vibrating better or because my forearm is not damping the top as much, I can't say.

John

1931jim
07-07-2012, 07:30 AM
A variation of this idea goes back many many years. They have been popular and unpopular in the lap (mountain) dulcimer communities since the '20's. They have been known by many names, the most used name being
"The possum board". The purpose as you can plainly see is to isolate the vibrations of the back from the dampening effect of the legs or body of the player.

singh44s
07-10-2012, 03:37 AM
Thanks everyone! I'm very new to stringed instruments, and am still trying to learn about all the ideas people have had about them.


That's a good friend of mine in the video who made that attachment. I'll ask him about it and get back with you.

And this is one of the reasons UU is so awesome! Thanks, WDS!

mailman
07-10-2012, 10:17 AM
I usually play my ukes while seated in my upholstered recliner. I know that if I'm not careful, and I let the back of the lower bout contact the padded arm of the chair, the effect on the volume and tone are immediately noticeable. I do not use any sort of device to isolate the back of the uke from my body, but I wonder if maybe I should....

WhenDogsSing
07-10-2012, 02:11 PM
Thanks everyone! I'm very new to stringed instruments, and am still trying to learn about all the ideas people have had about them.



And this is one of the reasons UU is so awesome! Thanks, WDS!

I brought this up with my friend and he confirmed what others have said...To minimize the damping effect on the back of the instrument when held against the body.

singh44s
07-11-2012, 09:43 AM
Aha!

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?26962-Tone-Guard-on-Martin-Uke

It looks like "tone guard" is the defacto name for this idea when applied to ukes. Thanks everyone for the pointers!