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Lalz
01-26-2013, 02:12 PM
Ok here's something I've been wondering about for a while, and after I watched Aldrine and a Cordoba rep discuss spanish guitar-style fan bracing at NAMM, I though I'd ask the question here: Bracing on ukuleles...

...What different kinds are there? What are the pros and cons of each? How do they affect the sound and why? How do you know what bracing you uke has without taking it apart?

Thanks!

Tigeralum2001
01-26-2013, 02:45 PM
Ok here's something I've been wondering about for a while, and after I watched Aldrine and a Cordoba rep discuss spanish guitar-style fan bracing at NAMM, I though I'd ask the question here: Bracing on ukuleles...

...What different kinds are there? What are the pros and cons of each? How do they affect the sound and why? How do you know what bracing you uke has without taking it apart?

Thanks!
How long do you want to read? There are MANY kinds of bracing, which I'm sure the luthiers know infinitely more about than I do. There is X bracing, non-scalloped (does that mean there is a scalloped?), Kasha, TRU, etc..

Some builders market their bracing, line Kanilea, while others don't really mention it unless you ask.

It seems to be that the less bracing is best in ukes (relatively low tension). KoAloha has been known to make ukes with no bracing (which caused a lot of controversy). Pepe Romero (who designed the Cordoba) uses modified Classical guitar bracing. Some argue bracing allows vibrations to travel further across the top, giving more surface area to produce sound, but too much bracing prevents the top from moving.

I think this boils down to theory and opinion mixed with some physics. I have seen the luthiers argue over specific bracing patterns, so I think it is a lot like asking "what flavor of ice cream is best?"

Lalz
01-26-2013, 03:04 PM
How long do you want to read? There are MANY kinds of bracing, which I'm sure the luthiers know infinitely more about than I do. There is X bracing, non-scalloped (does that mean there is a scalloped?), Kasha, TRU, etc..

Some builders market their bracing, line Kanilea, while others don't really mention it unless you ask.

It seems to be that the less bracing is best in ukes (relatively low tension). KoAloha has been known to make ukes with no bracing (which caused a lot of controversy). Pepe Romero (who designed the Cordoba) uses modified Classical guitar bracing. Some argue bracing allows vibrations to travel further across the top, giving more surface area to produce sound, but too much bracing prevents the top from moving.

I think this boils down to theory and opinion mixed with some physics. I have seen the luthiers argue over specific bracing patterns, so I think it is a lot like asking "what flavor of ice cream is best?"

Hehe, chocolate chip - vanilla obviously ;)

Thanks Tigeralum, this is very interesting! Is there somewhere one can read more about these various methods? Books, threads, websites...

Tigeralum2001
01-26-2013, 04:00 PM
Here are some threads:
New patented bracing system- http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?68737-New-Uke-Coming-Soon-With-Patented-Bracing-System
Comments on Kasha bracing- http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?74117-Who-can-do-Kasha-Braced-Soprano-I-want-to-customize
Kanilea's marketing of TRU bracing- http://kanileaukulele.com/truBracing.php
Kanilea builder talking about TRU bracing- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66xfU2WnmBs
Pepe Romero talking about his ukes- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=735hjCwp8xU

I'm sure google can give you more than I can. As a player, I am not sure how much bracing really impacts the tone, other than too much/too thick bracing definitely kills the sound. Of my ukes, though, my Pepe Romeros sound the best to my ear.

Lalz
01-26-2013, 04:47 PM
Thank you so much! Now I know where to start reading. Cheers! :)

fumanshu
01-26-2013, 06:17 PM
Don't forget about Luis Feu de Mesquitta (LFDM ukulele) that uses lattice bracing on his uke.....I think it gives a very distinctive voicing to the uke and it is very loud also...

My latest recording should give you can idea of how lattice bracing uke sounds like. I'm playing with a LFDM uke.

https://soundcloud.com/baouke/bizarre-love-triangle-by-caro

There's not much sample of lattice bracing uke and not much builder is building them that way because it is very time consuming too....Anyway hope that helps

thanks

Lalz
01-27-2013, 01:42 AM
Awesome. Thanks!

bazmaz
01-27-2013, 08:50 AM
Personally love the tone of my Kanile'a a whether it would sound as good without TRU bracing - well, I will never know!

Never personally been convinced Kasha bracing will make a heap of difference on a uke. Heck, in the guitar world where it is common the jury is out there too!

Doc_J
01-27-2013, 09:02 AM
It seems to me each luthier creates/develops a somewhat unique bracing design that works for them. Much of that bracing design is from experience and refinement.

Eric Devine has done pretty well with a much discussed Kasha style bracing design on many of his ukes. I would like to play a Devine uke someday.

hawaii 50
01-27-2013, 10:49 AM
I leave the bracing to the luthier..They know way more than i do..
i am interested in what kind of bracing they use,but unless you are there when they are building the uke sometimes you have no idea what they use..

you can get a small mirror to look through the sound hole but once you have your uke i don't think it matters what kind of bracing you have

again i try to let the person building my uke decide on the bracing they have all the experience so let them do their thing and stay out of their way

my 2 cents

BlackBearUkes
01-27-2013, 10:59 AM
I wouldn't get to excited about fancy bracing systems for ukes. You could take some small sticks in your hand, hold over the top plate, drop them on the plate, then glue them down where they fall. The uke would probably sound just fine. Remember, bracing doesn't make sound the top plate does. Keep the braces light and strong, the design simple and don't over think it.

Lalz
01-27-2013, 11:48 AM
I leave the bracing to the luthier..They know way more than i do..
i am interested in what kind of bracing they use,but unless you are there when they are building the uke sometimes you have no idea what they use..

you can get a small mirror to look through the sound hole but once you have your uke i don't think it matters what kind of bracing you have

again i try to let the person building my uke decide on the bracing they have all the experience so let them do their thing and stay out of their way

my 2 cents

Oh yes definitely. I have full trust that the luthiers know what they're doing and I have zero intention of intervening. I'm just curious, I enjoying learning more about stuff I like (eg how ukes are made), it's just very interesting. You know that show "How It's Made" on the Science Channel? My favourite! :)

Lalz
01-27-2013, 11:51 AM
I wouldn't get to excited about fancy bracing systems for ukes. You could take some small sticks in your hand, hold over the top plate, drop them on the plate, then glue them down where they fall. The uke would probably sound just fine. Remember, bracing doesn't make sound the top plate does. Keep the braces light and strong, the design simple and don't over think it.

Haha, interesting :) Thanks!