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gitarzan
05-07-2013, 04:57 PM
New Cümbüş Ukulele Day! About three weeks ago I ordered a Cümbüş Ukulele. That is pronounced jim-bush, for the more sophomoric minded out there.


Anyway, the Cümbüş company is in Istanbul, and they make a comparatively modern instrument call a cümbüş . It's kind of like an oud, but with a banjo type skin and resonator. The instrument is loosing popularity since the modern amplification came around, and they just play a recording of an oud when it's time for prayer.

http://freepages.misc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~gitarzan/Music/cumbush/img_0210.jpg


So they expanded and made a few sideline version, such as a mandolin cümbüş, a guitar cümbüş an ukulele cümbüş, and more. Wiki link... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C%C3%BCmb%C3%BC%C5%9F)


Anyway I saw one on eBay and knew I had to have one. I've been doing that a lot lately. Three weeks later it's here! It came with it's own gig bag, and was really over packaged. the whole box was wrapped in bubble wrap and the shipping stuff was taped to it. It also came with some mandolin strings (!) and a head tuning wrench.

http://freepages.misc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~gitarzan/Music/cumbush/img_0212.jpg


It's cool looking, for sure. It came with steel strings. I tuned them to pitch and a couple strums was all I needed to hear. I went to case where I keep my instrument stuff and found a set of Living Waters. Surely too good of a string for this purpose. So I restrung it. Problems with the tailpiece... The holes were way to big for a knot, and tying it seemed kind of crappy, So I remembered having bought (and used) some beads from SouthCoastUkes that were used to tie the ends of your strings with. I went to my wife's jewelry kit and found a little bag of glass beads. A couple loop-de-loops thru one of those and the strings held fast and safe.

http://freepages.misc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~gitarzan/Music/cumbush/img_0214.jpg


The tuners are crap. Little cheap things with lots of play. The neck is thick and round, the frets are smooth but look like they were mashed in without a precut. What? Look.


The nut is also just a cheap piece of shiny hard plastic. Not even a real nut, just a piece of plastic with groove cut into it, but... it has a zero fret, so the nut is just used to keep the strings in place.

The neck attaches with a fulcrum, held back with a thumbscrew. Hey, instant string height adjustment. Doubles as a whammy.

http://freepages.misc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~gitarzan/Music/cumbush/img_0213.jpg


The metal pot and resonator are nice and fairy sturdy, it would really hurt if I hit you with it. The saddle/bridge is cheezy looking. Should last OK if I do not step on it while restringing. It looks like a popcorn popper from way back.


It plays OK, you can adjust the string height and intonation, yourself. It's a bear to tune, at first. You have the fulcrum based neck set versus ukulele strings versus a banjo head. With all three stretching on you, it like tuning a guitar with a tremelo bridge but worse.


Finally its in tune... the sound: like a banjolele made out of a aluminum pot. Really it's not too bad. It's bright and snappy, boingy like a banjo, but a bit more hollow.


Later I may play around with some steel strings, but right now the Living Waters sound nice. My video cam has a dea battery and I cant find the charger, else I'd put up a vid. Maybe later.

gitarzan
05-07-2013, 04:59 PM
More Pictures...
http://freepages.misc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~gitarzan/Music/cumbush/img_0211.jpg

http://freepages.misc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~gitarzan/Music/cumbush/img_0215.jpg

http://freepages.misc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~gitarzan/Music/cumbush/img_0216.jpg

http://freepages.misc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~gitarzan/Music/cumbush/img_0217.jpg

gitarzan
05-07-2013, 05:01 PM
And More...

http://freepages.misc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~gitarzan/Music/cumbush/img_0218.jpg

http://freepages.misc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~gitarzan/Music/cumbush/img_0219.jpg

http://freepages.misc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~gitarzan/Music/cumbush/img_0220.jpg

http://freepages.misc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~gitarzan/Music/cumbush/img_0221.jpg

gitarzan
05-07-2013, 05:02 PM
No Maurice, That's not cat gut strings.

http://freepages.misc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~gitarzan/Music/cumbush/img_0222.jpg

The suit case is a 1920s 30s leatherette sample case used but my wife's grandfather. He was a seed salesman. I carry my books, strings, tools, etc in it. I bought some old timey looking travel stickers for it.


PS, while it requires concert length strings, the neck and scale is soprano.

mm stan
05-07-2013, 05:40 PM
Congrats on your cool Cimbus...looks like tons of fun and happy strummings....

vanflynn
05-08-2013, 03:16 AM
Congrats, looks beautiful

dhoenisch
05-08-2013, 03:18 AM
When I was in the market for a banjo uke, I was considering one of those. While it's a neat and unusual instrument, I'm kind of glad I stayed away from it, but only because of the "fret work" that was done on it. I've never seen frets installed so badly. I'm sure they are fine, but a bit unsightly.

Anyhow, it does look like a fun instrument otherwise.

Dan

CTurner
05-08-2013, 03:21 AM
Think about the development of such an instrument. Seems like such a hodgepodge of elements (those frets!!), but I guess someone wanted a certain sound. These are fun pics. Thanks for posting.

gitarzan
05-08-2013, 05:11 AM
I certainly have some tweaking to do.

I figure that ANY ukulele neck has to be better than that one.

Notice the neck attachment, above. Three screws into a notched neck. I am going to try and find a replacement neck of some sort - from a kit, a banjolele neck, or even buy a $39 Makala and sacrifice it and make a similar notch cut in the neck. Pop that on in place of the crap neck. So if anyone has a spare soprano or maybe even a concert neck, PM me.

wayfarer75
05-08-2013, 06:49 AM
That's a really cool looking instrument. (I like the case too!)

fumanshu
05-08-2013, 07:29 AM
Woahhh! This is such a cool instrument!!!!! I'm curious to hear how it sounds like. Congrats on your new instrument! I'm sure you will have plenty of good time playing with it!!!!


https://soundcloud.com/baouke/star-filante-by-caro-bao