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View Full Version : Accidentally Gave Myself a Sideport



Strumdaddy
11-30-2013, 05:08 PM
A happy accident though....
I have an old Kala laminated mahogany cut-away concert that was left way behind in my uke journey. Anyway, I'm going on tour in January (the middle of our Summer) way Outback to Western N.S.W, Australia, around Bourke and beyond, and didn't want to take any ukes that I would fret about too much in a car in 100 degree heat. So I resurrected the old Kala. I moved the bridge back to improve intonation - attaching it with Super Araldite and two handsome brass wood screws (it should stay on) I also made a compensated saddle. In the process of all this the piezo pick-up element broke, so I removed all the electronics - including the Shadow brand volume/tone control box on the upper side. This left a rectangular hole.
When I strung it all up again the intonation was good, the uke was much lighter, and I got to experience a sideport. It's fantastic!!! I love being able to hear my own playing more. I couldn't stop covering and uncovering the port to hear the difference - like a big kid.
If I ever get a custom uke I will definitely go the sideport. In the meantime I can barely resist getting out the hole saw and having a go at my Ko'olau.
Are there any sideport fans out there??

Newportlocal
11-30-2013, 05:36 PM
My Compass Rose has a side port. I like it. My next custom will have a side port as well.
You might like this thread.
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?71823-Boredom-Dremel-Koa-Pili-Koko-modifications

Strumdaddy
11-30-2013, 05:44 PM
Thanks Newportlocal,
I do remember this thread, but even more interested now. My soundport is much smaller than the homemade one in that thread - I don't think it has to be very big to achieve good results. There are probably formulas for such things.

Kayak Jim
12-01-2013, 03:08 AM
No sideport experience here but glad this worked out for you. This and the older thread recently resurrected has peaked my interest.

I'm no expert but doesn't moving the bridge mean the fret spacing is now off? (unless the original placement was WAY off)
So I resurrected the old Kala. I moved the bridge back to improve intonation - attaching it with Super Araldite and two handsome brass wood screws

TheCraftedCow
12-01-2013, 10:03 AM
I have added sound ports to seven ukuleles so far. Most have a theme such as Duck prints on a green and yellow soprano; a Beaver on an orange and black; three different sized hearts on an angle; just drilling different sized holes in a snowflake pattern. The Go Beavs has a piece of fuzzy brown fabric glued behind it so it looks like a beaver from any angle, yet the sound comes through. The honu also had a piece of fabric with a spiral pattern that really gave it the pattern of the scutes on a turtle. Drilling four small holes and stringing through the body improves the sound, and also keeps the bridge from ever coming off. It allows for a smaller,lighter tailpiece because the forward pressure of the strings does not exist. The primary function is to provide elevation between the strings and the frets.

rem50
12-01-2013, 11:33 AM
can you post a pic of the new look??

Strumdaddy
12-01-2013, 12:36 PM
[QUOTE=I'm no expert but doesn't moving the bridge mean the fret spacing is now off? (unless the original placement was WAY off)[/QUOTE]

The E and A strings were sharp when fretted. Moving the bridge/saddle back lengthens the strings so the fretted notes are lower.. I compensated the saddle so that the G and C strings stayed about the same length.
Here's a pic - it won't win any beauty contests, but it plays well, and I don't have to worry too much about it's welfare

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