View Full Version : Sound of banjo ukulele?

08-04-2014, 01:28 AM
Hello, how would you expect an ukulele banjo that looks like this to sound?
I'd expect it to have a rather thin and bright tone. Please see (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-1920s-La-Pacific-Minature-4-String-Ukulele-Banjo-Pennsylvania-Camp-yqz-/291206622554?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43cd446d5a).

Best regards

08-04-2014, 02:25 AM
I owned, and now my mom currently owns a similar LaPacific uke. It actually has a louder, woodsy tone, more like what you would expect a riverboat banjo to sound like. Compared to the Kala and similar such banjo ukes, the LaPacific is much louder and deeper than those two, without so much pluckyness. Of course, the natural, not so tight skin head has a lot to do with that.

This one may sound a bit quieter though than the one I gave to my mom as hers has a metal plate on the back (I guess you can call it a resonator) that seems to add volume to her uke. I played it with and without the metal plate for comparison.


08-04-2014, 03:05 AM
The head material has a lot to do with it. In general, a mylar head is the brightest. At the opposite end of the spectrum would be a calfskin head or a Remo Rennaisance head. I personally think "plucky" applies to all banjo ukes, some more or less than others. You should be able to adjust that head to get a decent sound. The head tension also contributes to loudness. Bridges for these are relatively easy to find.

08-04-2014, 05:51 AM
Thanks for your replies. I usually make my bridges myself. Lately I've read that a bridge with a piece of hardwood, ebony or rosewood isn't suitable for a banjo ukulele.

08-04-2014, 09:33 AM
A thin slice of Maple will work. In a pinch, basswood might work too.

08-04-2014, 11:10 AM
I've been using icecream sticks, all glued together and formed with the dremel. :-)

08-04-2014, 09:36 PM
icecream sticks....great idea