Brace yourself...

clear

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I'm guessing that these mass production ukes don't have their sound boards voiced like a small scale luthier would?
...

I think the mass-produced uke (high end), like mass-produced guitars do have their instruments voiced a certain way (I remember see a Taylor video on this). However, their voicing is unchangeable while a small custom luthier can voice the instrument in the way you want.
 

clear

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Ko'Aloha has reduced the thickness and enlarged the opening of their unibrace, and the visible standard back brace that's about where the bridge is, over the years. (I don't have measurements.)

From the photos, it looks as though they moved the positioning of the braces. Can't tell if they are any thinner. But that may be due to the neck and bridge changes.


I wonder, does making the soundhole larger decreases the complexity of the sound?
 

BuzzBD

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Increasing the soundhole size increases the treble response and reduces the bass. Adjusting the f hole size is one of the last operations you perform with an archtop instrument. You purposely start with the f holes small and gradually enlarge them to balance the low notes to the high ones.
Brad
 
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That last one looks like fan bracing. Any comments on fan vs X bracing?

In my experience, the X bracing produces an open sound like a little guitar and the fan bracing produces a tighter and more-focused sound that has that traditional ukulele vibe. I like both for different reasons and use both in different settings.
 

el fuego

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Listen to the LFDM, steel string guitar with the "FALCATE" bracinghttps://www.facebook.com/LFdMGuitars/videos/4909140345786275
 

Kenn2018

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I have owned a 2004 Ko'Aloha Crown Bridge tenor; currently own a 2017 KTM-00; and had the opportunity to play and compare a 2019(?) KTM-00.

The unibrace has indeed evolved. The 2004 was fairly thick and positioned close to the sound hole. The 2017 was thinner, the hole was bigger, and it was moved a bit away from the sound hole. The newest version has several differences regarding the fretboard, sound hole position, and the unibrace was thinned more, and moved again. I can't speak to the other braces, or interior details.

The 2004 was definitely a "boomer". Lots of C low end. Got a bit muddy when pushed. But still sounded good.
My 2017 is less boomy. But has plenty of C Low end. Fun to strum and pick. A wound low-G can overpower the other strings.
I thought the new version had better balanced tone. Cleaner. The lows weren't quite as low and the mids and highs seemed to have better definition. Especially the A string. You can push it and the note separation seems better.
 

merlin666

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I wonder what started this current fad of x bracing? I thought that this was started to be widely used by Martin about 100 years ago when they wanted to build large flat topped steel string guitars, as a way to add extra strength to the tops. I don't think that this is even widely used for synthetic string guitars, so the need for heavy x bracing of small ukes seems more than unnecessary.
 
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Kenn2018

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I think that the fact that most concert and tenor, and even soprano ukes now have two-piece backs and soundboards must have affected the way they are braced.

I would think that the fretboards that sit on the upper part of the soundboard will also affect the bracing.

Solid kerfing is also very popular right now.
 

hands_on_lanzon

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I also like to occasionally run down this rabbit hole. I thought I read that Pepe Romero puts a second top or skin in lieu of bracing, etc.

Here's a video of Pepe explaining skin bracing to Andrew from HMS
He also uses a reverse fan bracing, which is what's in the Romero Creations instruments. If I recall correctly, he speaks about how he developed this in his episode of the AM Ukulele podcast.
 

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