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Thread: Through-the-Top Strings

  1. #1
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    Default Through-the-Top Strings

    I made an interesting discovery about uke strings that go right through the top of the bridge and the uke. When you remove them, you probably won't be able to reuse them.

    I removed the high-g from my XS Soprano to try a low-G. I didn't care for the sound of the Freemont, so I took it off. Unless you have tiny hands or a large sound hole, you will have to cut the knot off the end of the string and thread it through the top of the uke. In my case, that didn't leave string to wind onto the tuning peg. I could wind it maybe twice before it slipped off.

    So, if you're putting new strings on a through-the-top uke, be sure to allow enough excess.

    EDIT: Of course, if you are able to untie the knot under the bridge, you could probably re-use the string.
    Last edited by Jerryc41; 09-04-2019 at 05:12 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Default

    No need to stick your fingers into the sound hole or change all the strings at once on a string-through-bridge design. I aways change my strings one at a time and simply use a pair of chopsticks to grab the little bugger when it appears near the sound hole. It's the pin bridge that drives me nuts. If given a choice, I prefer the look and use of a simple tie block. I'm guessing the string-through-bridge design is the cheapest and easiest design to make.

  3. #3
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    I don't understand the difficulty of "fishing out the strings". I hold the instrument tail-side up, push the string through from the top side, and grab it when it appears at the soundhole. And I do leave a lot of string to wind on the peg end, just in case I might want to re-use the string on an instrument with a different bridge (that hasn't happened yet). I like the simplicity, and find string changes easier than with tie bridges.

    That said, the luthier who's building my instrument currently under construction talked me out of using a through-the-top stringing bridge, which is what I first thought I wanted. He started out making classical guitars, and really dislikes the use of bridge plates on any nylon-strung instruments, for acoustic reasons. Says that the bridge itself, together with the fan bracing, is plenty of structural support for the top, and that any more would be redundant and likely stifle the sound. He's actually going to use a classical bridge type with 10 holes for my 5-string instrument (of course, the classical guitar counterpart would have 12 holes). It will require no knotting and less overall bending of the strings, which in this case is a big plus, because the bass strings will be quite thick compared to ones on regular ukes. (This is a large hybrid instrument he's making me. Can't wait!)

    bratsche
    A bunch of stringed instruments tuned in fifths. And a bunch of cats!


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  4. #4
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bratsche View Post
    He's actually going to use a classical bridge type with 10 holes for my 5-string instrument (of course, the classical guitar counterpart would have 12 holes). It will require no knotting and less overall bending of the strings,
    Ima need a picture of that
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  5. #5
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    Here:



    bratsche
    A bunch of stringed instruments tuned in fifths. And a bunch of cats!


    "There are two refuges from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

    GearGems - Gifts & apparel for musicians and more!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hanks View Post
    Ima need a picture of that
    Here's a video Jim: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goXdfM7ySOY

  7. #7
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    Default

    I have a 12 hole bridge on my 4 string Steve van Pelt tenor.

  8. #8
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    Jul 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryc41 View Post
    I made an interesting discovery about uke strings that go right through the top of the bridge and the uke. When you remove them, you probably won't be able to reuse them.

    I removed the high-g from my XS Soprano to try a low-G. I didn't care for the sound of the Freemont, so I took it off. Unless you have tiny hands or a large sound hole, you will have to cut the knot off the end of the string and thread it through the top of the uke. In my case, that didn't leave string to wind onto the tuning peg. I could wind it maybe twice before it slipped off.

    So, if you're putting new strings on a through-the-top uke, be sure to allow enough excess.

    EDIT: Of course, if you are able to untie the knot under the bridge, you could probably re-use the string.
    Try a crochet hook or a bracelet clasp helper. There are also long 10 inch tweezers in pet supply stores.

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    Last edited by AQUATOPAZ; 09-04-2019 at 12:15 PM.

  9. #9
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    I like all the styles but string thru is very clean looking. I find no problems fishing the string. I even can change string and use low or high g, I use a tie block. Some use beads and that is a lot of tying knots. The blocks you can buy are simple. I’ll look up type but when I put a set on a Uke with string thru and two days later hate the strings (it happens) then it’s a simple change out.

    Also also, always change on string at a time when I’m doing a complete string change. Just keeps the ink to tension. The only time they all come off for a string change is when I’m doing fretboard treatment, usually, once a year.

    YMMV

  10. #10
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    Looked up the two types I use. Diamond string beads, not really a bead but type in thT search and you will see. They work good on both tie bridge and string thru.

    String tie bead sold by String by Mail, also work very good . And again they Re not round beads but little blocks you pull string thru, and around and they lock it. They both worth like a champ.

    That said , I also have a custome tenor with a knot h bridge and it works great. I’ve stayed away from Pin bridge because I played guitar for so many years but I’m sure they are great on Uke. When I finally get a Kanilea, I will know for sure.

    Lots of great options out there for the ukulele p,ayer

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