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Thread: WHy Oh WHy?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    Nor Cal USA
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    Question WHy Oh WHy?

    After much UAS derangement I bought a couple of Ohana Ukes, a Spruce topped Concert and a solid Cedar and Rosewood tenor, both have the same problem, the third string booms if it is not fretted.

    This drives me nutz!

    I almost can not play them and end up playing my Zebra wood Caramels which were a lot cheaper and do not boom like the Ohannas. I've tried different strings and it doesn't matter. I've tried different tunings, C and G, Hi and Lo G but they still boom on the third string unless I fret it somewhere.

    I generally tune my tenors like Baritones, DGBE and I thought Rosie would sound different but No still booming 3rd! This is about 3-5 dB more volume that the other strings. While this would not matter if I pick the strings, it is horrid in strumming chords.

    Any help appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    JoCo, NC (near Raleigh)
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    Default

    Strange indeed! What happens if you use a capo? All is normal? If so, that would seem to point to an issue with the nut, but I dunno.
    Ukulele:
    Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - A, WoU Clarity
    Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    Imua iET-Bb, M600
    Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    Rogue bari
    Bonanza super tenor, cFAD SC LHU
    Kala KSLNG, Eb SC XLU
    Flea soprano, C LW
    Hanson 5-string tenor, dGCEA
    Bonanza SLN GCEA
    Bonanzalele concert
    Guitars:
    Jupiter #47, G, TI CF127

    !Flukutronic!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Sparta, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    1,305

    Default

    Wound "C" string or "Plain"?

    I find many wound strings boom.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you don’t begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    —Lou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Mission Viejo, CA
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    1,726

    Default

    You can try different string material and/or thicknesses. I’ve tried individual Worth Brown and Aquila Red C strings. I’ve also gone with a slightly thinner diameter using .028 Seaguar instead of the typical Worth/Oasis .0295. I’m sure there are others who have conquered a booming C string. Changing string by material or tension seems to be the way to go.

    John

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Kerrville, TX - Heart of the Fabulous Texas Hill Country
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    I have three thoughts on this. First , try different strings. Second is the fact that it's the C string giving the trouble. That string, regardless of tuning, is the root note of the home key of the instrument. In C tuning, it is the root C of the C chord comprised of the C,E, and G strings. If you look at the overtone series, you'll see that the fifth, G, and the third, E, are prominent overtones. So, it would be natural for the C string to produce a richer, possibly louder sound due to the presence of the overtones and sympathetic vibration of the other strings. Third, the tone and volume of any note will be augmented by the natural resonance of the sound chamber in/from which it's heard. It may be that the body of your particular instrument is resonating more in sympathy with the C string than with the others. So, what to do? First thing I'd try is a slight detuning of the E,G, and A strings. I'd try one at a time, and combinations. Another approach would be to alter the resonance of the body. Try a clothespin in the sound hole, or gently wedge a thin brace between the top and bottom. Just something to alter the vibration characteristics of the top and body. In that regard, some change at the bridge might work too. Try a different saddle material, or try putting a very thin shim under the saddle. Good luck with this, and please, let us know what happens.
    "The sole cause of all human misery is the inability of people
    to sit quietly in their rooms." - Blaise Pascal, 1670

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    USA
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    Default

    To go along with the post above....You might even try these:
    https://www.musiciansfriend.com/acce...dampening-gels

    I've had a similar problem that you describe with my ears not liking a C string, and it wouldn't go away no matter the strings. but I didn't think to try those things above. Then again, I wouldn't keep a uke that needs some mods like that to fit my ears.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.
    Posts
    5,962

    Default

    I have a few Ohana ukes, & don't have any problems with them, mine are all solid mahogany ukes fitted with Living Water fluorocarbon low G strings.

    (SK30M long neck soprano/SK30L giraffe neck soprano/CK35L long neck concert)
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Pickering, ON, Canada
    Posts
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    Try a wound 3rd string, specifically Thomastik CF 27. I find the Thomastik to be flatter sounding then other wounds. It might seem counterintuitive but a different material with a smaller diameter (.027” vs floro at .030”) should give a different result.
    Currently enjoying these ukuleles : *LdfM tenor, *LfdM 19" super tenor. *LfdM baritone, *I'iwi tenor , *Koolau tenor, *Webber tenor, *Kimo tenor, *Kimo super concert, *Mya Moe baritone, *Kamaka baritone, *Gianinni baritone, *Fred Shields super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Nor Cal USA
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    I have tried several string sets, Aquila Whites, that it came with, Worth Browns, my standby DAdddario Fluorocarbons, Fremont blacks and they all boom.
    My Tenor is cedar topped and the concert is spruce, both solids. I might try fooling with the concert as it was only $150, but my Rosie is too beautiful to fool around with.
    Using a capo on the first fret helps a bit, but fretting the second fret gets it to stop booming.
    Perhaps I should just ignore it as Rosie sounds sweet and precise, and just learn to appreciate her like she is? Maybe she's telling me to start note picking an learning the staff?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    JoCo, NC (near Raleigh)
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    If you have the capability to do a video or audio recording, I'd love to hear the difference between the booming and not booming chords
    Ukulele:
    Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - A, WoU Clarity
    Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    Imua iET-Bb, M600
    Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    Rogue bari
    Bonanza super tenor, cFAD SC LHU
    Kala KSLNG, Eb SC XLU
    Flea soprano, C LW
    Hanson 5-string tenor, dGCEA
    Bonanza SLN GCEA
    Bonanzalele concert
    Guitars:
    Jupiter #47, G, TI CF127

    !Flukutronic!

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