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Thread: Depressed, not sad, soundboard

  1. #1

    Default Depressed, not sad, soundboard

    I bought a nice Hawaiian soprano on the marketplace board here, but the seller neglected to mention that between the sound hole and the saddle the soundboard was starting to depress.

    Is this (a) anything to worry about? and (b) some kind of fix possible?


    Just your thoughts asked for. best,
    ----------------------------------
    Mainland mahogany soprano
    Kala KA-SC
    Kala La Salle tenor



    the Dominican Order: to praise, to bless, to preach

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Australia.
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    Typically, sopranos have only lateral bracing with, or without a bridge patch, so some bridge rotation and resultant top depression is not uncommon or surprising. This occurs less on ukuleles that are overbuilt (top too thick) and on those with laminated tops (inherently stiffer and thicker). These tops can be lacking in volume and/or tone, so small signs of bridge rotation can actually be a good thing.
    The real problem occurs when this becomes excessive, as it can effect the action and even the intonation as the scale length starts to shorten with the rotation and dipping of the bridge.
    It is really a case of degree … slight rotation/depression is not a bad thing, but beyond a certain point it will need correction if the playability of the instrument is to be maintained.
    A well lit, close up picture, taken tangential to the top could help others to assess your instrument.
    At this stage, if it plays well and sounds good, then there is probably little to worry about.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Brown County Indiana
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    12,325

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    Try humidifying it well, it might be dry.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/hoosierhiver

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  4. #4

    Default

    I'd guess you might be concerned you wound up on the short end of the deal, but this condition is far from uncommon. Does the uke play well? Does it sound good? How old is it? I built a Soprano (very lightly) and was surprised how the soundboard cupped and bellied, and how quickly. It is still like that, but sounds very nice and I am much less concerned about it than I first was.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
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    264

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    I find it interesting that none of the 20 or so Martin sopranos that have passed through my hands, not one had the problem. Must be that the thin lateral piece under the bridge prevents it from happening in spite of the relatively thin sound board.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Danmark
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    64

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    Quote Originally Posted by bazuku View Post
    Typically, sopranos have only lateral bracing with, or without a bridge patch, so some bridge rotation and resultant top depression is not uncommon or surprising. This occurs less on ukuleles that are overbuilt (top too thick) and on those with laminated tops (inherently stiffer and thicker). These tops can be lacking in volume and/or tone, so small signs of bridge rotation can actually be a good thing.
    The real problem occurs when this becomes excessive, as it can effect the action and even the intonation as the scale length starts to shorten with the rotation and dipping of the bridge.
    It is really a case of degree slight rotation/depression is not a bad thing, but beyond a certain point it will need correction if the playability of the instrument is to be maintained.
    A well lit, close up picture, taken tangential to the top could help others to assess your instrument.
    At this stage, if it plays well and sounds good, then there is probably little to worry about.
    Well said :-)

    Is the action(string eight) too low? Is there material left on the bridge string support, so it can be sanded down if the deck bends more?

    It is possible to straighten the deck. I've done it on guitars, by moisturising the deck and slowly over weeks, jack up the deck in front of the bridge, while clamping down the rear of the deck with a straight piece of wood and a clamp.

    https://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tool...pair_Jack.html

    StewMac_Brace_Repair_Jack.jpg
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