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Thread: Results of 'V' Braced Tenor Ukulele

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Results of 'V' Braced Tenor Ukulele

    As promised, this is a follow-up to my 'V' braced tenor ukulele experiment. It has been one year and I'm reporting back on how the ukulele held up and how it sounds. The results are definitely mixed.

    As far as bridge rotation goes, the results are good as there was no bridge rotation at all and intonation remains good. The bad is that the sound is not as good as I hoped. The sound is bass emphasized with good sustain but somewhat muted mids and highs and decreased volume overall. I attribute this to an "over braced" ukulele. The kiss of death. It is not a "canoe paddle" uke, but my reference ukes sound much better.

    My gut tells me that this bracing system has merit, but I would drastically decrease the size of the longitudinal braces. Perhaps by as much as half or until I started to see some bridge rotation.

    Onward! Into the fog!

    top.jpg

    top clamp 3.jpg

    uke final 6.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    Irrespective of sound, that is one handsome little uke.
    I can't say that I have seen or heard a ukulele with V bracing.
    I've heard a beautifully built, steel string, V braced 00 guitar being briefly demonstrated by its builder, and (to me) it sounded bassy, mellow, and pleasant. A seasoned guitarist, who was with me, later commented that (to him) it sounded somewhat muddy and monotone, and lacking in clear highs. He liked some things about it, but I have long since forgotten the finer details. His comments, seem to parallel yours … although I should not compare guitars to ukuleles.
    The V pattern puts a lot of bracing close to the centre line … maybe it stifles free bridge movement.
    Call it pioneering, and move on :-)

  3. #3
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    My experience of using this system has been slightly different and I've built about 10 with my vFan bracing. It is now my standard pattern.

    If you follow Andy Powers explanation of the V class he is coming at it from a construction point of view. So in adapting this I use a shaped bridge plate that goes across the entire instrument for the required stiffness, three fan braces with the central one tied to the top and bottom fixed points for volume(I use an offset sound hole in the upper bout) and I have radiused the top of the rim to conform to the radius of the front for intonation stabilization. Results as for Taylor guitars - volume, sustain and tone with no rotation.

    In a couple of weeks I'll be making some more and posting the videos on my FaceBook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/masterukulelemaker/ with a demo on my YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpE...PHOcWNkN-T4exg

    I have no intention of hi-jacking your thread sequoia but if you want me to put this elsewhere I will.

  4. #4
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    Australia.
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    Pete,
    Your bracing description is intriguing. All but the densest of readers can probably visualise it from the description, but after reading and rereading, I'm still not seeing it.
    Can you share a picture? .. providing, of course, that it doesn't fall into the 'proprietary secrets' category. If it does, a 'request denied' response will suffice :-)
    I'll promise not to knock it off, … well, not immediately, as I'm currently in hiatus.

  5. #5
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    I'll do one next week.

  6. #6
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    Aug 2018
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    I built a 23" scale V-braced tenor guitar, widening the neck and making the braces as light as I dared, with the intention of using nylon strings. It sounded nice, but I did feel the sound wasn't as clear as other nylon string guitars I've heard. The body is Redwood over Indian Rosewood, and I made the whole shell as light and stiff as I could. I replaced the original Oasis Carbon Classicals with a set of Thomastik-Infeld KF-110, which are very light flat wound steel strings designed for classical guitars. They made the guitar come alive. They are rather expensive at almost $30 for a set, but I very much like how the guitar sounds now. I doubt I'll do another V-braced instrument.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Howlett View Post
    I have no intention of hi-jacking your thread sequoia but if you want me to put this elsewhere I will.
    Hi-jack away Pete. I have no problem with it. Looking forward to seeing your process...

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