Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Tenor with Excessive Body Resonance at G

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Northern Illinois
    Posts
    43

    Default Tenor with Excessive Body Resonance at G

    I have a new Kala KA-SSEM-T. It has a solid Spruce top. I have it strung low G.

    There is a pronounced body resonance at low G that is quite out of balance with the rest of the strings.

    If I "tap" on the body while muting the stings, it respond with a G tone (kind of like a bongo drum).

    Can anyone suggest way to experiment dampening this, perhaps using museum putty?
    Last edited by Wiggy; 04-23-2020 at 04:27 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Honolulu
    Posts
    855

    Default

    How long has it been strung up to pitch? Often wolf tones will reduce or disappear after an instrument has been up to pitch for a few days to a week. When I bought a new Kremona Mari in Fall 2018 it had a wolf tone on F (first fret of the E string). Drove me nuts trying to balance melodies when recording. It actually clipped when most of the other single notes were -10 db. So I learned to tippy toe on that note. After a week the wolf tone was a bit softer until after a few months it almost disappeared. I'm guessing the soundboard flexed into a stable shape and the instrument stabilized in Honolulu humility.

    When I played violin my tech reduced/removed wolf tones by glueing little braces on the underside of the soundboard. He knew exactly where to place for control of particular frequencies. I'm guessing ukulele soundboards could be "tuned" in a similar manner.

    Finally, sometimes different strings may help as they vary in resonance, e.g., a flat wound low G will be less resonance and duller than a wound low G and a unwound fluorocarbon low will be even softer and more rolled off sounding. Of course, trying different types of low G strings is the easiest possible fix.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Northern Illinois
    Posts
    43

    Default

    I had seen the term "wolf tone," so thanks for the explanation.

    I have experienced that, but mostly with unwound strings sounding dull. After few days, they are usually fine.

    Yes, the strings were new today, and I did go to a different tuning. I will be patient and let the whole system settle in before I make any further changes.

    Thanks,
    Wiggy

    <edit> Perhaps I am just going stir crazy and was trying to pick a fight with my new Uke!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    3,560

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wiggy View Post
    I have a new Kala KA-SSEM-T. It has a solid Spruce top. I have it strung low G.

    There is a pronounced body resonance at low G that is quite out of balance with the rest of the strings.

    If I "tap" on the body while muting the stings, it respond with a G tone (kind of like a bongo drum).



    Can anyone suggest way to experiment dampening this, perhaps using museum putty?
    I usta complain about the “booming” low G on ukes but mostly I was ignored. A few ukers said one could quiet the booming but didn’t say how. Low G always boomed on my ukes, so I just quit usin’ it.

    I usta have an article about it that said somethin’ about the Low G bein’ too low for the size of a ukes body. I don’t remember exactly, and I guess I’ve thrown the article away. I didn’t strum the small ukes much anyway, and the Low G doesn’t boom when being picked.

    My baritone, which I do still play, doesn’t boom, but, of course, it’s body is much larger . . . anyhow, that’s what I know.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    3,560

    Default

    You could type Low G Booming in the “Advanced Search”/ “Search Forum” area to see what you can find. ld”

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Northern Illinois
    Posts
    43

    Default

    You are correct, gochugogi. I brought it back out after setting for a little over 2 months, tuned it up, and the string balance is much improved. The "roundness" of tone is still there, but now it is in a "good way."

    This, my first, Kala is quickly growing on me... patience, Grasshopper.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    New England, USA
    Posts
    3,918

    Default

    Glad it worked out! Tuning down a half step to B, or a full step to Bb can often improve a tenor's sound too. Lots of folks here do that, me included. I like B tuning on most tenors, in high or low G. It just seems to resonate better.
    John

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    2,063

    Default Wolf Tone

    ... was the leader of the United Irishmen, who in 1798 rose in in revolt against British rule in Ire... Oh! No, sorry....! That was Wolfe Tone! My bad.

    In this forum, the go-to authority on wolf tones in musical instruments is Dirk Wormhoudt, aka southcoastukes, who's blogged extensively on the interactions between body-mass, string weight and tension wrt the creation and dampening of wolf tones. Here's a summary of all he's found out:

    Southcoastukes: Tuning below the resonance

    I appreciate (and am glad to hear) you've sorted out your resonance issues this time, but this might be a handy reference if you run into similar issues in future.
    Argapa custom piccolo | Argapa custom resonator soprano | Rob Collins custom soprano | Kavanagh custom concert | Ashton soprano | Clearwater SB electric concert | Kala PU-SMH sopranissimo | Kala SSTU-BP soprano | Kala C/MU concert "The Mighty Uke"! | Kala SSTU-C concert | Kala SSTU-T tenor | Korala UKS-310 sop | Harley Benton BCJ100-FMH SB electric baritone | Lanikai S-B Baritone | Clearwater "long neck" baritone | Tiny Tangi

    Too Drunk To Pluck

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Posts
    25

    Default

    Ha! I had the same problem when I switched to a wound low G string... suddenly it was super loud! so here is what I did:

    I went into my wife's craft room and found some embroidery floss... I tied it on to the low G, and then experimented with the placement. I ended up putting it about 1-1/2" inch up the string from the bridge, where it killed off the offending harmonic, and then tucked the ends of the floss under the string to keep it in place... Problem solved!

    Everybody asks "what's that piece of green string doing tied to your uke?", but I got over it!

    All went well with that solution, and then I changed strings... I put on a set with a solid low G, and the issue went away completely! Hmmmm... Maybe it's time to reheat that "thread" about strings... I had no idea they had such an impact on tone and balance!

    Here is something else I've tried: Tuning slightly "hot" (high) also helps, with my uke anyway... as long as I'm playing alone or can negotiate this tuning with others...

    I have a cheep clamp on Snark Super Tight tuner, and I tune up until the green bar just lights up... This also helps quite a bit with my uke.

    And you know what? It leads to better tuning, too. Almost all the cheap tuners will accept a fair bit of variation, and the "red" or in-tune range is quite broad. I've found that tuning to just before the display goes from red to green is the only way to use this tuner and get consistent results. And as an added bonus, my Kala SSTU sounds more in balance for being tuned this way, up just a bit. Then I re-tune by ear in the usual way and dial it in... easy!

    These aren't the most conventional methods for dealing with your problem, but they worked for me!

    Bill

    Obviously, I have a lot to learn about strings...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Posts
    132

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by redpaul1 View Post
    ... was the leader of the United Irishmen, who in 1798 rose in in revolt against British rule in Ire... Oh! No, sorry....! That was Wolfe Tone! My bad.

    In this forum, the go-to authority on wolf tones in musical instruments is Dirk Wormhoudt, aka southcoastukes, who's blogged extensively on the interactions between body-mass, string weight and tension wrt the creation and dampening of wolf tones. Here's a summary of all he's found out:

    Southcoastukes: Tuning below the resonance

    I appreciate (and am glad to hear) you've sorted out your resonance issues this time, but this might be a handy reference if you run into similar issues in future.
    I appreciate you providing this link! I have read through page 1, looking forward to page 2 and future re-reads!

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •