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Thread: Kanilea pins

  1. #1

    Default Kanilea pins

    I have a kanile'a tenor ukulele which I think is great. I have always wondered why they use bridge pins. What do they add to the ukulele? I think Kanile'a is the only one I have seen use them. Do you like them?
    Just wondering what everyone thought.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    415

    Default

    I have a Kanilea Tenor as well. The bridge pins can be a bit of a pain the first time you change strings. I had an old string that got stuck and I tried everything and couldn't get it out. Had to bring it to a local guitar shop and they had a tool made for that problem. Other than that no real problem. Why bridge pins? I don't know. I came to the ukulele from trumpet and had no real background with guitar.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    USA
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    210

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    I'm no expert, but I think bridge pins make a lot of sense. One of the most common problems with older ukuleles is the glued-on bridge breaking off when the glue weakens with age (or due to heat or humidity). This is much less likely to happen with bridge pins since the strings are attached directly to the sound board instead of applying tension to the glued-on bridge. "String through" bridges have the same advantage, but changing strings with the bridge pins is much faster and easier. Any guitar store can sell you a bridge pin tool for about $1 that makes pulling the bridge pins very easy.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Wisconsin, central USA
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    159

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    Bridge pin, or thru the bridge has always been preferred by me. As was mentioned, bridge pins are 'nearly' traditional for acoustic guitars. When properly used I think they are superior at holding and in ease of installation. Again with my "opinion"... :-) both of those methods have the string tension pulling from under the bridge and I think it puts less stress on the bridge (when compared to tied or slot knotted.

    My first Kanile'a had two very loose pins (would literally fall out if I tipped they uke), and upon notifying Kanile'a, they immediately sent replacements, along with some hints for making sure they were installed correctly. [Groove in the string side, light finger tip pressure to 'seat' them.] The pins do NOT hold the string by wedging it between the pin and the hole. The knot should be beyond through the hole, resting on the underside of the soundboard. FWIW, I use 3mm stainless beads knotted on the ends and have had no issues keeping tied, nor getting them out. And lastly, I like the way they look... tidy, clean, with no string ends sticking out, poking or scratching the surface! (Opinions expressed here are that of the author)
    KoAloha KSM-10 Pikake ::: Kanile'a Islander MAPG-4-C ::: Kanile'a K-2 Super Concert ::: Kala KA-SSTU-S ::: Ohana SK-50G ::: Enya Nova U Concert ::: Kala KA-ABP-CTG Bari ::: Fender Montecito Tenor Koa ::: KoAloha Silver Anniversary KCM-00 #060 :::

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    1,257

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    Funny coming from guitar, I specifically didn’t get a bridge pin ukulele when I started, just to try something different. They are the standard for acoustic guitar. Now, I have all types. String thru with tie blocks is my favourite but I like them all......tie, slotted, bridge pins. String thru and bridge pins do make a lot of sense. Slotted are super easy and tension on ukuleles in a lot less than steel strings.

    For my acoustic , I have brass bridge pin, that are super easy to install strings with. They work like a champ.

    Still waiting to pick up my first Kanile’a and keep eyeing that newer model they have with Koa top and mahogany back and sides. Mi really like the natural looking finish and prefer ukuleles without a gloss finish. HMS has had some really nice Kanile’a ukulele as of late.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    415

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ukecaster View Post
    Well, if you come from the acoustic steel string guitar world, bridge pins are very familiar. I certainly felt that way when I converted to uke from guitar. Getting the hang of knots on a tie bar bridge took a wh6ile. Now either one of those methods, or a slot bridge, or string thru with knots or beads, it all seems normal. I'd love to own a Kanilea one day.
    Luckily, I have a Kanilea,Kamaka and KoAloha Tenor. We have no kids and didn't have to deal with college tuitions etc. We were able to pay off our mortgage a couple of months after I retired. We're not rich by any means but managed our money well and are in excellent health. I count my blessings every day.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Twin Cities Area, Minnesota
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    2,384

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    What may be of interest to many people here is Shawn's work at Ukulele Friend in the Museum. Many of the earliest ukuleles had bridge pins (some have slotted bridges, although in most of the pictures, these are replacements). So it is funny that we think of pin bridges on ukuleles as an exception to the norm, when they've been there all along, and the tie bar bridge is the exception!

    The other thing, if everyone didn't know, is that Kanile'a switched to other pins recently that do not have the "groove." This eliminates having to install the groove away from the string (which is always confusing to guitar players). I think they'll sell you a set of the new pins if you contact them, and I hear their customer service is outstanding.
    My ukulele blog: http://ukestuff.info

    My ukulele YouTube channels:

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Honolulu
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    882

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    I have a Kanilea GL6 with pins and, yeah, not a fan of the pins (love that wee instrument tho'). I suppose it's partly because I mainly played classical and electric guitars all my life so through-bridge and tie-down were what I was used to. Albeit I must say Kanilea's pins and corresponding holes are smooth and precise, so they rarely cut or fray strings, unlike my Cordoba (a real dad burn string cutter). Pins are more bother for me and unattractive. Ultimately it's about the sound and I'm willing to grin 'n bare it if the instrument is really good. The Renaissance guitar (tuned G C E A like an 'ukulele)—the oldest 'ukulele like instrument on record—had a tie down bridge. I don't think pins were common until the 19th century.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    4,249

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    I'm okay with pins, or tying them, wrapping them, slots or knots, it makes no difference to me.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    I just want everyone to understand that I am not a ukulele expert, even though it may look at times like I'm pretending to be.

    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...tective+Agency

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    583

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    Kanile'a pins are plastic. I do not understand why they would put these on a premium quality instrument. I changed out the pins on my GL-6 to bone after the one of the original pins snapped in two and the pieces flew across the room.
    Last edited by warndt; 08-02-2020 at 05:46 AM.

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