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Thread: The three tenors - an experiment

  1. #1
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    Default The three tenors - an experiment

    I have a bit of a break from commissions, so I decided to conduct an experiment. I am building three tenors, with very similar top woods but different bracing/construction details. I am interested in comparing the resultant sound side-by-side. The top wood is some very fine grained redwood. Two tops are from the same board, and the third is very similar. I counted (under a microscope) 351 growth rings across the 5" board used to make the top. Picture is of a .5mm pencil point.

    The three experiments from right to left:
    An X braced top - a design which is my standard, and has yielded very good results. Note, no lower transverse brace, allows more of the top to vibrate I think.
    Kasha braced top - I have built some Kasha instruments, and the results have been good, but I am interested in hearing this side-by-side with the X braced top. This uses wood from the same board as the X braced top.
    Double-back - I read recently about having an inner back so that the instrument back does not get damped by being against the player. There are a few builders who seem to have built double-back instruments. I have a friend with a double-back Appalachian dulcimer which is quite loud. An intriguing concept, and an opportunity to figure out build issues and do something rather different. Spruce inner back (shellac on inside of top).
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  2. #2
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    I've never heard of a double back but it makes sense. How is the double back itself braced?

  3. #3
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    Following. I was recently talking to Brian Griffin who I think is "all in" on the Kasha style now. I'm curious too though I have no budget at the moment
    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
    Hanson 5-string tenor, dGCEA
    Bonanza SLN GCEA
    Southern Cross concert GCEA
    Guitars:
    Jupiter #47, G, TI CF127
    Pelem, B reentrant
    Jupiter #71, A, UG1

    !Flukutronic!

  4. #4
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    Interesting experiment although it would be nice to see a standard 3-fan braced uke as a sort of "standard control"... I am not a fan of the Kasha system, but will be interesting to hear a side by side comparison to an X-brace.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sequoia View Post
    . I am not a fan of the Kasha system, but will be interesting to hear a side by side comparison to an X-brace.
    What are the cons in your view?
    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
    Hanson 5-string tenor, dGCEA
    Bonanza SLN GCEA
    Southern Cross concert GCEA
    Guitars:
    Jupiter #47, G, TI CF127
    Pelem, B reentrant
    Jupiter #71, A, UG1

    !Flukutronic!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Little River, California
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    I think they are over braced. It looks really cool though... See below a thread I started on this subject back in 2014:

    https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com...sha-Braced-Uke

  7. #7
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    The thing that strikes me about Kasha is that the bracing is very strongly oriented lengthwise with the grain of the wood. I have to imagine that the top is much more flexible across the grain than along it, as a result. I feel like that would make it hard to do a comparison based purely on "amount" of bracing, in terms of deciding if it's over-braced or not.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwizum View Post
    I've never heard of a double back but it makes sense. How is the double back itself braced?
    There is no bracing on the inner back. While it is made of a spruce top, there is no string tension on it, so I just left it free to vibrate.

  9. #9
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    Apr 2015
    Location
    Eastern Pennsylvania / Jupiter Florida
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    Default three tenors - boxed up

    The three tenors are boxed up. I have a rubber xylophone mallet that I use for consistent 'tapping'. The tone of the X braced tenor and the X braced/inner back are similar, with the inner-back maybe being a bit louder. The Kasha tenor is very different. Taps much lower in tone, much more base. Since the Kasha system is inherently low-G this may suit the instrument. Time will tell. (I have never been much of a believer in tapping' being a very good predictor of what an instrument will actually sound like when strung up.)
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  10. #10
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    Jun 2013
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    Excellent thread and great experiment. I’m curious to hear results of ukuleles actually played. I have read a few luthiers web sites about the double back. It makes sense. I can’t name them, I’d have to do a search. Very interesting. Thanks for posting.

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