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Thread: Adjusting top resonance

  1. #1
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    Default Adjusting top resonance

    Ok, so my concert Uke is set up with a low G string.

    Picking, it sounds fine.

    Strumming, the low G seems to drone on, dominate, and muddy up the sound. I THINK because the top resonance is too close to low G.

    Has anyone experimented with adjusting the resonance of a fully built uke? I'm thinking I could add a little mass under the top and drop the resonance down a bit, eliminating the droning, using something like blue tack or microsuction tape. (I have used the later under the bridge of my banjolele to smooth out the highs a bit).

    What are your thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Try plucking the strings one at a time, with the other strings muted. Time the sustain on each string. Let us know the results.
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  3. #3
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    Isn't that just the nature of the beast? Base strings always boom. That's their virtue. Being a low-G player I just learnt early on to mute the G string. I also tend to play true triads instead of slash chords with the G string. If you think you're getting a wolf tone, wouldn't it be easier to tune all the strings up a half-tone to obviate that phenomenon? Obviously none of this is authoritative; it is just wild speculation. I offer it as such.

  4. #4
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    I am not sure of your technical abilities, but as a luthier the best way I know to raise the frequency of the body is to enlarge the sound hole. Depending on the rosette that may not be possible, so next suggestion would to add a side sound port, or enlarge it if you already have one.
    Brad
    Bradford Donaldson
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  5. #5
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    Is the low G string wound or unwound? Maybe switching to the other type than the one you are using now will blend the notes a little better
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  6. #6

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    I think if you try to dampen the sound of the ukulele in any way, you risk dampening the sound of the whole ukulele.
    I do know that for guitars, expert luthiers sometimes "tune" the soundboard and body by shaving away at the bracing so that it resonates at the ideal pitch when you tap the instrument. However, this is a technique for improving resonance, not dampening.

    There are other factors at play which you may have better luck with controlling:

    -Different brands of wound strings resonate differently. I've had good luck with D'addario Pro Arte 4th wound string as a standard Low-G for ukuleles.
    I've used some wound strings from ukulele sets that do drone on and on.

    -Your ears might need adjusting when you first install a low G string when it's used to listening to high G. Listen again in a week or two and see if it still sounds like it drones. Sometimes I get the opposite effect. Going back to high-G sounds funky after using low G so long.

    -It's the nature of the ukulele. Some ukuleles handle low G better than others.

  7. #7
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    Check your resonator fluid, if it's ok, it could be the drone attenuator bearing.
    Just Play

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  8. #8
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    I think I'd experiment with different strings before I'd start mucking around with the resonance of the top. Unless, of course that's your thing.

    I don't like most wound Low-G strings for exactly this reason. They overpower the rest of the strings and dominate with that "Whang! Whang!" sound. THey work okay for fingerplaying, but strumming it gets a bit much.

    Some strings just work with a particular uke while others just don't. For instance: Living Waters Low-G did not sound good to me on my Martin 1T IZ tenor. I changed to Martin 620 Low-G. Sounded muted & muddy. Worth Clears were ok, but a little dull. Then I put on Fremont Black Lines and it sounded really good. Louder. A little brighter and crisp, clean notes picked and clear when strummed. I'll try some Uke Logic strings eventually.

    I quite like the plain Low-G of Living Waters strings. For most of my tenors, but not all.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrdr View Post
    Is the low G string wound or unwound? Maybe switching to the other type than the one you are using now will blend the notes a little better
    I have switched from unwound to wound and back again (different strings).

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenn2018 View Post
    I think I'd experiment with different strings before I'd start mucking around with the resonance of the top. Unless, of course that's your thing.

    I don't like most wound Low-G strings for exactly this reason. They overpower the rest of the strings and dominate with that "Whang! Whang!" sound. THey work okay for fingerplaying, but strumming it gets a bit much.

    Some strings just work with a particular uke while others just don't. For instance: Living Waters Low-G did not sound good to me on my Martin 1T IZ tenor. I changed to Martin 620 Low-G. Sounded muted & muddy. Worth Clears were ok, but a little dull. Then I put on Fremont Black Lines and it sounded really good. Louder. A little brighter and crisp, clean notes picked and clear when strummed. I'll try some Uke Logic strings eventually.

    I quite like the plain Low-G of Living Waters strings. For most of my tenors, but not all.
    I have gone through quite a few strings ...

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