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Thread: Kala Elite - Fan braced vs X-braced

  1. #1
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    Default Kala Elite - Fan braced vs X-braced

    I had a chance to compare 2 Elite 1MHG-T doghair tenors side by side, and made a comparison video. The first one is the fan braced model, the second, with the darker ebony fretboard and bridge is the newer X-braced version. Both strung with new Oasis Bright flouros. Granted, YT video comparisons aren't great quality, but what differences, if any, do you hear? I hear the most difference in the last 2 comparisons. FYI, the newer X-braced Elites started in 2019, anything before that was fan braced.

    https://youtu.be/Kcu5oPLe6T0
    Last edited by Ukecaster; 06-11-2021 at 04:49 AM.
    John

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    Which style of bracing is typical? I ask because earlier this year I took my ukulele to my luthier because I sprouted a fret (I was being lazy and not humidifying my uke in a typical rel. hum. of 25%). The luthier was very impressed with my uke. He said it wasn't just braced like a guitar but it had its own unique and appropriate bracing. Do you (or anyone) know what a typical guitar bracing is and what most ukes do?

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    For strumming, not a lot of difference. But overall, I agree, the X bracing is louder.

  4. #4
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    I agree, the X-brace seemed to have a richer voice. Maybe a little more low end than the fan. Came across as a little louder. A touch more sustain. But it might have been a bit muddier as a result. Couldn't really tell with my computer speakers.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ripock View Post
    Which style of bracing is typical? I ask because earlier this year I took my ukulele to my luthier because I sprouted a fret (I was being lazy and not humidifying my uke in a typical rel. hum. of 25%). The luthier was very impressed with my uke. He said it wasn't just braced like a guitar but it had its own unique and appropriate bracing. Do you (or anyone) know what a typical guitar bracing is and what most ukes do?
    There are several different ways of guitar top bracing and steel strung guitars often use different bracing patterns than nylon strung guitars. For ukulele the bracing is different and more simple as their size is smaller and string tension much lower, and also varies by size. Sopranos may have no bracing at all, and tenors of different brands be different. KoAloha is known for their minimalist approach of just using a single "u brace", Kanile'a has a complex approach, and Kamaka or Martin have traditional patterns as used by them for decades.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ripock View Post
    Which style of bracing is typical? I ask because earlier this year I took my ukulele to my luthier because I sprouted a fret (I was being lazy and not humidifying my uke in a typical rel. hum. of 25%). The luthier was very impressed with my uke. He said it wasn't just braced like a guitar but it had its own unique and appropriate bracing. Do you (or anyone) know what a typical guitar bracing is and what most ukes do?
    There are several different ways of guitar top bracing and steel strung guitars often use different bracing patterns than nylon strung guitars. For ukulele the bracing is different and more simple as their size is smaller and string tension much lower, and also varies by size. Sopranos may have no bracing at all, and tenors of different brands be different. KoAloha is known for their minimalist approach of just using a single "u brace", Kanile'a has a complex approach, and Kamaka or Martin have traditional patterns as used by them for decades. Other makers more or less copy or adapt what the leaders are doing.

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    Thanks, Merlin666. It must be the simplicity of the bracing that earned the admiration of my luthier, whose purlieu is custom classical guitars. He seemed to be indignant that most ukuleles are braced like guitars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ripock View Post
    Thanks, Merlin666. It must be the simplicity of the bracing that earned the admiration of my luthier, whose purlieu is custom classical guitars. He seemed to be indignant that most ukuleles are braced like guitars.
    The main purpose of bracing is to support softwood tops from string tension, but the cost is that they reduce top vibration. So the goal is to reduce the impact of bracing as much as possible, and for guitars that often involves shaving or scalloping of braces. But the bracing can also be targeted to suppress certain undesirable frequencies. For example with ukulele when a low G is installed it sometimes appears much louder than other strings due to much higher tension. So a tenor uke designed for low G may have bracing that suppresses some of those lower frequencies for overall more balanced sound.

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