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Thread: Bridge Issue with Custom Bonanzalele

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2018
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    Default Bridge Issue with Custom Bonanzalele

    I had a custom Bonzanzalele made some months back. I wanted something halfway between a banjo sound and an uke, and sound wise its perfect. However I quickly stopped playing in frustration due to an issue with the bridge, and haven't touched it in months.

    I am not a particularly hard strummer, but I can't go more than a few measure sinto a song before the A string pops out of the bridge and shifts half the distance between it and the C string. Thoughts on how to deal with it?

    The bridge is definitely in the correct spot (you can seen the marks on the uke head to line it. None of the other strings have a problem. My thought is the notch in the bridge might be too narrow or too shallow. Anyone else have an issue like this with a banjo uke or a Bonanzalele?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Port Hueneme, CA
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    It may be the bridge, or the head tension.
    If the bridge is sunken in, then the head is too loose.
    Keep Strummin'

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by shanmoon View Post
    I had a custom Bonzanzalele made some months back. I wanted something halfway between a banjo sound and an uke, and sound wise its perfect. However I quickly stopped playing in frustration due to an issue with the bridge, and haven't touched it in months.

    I am not a particularly hard strummer, but I can't go more than a few measure sinto a song before the A string pops out of the bridge and shifts half the distance between it and the C string. Thoughts on how to deal with it?

    The bridge is definitely in the correct spot (you can seen the marks on the uke head to line it. None of the other strings have a problem. My thought is the notch in the bridge might be too narrow or too shallow. Anyone else have an issue like this with a banjo uke or a Bonanzalele?
    Seems pretty simple to just deepen the bridge string slots by filing them down so that between half the string diameter and the whole string is held by the slot. The slots on my Banjolele bridge are about one string diameter and my strings don't pop out of alignment.
    Blackbird Farallon Ekoa Tenor
    Beltona Songster Resonator Tenor
    Klos Carbon Fiber Tenor
    Magic Fluke Tenor Firefly Banjolele

  4. #4
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    Sep 2011
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    The Big Scioto, on the Banks of the Ohio
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    Default

    Before you file anything, try flipping the bridge around.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    JoCo, NC (near Raleigh)
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    Default

    What strings are you using? And what strings did it come with? If the ones you have on now are thicker, you may very well need to widen and or deepen the slot. My Bonanzalele (that I sold and bought back - long story) came back with low G Aquila reds and that low G kept popping off like you say. I switched to a wound string and problem solved. Wait, I think this was the Southern Cross - still, the point stands.
    Last edited by Jim Hanks; 06-17-2021 at 03:54 PM.
    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, LW dGBEA
    Southern Cross concert GCEA
    Guitars:
    Jupiter #47, G, TI CF127
    Pelem, B reentrant
    Jupiter #71, E cuatro TI/Oasis

    !Flukutronic!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
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    Sparta, Wisconsin, USA
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    I have a Southern Cross tenor banjouke that is quite persnickety about the bridge being in exactly the correct position on a tight head. Left to Right, Front to Back, Squared Up 17" from the Nut. Otherwise, one of the strings will start to buzz. Usually the A.

    Check your placement. If you're not sure, ask Pete or Shelley where they set it. I mark it on the head in pencil to be sure.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you don't begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    --Lou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2018
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    It's still the original strings, which look to be Aquilas. It's only a few months old. I was so frustrated with it after the first week I stuck it back in the case and have only taken it out a few times since.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2018
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    It doesn't have a head the way my other banjo ukes do. There are no tension hooks or tone ring. Instead of a head it uses a piece of HPL (a hard counter top material) instead of a drum skin head. Thanks for the suggestion though.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Location
    Florida
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    The string slots on the bridge need to be a little bit deeper.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    11

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    This is a custom instrument. Some luthier or shop built it for you. Have you run this by the builder?

    Honest, no disrespect intended, if this was the first thing you did when you tried the uke for the first time. I blow by the obvious all the time, which is why I ask.

    Dave
    Last edited by boisedave; 06-17-2021 at 03:17 PM. Reason: Clarity

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