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Thread: Ukulele with bridge pins?

  1. #1
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    Default Ukulele with bridge pins?

    I was browsing around the internet looking at ukuleles and noticed that Islander ukes come with brige pins rather than the type of bridge where you tie or knot the strings. How do you change the strings on this type of uke? Do they sell uke strings with the little ball on the end like guitar strings? Do you have to tie a big knot in the end of the string so the pin will hold it in? With the string placing so much stress on the edge of the hole, do you see that wearing away and getting bigger over time?
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikelz777 View Post
    I was browsing around the internet looking at ukuleles and noticed that Islander ukes come with brige pins rather than the type of bridge where you tie or knot the strings. How do you change the strings on this type of uke? Do they sell uke strings with the little ball on the end like guitar strings? Do you have to tie a big knot in the end of the string so the pin will hold it in? With the string placing so much stress on the edge of the hole, do you see that wearing away and getting bigger over time?
    mikelz777, people usually use a little glass bead on the end of the string to hold them in. The uke should come with them......If not, you can buy them at most bead stores. String through bridges usually have a bridge plate to prevent string wear. I prefer the string through bridge with pins, and I also believe there is less chance of the string tension pulling up the bridge.
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  3. #3
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    I use a figure 8 knot on the string and never have had an issue with a string slipping out.
    The trick is to get the string properly seated (ukulele & guitar), the pin merely holds the string in place.
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  4. #4
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    They do take a bit of getting used to. For a while, I hated stringing my Kanilea because of the bridge pin style bridge. If you don't get the knot seated properly, it will shoot back up at you. Three times now, in tuning an A string, I've had the bridge pin shoot across the room and the string jump up and cut my right hand. So now everytime I put new strings on a Kanilea, I wind it away from me when tuning the A string up to pitch.

    But a lot of my problems went away when I started using the beads. They help to secure the string in place. As stated before, the bridge pins don't function to hold it in place, it fits into a groove. I will note though that twice, I must not have made a big enough knot because in tuning my A string, the bead popped off and was rolling around the cavity of the uke. So now I just make a pretty big knot.

    Once you deal with the actual work of it though, I do think that bridge pins are a cleaner look than traditional bridges.
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    Changing strings on my Kanile'as are definitely much easier then changing them on my Pono. The only problem that I've had was sometimes the knot gets stuck in the groove and I have to push it down using the bridge pin or a screw driver just to get it out. Maybe a big fat bead will solve this problem.

    I prefer the look of bridge pins over the more traditional bridges. One of the reasons I have four Kaile'as.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by maclay View Post
    mikelz777, people usually use a little glass bead on the end of the string to hold them in. The uke should come with them......If not, you can buy them at most bead stores. String through bridges usually have a bridge plate to prevent string wear. I prefer the string through bridge with pins, and I also believe there is less chance of the string tension pulling up the bridge.
    Thats exactly correct! The pins really do help relieve tension on the bridge. All the Kanilea ukes have them that I have seen a few others as well including the islander line and Stanley Ishikawa do have them as well.
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  7. #7
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    I have bridge pins on my Martin baritone and I like the set up.
    I just tie a big knot in the end of the striings and hey presto.
    They have a better cosmetic look to my eyes as well.
    Cheers
    Gary

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    Quote Originally Posted by ukulelepuapua View Post
    Thats exactly correct! The pins really do help relieve tension on the bridge. All the Kanilea ukes have them that I have seen a few others as well including the islander line and Stanley Ishikawa do have them as well.
    can you tell me why kanilea uses plastic bridge pins?..on all high quality guitars bridge pin in ebony or something harder..i am sure this helps sound of the uke vibrating...that is why all nice guitars come with ebony pins..i changed my kanilea to ebony bridge pins as soon as i got it..could not believe it came with plastic ones(to save a couple of cents?) i aways wanted to know..anybody help>>
    Last edited by hawaii 50; 07-06-2012 at 01:20 PM. Reason: spelling

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawaii 50 View Post
    can you tell me why kanilea uses plastic bridge pins?..on all high quality guitars bridge pin in ebony or something harder..i am sure this helps sound of the uke vibrating...that is why all nice guitars come with ebony pins..i changed my kanilea to ebony bridge pins as soon as i got it..could not believe it came with plastic ones(to save a couple of cents?) i aways wanted to know..anybody help>>
    Ditto, I don't care for the plastic ones either. I got some koa ones and also some rosewood and definitely prefer both over the plastic ones that are stock.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by wickedwahine11 View Post
    Ditto, I don't care for the plastic ones either. I got some koa ones and also some rosewood and definitely prefer both over the plastic ones that are stock.
    yeh the ebony or other hard material bridge pins dont really cost that much more if you buy in bulk(i think..)and i know the harder the bridge pin the more the top of uke or guitar going to vibrate..i have ordered other ukes with pin bridges and they all have ebony pins?
    Last edited by hawaii 50; 07-06-2012 at 02:17 PM.

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