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Thread: Boredom+ Dremel + Koa Pili Koko = modifications

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Default Boredom+ Dremel + Koa Pili Koko = modifications

    So i was bored the other night and Ive been wanting to mod this Koa Pili Koko cutaway tenor i have.

    One thing i like all my guitars and ukes to have is a Sound port! so i took it into the garage and used dremel cutting wheel to cut a square hole on the side of the uke. i followed up with a tiny sanding drum on the dremel and gave it a oval shape. I then hit it with some fine sand paper gave it a quick spray with some canned lacquer and boom instant sound port. took me like 15 mins. I love how this sounds! night and day. 80% of the time i play for my self so thats why i love the sound ports it shoots the music right in your face an d makes playing much more enjoyable.

    I ordered a unbleached bone nut and saddle from stew mac and those will go on next.

    now to get rid of those cheapo tuners this thing comes with. i have my eye on waverly open gear ukulele tuners but man are they expensivo! more than half the price of the KPK uke. i have a set of grover minis laying around i might just drill out the holes and pop those in. we will see. ill save the waverlys for the Brad Donaldson Ukes i have coming!

    I love the koa pili koko uke. it really does sound great and for the price and i dont mind modding it since it was inexpensive so far so good.


  2. #2
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    Wish I had that skill. If I had a Dremel and was bored, I'd probably end up adding a glassless window to the front room, putting a second drain in the sink, and killing the neighbour's chickens.

    Well done, you!
    "A few chords strummed on a ukulele, enough to please a few others beside yourself, does more good in this world than the combined efforts of all the financiers and politicians that ever lived."

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  3. #3
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    May 2011
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    i love my dremel! replacement blades and bits are expensive tho.

  4. #4
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    Wow, that's impressive!! I'm not nearly as practical as you but am wondering if my local luthier could do something like that for me on one of my ukes. Does the sound port really make a difference?

  5. #5
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    the best way i can describe it is letting someone play your ukulele while you sit directly infront of them a foot away. im always amazed when i let other people play my instruments while i sit in front of them the sound projects directly at you and it just sounds so much better. For me having a sound port just directs the sound right at you and it not only sounds better but you can feel lower notes bass in your ears. if your getting a custom uke order a sound port if you have a cheap uke cut one out or have your luthier do it. on a expensive uke, hmm i dont know if i would do it as the resale might be affected.....

  6. #6
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    Music! For you! In your face!
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  7. #7
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    May 2011
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    Yea.. Im sitting here strumming this KPK alternating between covering the sound port with my hand and then leaving it open.... yea theres a big noticeable difference. I like it!

    I think on my steel string acoustics its even more noticeable, but it worked wonders on this inexpensive KPK. I paid 175 bucks for this thing and with the sound port TO ME it sounds better than most uke ive played in the 300 dollar range. when i get the bone nut and saddle it might even be better. overall its a great beater tenor uke that i dont mind handing around to friends at a party taking it on the road etc... now will i do that with some of my other instruments nah i dont think so.
    Last edited by MARCOVGV; 10-19-2012 at 11:20 AM.

  8. #8
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    You do want to be careful though because size and positioning of the extra hole can have a big impact on the overall response of the uke.

    I'm sort of puzzled by the ukes (Riptides and a couple of others) that have a large sound hole in the bass bout (instead of in the treble bout, where the OPs is). Conventional wisdom has it that that should significantly reduce the low end. I've only played one uke like that (hole in the bass bout) and it was pretty ho-hum to my ear.

    I'm tempted to get a cheap uke, cover the main sound hole, and then add a fairly small hole in the top offset from the strings in the treble bout, with another smallish hole on the side near it, just to see what happens (I'm a hopeless tinkerer). If the cover over the original sound hole is done right it should actually increase the size of the vibrating part of the soundboard and make the uke louder as well as directing some of the sound to the player. Worth messin' wit a bit, anyway.

    John
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  9. #9
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    Nice job and yes it does make a difference. Hmm, I have 2 KPKs...............
    Uku Itch: Live It, Love It, Share It
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  10. #10
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    May 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldePhart View Post
    You do want to be careful though because size and positioning of the extra hole can have a big impact on the overall response of the uke.

    I'm sort of puzzled by the ukes (Riptides and a couple of others) that have a large sound hole in the bass bout (instead of in the treble bout, where the OPs is). Conventional wisdom has it that that should significantly reduce the low end. I've only played one uke like that (hole in the bass bout) and it was pretty ho-hum to my ear.

    I'm tempted to get a cheap uke, cover the main sound hole, and then add a fairly small hole in the top offset from the strings in the treble bout, with another smallish hole on the side near it, just to see what happens (I'm a hopeless tinkerer). If the cover over the original sound hole is done right it should actually increase the size of the vibrating part of the soundboard and make the uke louder as well as directing some of the sound to the player. Worth messin' wit a bit, anyway.

    John
    But are you talking about on the actual sound board (top) or the sides? ive seen holes on the bottom bout of a sound board before but i dont think that does anything to direct the sound at the player. Now if you really wanted to build a guitar with just the players listening pleasure in consideratio. I would have a completely solid soundboard/top and have sound holes/ports only on the side that faces the player. that would bee a cool experiment.

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