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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:46 am 
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Koa
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Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:21 am
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First name: Brad
Last Name: Combs
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Status: Amateur
Hello,

I'm curious about the standard string height above the soundboard on a tenor uke. I went into the local guitar store and they heights were all over the place. I'm targeting 2.5-3mm at the 12th, but what should the fretboard thickness, bridge and saddle height be in order to get the "optimal" string height above the soundboard.

The reason I'm asking is the player is asking for maximum volume. If I understand string height above the soundboard correctly, too low can affect the volume / projection of the instrument. True? and if so, what's the magic number for a tenor? [:Y:]

This is the closest I've found on the forum:
viewtopic.php?f=10128&t=40808&hilit=string+height

Thanks!
Brad

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:58 am 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 3:20 am
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Location: Kapolei HI
First name: Aaron
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I would imagine string height above the top is a result of other measurements such as Bridge thickness (1/4") & Fretboard thickness (.200") as opposed to a target number.



These users thanked the author Aaron O for the post: bcombs510 (Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:29 am)
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:21 am 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:10 pm
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First name: Chris
Last Name: Reed
City: Stowmarket
State: Suffolk
Zip/Postal Code: IP14 2EX
Country: UK
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Status: Amateur
10-12mm is about right. Less than 6mm is likely to reduce volume, much more than 12mm can lead to soundboard distortion.

If you want maximum volume then building as light as possible is more important than bridge height. But light build and bracing means keeping your bridge height under 12mm to avoid distortion.

I find I can get a lot of projection (= perceived increase in volume) by putting an aggressive curve to the back. But in the end it's a uke, it has a small soundboard, so physics only lets you go so far.

Fretboard thickness doesn't matter much, because you adjust your neck angle to compensate, so decide on saddle height and work the geometry back from there.

If you're building with the neck and top in a dead flat line then the calculations are quite easy. 2.5mm at the 12th = 5mm at the bridge, so if you want 10mm string height at the saddle then the calculations are:

Thickness of fretboard + frets at 12th = 5mm (that's quite a chunky fretboard, so you could choose to angle the neck back to allow a thinner fretboard)

Saddle + bridge = 10mm
Saddle above bridge = 2mm
Bridge thickness =8 mm



These users thanked the author profchris for the post: bcombs510 (Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:29 am)
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:52 am 
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Koa
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Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:21 am
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First name: Brad
Last Name: Combs
Focus: Build
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profchris wrote:
10-12mm is about right. Less than 6mm is likely to reduce volume, much more than 12mm can lead to soundboard distortion.

If you want maximum volume then building as light as possible is more important than bridge height. But light build and bracing means keeping your bridge height under 12mm to avoid distortion.

I find I can get a lot of projection (= perceived increase in volume) by putting an aggressive curve to the back. But in the end it's a uke, it has a small soundboard, so physics only lets you go so far.

Fretboard thickness doesn't matter much, because you adjust your neck angle to compensate, so decide on saddle height and work the geometry back from there.

If you're building with the neck and top in a dead flat line then the calculations are quite easy. 2.5mm at the 12th = 5mm at the bridge, so if you want 10mm string height at the saddle then the calculations are:

Thickness of fretboard + frets at 12th = 5mm (that's quite a chunky fretboard, so you could choose to angle the neck back to allow a thinner fretboard)

Saddle + bridge = 10mm
Saddle above bridge = 2mm
Bridge thickness =8 mm


Perfect. This is a great help, Chris!

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