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 Post subject: Re: Challenge Ukelele
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 9:19 am 
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Koa
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Location: Ellicott City, Md - USA
First name: John
Last Name: A
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I think it sounds great !
congrats

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 Post subject: Re: Challenge Ukelele
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 9:21 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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John A wrote:
I think it sounds great !
congrats

Thanks, cause the guy playing it thinks it sounds bad, because it wasnt loud compared to the chinese crap he sells. I built it a bit too heavy though.

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 Post subject: Re: Challenge Ukelele
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 10:40 am 
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Koa
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Tai Fu wrote:
John A wrote:
I think it sounds great !
congrats

Thanks, cause the guy playing it thinks it sounds bad, because it wasnt loud compared to the chinese crap he sells. I built it a bit too heavy though.

Don't let grouches get you down. Some will just shoot down your instrument for any reason, likely because they always wanted to make one and never did. The individual who can politely offer constructive criticism is your best friend, it does not help to hear it is great when it is not, but if the individual is not educated enough to offer some analysis, then the opinion is not super valuable. The challenge tenor I did opened up nicely, I was not thrilled with the sound on day one, but it did change for the better, perhaps yours just needs some time.
I followed the Hana Lima plans pretty closely, and if it were not for those plans, I would never of had the guts to go that thin on the top. I ended up at .080 on a tenor.
I know my hack style is different from most who post on this forum, and certainly looked down upon, but my reasoning for not investing time into trim and finish work at this point is that I am waiting until I have a clue about what quality of sound I will get before I spend the time on trim and finish on what may be a dud.
Keep up the good work, the uke will appeal to some one, and keep your notes so you can make changes on the next.
Rob

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 Post subject: Re: Challenge Ukelele
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 11:22 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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I think the biggest failure I did was the end block was too thick, and the bridge was bigger than what the plan calls for. I feel that's what has been limiting the vibration for the top... I mean add to that the top itself was a fairly poor quality top (has a runout so bad that the grain will go through the board in about 1 inch) so that is probably another contributing factor.

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Cat-gut strings are made from kitten guts, stretched out to near breaking point and then hardened with grue saliva. As a result these give a feeling of Pain and anguish whenever played, and often end up playing themselves backwards as part of satanic rituals.

Typhoon Guitars
http://www.typhoonguitars.com


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 Post subject: Re: Challenge Ukelele
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 12:22 pm 
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Always tough to judge recorded sound versus live, but to me it sounds... like an ukulele :)

But if you're not happy with it, there's always the option of retopping. Probably still time left for the competition if you just give the new top a couple wipe-on coats of shellac so you don't have to wait for it to cure. At least your neck is bolt-on with short fingerboard, so it would be easy to remove, reattach, and adjust the angle if necessary.

I agree with your assessment of the problems. The end block is definitely larger than necessary. I like to bevel them so the glue area is the same width as the rest of the linings, but the block is still thick in the center for an end pin/pickup jack. The bridge itself looks fine to me, but internal bridge plate looks too big. I would make it maybe just a bit wider than the waist, so there's still some flexibility on either side for the cross dipole mode to move.

But I will also concur with comfyfoot on opening up. I have a guitar that's been giving me no end of troubles, and I ended up retopping it. At first the new top sounded thin and hollow on the high strings, but after a week or so, it's firmed up and sounds pretty good. But then, that's coming from an underbraced sort of sound, and probably the main change was stiffening of the perimeter as it pulled up, effectively increasing the amount of doming on it.

But in any case, you did finish in time, and it looks great, appears to play good, and sounds decent. So nice work [:Y:]


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 Post subject: Re: Challenge Ukelele
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 5:39 pm 
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Cocobolo
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First name: Chris
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Zip/Postal Code: IP14 2EX
Country: UK
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
As a uke player and occasional maker I'd say your sound problems are mainly down to the massive bridge (about twice the area I'd use) and that bridge plate - I use the same wood as the top, and at the same thickness. Because you only have a small soundboard, you need as much of it as possible to be working.

If you make another one, forget plans - look at pictures from reputed makers which will give you a far better idea of dimensions. But in essence, the whole thing should be only just strong enough not to fold itself up!


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