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 Post subject: Brave New Uke
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:44 pm 
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Just completed. First of its kind. 370mm/14.6" scale uke with a low G. I am extremely pleased with the sound: warmer and deeper than a normal uke, while also somewhat banjo-like. Pretty loud, too. All of which is essentially what I'd intended, so I'm very happy with the results. Plan to make more like it, including variations with different size rims, different scale lengths, different numbers of strings, and different tunings -- mandos, octave guitars, 5-string banjo-type things, etc.

Top, back, neck: holly
FB, bridge, armrest (which is easily removed): ebony
Rim: black-dyed maple

Thanks for looking! I will try to get some decent sound clips soon.


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Last edited by Todd Rose on Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Brave New Uke
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:47 pm 
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A few more...


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 Post subject: Re: Brave New Uke
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:48 pm 
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And the last two...


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 Post subject: Re: Brave New Uke
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:08 pm 
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Here's one more shot with a better-contrasting background.


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 Post subject: Re: Brave New Uke
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:36 pm 
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Well, I love it. So elemental. Actually I don't have the right word to describe it.
It isn't exactly simple to build is it? maybe even complex, or am I over-thinking it?
Is there a danger that it goes viral, and you have to ship production to China?

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 Post subject: Re: Brave New Uke
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:26 pm 
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I like it Todd, very unique.


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 Post subject: Re: Brave New Uke
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:43 am 
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Thanks, Robbie and David! David, it's always a challenge to design and build something new, but after I've built a few of these and worked out a few kinks in the process, they will be much faster to build than a guitar. Making these affordable -- while still having the high quality, great sound, unique character, and beauty of a fine handmade instrument -- is very much a part of the whole concept.

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 Post subject: Re: Brave New Uke
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:30 am 
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Great instrument, Todd. Mind-bendingly unique.

Max

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 Post subject: Re: Brave New Uke
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:41 am 
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I love a good design and you hit the nail on the head with that one. Very... ummm modern? If that is the right word. What ever the word is it's very cool. Good job. [:Y:]


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 Post subject: Re: Brave New Uke
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:02 am 
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That is one cool little instrument! Very innovative. Sound clip maybe?

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 Post subject: Re: Brave New Uke
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:25 am 
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Wonderful work, thanks for posting. T


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 Post subject: Re: Brave New Uke
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:07 am 
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Hey, Todd, I don't know exactly how to describe it, either, but I think it's one of the more interesting concepts I've seen here in quite a while. I'm sure it would work with almost any wood combination, but your choice of holly and black woods is really stunning. I like it!
Patrick


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 Post subject: Re: Brave New Uke
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:11 am 
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Sound Clip? Very interesting design and build . Does the back stay open or do you have a plug or cover ?


Quote:
Plan to make more like it, including variations with different size rims, different scale lengths, different numbers of strings, and different tunings -- mandos, octave guitars, 5-string banjo-type things, etc.



Exactly where I was / am going with my Mand-Jo build . Pleas consider using the Mandolin Forum for these builds , I would like to get more activity on these type builds in that forum . [:Y:]

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Last edited by WudWerkr on Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Brave New Uke
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:49 pm 
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Thank you, Todd. Your comments are very much appreciated.

Thanks, too, to Max, JF, Tony, Tim, Patrick, and WudWerkr.

I will post sound clips soon. Gotta practice up on this thing and record something decent.

The back stays open, but, since it is against the player's body, it is usually covered, or mostly covered, leaving the side sound holes pretty much on their own to do the sound hole job. However, you can also get a cool "wah" effect by moving the instrument in and out against the body while playing.

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 Post subject: Re: Brave New Uke
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:45 pm 
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This is too cool Todd. I love pretty much everything about it.

Every time I look at it I see something else i like. At first glance it is so simple. Almost toyishly simple. The uke lends itself to that. Then as you look closer, you notice the hidden complexity.

I like the wood contrast and the sound holes. Nice.


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 Post subject: Re: Brave New Uke
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:26 pm 
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Nice design. Looks very modern and classy


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 Post subject: Re: Brave New Uke
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:35 pm 
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It's so unique, you may have to give it a new name. [:Y:]


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 Post subject: Re: Brave New Uke
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:03 pm 
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Very cool indeed!


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 Post subject: Re: Brave New Uke
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:17 pm 
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Thanks John, Kevin, Martin, and Lex.

I'd like to come up with a name for the whole series of instruments I plan to make with this basic design. I've been brainstorming, but to no avail yet... something that would either precede or follow "uke", "mandolin", "guitar", etc... like "astro uke", or "uke nouveau" (two ideas that emerged and were rejected). It could be something which is in some way descriptive, or just something more or less random that's catchy. If anyone has any ideas, I'm all ears.

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 Post subject: Re: Brave New Uke
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:18 am 
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It looks great Todd!

Call it the Lollypop series.

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 Post subject: Re: Brave New Uke
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:16 am 
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I love the look of that uke! You did a really nice job with both the overall concept and the execution of the details. Please post a soundclip - I'm dying to know.

Beautiful instrument!

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 Post subject: Re: Brave New Uke
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:28 am 
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Todd, couldn't resist. The instrument has an "art deco" look to me; how about the "Deco-Rose" series?

Quote:
art dec·o also Art Dec·o (ärt dk)
n.
A decorative and architectural style of the period 1925-1940, characterized by geometric designs, bold colors, and the use of plastic and glass.


Geometric and bold - describe your design. Just my two cents worth. Regardless, I'm really impressed by the design. [clap] [clap] [clap]

Marty


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 Post subject: Re: Brave New Uke
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:03 am 
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That is way to clever Todd. Nice design. Is the neck adjustable? Do you have a photo with the neck attached before it was closed?

Thanks for sharing that.
Danny


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 Post subject: Re: Brave New Uke
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:17 pm 
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Thanks, Darryl, Robert, Danny, and Marty, for your comments and ideas. Much appreciated.

Danny, the neck angle is indeed adjustable, but it's not intended to be an adjustment that would be done often. It's simple, but somewhat fussy to do. The neck can also be removed easily if the need arises. You can see the simple brass bracket that holds the neck on in a couple of these photos, through the hole in the back. That black dowel goes right into the inboard end of the neck. The hole in the rim that the dowel passes through acts as a fulcral point (the fit of the dowel is snuggish, with just a tiny smidge of wiggle room) allowing the neck angle to be adjusted by loosening the two screws* fastening the bracket to the end block and sliding it up or down; the holes in the bracket are elongated to allow that movement. There's not much clearance between the dowel and the underside of the soundboard, but it's enough.

*I used square drive screws and I got a nifty little ratchet, made for working on bikes, that accepts a variety of bits, including square drive bits, so loosening and tightening those screws through the back sound hole is easy.

The rim, by the way, is cut from a laminated maple cylinder that I bought from a manufacturer whose main customers are drum makers.

The simple brass bracket idea works, but I may change to something a little more substantial. Everything on this prototype works, but there are a couple little tweaks to the design (functional things, not aesthetic) that I'm considering.

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 Post subject: Re: Brave New Uke
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:31 pm 
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A little more info for ya...

The soundboard is very thin, and there are no braces. There is virtually no stress on the top, because the strings pass through the bridge without putting any significant torque or downpressure on it. Look at the photo taken from straight out to the side to see what I mean. These aspects of the design are really the crux of the matter, inasmuch as the sound of the instrument is concerned.

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