Baritone Ukulele Beta - Feature Chat - Akertoys
 
[written by Adan]  Ah, the new bari-uke.  I'm so thrilled it's come to fruition.  I've been carrying one around for the past couple of weeks and I'm having so much fun with it. 
Picture
So, what's new?  The biggest, most noticeable improvement is the tuners: going from 1:1 friction tuners to these new 8:1 geared tuners makes small tuning adjustments so much nicer.  I love it.  The tuner change necessitated a headstock tilt, and various other headstock design changes that propagated therefrom, and I'm pretty thrilled about the resulting look.  Thanks for your patience with my resistance to change, Jennifer.

We also tweaked the bracing design and undercut a portion of the material that joins the neck to the bridge, freeing up additional soundboard surface to move.  You can definitely hear improved balance and lower tones as a result.  We evolved our fabrication process too, pretty much every part of it (though there's plenty of room to improve!)  The following image shows the undercut, the very uniform fret shaping, as well as another new feature: a makers' label!  We now have a company sub-title (Akertoys Fine Instruments) and our products have serial numbers.  Not visible at the bottom of the label is a link to this lovely site.  We're approaching quasi-legitimacy.
Neck/body transition & makers' label
tailstock/bridge/saddle details
A final pic: bridge/saddle and "tailstock" detail.  For this design iteration, we decided all string contact points would be a different material.  This improves instrument lifespan (you can tweak and replace the nut and saddle as they wear or your setup preferences change) and helps tone as well, because we chose a very dense wood (ipe, a.k.a. ironwood.  The little ipe strip at the end, where the knots are, helps by preventing the strings from cutting into the beech endgrain and of course by making things look just a touch cooler.

Let us know if there are other details you'd like shown in greater detail.  Coming soon is a video of the thing in action.  Also coming soon: an electrified version.  This design is intended to be ready for conversion, it just needs one more cut in the tail and the installation of a pickup and jack.




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