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Thread: 1.5 inch neck.

  1. #1
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    Default 1.5 inch neck.

    I'm playing ukuleles with a 1 3/8 inch neck. I have pretty big hands, but there are no chords that I just can't play. If I were to buy a ukulele with a 1.5 inch neck, would I even notice the difference?
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rllink View Post
    I'm playing ukuleles with a 1 3/8 inch neck. I have pretty big hands, but there are no chords that I just can't play. If I were to buy a ukulele with a 1.5 inch neck, would I even notice the difference?
    Forgive me for being pedantic, but are you talking about NUT width (as it seems from you numbers) or NECK width as in front of fretboard to the back of the neck where your thumb goes?

    If NUT width is the question, as a beginner I had trouble with nut width less than 1 3/8", especially with the D Maj chord if played 2220 stacking 3 fingers. I know some folks 'cheat' and use the thumb, but refuse to do that, and instead play a D Maj chord as 2225, which is essentially a barre of the C Maj chord up 2 frets.

    I don't ever plan to play the D Maj chord as 2220 since my fingers are too fat, even on tenor, and the same fingering on baritone with a 1.5" nut is more comfortable, but still awkward.

    Now after 4 yrs of uking, I have no issue even with a 34mm nut on a soprano, but the 30mm nut on a mando family instrument, or on a tenor guitar gives me fits.

    Also, I find that a nut much wider than the limit of about 1.6", for only 4 strings seems like a wide span to me, and that comes from having converted several 6-string guitars to 4-string instruments that had a 1.67" or 1 11/16" nut, it's just too wide for 4 strings to me, and I may be looking at making a 5-string single course mandola out of a 22" scale guitar and string and tune it in fifths FCGDA, which will give a string-to-string spacing closer to a classical guitar, which is where I spent most of my time playing before taking up the uke...

    Now if you are taking about neck thickness front-to-back, just ignore me, as I may in fact be an idiot!
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  3. #3
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    I'm comfortable with all the necks on all my instruments and don't have a big preference but out of curiosity, I just took a rough measurement. My smallest is my Pono PC Bari at 1 6/16". Next is the LoPrinzi sop at 1 7/16" and largest is a Creedy Bari (small Appalachian luthier) at 1 9/16". I was surprised; I thought the Pono would have been larger.

  4. #4
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    I am talking width at the nut. I have no problems crowding my fingers between the frets as it is. I think that my concerns are the difference in reach for those chords that require the span of three or four frets, and barring chords. I play bar chords quite often.
    Last edited by Rllink; 08-20-2017 at 10:13 AM.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.
    There's more than one road into Richmond. Lil' Rev
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  5. #5
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    I prefer 1.5 inch at the nut. While it doesn't seem like much, it does make a difference if you have big hands.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bunnyf View Post
    I'm comfortable with all the necks on all my instruments and don't have a big preference but out of curiosity, I just took a rough measurement. My smallest is my Pono PC Bari at 1 6/16". Next is the LoPrinzi sop at 1 7/16" and largest is a Creedy Bari (small Appalachian luthier) at 1 9/16". I was surprised; I thought the Pono would have been larger.
    I thought that the standard was 1 3/8" and 1 1 /2" , so that is what I'm dealing with. But also, I don't play baritone, so if they are different, which would not surprise me, it still won't affect my purchase.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.
    There's more than one road into Richmond. Lil' Rev
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LEY9E_W5sw

  7. #7
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    My only 1.5" is a baritone, but I did feel more comfortable on it than I had been on my concerts & tenors, I just find the actual 20.125" scale not very much to my liking, my other bari is only 19.75" scale & that is more comfortable for me. Likely I would just get used to the scale if I gave it more time.
    Anyway, getting back to the point at hand, yes, I did find the wider neck more comfortable.
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  8. #8
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    I also strongly prefer wider necks. For me it definitely makes it easier to fret a number of chords as well as to fingerpick more cleanly. Nowadays, I'm loth to buy a uke with a standard nut. I just custom-ordered a LoPrinzi rather buying off the shelf, specifically in order to get a wider neck.

    But in measuring my wider-neck ukes I've found that there's great variability in the actual string spacing—on a couple there's no wider spacing than on some of my standard-width ukes! Similarly, the string spacing on standard-width necks also varies, making them (for me) an even dicier proposition. Sadly, no one posts these metrics, nor the string fan-out (the string spacing at the saddle), which can be troublesome for folks no matter what the spacing is at the nut.

  9. #9
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    Having the opposite problem (small hands, short fingers) I definitely notice a difference - for my small hands, ukes with a 1 3/8" nut are just more manageable than those with a 1.5" one. But other contributing factors are string spacing, as ubulele mentioned, and also neck thickness. An example that takes all of this into account are LoPrinzi ukes - they have the wider nut, but a super slim neck profile, yet my pinky can't reach the 4th string comfortably on their soprano, which I attribute to string spacing. But a friend with much larger hands and much longer fingers found that particular uke really easy to play, even in a soprano size.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rllink View Post
    I'm playing ukuleles with a 1 3/8 inch neck. I have pretty big hands, but there are no chords that I just can't play. If I were to buy a ukulele with a 1.5 inch neck, would I even notice the difference?
    It's one of those situations where people just have different experiences. Neck or rather nut width and string spacing are linked but only in so far as the width of nut limits string spacing. My own experience is that wider string spacing (30 mm over the strings for me now as opposed to 28-27 mm) has definitely allowed me to play far more and more easily; and I do notice the difference when I go back to a 'standard' Uke. If you would like a wider neck (1-1/2") you will likely struggle to find one, I'm sure that there have been posts in the past on their availability and one of my Ukes (with a wide neck) is an Islander - relatively expensive in the UK but much better priced in the USA.

    IMHO Kiwaya make amongst the very best of Ukes and, as I recall, they have wider than standard nuts and string spacing - as do several other high end products, draw your own conclusions. If wider spaced strings is what you're after then the Fluke Ukes have them too and it's sometimes possible to find a 38mm nut, trim it to size, and fit it to a narrower neck. I did that to one of my Sopranos (Kala KA-P) and just love how the wider spaced strings work for me on the Soprano scale, YMMV.

    Edit. Peavey's Concert Uke (Composer or Jack Daniels) is a great laminate Uke at a reasonable price, it has wide space strings and I have played a pal's - he really hammers out good stuff on it. Aria entry level laminate Soprano and Concert Ukes have wide nuts, I played a friend's Concert model and think that they're a very affordable instrument that can work just fine for the club player.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 08-23-2017 at 12:10 PM. Reason: Extra detail

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