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Thread: tenor scale sizes

  1. #1
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    Default tenor scale sizes

    okay all youse pickers and strummers. what is the difference between say a normal 17" scale tenor and the same construction in 19"?
    the larger instrument has a somewhat more amplified sound?

  2. #2
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    You say "same construction" and "larger instrument". Which do you mean?

    19" is really a baritone scale although you can put that scale on a tenor size body. You could use this "super tenor" configuration to get higher string tension (assuming the instrument can handle it) in which case, yes, it might be a little louder than the same strings with a 17" neck. Or you can use the extra length to get a lower tuning with the same tension, in which case it will probably have lower volume. Or you can use lower tension strings at the same tuning and then you're just getting the extra room on the fretboard.
    Ukelele:
    Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - Bb, SC SMU
    Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    KPK pineapple SLN-GCEA
    Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    Imua iET-Bb, M600
    Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    Rogue bari
    Bonanza super tenor, cFAD SC LHU
    Kala KSLNG-C Lava
    Guitars:
    Cordoba C1m 1/4, TI CF127, G
    Cordoba Mini M, SC F# EFS
    Jupiter #47, TI CF127, G

    Jim's Blog

  3. #3
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    well jim this is for a build i am doing and same construction would be same wood species with differing scale lengths. i hadn't considered lowering the tuning. that's a good thought thanks.

  4. #4
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    Chuck,

    I have a 17" and (2) 18" tenors. With a longer scale there is more string tension. This can be a good thing if the ukulele was designed and braced accordingly. But if the tension gets a little too much if can choke the soundboard. Going to thinner strings reduces the tension but you lose depth. Also those tough stretches get a little tougher.

    I'm only talking about an 18" scale. A 19" scale, as Jim noted, is a baritone scale. If you want high/low g tuning, I'd explore that tuning on an inexpensive baritone.

    FWIW, I've had those 18" scale tenors for a long time. I can't imagine going another inch.

    John

  5. #5
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    I'd also consider 19" as a baritone scale, it's unfortunate that most commercial baritones are now 20", as that is just a bit too big a stretch for me.

    Tuning it to DGBE would be a good idea, I've tuned a 17" tenor to it & it sounded good.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  6. #6
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    Kamaka make a 19" tenor, called a long neck tenor. Kanilea makes a 19" tenor called a super tenor, both are made with their standard tenor body. Simon (sam13) has a 100th Anniversary Kamaka 19" long neck tenor. I have played it many times and it sounds fantastic, string tension might be a bit higher but no big deal.

    Over the last two years I have had conversions with Luis of LfdM about a 19" scale on a tenor body, he really likes the idea. He believes the longer scale will drive the sound board creating more volume, the longer strings will oscillate more increasing resonance. I have commisioned a 19" tenor from him due this September so will shall see. He is actually building the first one now for HMS and I will scrutinize that one before it leaves.
    Last edited by DownUpDave; 05-12-2018 at 12:28 AM.
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DownUpDave View Post
    Kamaka make a 19" tenor, called a long neck tenor. Kanilea makes a 19" tenor called a super tenor, both are made with their standard tenor body. Simon (sam13) has a 100th Anniversary Kamaka 19" long neck tenor. I have played it many times and it sounds fantastic, string tension might be a bit higher but no big deal.

    Over the last two years I have had conversions with Luis of LfdM about a 19" scale on a tenor body, he really likes the idea. He believes the longer scale will drive the sound board creating more volume, the longer strings will oscillate more increasing resonance. I have commisioned a 19" tenor from him due this September so will shall see. He is actually building the first one now for HMS and I will scrutinize that one before it leaves.
    I'll be interested to see your review on the 19" LfdM tenor Dave. I wonder what the bracing will be to accommodate the higher string tension? Also, Bari, tenor or both tuning?

  8. #8
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    Luis is going to make the body a little deeper, just to support the added resonance. He talked about bracing changes but because he uses lattice bracing which supports the complete top unlike fan braces he feels it is not needed. We will start with tenor GCEA first then I will experiment with B and Bb tuning, all linear of course. I have high hopes for Bb, my instrument will have sinker cedar top with myrtle back and sides and a few special touches!!!!!

    Picture of his lattice braced top in my baritone below for reference

    IMG_3561.jpg
    Last edited by DownUpDave; 05-12-2018 at 07:19 AM.
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DownUpDave View Post
    We will start with tenor GCEA first then I will experiment with B and Bb tuning, all linear of course. I have high hopes for Bb, my instrument will have sinker cedar top with myrtle back and sides and a few special touches!!!!!
    That's gonna be sweet! My advice is to just skip the C tuning - straight to Bb or even A. Mmmmm.
    Ukelele:
    Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - Bb, SC SMU
    Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    KPK pineapple SLN-GCEA
    Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    Imua iET-Bb, M600
    Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    Rogue bari
    Bonanza super tenor, cFAD SC LHU
    Kala KSLNG-C Lava
    Guitars:
    Cordoba C1m 1/4, TI CF127, G
    Cordoba Mini M, SC F# EFS
    Jupiter #47, TI CF127, G

    Jim's Blog

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hanks View Post
    That's gonna be sweet! My advice is to just skip the C tuning - straight to Bb or even A. Mmmmm.
    Thats cause you're "King of the Crazy Tuning Jim"

    It should give me a bunch of options, espiecally with the vast array of string choices from South Coast. I know you are a fan.
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

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