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View Full Version : you preffer slotted headstock or regular headstock with a custom inlay artwork?



tangimango
11-09-2014, 02:37 AM
I love both. Slotted head is limited on space so can manage a small.inlay. but a regular headstock has a good amount of space for beautiful inlay artwork to be possible.

What would you choose for your custom ukulele.

Doc_J
11-09-2014, 02:57 AM
Slotted headstocks for me!

But I'm not looking for a special inlay either.

Jim Hanks
11-09-2014, 03:18 AM
Regular for me - don't want it to look too much like a guitar. :cool:

Down Up Dick
11-09-2014, 03:48 AM
Slotted for me, and I'm also not interested in inlay. :old:

Bao
11-09-2014, 04:13 AM
I love slotted. A little inlay would be nice. Nothing too over the top. Possibly like an emblem or something. Keeping it plain can work too.

BlueLatitude
11-09-2014, 04:19 AM
Regular with as much inlay as will fit.

DownUpDave
11-09-2014, 04:27 AM
I do prefer the look of slotted but I don't own any. With slotted the taper is much more aburpt and the headstock is much thicker. I have an issue with my left hand and that means I need to slide my hand up the headstock and I can't do it with a slotted.

I think this looks nice with the UPT's

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brimmer
11-09-2014, 10:17 AM
If slotted, I prefer no inlay. If you love inlay, I would get a solid headstock.

wickedwahine11
11-09-2014, 10:20 AM
I went with regular and inlay on my custom uke. But slotted are very nice. :)

coolcow
11-09-2014, 10:35 AM
I'd have to see who's going to do the inlays....if it's Chuck Moore...no doubt i'd get a regular headstock haha...otherwise I prefer slotted

janeray1940
11-09-2014, 10:36 AM
Regular, and when I got my custom I opted for no inlay at all. I like plain and understated.

Dan Uke
11-09-2014, 10:42 AM
I'd have to see who's going to do the inlays....if it's Chuck Moore...no doubt i'd get a regular headstock haha...otherwise I prefer slotted

This! As forthe left hand being affected by the slotted, I think it depends on the builder as many goes straight up before flaring out

sam13
11-09-2014, 01:17 PM
Slotted head stock. I love Moore Betthah head stocks. Just can't afford the Uke attached to them.

flailingfingers
11-10-2014, 04:27 AM
I had a couple of guitars with slotted and did not like them. Much easier to change strings on a regular. Also the regular headstocks always are thinner in my experience.

Steveperrywriter
11-10-2014, 07:08 AM
Have both, like both. I came from classical guitar, and got used to the slotted style. The first custom build I got, a Zukulele, by Michael Zuch, I asked for the slotted, and it is a terrific instrument.

The build in-progress is a more traditional headstock, and has a unique, gorgeous inlay that satisfies my desire for bling, it's by Beau Hannam.

I mean, if you need an excuse to get another uke, different headstock works, hey?

dirtiestkidever
11-10-2014, 07:15 AM
I really prefer the look of simple standard headstocks with friction tuners. Though I am not a huge fan of inlays either. Inlays on ukes are kind of like tattoos on people. They are made by skilled artists no doubt. And some are truly awesome (tattoos and inlays). But the majority of them end up looking a little tacky to me. There are definitely inlays and tattoos that look beautiful and classy (MBs for example). But to me those are more the exception than the rule. Of course it is all just opinions and personal preference.

Ukulelerick9255
11-12-2014, 02:59 PM
Slotted...my custom uke is being built with one. Pics are on here in another thread

hollisdwyer
11-12-2014, 03:13 PM
I love the look of slotted headstocks (a hangover from my acoustic guitar days) but I find solid headstocks offer a wide range of tuner choices (love the new Gotoh planetary ones) and are much easier to string with my clumsy sausage fingers.

katysax
11-12-2014, 03:29 PM
Generally I prefer the paddle headstock and straight through tuners - really like the Gotohs. But a good slotted headstock can also be very nice.

Tigeralum2001
11-12-2014, 04:08 PM
Regular so that I can have more space for an inlay... Unless your inlay is a tree or something skinny, then go slotted...

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
11-12-2014, 04:22 PM
I think the weight of the headstock is something to consider. On my ukes it seems the extra weight of the heavier tuners on a slotted model give the uke more depth and sustain over light tuners such as the Pegheds. That could be all in my head though.

Dan Uke
11-12-2014, 04:27 PM
I think the weight of the headstock is something to consider. On my ukes it seems the extra weight of the heavier tuners on a slotted model give the uke more depth and sustain over light tuners such as the Pegheds. That could be all in my head though.

Chuck, if that's the case, can't you make your non slotted heads thicker or use heavier tuners like you used to in your earlier builds?

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
11-12-2014, 08:23 PM
Chuck, if that's the case, can't you make your non slotted heads thicker or use heavier tuners like you used to in your earlier builds?

I've never used heavier tuners in my earlier builds. The guitar tuners used in my slotted headstock ukes are substantially heavier than those that I use (of any type) in my standard headstocks. I know of at least one builder who embeds lead under the headstock veneer to add a little weight. This can upset the balance of the uke which will be objectionable to some players. As I mentioned, my observations are merely a hunch and may all be in my head anyway. There are far too many variables and coincidences to attribute an ukes characteristics to one particular thing.

Kekani
11-12-2014, 09:33 PM
I don't think its in your head. In theory, the heavier headstock is harder to vibrate from a plucked or strummed string, so more of that string energy goes in the other direction, and results in whatever you hear resulting from string energy being focused in places OTHER than lost in the headstock.

Personally, this is why I use CF. IMO, a stiff neck accomplishes the same thing. Of course, that's not THE only reason I use CF.

Of course, we are talking about a very short scale, low tension nylon stringed instrument.

Ukejenny
11-13-2014, 04:41 AM
For pure aesthetics, if I were doing a custom inlay, I would want a solid headstock, to make it all about the inlay. But, if that was not the main concern, I think I would like the look of a slotted headstock. Of course, if you worked an intricate inlay around the slots, you could have the best of both worlds, maybe.

flailingfingers
11-13-2014, 04:51 AM
I really prefer the look of simple standard headstocks with friction tuners. Though I am not a huge fan of inlays either. Inlays on ukes are kind of like tattoos on people. They are made by skilled artists no doubt. And some are truly awesome (tattoos and inlays). But the majority of them end up looking a little tacky to me. There are definitely inlays and tattoos that look beautiful and classy (MBs for example). But to me those are more the exception than the rule. Of course it is all just opinions and personal preference.
I'm with you on that. A simple small inlay may be OK but the more elaborate seem to take away from the quality in my eyes. Sorry but I include MB in that also. Must be something in my background I suppose. As for tattoos, I am an artist and I still can't imagine one image that I would want on my body for the rest of my life. I don't think that any Stradivarius violin had inlays.

Laouik
11-13-2014, 04:55 AM
Depends on the shape of the ukulele for me. The headstock is complementary the shape of the body. For more traditional shapes, I prefer slotted. However a 'regular' one can be shaped to give the ukulele character (e.g. KoAloha Sceptre). Even though I enjoy slotted over 'regular', I struggle to see the Sceptre with a 'regular headstock'.

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wickedwahine11
11-13-2014, 05:10 AM
I'm with you on that. A simple small inlay may be OK but the more elaborate seem to take away from the quality in my eyes. Sorry but I include MB in that also. Must be something in my background I suppose. As for tattoos, I am an artist and I still can't imagine one image that I would want on my body for the rest of my life. I don't think that any Stradivarius violin had inlays.

Different strokes for different folks...I say as someone with a heavily inlayed MB that is getting her third tattoo in a couple of months. Life would be boring if we all liked the same things. :)

On a side note though (and even though I apparently risk the wrath of some around UU that think MB owners strut around these parts) -- MBs are far more about the playability and the sound, not the bling.

Steveperrywriter
11-13-2014, 06:35 AM
Sound and playability, of course. The ears, the fingers, but for those of us who can see, most of what we know about the world arrives through our eyes. Nothing wrong with plain cake; nothing wrong with icing, either.

When I started learning how to write, a process that isn't close to being done after fifty years, one of the lessons was to engage as many of the reader's senses as possible. That makes it a more complete experience.

Bling isn't just decorative inlay, I count the wood-choice, the binding, purfling, tuners, rosette, all that.

Sounds great, feels great, looks great? What's not to like?

Dan Uke
11-13-2014, 06:37 AM
It's annoying that there seems to be a more hate towards MBU than other ukes out there and I'm not sure why. I hardly hear people say I don't like "Insert Other Uke Name Here" for whatever reason. People rather hold their tongue or fingers than write anything negative on UU, there seems to be little "innocent" remarks for MBUs. I understand that bling might not be your thing but Chuck Moore makes traditional looking ukes as well. Obviously for social media, the inlayed ukes are more on display but tone and playability is what separates the MBU from most ukes out there.

In the years I've been on UU, Chuck doesn't raise people's eyebrows with polarizing comments as he tries to be helpful and give his opinion thoughfully. If you meet him in person, he's humble and hospitable. Now if you don't like the attitude of MBU owners, that's fine as some of us are opinionated but don't confuse Chuck and his ukes with their owners...of course there's nice owners too. :p

gyosh
11-13-2014, 06:52 AM
It's annoying that there seems to be a more hate towards MBU than other ukes out there and I'm not sure why. I hardly hear people say I don't like "Insert Other Uke Name Here" for whatever reason. People rather hold their tongue or fingers than write anything negative on UU, there seems to be little "innocent" remarks for MBUs. I understand that bling might not be your thing but Chuck Moore makes traditional looking ukes as well. Obviously for social media, the inlayed ukes are more on display but tone and playability is what separates the MBU from most ukes out there.

In the years I've been on UU, Chuck doesn't raise people's eyebrows with polarizing comments as he tries to be helpful and give his opinion thoughfully. If you meet him in person, he's humble and hospitable. Now if you don't like the attitude of MBU owners, that's fine as some of us are opinionated but don't confuse Chuck and his ukes with their owners...of course there's nice owners too. :p

I've been here a while. Lurked before I jumped in and I have to say that the love/hate for ukes and builders goes in waves. Right now Chuck is the toast of the town on UU and deservedly so . . . but that will fade and someone new will be king for a while. When I first got here the Dolphin was all the rage and heaven forbid someone disagreed that they "sound just like a Kamaka."

I like the earlier sentiment that "if we all liked the same thing the world would be boring."

Rick Turner
11-13-2014, 07:23 AM
I don't see it as a Chuck-bashing; it's more of a "ukes over $1,000.00" bashing. And inlay work seems fine...if it comes from Vietnam and was done by workers making less than $5.00 an hour.

I fully concur with Chuck and Aaron on the issues with slotted pegheads; when you get down to it, you'll often find a lot of agreement among pro luthiers...more so than with relatively casual, though enthusiastic players here. It's just a matter of experience. We handle a lot of ukes, and we get to hear and feel what subtle changes in a design accomplish. Most of you do not get to do that.

Other than for the Gotoh Stealths, you just can't get away with making a slotted peghead any thinner than 3/4" because of the plate width, and that makes for a thick peghead. The other side of the coin is that you will get a bit more power and sustain with a heavier peghead and neck, and the edge of the coin is as Aaron mentions...you can put carbon fiber in a neck to increase snap and sustain.

I personally love the look and tuning function of slotted pegheads, particularly on guitars. They are a pain in the ass for string changing...so be it.

Lead in a peghead...could work against you, too. Lead is one of the most efficient vibration dampers of all materials. It's the perfect example of how density does not equate with sustain or resonant Q.

Rick Turner
11-13-2014, 07:46 AM
Ooh, my bad. I was thinking that Vietnamese workers got more dough than they do:

From the Thanhniem News:

Salaries remain low in Vietnam, compared to neighboring countries.
According to the Japan External Trade Organization, the average monthly salary of a Vietnamese worker last year was $145 in Hanoi and $148 in Ho Chi Minh City, much lower than those in Jakarta, Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Singapore

So make that "less than $1.00 an hour".

Yeah, I know, we all have indispensable products (like this keyboard I'm typing on) made by labor costing less than 5% of what we make here in the US, but...just keepin' it real.

soupking
11-13-2014, 02:12 PM
My comment about Moore Bettah owners "sauntering around here like they own the place" was made in jest. I'm only bringing it up here because it's been brought up in this thread. I attempted to explain that in the Bruce Wei thread but it locked up after I hit the post option. I meant no disrespect to Chuck- whom I find to be one of the most valued members here- or any of the MB owners; well, to a majority of them anyway... haha.

As far as the op goes, I've never been a fan of slot heads, especially on a ukulele. With the exception of a slim few- MBs being one example, Ko'olau, and Gillian's Compass Rose- most of them just look gangly and obtrusive to me. -- Matt

Landshark
11-13-2014, 09:33 PM
I think I got the perfect headstock compromise on my uke , Chuck did a beautiful job with the subtle inlay tribute to my African Grey Parrot on this slotted head custom tenor he made for me
http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s39/abcphotowest/music/outfrontsidesm.jpg

http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s39/abcphotowest/music/headinlaysm.jpg

Kekani
11-13-2014, 10:32 PM
Slotted headstocks are like inlays or tattoos in a similar respect: they're good, if they're good.

Its easy to make a regular headstock look good; personally, I need to pay more attention to slotted ones because if it comes out crappy, then the $300 upcharge doesn't justify the cost, even if most of that is the cost of the tuning machines.

Referring to the op, I've inlayed a slotted headstock, because I can. Not the best pallette, but better than the soundboard.

In the end, if you're inlaying a slotted, then its a custom, and then it really doesn't matter what the perception is except to the owner. And it seems some owners have spoken.

From a functional perspective, Rick mentioned string changes being a pita. I've seen people put off by changing batteries so they go to Misi. Lets not forget "I don't like the weight of geared tuners" or "the ratio is too high". Really, most of the time spent should be playing. Do you tune/change strings/change batteries more than you play?
Its obvious builders here see a benefit in slotted, maybe at the expense of convenience? So be it (as Rick succinctly put it). Sometimes the function of the instrument takes precedence over convenience.

All in my opinion of course.

dkcrown
11-14-2014, 12:43 AM
My comment about Moore Bettah owners "sauntering around here like they own the place" was made in jest. I'm only bringing it up here because it's been brought up in this thread. I attempted to explain that in the Bruce Wei thread but it locked up after I hit the post option. I meant no disrespect to Chuck- whom I find to be one of the most valued members here- or any of the MB owners; well, to a majority of them anyway... haha.

As far as the op goes, I've never been a fan of slot heads, especially on a ukulele. With the exception of a slim few- MBs being one example, Ko'olau, and Gillian's Compass Rose- most of them just look gangly and obtrusive to me. -- Matt

Hey Matt. As a MB owner and someone who knows you, I got quite a chuckle from your post in that other thread. I certainly know that it was tongue in cheek and not meant to be mean spirited. Maybe others didn't. But it was nice to see you post again!

To get this thread back on track, I love the look of my slotted headstock with a simple inlay. And Landshark's looks awesome as well. But if the OP wants something larger and needs a bigger "canvas", go with the traditional headstock.

wayfarer75
11-14-2014, 02:47 AM
I like that headstock, Landshark! I'm not into shell inlay all that much personally, but that looks nice. I don't plan on getting a custom myself, but if I ever do, the small headstock inlay and your rosette are about the level of "bling" I would have put on. Especially with koa that curly--you don't need much more to prettify the uke, IMO.

But others have different tastes, and I'm not going to tell them what to do with their money and their custom ukes.

Rick Turner
11-14-2014, 05:09 AM
One other consideration: With slot head tuners mounted on a common plate, the plate itself strengthens the peghead side walls. This may not be such a big deal with a uke, but certainly is with six and twelve string guitars.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
11-14-2014, 05:12 AM
The best neck wood is New Guinea Rosewood (aka Narra) if you want a superior ring with long decay (sustain), strength, stability (its more stable then any other neck wood) and beauty to boot.

It's Janka Hardness is what gives it its superior qualities. We used it on 80% of guitars at Gilet Guitars- it also makes a brilliant 12 string neck wood.

It can be tricky to carve though (think rasp instead of chisel with this wood) which is probably why it hasn't been taken up in volume in the luthier world.

I used some bees wing Narra on a slotted headstock build which i'll be stringing up next week.

There would be some weight issues (neck heavy tipping) on a smaller uke if the back n sides being are light in weight (nothing a thicker end block couldn't fix though). However, as i've said before, if the general weight of a heavy uke concerns you, perhaps a gym membership would help?

Compare the shrinkage and jenka hardness numbers of Narra to Honduran Hog and Spanish cedar:

http://www.wood-database.com/lumber-identification/hardwoods/narra/

http://www.wood-database.com/lumber-identification/hardwoods/honduran-mahogany/

http://www.wood-database.com/lumber-identification/hardwoods/spanish-cedar/

Rick Turner
11-14-2014, 05:21 AM
Janka is one aspect, but I think that resonant Q and it's opposite, damping, are perhaps more important. For instance, tap a piece of Lignum vitae...I just did...and it just goes thunk. It's Janka rating is literally the top of the chart. Now try Honduras rosewood...rings like a bell. Yes, it's hard, but more importantly, it's resonant.

We cannot judge "tonewoods" by one measurable quality alone. It's all about a balance of factors.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
11-14-2014, 06:30 AM
very true Rick- Honduran is an amazing wood.

I mostly mentioned Janka in relation to stiffness, not Q qualities, but Narra also rings very well. I might do a comparison video

Rick Turner
11-14-2014, 06:40 AM
This is kind of like focusing on density and considering that to always be good for vibration/sonics/acoustics. The classic example that shoots that one down is lead...a very dense metal, to be sure, and also one of the most efficient vibration absorbers known to mankind. Lignum vitae is sort of the lead of the flora world.

gyosh
11-14-2014, 08:24 AM
This is kind of like focusing on density and considering that to always be good for vibration/sonics/acoustics. The classic example that shoots that one down is lead...a very dense metal, to be sure, and also one of the most efficient vibration absorbers known to mankind. Lignum vitae is sort of the lead of the flora world.

::Off topic fanboy remark warning::

It's this type of knowledge put into practice that made me feel like I needed an instrument built by Rick and his crew. It's a masterpiece in craftsmanship and design and I have yet to hear it's superior.

And to get back to the topic, I think a slotted headstock would not have looked as nice for my uke? And I agree with Kekani, when it's good its good.

Dan Uke
11-14-2014, 10:52 AM
::Off topic fanboy remark warning::

It's this type of knowledge put into practice that made me feel like I needed an instrument built by Rick and his crew. It's a masterpiece in craftsmanship and design and I have yet to hear it's superior

and you got the perfect instrument for YOU!! Isn't that the most important thing? Congrats!!

gyosh
11-14-2014, 03:01 PM
and you got the perfect instrument for YOU!! Isn't that the most important thing? Congrats!!

Yup!

No longer interested in searching. I know a lot of people with a lot of different uke's that feel the same way. Pretty cool that we can all find something different yet still "perfect."