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View Full Version : sopranos or concerts with a 14-fret join?



janeray1940
02-09-2015, 09:22 AM
Outside of my Kamaka Ohta-san, I didn't know such a thing existed - I've usually seen the 14-fret join on tenors. Then this (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?104544-LoPrinzi-3K-Longneck-Soprano) came up in the marketplace and if I'm not mistaken, there it is - a 14-fret join on a soprano!

So this got me to thinking... what other factory ukes are there that have this feature in a soprano or concert size? Concert preferably, but I'm just at the information-gathering stage right now so I'm open to any and all suggestions - no customs, though, only ukes that I can try in a store before I buy.

I'm sure the collective wisdom of those with far greater UAS than I can come up with something that will make me want to drain my bank account...

ETA: I'm already aware of Mya-Moe and Kanile'a. MM isn't in the running because they're not off-the-shelf ukes, and Kanile'a... well... I just don't care for them. Picky, picky!

jjdejd
02-09-2015, 09:33 AM
My Sailor Brand concert is joined at the 14th fret. I'm sure we all know who makes them, so it's no surprise.

wayfarer75
02-09-2015, 09:38 AM
My Kelii concert has a 14-fret join; there are a lot of concerts that have it, I think. I know Mya-Moe gives you the option of a 12 or 14 fret join. Less common are the sopranos, unless they are super sopranos. LoPrinzi sopranos come with a 14 fret join, regardless of whether it's a soprano or concert scale (likewise the Sailor sopranos). I had one in my possession two years ago and I wish I could have kept it. I keep thinking about a LoPrinzi tenor...

drbekken
02-09-2015, 10:09 AM
That is one beautiful ukulele, for sure.

actadh
02-09-2015, 11:04 AM
My concert Luna is a 14 fret join.

deschutestrout
02-09-2015, 11:13 AM
My Kala is 14 ... as is my longneck soprano pineapple (Mainland), and my son's Lanakai concert is too.

mattydee
02-09-2015, 11:16 AM
My Pono M-C Joined at the 14th. I think mainland concerts/long neck sopranos do as well, but I can't remember for sure. Mya-Mor has an option on concerts and super sopranos to join at 12 or 14.

janeray1940
02-09-2015, 11:26 AM
Thanks for the responses so far. I knew about Mya-Moe but as far as I know they're not a factory uke - I can't just go to a store and try one out, so that rules them out for me. Although keeping an eye out for a used one sold locally is a possibility.

Interesting to note that so far, not much mention of Hawaiian makers, which are what I'm most familiar with. Explains why I was so surprised to see that such a thing existed at all!

katysax
02-09-2015, 11:32 AM
If you want to try my Mya Moe Concert you are welcome to.

Kanilea joins at 14th fret. If you want to try mine you are welcome to. I think some of their sopranos, if not all, also join at the 14th fret.

Koaloha joins at end of 13th fret, beginning of 14th.

I can't PM you - I tried. PM me. I'll be in Culver City tomorrow. I can bring some ukes down.

janeray1940
02-09-2015, 11:37 AM
If you want to try my Mya Moe Concert you are welcome to.

Kanilea joins at 14th fret. If you want to try mine you are welcome to. I think some of their sopranos, if not all, also join at the 14th fret.

Koaloha joins at end of 13th fret, beginning of 14th.

I can't PM you - I tried. PM me. I'll be in Culver City tomorrow. I can bring some ukes down.

Hey thanks! I'm going to keep that in mind for the future, I'd love to try your MM sometime but things are a bit crazy now (which is why I have PM turned off) - maybe if that meetup ever happens? I've tried a number of Kanile'as and their necks just don't work for me, they feel too chunky or something.

I didn't know that about Koaloha - I had one long ago, but it was only a 12-fret uke.

stevejfc
02-09-2015, 12:05 PM
Kanilea concerts

katysax
02-09-2015, 12:22 PM
The Kanilea nut is wider by about 1/16th of an inch. You might feel differently about it now that you have been playing the Ohta-san. The standard concert neck might feel crowded.

I just checked the Ko'oloha and the join is at the 12th fret

janeray1940
02-09-2015, 12:36 PM
The Kanilea nut is wider by about 1/16th of an inch. You might feel differently about it now that you have been playing the Ohta-san. The standard concert neck might feel crowded.


With my puny hands, I don't think the concert neck will ever feel crowded! I still have some songs I can't play on my Ohta-San since my reach is too short - not many, but a few. Concert scale is pretty perfect for me. For that matter, so is soprano; I just don't care for the plinky sound that results from playing higher up the neck. On a few pieces I play that go high up the neck, the sustain is way better on the Ohta-San than either my concert or soprano ukes - of course, this could be the nature of the uke itself and no so much where the join occurs.

I suppose there's always the obvious solution of "buy another Ohta-San"... :)

Dan Uke
02-09-2015, 12:39 PM
I suppose there's always the obvious solution of "buy another Ohta-San"... :)

There you go!!

janeray1940
02-09-2015, 12:42 PM
There you go!!

Don't encourage me :)

janeray1940
02-09-2015, 12:57 PM
Adding to my list: Kiwaya KTC-2 (http://www.theukulelesite.com/kiwaya-ktc-2-mahogany-concert-pack.html).

equina
02-09-2015, 01:30 PM
You can try Imua soprano. They have 14-frets to the body and 18 frets in total.
http://www.imua-ukulele.com/products.html#soprano

The sopranos are available at Mimsukes.

stevepetergal
02-09-2015, 05:57 PM
The Loprinzi you show is a super-soprano. It's probably nearly impossible to join it at 12 with a soprano body and concert scale. 14 fret concerts, although not the most common, are not that unusual anymore.

stevepetergal
02-09-2015, 05:58 PM
Koaloha Concerts are joined at 13.
It's all about balance.

janeray1940
02-09-2015, 07:40 PM
You can try Imua soprano. They have 14-frets to the body and 18 frets in total.
http://www.imua-ukulele.com/products.html#soprano

The sopranos are available at Mimsukes.

Thanks, will keep an eye out for one locally. This is a brand I've never actually seen.


The Loprinzi you show is a super-soprano. It's probably nearly impossible to join it at 12 with a soprano body and concert scale. 14 fret concerts, although not the most common, are not that unusual anymore.

I'd actually prefer a concert, but a super soprano might work. I tried a Koaloha concert-neck soprano tonight (it had a 14 fret join) - I think that's a super soprano? - and while it was nice, it still seemed more on the soprano-plinky side the further up the neck I went.


Koaloha Concerts are joined at 13.
It's all about balance.

I think I've encountered Koalohas joined at 12, 13, and 14, just over the course of this evening. I had been under the impression they all joined at 12, so I learned something new.

kypfer
02-09-2015, 09:31 PM
My Kala KA-C (concert) joins at the 14th fret and is beautifully balanced. I may trade it one day for a Brunswick BU5C, which also joins at the 14th, as I already have the tenor and baritone Brunswick and I might look at "making up the set" ... ;)

wayfarer75
02-10-2015, 02:38 AM
The Loprinzi you show is a super-soprano. It's probably nearly impossible to join it at 12 with a soprano body and concert scale. 14 fret concerts, although not the most common, are not that unusual anymore.

LoPrinzi and Sailor also make their regular sopranos with a 14-fret join, not just their super-sopranos: http://cargo.ukerepublic.com/product/loprini-model-a-cherry-soprano http://cargo.ukerepublic.com/product/sailor-brand-mahogany-soprano


With my puny hands, I don't think the concert neck will ever feel crowded! I still have some songs I can't play on my Ohta-San since my reach is too short - not many, but a few. Concert scale is pretty perfect for me. For that matter, so is soprano; I just don't care for the plinky sound that results from playing higher up the neck. On a few pieces I play that go high up the neck, the sustain is way better on the Ohta-San than either my concert or soprano ukes - of course, this could be the nature of the uke itself and no so much where the join occurs.

I suppose there's always the obvious solution of "buy another Ohta-San"... :)

I think the sustain higher up the neck is better on a larger-bodied instrument; there's more soundboard to vibrate, not just the string. The Ohta-San has both more string and more body than your concert and soprano.

janeray1940
02-10-2015, 04:48 AM
I think the sustain higher up the neck is better on a larger-bodied instrument; there's more soundboard to vibrate, not just the string. The Ohta-San has both more string and more body than your concert and soprano.

I have a feeling this is correct. I'm going to have to seek out some concert ukes that have the 14-fret join and see what I think.

Tim Mullins
02-10-2015, 08:03 AM
Adding to my list: Kiwaya KTC-2 (http://www.theukulelesite.com/kiwaya-ktc-2-mahogany-concert-pack.html).

I have one of these and it is very nice. Beautifully made, very nice sound and playability. My favorite concert-scale instrument.

janeray1940
02-10-2015, 08:44 AM
I have one of these and it is very nice. Beautifully made, very nice sound and playability. My favorite concert-scale instrument.

Good to know - this one is actually at the top of my wish-list, if I can find one. Every Kiwaya I've encountered has been excellent and I've always wanted a good excuse to buy one! :)

Jim Yates
02-10-2015, 08:59 AM
I have a Kala concert with the 14th fret join.
My wife has an Oscar Schmidt concert with a 12th fret join.
I was unaware of the 13th fret joins till I bought a Johnson reso-uke with a 13 fret neck.

BBQUKER
02-10-2015, 02:54 PM
Here on Maui for a few weeks and stopped at Bounty Music. They have a Imua Concert (ICLS-C) with a 14 fret join. I'm so torn as to whether I should purchase or not. Really sounds nice. Anyone have this or have played one?

Dan

dsummers
02-10-2015, 05:04 PM
I also have a Kiwaya KTC-2 and a Famous KC-5 made by Kiwaya (slotted headstock and Gotoh stealth tuners). IMHO, Kiwaya are some of the best ukes money can buy.

westcoast
02-10-2015, 08:02 PM
Islander Sopranos have a 14-fret join: http://www.islanderukulele.com/page10.aspx

janeray1940
02-19-2015, 11:15 AM
Nothing decided yet, but an update: I've been able to try two Koaloha super sopranos over the past week or so, one pineapple and one figure-8. Both have the 14-fret join. And... the figure-8 sounds like a typical soprano when played higher up the neck - I can't really tell any difference between it and my soprano with a 12-fret join.

The pineapple, though? Wow. This little thing has volume and resonance and sustain, and definitely is comparable to my Ohta-San in terms of the sound qualities I'm looking for.

All of that to say that I'm coming to the conclusion that it's not just the join or the scale length, but also the body style. I'm always amazed at how much there is to learn as we progress - seems like just yesterday that any old 12-fret soprano was good enough for me but that certainly has changed :)

janeray1940
02-27-2015, 05:55 AM
Aaaaaand the winner is: Koaloha concert neck pineapple super soprano! Can't believe that it's taken me so many years of uke playing to find this happy medium that combines pretty much everything I like: koa, great tone and resonance, good sustain, that 14-fret join, and the pineapple shape. I've got it strung reentrant at the moment but have also played it low G and that sounded fantastic as well, so - who knows, maybe I'll have to locate and adopt its twin at some point in the future so I can have one of each :)

76653

Dan Uke
02-27-2015, 05:58 AM
Congrats!! I'm glad you got over your dislike for the headstock and went went with the "right" uke for you.

janeray1940
02-27-2015, 06:03 AM
Congrats!! I'm glad you got over your dislike for the headstock and went went with the "right" uke for you.

Thanks! You know, the headstock bothers me a lot less on a pineapple (or Pineapple Sunday, or Sceptre) than it does on a figure-8. I guess I'm finally learning that looks aren't everything!

katysax
02-27-2015, 06:33 AM
The longneck pineapple is a good choice. You get the reach to the higher frets and the more resonant body style. I don't generally like the longneck addition to a soprano but with the pineapple body I think it is a better balance. I'm with you on the Koaloha headstock.

wildfire070
02-27-2015, 07:35 AM
Beautiful! Love the strap too.

janeray1940
02-27-2015, 07:44 AM
Beautiful! Love the strap too.

Thanks! The strap is from Feedback Straps (https://www.etsy.com/shop/FeedbackStraps?section_id=15847944&ref=shopsection_leftnav_3) - Sarah makes awesome stuff. I alternate between her straps and Legacy Straps (http://www.legacystraps.com/) depending on the uke - both have a wide range of designs and will do custom orders (I'm small, so I need kid sized straps).

Lalz
02-27-2015, 10:23 AM
I'm curious, what are the advantages of 14-fret joints, besides making those high notes easier to reach? Do people really play that far into the fretboard often enough to require such a joint? Or are there more advantages to it?

Not trying to argue, just wondering :)

janeray1940
02-27-2015, 10:37 AM
I'm curious, what are the advantages of 14-fret joints, besides making those high notes easier to reach? Do people really play that far into the fretboard often enough to require such a joint? Or are there more advantages to it?

Not trying to argue, just wondering :)

No worries, I didn't read this as argumentative at all :)

I think it depends on the kind of playing one does - I play all the way up the neck, quite frequently (I'm not a strummer/singer, I play instrumentals only).

Besides making the high notes easier to reach, I've found that the longer scale (concert neck on soprano body) allows for a bit longer sustain and a little bit more volume. The pineapple shape helps with this as well - both of my pineapple ukes ring out longer and louder than their figure-8 equivalents.

If others have thoughts on this I'd be curious to hear if there are other advantages, or for that matter disadvantages, that I've overlooked. I'm a relative newcomer to the 14-fret join; I'd seen it mostly on tenors, which are too big for me to play comfortably. When I ordered a custom uke a few years ago, the luthier I used did *not* recommend a 14-fret join; if I'm remembering correctly, his belief was that it can affect intonation. But the two ukes I now own with the 14-fret join - Kamaka Ohta-San and Koaloha pineapple - both have spot-on intonation up the neck, as did the lovely LoPrinzi I test-drove recently.

katysax
02-27-2015, 10:43 AM
I think the longer the neck the more likely intonation will be better. Some people think that a long neck soprano or concert is wrong because the bridge placement is not maximized.

Many of us do play up the neck. If you are playing chord solos and melody, the uke range is limited. Those extra frets are useful. And a longer neck does allow more sustain, especially on the higher frets. I find 12 and 13 fret neck joins to be limiting and annoying.

janeray1940
02-27-2015, 10:46 AM
Some people think that a long neck soprano or concert is wrong because the bridge placement is not maximized.


I think this is exactly what I was trying to remember the luthier telling me several years ago.

With ukes as with everything in life - there are definitely exceptions to all rules!

Dan Uke
02-27-2015, 11:22 AM
I think this is exactly what I was trying to remember the luthier telling me several years ago.

With ukes as with everything in life - there are definitely exceptions to all rules!

It makes sense when it's a figure 8 as the bridged is placed on the widest part of the lower bout but with a pineapple, I don't know if it would matter as much.

wayfarer75
02-27-2015, 04:59 PM
Thanks! You know, the headstock bothers me a lot less on a pineapple (or Pineapple Sunday, or Sceptre) than it does on a figure-8. I guess I'm finally learning that looks aren't everything!

It's spiky, like the top of a real pineapple: ��

Glad you like your new uke! KoAlohas sound so nice.

Lalz
03-04-2015, 12:47 PM
How interesting! I had never thought of that. Thanks for the explanations! :) Now I want a 14th-fret joint too hehe.

Lalz
03-04-2015, 12:54 PM
Now I want a 14th-fret joint too hehe.

Ha, silly me. Just realised 4 of my ukes have a 14th-fret joint. I had just never noticed! lol

janeray1940
03-04-2015, 01:38 PM
Ha, silly me. Just realised 4 of my ukes have a 14th-fret joint. I had just never noticed! lol

LOL! That either means you have amazing finger dexterity and can play anything, anywhere; or, perhaps, you don't play that far up the neck all that much :)

Lalz
03-04-2015, 08:17 PM
LOL! That either means you have amazing finger dexterity and can play anything, anywhere; or, perhaps, you don't play that far up the neck all that much :)

The latter ;) I rarely go that far up hehe.

But I guess I can actually reply to your original question then (hurray!). Of these, the Barnes & Mullins BMUK2C is a concert-size with that joint (click on it in my signature for more info). Very good uke, but uneven quality control, so if you were to get one you should definitely try it first. I love mine very much.

If you're into banjo ukes, the Gold Tone BUS (soprano size) has that too. Best banjo uke I've ever tried.