View Full Version : "Long Neck" Differences

09-05-2015, 03:45 AM
Exactly how does the "long neck" variation effect the stringing and or tuning of the various standard sizes of Ukulele? I have a long neck pineapple soprano with a 15" scale which uses (I think) the same strings and tuning as my standard soprano which has a 13 1/2" scale. But a recent thread about a long neck tenor seems to say that different strings and tuning from that of a standard tenor would be appropriate for the longer neck. So that confuses me. Just what is one getting into with the "long neck" variation?

09-05-2015, 05:07 AM
In general, "long neck's" use the next size strings....a soprano long neck uses concert size strings, etc. Some string manufacturers use the same diameter strings for soprano's and concert's and some do not. That's why Southcoast strings are popular. Depending on the uke (some wouldn't benefit much), it is often desirable to get strings whose diameters will provide optimal tension for a specific scale length. Best sound sometimes comes down to optimal string tension which is sometimes hard to get with "generic" string sets. You will see many recommendations on UU for specific string sets for specific instruments. No one string set best for all.

Jim Hanks
09-05-2015, 05:14 AM
It's generally best to use strings designed for the scale not the body size. But it is somewhat common for string manufacturers to recommend the same strings for soprano and concert. Obviously you'll get higher tension on the longneck unless you go with a lower tuning. You're not getting into anything weird with a long neck soprano.

The long neck tenor is a different beastie as the 19" scale requires more thought on string selection regardless of what tuning you want to aim for. Normal 17" tenor strings are already higher tension (generally) so winding them up for 19" scale is going to be really high tension. So either you need to look for thinner strings or lower tunings to accommodate.

09-05-2015, 08:04 AM
The main point, I think, is that they sound different. A longneck soprano has a soprano resonator, with the string sound of a concert. So, it doesn't quite sound like either. The tension also affects technique a bit. Lower tension is great for most styles of strumming. Higher tension is great for finger-style.

09-06-2015, 02:44 PM
I think this is a pretty good thread. I learned a lot. I used to think I needed a long neck concert, but you've convinced me otherwise, possibly. I tried a set of tenor strings on my standard length concert uke once, and did NOT like them. Maybe that's not the same. But I couldn't wait to change them.

09-09-2015, 10:17 AM
tenor strings for the long neck concerts...i believe my long neck tenor comes with re-entrant tenor strings from kamaka...but i never checked...still playing those...and yes all you haters...they still sound wicked good and look cool in black!