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View Full Version : I don't get the long neck soprano/concert thing ...



bearbike137
02-01-2016, 10:50 AM
I understand why someone might want a long neck on a Tenor. But why buy a long neck concert instead of a tenor? And why buy a long neck soprano instead of a concert? After all, the bigger body size generally has more sustain, volume and low end.

Just wondering...

Mim
02-01-2016, 10:58 AM
Most people want a certain tone and sound the comes with the soprano or concert, but need a longer scale length to accommodate their fingers.

There is something about that classic soprano ukulele tone and sound. And even the concert. But the soprano has my heart for some of the songs I play.

I find some of my songs I like on my Tenor, but some of them have their charm lost when not played on a soprano.

That being said, my weird short stubby fingers do well on everything from a Soprano to a Tenor. But as a dealer I find a lot of men particularly like the longer scale length.

Edited to Add: And yes, you get a little different tone with the long necks. I just find more customers call and say, "I have fat fingers but want to soprano tone... whatcha got in a long neck?" But the added frets and tone is a benefit as well!

CdnSouthpaw
02-01-2016, 11:01 AM
Putting a longer neck than standard on any size uke will change the tone and response...longer scale, more tension, more to drive the soundboard.

janeray1940
02-01-2016, 11:03 AM
I'm a longneck soprano fan. With a longneck soprano, I get more sustain and volume from the longer string length (concert scale instead of soprano) - I'm no luthier or expert on tech stuff, but it's my understanding that body size is only part of the equation, string length plays a role as well.

The longnecks I play also have a join at the 14th fret, which is uncommon in sopranos or even concerts. I play high up the neck a lot and find this little extra bit of space to be useful in reaching those higher notes - I frequently go up to the 15th fret.

If my hands weren't too small to comfortably play tenor, well - I'd probably just play tenor, because all of those features are common in tenors. But I've tried and I can't, so for me, the longneck soprano is a good middle ground between the comfort of a soprano and the sound qualities of a larger uke.

sukie
02-01-2016, 11:11 AM
I'm a super-concert fan. I'm just not that interested the size of a tenor body. But I sure like the extra frets.

DownUpDave
02-01-2016, 11:34 AM
Because they call them "SUPER" :p

sukie
02-01-2016, 11:46 AM
Because they call them "SUPER" :p

That works! Yes!

Jim Hanks
02-01-2016, 11:48 AM
You don't get it? Good, that's more for the rest of us! :p

I like long neck sopranos and I have a 16" concert that is a favorite as well.

wayfarer75
02-01-2016, 11:52 AM
I guess I don't understand how a longneck tenor makes sense but not longneck sopranos or concerts. Same principle, different scale.

sam13
02-01-2016, 12:20 PM
I have big Ball Park Sausage fingers and arms longer than most people's legs.

Super makes extra room for my man hands.

kypfer
02-01-2016, 12:53 PM
...longer scale, more tension, more to drive the soundboard.

That's not strictly the case in all circumstances. If one retains the same string gauge (as a shorter comparative instrument in the same tuning) then yes, the tension has to go up, which risks potential damage to the instrument, but the sensible solution is to use appropriately thicker strings and retain the same tension ... simples ;)

jeratoll
02-01-2016, 01:21 PM
This thread and a recent review of a Martin Banjokulele I read over on GotaUke got me wondering, are there any concert/tenors bodied ukes with a soprano neck? If so how do they sound?

Jim Hanks
02-01-2016, 01:37 PM
I guess I don't understand how a longneck tenor makes sense but not longneck sopranos or concerts. Same principle, different scale.
Exactly. I want a 19" soprano. That makes sense, right? :p


This thread and a recent review of a Martin Banjokulele I read over on GotaUke got me wondering, are there any concert/tenors bodied ukes with a soprano neck? If so how do they sound?
I have seen "jumbo concert" and "jumbo tenor" but I don't recall ever seeing a "jumbo soprano".

experimentjon
02-01-2016, 01:50 PM
One of the most perfect ukuleles that I have ever owned (and probably the one I most regret selling) was my KoAloha Super-Concert with the crown bridge.

Fantastic KoAloha concert tone (their best voicing, IMO), but all the space you needed to move around with on the fretboard.

spookelele
02-01-2016, 05:34 PM
http://www.theukulelereview.com/2013/03/18/hms-listening-booth-3-koaloha-sopranos-ksm-00-ksm-02-ksm-t2/

Neck length affects the sound.
Listen to 3 soprano bodies, with 3 different necks.

The tenor neck on the soprano sounds different than the tenor neck on tenor body.
Also.. sustain is longer on longer scales, and harmonics are... more.

bearbike137
02-01-2016, 06:32 PM
Okay - I appreciate the replies. And it was merely a question - not a criticism...

Ukulele Eddie
02-01-2016, 06:32 PM
As an added point that I haven't seen mentioned yet is body size. Sometimes the smaller body is more comfortable for someone but they appreciate the added scale.

Mivo
02-01-2016, 07:33 PM
I had actually never considered a longneck soprano, because I also thought "why not just get the next bigger size?", but then I discovered and wanted a KoAloha soprano for the big, full, but traditional sound they have. However, their sopranos only have 12 frets, which was a bit of a deal breaker for me.

The folks here on the forum suggested a longneck soprano, which I wasn't really keen on. Seemed weird to me, a little Frankenstein-ish, not something I wanted. The consensus among the community, though, was that nothing sounds like a KoAloha soprano but a KoAloha soprano, and the closest I could get and have more frets was with a longneck model.

While still squirming, a local vendor here in Germany turned out to have a KoAloha longneck pineapple soprano in stock, which is pretty rare over here for anything from KoAloha. Normally, you have to go the import route and pay nearly a third of the original price for taxes and shipping. He, an accomplished player himself (Andreas David (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsrSysVsX0M)), was very enthusiastic about it, calling it "phenomenal", and so I figured I might as well try it. I could have returned it, so there was no real risk.

And wow, what a darling it turned out to be! It did have the sound I wanted, and it did have 17 frets! While it lives in a concert hardcase and doesn't fit in a soprano one (mostly because of the body shape), it feels very much like a soprano, but does give me the fretboard of a concert (just as narrow as a soprano neck, just a little longer, but we're not really talking about three foot here, you have to look for it to notice it).

I would probably have been just as happy with a concert model, but the longneck soprano was just closer to what I had envisioned and wanted. It came unexpected into my ukulele life, but I feel it was a fortunate event. You should try one! :)

Croaky Keith
02-01-2016, 10:32 PM
If you like the soprano size, but your fingers like the concert scale, it makes it the obvious choice. :)

(I also like my 'long neck' best for just messing around until I have got the feel of a tune when I'm learning a new one.)

DownUpDave
02-02-2016, 12:37 AM
Okay - I appreciate the replies. And it was merely a question - not a criticism...

I think it was a good question. It got people talking and information was made available that other people might not have known.

@mountain goat........Jon another 16" scale is the Kamaka Ohta San.

PhilUSAFRet
02-02-2016, 12:57 AM
More isn't always better.

Jim Hanks
02-02-2016, 02:02 AM
@mountain goat........Jon another 16" scale is the Kamaka Ohta San.

Best value at 16" right now is the Cocobolo super concert ("which I have" #inigomontoya) . They will also build you a soprano 16" if you ask though they probably haven't built one yet as I'm the only nut to have thought of it . :p

If you don't mind losing half an inch, there are two I know of with 15.5" scale sopranos - "concert" Flea and KPK.

kegmcnabb
02-02-2016, 02:54 AM
Yeah, everyone has already said it but the big reason is soprano sound, tenor scale for easier (IMHO - YMMV) fingering.

I have been playing a Koaloha KSM-12 Soprano Tenor Neck for about 4 years now. It is my absolute favorite uke. Lovely soprano sparkle with a little extra "real estate" to wiggle my flying sausages. Everyone who has heard and or played it comments on its voice and play-ability. A real winner.

But, hey, the best solution is to have several ukes, including a long-neck soprano! ;-)

Xtradust
02-02-2016, 04:23 AM
I'm not a fan of the long necks. I always felt that they had a hybrid sound that wasn't one or the other. But...I've never played a high end long neck.

That said, I have a friend who owns a Koaloha Sceptre, Jukulele, Pineapple Sunday, a 6 string and a bunch more. He says that the Koaloha Long Neck Soprano is his favorite uke of all time. He says no matter what new ukulele he gets, he always comes back to the it.

I feel that is really high praise for the long neck.

UkingViking
02-02-2016, 05:05 AM
I am not sure I understand the concept entirely, a few questions:

If the scale of a longneck soprano has the length of a concert uke, is it then strung with concert strings?

And would that not make it a concert, with the proper term "small-body-concert" rather than "long-neck-soprano"?

Edit: I understand that it will have a soprano-like sound, but it the length of the scale seems like a more definite thing to distinguish between soprano and concert than sound, as I am sure both soprano and concerts come with various shapes and sizes of bodies yielding different sound.

janeray1940
02-02-2016, 05:13 AM
I am not sure I understand the concept entirely, a few questions:

If the scale of a longneck soprano has the length of a concert uke, is it then strung with concert strings?


Depends on the string brand! I mostly use Martin Fluorocarbons, which are sold as "soprano/concert" - so you'd use the same strings for either. There are other brands that aren't scale-length specific (Oasis, I think, is one - I think they are sold as one-size-fits-all, including tenor).

But then for other brands, I've been known to use concert strings on regular-neck sopranos, and tenor strings on regular-neck concerts...

Mivo
02-02-2016, 05:18 AM
If the scale of a longneck soprano has the length of a concert uke, is it then strung with concert strings?

Technically, yes, but personally I have never bought strings that were not labeled as being for both soprano and concert. If you use them on a soprano, you just have a bit more leftover string. It's usually just tenor strings that are sold separately and their own thing. (I'm sure there are exceptions, though.)


And would that not make it a concert, with the proper term "small-body-concert" rather than "long-neck-soprano"?

Yes, but the sound you get is closer to a soprano than a concert, so calling it a longneck soprano describes it more accurately, I feel. The term "concert" is kind of confusing anyway; it should be called "alto".

coolkayaker1
02-02-2016, 05:19 AM
I have owned and enjoyed a tenor-necked soprano from KoAloha. It's a superb ukulele, and the longer neck provides increased volume, increased sustain, and more playable frets than a standard soprano. For one that wants a soprano "sound"--and it does sound more like a soprano than a tenor--with those features, it cannot be beat. I wish I kept mine, Steve.

That said, in my experience, this particular model necessitates a strap, with heel pin and cordage around the headstock; it's head heavy, undeniably.

Enjoy!

stevepetergal
02-02-2016, 03:35 PM
Yeah, I don't get it either.

Mivo
02-03-2016, 12:58 AM
Edit: I understand that it will have a soprano-like sound, but it the length of the scale seems like a more definite thing to distinguish between soprano and concert than sound, as I am sure both soprano and concerts come with various shapes and sizes of bodies yielding different sound.

I feel that "longneck" is a pretty descriptive term that creates a very apt mental image of what the instrument is: a soprano that has a longer neck with probably more frets. In that sense it's less ambiguous than "mini concert", which is a term that at least one manufacturer uses. I also find "super soprano", which is a rather common name for longneck sopranos, kind of meaningless, because the body isn't "super". To me, this is a super soprano (http://mightyukeday.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/giant-ukulele.jpg)!

I agree that "small body concert" would work too, since that is what it is. But it's equally a soprano with a long neck. It just depends which of its two main parts you focus on, and perhaps why you want it. I just wanted a soprano with more frets than the manufacturer offered with the "standard" soprano model of theirs. The aim wasn't more fret space, and I'd have gotten the standard soprano if it had been available with 15+ frets, like from various other builders. It sounds very much like a soprano, more so than any concert I have heard in videos (I do like the extra sustain, though, which was an added plus and convinced me of the longneck design). But yes, it's just semantics, in the end.

I sometimes wish there was only one size ukulele, but I think that is just me looking for liberation from the tyranny of choice. A lot of people seem to eventually settle on one size, but I'm still going back and forth when it comes to preferences. I guess a positive spin on that is that I just like all ukuleles and that different sizes fit different moods. It feels more like indecisiveness and fickleness to me, as far as my own situation is concerned. In a way, the longneck soprano really addressed this indecisiveness, though. I wouldn't have been happy with 12 frets, but I wanted the KoAloha soprano sound, and this was the way to get it. The KoAloha concerts have, at least in the videos I've seen, a distinctly different sounds. The longneck gave me the compromise I wanted.

For manufacturers and dealers this is all rather splendid! Instead of one ukulele, we just buy three or four. Or ten. :) But it's also fun!

wayfarer75
02-03-2016, 02:48 AM
I understand that it will have a soprano-like sound, but it the length of the scale seems like a more definite thing to distinguish between soprano and concert than sound, as I am sure both soprano and concerts come with various shapes and sizes of bodies yielding different sound.

You know, I don't think there's a definitive "concert" type of sound. A soprano uke is distinctive for its percussive quality, less sustain than the larger models. Tenors have more bass, you get a more guitar-ish sound, and baritones even more so. I have a concert that sounds like a soprano, but it has more sustain at the higher frets. A very "classic uke" sound but it just chimes/rings longer. My other concert uke's sound is more like a tenor, it has an extra half inch in scale, and it's just a little bit bigger overall.

I know we say it here a lot, but the builder's choices really make a difference. I'm sure there is a variety among longneck sopranos in their sound as much as there is in standard scale sopranos. And there is a variety in body sizes as well as scale lengths no matter which size we're talking about. The scale is part of it, but so is the size of the resonating body, the thickness of the neck, how heavily or lightly built, and numerous other luthier secrets I'm not privy to.

Rllink
02-03-2016, 03:01 AM
I sometimes wish there was only one size ukulele, but I think that is just me looking for liberation from the tyranny of choice. A lot of people seem to eventually settle on one size, but I'm still going back and forth when it comes to preferences. I guess a positive spin on that is that I just like all ukuleles and that different sizes fit different moods. It feels more like indecisiveness and fickleness to me, as far as my own situation is concerned. In a way, the longneck soprano really addressed this indecisiveness, though. I wouldn't have been happy with 12 frets, but I wanted the KoAloha soprano sound, and this was the way to get it. The KoAloha concerts have, at least in the videos I've seen, a distinctly different sounds. The longneck gave me the compromise I wanted.

For manufacturers and dealers this is all rather splendid! Instead of one ukulele, we just buy three or four. Or ten. :) But it's also fun!Well, I have yet yet to determined what even makes a ukulele a ukulele.

DownUpDave
02-03-2016, 03:07 AM
Well, I have yet yet to determined what even makes a ukulele a ukulele.

Yea there have been a few threads about that. It's a ukulele if you say it is a ukulele ;)