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raduray
05-15-2016, 07:21 AM
In looking at tenor ukes from various vendors, I see a difference in the number of frets to body. Koaloha has 15, Kanilea 14 Collings 13, and vintage Martins have only 12. Is this accommodated by differences in scale length, body size, or bridge placement? I would think the longer necks would improve playability up the neck, but is there a downside?

Croaky Keith
05-15-2016, 08:35 AM
Tenors usually have a 17" scale so the difference is likely in the body size.

(I think between 17~20 frets would be 'normal'.)

Edit: I only have one tenor, not my preferred scale, & it has 14 to the body, 18 frets total. (Makala)

sam13
05-15-2016, 09:38 AM
I prefer more frets to the body so I play Super Sopranos, Long neck Concert and Tenors, and recently a Long Neck Tenor.

billten
05-15-2016, 09:45 AM
I prefer a 12 fret to the body join, i simply find it more comfortable to play. I have listened in person to 12, 13 and 14 fret join to the body tenor ukes from the same custom maker and have heard almost no difference in sound, ymmv...

Ukulele Eddie
05-15-2016, 02:02 PM
Each maker determines what is best for their approach to building.

Nickie
05-15-2016, 03:30 PM
I used to fret over my body, but since I turned 65 I don't give a d--n anymore.

spookelele
05-15-2016, 03:39 PM
I guess it depends on if you play up on the 14/15th fret.
Having to only go one over the body to get to 15.... is much better than going 3.
I think if it was 12th fret join for me... I'd have to do cut away. I use the 14/15 on the 1&2 string all the time.

Mivo
05-15-2016, 04:28 PM
I quite like 12 frets to the body (my sopranos are like this, and the Barron River tenor also), though playing in the higher frets (past 12) does require some adjusting if you're not used to it.

southcoastukes
05-15-2016, 07:12 PM
In looking at tenor ukes from various vendors, I see a difference in the number of frets to body. Koaloha has 15, Kanilea 14 Collings 13, and vintage Martins have only 12. Is this accommodated by differences in scale length, body size, or bridge placement? I would think the longer necks would improve playability up the neck, but is there a downside?

Not knowing the exact scale of each, I'd guess there's not much difference. If that's the case, then "up the neck" will be the same no matter how many frets to the body. While some give more room on the fretboard, scale determines sound up the neck.

The different number of frets to the body come about as each maker decides what sort of sound he wants out of his instrument. Width, depth, and in this case length of body all go into determining that side of the equation.

So don't discount fewer frets to the body - it doesn't necessarily equate to anything regarding sound if scale length is the same.

drbekken
05-15-2016, 10:40 PM
My recently acquired Hora baritone has twelve frets to the body. I like that, because it reminds me of a classical guitar, which is the stringed instrument I came up with. Standard sopranos also has that kind of neck. As for the the term 'scale'; please tell a completely blank mind how to measure it. It puzzles me.

southcoastukes
05-16-2016, 02:42 AM
... As for the the term 'scale'; please tell a completely blank mind how to measure it. It puzzles me.

Good morning (here), Doc. Scale is the measurement between the bones (nut & saddle).

drbekken
05-16-2016, 04:19 AM
Good morning (here), Doc. Scale is the measurement between the bones (nut & saddle).

Thanks, Dirk. Somehow, I feel I should have known. And good morning to you, too!