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View Full Version : How straight should a neck be?



rjbrawn
07-18-2017, 07:34 AM
Hello all,

I'm a newish Uke player having not long defected from guitars and I have just picked up a new tenor uke. On closer inspection, there is a bow in the neck which is at its maximum at around fret 6-7. I'm guessing some level of bow is probably normal (?), but placing a straight edge between fret 1 and the final fret, I reckon there is a gap between the straight edge and fret of 1.5-2mm.

Is anyone able to confirm whether this is a "take it back right away" issue or something that most people could live with?

Cheers

R

Croaky Keith
07-18-2017, 07:37 AM
Take it back.

If you lay a flat edge along the top of the frets, they should all touch.

rjbrawn
07-18-2017, 08:07 AM
Take it back.

If you lay a flat edge along the top of the frets, they should all touch.

Many thanks for the rapid reply.
Exactly what I was thinking but just needed a sanity check... These ukes are after all mysterious things!

Much Obliged

R

PTOEguy
07-18-2017, 01:02 PM
Note that what you describe tends to lead towards playability and intonation issues related to a high action that can't be lowered. A bow in the opposite direction results in buzzing and general nastiness.

Louis0815
07-25-2017, 12:30 AM
A ukulele fretboard/neck should be dead straight and flat as a pancake over its full length with no sharp edges anywhere.

Any twists should be a no-go.

besley
07-25-2017, 04:25 PM
A ukulele fretboard/neck should be dead straight and flat as a pancake over its full length with no sharp edges anywhere.

Any twists should be a no-go.

Well I'm going to disagree that the neck has to be dead straight. A slight bow in the neck is called relief, and most guitar necks have some. But here we're talking about at most 0.012", or 0.3 mm. Most ukuleles have straight necks, but not all. Blackbird ukes for example have built in relief, and are not dead flat. Since very few ukes have truss rods that allow you to adjust the neck, you better be happy with what you have. And the amount mentioned by the OP of 1.6 mm is easily five times the highest level of relief you would ever want. So yes send it back, but just note that some SMALL amount of bow in the neck can be by design.

Louis0815
07-26-2017, 12:18 AM
Yep, you're right - and I must admit I thought about mentioning it for a second. But as the amount of relief is beyond (at least my) visibility I decided to skip it.
Fortunately uke necks don't have to deal with the amount of tension you find on a guitar.