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StevieD009
01-15-2018, 04:07 AM
Hi all,
I own an Ohana SK-28, and I love the fact that its fingerboard is flush with the body (neck is joined at the body without raising up). This seems to be a bygone technique that was used on ukes in the 50s/60s. But I love the way strumming feels on it, I don't run into the neck with my finger. So, my question is: Do you know of any other modern ukulele models with flush fingerboards? Or if you know of any vintage that are worth looking at please feel free to list those, but I prefer to buy new if possible (vintage=problems lol). Thanks!

Ukecaster
01-15-2018, 05:55 AM
Yes, you either like that or you don't. It feels a bit weird the first time on a flush board uke. I believe that Bruko sopranos have flush fingerboards. Also, early Favilla from 1910s-20's. Yes, your fingers don't hit the fingerboard extenstion, but can then be hitting the top instead.

SoloRule
01-15-2018, 05:56 AM
Hi all,
I own an Ohana SK-28, and I love the fact that its fingerboard is flush with the body (neck is joined at the body without raising up). This seems to be a bygone technique that was used on ukes in the 50s/60s. But I love the way strumming feels on it, I don't run into the neck with my finger. So, my question is: Do you know of any other modern ukulele models with flush fingerboards? Or if you know of any vintage that are worth looking at please feel free to list those, but I prefer to buy new if possible (vintage=problems lol). Thanks!

Please show photos. Thanks

FinnP
01-15-2018, 08:16 AM
105974I have a japanese built old Luna soprano and a CK 28, you're right it's anjoy to play.

spongeuke
01-15-2018, 09:23 AM
As a player of the vintage ukulele and builder of experimental instruments, I have considered the problem of fret board extension and thought that a composite or laminate of wood and carbon fiber with a support post through a sound board hole to the tip of the extension would work and free up an extra vibration area.

A totally flush fret board would not work but could with the thin fret board like on a Martin. Perhaps the next project will incorporate this concept.

jimavery
01-15-2018, 10:11 AM
The Brüko slimline used to be built this way, but I don't think they are any more. I have one myself, and a more up-to-date slimline arch back. Personally I prefer the raised fretboard on the newer model but it is more expensive.

For photos and a review see fellow UU member Barry Maz's GotAUkulele site here:

http://www.gotaukulele.com/2010/08/bruko-black-slimbody-soprano-review.html

Reference the comments on strings, I think the Pyramid strings are best tuned ADF#B.

StevieD009
01-15-2018, 04:08 PM
Yes, you either like that or you don't. It feels a bit weird the first time on a flush board uke. I believe that Bruko sopranos have flush fingerboards. Also, early Favilla from 1910s-20's. Yes, your fingers don't hit the fingerboard extenstion, but can then be hitting the top instead.

Good point, I think the reason I like it is because I learned on it - and again, the heavy strumming seems much more pleasing on it to me. I can't seem to find any of the Burkos from the era when they made them like that, but would be very interested in one. I've seen a couple Favillas, but always cautious about buying any instrument that old. They're cool, in theory, until you have to start fixing them so they are playable :)

StevieD009
01-15-2018, 04:10 PM
Please show photos. Thanks
105980

See how the fretboard meets the body flush? I find this much less impeding on my strumming finger.

StevieD009
01-15-2018, 04:12 PM
The Brüko slimline used to be built this way, but I don't think they are any more. I have one myself, and a more up-to-date slimline arch back. Personally I prefer the raised fretboard on the newer model but it is more expensive.

For photos and a review see fellow UU member Barry Maz's GotAUkulele site here:

http://www.gotaukulele.com/2010/08/bruko-black-slimbody-soprano-review.html

Reference the comments on strings, I think the Pyramid strings are best tuned ADF#B.

Awesome, thanks. I actually came across that page in my search, looks like a cool uke, although I'm not crazy about the slim body. They seem to have discontinued that line and now have the raised fingerboard on all their current ukes. Can't seem to find a used one like that either, but I'll keep looking. I've been thinking of trying Pyramid strings, that's a weird tuning - I'll give it a try.

Ukecaster
01-15-2018, 05:21 PM
Here's the 20's Favilla, with flush fingerboard.

105981

Sven-Uke
01-16-2018, 12:12 AM
I love it on my SK-28, I consider it faux-low action, making it a sweet sounding instrument.

bsfloyd
01-16-2018, 02:14 AM
Here's the 20's Favilla, with flush fingerboard.

105981

Beautiful instrument!!!

SoloRule
01-16-2018, 03:19 AM
105980

See how the fretboard meets the body flush? I find this much less impeding on my strumming finger.

So you lost a couple of frets
Don’t think I have ever seen this design
Very interesting
Do you prefer this over the traditional neck?

bsfloyd
01-16-2018, 04:14 AM
So you lost a couple of frets
Don’t think I have ever seen this design
Very interesting
Do you prefer this over the traditional neck?

I suppose a maker could make one like a lute with the higher frets in the actual soundboard :)

70sSanO
01-16-2018, 05:01 AM
As a player of the vintage ukulele and builder of experimental instruments, I have considered the problem of fret board extension and thought that a composite or laminate of wood and carbon fiber with a support post through a sound board hole to the tip of the extension would work and free up an extra vibration area.

A totally flush fret board would not work but could with the thin fret board like on a Martin. Perhaps the next project will incorporate this concept.

Compass Rose ukuleles have a floating fretboard that doesn't touch the soundboard.

John

southcoastukes
01-16-2018, 03:28 PM
Originally I think all Ukuleles were built like this. At least I've never seen an early Hawaiian model with an extended fretboard. Even when Martin came in, the tiny low extension they added didn't add frets.

Cuatros are still almost always built this way. In addition they have a tap plate above the soundhole.

It is an excellent set-up for strumming, but not restricted to that. Ukuleles were originally tuned in an open D like modern Brazilian Cavaquinhos. This is one note off from a linear tuning and is used for lead melody playing. On these small, short scale instruments where things can get plinky up high and with the strings of that day, no one felt the need for more than 12 frets, even for melody.

StevieD009
01-17-2018, 04:00 AM
So you lost a couple of frets
Don’t think I have ever seen this design
Very interesting
Do you prefer this over the traditional neck?

Why would you ever need more than 12 frets? :D
Yes, I prefer this, and it IS the traditional neck, the way they made ukes back in the day - read the thread Brenda lol
Another interesting thing about having the fingerboard flush with the soundboard is that you can continue on past the frets and play on the soundboard if you want to go that high.

StevieD009
01-17-2018, 04:02 AM
Compass Rose ukuleles have a floating fretboard that doesn't touch the soundboard.

John

Interesting ukes, I could see the floating fretboard making for a different tone. However, for me that's the opposite of what I'm looking for lol. I don't like the feel of the fingerboard jumping up off the body, just makes it awkward for my finger strumming personally.

StevieD009
01-17-2018, 04:13 AM
Originally I think all Ukuleles were built like this. At least I've never seen an early Hawaiian model with an extended fretboard. Even when Martin came in, the tiny low extension they added didn't add frets.

Cuatros are still almost always built this way. In addition they have a tap plate above the soundhole.

It is an excellent set-up for strumming, but not restricted to that. Ukuleles were originally tuned in an open D like modern Brazilian Cavaquinhos. This is one note off from a linear tuning and is used for lead melody playing. On these small, short scale instruments where things can get plinky up high and with the strings of that day, no one felt the need for more than 12 frets, even for melody.

Thanks Dirk,
Interesting about the cuatros and the open D tuning. Yeah, I have found a few antique ukes that use this build - only reason Ohana made the SK-28 that way is because they were mimicking those early ukes. I was hoping to find one a step in quality from the Ohana (not that it's bad, it's a great uke, just looking for a next level one with this kind of build). Maybe going with a vintage is my only option, I just get nervous buying vintage because there is always work to do on them. Maybe Southcoast will make a modern model with a flush fingerboard? There seems to be a demand for it ;)

StevieD009
01-17-2018, 04:28 AM
Here's the 20's Favilla, with flush fingerboard.

105981

Awesome, thanks. Do you own this? I wonder how does it play? Any thoughts on tone, the feel of the neck, action, frets, etc.?

Nickie
01-17-2018, 07:52 AM
So, am I getting this right?
Builders got away from this to add higher frets to the uke?
Was it Martin or Kamaka that started raised fretboards?
Does the floating fretboard make the uke sound better?

StevieD009
01-17-2018, 11:15 AM
So, am I getting this right?
Builders got away from this to add higher frets to the uke?
Was it Martin or Kamaka that started raised fretboards?
Does the floating fretboard make the uke sound better?

Hard to say, but I imagine it was a number of things. Maybe for more frets, maybe to keep up with aesthetic trends or look more like acoustic guitars etc. Maybe there is some sonic benefit one way or the other, but I would guess that whoever was building it one way could argue that it is the better way. In the end, I find it to be a matter of comfort, because overall sound depends on a lot more than just the way the neck meets the body. I'm a little suspicious of the floating neck ukes - I could see those having problems down the road, just my 2 cents.

ukulelekarcsi
01-19-2018, 01:34 AM
I'll try to add my two cents here.

A flush fingerboard doesn't necessarily mean that you need high frets; the bridge (and less so, the nut) raise the strings high enough.

I think the reason behind the flush fingerboards (which sometimes are seperate slices of wood, glued onto the neck, but flush with the soundboard) is in a more traditional, artisanal building technique using a Spanish heel: they are built face-down so fretboard and soundboard are perfectly level, allowing for an easy, rigid and light neck-attachment. Mainland builders (and many after them) preferred the building technique used in non-classical guitars, closing up the soundbox first and then fitting, angling and leveling the neck and fretboard (with flat joints, dovetail joints, screws...), which allows more adjustments.

Anuenue built their Vision 1879 with a flush fingerboard as well, but I can't think of any other contemporary builds, apart from your Ohana... The building technique used is a bit at odds with mass production.

StevieD009
01-30-2018, 04:36 AM
I'll try to add my two cents here.

A flush fingerboard doesn't necessarily mean that you need high frets; the bridge (and less so, the nut) raise the strings high enough.

I think the reason behind the flush fingerboards (which sometimes are seperate slices of wood, glued onto the neck, but flush with the soundboard) is in a more traditional, artisanal building technique using a Spanish heel: they are built face-down so fretboard and soundboard are perfectly level, allowing for an easy, rigid and light neck-attachment. Mainland builders (and many after them) preferred the building technique used in non-classical guitars, closing up the soundbox first and then fitting, angling and leveling the neck and fretboard (with flat joints, dovetail joints, screws...), which allows more adjustments.

Anuenue built their Vision 1879 with a flush fingerboard as well, but I can't think of any other contemporary builds, apart from your Ohana... The building technique used is a bit at odds with mass production.

Thanks for the info, that Anuenue Vision 1879 looks light something right up my alley - I currently only have mahogany ukes and have been wanting to try a koa, so that might be a good fit if I can find one for sale. I see what you mean about the build techniques, maybe that's why we don't see so many of these anymore. Guess I may have to rescue a few and fix them up, I've seen a few pop up on Reverb that might be worth purchasing.

merlin666
03-27-2018, 11:11 AM
So, am I getting this right?
Builders got away from this to add higher frets to the uke?
Was it Martin or Kamaka that started raised fretboards?
Does the floating fretboard make the uke sound better?

I just visited a vintage uke store on the Big Island that has quite a few old Kumulae and Kamaka ukes with the flush necks and some vintage Martins. According to the owner/luthier this was the initial way of building ukes, and they did not have a fretboard at all but the frets were directly inserted into the neck wich was flush with the top. Then Martin started to dominate the market with ukes that had the added fretboard that extended over the body, and the Hawaiian builders adopted this method. I checked out and played more than 10 of these 100+ year old ukes, and the Martins had consistently better action and intonation than the old Hawaiian ukes, which may be due to the added fretboard providing more stability. And yeah, these old Martins sounded phenomenal and I was very tempted to buy one for sure.

Ukecaster
03-27-2018, 11:35 AM
Awesome, thanks. Do you own this? I wonder how does it play? Any thoughts on tone, the feel of the neck, action, frets, etc.?

Yes, I own that one. Unfortunately, it has a few issues: needs a new saddle, nut seems high, and the last fret seems to have been replaced, and seems too high. I'm assuming that a replaced last fret means the neck was taken off and reset at some point, yes? When I first got it, it did indeed have a sweet tone. Deciding whether to sink any dough into this, or just sell it off as-is. I suppose I could just yank the last fret, as I never play up there, and I have seen a bunch of ukes like this with no 12th fret, whatever that means.

ScooterD35
03-27-2018, 12:48 PM
The Firefly banjo Ukes from The Magic Fluke Company have flush fingerboards.


107656


Scooter

Uke Don
03-27-2018, 01:12 PM
@StevieD009 - How adventurous are you? Mandolin players often pull the last few frets from the fretboard extension and then file or use a router to thin the extension so it does not interfere with their picking. Seems it would work on a uke just as well.

Jerryc41
03-28-2018, 03:29 AM
Hi all,
I own an Ohana SK-28, and I love the fact that its fingerboard is flush with the body (neck is joined at the body without raising up). This seems to be a bygone technique that was used on ukes in the 50s/60s. But I love the way strumming feels on it, I don't run into the neck with my finger. So, my question is: Do you know of any other modern ukulele models with flush fingerboards? Or if you know of any vintage that are worth looking at please feel free to list those, but I prefer to buy new if possible (vintage=problems lol). Thanks!

Interesting. I've never seen a uke like that. My fingers sometimes hit the fingerboard (I guess that's why they call it a fingerboard :)), depending on the uke I'm playing. Wouldn't your fingers hit the body of the uke instead?

Ukecaster
03-28-2018, 04:34 AM
Here's some pics of my flush neck 20's Favilla. Looking closer, it seems the last 2 frets were replaced.

107657
107658
107659
107660