PDA

View Full Version : Uke design/construction 'break throughs' ... what is next?



melensdad
05-11-2018, 05:30 PM
Thinking about some of the design breakthroughs in ukuleles and I have to wonder what is next (and what have I missed?). These are not necessarily the "first" to build in the following formats but they have become the standards, are actually serious instruments with good-to-excellent sound quality. Not necessarily loved or even liked by all, but truly different in some ways and potentially groundbreaking in others and all with some serious quality. These are real instruments, even if unusual, and are not toys. But there must be others.



OUTDOOR UKULELE ... not the first plastic ukes but clearly a quality build that has become an icon in the durable, go-anywhere uke world. Generally considered to be a serious instrument with very good quality and very good reputation, but a bit quieter than a traditional ukulele. KLOS is now making a carbon fiber ukulele, not sure its any better, and while not plastic, it basically is pretty much the same thing as an OUTDOOR UKE in terms of general durability, design, even if material is different.

CLARA BLACKBIRD ... an astounding composite material and an unusual design that gives an amazing sound. Coveted as a very serious instrument with a top quality build. This is not carbon fiber, its more of a fancy HPL that is basically made of paper and epoxy with some unusual design features like a hollow neck that projects sound out through the headstock.

ROMERO CREATIONS TINY TENOR ... concert size with a tenor scale and a big sound coming out of a small body. Not really a traditional paddle or pineapple shape uke because of the combination of overall size and scale. Very good quality build, wonderful sound, very good reputation.

MAGIC FLUKE ... serious quality instruments with good sound coming out of a plastic body with a laminate wood top. Laminate sound board with plastic body is now copied, in other shapes, by other companies. A good travel, knock around Uke which is still considered a real instrument.

RISA TRAVEL UKULELE ... or 'Sound Stick' style ukulele which is essentially a fretboard size/shaped ukulele. Good enough electronics to make it sound good. Playing without electronics gives a very quiet sound output because there is no body, no soundboard.

BONANZA UKULELES ... made from high pressure laminates, top, sides and back. Corian fretboards. Some might consider these to be travel type ukes, some versions have traditional double bout bodies, other variants have somewhat unusual shapes. Nice quality, nice tone. The MARTIN OX is similar but they don't use Corian fretboards. Enya also is offering HPL ukes.

NATIONAL RESOPHONIC ... an oldie but a goodie. Before amplification there were resonators. There now seem to be low and high priced variations. Beltona is a fiberglass variant that seems to be serious about quality, its probably the only one that has done much innovation on the resonators since the early days.


What have I missed?

Perhaps more importantly, what is coming next?

Jim Hanks
05-11-2018, 06:52 PM
Interested to hear what others say.

One correction on Bonanza. Corian is used for the nut and saddle but not the fretboard.

As far as what's next? Hmm, I dunno. I might say 3D printing, but I don't think the technology is quite there yet.

melensdad
05-11-2018, 07:42 PM
Interested to hear what others say.

One correction on Bonanza. Corian is used for the nut and saddle but not the fretboard.

As far as what's next? Hmm, I dunno. I might say 3D printing, but I don't think the technology is quite there yet.


Corian is used on the Bonanza fretboards too. Perhaps not all of them. At least it used to be offered.

Jim Hanks
05-11-2018, 07:53 PM
Corian is used on the Bonanza fretboards too. Perhaps not all of them. At least it used to be offered.
Interesting. I hadn't seen those. Mine is rosewood as are I believe all the current models.

kohanmike
05-11-2018, 09:53 PM
I don't know if these fit your post, but I cruise eBay for tenor ukes most everyday and find a variety of none standard designs all the time. I especially like Bruce Wei's models, which have been available for some time. He makes a mandolin style and I had him custom one for me, also I just bought a paddle style from his eBay store with the Hawaiian Islands as sound holes. Then there's a style that has a series of sound holes all around the sides of the bouts and none on the top, had him custom one of those for me too with spalted and flame mango.

http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/Mandolele black finished 700.jpg
http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/BWA paddle island uke 800.jpg
http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/Spalted done binding.jpg

melensdad
05-12-2018, 01:46 AM
I don't know if these fit your post, ...

I guess I'm looking for more groundbreaking and innovative designs that break barriers and often lead to copies of these new styles. Something that is, in some way, totally new to the world of ukes, is considered at very least evolutionary if not revolutionary, something that is also not just a gimmick but is a serious instrument. Pretty much has to check off all those buttons.

jzzlvr
05-12-2018, 02:45 AM
Then there's a style that has the a series of sound holes all around the sides of the bouts and none on the top, had him custom one of those for me too with spalted and flame mango.

Gorgeous uke! How loud is it with these unconventional sound "vents"? The wood is so beautiful on this one.

RafterGirl
05-12-2018, 03:36 AM
Here's one
https://klosguitars.com/pages/ukulele

Croaky Keith
05-12-2018, 04:00 AM
I think Long Necks should be on the list too - soprano, concert, & tenor - & I think I heard of a baritone with a 23" scale. :)

Jim Hanks
05-12-2018, 05:13 AM
I think I heard of a baritone with a 23" scale. :)
That's not a uke. :mad:
:rulez:

:p

70sSanO
05-12-2018, 06:16 AM
I agree with Jim that 3D printing is not quite there, but it will be the next major advancement. Not the how cute one piece molded uke, but a high quality integrated braced ukulele with dissimilar materials. Basically dial up exactly the shape and tone you want.

I also see the use of composites in tuners. No need for metal gearing. The world is going to no maintenance products. There will always be a demand for traditional instruments, but I can see the attraction of a made to order impervious ukulele.

John

ukulelekarcsi
05-12-2018, 06:36 AM
If you dig into further history, you'll find a lot of novel construction ideas that didn't survive, but were interesting nonetheless: airplane shaped ukuleles by Harmony, first electrical amplification with magentic pickups by Gibson, the 'stick-em-in-the-sand' headstock shapes by Swagerty (and Petersen), the double-soundtable ukuleles designed by Gelas, carved-top foating bridge constructions by Radiotone... Designs that did make it, are the Kamaka pineapple, and the 6 and 8 string versions...

melensdad
05-12-2018, 07:10 AM
If you dig into further history, you'll find a lot of novel construction ideas that didn't survive, but were interesting nonetheless: airplane shaped ukuleles by Harmony, first electrical amplification with magentic pickups by Gibson, the 'stick-em-in-the-sand' headstock shapes by Swagerty (and Petersen), the double-soundtable ukuleles designed by Gelas, carved-top foating bridge constructions by Radiotone... Designs that did make it, are the Kamaka pineapple, and the 6 and 8 string versions... yup I think 5,6 and 8 string ukes would qualify. Forgot about those.

Not sure, however, it makes sense to include failed designs in this list. Probably 100x more failed designs than revolutionary new designs.




Here's one
https://klosguitars.com/pages/ukulele

I mentioned those, but I don’t think it is really all that revolutionary. Seems like it’s a glorified OUTDOOR UKULELE that is made of carbon fiber instead of plastic. That said it is logical to suspect that we will see more super materials like carbon fiber.

70sSanO
05-12-2018, 08:14 AM
I mentioned those, but I don’t think it is really all that revolutionary. Seems like it’s a glorified OUTDOOR UKULELE that is made of carbon fiber instead of plastic. That said it is logical to suspect that we will see more super materials like carbon fiber.

I'm thinking more of an affordable Blackbird as opposed to a molded saddle, fret, nut, pop-out; not to diminish what Outdoor has done. If is is successful, then the revolutionary part will be the price. I have always had an issue with the price of synthetic material instruments that can be replicated indefinitely (within tooling lifespans).

John

melensdad
05-12-2018, 11:44 AM
I'm thinking more of an affordable Blackbird as opposed to a molded saddle, fret, nut, pop-out; not to diminish what Outdoor has done. If is is successful, then the revolutionary part will be the price. I have always had an issue with the price of synthetic material instruments that can be replicated indefinitely (within tooling lifespans).

John
But the Blackbird is already on the list. Its the Blackbird that is the groundbreaking uke.

Its not carbon fiber like the KLOS. Its some sort of flax(?) based HPL epoxy sort of a thing. But the Blackbird is the one that successfully broke all the rules in construction and in design. KLOS simple made a traditional double bout out of a different material and marketed it to the same general crowd that buys durable ukuleles for use outside, which is why I think of it more as a something that follows the OUTDOOR UKULELE brand of ukes.

I'll give the KLOS credit for using carbon fiber, no argument from me on that point, and is is different than the OUTDOOR on many details but I see it as following others rather than doing something that is more ground breaking? Maybe I'm missing the point on the shift in materials to carbon fiber, maybe I should consider that more ground breaking?

stevepetergal
05-12-2018, 02:34 PM
I might say 3D printing, but I don't think the technology is quite there yet.

I saw a 3D printed ukulele at the University of Rochester. Didn't get to try it out. So, though it may have been junk, it's been done.

melensdad
05-12-2018, 02:38 PM
I saw a 3D printed ukulele at the University of Rochester. Didn't get to try it out. So, though it may have been junk, it's been done.

Being done is not good enough.

Being done and being good enough to stand apart is what we need to find ... and logically using technology to shape a body to customize the tone to user's preferences, that might be worthwhile :D

70sSanO
05-12-2018, 03:04 PM
But the Blackbird is already on the list. Its the Blackbird that is the groundbreaking uke.

Its not carbon fiber like the KLOS. Its some sort of flax(?) based HPL epoxy sort of a thing. But the Blackbird is the one that successfully broke all the rules in construction and in design. KLOS simple made a traditional double bout out of a different material and marketed it to the same general crowd that buys durable ukuleles for use outside, which is why I think of it more as a something that follows the OUTDOOR UKULELE brand of ukes.

I'll give the KLOS credit for using carbon fiber, no argument from me on that point, and is is different than the OUTDOOR on many details but I see it as following others rather than doing something that is more ground breaking? Maybe I'm missing the point on the shift in materials to carbon fiber, maybe I should consider that more ground breaking?

What are you talking about? Blackbird made one of this first carbon fiber guitars and then they made carbon fiber ukuleles years ago. Ekoa is a recent invention and I'll give them all the credit for that breakthrough; although it is not a material being copied by anyone else. It is pitched as a green material, it sounds and plays well, but it is not as strong as carbon fiber. I do have a Clara and I am well aware if it's shortcomings. The KLOS breakthrough is not having to pay $1500 for a carbon fiber ukulele.

John

melensdad
05-12-2018, 03:47 PM
I should have been more clear, I was referring specifically to the Clara when I said the Blackbird because that is the one I singled out in the original post.

70sSanO
05-12-2018, 03:56 PM
I should have been more clear, I was referring specifically to the Clara when I said the Blackbird because that is the one I singled out in the original post.

No problem. I think Blackbird makes great instruments. They do get credit for being the first successful mfg of carbon fiber ukuleles. Ekoa is a breakthough material, but I'm not sure it will be a true breakthrough in the sense that other manufacturers will imitate the use of the Ekoa or similar material.

John

kohanmike
05-12-2018, 08:37 PM
Gorgeous uke! How loud is it with these unconventional sound "vents"? The wood is so beautiful on this one.I find it to be quite loud, in fact, the leader of my uke group said it almost sounds like it has a resonator, but I'm just happy it has such good projection. I wanted all spalted mango, but Bruce suggested using flame mango for the body to be more stable. I did have him use spalted mango for the binding.

http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/BWA spalted end shot 800.JPG


I think Long Necks should be on the list too - soprano, concert, & tenor - & I think I heard of a baritone with a 23" scale. :)The would be something I would convert to a bass uke, I find 23" scale to be my bass uke sweet-spot.

70sSanO
05-13-2018, 02:24 PM
I am hopeful that the next generation will push the envelop on alternative materials that will produce an above average ukulele at an affordable price. The instrument just begs to be taken along anywhere into any environment.

John

Nickie
05-14-2018, 06:51 AM
They just barely got a mention here, but it seems to me that the

UBass and its followers are quite a breakthrough.

Very cool list. Great thread idea.

Jerryc41
05-14-2018, 08:40 AM
I think there are no more innovations possible. They have thought of everything! :)

Jerryc41
05-14-2018, 08:44 AM
I am hopeful that the next generation will push the envelop on alternative materials that will produce an above average ukulele at an affordable price. The instrument just begs to be taken along anywhere into any environment.

John

Definitely! Koa and other precious woods are expensive and more difficult to work than composites. HPL ukes are made from plant material so they are cheap and durable. These materials can easily be formed into any shape desired.

Croaky Keith
05-14-2018, 08:48 AM
The next innovation is going to be Travel Ukes - you heard it here first! :D

Seriously, there is room for improvement on genuine travel ukes, & I foresee a hollow neck combined body of a very slim triangular shape, possibly 3D printed, at a generally modest price level.
All scales should be made available, so that everyone can benefit from the design, & it will sound really nice, because it will have quite a reasonably sized resonating chamber owing to the hollow neck. :)

70sSanO
05-14-2018, 03:47 PM
As I posted before, you can start being innovative right now, just pick up your uke and start working on the music that is in your head or is all around you. Or pick up (a lower cost) uke and find out what happens when you put a different nut and bridge on it. You don't need to be waiting for someone else in a far distant land.

I read your earlier post, and I'm happy you found something that has inspired you. I did look into rhythm changes while I am not interested in pursuing it, I do play every day and add to my repertoire from time to time. For me playing the ukulele is just fun.

What I would like is a ukulele that sounds good and plays well when the humidity is so high the sweat from my arms could pool up on the bridge. Or park my car in 110 degree heat and not worry that the neck will have a bow in it or the soundboard will crack. At this point the completely molded outdoor uke doesn't get there for me.

John

besley
05-14-2018, 04:04 PM
Outdoor Ukulele has posted a plastic injection molded banjo uke design this morning it seems (6 hours ago from when I am typing).
The post says they want to take BUs to the next level. I have heard people ask the BU player to take it to the next level (in the building or public place where it can't be heard) before, but the design of the round bit of the OU banjo uke is very interesting. It is in a tenor size in the prototype, a soprano size BU may be easier to pack than a figure 8 and could be a great travel instrument, with enough noise volume to cut through the wind and rain noise.
It would definitely keep the dropbears at bay. Which is another innovative phenomena I noticed this morning, uke players are becoming Koalafied. I don't know what is next.
Sorry if my post seems a little bit silly, but the point is that there are people well known to many UU members who are not talking about innovation, they are actually doing it. Musically and in design and construction of instruments. As I posted before, you can start being innovative right now, just pick up your uke and start working on the music that is in your head or is all around you. Or pick up (a lower cost) uke and find out what happens when you put a different nut and bridge on it. You don't need to be waiting for someone else in a far distant land.

I'm pretty disappointed that they've decided to go with an 11" pot on the Outdoor Ukulele banjo uke. That's just too big.

DownUpDave
05-15-2018, 01:37 AM
There is the "Populele" bluetoothed enabled learning ukulele. It has a series of lighted diodes on the fretboard to show each chord shape as a song is learned. Now that is innovation and very different.

I would like to see a pickup system that is bluetoothed enabled so you can play through any bluetoothed enabled sound system, no cables requirred. How much fun would playing through your Bose speaker on the living room table. How about through your cars sound system!! You could play along to any song on the radio or have a cool tailgate uke jam party

PereBourik
05-15-2018, 08:12 AM
I read your earlier post, and I'm happy you found something that has inspired you. I did look into rhythm changes while I am not interested in pursuing it, I do play every day and add to my repertoire from time to time. For me playing the ukulele is just fun.

What I would like is a ukulele that sounds good and plays well when the humidity is so high the sweat from my arms could pool up on the bridge. Or park my car in 110 degree heat and not worry that the neck will have a bow in it or the soundboard will crack. At this point the completely molded outdoor uke doesn't get there for me.

John

I have kept a concert scale Flea in my car for 3 years, after carrying it for a month on a 500 mile trek. I live in Kansas. Winter lows are below 0. Summer highs reach 110. Inside the car it gets much hotter. The only attention it has needed is to adjust the friction tuners so it will stay in tune. Strings are Martin M600. Sounds way better than an Outdoor Use to my ear. Handles the extremes well. Just a regular Flea: laminate top, plastic fretboard, and concert neck. They even sent me a replacement tuner for free after one was broken going through airport security.

There are two drawbacks to the Flea. The back can slip around a lot. The top is recessed into the molded back. The resulting edge can get uncomfortable pressing into your forearm.

It's not the best uke I own. It is the best one to leave in the car.

70sSanO
05-15-2018, 09:03 AM
I have kept a concert scale Flea in my car for 3 years, after carrying it for a month on a 500 mile trek. I live in Kansas. Winter lows are below 0. Summer highs reach 110. Inside the car it gets much hotter. The only attention it has needed is to adjust the friction tuners so it will stay in tune. Strings are Martin M600. Sounds way better than an Outdoor Use to my ear. Handles the extremes well. Just a regular Flea: laminate top, plastic fretboard, and concert neck. They even sent me a replacement tuner for free after one was broken going through airport security.

There are two drawbacks to the Flea. The back can slip around a lot. The top is recessed into the molded back. The resulting edge can get uncomfortable pressing into your forearm.

It's not the best uke I own. It is the best one to leave in the car.

Thanks for the info.

John

Jerryc41
05-16-2018, 03:03 AM
There are two drawbacks to the Flea. The back can slip around a lot. The top is recessed into the molded back. The resulting edge can get uncomfortable pressing into your forearm.

For $5.00 you can get a pair of Grip Strips for the back of the Flea. I have them on a Flea and a Fluke. Just like the wooden fretboard, I wouldn't have a Flea or Fluke without them. They are black, so they are almost invisible on the uke.

http://www.magicfluke.com/product-p/gripstrips.htm

Jerryc41
05-16-2018, 03:06 AM
I had an idea yesterday. What we need is an electric uke with a headphone jack. When you play it, you hear your beautiful music, but those around you hear nothing. Although the strings are vibrating, I'm sure there's a way to prevent the sound from traveling. Maybe this exists already.

fowl
05-16-2018, 03:23 AM
Jerry , I have a several year old Eleuke with the headphone jack. Works great.

Jerryc41
05-16-2018, 04:15 AM
Jerry , I have a several year old Eleuke with the headphone jack. Works great.

Clever!

http://www.eleuke.com/

jelow1966
05-16-2018, 05:06 AM
My Teton solid body also has a headphone jack and a line in. It is the perfect instrument to practice with for me. I can play along with a backing track and no one else has to hear it.

John

PereBourik
05-16-2018, 07:33 AM
For $5.00 you can get a pair of Grip Strips for the back of the Flea. I have them on a Flea and a Fluke. Just like the wooden fretboard, I wouldn't have a Flea or Fluke without them. They are black, so they are almost invisible on the uke.

http://www.magicfluke.com/product-p/gripstrips.htm

Wooden fretboard? Yeah. No. Not for a car uke.

Grip strips? Again, car uke. I'm sitting down.

Nickie
05-16-2018, 09:07 AM
Here's the latest thing, done by a TBUS member whom I know. 3D printed uke.
109000

mds725
05-16-2018, 12:10 PM
But the Blackbird is already on the list. Its the Blackbird that is the groundbreaking uke.

Its not carbon fiber like the KLOS. Its some sort of flax(?) based HPL epoxy sort of a thing. But the Blackbird is the one that successfully broke all the rules in construction and in design. KLOS simple made a traditional double bout out of a different material and marketed it to the same general crowd that buys durable ukuleles for use outside, which is why I think of it more as a something that follows the OUTDOOR UKULELE brand of ukes.

I'll give the KLOS credit for using carbon fiber, no argument from me on that point, and is is different than the OUTDOOR on many details but I see it as following others rather than doing something that is more ground breaking? Maybe I'm missing the point on the shift in materials to carbon fiber, maybe I should consider that more ground breaking?

Also, Blackbird has been making carbon fiber ukuleles and guitars for a number of years (it has discontinued its carbon fiber tenor ukulele). If building ukuleles out of carbon fiber is a breakthrough, it's not Klos's breakthrough.

Jerryc41
05-16-2018, 04:31 PM
Also, Blackbird has been making carbon fiber ukuleles and guitars for a number of years (it has discontinued its carbon fiber tenor ukulele). If building ukuleles out of carbon fiber is a breakthrough, it's not Klos's breakthrough.

I believe Blackbrd is now using an HPL material, derived from plant material.

Brad Bordessa
05-16-2018, 09:17 PM
So I recommend you spend you time innovating with your ukulele and enjoying playing time with friends. Don't wait for a better mousetrap, just use whatever you have in the house today and see if you can develop a new style or arrangement to share with your friends.

This could be the answer to so many threads....

melensdad
05-17-2018, 04:12 AM
.... I recommend you spend you time innovating with your ukulele and enjoying playing time with friends. Don't wait for a better mousetrap, just use whatever you have in the house today and see if you can develop a new style or arrangement to share with your friends.
This could be the answer to so many threads....

But not the topic of this thread.

Honestly some people are just curious about new technologies. Not going to help them play better. Nobody in this thread suggested that could happen. But some people have the desire for a ukulele that they can leave out in their pool house, or in their car, of stuff in a backpack and it won't be damaged. Others may be looking for a stage instrument with greater projection, a different tone, or even just an unusual look. Some of the innovations mentioned in this thread speak specifically to those types of things.

No need to piss in the cereal bowl if you are not going to positively contribute to a thread.

Rllink
05-17-2018, 05:03 AM
But not the topic of this thread.

Honestly some people are just curious about new technologies. Not going to help them play better. Nobody in this thread suggested that could happen. But some people have the desire for a ukulele that they can leave out in their pool house, or in their car, of stuff in a backpack and it won't be damaged. Others may be looking for a stage instrument with greater projection, a different tone, or even just an unusual look. Some of the innovations mentioned in this thread speak specifically to those types of things.

No need to piss in the cereal bowl if you are not going to positively contribute to a thread.Agreed. A lot of people just like to talk about ukuleles. I mean, that is what we are here for. If people didn't talk about ukuleles here there wouldn't be much reason to have a forum about them.

70sSanO
05-17-2018, 06:50 AM
The irony of all this is that people enjoy talking about the ukulele, as mentioned above, but every key stroke or tap is one less note that could have been played.

John

Jerryc41
05-17-2018, 07:20 AM
The irony of all this is that people enjoy talking about the ukulele, as mentioned above, but every key stroke or tap is one less note that could have been played.

John

When the uke becomes a chore, I'll give it up. If I want to play it for an hour a day, fine. If I want to play it for an hour a week, fine. I enjoy ukulele in general: shopping for them, reading about them, playing them, listening to them. I never force myself to play when I don't want to.

70sSanO
05-17-2018, 10:56 AM
When the uke becomes a chore, I'll give it up. If I want to play it for an hour a day, fine. If I want to play it for an hour a week, fine. I enjoy ukulele in general: shopping for them, reading about them, playing them, listening to them. I never force myself to play when I don't want to.

^ +1

John

melensdad
05-17-2018, 04:34 PM
The irony of all this is that people enjoy talking about the ukulele, as mentioned above, but every key stroke or tap is one less note that could have been played.

John
Using your logic, every moment spent not playing the ukulele is a wasted moment. I see no irony in enjoying multiple aspects of the ukulele. I can enjoy the ukulele looking at it, playing it, researching its history, listening to others playing it and even thinking about its future.

I am also a former competition shooter, I still enjoy shooting guns, building guns, making custom ammunition for my guns to get the greatest accuracy I can attain, collecting and talking about guns but every moment spent researching powder loads and ballistic coefficients is a moment I am not shooting.

That is not irony. It is enjoying all facets of the topic, be it an instrument that plays music or a mechanical device that shoots projectiles into tiny groupings hundreds of yards away at thousands of feet per second.






When the uke becomes a chore, I'll give it up. If I want to play it for an hour a day, fine. If I want to play it for an hour a week, fine. I enjoy ukulele in general: shopping for them, reading about them, playing them, listening to them. I never force myself to play when I don't want to.
Yes. Exactly.




Perhaps we can now return to the topic?

70sSanO
05-17-2018, 08:01 PM
FWIW... my post was in response to other posts that suggested not spending time discussion ukulele innovations but using that time to innovate by playing the ukulele more and the irony of the time spent to post that.

In no way was I suggesting that posting to UU or anything else other than playing the ukulele is a waste of time. I generally play everyday, but sometimes it goes a week or more, but I only play for fun. I have no aspirations to become more competent, or advice for others. I'm retired and have a lot of other things I do and more than enough time to do them. Lord willing I will live long enough to forget everything I know so I can learn it all over again.

John

Rllink
05-18-2018, 03:55 AM
FWIW... my post was in response to other posts that suggested not spending time discussion ukulele innovations but using that time to innovate by playing the ukulele more and the irony of the time spent to post that.

In no way was I suggesting that posting to UU or anything else other than playing the ukulele is a waste of time. I generally play everyday, but sometimes it goes a week or more, but I only play for fun. I have no aspirations to become more competent, or advice for others. I'm retired and have a lot of other things I do and more than enough time to do them. Lord willing I will live long enough to forget everything I know so I can learn it all over again.

JohnInteresting comment, as I am in the same boat. I suppose this topic would warrant its own thread. But I'm feeling fine where I'm at. Sometimes I try to get a little fancier with what I'm doing or I dabble in something a little different, I try to get better at what I'm doing, but when it comes to "innovating" on my ukulele I just don't have the urge to do that. I play my ukulele every day, but I seldom practice anything.

PTOEguy
05-18-2018, 06:25 AM
There are two drawbacks to the Flea. The back can slip around a lot. The top is recessed into the molded back. The resulting edge can get uncomfortable pressing into your forearm.

It's not the best uke I own. It is the best one to leave in the car.

I love my flea, but I count a couple more drawbacks - the plastic fretboard and bridge design prevent switching back and forth between high and low G. You can't do wound strings on the plastic fretboard and when I got a non-wound low G it wouldn't fit in the slots on the bridge (I wasn't willing to modify the bridge to experiment with a string I wasn't sure I would like). The other thing that bugs me about fleas is their current polyfoam case is huge - the older model wood cases take up about half the space.

And I agree that the flea is the best to leave in the car - my Blackbird Clara is technically more durable, but I can afford to replace the flea...

CaptRedbeard
05-18-2018, 07:37 AM
So would that be a "tenor" Guitar then, or are you saying that all baritones really aren't uke's? lol

Jerryc41
05-18-2018, 09:16 AM
So would that be a "tenor" Guitar then, or are you saying that all baritones really aren't uke's? lol

If you say it's a uke, it's a uke. : )

I have sopranino, soprano, concert, tenor, resonator, and banjo ukes. Variety is the spice of life.

Rllink
05-18-2018, 09:50 AM
So would that be a "tenor" Guitar then, or are you saying that all baritones really aren't uke's? lolI think that anything can be a ukulele if you want it to be. I've yet to see something that defines a ukulele. So I guess if you want a baritone to be one, it can be.

Jerryc41
05-18-2018, 10:12 AM
So would that be a "tenor" Guitar then, or are you saying that all baritones really aren't uke's? lol

https://eastwoodguitars.com/blogs/news/tenor-guitars-guide-what-you-need-to-know

Nickie
05-19-2018, 03:36 AM
Wow, I never knew electric tenor guitars were a thing!
I learn something every day....
A friend of mine who used to travel and sing with Burl Ives plays acoustic tenor guitar, among others. It's his favorite instrument. I call it his industrial size uke.

Now, as far as breakthroughs that are useful, watch this video. If it doesn't make you smile, nothing will.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqeujVGG3ZA

Osprey
05-19-2018, 03:56 AM
Wow, I never knew electric tenor guitars were a thing!
I learn something every day....
A friend of mine who used to travel and sing with Burl Ives plays acoustic tenor guitar, among others. It's his favorite instrument. I call it his industrial size uke.

Now, as far as breakthroughs that are useful, watch this video. If it doesn't make you smile, nothing will.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqeujVGG3ZA

That was a great video, Nickie.

spongeuke
05-19-2018, 10:07 AM
If you say it's a uke, it's a uke. : ).

I made this with every intention of it being a "uke"109096109098

Jerryc41
05-19-2018, 11:01 PM
I made this with every intention of it being a "uke"109096109098

You made that? Amazing! High G on one side and low G on the other? :)

spongeuke
05-20-2018, 08:58 PM
Bass on the green side and Baritone on the purple, hence I call it a Bass'nBari. Scales are 22" and 20"".

cyber3d
07-04-2018, 08:13 PM
Here is something I've not seen before. Magnetically suspended soundboard for ukulele.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEA_5hGf6dA

melensdad
07-05-2018, 12:14 PM
Here is something I've not seen before. Magnetically suspended soundboard for ukulele.
....

Interesting

I wonder if it would cause electronic interference in a group on stage where everyone is hooked up to amps

joakiml
07-05-2018, 12:26 PM
There's another thread on Gibson's bankruptcy and going into the uke market, perhaps they'll introduce "robotic tuners" for us. If so, maybe you want to keep an open spot on your list :drool:

melensdad
07-05-2018, 04:57 PM
I would like to see the ability to adjust intonation :D

Lanikai did this for several years. They called it their TunaUke system. I own one. It works. But I'm not convinced it really is necessary. I didn't buy my Lanikai for that feature, it just had that feature.

http://lanikaiukuleles.com/tunauke-equipped/

melensdad
07-06-2018, 12:23 PM
Thank you for posting, I was aware of this innovation on the Lankai and was hoping to see this kind of thing developed & refined even further by other manufacturers :D

I believe they discontinued it last year. I don't believe people saw any real value in the upcharge. While the system works, and has been used on guitars, it just didn't attract buyers. The one uke I have that has that feature came into my possession at below wholesale pricing so I certainly was unwilling to pay for adjustable saddle, and I am apparently part of the majority that didn't think it was worth an added cost.

If you really want the feature I suppose you could commission a custom uke and have the builder add it. I fear you'll pay far too much and achieve far too little.

Patrick Madsen
07-06-2018, 02:21 PM
I'd order a uke with an adjustable saddle without hesitation. I loved my old Fender electric with the adjustable intonation. That's a great looking saddle Campbell. I bet you can dial it in with no trouble at all.

Not sure why having an adjustable saddle would "achieve far too little". For myself, having the ability to fine tune intonation for different venues and conditions as well as fine tuning trying a new string set would well be worth the cost. It'd be one of the first options for me if it was offered.

Patrick Madsen
07-06-2018, 02:44 PM
I'm not sure if too many shape their necks asymmetrically. The luthier who made my parlor guitar is making me a "Jumbo" baritone uke. It's more like a tenor guitar with nylon strings, 21.88" scale 1 3/8" width.

Most necks are shaped down the centerline so as the person moves up the neck, they must change the angle and shape of their hands and wrists to make the chord. With his type of neck, the neck is shaped to follow more angular curve to the body. When playing up the neck, there is no need to change hand and wrist positions to make the chord shape as the angle is shaped into the neck. It's really a nice ergonomic addition.

George Thomas Guitars. He's been collaborating with another woman guitarist for years working on guitars and ukes with ergonomics in mind. I'm at the stage where any innovation that'll allow me to keep playing is worth it. It's at the point where I may need to start learning to play a slide.

cyber3d
07-06-2018, 05:52 PM
Most necks are shaped down the centerline so as the person moves up the neck, they must change the angle and shape of their hands and wrists to make the chord. With his type of neck, the neck is shaped to follow more angular curve to the body. When playing up the neck, there is no need to change hand and wrist positions to make the chord shape as the angle is shaped into the neck. It's really a nice ergonomic addition.

I'm trying to visualize this. Do you have any pics? Sounds interesting.

slackkey007
07-07-2018, 09:41 PM
Wow, I never knew electric tenor guitars were a thing!
I learn something every day....
A friend of mine who used to travel and sing with Burl Ives plays acoustic tenor guitar, among others. It's his favorite instrument. I call it his industrial size uke.

Now, as far as breakthroughs that are useful, watch this video. If it doesn't make you smile, nothing will.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqeujVGG3ZA


Nickie,

Mahalo nui loa for sharing the video! It is extremely heartwarming!!! ... and YES, it did make me SMILE from ear to ear!!! Loved it!!!:shaka: