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Ukecaster
03-22-2019, 09:27 AM
I have a concert uke with 1 3/8" nut, which is smaller than I usually like, but it has a sweet tone, so I may want to improve it. Thing is, the string spread at the nut is a meager 27mm, which I'm not sure I can deal with, in combo with the nut width, due to some hand issues.

I've had sops before with 1 3/8" nut, but string spread was 28-29mm, a Kiwaya KTS-4 even had 30mm. Maybe get a new nut cut at 29mm string spread?

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Desmodromic
03-22-2019, 10:20 AM
John, the measurement you're taking is inside-to-inside of the outside strings?

Ukecaster
03-22-2019, 10:24 AM
John, the measurement you're taking is inside-to-inside of the outside strings?

Measuring from the outside of the outer strings, with digital caliper.

glennerd
03-22-2019, 05:20 PM
I've been considering the exact same with one or two of my sopranos so am curious too.

Graham Greenbag
03-22-2019, 10:32 PM
I have a concert uke with 1 3/8" nut, which is smaller than I usually like, but it has a sweet tone, so I may want to improve it. Thing is, the string spread at the nut is a meager 27mm, which I'm not sure I can deal with, in combo with the nut width, due to some hand issues.

I've had sops before with 1 3/8" nut, but string spread was 28-29mm, a Kiwaya KTS-4 even had 30mm. Maybe get a new nut cut at 29mm string spread?


I have carried out this modification on several Sopranos and it has made them much more playable (for me anyway). Unfortunately my only source of (suitably spaced) nuts has dried up, IIRC they were 38 mm Wide (Tenor?) nuts and are spaced at 30mm over the strings - obviously I trimmed the oversize width to suit. It’s my belief that the original Sopranos had a wide neck and wider spaced strings, makes them much more playable in a man’s (large) hands.

My recommendation is to do the mod if you possibly can - please let us/me know if you find a source of pre-slotted nuts, bone ones have worked well for me.

DownUpDave
03-22-2019, 10:59 PM
It looks like you have plenty of space from each outboard string to the fretboard edge so it shohld be possible. Maybe post this along with the picture in the Luthier Lounge, thise guys are the experts

Rllink
03-23-2019, 03:33 AM
I went on a rampage a few years ago and measured the spread on every ukulele I came across, and there was no standard measurement regardless of nut width. I would say you can do whatever you want with it.

gochugogi
03-23-2019, 07:23 AM
I too prefer a wider spread at the nut for more comfortable fingering. However, if you cut it wider the string will fall nearer to the fret edges in the lower positions (doesn't make much difference by mid-fingerboard). Depending on your left hand technique you might pull the string off the fret (towards the floor), thereby making a really jarring type of fret buzz. I need at least a couple millimeters of extra space on the 1st string so I don't pull off the fret during slurs and vibrato. No problem on the 4th string so it can be a bit closer to the edge.

Ukecaster
05-16-2019, 03:31 AM
More on string spread. I usually like a wider nut, but have found that a wider nut doesn't always work well for me, if the string spread at the nut isn't also wider. I have a Martin T1K tenor, whose nut width is just under 35mm, which is a rather standard 1 3/8". I usually find that not wide enough, but if the string spread is wide, it's OK. In this case, the string spread is 29.2mm, so it plays well for me. Not sure why Martin doesn't provide a slightly wide nut on these, maybe 36-37mm, I've had Martin sopranos and a modern S1 that had 36mm nuts.

By contrast, my Ohana TK-35 has a nut width of 36mm, but the string spread is 28.3mm.

Edit: the biggest combo I've had was a Kala Elite concert: 38mm nut with 31.6 string spread at nut. A massive 46.3mm string spread at the saddle on that one, most I've seen are 40-43mm at the saddle, although I've had an old Kamaka sop and a Pono tenor that were both 45mm.

glennerd
05-16-2019, 04:54 AM
Unfortunately, a wider nut isn't much of an indicator of wider string spacing. I've had a Martin with a 35.5mm nut and 30.7mm string spacing, yet I had a uke with 38mm nut and only 28.7mm spacing.

I'm going to have a go at spreading the strings on my 34mm Ohana SK-38 ... well, I'll have a professional have a go at it. Besides, I like the ebony nuts on the older ones so it's a good opportunity to change material too.

saltytri
05-16-2019, 07:48 AM
It appears that Dave is right. Judging from the photo, there is plenty of room to spread the strings out. If you're not inclined to make a new nut yourself, this would be an easy job for any guitar/ukulele tech and shouldn't cost much.

Ukecaster
05-17-2019, 06:24 AM
Here's a pic of my 40's Style 0 road dog. The nut width is 34.9 mm, and the string spread at nut is 30.9. Felt like I was gonna fall off the edge at first, but I'm used to it now, and the extra room from the string spread works well for me. Not sure if the nut and spacing is original, but I tend to doubt it.

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