View Full Version : Plastic fretboards

08-20-2009, 08:23 AM
What do you think of plastic fretboards? I have never played a uke that had one. I can see advantages and disadvantages. Advantage - the fret placement should be correct. Disadvantage - do the frets wear down quicker than brass? In an older uke, should I be concerned about deterioration or degrading of the frets? How does a plastic fretboard affect the sound on a uke with a wooden body? Is there a sound difference? Do plastic fretboards come loose? I noticed a lot of them have two screws below the 12th fret that secure them to the body. Any comments will be appreciated.

08-20-2009, 09:44 AM
I can only comment on one of your questions. I have a Japanese made uke from the 60's with a plastic fretboard that looks just like other plastic freboards on Harmony uke's and others I have seen. It has screws, so I decided to unscrew them and see if the fretboard would just come off.....and it did....!

It screwed right back on, easy! I haven't played it much and it doesn't look like it's been played before I got it so I don't know how it might wear or not. The plastic frets don't feel different to me when I do play it compared with metal frets.

08-20-2009, 12:27 PM
The plastic fretboards on Flukes and Fleas are really nice. I still think my Fluke has the best action of all my ukes. The only downside I have noticed is that the fret markers are slightly raised and you can feel them when you bend strings. Also since they were painted white the paint is long gone and with no fretmarkers and black plastic frets they can be hard to see in low light situations. But...all in all i love the fluke.

08-20-2009, 01:33 PM
The plastic fretboards on old Harmonys and Kays impart a certain sound, sort of halfway between a full plastic uke and a wood one. (duh) Such ukes also tend to have heavy plywood bodies. They are very cool looking, but as players, marginal, imho.

08-20-2009, 02:47 PM
Thanks, everybody! That helps...:cool: