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ed531
10-09-2009, 07:29 AM
It seems that there's a demand for ukes with slotted headstocks. Can anyone tell me why ?

Thanks

leftovermagic84
10-09-2009, 07:31 AM
style. :cool:

GX9901
10-09-2009, 08:10 AM
style. :cool:

Pretty much. It could be a fad, but I've always like the slotted headstock look.

mokai
10-09-2009, 08:48 AM
Pretty much. It could be a fad, but I've always like the slotted headstock look.

I don't think it's a fad... up until recently, you couldn't find a slotted headstock without the uke being custom, six, or eight strings.

I read a lot of builders charge around $250 for the slotted headstock upgrade, but Kala made the solid acacia tenor available for $20 more($270atElderly)
smart move IMO

Mainland ukes recently came out with the slotted headstock CONCERT for 250 shipped. To me, and my research, that is a great deal and rare too.

I already own an Acacia Tenor and have a Mainland slotted concert on the way :drool:

The look of Cavaquinhos have always sparked my interest
http://www.atlasofpluckedinstruments.com/europe1/cavaquinhos.jpg

I think more companies are going to realize it's worth offering the 'upgrade' with little to no extra charge because of the volume of sales alone.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
10-09-2009, 09:06 AM
The slotted headstock presents a guitar-like look to the ukulele.

I've always liked it. I first saw a custom model at Kamaka in the late 60's and thought it was really cool.

Then I saw something like it on a Maui Ukulele, then on a Fluke (of all things).

Since then, a Tangi and now the Kalas.

They look good to me. A bit different but in the style of, well a guitar.

The Concert Kala Slotted headstock seems a bit top heavy to me. Seems like a bit much wasted wood from the top end of the slot to the tip of the head. But that's just me. And it wouldn't keep me from getting one. Just wanted you all to know that.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
10-09-2009, 09:09 AM
It seems that there's a demand for ukes with slotted headstocks. Can anyone tell me why ?

Thanks

Jake..........

UkuCouS
10-09-2009, 09:12 AM
Jake..........
:agree::agree:

ichadwick
10-09-2009, 09:14 AM
It seems that there's a demand for ukes with slotted headstocks. Can anyone tell me why ?

Thanks
More places to hang bling, perhaps.

hoosierhiver
10-09-2009, 09:20 AM
Jake..........

I think you nailed it with only one word! The kids love'm!

grappler
10-09-2009, 09:28 AM
i like the slotted headstock also.
I agree

Dominator
10-09-2009, 09:40 AM
Personnaly, I just like the looks of them. Yes, seeing Jake's Kamaka probably had something to do with becoming aware of the SH on an ukulele. I also like the fact that most of the slotted head tuners are high quality (at least the ones I have experience with) and they are a joy to use.

ukeskywalker79
10-09-2009, 10:00 AM
Slotted headstocks get all the ladies PERIOD!!! :D

Ahnko Honu
10-09-2009, 10:25 AM
Slotted headstocks get all the ladies PERIOD!!! :D

That sounds like a curse "getting all the ladies period". :eek:

ukeskywalker79
10-09-2009, 10:30 AM
That sounds like a curse "getting all the ladies period". :eek:

:biglaugh: That does sound a bit funky. Thank goodness I left out the apostrophe

ed531
10-09-2009, 11:17 AM
I like the slotted headstock look too... just wondering if it actually had a sound advantage to it.

But seems fromm all the replies, it's really about just the looks of it. Nothing wrong with that... :D:D:D

molokinirum
10-09-2009, 11:20 AM
Jake..........

:agree::agree::agree:

SuperSecretBETA
10-09-2009, 11:33 AM
Aside from aesthetic properties...

A string needs a strong bond at both the nut and saddle because when you play (vibrate a string), the string slightly stretches and contracts back and forth from the vibration. You want to make sure the string doesn't move back and forth at the nut and saddle. The string should stay put.

A slotted headstock increases the angle at the nut, thereby increasing the tension and strengthening the bond between the nut and the string. Nylon strings are pretty elastic and low tension (especially in ukuleles), and the instrument benefits from the increased angle.

With all things, you don't want to go overboard on the angle; too sharp of an angle could cause tuning problems and premature string breakage.

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=598&pictureid=3648

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
10-09-2009, 12:49 PM
Aside from aesthetic properties...

A string needs a strong bond at both the nut and saddle because when you play (vibrate a string), the string slightly stretches and contracts back and forth from the vibration. You want to make sure the string doesn't move back and forth at the nut and saddle. The string should stay put.

A slotted headstock increases the angle at the nut, thereby increasing the tension and strengthening the bond between the nut and the string. Nylon strings are pretty elastic and low tension (especially in ukuleles), and the instrument benefits from the increased angle.

With all things, you don't want to go overboard on the angle; too sharp of an angle could cause tuning problems and premature string breakage.

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=598&pictureid=3648

If built properly, the string angle of both styles of headstock will be about the same. The headstock angle however will be slightly less in a slotted design to accomodate the lower horizontal post it requires.
Example: If a flat headstock angle is 14 degrees, the strings will also be at 14 degrees if the strings are wound on the post correctly and the right size tuners (and posts) are installed. A slotted headstock however may only be set at 11 degrees but the tuner posts themselves will be installed at somewhere around 14 degrees. Properly sized and angled ramps will allow the strings not to touch anywhere.

SuperSecretBETA
10-09-2009, 01:23 PM
If built properly, the string angle of both styles of headstock will be about the same. The headstock angle however will be slightly less in a slotted design to accommodate the lower horizontal post it requires.

... installed at somewhere around 14 degrees

Cool :cool:. Does it depend on the builder specs or is ~14 degrees the most common angle at the nut on ukuleles? What about angles for the saddle. I know they're a lot sharper, but is there a most common angle on that as well?

Lastly, do you think an ukulele could potentially benefit slightly from a sharper angle, say ~16, for players who frequently do high string bends?

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
10-09-2009, 01:42 PM
I used my own numbers as an example but I think that's pretty standard around here at least. I've never measured the angle at the saddle but I generally like it as steep as possible within reason.
If a slotted headstock was angled at 16 degrees it would need to be a foot long in order for the strings to clear. Either that or the fret board and nut would need to be extremely high. To answer your question directly, I have no experience in increasing the headstock angle. Maybe others can chime in. Some numbers and dimensions are traditional because they work.

Craig
10-09-2009, 04:57 PM
Well, I ain't look'n to get no ladies, but I do loves my slotted headstock! :drool:

http://ukulelecraig.com/K.jpg

Ahnko Honu
10-10-2009, 10:26 AM
Well, I ain't look'n to get no ladies, but I do loves my slotted headstock! :drool:

http://ukulelecraig.com/K.jpg

Aloha Craig, I see Ko'olau Golds c, e, a, strings, is that a low g Aquila? How does it sound?
I think I'm going back to low g on my concert Mele pineapple and the only single low g I can find are fluorocarbon which I'm not sure how they sound with the rest being Aquilas, just thinking out loud. Mahalo.

Ahnko Honu
10-10-2009, 10:34 AM
A slotted headstock however may only be set at 11 degrees but the tuner posts themselves will be installed at somewhere around 14 degrees. Properly sized and angled ramps will allow the strings not to touch anywhere.

Aloha Chuck, Sounds perfectly logical and also even economical in some cases the Flea and Fluke 'ukuleles for example. Nice flat headstock due to using (one big) slot so less work, less waste making headstock from one solid piece.
http://ukulelereview.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/flea-ukulele-8.jpg

pingraham
10-10-2009, 10:38 AM
Jake is certainly a driver, and style - but being a boring engineer I am guessing that it was originally to increase the angle of the string going over the nut for older gut strings at lower tension....perhaps too analytical?

Craig
10-10-2009, 01:17 PM
This photo was taken by the folks at Ko'olau. I now use Savarrez strings.

Kekani
10-10-2009, 01:29 PM
I'm going to echo what Chuck said, because it didn't stick the first time. . .

A slotted headstock does not increase the break angle over the nut. I measured out a slotted headstock with my standard HS at 14 degrees, and the angle would've been so steep that the slots wouldn've been hollowed almost to the nut. I don't think string should touch anywhere on a headstock, except the tuning machines. Slotted headstock usually go 12 degrees or less so by the time it reaches the tuning machines, break angle is about the same.

One thing slotted headstock do is add weight, and as Dominator stated, allows you to install $200 tuning machines - go Gilbert! Weight up there is good.

On the other hand, there are other ways to get the same effect as increasing weight, without increasing weight, but either way, its negligible from a player's standpoint.

Personally, I think people like SH just because it adds another $300 to the price tag. . . just like cutaways (although there are a few that actually use the cutaway).

leftovermagic84
10-10-2009, 01:34 PM
Personally, I think people like SH just because it adds another $300 to the price tag. . .

or $20 http://shop.mainlandukuleles.com/

SuperSecretBETA
10-10-2009, 02:03 PM
I'm just glad we have honest luthiers here who can clear up my misguided notions. The logic in my mind is there, but I guess the reality sadly isn't so. Now, when a builder tells me something about sharper angles, I can know that they're either BSing or simply unaware of the actual measured angles. :D Although, I have to admit, those $200 tuning machines are pretty "ballin."

Aiyo
10-10-2009, 10:10 PM
i dont know why, but i dislike the slotted look.

Ahnko Honu
10-10-2009, 10:19 PM
I guessing it's because you are a traditionalist like myself preferring the looks of the older 'ukuleles. ;)

ChamorroDT
10-10-2009, 10:33 PM
It seems that there's a demand for ukes with slotted headstocks. Can anyone tell me why ?

Thanks

...Cause it's stylish, and people like to have style :cool: <= I wanted to use a smiley that had style, so I chose the Matrix look, haha!

But being serious, I think...well because it's stylish. And that extra space could come in handy. Or (as someone stated I think) it has that look of a Guitar? Perhaps.