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View Full Version : WTB 4string, solid, slotted.



pinchmips
05-01-2008, 06:19 AM
For the past few days in my computer class I've been looking up ukulele dealers, but I can't seem to find a 4 string all solid (anything but spruce) (slotted headstock) ukulele in the 3-500 dollar range. It's hard enough just finding a 4 string with the correct headstock. Just curious if I'm going to have to find a custom shop that will do it; and if so, can anyone point me in the direction of one that isn't so expensive (~500 or less).

That being said, if anyone here has one that they don't want, I might be willing to buy it. But it will be Autumn before I can make any purchases if I can at all.

davoomac
05-01-2008, 06:23 AM
Our legendary moderator NukeDoc might know a thing or two. He customized his 6 string kala to be a slotted 4 string!

I'm also interested in a uke like what pinchmips described. Any information would be awesome

NukeDOC
05-01-2008, 06:34 AM
as of now, you will not find anything on the open market like that at that price. for one, a solid construction uke of any decent quality will cost you at least $300. and for the most part, a custom uke will charge up to $250 for the slotted headstock option.

if you are good with your hands, good with tools, good with math, have some ingenuity, and have a lot of patience, the best thing for you to do is something similar to one of my conversions.

i took a kala ka-k6e (not solid) 6 string with slotted head, and turned it into a 4 string.

did the same thing with a lanikai o-6 (solid spruce top) with slotted head.

also took a makala concert 4 string and cut slots into it to convert it.

if you look through my youtube videos, you will see what ive done to them.

pinchmips
05-01-2008, 06:53 AM
Thanks, I'll look into this. Would you recommend converting a pre-slotted 6 string, or cutting a 4 string to be a slotted. Which was easier? And what do you think looks better?

drubin
05-01-2008, 07:03 AM
I might ask why you want to get a slot head in the first place. Are there any tonal benefits, or is it purely an aesthetic thing?

NukeDOC
05-01-2008, 07:40 AM
I might ask why you want to get a slot head in the first place. Are there any tonal benefits, or is it purely an aesthetic thing?
no tonal benefits that i know of. for me its aesthetic. but it also takes some mass off the headstock, making it lighter. this helps for when you play standing up without a strap.


Thanks, I'll look into this. Would you recommend converting a pre-slotted 6 string, or cutting a 4 string to be a slotted. Which was easier? And what do you think looks better?
theyre both work. i dont gauge it by which was harder. its all about the finished product for me. but you should be asking yourself what you think looks better right?

wearymicrobe
05-01-2008, 09:01 AM
no tonal benefits that i know of. for me its aesthetic. but it also takes some mass off the headstock, making it lighter. this helps for when you play standing up without a strap.

theyre both work. i dont gauge it by which was harder. its all about the finished product for me. but you should be asking yourself what you think looks better right?

There are some tonal benefits in a classical with the open headstock, theoretically there should be some benefit in a uke as well.

Slotted headstocks add a tremendous amount of work for the builder so its very rare to find on a instrument under 500$ new. Used maybe but its going to be hard.

Like others have said it runs ~300$-500$ to add a slothead to a custom before binding and other bling is added. Plus the good tuners are much more expensive in a slothead then a post.

drubin
05-01-2008, 09:51 AM
Thanks for the responses, Nuke and Weary! :D

GX9901
05-01-2008, 10:07 AM
I don't think a 4 string solid uke is availabe with a slotted headstock from any production builder right now. The least expensive such ukulele I've seen is a Ko'olau and it was on ebay for at least $1400. I've inquired about slotted headstock option with 3 different custom builders and in each case the upcharge is right around $150 for the option.

wearymicrobe
05-01-2008, 12:04 PM
I don't think a 4 string solid uke is availabe with a slotted headstock from any production builder right now. The least expensive such ukulele I've seen is a Ko'olau and it was on ebay for at least $1400. I've inquired about slotted headstock option with 3 different custom builders and in each case the upcharge is right around $150 for the option.

Ko'olau will only do a 200+ in Slothead. They did do a 100sp that ran about 1600$ with a flower inlay on the soundboard a while back but there were very few produced and I have one seen one in the wild.

pinchmips
05-01-2008, 12:23 PM
So, all you did was re-cut (replace?) the saddle and the nut? What's the room for error on that? As in, if you do it slightly wrong, will it make a huge difference in sound?

and this is on the kala custom tenor ka-k4e, I didn't see a tutorial for any of the others.

EDIT: along with taking out two of the tuning pegs.

NukeDOC
05-01-2008, 01:55 PM
So, all you did was re-cut (replace?) the saddle and the nut? What's the room for error on that? As in, if you do it slightly wrong, will it make a huge difference in sound?

and this is on the kala custom tenor ka-k4e, I didn't see a tutorial for any of the others.

EDIT: along with taking out two of the tuning pegs.

there is no room for error. so i bought sever pieces of TUSQ. i worked VERY slowly. taking away little by little, until i got the action, the placement, and the look just right.

Dino
05-01-2008, 03:05 PM
Are you looking for a Tenor sized or a Concert.
Ukulele Luthier Tangi here in Hawaii makes a Concert model. Here's a picture.
Koa 2-puka runs about $260 / 2-puka mahoganny $200 / single hole koa $240 / single hole mahoganny $180.

http://www.tangiukuleles.net/ukulelegallery/view.nhtml?profile=ukulelegallery&UID=10036

pinchmips
05-01-2008, 03:17 PM
Is there an in depth tutorial that you used? Or was it just trial and error? Would I need to focus more on placement of the cut, or how deep the cut is? (or both) And is there a standard length between strings that you used?
Sorry for all the questions.


I would much rather have a tenor than a concert. But thanks for the link.

pinchmips
05-06-2008, 06:37 PM
umm, bump?

NukeDOC
05-06-2008, 11:53 PM
Is there an in depth tutorial that you used? Or was it just trial and error? Would I need to focus more on placement of the cut, or how deep the cut is? (or both) And is there a standard length between strings that you used?
Sorry for all the questions.


I would much rather have a tenor than a concert. But thanks for the link.

it was all trial and (minimal) error. like i said, i worked very slowly and thought it out thoroughly before even the first cut.

pinchmips
05-07-2008, 08:18 AM
The Lanikai o-6 seems to be my best choice considering solidity, (I don't want it to have a pickup either). Do you have a video that you've made with that ukulele? I can't find any written reviews, much less a video demonstration.

NukeDOC
05-07-2008, 08:21 AM
im playing the O-6 in this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWNSNqisD0s

i dont have any how-to vids though. i thought about it, but as i was doing it, it turned out to be the kind of work that i needed my full attention span on (which isnt that wide to begin with).

and this vid just goes over what i did to make the conversion. but on my kala ka-k6e.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ySAedM3PM0

pinchmips
05-14-2008, 06:08 AM
http://www.weedmusicltd.com/default.aspx?CategoryID=201


Would this work? or will I need to cut it myself?

NukeDOC
05-14-2008, 10:02 AM
http://www.weedmusicltd.com/default.aspx?CategoryID=201


Would this work? or will I need to cut it myself?

its hard to tell withouth having the uke right next to the actual product. thats why i cut my own. not every uke will have the same width at the nut. so a custom fit is optimal.