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sailboats
01-19-2011, 06:35 AM
After watching one of the Vids the other day from NAMM there was a video of a ukulele with the fret board cut off on a slant and it ended a little before the sound hole.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzjtjQzVES0&feature=player_embedded

He explained a little about why they do it and I was just wondering if anyone has built one with a similar set up? how did it sound?

ksquine
01-19-2011, 08:21 AM
Its just decorative....nice design though. You probably only use those upper frets on the tops strings so some cut off the extra and make a nice looking taper like this.
I don't think it affects the tone in any significant way. I'm sure some people will swear they can hear the difference.

Gmoney
01-19-2011, 08:33 AM
The most significant "innovation" that Rick Turner does regarding the fretboard is what he describes as "cantilevered" so that it doesn't touch the upper bout. It floats above and allows the upper bout to resonate better. He reinforces the fingerboard w/an embedded carbon fiber rod for rigidity.

At about 3:52 in the video you can clearly see the space between the fretboard & the upper bout.

Old Kamaka's had that slanted fretboard design as well.

Rob-C
01-19-2011, 08:40 AM
I have one of those Compass Rose tenors. It's beautiful.

But I'm not 100% convinced of the merits of that cantilevered fingerboard. I suppose it does allow the upper part of the top to vibrate, but that's not the most "active" part of the top, IMHO.

And if you accidentally thwack the floating end of the fingerboard while strumming, it makes a loud knocking sound, which is quite annoying...

sailboats
01-19-2011, 08:58 AM
Thanks for all the info!

someday down the road I am looking at building an acoustic so I have a tone of questions! im building a electric uke soon to get my feet wet.

Kekani
01-19-2011, 06:03 PM
Rick Turner is THE man. At past 5 minutes, he makes reference the the source of the Mahogany neck - I'm fortunate, and blessed, to have a piece of that.
He is probably the ONLY mainland luthier who has made use of Milo, extremely successfully - just absolutely beautiful work.

Rick's designs are not by chance, they are specific and for reason. With 12 frets and the fretboard off the body, he explains his reasons. As a builder, we catch all that he says. Compare a 12 fret Martin to a 14 fret, and you'll get the intent of his design (as he stated as well).

You should see his necks on his guitars, with the ability to adjust the neck angle, without surgery. . .good stuff.

Aaron

ksquine
01-20-2011, 06:51 AM
I have one of those Compass Rose tenors. It's beautiful.

But I'm not 100% convinced of the merits of that cantilevered fingerboard. I suppose it does allow the upper part of the top to vibrate, but that's not the most "active" part of the top, IMHO.

And if you accidentally thwack the floating end of the fingerboard while strumming, it makes a loud knocking sound, which is quite annoying...



I agree totally Rob. You have the neck block glued on underneath and a cross brace in the upper bout. There's nothing to transmit vibrations from the bridge to that area except the top. I think the upper bout area affects the tone mostly by the airspace in the body. Maybe its a 5th or 6th level effect on tone...pretty hard to identify
It is a beautiful beautiful uke though

Rick Turner
01-20-2011, 05:58 PM
Just tap on the lower bout, then the upper bout on any uke. You'll hear a big difference between those on which a fingerboard is glued to the top and those where it's not. It is really a "woofer/tweeter" relationship; the two areas of the top have different tap tones, and with the top free, it comes out stronger. What I hear, particularly in my Compass Rose guitars is that there is more complexity in the upper harmonics and they sustain longer. I've also had the opportunity to hear ukes built very close to mine in top bracing, size, etc. except for the upper bout fingerboard attachment...and I like how mine sound better.

My designs were inspired by the guitars and guitar shaped mandolins from the Howe Orme company of Boston in the 1890s. Those instruments simply sound incredible, and they taught me a lot about what NOT to believe about instrument construction and how necks and neck joints really work to affect tone.

bbycrts
01-20-2011, 08:08 PM
I knew Rick would show up - Rick, your interview with Aldrine was my favorite of all - you could see your love and passion for the instruments in your face and hear it in your voice! I love it when you show up here and tell your stories...

ADD
01-20-2011, 08:55 PM
Rick, your interview with Aldrine was my favorite of all - you could see your love and passion for the instruments in your face and hear it in your voice! I love it when you show up here and tell your stories...

Agree. Thoroughly enjoyed it and learned much. Thanks.

Gmoney
01-21-2011, 04:33 AM
Just tap on the lower bout, then the upper bout on any uke. You'll hear a big difference between those on which a fingerboard is glued to the top and those where it's not. It is really a "woofer/tweeter" relationship; the two areas of the top have different tap tones, and with the top free, it comes out stronger.

Just did that "tap test" on several of my ukes, & as you describe, its clear that those w/the fretboard glued to the top have little to no "ring". It just makes sense mechanically & "aurally" that freeing up the soundboard to vibrate makes for a distinctive sound.

Thank you for chiming in w/your wealth of practical experience designing musical instruments. The video had already pushed me towards a Compass Rose in my future... now I indeed have something to save $$ for.

Rick Turner
01-21-2011, 12:25 PM
Thanks folks!

Just up in Marin today to deliver the first of my Buddy Holly tribute guitars (yeah, I know...too many strings, too big...) for a cover photo shoot for the April Acoustic Guitar Magazine...