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View Full Version : Need recommendation on a good beater uke with wide string spacing?



ukuDaily
03-08-2011, 08:50 AM
I have done the unthinkable and gotten used to playing my Kanilea that has really wide nut and saddle string spacing and my 8 string Lanikai that is about the same. As a result, when I pick up a Kala that has very standard spacing, it feels way too tight for my pudgy fingers.

Now I am getting ready to go to a disc golf tournament at which I will be camping and I clearly want to have a uke along to pass the time. I certainly don't want to bring either of my primary players, so I find myself in search of something a bit more durable with wide string spacing. Ideally, I would love it to be laminate as I will have to worry about temperature and humidity swings a bit less.

Any suggestions? BTW, a fluke or flea doesn't qualify as they are about as narrow as a Kala.

soupking
03-08-2011, 09:08 AM
Have you played a Flea or Fluke? Just curious because I find the fretboard to be much roomier than a Kala. I know technically it's only slightly bigger, but in your hands there's a noticable difference (maybe because of the thicker neck?), in my opinion.

ukuDaily
03-08-2011, 09:11 AM
I had a fluke and a flea. I know that they do feel a bit wider, but I think it is because the saddle string spacing is a bit wider. The nut on them is 1.4" which seems to be pretty darn close to 35mm.

GX9901
03-08-2011, 09:18 AM
The Lanikai Zebrawood and Monkeypod ukes have 37mm nut width (same as my Kanile'a super-soprano). They are solid wood ukes though. I can't think of any laminated factory ukes with wide nut widths.

soupking
03-08-2011, 09:25 AM
The tenor necks are 1.45", which you probably already know. I never tried a tenor necked Fluke, but that's a little closer to 1.5" anyway. I remember people saying that some Oscar Schmidt and Ohana models have wider nuts and spacing, but I have no experience with either. Maybe someone who owns one of those could chime in. Good luck.

ukuDaily
03-08-2011, 09:29 AM
I snooped around a bit and found a new brand on eBay that I hadn't heard of before. The Kanaloas look like budget all laminate ukes, but boast a 1.5" nut. Has anyone tried one of them? I see Elderly carries them too.

didgeridoo2
03-08-2011, 09:37 AM
My suggestion would be to buy pdxuke's Kiwaya KS-1. High quality laminate and the strings are spaced wider than any of my other sopranos. Nut width is comparable, but the fret board is roomy. $150 bucks is a great deal. I have the KS-1 as my beater.

fabioponta
03-08-2011, 02:37 PM
Maybe the solution is bought a kala laminated baritone and put standart strings (GCEA). Fretboard big size and laminated wood. Great sound and cheap price. If it broke, you could buy another, haha.

ukuDaily
03-08-2011, 02:41 PM
The Kiwaya sounds a little interesting. I would be interested in hearing for certain what the string width is g-a at the nut and saddle. If it is wide enough, I might be willing to overlook the friction tuners.

fourstringsisplenty
03-08-2011, 02:45 PM
I have an Amigo tenor that I just love. The spacing isn't super wide, but as beaters go, a person could do a lot worse. I paid about $45 bucks for mine, new. It has a solid pine top and laminate back & sides. The top is rather thick and doesn't seem to be too subject to swings in humidity, as I have taken mine from the rainy Pacific Northwest to the desert many times without it being affected. The Amigo has decent action, pretty good intonation for a cheapie, a loud voice, and good tone. It took a few years of looking before I could find anything comparable in this price range (or even TRIPLE it, for that matter.) I'll always hold on to this uke for a beater.

didgeridoo2
03-08-2011, 03:09 PM
The Kiwaya sounds a little interesting. I would be interested in hearing for certain what the string width is g-a at the nut and saddle. If it is wide enough, I might be willing to overlook the friction tuners.
Mine measures 1 3/16" at the nut and 1 11/16" at the saddle.

erivel
03-08-2011, 04:23 PM
The Kelii tenor I used to own had really wide spacing at the saddle. Didn't measure it however.

Ingrate
03-08-2011, 06:12 PM
The difference in width between the "wide" and "normal" is pretty small. I wonder if you could buy a nut blank and just space the strings wider...

GVlog
04-11-2011, 06:52 PM
ukuDaily, were you successful in your search?

Ukeology
04-11-2011, 07:58 PM
My first uke was a "Greg Bennett" Samich concert - great sounding uke, moderate price - it is now my beater - I have the same issue with you, and I find an easy transition from my Kanilea to the GB.

Pippin
04-11-2011, 09:19 PM
The widest necks I know on ukes belong to Oscar Schmidt. The OU5LCE is a nice laminated koa instrument with a cut-away and a UK-2000 pickup that is a solid performer. The uke is a concert-bodied, tenor-necked instrument that is well-balanced and fun to play.

GVlog
04-12-2011, 04:17 AM
The widest necks I know on ukes belong to Oscar Schmidt.
How wide are they?

EDIT: BTW, Drew over at Lanikai informed me that the LKP-C and upcoming LKP-T (the ukes in their bundled packs) have 37mm nut widths. That might be wide enough for some folks.