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Foinnse
06-30-2011, 02:07 AM
Hello there, :confused:

I just wondered could someone explain to me what is meant by a "radiused fretboard"?? I have heard it come up several times, most recently in reference to Mya-Moe ukuleles, but am unclear what is meant by the term. I tried googling the term but to no avail.
Anyone?

Cheers -F

RichM
06-30-2011, 02:13 AM
A radiused fretboard has a slight curvature to it from side-to-side. This is very common in steel-string guitars, much less common on ukes. For some people, this makes fingering feel a little more comfortable, as each finger is at a slightly different height, rather than all of them being flat. I think it has more impact on a wider fretboard like a guitar, but you can definitely feel the difference. It's a matter of personal preference; some love it, some don't.

WhenDogsSing
06-30-2011, 02:26 AM
Some of the makers that incorporate "radiused" fingerboards are Maui Music, Collings, and Mya-Moe. I am sure there are others too. The Epiphone Les Paul concert ukulele is advertised as having a radiused fingerboard but, if it is, it is almost flat.

I personally love a radiused fingerboard. It does allow for easier barreing up the neck with your index finger.

kissing
06-30-2011, 02:56 AM
Ibanez also makes a big deal about their ukes having radiused fretboards

SailingUke
06-30-2011, 04:52 AM
I have both and I can't really see/feel much of a difference. For me it is not a big factor in the buying decision.

Lori
06-30-2011, 06:28 AM
I have both and I can't really see/feel much of a difference. For me it is not a big factor in the buying decision.:agree:

I have both kinds too, and I really don't think about it much when switching between radiused and flat. I suppose it is supposed to be a bit more ergonomic to be slightly curved, matching the natural curve of the finger. To me, scale length is more of an issue.

–Lori

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
06-30-2011, 07:11 AM
Many builders will charge a bit more for a radiussed finger board option. The radius is so slight on a ukulele finger board, when compared to that of a guitar, that many players feel it's not much of a benefit. You'd have to experience both to determine whether or not it's a consideration for you.

Ingrate
06-30-2011, 07:24 AM
To see if your fretboard is radiused, put your eye at the level of the fretboard and sight down a fret (across the fretboard). If it is arched, it's radiused. If it's absolutely flat/straight, it's not. I've two 'ukes. One is radiused. I don't notice any difference when playing them.

crowsby
06-30-2011, 08:47 AM
Wouldn't that mess with strumming if the strings are at unequal heights? It seems like the G and A strings would be lower than the others and consequently get strummed a little less. I understand that it would start to even out more as it approached the bridge, but I wonder how noticeable it would be.

WhenDogsSing
06-30-2011, 09:04 AM
Wouldn't that mess with strumming if the strings are at unequal heights? It seems like the G and A strings would be lower than the others and consequently get strummed a little less. I understand that it would start to even out more as it approached the bridge, but I wonder how noticeable it would be.

The ukuleles I have played that have a radiused fingerboard have all had relatively large "radii". The string heights don't vary enough to be perceptible when you strum.

Foinnse
06-30-2011, 11:15 AM
Great, thanks for the helpful replies guys and gals! Now I get it. :cool:

Cheers!! -F

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
06-30-2011, 12:02 PM
Wouldn't that mess with strumming if the strings are at unequal heights? It seems like the G and A strings would be lower than the others and consequently get strummed a little less. I understand that it would start to even out more as it approached the bridge, but I wonder how noticeable it would be.

The saddle is also radiussed (as is the nut) so the arc that the strings make will be consistent along it's length. As it's been mentioned, it's barely noticeable.

joejeweler
08-04-2011, 09:15 PM
Wouldn't that mess with strumming if the strings are at unequal heights? It seems like the G and A strings would be lower than the others and consequently get strummed a little less. I understand that it would start to even out more as it approached the bridge, but I wonder how noticeable it would be.

My recently aquired R.L Saul concert (15 5/16" scale) has a radiused fretboard and saddle.
The action on the E and C strings was just a little higher than i like, so i lowered the curved saddle just at the center area and re-rounded and polished the top. (it's an ivory saddle)

I initially measured a 6 mm saddle height under the A and G string sides of the saddle, and around
6.8 mm under the E and C strings. (the saddle was even higher in the very middle where no string touched).

.....i ended up lowering the saddle height from 6.8 mm to about 6.5 mm for the E & C strings,
and it's perfect for my style of play.

One thing i noticed on the Ron Saul is you definately KNOW you have a radiused fretboard and
saddle, because the E & C middle strings were noticably higher than the A & G strings.
They still are higher, but not quite so much now.

For me, there is a little difference in the feel when strumming, not so much when fingerpicking.
In strumming, i have to concentrate a little more to angle my fingers down to
make sure i hit the A string as loudly as the others. (yet not touch the top with my nails)

I think if it was the only ukulele i played, it would get easier. But switching off between various
other ukes that have a flat fretboard creates the need for an initial "warm up" period when
then going back to the radiused fretboard.

The Ron Saul uke has only been around for a few days, so it's still pretty new to me.
I suspect it will become automatic the more i play it.

WhenDogsSing
08-05-2011, 02:15 AM
My recently aquired R.L Saul concert (15 5/16" scale) has a radiused fretboard and saddle.
The action on the E and C strings was just a little higher than i like, so i lowered the curved saddle just at the center area and re-rounded and polished the top. (it's an ivory saddle)

I initially measured a 6 mm saddle height under the A and G string sides of the saddle, and around
6.8 mm under the E and C strings. (the saddle was even higher in the very middle where no string touched).

.....i ended up lowering the saddle height from 6.8 mm to about 6.5 mm for the E & C strings,
and it's perfect for my style of play.

One thing i noticed on the Ron Saul is you definately KNOW you have a radiused fretboard and
saddle, because the E & C middle strings were noticably higher than the A & G strings.
They still are higher, but not quite so much now.

For me, there is a little difference in the feel when strumming, not so much when fingerpicking.
In strumming, i have to concentrate a little more to angle my fingers down to
make sure i hit the A string as loudly as the others. (yet not touch the top with my nails)

I think if it was the only ukulele i played, it would get easier. But switching off between various
other ukes that have a flat fretboard creates the need for an initial "warm up" period when
then going back to the radiused fretboard.

The Ron Saul uke has only been around for a few days, so it's still pretty new to me.
I suspect it will become automatic the more i play it.

Do you know the radius of the fingerboard? Just curious.

Ukuleleblues
08-06-2011, 09:52 AM
If it says a 10" radius it means if you drew a circle with a 10" radius the
cross section of the fretboard would conform to the edge of the circle you drew.

Here is more than you care to know about it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fingerboard

joejeweler
08-06-2011, 10:22 AM
Do you know the radius of the fingerboard? Just curious.
Not off hand,....but it's enough to see easily. The end of the fretboard and each fret have a noticable curve
to it, as well as the saddle. I've seen (IIRC) some uke fetboards listed as having a 12" radius, so maybe that's a
commonly used amount?