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View Full Version : Dove tail neck vs. bolt-on neck



consitter
10-15-2011, 07:50 PM
:2cents:Asking for opinions about traditional dove-tail necks vs. new fangled bolt-on necks.

My custom is the prototype for bolt on necks for KoAloha. Paul Okami has decided that all customs built from now on will be bolt-on due to ease of repair (if repair is so extensive the neck has to be removed otherwise, you basically might be getting back about 50% of your original uke, the other 50 being re-built.)

Any comments out there about the type of necks, if sound is different, if it affects tone, or just general preference?

jackwhale
10-17-2011, 05:12 AM
Great question, and one I've wondered about. I hope some of our experts will weigh in on this topic.

southcoastukes
10-17-2011, 05:55 AM
Well, I'm not an expert on the newer versions of bolt-on necks. In general, the more "complete" the bond of neck joint to body, the better the sound. Usually stronger - always quicker response.

In the past, bolt-on necks were definitely a step down from dovetails in that regard. Supposedly they are much better now - how much I couldn't say. I do know from a manufacturing standpoint, they"ll speed up production. They should also be easier to repair and adjust.

I can tell you, however, that the old Spanish Foot (some say Spanish Heel) is still the best neck design ever in terms of sound. It's a lot more complicated to build that way (we do it), and very difficult to repair. It was common with ukuleles in their first years, but once the instruments became popular enough to move into the early manufacturing environments, the Spanish Foot pretty much dissapeared.

Kekani
10-17-2011, 06:02 AM
:Any comments out there about the type of necks, if sound is different, if it affects tone, or just general preference?

Every instrument I've heard coming out of Paul's Custom Shop has always sounded and played better than a non-custom instrument. He does some different things to them that production doesn't allow. One of the best ones (of not the best one), to me, is the Herb Ohta Jr. model, specifically the one he plays.

No, I didn't get to hear Lokahi.

-Aaron

consitter
10-18-2011, 12:23 AM
Every instrument I've heard coming out of Paul's Custom Shop has always sounded and played better than a non-custom instrument. He does some different things to them that production doesn't allow. One of the best ones (of not the best one), to me, is the Herb Ohta Jr. model, specifically the one he plays.

No, I didn't get to hear Lokahi.

-Aaron

Let me just tell you, it's one sweet sounding uke, and truthfully, it's just now starting to open up. I let another guy play it, and wow, what a difference than being the player when listening.

I just about ordered the Herb Ohta Jr. model, but decided not to because I wanted a cutaway. I'm way, way more than pleased how it all turned out. In fact, I just about swallowed my tongue when I saw the inlay! I was proud to be the prototype for Paul for the bolt on neck. If something ever happens that Lokahi need repaired I'll get back a lot more of the original uke, than if it was glued on.