View Full Version : Anyone playing super tenors?

01-31-2012, 04:57 AM
Am I right in thinking it's a larger body but a tenor scale length?

Any big advantages? Or disadvantages?

01-31-2012, 05:15 AM
You're referring to the Kanilea model? I think they're the first ones to use the term "super tenor". This has a wider lower bout in the body but uses a tenor scale.

Interestingly, from what I remember, a "super soprano" had a soprano body and a concert scale length while a "super concert" had a concert body and a tenor scale length. Kanilea's naming isn't consistent.

Of course, these innovations in the ukulele are relatively new so anybody can use whatever name they want. The most commercially successful idea will set the naming convention.

01-31-2012, 05:18 AM
My bluegrassuke is what I would call a super tenor; the body is certainly larger than a regular tenor body.

Bluegrassukes are typically set up low-g. I think that the large body is well suited to lower pitches.

I've tuned mine re-entrent but down a tone and a half. I love the rich full sound.

01-31-2012, 05:19 AM
So do the ukes that guys like Jake and Aldrine use. Are they standard tenors? Because sometimes in videos the instruments look fairly large.

01-31-2012, 05:29 AM

A super tenor (by Kanilea's defnition) should look like an ukulele that has the mumps.


Kanilea's Guitarlele has both the mumps and a baritone scale.

Don't knock the looks. I've played the Kanilea Super Tenor K1 and K2. I think it leaves all regular tenors in the dust if you're playing without amplification. I think this is a great innovation.

01-31-2012, 05:52 AM
My Kanile'a K1 has a little larger body than other tenor ukes. It didn't fit on my Eddy Finn Hootenanny case that I used to put my Ohana TK20.

01-31-2012, 06:11 AM
If you go by the normal "Super" convention used for super-soprano and super-concert, I don't think a super-tenor (i.e. tenor body & baritone neck) exists except for maybe some custom built ones. I think the reason is because if you put a baritone neck on a tenor body, you're probably tuning it DGBE, and the smaller tenor body really doesn't make sense. It could also just be because the baritone scale is not popular as it is, so the demand isn't there.

The Kanile'a "super-tenor", as mentioned, is a wide-bodied tenor scale ukulele. I had one and it was really good. Nice big sound with sound quality on par with custom tenors I've played. Here's a picture of it next to a conventional sized tenor:

Some luthiers build tenors with a longer scale (such as 18") than the normal 17" tenor scale when the neck is joined at the 14th fret so that the bridge falls on the "sweet spot" on the soundboard.

Jake and Aldrine play standard tenor ukes. I think their ukes look huge because they are small guys. I've met Jake and he's a tiny dude. :D

Gary Gill
01-31-2012, 01:15 PM
Here is a comparison of the two concert pineapples bodies with tenor length necks against the standard shape concert. I would have built tenor sized bodies but Unk (David Gill) isn't setup with molds and forms for tenor bodies. I prefer the tenor sized finger board.

01-31-2012, 01:25 PM
Am I right in thinking it's a larger body but a tenor scale length?

Any big advantages? Or disadvantages?

My kanile'a super tenor is strung low G. I love the deep base but also the highs of the " a" string. To me it is a much more resonant sound than the tenor and a bit more versatile. It is Wider than a tenor so does not fit in a tenor case. It is my goto uke.

01-31-2012, 04:25 PM
I recently purchased a Kamaka long neck tenor. 19"' scale as compared with their 17" scale regulat tenors. I must say it is a little different playing it than a regular tenor. You have 15 frets to the body instead of 14. It will take me some time to get used to the longer length. But I do like it, and glad I bought it.

01-31-2012, 06:15 PM
Mele make what they call a "jumbo tenor" which is an extended scale tenor.

01-31-2012, 07:02 PM
It is all that I play anymore, loud when you need it, soft when you don't. Good bracing pattern makes for clean tone. Also the larger lower bout allows you to use you elbow to brace the uke if you need to.