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Hochapeafarm
04-13-2013, 09:53 AM
Hi, everyone! Hope I've placed this thread in the right spot. Is there a "standard" string spacing size on ukes? If so, is there a specific reason as to why this is?

In our household, our Kalas (2 tenors, 1 concert, and 1 bari) and my Bruko soprano all have 3/8" at the nut and 1/2" at the saddle. Is this a standard string spacing on most ukes?

I am curious, also, if sizing is standard throughout most brand name models, luthier-built instruments, etc. -- it appears to be the case with my Kalas, e.g..

If folks out there are willing, could you please let me know what brand of uke you have, the model, and what the string spacing is at the nut and the saddle?

Thank you for your help and input. :-)

Hochapeafarm
04-13-2013, 02:43 PM
Hi, Mods! Should I have put this thread under Uke Beginners or another area? I am not generating any comments/responses here under Uke Talk. :confused: Thanks so much for your help! :)

mketom
04-13-2013, 03:07 PM
That's the spacing on all my sopranos - a Moore Bettah type O, a Kamaka standard and Kamaka pineapple, a Ken Timms type O, and a Mya-Moe super soprano. I have an Anuenue 1879 soprano that has a nut spacing that is a hair less than 3/8", and a hair more than 1/2" at the saddle - not enough to be a noticeable difference.

Same numbers on my Pono tenor, so I think you could say that the standard string spacing for ukuleles is 3/8" @ nut and 1/2" at the saddle.

connor013
04-13-2013, 03:49 PM
Yup -- same spacing here as well. 1 3/8" to 1 1/2" (ukes are in my signature).

I know Kanilea sometimes uses a 1.5" nut, as does National. I also think I remember a discussion about Ohanas being just a tiny bit wider or narrower than their competetion, but I can't remember which it was.

Hope this helps.

MGM
04-13-2013, 04:28 PM
You guys are talking apples and oranges....string spacing has nothing to do with nut width....There are tons of ukes 1-1/2 at nut with same spacing as a nut of 1-3/8" some have parallel strings others get wider as you go up the fretboard....to figure string spacing you need to measure outsides of the 1st to 4th string at nut and at Bridge saddle. Then check open spaces between strings..

connor013
04-13-2013, 04:33 PM
You guys are talking apples and oranges....string spacing has nothing to do with nut width....There are tons of ukes 1-1/2 at nut with same spacing as a nut of 1-3/8" some have parallel strings others get wider as you go up the fretboard....to figure string spacing you need to measure outsides of the 1st to 4th string at nut and at Bridge saddle. Then check open spaces between strings..

Of course you're right, Mike. I kind of ignored the string spacing part of the question; I think the question is more to do with nut width.

To my mind, it's worth discussing because the width of the fretboard affects (at least for me) the overall feel of the uke. I didn't like Kanilea's Islanders, for example, because it felt like the nut was too wide and the neck too chunky. (Thousands disagree with me.)

On the other end, I had a custom uke whose A string was slotted very close to the edge of the fretboard. As a result, any time I hammered on my finger would slip round the edge of the fretboard. That, for the record, did not sound good... at all.

mketom
04-13-2013, 04:39 PM
We were just answering the OP's query about what our ukes measured, so for conner013 and myself it's just apples. Maybe not a standard but a common design.

Hochapeafarm
04-13-2013, 05:19 PM
Thanks, everyone, for your help and the information! Yes, I have been wondering about the actual spacing between each string on the uke -- all of my ukes all measured 3/8" of space btwn each string at the nut, and then 1/2" of space btwn each string where they meet the saddle (4 Kalas and 1 Bruko).

I noticed that I had developed "finger memory" (if there is such a thing) for picking the strings with the spacing as noted above, so when I started to try to pick on a different make of uke with wider string spacing, my fingers had a hard time adjusting. I guess this is experience is what prompted me to research string spacing and how it's determined.

The above said, I sure would appreciate any additional feedback -- I am really interested in learning more about how other ukes are set-up with string spacing. I am interested in learning what determines string spacing -- width of nut? Width of saddle? Width/style of the fretboard?

Thank you so much, again, everyone! :-)

Kayak Jim
10-16-2013, 03:10 AM
This is an older thread but of current interest to me. It seems there is more talk about nut width than of string spacing further up the fretboard and both impact the feel of a uke.

I have a Kala tenor with string spacing (across all four strings) at the bridge of just over 1 3/4" (or just under 1 3/4" if I measure 2" away from the bridge in order to compare with my concerts). This feels wide to me and I have a bit of trouble with bar chords up the neck. Fingerpicking is admittedly easier with a bit more room.

My two Mainland concerts have a string spacing of just under 1 1/2" at the bridge. That 1/4" feels like a lot!

Few makers list nut size and even fewer still, string spacing. Collings concerts are 1.73" (i.e., wide)

I'm in the market for a slightly higher end uke but given my experience with the wider spacing on the Kala, this seems an important parameter for me at least. Anyone care to measure their k- brands (or others)?

Thanks
Jim B

xyz
10-16-2013, 05:16 AM
Here is the information for Ko'olau :
Fingerboard width at nut and 12th fret: 1-3/8” 1-11/16”

flyingace
10-16-2013, 05:22 AM
I haven't measured my two tenor ukes but I can tell you, as much as I LOVE my Kala Acacia Tenor, I'm loving the wider spacing at the bridge on my Fender NoHea Tenor!! much wider, easier to finger pick. Wish I could have that spacing on all my ukes!

Kayak Jim
10-16-2013, 09:46 AM
Here is the information for Ko'olau :
Fingerboard width at nut and 12th fret: 1-3/8 1-11/16

Thanks but it's the string spacing I'm looking for, not the finger board width. By string spacing I mean distance from the first string to the fourth string measured at the bridge.

dkame
10-16-2013, 05:01 PM
Made a few measurements - I'm surprised at the differences:

Kamaka White Label Soprano - 1" at nut, 1-3/8" at neck/body joint, 1-3/4" at bridge
Lanikai Concert - 1-1/8" at nut, 1-5/16" at neck/body joint, 1-1/2" at bridge
Kamaka Tenor - 1-1/4" at nut, 1-5/16" at neck/body joint, 1-7/16" at bridge

In all cases I measured the between the centers of the 1st and 4th strings.

kohanmike
10-16-2013, 07:52 PM
Of my five tenor ukes, there is a difference between the string spacing, but I haven't measured each. The Lanikai quilted ash flat head and Lanikai monkey pod slotted head are the widest and very similar, the Eddy Finn and Oscar Schmidt are the narrowest with flat heads and very similar, and the Gretsch with flat head is right in between, and probably the best uke of them all.

Kayak Jim
10-17-2013, 10:50 AM
OK, thanks for the input. Maybe I just need more time to get used to the wider spacing and switching from it back to narrow.