View Full Version : Tenor Uke-13 frets to the body - Any Advantage?

09-27-2013, 12:45 PM
I was looking at the Collings ukes which everyone says plays so nice and I noticed that on the Tenor it was 13 frets to the body. Is there any advantage or disadvantage to this as most other Tenor ukes have 14 or 15 frets to the body? One custom uke company said they can make it what ever I like. What would be the optimum setup?

09-27-2013, 12:50 PM
Some builders make 12 and 14 fret models of tenor. Different people debate the slight change in bridge placement and where the "sweet spot" is. I wouldn't fret it.:D

09-27-2013, 01:36 PM
12 fret to body was traditional. It places the saddle right in the middle of the lower bout for the biggest sound. 14 fret to body is most common these days as it allows better upper fret access yet the saddle is now less than ideally placed in the lower bout.

13 fret to body is just splitting the difference. You would have to try it to see if you like it. Changing from different instruments with different distances to the body all the time MAY put off your ability to play accurately without looking so the benefit may not be all that great in the end.


09-27-2013, 02:07 PM
i have a 15 fret.....and ihave to raise the saddle a bit....

09-27-2013, 02:24 PM
My Dave Newton Tenor is 13 frets. Normally I would prefer 12 fret because I like the look and bridge placement. However, I made my choice because i have a few songs that I strum an open harmonic and the 13 frets offers perfect access.

09-27-2013, 03:00 PM
It depends on the uke maker. But like anthonyg said, it is usually a good compromise between reaching the 12th/13th fret and having the bridge in the sweet spot. Collings does that. My Makapili custom has 13 frets to the body for this very reason. I really don't like 12 frets to the body very much on a tenor, feels off.

Many builder design with 14 frets to body in mind, like the micro jumbo-body Compass Rose with 14 frets. If a uke sounds best with 14-frets to body get that. Most of my tenors have 14 frets to the body and sound great.