PDA

View Full Version : Breedlove Ukes.



Icelander53
06-20-2014, 05:54 AM
I'm always shopping around and I came across this brand of uke under a search for radiused fretboard for ukulele.

My gf has a Pono with a radiused fretboard. Frankly I'm not impressed with the sound of that particular Pono considering what it cost but I am impressed with the fret board playability. Barring chords is a breeze on that guy. Anyway I knew it would be hard to find radiused fretboards unless I wanted something custom built. However it seems Breedlove builds all it's ukes with radiused fretboards. Their starter models are about a Grand which is about my limit for something not custom built.

So what do you all say about this maker and his ukes? The factory is just a few hours drive from my door and it might be worth the trip. Are there any proud and happy (or the opposite) owners out there who can speak about these ukes? I'm all ears. Thanks

BTW I know they probably won't have as good of a deal at the factory unless I can find a second they are willing to part with. That's the only reason for going besides the fishing and hiking up there.

coolkayaker1
06-20-2014, 06:00 AM
Breedlove ukuleles have not garnered much adoration in the ukulele community, based on my reading posts on UU in recent times. I do not know why and have never played one. I have seen them come up on ukulele marketplaces quite often and they languish, from what I see. I'm sure others who own them can tell you more, but I just wanted to mention that Mim's Ukes sells them, and you might contact her if you choose to buy.

For me, and this is just my experience, I couldn't tell if a fretboard was radiused or not if I closed my eyes and played a uke (I own both radiused and non-radiused instruments). So, for me it makes no tactile or playability difference. Perhaps my fingers are just insensate. I appreciate your experience in seeking a radiused board since that works for you, Ice. Cool beans.

M3Ukulele
06-20-2014, 06:22 AM
The post I have read all say these are made well. Most comments on the entry $1000 sapele/spruce ( I think)say it is fairly bright so Worth Brown needed? I cannot relay much more except to say I'd like to try one. There is a good post on You Tube. If search Tenor Comparisons - you will find a very good comparison of a Moore Betta, MP, Breedlove and LDfM gypsy style uke ( I think) and you can hear the difference. They all sounded good to me but as you would expect Moore Betta and LDfM to me sounded the best. Note sure if this helps but they make nice guitars.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
06-20-2014, 07:04 AM
For me, and this is just my experience, I couldn't tell if a fretboard was radiused or not if I closed my eyes and played a uke (I own both radiused and non-radiused instruments). So, for me it makes no tactile or playability difference. Perhaps my fingers are just insensate. I appreciate your experience in seeking a radiused board since that works for you, Ice. Cool beans.

Agreed. Good set up including proper action are the biggest factors in good playability. I own both and they play identically.

OldePhart
06-20-2014, 07:13 AM
Re: radiused fretboards - some love them and some hate them or at least can't tell the difference. As Chuck mentions setup is the more important than whether the fretboard is radiused or flat. However, I wouldn't go so far as to say that a radiused fretboard doesn't make any difference. To some, it might not. But, depending on the shape, "padding," and flexibility particularly of your index finger a radius can make it easier/faster to get really clean barred chords. This is even more true where low, narrow frets are used.

So, most players probably aren't going to notice a radius an a uke with today's fairly high frets. But, my finger shape and the low frets on my Kiwaya longneck soprano make barre chords noticeably more "finicky" than on my other ukes (and this uke probably has the lowest action of any of my ukes). I think a radius would help immensely as I've had guitars with similar low, vintage, frets and barre chords weren't noticeably finicky on them.

As for the Breedlove brand - I've not heard anything bad about them and their guitars enjoy a decent reputation. If you're close enough to be able to drive down and try some out I would think that would be a very worthwhile trip whether you ultimately decide one is for you or not.


John

Brad Bordessa
06-20-2014, 07:23 AM
I played one years ago. Thought it was a pretty solid instrument. It had a nice feel. Definitely in my "top 5 best 'ukuleles I've played" category (though towards the bottom).

RichM
06-20-2014, 07:44 AM
I have never played a Breedlove uke, but I owned a few Breedlove mandolins in my mandolin-focused days, and I thought they were great. In a world where the most basic Gibson mandolin lists at about three thousand bucks, Breedlove was offering a sold, fully-carved American-made mandolin for about a thousand bucks. That's a lot of uke money, but really rock bottom for a quality mandolin. Based on that, I'd say it's worth a visit to try the ukes out; Kim Breedlove is a clever and innovative builder/designer, and I'd love to try one of his ukes out.

Patrick Madsen
06-20-2014, 07:54 AM
Brian Griffin of Griffin Ukes make a decent radiuses tenor for less than a grand.http://www.griffinukuleles.com

Cheeso
06-20-2014, 10:08 AM
I've got a Breedlove tenor and it's a beautiful sounding uke, wonderful tone, feels very well made, the neck is really comfortable and the radiused-fretboard helps with fretting barre chords. I love mine.

Icelander53
06-20-2014, 11:17 AM
Re: radiused fretboards - some love them and some hate them or at least can't tell the difference. As Chuck mentions setup is the more important than whether the fretboard is radiused or flat. However, I wouldn't go so far as to say that a radiused fretboard doesn't make any difference. To some, it might not. But, depending on the shape, "padding," and flexibility particularly of your index finger a radius can make it easier/faster to get really clean barred chords. This is even more true where low, narrow frets are used.

So, most players probably aren't going to notice a radius an a uke with today's fairly high frets. But, my finger shape and the low frets on my Kiwaya longneck soprano make barre chords noticeably more "finicky" than on my other ukes (and this uke probably has the lowest action of any of my ukes). I think a radius would help immensely as I've had guitars with similar low, vintage, frets and barre chords weren't noticeably finicky on them.

As for the Breedlove brand - I've not heard anything bad about them and their guitars enjoy a decent reputation. If you're close enough to be able to drive down and try some out I would think that would be a very worthwhile trip whether you ultimately decide one is for you or not.


John

I think you're right. A drive up there this summer is in order. That's the way to get a reasonable idea of the playability of the uke without springing for one sight unseen. I'm going camping in that direction soon anyway,

Icelander53
06-20-2014, 11:19 AM
I've got a Breedlove tenor and it's a beautiful sounding uke, wonderful tone, feels very well made, the neck is really comfortable and the radiused-fretboard helps with fretting barre chords. I love mine.

Thanks for chiming in. Can you describe the neck a little for me? Fretboard width, neck thickness? I like a little fatter neck all around so that would likely be a plus.

dalamaricus
06-20-2014, 01:12 PM
Here is the comparison video that someone mentioned, which includes a spruce/mahogany Breedlove

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?57396-Tenor-Ukulele-Comparison-Video

Icelander53
06-20-2014, 02:37 PM
Hey thanks a bunch. I appreciate that.

Icelander53
06-20-2014, 03:10 PM
Well I think the Breedlove comes in last here like most folk but I honestly can't make a judgement when the same strings are not being used. I find the strings can make a huge difference in sound. I would have liked to have heard the Breedlove with the T2s or Aquila's. I'm guessing I would have prefered the sound over the Worths but I really don't know without hearing.