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View Full Version : Favourite Sophistications



Laouik
07-11-2014, 03:02 PM
I'm curious. What are people's favourite added details, features, functions? Sound port? Arm Rests? Certain exotic wood? What's something you didn't think was worthwhile until you experienced it and now want it on all your ukes?

Nickie
07-11-2014, 03:14 PM
Pre-amp and gloss finish.

PhilUSAFRet
07-11-2014, 03:17 PM
Pre-amp and gloss finish.

:agree: What Nickie said

Doc_J
07-11-2014, 04:05 PM
Slotted headstock, sound port, Gotoh UPTs (if not slotted headstock), UST pickup.

RichM
07-11-2014, 04:20 PM
Sound port is definitely one of those things you don't get until you have one, and then you totally get it. I couldn't understand why UPTs would be better than Pegheds until I got some UPTs. Now I'm all about UPTs.

janeray1940
07-11-2014, 04:37 PM
I couldn't understand why UPTs would be better than Pegheds until I got some UPTs. Now I'm all about UPTs.

And that makes two of us! When I got my first uke with Pegheds, it didn't blow me away enough to want to replace the friction tuners on my others ukes. UPTs on the other hand - I still haven't done it, but I looked into pricing to have my luthier swap out my friction tuners for UPTs, and I'm pretty sure I'll do it if I ever have a pocket full of spare change again. They're that good!

ETA: I was so caught up in dreaming of swapping out my friction tuners that I neglected to mention my OTHER "favourite sophisication" - the 14-fret join! There are arguments for and against it that go way over my head; all I know is that as a fingerstyle player who uses all of those frets way up the neck, I think it's brilliant.

Rick Turner
07-11-2014, 04:41 PM
Surely you don't mean Gotoh UPTs on a slotted peghead! Go with Rubners for that.

Jim Hanks
07-11-2014, 04:48 PM
Surely you don't mean Gotoh UPTs on a slotted peghead! Go with Rubners for that.
I don't think Hodge meant they all had to be on the same uke. Have you seen his stable?!?

Personally, I don't "get" the slotted headstock on a uke, but I can go with the other three.

Ukejenny
07-11-2014, 05:21 PM
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful wood.

And, I don't have a custom ukulele, but all the photos y'all post - the woods being used - it is amazing.

NewKid
07-11-2014, 05:30 PM
+1 beautiful, beautiful wood and a high gloss finish to show it off. I've also gravitated towards unusual body shapes such as my LFdM ukaferri cut-away, Boat Paddle ML-Style, and Ukiyo Vita.

The Compass Rose mini-jumbo is also very attractive to me because of its unique shape.

Icelander53
07-11-2014, 05:35 PM
Radiused fretboard. I heard a lot of talk about them being irrelevant on ukes so they really didn't make it on my radar. Then I got to play a PONO with one and found barre chords a total pleasure where they had usually been an ongoing struggle. I mean it was not a subtle difference. So then I bought my own PONO with it with the same results. It's really nice to play on in general. I can't honestly say though I wouldn't own a uke without one. My Gretsch plays almost as easily for barring chords and over all it plays easier than any uke I've ever come across. You'll likely have to pry that guy out of my hands after I'm dead. But all my other ukes are a pain to barre.

And to be honest I'd really have to play on other radiused fretboards to know with any certainty that it's the radius part that makes the difference in barring but I'm fairly sure because I have played a PONO without the radiused fretboard and barring chords was hard for me.

Dan Uke
07-11-2014, 08:41 PM
Personally, I don't "get" the slotted headstock on a uke, but I can go with the other three.

hahaha...and this is coming from someone who doesn't own all traditional shaped ukes!!

For me, high gloss nitro finish, UPT tuners if not slotted and side sound port.

kypfer
07-11-2014, 09:31 PM
What are people's favourite added details, features, functions? Strap pin and strap ... absolutely no argument ;)

Camsuke
07-11-2014, 09:42 PM
Sound quality & playability are the most important to me by a long shot.

The Big Kahuna
07-11-2014, 10:03 PM
Compliments and approval from other UU members :)

The Big Kahuna
07-11-2014, 10:29 PM
I was just trying to imagine what those things would be like ;)

therinkydinktink
07-12-2014, 01:07 AM
For me at the moment with my fairly cheap ukes the most important thing is proximity;)

dickadcock
07-12-2014, 01:35 AM
dose helpful holes:
68771

Jim Hanks
07-12-2014, 02:06 AM
hahaha...and this is coming from someone who doesn't own all traditional shaped ukes!!
.
Interesting observation. It's true I like unconventional features - 19" baritone, longneck soprano, pineapple tenor, 16" concert (don't have that one yet), side port. I think that's why I don't really care for slotted headstock - it just screams "conventional guitar shape". Oh well, no accounting for taste, eh? :p

Jim Hanks
07-12-2014, 02:08 AM
dose helpful holes:
68771
:stop: before I have to call UPS (uke protective services) on you for this abuse. :biglaugh:

Laouik
07-12-2014, 05:47 AM
Sound quality & playability are the most important to me by a long shot.

But once you've established that a company/luthier can provide this, what tickles your fancy?

bennyhana22
07-12-2014, 06:36 AM
The less "sophisticated" the better for me. Simple, unadorned instrument that just sounds good. No inlay work, crazy wood figure, rosettes and purfling, just a traditional figure 8 shape that has a great tone. The only thing that I wish I'd discovered earlier is how wonderful macadamia and walnut are as tonewoods. Should I ever have another custom instrument, it will certainly be constructed from one of these.

Totally this, for me. The only thing I would add is that I would always want my top and back to be non bookmatched. It makes my cherry Pete Howlett soprano just the simplest, coolest ukulele in the World. And he doesn't make sops anymore. So mine is even specialer!

Ben

KevinV
07-12-2014, 06:50 AM
I like nitro finishes on any uke. I prefer peghead tuners on sopranos, and slotted headstocks on tenors.

Icelander53
07-12-2014, 09:39 AM
Strap pin and strap ... absolutely no argument ;)

add this^ to my post

Rick Turner
07-12-2014, 09:50 AM
Of the tricks we build with, my fave is the cantilevered fingerboard. Next would be the side port, though I don't have it on my older "go-to" Compass Rose tenor; my next player will have a side port and a 14 fret neck.

And end pins...I cannot believe that they are not standard on all ukes. You would not believe how many I install at events like the Asilomar Uke Retreat and the Wine Country Uke Festival. I think I put close to 30 in at Asilomar a couple of months ago, and I ran out.

For the kind of music I'm playing these days, I also want a 14 fret or even 16 fret Bb uke tuned A, Bb, D, G. There are a number of tunes in our (Uke Ellington) repertoire that would suit a lower tuned tenor. At 16 frets, it could be capoed at the 2nd fret and then essentially be a regular tenor. Then I'd have to put two sets of LED side markers in it with a capo activated switch to shift from open to 2nd fret capoed. Don't laugh too hard; I might just do it. I started putting LED side markers in guitars and basses in 1970.

dirtiestkidever
07-12-2014, 12:09 PM
I have to go with Gotoh UPT tuners. I thought PegHeds were great but somehow the UPTs are even better. Frankly both are great. I certainly couldn't see purchasing another uke with the stick out style geared tuners.

dirtiestkidever
07-12-2014, 12:12 PM
The only thing that I wish I'd discovered earlier is how wonderful macadamia and walnut are as tonewoods. Should I ever have another custom instrument, it will certainly be constructed from one of these.

Interesting. How would you describe the tone they provide?

kohanmike
07-12-2014, 02:05 PM
I'll also go with two strap buttons, I've put them on all my ukes. As well, I've installed a preamp with a tuner on my ukes that didn't have one. Another thought, I just ordered a custom uke with a tailpiece, it's in transit and I'm very curious how well it works because I'm planning to add one to a custom mandolele I'm about to order.

http://www.fairfax67.com/images/BWA gypsy done 1b.jpg

http://www.fairfax67.com/images/Mandolele black.jpg

katysax
07-12-2014, 02:06 PM
Peghed or UPT Tuners
Hard case
Figured wood
Gloss
Strap buttons
Pickup
"Something" unique to the luthier

I don't have a single uke with all these.

Camsuke
07-12-2014, 02:17 PM
But once you've established that a company/luthier can provide this, what tickles your fancy?
Great sounding & playing ukuleles generally take a fair bit of finding. Everything else after that is a bonus pretty much.

Laouik
07-12-2014, 03:39 PM
Great sounding & playing ukuleles generally take a fair bit of finding. Everything else after that is a bonus pretty much.

That's what a sophistication is, a bonus, an embellishment, something above and beyond :)

bonesigh
07-12-2014, 03:55 PM
Curly wood, cut away (must have), side port, radiused, glossy, strap buttons and pickup and inlay of Bonsai tree over the soundhole.

Camsuke
07-12-2014, 06:30 PM
These Gotoh Planetary tuners are very nice.

Dan Uke
07-12-2014, 07:55 PM
These Gotoh Planetary tuners are very nice.

yeah, I don't understand why tuners have more than 4 : 1 ratio.

katysax
07-13-2014, 04:16 AM
yeah, I don't understand why tuners have more than 4 : 1 ratio.

They were designed for guitar strings where 14:1 is useful.

haole
07-13-2014, 07:54 AM
Good tone.

Steveperrywriter
07-13-2014, 10:38 AM
A slightly wider fretboard appeals to me, as do fine tuners. When I talk to a luthier, I have seen his or her work, and have an idea of what they can do, so I usually ask for their input on bling, purfling, binding, and such. I want them to work happy, and if they are doing something they enjoy, that kind of collaboration is good for us both.

The Big Kahuna
07-13-2014, 10:42 AM
6 strings, 25" scale, 24 frets, solid body, active pickups, Floyd Rose trem, ebony fingerboard

Hang on...I'm not playing this right, am I?

Nickie
07-13-2014, 03:39 PM
Qhat are UPT tuners please?

RichM
07-13-2014, 03:42 PM
Qhat are UPT tuners please?

Planetary gear tuners made by Gotoh (Ukulele Planetary Tuners):

http://s4ee134128e51b.img.gostorego.com/809E82/cdn/media/s4/ee/13/41/28/e5/1b/catalog/product/cache/1/image/6e3e117d8c70e39179cbb6e84d26cc33/g/o/gotoh_upt-options_copy.jpg

Nickie
07-13-2014, 03:45 PM
Thank you!

iDavid
07-13-2014, 05:43 PM
I am contemplating a zero fret....

Love the UPT tuners and sound port.

Dan Uke
07-15-2014, 08:38 AM
I am contemplating a zero fret....

Love the UPT tuners and sound port.

I've had zero fret but I didn't like it too much as it makes it more difficult to change the action. Secondly, you still need a nut to hold the string in place if you bend notes.

Skrik
07-16-2014, 07:41 AM
Lots of binding. Everywhere. And black wood.