Binding: Yes or No

Binding: Yes or No


  • Total voters
    29
  • Poll closed .

BenJazz

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May 26, 2020
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Say Yes to binding? Or say No to binding?:):D
In my opinion. I say Yes to binding.

Benjamin
 

man0a

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Sep 22, 2019
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Depends on the quality and the price. I don't think a cheap plastic binding adds anything and can hide flaws. A pretty wood binding is worth paying something for, but those are a big price increase from some brands.
 

Cadia

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Apr 13, 2020
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I love a nice wood binding. That being said, my favorite and best sounding ukes do not have binding.
 

Dohle

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Aug 23, 2019
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I generally like and prefer binding but I usually won't pay for it if it costs extra.
 

TopDog

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Feb 12, 2016
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434
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I prefer a plain ukulele with a decent wood grain. Binding is just bling to me.
 

Graham Greenbag

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Binding protects the join, or at least it should if it is installed correctly. The major reason for getting binding is to protect the edges where the join is.

If you worry about how it looks or think it is "bling" you do not understand why it is there.

Obviously no maker is going to install ugly binding if you ask for it. It will always be chosen with some attention to aesthetics, but it is there to protect the edge.

That’s pretty much my view, although it might look nice binding is (IMHO) primarily protective and might give a more rounded (more comfortable) edge. I currently have an old solid wood Soprano that doesn’t have any binding - it’s not a particularly valuable instrument - whilst in theory it is more at risk of damage than my other bound Ukes in practice the risk is so low as to be negligible. Admittedly some Ukes are more fragile and or more expensive than others but overall I think that binding is something that typically isn’t worth too much thought and when practical I’m happy to do without it. Whilst normally considered an asset binding can, in a remote way, also be a liability too as occasionally it comes loose and/or shrinks, etc., creating a need for repair.

Edit. When you stop and thing about it the traditional Martin Style 0 doesn’t have binding and there’s still a lot of those instruments about that have managed fine without it. When they eventually brake it seems to be splits in the top and back that are the killers, and maybe the neck needing resetting.
 
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frets alot

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May 20, 2012
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Depends. On the nicer ukes, binding can be nicely done. Binding on cheap ukes sometimes looks cheap. I have a Pono with no binding, and it actually has a real classy conservative look without binding. So for me, it's up to the instrument/maker.
 

tonyturley

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Aug 29, 2018
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Since I build my own ukes, I give a qualified yes. For me, bindings add both beauty and edge protection, but I want them simple. Just a strip of wood without a bunch of accents, and on some instruments, I bind the top only to protect the edge of the softer soundboard. I have zero interest in rope, abalone, or other such bindings, and I don't bother with purfling strips. I have built some instruments with no binding at all.
 

snowdenn

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Aug 16, 2019
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For me, binding is mostly an aesthetic choice. I'm not saying it's not supposed to function as edge protection, but for the kind of use and handling my ukes get, I haven't needed that extra protection. So I only like it when it enhances the appearance of the ukulele. And usually when I see binding I like, it's wood and without purfling. But my favorite edges are the bindingless ones found on spruce-topped Rebels and Opios. I don't know if anybody else makes rounded edges like that, but the transition between different woods on those looks (and feels) amazing.
 

KohanMike

Los Angeles
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Sep 15, 2013
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I'm fine either way, but in looking at my nine, seven have binding, plus three of my four acoustic bass ukes, so obviously I like binding more. I have in plastic; abalone, black, creme, tortoise, pearl, and in wood; spalted mango, padauck, mahogany, rosewood, and flame maple.


This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly Grove near the Beverly Center
9 tenor cutaway ukes, 4 acoustic bass ukes, 12 solid body bass ukes, 14 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 39)

• Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
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ripock

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Feb 27, 2017
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who wouldn't want binding? I wouldn't buy a car without a bumper even though bumping something with my car is completely out of the question. I would just get a car with a bumper because that is what complete cars have. Same thing with the ukulele and binding. You get binding because that's how quality instruments come.

Just to clarify I'm not talking about ostentatious ornamentation. My favorite ukulele has English cherrywood binding on planewood body and it is less than a centimeter wide. It is not prominent, but it is there (as it should)

And we're not talking about purfling, right? I don't know the formal definition of purfling, but to me it is the ornamental stuff around the edge of the soundboard (and often matched with a rosette). For example, my kamaka has a substantial (wider than my planewood uke's binding) black binding and around the edge of the soundboard and around the soundhole there is a wide line of triple-colored inlay (looks like mother of pearl or some shiny enamel). That's completely different than binding.