Soprano neck depths

bsfloyd

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Hello gang! More commonly we talk about nut widths on soprano, and I agree it is surely an important factor on playability for the little buggers, but rarely I have seen discussion on neck depths / profiles.

As I have very limited resources locally for higher end, quality ukuleles, I would like to know your experiences with the different neck depths from different makers for soprano scale instruments. My current soprano is a Martin S-O which I find the neck profile to be on the shallow side. Surely, this is the only soprano I have played and can not compare it to others - but I am looking to get another soprano, purchased online, and would like to know what manufacturers might offer a deeper profile and those that are on the opposite end of the spectrum. I thought I have read here that Loprinizi instruments have very thin neck profiles, while Brueko look to be a tad deeper? I would love to here your findings. Thanks.
 

Ukecaster

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Yes, the LoPrinzi necks are indeed thin (I'm talking top to bottom). My LoPrinzi tenor is about the thinnest I've ever seen, compared to Ohana and Mainland tenors that I've played, which were 17-19mm thick. Pono tenors generally have even fatter necks, at least the ones I've played, which were about 21mm thick. A concert Fluke was also pretty fat at 19mm.

I'll measure the LoPrinzi tenor next time I have the strings off. Re that one, it also has the thinnest headstock I've seen on a tenor, only about 9.5mm, I'm not even sure if Gotoh UPTs would work on that one, as their lower headstock range is 10mm.

Re sopranos, the thinnest soprano neck I've played was a 50s/60s Kamaka gold label soprano, a very thin, hand carved flatback neck, only 12mm thick. Next was a Timms at 13mm. Martin (both vintage & modern), Favilla and Kiwaya sops I've owned were in the 14-16mm range, a Martin Bamboo was 17mm, Kalas were 16.5-17mm, and a Bruko sop was a fatty at 18mm. All these were measured near the nut.
 
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RafterGirl

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I briefly owned a Famous (Kiwaya) soprano and did not care for the neck profile. Flatter and more D-shaped. My Imua soprano seems “middle of the road” and comfy.
 

maxmax

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I’m with you, I also prefer a deeper necked soprano.

I unfortunately can’t say with measurements, but can say that the older (vintage-ier?) Martins, before they reshaped the headstock and put the name on it, have deeper, rounder necks than the later ones. Not very deep, but still more comfortable than the others which are very flat.

The deepest neck uke I’ve ever seen is on a Gretsch banjolele I got for my daughter. It’s not a great uke, but the depthness of it was what even made me realize how much more relaxed my hands are playing a deeper neck.
 

bsfloyd

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Thanks for the replies, all. I too find thicker neck profiles more comfortable, which lends to more relaxed playing for me as well. Though I still have very limited experience with ukuleles, I always prefer deeper neck profiles (and more rounded - like RafterGirl I'm not much for the D or U shape profiles) with my guitars. I REALLY like to vintage V neck and soft V neck profiles. I think it might be interesting to see a ukulele come with a V neck...
 

Jerryc41

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I have noticed that neck sizes vary, but after playing for a few minutes, my fingers adapt.
 

joakiml

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I have noticed that neck sizes vary, but after playing for a few minutes, my fingers adapt.

Same here. While I generally prefer thinner neck profiles, my fingers/hands seems to adapt fairly quick.

Cheers
Kimmy
 

bsfloyd

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Thanks for the replies, gang. My fingers always seem to adapt to whatever instrument I'm playing at the time because I've played them all before - be it ukulele, acoustic guitar, classical guitar, crossover guitar, electric guitar, etc., but I always feel more comfortable with a more substantial neck depth profile in my hand when doing so. Of course different players will prefer a different feel from one to another.