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Thread: 12- fret vs 14-fret concerts

  1. #1
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    Default 12- fret vs 14-fret concerts

    Many modern concerts seem to have 14 frets to the body. But I have seen some with only 12 frets to the body, which results in the bridge being further down towards the bottom. As far as K-brands, Kamaka seems to use 12, Kanilea and Koolau use 14, and it looks like the Koaloha KCM-00 has 13 frets to the body. The Martin C1K has 12. I've seen talk of builders wanting to place the bridge in "the sweet spot", and not sure how the 12 fret vs 14 fret thing affects that.

    If someone, like me, is more of a strummer, and not playing up high, is there better sound to be had with a 12-fret concert?
    Last edited by Ukecaster; 01-10-2019 at 05:19 AM.
    John

  2. #2

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    I'm having my Loprinzi concert built with 12 frets to the body. I personally prefer the look of a 12 fret.
    Not sure if you've seen it but here's a video from MyaMoe showing a difference between their 12 and 14 fret concerts.
    It was one of the only videos I could find on the subject after looking a while ago.

    Ukuleles:
    Kala Elite 1MHG-S
    Kala Elite 1KOA-T
    Soon - LoPrinzi Custom Concert
    Ohana SK-25

  3. #3
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    Thanks Curt, that was indeed very informative! They seem to say that there's not much difference in the sound between the 12 and 14 fret models.
    John

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ukecaster View Post
    Thanks Curt, that was indeed very informative! They seem to say that there's not much difference in the sound between the 12 and 14 fret models.
    No problem. I wish they could've compared two of concerts made from the same tone wood.

    I've read where some people say that with the bridge set back farther it should give better sound/tone, but like they said in the video, it's probably hardly a difference.
    Ukuleles:
    Kala Elite 1MHG-S
    Kala Elite 1KOA-T
    Soon - LoPrinzi Custom Concert
    Ohana SK-25

  5. #5
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    Default

    Great video! Thanks for sharing it!

    It pretty much hit my expectation that other changes would have a larger effect (I was surprised they expected it to have more of an affect than the woods), and I'd love to hear a comparison with more identical instruments. Even so (and based on what I've heard on guitars) I'd think the sound would be different but not necessarily better. Just like different tonewoods, "better" is in your-mileage-may-vary land.

    That said, all else equal, if I couldn't listen to the actual instrument to compare, and if I didn't expect to play up the neck I'd pick a 12 fret. But that's just me and all else is rarely equal.

  6. #6
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    For me I much prefer a 12 fret. I too am primarily a strummer and really have no use for anything past say the 9th fret. Especially those frets that are on the body of the instrument. I would think since there is less wood connected to the top of the uke, regarding the fretboard extension, that it would allow it to vibrate more freely even its its only slightly. Plus it looks so darn cool!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ukecaster View Post
    and it looks like the Koaloha KCM-00 has 13 frets to the body
    Interesting, I have a 2000 KoAloha concert and it has 12 frets. They really change their design very often it seems.

  8. #8
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    A few times I wondered what it means for the sound of a longneck soprano or longneck concert, that the bridge is placed very close to the bottom of the body.

    Such as this, which both has 14 frets to the body and the bridge placed close to the bottom:
    http://worldofukes.co.uk/concert-uku...oncert-ukulele

    Looking at the range of concert ukuleles in the same webshop as the above, it seems that a lot of them have 14 frets to the body. More than has 12 frets to the body. And it doesn't necessarily mean that the bridge is closer to the soundhole og bottom, most of them adjust their body shape.

    Hm. Looks best to me with a somewhat centered bridge between hole and bottom. Regardless of number of frets.
    Ohana SK30M mahogany super-soprano, Cort UKEBWCOP Blackwood concert, Anuenue African Mahogany Tenor, Fluke Koa Tenor, Hora M1176 spruce Tenor

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Astein2006 View Post
    For me I much prefer a 12 fret. I too am primarily a strummer and really have no use for anything past say the 9th fret. Especially those frets that are on the body of the instrument. I would think since there is less wood connected to the top of the uke, regarding the fretboard extension, that it would allow it to vibrate more freely even its its only slightly. Plus it looks so darn cool!
    I agree. It does look so much better with 12 to the body and no extension.
    Ukuleles:
    Kala Elite 1MHG-S
    Kala Elite 1KOA-T
    Soon - LoPrinzi Custom Concert
    Ohana SK-25

  10. #10
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    I too would like have a 12 fret to the body concert ukulele. They are hard to find.
    Seems this 14 fret to the body was copied from an acoustic steel string guitar, perhaps from greedy newcomers appreciating more frets fad. Well uke is a plastic string instrument same as a classical guitar.

    I find the octave of the string much easier when it is at the body, instead 2 frets off too, just my opinion

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