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Thread: New Build - Fred Shields Custom Long Neck Soprano

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Default New Build - Fred Shields Custom Long Neck Soprano

    Build Pictures are #18, 24, and #25.
    **************************************

    I'm working my way back.

    After a long absence due to a variety of circumstances, I am trying to get back into the swing of things and what better way to do it than to commission a new hand made solid wood Uke.

    As most of us would follow Brenda (solorule) off a cliff, I too decided to drink the Kool Aid and see what she was so excited about when it came to Fred Shields and his Ukuleles, a very experienced Uke builder near San Diego, California.

    I spent lots of time talking with her and questioned a few others and, after many emails with a very accommodating and quick to answer Mr Shields himself, I decided on the following:

    The list is my descriptions of what I am getting, so it may not be technically worded correctly.


    * Modified Pineapple Soprano Body. (pictures to follows to show sizing.)

    * Sycamore Top. (He showed me a spralted piece that looked great.)

    * Sycamore on the headstock to match body. (Rounded top shape).

    * Cherry back and sides.

    * Concert scale neck (14 7/8)

    * 1.5 neck neck width.

    * Flat 5/8 inch neck or approximate, D shaped.

    * 14 frets to the body.

    * 2 1/4 inch depth at the bout.

    * Mahogany Neck.

    * Gotoh UPT's.

    * Rosewood bindings.

    * Indian Rosewood Fingerboard and Bridge.

    * Nut and Saddle are black acrylic.

    * Low Action.

    * High G reentrant tuning.

    Pictures will follow as I get them from Mr Shields.
    Last edited by rappsy; 08-16-2019 at 08:49 AM.

  2. #2
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    Mar 2014
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    image.jpgimage.jpg


    So good to have you back my friend. Nothing like a custom ukes to get you excited and back in the swing of things.

    Have you given thought to Gotoh UPT tuners instead of friction tuners. Both Brenda and I have them on our Fred Shields. Mine are black on black they work great , my fav tuners and I think they look sharp
    Currently enjoying these ukuleles : *LdfM tenor, *LfdM 19" super tenor. *LfdM baritone, *I'iwi tenor , *Koolau tenor, *Webber tenor, *Kimo tenor, *Kimo super concert, *Mya Moe baritone, *Kamaka baritone, *Gianinni baritone, *Fred Shields super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
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    Congratulations Lenny , my buddy.....welcome back !
    Very excited for you.
    Will this uke be ready by end of the summer? I know he builds fast! Looking forward to seeing your pictures!
    “Following me off the cliff “ ha ha. I am honoured !!!

  4. #4
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    Hi Dave:

    I actually had that on the original order, but decided to take it off as I thought the weight of it, considering this is already a concert scale, would make it top heavy. He recommended using Grover Frictions, so I took his advice. I also thought that Brenda had frictions.

    As I know you love this kind of thing, wait till you see the pic of the spralted sycamore piece of wood that he is working with. You'll appreciate it.
    Last edited by rappsy; 07-31-2019 at 08:07 AM.

  5. #5
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    Lenny, I also have the concert neck super soprano pineapple. I donít find it head heavy but I do use a strap. If you notice I have it strung low G with wound 4th & 3rd strings. The long neck and pineapple body shape support that tuning surprisingly well.

    206FE0CA-64D6-4EDB-A21B-CB9CB6501F4F.jpg
    Currently enjoying these ukuleles : *LdfM tenor, *LfdM 19" super tenor. *LfdM baritone, *I'iwi tenor , *Koolau tenor, *Webber tenor, *Kimo tenor, *Kimo super concert, *Mya Moe baritone, *Kamaka baritone, *Gianinni baritone, *Fred Shields super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

  6. #6
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    I very rarely use straps, but after discussions with Mr. Shields, we decided on this. If I find that the frictions aren't working as well as I'd like, I'll have them replaced locally.

    I am going to have it reentrant initally, but am considering the possibility of one day going Low G. I would put on some sort of squeakless strings as the wound sounds drive me up a wall...

    You're walnut Uke is really something. I'm looking forward to adding this top to the contingent of FS Ukes.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
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    Your pineapple body is larger than mine , Kathryn and Dave
    It will have bigger volume.

  8. #8
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    Glad to see you back Lenny........you have been missed my friend. Congrats on the Shields, real nice wood combo.
    Last edited by stevejfc; 07-31-2019 at 12:44 PM.

  9. #9
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    Welcome back to UU fold, Lenny. When Taimane Gardner gave her Florida debut concert about a month and a half ago, I was surprised I not to find you in the audience. Glad to see you return.

    Sycamore and cherry with a jarah fretboard? Your Fred Shields custom specs fascinate me. What is the rationale behind the acrylic nut and saddle?
    "Who hears music, feels his solitude Peopled at once -- for how count heart-beats plain / Unless a company, with hearts which beat, / Come close to the musician, seen or no?" - Robert Browning, "Balaustion's Adventure"

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bacchettadavid View Post
    Welcome back to UU fold, Lenny. When Taimane Gardner gave her Florida debut concert about a month and a half ago, I was surprised I not to find you in the audience. Glad to see you return.

    Sycamore and cherry with a jarah fretboard? Your Fred Shields custom specs fascinate me. What is the rationale behind the acrylic nut and saddle?
    I thought I remembered Taimane being here a year or so ago, at the 1st uke festival in the Panhandle. A friend of mine went and said she was amazing.

    Sycamore being one of the fastest growing woods there is, I didn't know you could make a soundboard of of it.....
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

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