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Thread: Pros and Cons of large radius fingerboard?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
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    13

    Default Pros and Cons of large radius fingerboard?

    Could those in the know kindly shed some light on ordering a ukulele with a large fingerboard curvature. (ie 7.5-9.5)
    Also, how does scale length figure into the issue. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    JoCo, NC (near Raleigh)
    Posts
    4,552

    Default

    It's personal preference. I know Jonathan Dale has done some in the 7 range: http://jupiteruke.com/?s=Radius

    Scale length does not figure at all since radius goes across the fretboard and scale length is down the fretboard
    Ukulele:
    Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - A, WoU Clarity
    Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    Imua iET-Bb, M600
    Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    Rogue bari
    Bonanza super tenor, cFAD SC LHU
    Kala KSLNG, Eb SC XLU
    Flea soprano, C LW
    Hanson 5-string tenor, dGCEA
    Bonanza SLN GCEA
    Bonanzalele concert
    Guitars:
    Jupiter #47, G, TI CF127

    !Flukutronic!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Pickering, ON, Canada
    Posts
    5,740

    Default

    If you play electric guitar or cello and are comfortable with that much radius then go for it. I know a cello player here that ordered a custom uke with I believe a 10” and is very happy because that is what he is use to.

    Most ukuleles with a radius fretboard are either 12” or 16”, I have both and a 14”. If you order something with a 7.5-9.5 radius it would be hard to resell it in the used market because it is very non-standard.
    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

  4. #4

    Default

    I've spoken to quite a number of luthiers and each has their own "standard" radius unless you ask for different. I've been quoted anything from 9", 10" and 12". My feel is that 16" is almost essentially a flat radius, but that's just my feel.
    K
    Sopranos, Concerts, and Tenors including Baritone body at a Tenor Scale - 4 String, 5 String and 8 String :-)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    3,840

    Default

    I wonder if one could cut a rounded saddle then and play it with a bow? You would have a violele.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    I just want everyone to understand that I am not a ukulele expert, even though it may look at times like I'm pretending to be.

    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...tective+Agency

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    264

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    There are no Pros and Cons.

    There is only what is comfortable for you to pkay and what sounds right for you.

    To give you an example.

    I longed for a Fender Stratocaster so I bought one but could not live with the neck, for me it was very uncomfortable to play.

    Then I went out and tried just about every other guitar.

    I then picked up a Gibson SG and loathed its feel and balance,

    Then I tried a Gibson Les Paul and it was like finding a long lost friend.

    Now its a Gibson or nothing for me.

    Hence play as many different makes and types as you can and buy what feels right, totally ignore the make.

    Its what feels and sounds right that will work for you.

    There is to much maker snobbery in owning and playing musical instruments since it is what works for the musician that matters.
    Col.
    From the UK with a bad case of MIAS.
    Korg PA700, Korg Kross 2, Gibson LP, Fender Jazz Bass,
    + Amps, PA, Boss GT100, mixer.
    Ukes - Kala KA-TEME and Risa ST electric solid body.
    Uke wish list, a Bass, make and model yet to be determined

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    JoCo, NC (near Raleigh)
    Posts
    4,552

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rllink View Post
    I wonder if one could cut a rounded saddle then and play it with a bow? You would have a violele.

    Ukulele:
    Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - A, WoU Clarity
    Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    Imua iET-Bb, M600
    Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    Rogue bari
    Bonanza super tenor, cFAD SC LHU
    Kala KSLNG, Eb SC XLU
    Flea soprano, C LW
    Hanson 5-string tenor, dGCEA
    Bonanza SLN GCEA
    Bonanzalele concert
    Guitars:
    Jupiter #47, G, TI CF127

    !Flukutronic!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Kyoto Japan
    Posts
    253

    Default

    Straight nut and saddle are easy to find replacements in the internet (see the photo below). Radius boards require radius nuts (see the photo of stratcastor below) and saddles, which need radius curvature on the top.



    Radius nut replacement is often bit hard to manage by ourselves. We can shave the bottom of the nut but we still need to file the top (see the photo below).



    I prefer straight fret board for compatible nut and saddle. They are available in amazon or ebay.



    If we need to see the pros and cons of radius fret board, we need to compare them on difficult chord (see the figures below). This D (2220) is difficult for me. Straight board is good for 222, radius board is good for 0, because 0 requires clearance. I do not see any advantage of large radius board on this chord.

    Last edited by yahalele; 08-30-2019 at 12:34 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    592

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Col50 View Post
    There are no Pros and Cons.

    There is only what is comfortable for you to pkay and what sounds right for you.

    To give you an example.

    I longed for a Fender Stratocaster so I bought one but could not live with the neck, for me it was very uncomfortable to play.

    Then I went out and tried just about every other guitar.

    I then picked up a Gibson SG and loathed its feel and balance,

    Then I tried a Gibson Les Paul and it was like finding a long lost friend.

    Now its a Gibson or nothing for me.

    Hence play as many different makes and types as you can and buy what feels right, totally ignore the make.

    Its what feels and sounds right that will work for you.

    There is to much maker snobbery in owning and playing musical instruments since it is what works for the musician that matters.
    You make an excellent argument for vacationing close to a specialty uke shop with a large selection. It is unfortunate that most areas have a limited selection, hampering the ability to see what works or how neck thickness, width, or uke depth affects our ability to comfortably play.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    592

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by yahalele View Post

    So you really don't own a ukulele? Your experience with barre chords on the lower 4 of a guitar won't be the same as that same barre on a ukulele because of the neck width. Add to that that most guitars have some radius on the fretboard. You need to have or use a ukulele to form an informed opinion on radius fretboards on a uke.

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