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Thread: Suggestions for uke brand with wider nut/string width

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
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    3

    Default Suggestions for uke brand with wider nut/string width

    I'm sort of in between beginner & intermediate player. I have a 12+ year old Bushman Jenny concert that I love but I cannot progress due to the 1" string width at the nut. Basic chords are fine but more complex ('jazz') chords are impossible to fret without my fat fingers muting a string or two.

    I've discovered the width of the nut itself is not the sole criteria. Anyone have any suggestions for a tenor size mid-range (<$350) model/brand with a wider string spacing at the nut?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    PNW
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    1,205

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    You might try Islander.

    Kala Elite meet your needs in regards to the string spacing, but not the price. There's a concert in the marketplace that's your price--but a concert. They are fantastic instruments, and if you can carry on with concert size, I think you'd be very happy with it--it's a great deal. If I didn't already have one I'd have jumped on that.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
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    Thanks. This is really good info. Keep it coming because a lot of sites do not include the nut width, much less spacing detail about their ukes. One would think at least the mid-range uke brands would provide this info

    Measuring the Bushman concert more precisely the nut width is 35mm (end to end) and string spacing (center to center) is 26.5mm.

    I wish I had access to a luthier to fashion a new nut to a wider spacing. My 'vintage' Bushman Jenny is a beautifully made, great sounding uke. Alas, I live in the middle of nowhere thus the need to research/shop online.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    To add to comments so far I believe that Martin and Kiwaya Ukes are wider string spaced at the nut and a little wider at the nut too. Fluke products are wider too as I recall. Iíve made a nut from a bone blank and spaced the strings wider on it too - and it works just fine - you could do the same or find a luthier willing to make and send one to you. Obviously he / she will need some dimensions to work to and youíll need to fit the new nut yourself plus set up the string height, but with a bit of care those things arenít particularly hard to do.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    the wild west, Canada
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    If you do find a luthier, I had the strings brought out to 28.5mm* on a 34mm nut, so you might be able to go to 29.5mm*, which is pretty nice spacing. I've seen over 29mm on a 35mm nut before. Really makes more difference than you'd think.

    *I measure to the outside of the strings as I don't feel I can be accurate enough with lining up calipers center to centre to a tenth of a millimeter. The type of strings you use, probably wouldn't affect the measurement much, but going from high g to low g, would bump up the measurement a bit using my method.
    Glenn

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
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    The fretboard at the nut measures 35mm. I 'lose' a mm or so on the nut as the outer corners of the nut are rounded. Maybe without as much rounding I could get at least 29mm spacing.

    Measuring string spacing at the nut (via rule) outside to outside looks to be 27.5, maybe 28mm. Hard to believe a millimeter would make that much difference but not having played other ukes to compare I'll take your word.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Seattle, WA
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    Try the Kumu Ukuleles. Those are gorgeous high quality laminate koa ukes that are still affordable. I've seen tenor Kumu's for around $270-350, but they all have the wider 1.5" nut spacings. I can't wait to get one myself!
    the Cordoba high-end 30 series also have the wider nuts, as well as Kamoa ukuleles.

    "Having multiple ukes is like being a blind artist gaining back our sight and re-discovering a wonderful world and palette full of color.
    Uke had me at Aloha." - FuzzeeSock

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    154

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    It hasn't been updated for a few years but there's a list of ukulele nut width here: https://ukenut.com/comparison-of-ukulele-nut-widths/

    Before seeing this list I was going to recommend some of the Cordoba uke's and by the looks of the list they do seem to have a wider nut width.
    Soprano: Ohana SK-38 (Mahogany)
    Concert: Barron River (Curly Maple)
    Tenor: Pono PKT-2E (Koa) / Romero Creations Replica (Spruce/Acacia)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
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    Yes, the Cordoba tenors have wider nuts. The nut on mine is 38mm (1.5") and the string spacing at the nut is also wide, at 30mm (1.18").
    John

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