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Thread: NUD Enya Nova with a twist

  1. #1
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    Default NUD Enya Nova with a twist

    I dont particularly love the sound of non-wooden ukuleles but they serve a purpose. I own two Enya X1 which are made from counter top laminate, think Arborite. They are durable and have a pleasing mellow sound.

    I got this Enya Nova as a Christmas present.......because I was curious from all the rave reviews and good YouTube sound samples. I do a lot of outdoor activities so figured this would be a durable candidate.

    With the stock strings, which are soft and thin, it is loud and bright sounding for a plastic uke, in a good way. It is not dull, thuddy and tubby sounding. Build quality is excellent which has been my experience with other Enya products.

    Playability......good news bad news. I love the slight radius fret board, intonation is good. I have a hard time with black frets on a black fret board, solution was found, see pictures below. My BIGGEST gripe is the width of the nut and string spacing. Nut width is 1-5/16"+ and string spacing is a very tight 31/32". Compared to any of my other ukes with a 1-3/8" nut width the string spacing is usually around 1-1/8". A difference of over an 1/8" is big and I was flubbing chords and muting string and getting buzzing. After two weeks I have adapted my fingering technique and it is better......but still bothersome.

    Ok two last points....make it three. Thanks to Jerry I was aware of a company called Neck Illusions that make fret board stick on coverings, with 63 different patterns for ukulele. Fantastic product and company to deal with, highly recommended they are 10/10. This solved the fret visibility problem. Number 2 is I dont like the strap button on the top side of the upper bout, it neck dives. So I removed it, as it was just screwed into place and screwed it into the usual spot, treble side of the neck heel. Works a charm. Now for the big controversy, I now have this strung with a Fremont Soloist wound low G paired with D’Addario carbon tenor strings 3,2 &1. IT SOUNDS GREAT. The astute will notice the Aquila Red Low G in the last picture. That lasted a couple days, way too dull and thudding, I am just use to the sound of a wound low G. We will see if I get any fret wear. I might be playing this 30 minutes a week or less so I not too worried about it.


    20200104_150140.jpg20200104_091320.jpg20200104_091313.jpg20200104_085946.jpg20200104_102040.jpg
    Last edited by DownUpDave; 01-09-2020 at 12:15 AM.
    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 walnut pineapple super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Enya Nova *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

  2. #2
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    To illustrate what I mean about string spacing here are two pictures. One of the Enya Nova and the other is my Kimo tenor with 1-3/8" nut width. The biggest culprit with the Enya is how far inside the fret board edge the strings are placed. This makes everything much tighter then it could be. Unfortunately the nut is part of the instrument, it is not a seperate removable item. The saddle is separate and removable which is a very nice touch.

    20200108_064522.jpg20200108_064428.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 walnut pineapple super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Enya Nova *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

  3. #3
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    Congratulations Dave! Your Enya looks great. What a creative solution for the fretboard.

    I agree with you about the narrow fretboard being a problem. It’s funny how just a little dimensional change makes a big difference. I had to send back a really nice luthier built baritone Because of a narrow neck. I really didn’t want to try and adjust my finger memory. Oddly a wider fretboard doesn’t seem to bother me.

    Just a thought if you’re feeling brave and in modifying mood. You might want to consider removing ( cutting out or file out) the nut and putting in a premade Or custom Tusq nut. I’ve made a few replacement nuts out of bone and have always been pleased with the result. It takes me about 10 times as long as a professional to make one, but worth it.
    Last edited by Doc_J; 01-08-2020 at 02:41 AM.
    -Hodge
    Humble strummer of fine ukes.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by DownUpDave View Post
    Ok two last points....make it three. Thanks to Jerry I was aware of a company called Neck Illusions that make fret board stick on coverings, with 63 different patterns for ukulele. Fantastic product and company to deal with, highly recommended they are 10/10. This solved the fret visibility problem. Number 2 is I don't like the strap button on the top side of the upper bout, it neck dives. So I removed it, as it was just screwed into place and screwed it into the usual spot, treble side of the neck heel. Works a charm.
    Very nice neck. I'm glad you were able to get that from Neck Illusions. I've sent several emails, but I haven't received any replies. As a result, I printed my own graphic on sticky vinyl for a Fluke. Now I have to figure out how to cut it and remove the backing.

    I wanted to add a second strap button to my Clara, and Blackbird recommended using a #6 3/4" sheet metal screw. If I relocate the strap button on the Enya, I'll use one of those screws. I bought a pack of 100.
    Last edited by Jerryc41; 01-08-2020 at 03:09 AM.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc_J View Post
    Congratulations Dave! Your Enya looks great. What a creative solution for the fretboard.

    I agree with you about the narrow fretboard being a problem. It’s funny how just a little dimensional change makes a big difference. I had to send back a really nice luthier built baritone Because of a narrow neck. I really didn’t want to try and adjust my finger memory. Oddly a wider fretboard doesn’t seem to bother me.

    Just a thought if you’re feeling brave and in modifying mood. You might want to consider removing ( cutting out or file out) the nut and putting in a premade Or custom Tusq nut. I’ve made a few replacement nuts out of bone and have always been pleased with the result. It takes me about 10 times as long as a professional to make one, but worth it.
    I wonder if it would be possible to fill in the current slots in the nut (with epoxy?) and cut new ones.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc_J View Post
    Congratulations Dave! Your Enya looks great. What a creative solution for the fretboard.

    I agree with you about the narrow fretboard being a problem. It’s funny how just a little dimensional change makes a big difference. I had to send back a really nice luthier built baritone Because of a narrow neck. I really didn’t want to try and adjust my finger memory. Oddly a wider fretboard doesn’t seem to bother me.

    Just a thought if you’re feeling brave and in modifying mood. You might want to consider removing ( cutting out or file out) the nut and putting in a premade Or custom Tusq nut. I’ve made a few replacement nuts out of bone and have always been pleased with the result. It takes me about 10 times as long as a professional to make one, but worth it.
    I gave a lot of thought to doing something about the string spacing. One idea as you mentioned was to cut off the nut and made a separate one. The other (as Jerry pointed out) is to fill in the nut slots and recut new slots in new positions. I have filled nut slots with baking some and crazy glue ( Stewmac has good videos on this) if the slots were too deep and recut to proper depth. If I had black crazy glue, only got clear (both available from Stewmac) I would have gave it a shot.
    Last edited by DownUpDave; 01-08-2020 at 03:39 AM.
    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 walnut pineapple super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Enya Nova *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DownUpDave View Post
    I have filled nut slots with baking some and crazy glue ( Stewmac has good videos on this) if the slots were too deep and recut to proper depth. If I had black crazy glue, only got clear (which is available from Stewmac) I would have gave it a shot.
    Yes, that baking soda/glue trick is often recommended, and I'm sure you could add some coloring to the mixture to turn it black - graphite lock lube, maybe. Be sure to take pictures when you do this, and it will soon become a common modification.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryc41 View Post
    Yes, that baking soda/glue trick is often recommended, and I'm sure you could add some coloring to the mixture to turn it black - graphite lock lube, maybe. Be sure to take pictures when you do this, and it will soon become a common modification.
    I had thought of adding a black colouring to it but was afraid it might change the chemical make up. It dries really fast and rock hard, perfect to cut slots in so didn’t want to screw that up. I will order some black crazy glue from Stewmac.

    We leave for Mexico this Saturday for two weeks and the Enya will get put right into the suitcase. Should be good fun around the pool with no worries about heat and humidity
    Last edited by DownUpDave; 01-08-2020 at 03:40 AM.
    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 walnut pineapple super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Enya Nova *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

  9. #9
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    Congratulations, my friend! Very curious to hear how that Enya holds up to your outdoor adventures, especially on the water...
    Enjoying instruments by - Beau Hannam - Jay Lichty - Jerry Hoffmann - Luis Feu de Mesquita - Kala - Kamaka - Kanile'a - KoAloha - Ko'olau - Moore Bettah - Pono - Romero Creations - and others

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DownUpDave View Post
    I had thought of adding a black colouring to it but was afraid it might change the chemical make up. It dries really fast and rock hard, perfect to cut slots in so didn’t want to screw that up. I will order some black crazy glue from Stewmac.

    We leave for Mexico this Saturday for two weeks and the Enya will get put right into the suitcase. Should be good fun around the pool with no worries about heat and humidity
    There's a two-part adhesive product - PC-7 - that dries rock hard and is black. The one linked below is gray, but I've always bought black.
    https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B000AB4A...ding=UTF8&th=1
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

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