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Thread: Cocobolo Ukulele Owners

  1. #1

    Default Cocobolo Ukulele Owners

    I own a super soprano and definitely adore its sound. However, I found my left (fretted) hand gets very painful after playing. Itís not about how callous going to come out; itís like my finger tips get hit by something hard if that makes sense.
    Anyone has the same experience? I donít have this problem with my other ukes.
    Iím wondering if this is because of all solid Cocobolo fretboard, instead of ebony or rosewood. Cocobolo wood itself is quite hard and stiff.
    Or is it because of the radius fretboard? Iím not a fan of it tbh.
    Or is it because the strings are high tension (Dddario Titanium).
    What do you think?
    Rebel Mango Sublime Soprano (Creme brŻlťe)
    Mainland Spruce/Mahogany Concert
    Ohana sk-38
    Famous FS-5
    Ohana SK-21m
    Cocobolo Super Soprano
    Martin 0x Bamboo

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    JoCo, NC (near Raleigh)
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    4,957

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    Hmm, I seriously doubt it is the hardness of the fretboard. My guess is the strings, although I haven't tried that particular brand. You might try some fluorocarbons like Living Water or Martin M600s.

    I suppose it could even be an allergic type reaction to the cocobolo but I think you would be having other symptoms like itchy arms or even watery eyes after playing as well.
    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
    Hanson 5-string tenor, dGCEA
    Bonanza SLN GCEA
    Bonanzalele concert
    Guitars:
    Jupiter #47, G, TI CF127
    Pelem, B reentrant
    Jupiter #71, A, UG1

    !Flukutronic!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    159

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hanks View Post
    I suppose it could even be an allergic type reaction to the cocobolo but I think you would be having other symptoms like itchy arms or even watery eyes after playing as well.
    There was someone on the Luthier's board section that wrote about stopping using cocobolo because of allergies. (sorry, I couldn't find the post)
    Last edited by Ed1; 04-01-2020 at 03:57 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    577

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed1 View Post
    There was someone on the Luthier's thread that wrote about stopping using cocobolo because of allergies. (sorry, I couldn't find the post)
    My understanding is that certain woods can cause allergic reactions when one is exposed to the dust from sanding, sawing, etc. Once the wood is finished and built into an instrument, that shouldn't be an issue.

    My guess is the problem is with the strings. The Cocobolos ship with Worth Brown strings. Maybe want to try switching back to them? Or if it's a problem with fluorocarbon strings in general, try nylon strings (e.g., Aquila).
    Larry

    • ROMERO CREATIONS SOLID MAHOGANY "TINY TENOR"
    • COCOBOLO CEDAR/COCOBOLO CONCERT
    • ANUENUE UT200 MOON BIRD (ALPINE SPRUCE/ROSEWOOD) TENOR
    • KOALOHA KCM-10 PIKAKE KOA CONCERT
    • PONO ATD-CR CEDAR/ACACIA TENOR (LOW "G")
    • HARMONY MAHOGANY BARITONE (1950's)
    • VTAB TS2401 SPRUCE/MAHOGANY CONCERT

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Catskill Mountains, NY
    Posts
    5,891

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    So far, so good for me. I know several people who get sore wrists - left and right - from playing a uke. Some ukes are more of a problem for them than others. Everyone has slightly different wrists, hands, tendons, etc.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Capital District, New York
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    3,741

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    I've got arthritis, tendinitis, and carpel tunnel... And have had no problems at all with my Cocobolo Concert.

    It is the first radiused fretboard I've ever had, and getting used to barre chords above 7th fret is taking a bit, but otherwise, I'm glad I bought it - and have resisted the urge to bid every time a "2nd" or a direct purchase shows up.

    -Kurt
    Banjo Ukes: Southern Cross, Firefly, Stella
    Sopranos: Donaldson, Timms, Moku, Waterman, Bugsgear, Outdoor, Waverly Street, Harmony
    Concerts:Cocobolo #460 &#412, Ohana CK450QEL, CK-65D, Rosewood Vita, Mahogany Vita,
    Donaldson Custom, Epi Les Paul, National Triolian Reso, Republic
    Tenors: Kala KA-KTG-CY, KoAloha Sceptre, Fluke, Cordoba 20TM
    Bass: Fluke Timber

    Am I done?

    ...Maybe?...

    My YouTube Channel

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Sparta, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puglele View Post
    I own a super soprano and definitely adore its sound. However, I found my left (fretted) hand gets very painful after playing. Itís not about how callous going to come out; itís like my finger tips get hit by something hard if that makes sense.
    Anyone has the same experience? I donít have this problem with my other ukes.
    Iím wondering if this is because of all solid Cocobolo fretboard, instead of ebony or rosewood. Cocobolo wood itself is quite hard and stiff.
    Or is it because of the radius fretboard? Iím not a fan of it tbh.
    Or is it because the strings are high tension (Dddario Titanium).
    What do you think?
    I get this same thing when I play thick strings (Nylon). It's as though the bone in my fingertips get bruised.

    I have noticed that the fret wire used on the Cocobolo tenors I have is not as thick or high as the frets on my other tenors. The crown seems more rounded as well. So I think I press harder when I play the Cocobolo ukes. A little bit harder to make barre chords on the cutaway with their standard setup. I asked for lower setup on the first one I bought and it isn't as hard.

    Both have Worth Brown Medium strings on. I'll change to Living Waters when it's time for new strings.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you donít begin to know until you begin to try to do.

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Portland OR
    Posts
    73

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    I'm also a penny whistle player . . . and several whistlers have commented about having an allergic reaction to playing a cocobolo penny whistle. Many whistle smiths stoped making both mouthpiece and body out of cocobolo and switch to using another substance for the mouthpiece. Most whistle players had no allergic reaction at all. The one cocobolo uke I've seen and heard was an outstanding uke. I hope there is no allergy involved.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed1 View Post
    There was someone on the Luthier's board section that wrote about stopping using cocobolo because of allergies. (sorry, I couldn't find the post)
    I don’t think it’s allergy. Its like you pressing the fretboard too hard. But i don’t really do that though and I don’t have issues with other ukes.
    Rebel Mango Sublime Soprano (Creme brŻlťe)
    Mainland Spruce/Mahogany Concert
    Ohana sk-38
    Famous FS-5
    Ohana SK-21m
    Cocobolo Super Soprano
    Martin 0x Bamboo

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hanks View Post
    Hmm, I seriously doubt it is the hardness of the fretboard. My guess is the strings, although I haven't tried that particular brand. You might try some fluorocarbons like Living Water or Martin M600s.

    I suppose it could even be an allergic type reaction to the cocobolo but I think you would be having other symptoms like itchy arms or even watery eyes after playing as well.
    I had worth Brown on before. I think it’s relatively soft but I still felt a little painful.
    Rebel Mango Sublime Soprano (Creme brŻlťe)
    Mainland Spruce/Mahogany Concert
    Ohana sk-38
    Famous FS-5
    Ohana SK-21m
    Cocobolo Super Soprano
    Martin 0x Bamboo

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