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Thread: Super Tenor? Long Neck Tenor? One I can buy that doesn't cost thousands?

  1. #1
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    Default Super Tenor? Long Neck Tenor? One I can buy that doesn't cost thousands?

    Lemme make sure I have this straight (forget about the strings & tuning - talking strictly about size)

    Baritone - biggest body, 20" scale

    Baby Baritone (?) - slightly smaller body, 19" scale

    Super Tenor OR Long Neck Tenor - bigger then Tenor, smaller then Baritone - 18" or 19" scale

    Tenor - smaller body, 17" scale

    So I (only playing couple months) currently have a Baritone & a Tenor.

    Mebbe it's from switching back & forth - but to me the Baritone feels a little too bit big - especially the neck. The body feels slightly large, but not much.

    The Tenor neck feels a liitle too squished. The body feels sliiightly too small at times.

    This led me to finding out about things like Long Neck / Super Tenors - and a couple references to Baby Baritones. But in almost everything I can find, they are all custom made ones costing thousands.

    Is there some happy medium that has a body size between the tenor & baritone and something like a 18.5" scale (without spending thousands)? Is this just me and if I stick to say the Tenor I'd get used to it just fine?

    If it matters, I would want to tune it Low-G.

  2. #2
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    I do have a distinct preference for 19" vs 20" scale. If you want a 19" scale at a reasonable price, I'd suggest looking at Bonanza Ukuleles. You'd have to ask for it but it won't be much more expensive, if at all. There are several body styles to choose from so I'm sure you could find one you like.

    Or you could look for a vintage baritone, most of which had the shorter 19" scale.

    Another idea is to get a capo for the bari. Put it on the first fret and you're then at 19". That'll tell you if it is worth pursuing a uke with that scale "natively"
    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
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    Googling bonanaza

    The capo thing is an interesting idea. Would the distance replicate the 19" ones (ie, is fret 2 of a baritone the same as fret 1 of a 19") ?

  4. #4
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    Yep, pretty much.

    Here's my Bonanza super tenor: https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com...za-Super-Tenor
    But you'd want different strings on it.
    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!

  5. #5
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    Canada Prairies, brrr ....
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    Preference could also be determined by tuning. Probably GCEA would not be feasible/pleasant at longer scales.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlin666 View Post
    Preference could also be determined by tuning. Probably GCEA would not be feasible/pleasant at longer scales.
    It's feasible but I only use lower tunings with my bari scales. I can do GCEA effectively with concert scale so I might as well not "waste" the longer scales with that
    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!

  7. #7
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    Feb 2017
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    I play super tenors exclusively. Mine are, I'm afraid, expensive...but worth it. I would suggest diverting $20 or so from every paycheck into a super tenor fund that will purchase you an awesome uke in a year. Here is some data for you, if by chance it helps.

    I always use concert strings on my super tenors for lessened tension.

    I have them tuned to some form of GCEA. I am currently playing EAC#F# because I like the tension and I like a warm, if not muddy, sound rather than a shrill traditional timbre.

    I would say that you should insist on a cutaway if you're getting a super tenor. Otherwise you cannot make use of those extra frets.

    Those are my thoughts that occur to me right now.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ripock View Post
    I play super tenors exclusively. Mine are, I'm afraid, expensive...but worth it.
    Funny, my immediate thought here before I read on, was the comment I made when I bought my last one - I'm hoping to be playing the right uke for at least 30 minutes a day hopefully for 30-50 years - so I'm ok with paying more if I knew I was getting the perfect one for me.

    I would suggest diverting $20 or so from every paycheck into a super tenor fund that will purchase you an awesome uke in a year.
    That's $240 - what Super Tenors can you get for that price? I thought the "good ones" were more like $1500+ price range..?

    I found out about reverb lat night, which did finally lead me to one model: Kala KA-ASZCT-ST ($320-$370 or so)

    I always use concert strings on my super tenors for lessened tension.
    I've read about that a few times, and I still need to wrap my head around it. Feels counter-intuitive to me - If you take strings that are right for a concert, then put them on a much longer neck you would think they would be *tighter* not looser - but I presume since it's a longer neck you don't have to tighten them as much to get the right note - so overall they are not as tight.. assuming the strings are long enough. When I get (if I get..) one, I figured I'd get strings known 100% to work with the scale length.. (low-g, preferably no wound strings for me).

    Which model & strings are you on now? (and thanks for your time!)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hanks View Post
    Another idea is to get a capo for the bari. Put it on the first fret and you're then at 19". That'll tell you if it is worth pursuing a uke with that scale "natively"
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hanks View Post
    Another idea is to get a capo for the bari. Put it on the first fret and you're then at 19". That'll tell you if it is worth pursuing a uke with that scale "natively"
    I tried this test last night - then again played even more now. Last night, my initial thought was 1st vs 2nd felt the same. So today I broke out a ruler - I didn't realize that we're talking about 1/16th - 1/8th of an inch type of difference!!

    Anyway, in going with your test - I took my tenor & used a D and a Dm chord as my examples. On the tenor, the is barely enough space for me to get my fingers down and you need pretty exact placements to avoid a buzz (and I'm not good enough to wonder what will happen as I move down the neck towards the sound hole where the problem would get worse)..

    On the baritone, there is lots of space on the 1st, still space on 2nd - and it's kind of the 3rd down where things start feeling about "ideal" - would that mean an.. 18-18.5" scale in an idea world? But once again we're talking about maybe 1/16th of an inch, so starting to feel like I'm just being too picky here.

    Finally I did a thumb test - I laid my thumb over the 1st fret of my tenor. I can see a sliver of fretboard on either side of it before I see frets. On the baritone, it's the 4th fret where it looks like same as the tenor. So - to compare, on my baritone - 4th fret is "tenor thumb size", 1st fret is "baritone thumb size" - which means fret 2 might be "19 inch scale thumb size" - and fret 3 might be "18 inch scale thumb size"... which matches what I felt in the 1st test.

    Either way, dang interesting & fun little experiment, without these tests I don't think I would have realized how close the fret space really is on the different types- I knew there was a difference but always assume the bigger ones just had a higher fret count to make up mot of the size difference. I also assume that the frets are placed with precision to make sure you get the correct notes for the scale (ie, they have to be where they are).

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by polstein View Post
    I found out about reverb lat night, which did finally lead me to one model: Kala KA-ASZCT-ST ($320-$370 or so)
    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...-satin-natural
    says: Scale Length: 20.187"

    Hmm, https://kalabrand.com/products/ka-aszct-st says: Scale Length: 18.875 inches
    Interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by polstein View Post
    If you take strings that are right for a concert, then put them on a much longer neck you would think they would be *tighter* not looser
    For the same tuning, you are right, but notice that ripock has tuned down 3 half steps. I've used standard tenor strings (Living Water) for linear A tuning on 19" scale. A lot depends on the specific strings, and some personal preference, what ends up being the "sweet spot" for tension and tuning.

    BTW, it's common practice to use concert strings which are generally thinner gauge to get lower tension on tenor scale (at the same tuning) which are generally thicker gauge. But putting concert strings on baritone, it makes sense you'd also have to tune down to get an acceptable tension. If you really want GCEA on baritone, it is possible, but you need to find (or design) your string selection for that purpose - hint, they will be much thinner than strings typical DGBE baritone tuning.
    Last edited by Jim Hanks; 08-02-2020 at 01:50 AM. Reason: added Kala info
    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!

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