Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 25

Thread: Extended fretboard vs. classic fretboard: difference in sound?

  1. #1

    Default Extended fretboard vs. classic fretboard: difference in sound?

    I recently saw someone somewhere on the web claim that the difference between the Kiwaya KTS-4 and the Kiwaya KTS-5 is like "night and day" because of the extended fretboard on the KTS-5. The person claimed that this judgement was based on playing both instruments in a store. What is the general verdict on this issue? If it really is the case, does this go for the Kiwaya KTC-1 vs the KTC-2 as well?
    - Vintage 50's Martin style 0 soprano (Kluson tuners)
    - Ken Timms Style 0 koa soprano
    - Flight WUS-3 laminate mahogany soprano
    - Kiwaya KTS-4 all solid mahogany soprano
    - Kiwaya KTC-2 all solid mahogany concert
    - Kiwaya KMT-K all solid koa tenor

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Proxima B
    Posts
    2,060

    Default

    I'm weird . First off I have to like the way the uke looks , I dont like the look of the extended fretboard on a soprano.
    I have one soprano with an extended fretboard and I never go above the 12th fret , above that the sound is
    like the tine on a comb , not musical just a "boink? "
    I don't know if there is a difference in sound but my guess is that the extended fretboard would limit the soundboards vibrations if that
    even matters on an instrument so small as a soprano.
    " Anything larger than a soprano is cheating "
    " I'm no luthier but ,........"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    West Midlands GB
    Posts
    2,359

    Default

    The presence of an extended fretboard should not make a "night and day" difference. If the difference in sound is so great, there must be some other factor at work.

    John Colter

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    627

    Default

    I prefer 12th on a soprano as well simply because of aesthetics. Then again, on certain ukes it's more of a luxury feature, like on the Kiwaya KTS-7, and suits them well. On larger ukes, I always prefer more than 12th frets. Tke Kiwaya KTC-1 looks like a little baby concert with the 12 fret fretboard.

    If the fretboard is thin enough (like on the Kiwayas) the difference in sound is completely negligible. I can't see how anyone could hear the difference unless gifted with superhuman hearing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    the we(s)t coast, Canada
    Posts
    805

    Default

    Which one did they say was better? In theory the shorter fretboard should sound a bit better, but likely not too noticeable, let alone night and day. I play one or two songs which have one or two notes above twelve. As a finger picker, I find the extended fretboard an annoyance and doesn’t look as nice. But if you need to go past twelve, there’s your decision made for you.
    Glenn

  6. #6

    Default

    Thank you for excellent comments, all :-) From an aesthetical point of view, I prefer the 12-fret neck on both the KTS-4 and the KTC-1. I guess the slightly longer scale length on the KTC-2 - as well as the different bridge placement - are both more significant factors than the extended fretboard.
    - Vintage 50's Martin style 0 soprano (Kluson tuners)
    - Ken Timms Style 0 koa soprano
    - Flight WUS-3 laminate mahogany soprano
    - Kiwaya KTS-4 all solid mahogany soprano
    - Kiwaya KTC-2 all solid mahogany concert
    - Kiwaya KMT-K all solid koa tenor

  7. #7

    Default

    According to The Ukulele Site the KTC-2 has a bigger body (due to the longer scale length) and a varmer tone than the KTC-1.
    - Vintage 50's Martin style 0 soprano (Kluson tuners)
    - Ken Timms Style 0 koa soprano
    - Flight WUS-3 laminate mahogany soprano
    - Kiwaya KTS-4 all solid mahogany soprano
    - Kiwaya KTC-2 all solid mahogany concert
    - Kiwaya KMT-K all solid koa tenor

  8. #8

    Default

    Glenn: I think the implication was that the KTS-4 was better - but I can't find that post again. Perhaps it was at Ukulelecosmos.
    - Vintage 50's Martin style 0 soprano (Kluson tuners)
    - Ken Timms Style 0 koa soprano
    - Flight WUS-3 laminate mahogany soprano
    - Kiwaya KTS-4 all solid mahogany soprano
    - Kiwaya KTC-2 all solid mahogany concert
    - Kiwaya KMT-K all solid koa tenor

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    208

    Default

    "Better" is, of course, subjective. If I like a bright aggressive tone, and someone else likes a darker, warmer tone with less attack, we might have different views of those two instruments.

    However, there is absolutely a difference in tone from an extended fretboard on otherwise identical instruments. The fretboard extension adds stiffness and mass to the top. Builders spend a lot of time and effort working on brace design and carefully shaving braces away in minute amounts to get to a specific desirable end result. The fingerboard extension is both denser and stiffer than any typical brace! So, of course, adding it or removing it is going to make a difference. Granted, the top above the soundhole is already pretty stiff, and is small enough in area that it's not a major contributor to the tone or volume in the first place, so the difference is going to be pretty small in relative terms. And as always there are so many factors involved that it's hard to narrow any one change down to a specific factor, even on "identical" instruments (which may not be that identical, in terms of stiffness, density, etc of the materials used, thanks to natural variations, even if they are "the same" design). Play one of each and your ears may be tricking you, or you may be attributing incorrectly due to a difference you're not aware of. Play ten of each and see if you can tell a difference on average.

    Think of it this way. A uke is the sum of maybe half a dozen major variables (some of which are hard to control), and a hundred small choices. The tone you get is the result of those factors added together. I would categorize the length that the fretboard extends over the top as a small choice and not a major variable.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    1,208

    Default

    I'm a little confused. Is the assumption that if you play the fifth fret on a standard fretboard and play the fifth fret on an extended fret board, the rendition on the standard fret board will sound better? That strikes me as utterly ridiculous. I understand that there is a difference if you play at the fifteenth fret because an extended fret board you could get an Eb7 and with the standard fret board all you would get are the sound of crickets because there is no fifteenth fret.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •