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Thread: Nut width

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
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    36

    Default Nut width

    I've seen some thoughtful comments about why nut width is only one factor to consider regarding playability for the husky fingered crowd. But for me, the Kanilea ukuleles (including Islander) always feel the best in my hands due to the 1.5" nut width on their tenor ukuleles.

    The chart below shows Koaloha and the Kala Elite line as also having the larger nut width. Anyone have suggestions for other brands to consider?

    https://ukenut.com/comparison-of-ukulele-nut-widths/
    Pono PS-O Mahogany Soprano Ukulele
    Islander MAT-4 Spalted Maple Tenor Ukulele
    Kanilea K-1 Koa Tenor Ukulele
    Gary Creed Spruce Tenor Ukulele #140 "Skylark"

    ** All thumbs. Strumming daily.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    NorCal
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    Default

    You also have to account for string spacing, or distance from the G to A string. KoAloha has the wider nut, but its string spacing is narrower than many that have 38 mm nut widths.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    1,251

    Default

    I had never considered it before, but your comment bestirred my curiosity. I pulled my ruler out of the drawer and measured my Kamaka, and it has a 1.5 inch nut. I'm sure my custom uke also has the same measurement, but I can't be arsed to get it out of its case right now. Something else to consider is string placement on the 1.5 inch nut. The A string on my Kamaka is closer to the edge of the fret board than my custom uke. Although it doesn't affect me whatsoever, it may be an important factor to someone else.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default

    Depending on the player, you may or may not be bothered by nut width. But if you like wider string width, it's nice to have a wider nut. I had an Islander with a 38mm/1.5" nut but the string spacing wasn't particularly wide. I thought it was fine. But if you are specifically looking for a neck that fits your comfort requirements, then nut width and neck profile can be important. String width can be modified with a new nut. If your nut's too narrow, then you're limited on how much you can spread the strings.
    Glenn

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
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    Default

    Good feedback about string width. I'll keep that in mind the next time I'm looking to purchase.
    Pono PS-O Mahogany Soprano Ukulele
    Islander MAT-4 Spalted Maple Tenor Ukulele
    Kanilea K-1 Koa Tenor Ukulele
    Gary Creed Spruce Tenor Ukulele #140 "Skylark"

    ** All thumbs. Strumming daily.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    470

    Default

    Besides nut width and space there, there's also differences in string spacing at the bridge.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Tampa Bay, FL
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    Default

    I tried a 1.5" nut, on an un-radiused fretboard. I couldn't play it! Too flat and too wide for my hand. That's why I sucked so bad at guitar!
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2020
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    470

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickie View Post
    I tried a 1.5" nut, on an un-radiused fretboard. I couldn't play it! Too flat and too wide for my hand. That's why I sucked so bad at guitar!
    Perhaps you tried a classical guitar? They have flat fretboards and abnormally high actions. Plus, you need scary fingernails to really play them.
    Give acoustic and electric guitars a try instead. All have a radiused fretboards and lower action.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    470

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ripock View Post
    ...I pulled my ruler out of the drawer and measured my Kamaka, and it has a 1.5 inch nut...
    Which model do you have?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
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    272

    Default

    My Rebel has a 1.5" nut. However the string spacing is closer at the nut than say, my Kanile'a or Pono Pro.
    "So many ukes, so little money..."

    Kanile'a KSR-T premium koa tenor
    Rebel Double Cheese spruce/mahogany tenor, my BFF.
    Pono ATC-PC acacia cutaway tenor
    Kala KA-ASFM-T-C flame maple tenor
    Pono MT-SP tenor
    Cocobolo concert #467
    Pono ASD acacia soprano deluxe
    Pono MGS mango soprano

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