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Thread: New Member:-)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Posts
    5

    Post New Member:-)

    Aloha everyone,
    Hope everybody has a safe and Happy New Year. I'm not sure it could be too much worse than 2020
    I have a Ukulele newbie question. It seems that other instrument forums I belong to have an extremely negative view of Walnut fretboards. If it's not ebony or rosewood, I get the impression they view it as an inferior instrument. I recently purchased a Lanakai A/E Blue quilted Concert uke that is out of this world gorgeous. It has quality tuners, a reputable history and looks to be very well made. However, I was informed it was "inferior" because it had a walnut fretboard. Maybe I'm missing something here, but while walnut is not the hardest wood known to man, it certainly can hold it's own with nylon strings and at 61 years old I highly doubt I'm going to wear the the thing out. Just for fun, I'm going to use Aquila 31u strings tuned in 5ths(c-g-d-a)and play it like a mandola.
    I'm a Mandolin player originally. Am I acting foolish or does this sound like maybe someone is being "snarky."
    Thanks for listening and special thanks for letting me be part of your group
    Happy New Yeas every,
    Coconutjoe

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    McDonough, GA
    Posts
    4,645

    Default

    Welcome to UU Coconut Joe !

    Lots of different hardwoods are used as fret boards on ukes. The harder the wood is the more wear resistant it likely is. Koa, walnut, Myrtle, maple and many other hardwoods are sometimes used as fret boards. Ebony and rosewood are harder, and more commonly used than walnut, and they are a lot more expensive. I’m sure you’ll never wear out the walnut fret board in your lifetime. Enjoy you uke and don’t worry about the fret board.
    -Hodge
    Humble strummer of fine ukes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom
    Posts
    712

    Default

    Hello and welcome to the forum!

    People will always have their opinions.
    Enjoy your ukulele, it's sounds lovely and like it's perfect for you!
    ~ "Music washes away the dust of everyday life" ~

    ---------- ----------------- ----------

    Location: UK

    Concert - Kanile'a KSC-C * Ohto San cedar + koa 16"
    Tenor - Oulcraft curly myrtle * Sumi Kobo sinker cedar + ziricote * Anuenue UT200 * Kanile'a DK-ST * Risa LP Cherry sunburst * Ono 18" Torrefied spruce + koa (Bb tuning)


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Ma., Ga., Fl.
    Posts
    2,523

    Default

    Welcome to UU coconutjoe! I had a custom made Compass Rose uke, all walnut, including the fretboard, some years ago. Wonderful playing and sounding instrument. I wish I never sold it.
    Nothing wrong with a walnut fretboard. In fact, it can be very visually appealing.........more so than rosewood. It ain't gonna wear out!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    486

    Default

    Sounds like a bigotted opinion to me. Though they may not mean it that way and are just going from their "knowledge" of other instruments. Ebony and rosewood are great, but uke builders will often use atypical woods in their builds. Walnut is very hard, and beautiful, and is often found in custom ukes. The maker will frequently match the fretboard to the rest of the build. Pistachio is sometimes used, as are many other unusual, unique, and beautiful woods, like cocobolo. That's one of the fun things about ukuleles, their uniqueness. And that's what instigates our UAS.

    Editing to add, just enjoy your uke! That's the important thing. If you love it and the sound pleases you then you will play it and nothing else matters. Uke lovers are way less snobby than some other instruments.
    Last edited by Cadia; 01-01-2021 at 04:24 AM.
    "So many ukes, so little money..."

    Kanile'a KSR-T premium koa tenor
    KoAloha KTM-00 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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    London
    Posts
    722

    Default

    My wife's Gibson guitar has a Walnut fretboard. Looks beautiful and plays extremely well. I see nothing negative about it.
    Kamaka HF-3DC - KoAloha KTM-S00 - Kanile'a SUS B DLX - Kanile'a K-1B - Pono MGTP5-PC

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    959

    Default

    I'm really puzzled why anyone would have a negative view of walnut as a material. Rosewood and ebony, I guess, are the premium choices for fretboards but I've seen walnut being used in really high-end ukes and other instruments as well. Nothing wrong with that.

    Also nothing wrong with tuning your uke in fifths either. You can even find string sets for that type of tuning so it isn't unheard of. Play your uke how you like.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Stormville NY
    Posts
    124

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    I believe that Fender & Gibson have made steel string guitars with walnut fret boards.
    I have a 1974 Ovation steel string guitar that if I remember correctly, has a walnut fret board impregnated with epoxy. The guitar & fret board are still in good shape.

    I would expect that a ukulele with a walnut fret board should work fine. Don't get lost in the specs, if the uke plays & sounds good, just enjoy it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Catskill Mountains, NY
    Posts
    8,000

    Default

    Welcome to our forum!

    Obviously, you joined some evil uke forums. Ukuleles are about fun, not about complaining and ridiculing what someone has or wants. I have some ukes that snobs might consider ridiculous, but that's my choice. When I start liking or disliking ukes because of the wood in their fretboards, it will be time for me to look for a new hobby.

    By the way, you will see "NUD" posts occasionally. That means "New Ukulele Day," and it's how we show off our new ukes.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Sparta, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    3,156

    Default

    Welcome to the UU Forum.

    I think that people who use plectrums or metal finger picks may experience a little more wear on a walnut fingerboard than an ebony or rosewood board. But that's speculation on my part.

    There are several kinds of walnut. Which, not being a woodworker, I know little about. Heck, they make gunstocks out of walnut.

    Enjoy your Lanakai A/E Blue Quilted Concert and don't give it another thought. Just have fun with it.

    Maybe post a picture of your uke.
    Last edited by Kenn2018; 01-01-2021 at 12:32 PM.
    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 don't begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    --Lou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

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