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kwross
11-11-2009, 02:41 PM
Long verison:


I've been increasingly interested in the ukulele lately from youtube videos and other people around my, and my interest has lead me here. I stumbled across this site while looking for my first ukulele. I ended up getting a Kala KA-S from musicguymic on ebay. I've had it since Monday and I've just noticed as problem, I don't know if the instrument is faulty or if I'm doing something wrong. The intonation is really bad. If I tune each string to it's exact pitch it will be perfectly in tune when I play it open. But if I play a G chord the high g string and g note on the e string are noticeably out of tune. I then fixed this problem by tuning them to each other. Now I'm stuck with g and e perfectly in tune and c and a are perfectly in tune, but c and e are really out of tune. I apologize for the big wall of text as my first post but help would be very appreciated.


Short version: G and E in tune, C and A in tune, C and E not in tune.

grammy
11-11-2009, 06:06 PM
well, i am not an expert, but clearly that is not right. short answer. the neck is bent.

thejumpingflea
11-11-2009, 07:43 PM
I'd call Mike and let him know. He'll help you out and set you right. Sorry hear about that!!

wearymicrobe
11-12-2009, 03:21 AM
Typing eith one finger maggled my hand bad.

How hard are you pushing down on he fret board, any chance you are pulling down on the strings as well. The uke would have to really bad to not play G corrrectly in first positionn

GrumpyCoyote
11-12-2009, 08:08 AM
First thing - check the 12th fret harmonic and then fret each string at 12. Use a digital tuner. If it's set properly, you'll see dead on, or slightly sharp while fretting at 12 vs. the harmonic.

Once that's checked, you can move to checking the notes on the rest of the fretboard. No uke is going to be absolutely perfect on every fret - but close is fine, and in general small fluctuations are ok. From small imperfections to “over-fretting” by the player you’ll never see perfect.

What is NOT ok, is a trend to go sharp (or flat I suppose) as you move up the neck – fret to fret. That may be a saddle (easy fix), nut (moderate fix), or bridge (difficult) issue. If a few notes are way off, but the harmonic/12th test is fine, you may have a fret issue. That's not good either.

Most likley - it's your saddle. Either set improperly, upside-down (if it's offset), or otherwise cockeyed. A good tech at any music shop could help you diagnose and fix that very easily.

kwross
11-12-2009, 10:54 AM
I checked the harmonic and the 12th fret and they are fine. Maybe I am over fretting because I'm so used to the strings of an acoustic guitar.

buddhuu
11-12-2009, 10:42 PM
If the 12th fret harmonic is correct, and if problem is that the fretted notes are sharp, check how sharp they are as you move fret-by-fret up the neck.

If the amount of sharpness (clunky phrase!) decreases as you go up the neck, then it is extremely likely that the problem is simply high action at the nut on the affected strings. If that is the case then there's no need to worry. That situation is not a fault, but just a minor set-up issue that can be easily cured by a visit to your local guitar shop, or on a DIY basis if you feel inclined.

Many string instruments need final set-up after delivery. I know MGM usually sets ukes up well, but with the volume of units he must shift it's possible that one may have partially evaded that tweaking stage.

If the sharpness gets worse as you go up the neck, well that indicates that things may be less simple, and it would be good to speak with the retailer to get advice.

ukantor
11-12-2009, 11:27 PM
A rogue string can play havoc with intonation. I've just posted a comment along these lines. In brief, a brand new string going progressively flatter as you move up the fret board - not just a bit, but horribly so. Took the string off, put it back the other way round - problem solved.

Go figure---

Ukantor.

Pete Howlett
11-13-2009, 08:06 AM
Extruded strings can sometimes/occasionally vary in section across the length. It's this that screws with intonation.

ukantor
11-13-2009, 09:57 AM
Thanks Pete, I suspected it might be that.

Ukantor.

pjtuke
08-21-2010, 06:28 AM
A rogue string can play havoc with intonation. I've just posted a comment along these lines. In brief, a brand new string going progressively flatter as you move up the fret board - not just a bit, but horribly so. Took the string off, put it back the other way round - problem solved.

Go figure---

Ukantor.

I recently bought a very nice Honu rope ukulele. I found out all the strings are a little flat at the twelfth fret. I think this part of the problem isn't the strings. But the A string was really flat. More than 20 cents on average. They are Aquila strings. I tried your suggestion by reversing the A string. It fixed it well enough that I can live with it now - averaging between 5 and 10 cents.

Kekani
08-21-2010, 09:52 AM
well, i am not an expert, but clearly that is not right. short answer. the neck is bent.

Now that, was funny. Thanks, I need that smile.


Many string instruments need final set-up after delivery.

Probably THE most overlooked statement in the stringed instrument buying world - IMO (that would be, in my observation for this one).


Extruded strings can sometimes/occasionally vary in section across the length. It's this that screws with intonation.

. . . They are Aquila strings. I tried your suggestion by reversing the A string. It fixed it well enough that I can live with it now - averaging between 5 and 10 cents.

If I'm not mistaken, MGM upgrades his instruments to Aquila's. Personally, the term upgrade is questionable for me, but in all honesty, Aquila's do well on cheaper instruments such as a Kala. I don't use them anymore for reasons other than intonation problems, but, as stated above, they're there.

So, what did I really say here? Nothing that already hasn't been. Just adding my +1, and being redundant.

-Aaron

didgeridoo2
09-03-2010, 03:01 PM
I've been trying to fix an issue with my first string on one uke. It stays in tune pretty well up to the 7 or 8th frets and then it gets a little flat to where it's about 25 cents flat at the twelth. I tried switching out a cheap saddle with an ebony saddle that I had lying around. The old saddle looked to be shorter on the side of the first string. The uke sounds wonderful, but the first string is still having the same issue. I switched out the string from a worth clear to a worth brown and it still has the same problem. My next guess would be the nut or fret issues.

Any suggestions what I should do next? The other strings seem to be fine.

I've had the uke for 8 months and didn't notice this issue before, but it may have been there. I might not have paid attention or cared since I have quite a few that I rotate between.

Thanks for any help.

mav79
09-03-2010, 09:12 PM
Hey. I actually had the same problem with my Kala KA-KS (the Koa wood version of your Uke), which I wrote about here last week. Basically, the strings went noticeably sharp up until the fourth fret (mainly the C and E strings), but past that went back to normal (or only slightly sharp). The first thing I did was change the strings to a D-Tuning set of D'Addarios, which were a slight improvement. For a while, I compensated by not putting as much pressure on the strings that went noticeably sharp. After a week of playing, though, the problem seemed to take care of itself, though the strings remained sharp (no longer audible, but according to my electric tuner it was).

Anyway, my theory right now is the slack of the strings. The D-Tuning D'Addarios were tighter than the C-Tuning aquilas that it came with. I'm just hoping, though, that the Aquilas it came with were just bad due to long use (I bought the the uke at a walk in music store, and it was just out on display for anyone to play with). I ordered a new set of C-tuning aquilas, and will order a set of D'Addarios too.. hope it works cause I prefer playing in C than D.