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Thread: Zero Fret Nut position

  1. #41
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    Here's a photo of how you make sure every string is properly intonated (to the extreme) by working on the nut position..

    Nutcomp.jpg

    I just don't think half a fret slot is the answer. Even though it might help for one set of strings, it's unlikely to work the same for another set of different material/composition.
    Rodney Paul Adams

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Howlett View Post
    I'm motivated by the customer who has gone over an instrument with a Peterson tuner and complains about how many cents the intonation is out by...
    I suppose some customers loose sight of what really has value and what they are actually paying for. Surely the Uke’s a simple instrument, based on a broad traditional and pragmatic design, that has brought joy to many. You expertly interpreted and build to that design; IMHO it’s just silly to expect even the best of Luthier built instruments to be perfectly in tune everywhere - Luthiers work hard to achieve the best of what is practically possible. Such customers, with their extreme demands, remind me of the Hi-FI ‘Buffs’ who used to listen out for the scratches in records rather than enjoy the music.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 10-03-2017 at 12:08 PM.

  3. #43
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    Some customers though... I suspect I am looking for ways to improve and am getting to the end of the list. I'm gonna try this just to satisfy my curiosity. Thanks for all of the input. A valuable contribution to my improving skills most gratefully received. Now I just got to program my CNC... (and that is another story )

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Greenbag View Post
    Such customers, with their extreme demands, remind me of the Hi-FI ‘Buffs’ who used to listen out for the scratches in records rather than enjoy the music.
    You are playing my music Graham. Right on... Still, as a player I don't really like funky sounding notes at certain positions. As a builder all I strive for is minimal funk and I'm happy. My two cents worth as in two cents worth of error is 2 cents worth good enough. But gosh darnit, it could be better. I'd take right on or 1 cent but the ukulele is what it is and maybe that is part of the charm.

  5. #45
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    A 2 cent error in intonation isn't that bad. I can live with a 2 cent error on some strings and some frets however I've played new ukuleles that had a 5 cent error at the 2nd fret and even worse up the neck. That kind of error is terrible and puts new players off.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyg View Post
    A 2 cent error in intonation isn't that bad. I can live with a 2 cent error on some strings and some frets however I've played new ukuleles that had a 5 cent error at the 2nd fret and even worse up the neck. That kind of error is terrible and puts new players off.
    Yup, dreadful for a new player because they think it's their error not the instrument. Mostly the reason is a dreadful nut, and this could have been avoided by using a zero fret

    I build with zero frets but I don't sell my ukes (if you own one it is genuinely priceless!) and so can't say how the market perceives them. My guess would be that on a non-factory instrument there would be no negativity, because it's clearly not a cost cutting device.

    But don't leave a big gap between the zero fret and the string spacer (nut) as that always looks cheap.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPA_Ukuleles View Post
    Here's a photo of how you make sure every string is properly intonated (to the extreme) by working on the nut position..

    Nutcomp.jpg

    I just don't think half a fret slot is the answer. Even though it might help for one set of strings, it's unlikely to work the same for another set of different material/composition.
    I meant to reply to this earlier. The instrument pictured is a 6, steel string guitar. Nylon string ukuleles don't need ANYTHING that extreme yet a LITTLE nut compensation is good. My two bobs worth. 1 mm compensation is plenty and then file back if the intonation has gone flat on the first few frets. Make a test instrument and figure out how much you need yourself. It won't be as radical as this example.
    Last edited by anthonyg; 10-06-2017 at 12:46 AM.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by gilles T View Post
    Hello,

    Funny to see how such a mundane matter can become so controversial...

    From my own experience, and after a totally intuitive idea, I saved a cheap Mahilele soprano with terrible intonation issue just by putting a piece of metal cut off from a paperclip as a poor man's zero fret, which keeps in place only by the pressure of the strings. The intonation is still not spot-on, but really tolerable so, yes, I do think that zero fret affects strongly the intonation — for the better in my case.

    just my 2 cents,
    regards,

    Gilles
    They must have had the same idea, as my Mahilele has a zero fret and good intonation!
    Kiwaya KTS-6
    Enya X1 soprano
    Kiwaya KTC-2
    Ohana BK20

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