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Thread: Poorly-mounted nut? Please review pics and let me know what you think.

  1. #1
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    Default Poorly-mounted nut? Please review pics and let me know what you think.

    Hi All,

    So after playing my new LU21-T for a while I got around to looking a bit closer at the build quality (I know, never a great thing to do with an entry-level ukulele). One thing I noticed is that the nut seems to be poorly-mounted, insomuch as it is actually "lifted" a few degrees forward from its mounting slot. By that I mean it doesn't sit flush with the slot, rather it looks as though it has shifted up and forward towards the fretboard.

    There's also an intonation issue with notes played above the 5th fret - notes are playing flat beyond this fret, most noticeably on the E and A strings. Not sure if it's related, but there you go.

    I've put a couple of photos together so that you can hopefully see what I mean and also let me know if you think this is more than just an aesthetic issue.

    Attachment 37413

    If you need more (or better) pics then let me know and I'll include them asap.

    EDIT: Having seen how tiny that pic came out even when it's "enlarged", I'm also willing to post some larger ones too if necessary.

    Thanks for reading,
    Ash
    Last edited by AussieAsh; 05-04-2012 at 07:52 PM. Reason: Because I can.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Larger pics probably necessary if you want the best advice.

  3. #3
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    Pretty much standard stuff. Your intonation problems are not nut related, more than likely. Change your strings.

    If it really bothers you, take it to a tech and have it setup (probably cost you more than the instrument).

    Aaron

  4. #4
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    Dec 2011
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    Agreed. Don't worry about the nut. Intonation is iffy at this price range.

  5. #5
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    Feb 2012
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    The nut looks OK to me too. It's hard to tell nut action as the photo is too tiny.
    you need to make sure it's about 0.015. Then check fret#12 action, and saddle compensation to get good intonation. Pretty standard procedure.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr roper View Post
    Agreed. Don't worry about the nut. Intonation is iffy at this price range.
    If I understand your comment correctly then I respectfully disagree. The majority of 'ukuleles in this range intonate pretty well once they're properly set-up. I've never worked on a Kala or Lanikai that had problems once the nut was set correctly.

    The OP's pics aren't adequate to judge from, but if the uke doesn't intonate well then the nut would be the first thing I'd have checked out. Nut set-up has been the cure for 90% of the 'ukulele intonation issues I've fixed.

    In fact, in any case where intonation is sharp at lower frets I'd put good money on the nut being the culprit.
    Rick

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  7. #7
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    Thanks, Rick. I admit my generalized statement was not helpful.

    Ed

  8. #8
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    I got an LU-21 to intonate very well but t took some work. Mine got sharper as I went up the neck, getting worse and worse (sharper and sharper) so by the time I got to 12 it was way sharp. I had to move the saddle farther from the nut, I widened the slot in the bridge (in the direction away from the nut), put in a wider saddle and slanted it so that the strings broke over it at the far edge (again, away from the nut). I lowered the action at the same time - both moves together stopped the "sharper and sharper as you go up the neck" trend. If yours gets flatter as you go up the neck I suspect the bridge might need to move towards the nut. If you measure the distance from the nut to the 12th freat and from the 12th fret to the bridge I will speculate more about this. You need to measure very precisely and measure to the place where the strings "break" off of the bridge. I'll send you a picture if you need better instructions.

    I would also fix the nut - on general principles, but my experience is that the nut is usually not so bad and so I start by looking at the bridge first, to see if it is placed correctly. I actually did change the nut on my LU-21 but it was a small issue, the saddle/bridge placement was the big problem. The nut was a minor problem and I did not notice it until a few months after I fixed the bridge. My ear was getting trained during that period because I was playing some other more expensive ukes.

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