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deschutestrout
01-24-2015, 09:17 AM
Okay, just got a new-to-me Martin C1K (LOVE it, by the way!), it came with a compensated saddle ... what a concept. Intonation on this baby is spot on (I know, this can be accomplished with a good set up with a lot of saddles).

Question...have any of you replaced your saddles with a compensated one? As with the guitars I've set up, I'd imagine a myriad of intonation issues could be solved by a compensated saddle. Just curious.

spookelele
01-24-2015, 09:48 AM
Well.. I guess the question is.. do you need to compensate, and if so, how much.
Each uke is a little different. If you bought a pre-compensated saddle, what would it be calibrated to?

deschutestrout
01-24-2015, 10:17 AM
Well.. I guess the question is.. do you need to compensate, and if so, how much.
Each uke is a little different. If you bought a pre-compensated saddle, what would it be calibrated to?

Excellent point. I'm still tempted to throw the Martin one on one of my ukes that has some gremlins and see what results I get ... If I do, I'll report back :-) Or, just take that uke in for a solid set up. Or...get out my files and wear a surgical gown :-)

Congi
01-24-2015, 11:04 AM
I bought my Koa Pili Koko pineapple soprano from italian music store (eBay). Intonation wasn’t ideal for my playing style. Seller replied that short-scale acoustic instruments a 1/4 of tone mistake around 12th fret is fully acceptable and also claimed ukuleles are typically played on upper side of fretboard. He recommend me try different strings instead doing anything for saddle.

I can’t say he was wrong because a straight saddle without compensation was part of design. I had only two alternative either stop playing on upper register or make a new compensated saddle. I made one and now it sounds much better. I attached a photo.
75344

Do your ukulele need a compensated saddle or do your music need a compensated saddle?

deschutestrout
01-24-2015, 11:16 AM
Do your ukulele need a compensated saddle or do your music need a compensated saddle?

Huh? Not sure I understand your question. My uke makes music...they're one and the same as far as the need for intonation help.

Congi
01-24-2015, 11:35 AM
Just want say "the person who designed your ukulele think there is no need for compensated saddle".

spookelele
01-24-2015, 11:35 AM
1/4 step?!

I'd call BS. If someone sounds like they're making an excuse.. they're probably making an excuse.

Anyway, you could compensate your own saddle.
I bought a bag of 30 plastic saddles for $15 delivered amazon prime. Even the bone ones aren't that expensive. Maybe my ears aren't as good as some peoples, but I really can't hear a difference between a bone and a plastic saddle.

What I do, is grind the top flat, and grind the sides to the right length for the slot.
Then I mark where the strings will be with a sharpie on the top.
On the original saddle, I tune the open string, and then play the 12th, and write down if it's sharp or flat.
Then I take a file, and grind the saddle at an angle / or \ depending on which way I need to correct.
When the pitch is right on the 12th, I then file the other side, so there's a peak /\ in the right place.
If there's any sharpie left, it wipes off with rubbing alcohol.
Then I grind down the bottom of the saddle to set the action height.

It's not that difficult to do, and doesn't take that much time. As long as you're careful with the filing, by keeping the angle of the file consistent, it should look tidy. I keep the original saddle, mostly because I like being able to go back just in case, and really, I'm only risking 50 cents per attempt if I totally mess it up, or grind too much.

Congi
01-24-2015, 11:39 AM
Hi Spookelele

I do exactly same.
Here is another example

75351
This one is made from Chinese bone ;)

kohanmike
01-24-2015, 05:41 PM
I added a compensated saddle to one of my ukes and the intonation is really good, but most all my others with straight saddles are pretty good too. I have a Vorzon electric solid body uke with fully adjustable saddles, which are a pleasure to use. I wish Lanikai would license their ukulele adjustable saddle, it sure seems to be a good idea.

Strumdaddy
01-24-2015, 08:04 PM
Intonation on a uke will vary from instrument to instrument, and for different types of string on the same uke.
I play it for a while to get the right strings, then - with a low-ish action, compensate the saddle if necessary.
Generally the strings will need to be a little longer as the string diameter gets bigger - but sometimes not.
My Ko'olau is the only uke I have that has a straight saddle, all the others have been fiddled with.
Intonation is very important to making sweet music.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
01-24-2015, 08:54 PM
High action is also something that can adversely affect intonation and that should be the first thing to correct before anything is done to the saddle. The saddle on the uke that Congi posted is extremely high. Is the action above the 12th fret high as well? And yes, the shorter the scale the more compensation it needs.

Congi
01-25-2015, 07:21 AM
High action is also something that can adversely affect intonation and that should be the first thing to correct before anything is done to the saddle. The saddle on the uke that Congi posted is extremely high. Is the action above the 12th fret high as well? And yes, the shorter the scale the more compensation it needs.

Extremely high indeed, but thats the only way of make this KPK ukulele playable. The action above 12th fret is 2.4 mm (0.095"). The reason why this happens because the soundboard shrunk and sank down seriously even humidity level in my apartment is between 40-50%. This is very typical with Chinese or Vietnamese ukuleles. Anyway, this KPK pineapple is now very playable and has decent sound.

coolkayaker1
01-25-2015, 07:27 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-cl=84503534&x-yt-ts=1421914688&v=mV1LzXf1TKQ

Congi
01-25-2015, 07:38 AM
Well, I try not to be too serious when it's about Ukulele (for fun).

TheCraftedCow
01-25-2015, 07:41 AM
Height of the bridge is different from compensating the length of the strings. What is about to be said assumes the height to be correct... Is 1/8 width standard for the insert? I don't have anything wider than that on my collection. My model for compensation comes from my Shawn Hines (Bloodworks) soprano. the #4 string is sloped so it is to contact at the front edge. The #3 is as far to the rear as possible, and a diagonal from the 3rd string position to the front corner of the #1 side shows the positions of #s 2 & 1. Both 2 and 1 get a bit of filing on both sides. If the current bridge is the correct height, using another piece of material gets the height correct after filing the string slots.

Cfiimei
01-26-2015, 06:52 AM
Hmmm... I may cut up a dog bone and try a compensated saddle on my 8 string... THAT should be a fun project! ;-)

CeeJay
01-26-2015, 06:55 AM
Hmmm... I may cut up a dog bone and try a compensated saddle on my 8 string... THAT should be a fun project! ;-)

LOL I hope you mean a dog's bone...as in Fido's snack, or else you'll have the RSPCA..or Canine Defence League or similar after You !!!!

TheCraftedCow
01-26-2015, 10:25 AM
A piece of CORIAN makes wonderful bridges and nuts. The choice of colours adds a novel choice.

deschutestrout
01-26-2015, 10:44 AM
A piece of CORIAN makes wonderful bridges and nuts. The choice of colours adds a novel choice.

Hmmm, never thought of that. May just have to try it ... chartreuse may add some flair :-)

IamNoMan
01-26-2015, 12:06 PM
I canít say he was wrong because a straight saddle without compensation was part of design.
Do your ukulele need a compensated saddle or do your music need a compensated saddle?I suspect that a compensated saddle was not part of the design at all.

A compensated saddle moves your ukulele from equal temperament scale towards just scale. Both the ukulele and your music may benefit from a compensated saddle; but really how sensitive your ear is is the determining factor for whether you need such a thing.

The assertion was made that a compensated saddle would somehow be related to action height. I either do not understand or I simply disagree with this. Can someone elaborate on this please?

TheCraftedCow
01-26-2015, 11:24 PM
If the saddle is too high, as one presses a string to the fret, the string becomes the wrong length to stay in tune . The high nut or bridge means that the amount of bend (arc) needed to have the string touch the fret is more than if the string was closer to the fret in the open (no fingers on) position. Some instruments have a Zero Fret to make the action very low and easy to push down the strings.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
01-27-2015, 05:25 AM
Some instruments have a Zero Fret to make the action very low and easy to push down the strings.

With a good setup any nut can (should) be adjusted to mimic a zero fret.

spookelele
01-27-2015, 05:35 AM
With a good setup any nut can (should) be adjusted to mimic a zero fret.

Is there a reason not to use a 0 fret?
ie.. is there a draw back?

SweetWaterBlue
01-27-2015, 05:41 AM
Is there a reason not to use a 0 fret?
ie.. is there a draw back?

I'll be interested in that answer. My Flea with the zero fret is the best playing (action wise) uke I have. I've heard zero frets got a bad name years ago because being so easy to set up they were used on a lot of cheap guitars.

LanikaiLeon
01-27-2015, 10:21 AM
I added a compensated saddle to one of my ukes and the intonation is really good, but most all my others with straight saddles are pretty good too. I have a Vorzon electric solid body uke with fully adjustable saddles, which are a pleasure to use. I wish Lanikai would license their ukulele adjustable saddle, it sure seems to be a good idea.

There's a lot more to TunaUke than the Compensated Nut and Movable Saddle. Proper intonation on the ENTIRE FRETBOARD (not just the first few frets...) is quite dependent on the placement of frets, distance between the nut and first fret, and a lot of other fairly precise measurements that took us a lot of time to get right with the best factories in the business.... just my 2 cents!

Kekani
01-27-2015, 12:10 PM
Is there a reason not to use a 0 fret?
ie.. is there a draw back?

More to go wrong. Some will use a higher zero, and some the same height as the rest of the frets, which in theory should work.

Personally, a zero fret cannot determine the overall action of the instrument. Like a regular nut, it affects mostly the first position; its all saddle after that.

David Hurd used a zero, and his is not low end. Is it needed? Of course not. Is it easier to set action at the nut? Depends. You still have to slot to a certain depth; most just slot to the correct depth and are done.

There's a thread derail for you. . .

spookelele
01-27-2015, 12:28 PM
More to go wrong. Some will use a higher zero, and some the same height as the rest of the frets, which in theory should work.

Personally, a zero fret cannot determine the overall action of the instrument. Like a regular nut, it affects mostly the first position; its all saddle after that.

David Hurd used a zero, and his is not low end. Is it needed? Of course not. Is it easier to set action at the nut? Depends. You still have to slot to a certain depth; most just slot to the correct depth and are done.

There's a thread derail for you. . .

75412

Well... like this seems like an amazeballs way of doing it. No slotting needed, set and forget. If you have to have a diagonal break angle.. his (boat paddle) solution seems ideal.