View Full Version : muffled a string

02-06-2015, 11:05 AM
Hi All,

I have a Makai tenor ukulele. All the strings ring out nicely, except for the a string. I replaced the stack strings with a new set of Aqulia red strings. There is no place that I can see the a string hitting a fret.
I have this problem with one other ukulele it is a concert size I bought on ebay from Bruce Wei, the a string has the same muffled sound, perhaps not quite as bad.
The problem only exists when the string is played open, if you fret it any fret on the fret board it's as clear as any other string.

02-06-2015, 11:34 AM
I have the same problem with my A string on a custom mandolele from Bruce Wei. I'm thinking it's the groove in the nut, but I haven't done anything about it yet.

02-06-2015, 11:56 AM
Most likely that the A-string is hitting the frets. I'm no expert, but this could be due to a few factors:

-Saddle is too low
-Nut groove is cut too low
-A fret is too high
-The neck has too much bow

Generally I find that the easiest way to fix it is get a new saddle. It's not that hard to find a generic ukulele saddle on eBay or online.
Get some coarse sandpaper and shape it into the size and height you want it, but slightly higher than the existing one. By raising the action a bit, it could eliminate that problem.

02-06-2015, 03:03 PM
I think if it was hitting a fret it would buzz. If it sounds fine when fretted, there's probably something going on with either the nut or the nut's relationship with the string. A luthier can diagnose this in a second. Take it in.

02-07-2015, 03:50 AM
Thanks for all the input.
I took the a string out of the nut groove and placed it on top of the nut. It sounds a lot brighter.
I welcome any and all suggestions. Thanks

02-07-2015, 03:54 AM
I think if it was hitting a fret it would buzz.

It could buzz or muffle, depending on how the string is hitting the fret.

Either way, easiest fix is heightening the action... or perhaps trying a different set of strings