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View Full Version : NUD (New Uke Deficiency) Effin Ukeless



pootsie
05-12-2015, 05:14 AM
I was very excited to get my new Effin Ukeless yesterday: a solid-body piezo-electric Les Paul mini-clone. At $150, the price was right!

I can share actual pix, but it looks just as advertised:
http://butlermusicstore.com/product/effin-guitars-model-ukelesssb-solid-body-electric-ukulele-in-a-sunburst-finish

A very solid, clean look. Black, like Johnny Cash's wardrobe. (We have a black cat named Johnny Cash, by the way.) The electronics are in tip-top shape (on the uke, not the cat), the tuners are solid, and the frets are nice and smooth. The action at the nut is right. I am 95% happy.

But ... I have one slight issue. The action is about six or seven inches too high at the saddle. OK, maybe an exaggeration, but it is maybe 2mm beyond where it should be. At fret 12, it gets pulled almost 30% out and takes too effort to get it there.

You can actually see in the Butler Music pix that it seems they are all like that:
79484

So I want to bring the saddle down. I have done that on a couple of acoustic ukes with no problem and feel confident I can get a good result but I have one hesitation, for which I need your advice.

This model has an under-saddle piezo. I do not want to damage that as I try to fix the action. So, my question for you awesome people: Is it better to sand it down in-place, or should I remove it to take it down and, if so, how do I do that without damaging the little piezo thingy?

Pix and sounds to come.
Thanks, and rock on.:music:

Mattyukaholic
05-12-2015, 05:36 AM
I'd take it out. Normally the pick up will be located under the saddle but not attached in any way. You can take it out, sand it down and it will sit back on top.

pootsie
05-12-2015, 05:45 AM
I had read somewhere that removing might be tricky because of some foil contacts or something. Is there a trick to it?

And wouldn't it be more fun to use an electric sander on it while it is in place and amped? I could sound just like Einstürzende Neubauten! (OK, just kidding about that ... or at least I was until I thought about it more.)

Thanks for your input.

SteveZ
05-12-2015, 07:12 AM
I'm going to give mine a shot at lowering the action as well. I was satisfied for the beginning, wanting to check it out completely before I started customizing. Am going to remove the saddle and sand it down from the bottom, taking off about a third.

Edit - just got the saddle out. the piezo braid lays flat in the channel, no stray foil or stuff in there. Should be a straightforward sanding job.

pootsie
05-12-2015, 07:17 AM
I'm going to give mine a shot at lowering the action as well. I was satisfied for the beginning, wanting to check it out completely before I started customizing. Am going to remove the saddle and sand it down from the bottom, taking off about a third.

I was wondering if yours had the same issue.

gregmchugh
05-12-2015, 07:36 AM
Mine is coming today. Looking forward to seeing how it goes with your fixes to the action...

SteveZ
05-12-2015, 07:49 AM
Have finished. The saddle came out as it should, sanded easily, and went back in cleanly. The photos show the saddle height and action at high end of fretboard as it is now. Ran a check of all strings/frets and did not find any buzzing, bad contact, etc. at all. Will wait for strings to restanilize and then back to playing.

79486 79487

pootsie
05-12-2015, 07:53 AM
Lookin good, Steve.

Will keep you posted, Greg.

SteveZ
05-12-2015, 08:03 AM
The action could probably go lower and still be okay. Would do real measurements before I went any lower, just to be on the safe side. I really don't like adding filler into the saddle canal (sanding too much can be a problem) unless it's a no choice situation. So, I'm going to give the UkeStart a month or so before I do anything else to it, seeing then what I really need to.

UkerDanno
05-12-2015, 01:24 PM
I mean...anyone ordering something called "Effin Ukeless" gets what they deserve! :shaka:

pootsie
05-13-2015, 05:56 AM
Laugh it up, Danno. Waddya want for $150?:cool:

I took the saddle out to work on it with no problem last night. It is actually fairly loose-fitting so it came right out and all was well when I was done.

I took it down a couple mm and it is greatly improved, but more can be done. The problem now is that the saddle is just barely peeking above the bridge. The bridge itself needs to be shaved down to allow the saddle to come down enough. It looks like Steve's model is not quite so far off.

SteveZ
05-13-2015, 06:31 AM
Laugh it up, Danno. Waddya want for $150?:cool:

I took the saddle out to work on it with no problem last night. It is actually fairly loose-fitting so it came right out and all was well when I was done.

I took it down a couple mm and it is greatly improved, but more can be done. The problem now is that the saddle is just barely peeking above the bridge. The bridge itself needs to be shaved down to allow the saddle to come down enough. It looks like Steve's model is not quite so far off.

When you all get your's the way you like it, let's meet on Skyle to compare results. I could shave the saddle more, but it's okay the way it is. Again, for the price I'm not expecting a Fender Strato. I still think it would be a great instrument for hotel-room use when not amped.

gregmchugh
05-13-2015, 06:32 AM
Mine arrived yesterday. Checked and the bottom of the strings are about 1/8" above the 12th fret. How does this compare to where you guys are setting yours up?

SteveZ
05-13-2015, 06:41 AM
Mine arrived yesterday. Checked and the bottom of the strings are about 1/8" above the 12th fret. How does this compare to where you guys are setting yours up?
Just measured mine. String height is 1/8th inch at the 12th fret, and saddle height is 1/2 inch at the inside bridge base.

gregmchugh
05-13-2015, 06:44 AM
Very good, mine seems to have come with a reasonable action so I am not going to adjust anything for now...

WhenDogsSing
05-14-2015, 08:02 AM
You all might try putting a washer shim between the neck and body on each of the 2 back neck attachment bolts. This will tilt the neck downward and lower the action.

pootsie
05-14-2015, 08:19 AM
You all might try putting a washer shim between the neck and body on each of the 2 back neck attachment bolts. This will tilt the neck downward and lower the action.

Thanks for the advice. But as I think about it, whatever I put in there would have to be VERY thin to bring the bridge down around 1mm with a lever arm 5-6" long from that spot. I do not math well enough to figure out the right thickness

SteveZ
05-14-2015, 11:21 AM
I put the Aquila Reds low-G string set on my UkeStart. Besides looking good, they stabilized well and sound pretty good.