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View Full Version : Saddle Modification to Correct Intonation



keeponukin
07-09-2015, 06:19 AM
I purchased a Mainland mahogany concert ukulele from Laurence White Luthery. When I had opened the box, I thought the front of the bridge had been broken and allowed the saddle to fall forward. According to Laurence White, this is a modification he makes on many ukes to correct otherwise poor intonation.

Check out the photos - has anyone seen this before or have experience with this modification? I must admit that the uke sounds great and intonation is spot on. I'll also add that his setup work is exceptional - easy player at the first fret and comfortable up the neck. I initially was put off by the saddle appearance and was going to return it, but it plays & sounds so good I can't let it go.

81360813618136281363

wayfarer75
07-09-2015, 06:22 AM
I'd just leave it, too, although I do think you could have been warned about the modification. My Barron River's saddle is slightly tilted toward the soundhole, but not to that degree. Its intonation is great.

anthonyg
07-09-2015, 10:57 PM
If the intonation is spot on then the intonation is spot on. This means that the intonation was incorrect as it left the factory. There are a LOT of factory ukuleles which have been built incorrectly when it comes to intonation.

You've done well to have bought the instrument from a luthier who cared enough to fix the intonation before shipping it out. If the luthier had made the instrument from scratch himself, and then made this fix I would be concerned but since he is fixing a large companies work in a cost effective manner then its just par for the course.

Anthony

PhilUSAFRet
07-09-2015, 11:24 PM
Wow, never seen a bridge/saddle set up that way before. As anthonyg said, It it's spot on, it's spot on. Why worry about it. Only possible problem is the Mainland Warranty.

Kayak Jim
07-10-2015, 01:09 AM
The location of the bridge must be WAY off to need the saddle tipped forward like that. It looks like the break point needed to be moved about 1/4". Hard to believe it could leave the factory so far off, even if was a second. Maybe Mike from Mainland will see this thread and can comment.

Hammond
07-10-2015, 01:20 AM
Interesting modification, is it the only modification he did on the uke, to correct intonation?

keeponukin
07-10-2015, 01:56 AM
The location of the bridge must be WAY off to need the saddle tipped forward like that. It looks like the break point needed to be moved about 1/4". Hard to believe it could leave the factory so far off, even if was a second. Maybe Mike from Mainland will see this thread and can comment.

It's hard to get the scale of the modification with these close up photos, but the shift in the break point is closer to 1/8 of an inch (3 mm). But I still agree with you that it is a substantial adjustment.

One of the things that concerned me about the design of the modification was that the bottom of the saddle has no contact with the bottom of the saddle slot in the bridge. (No UST pickup seems feasible here. ). The bottom of the saddle now is firmly planted against an angled face that was precisely cut in the rear wall of the saddle slot. (He paints the bottom of the saddle black so the mod is less noticeable) I can't imagine how he determines the angle & depth of that cut with such accuracy and get the action height correct. Because the saddle is now angled, adjustments to the saddle height for action will move the break point for the strings and mess with the intonation. But getting back to the issue of the saddle not having contact with the bottom of the slot, the uke still sounds great. It just seems that this design is radical, not to mention difficult, compared to what I've always known about uke bridge / saddle setup.

keeponukin
07-10-2015, 01:58 AM
Interesting modification, is it the only modification he did on the uke, to correct intonation?

Yes, I'm not aware of anything else.

The Big Kahuna
07-10-2015, 02:50 AM
Seriously, if you don't send that back, the person who sold it to you is going to spend the rest of his life laughing at you and telling the story of how he finally managed to sell the piece of junk to some gullible rube.

That isn't an "adjustment", it's taking the piss. It's only slightly preferable to sawing the neck off and glueing a strip of wood in the gap to make it longer.

SEND. IT. BACK!

Doc_J
07-10-2015, 03:08 AM
Seriously, if you don't send that back, the person who sold it to you is going to spend the rest of his life laughing at you and telling the story of how he finally managed to sell the piece of junk to some gullible rube.

That isn't an "adjustment", it's taking the piss. It's only slightly preferable to sawing the neck off and glueing a strip of wood in the gap to make it longer.

SEND. IT. BACK!

Yeah, must agree with The Big Kahuna. That looks odd. You'll never be able to resell something that looks like Rube Goldberg designed it. I've never seen a saddle correction look like that. Since the bridge was obviously in the wrong spot I would call it a second. Unless you got it an incredible discount and never plan to sell it, send it back.

The Big Kahuna
07-10-2015, 03:13 AM
He mentions blems on his website, so I wonder if he has some sort of deal where he buys the absolute junk for next to nothing, and then came up with this nonsense about it being "a modification he makes on many ukes to correct otherwise poor intonation".

He needs to be put on a list of dealers that should be avoided at all costs.

keeponukin
07-10-2015, 03:34 AM
.....laughing at you.....
.....piece of junk.....
..... gullible rube.....
.....it's taking the piss.....


Okay - you've covered all of the technical issues I posted about - thanks.

The Big Kahuna
07-10-2015, 03:43 AM
Okay - you've covered all of the technical issues I posted about - thanks.

If HMS or Mim or Elderly or Mainland Mike or Guitar Center or Sam Ash or 99% of all other stores had received this uke, they'd have returned it to their supplier. The fact that your retailer didn't, speaks volumes about the way he's willing to run his business.

You, however, can do whatever the f**k you wish with that information. Keep it or return it, I don't really give two shits.

keeponukin
07-10-2015, 04:08 AM
You, however, can do whatever the f**k you wish with that information. Keep it or return it, I don't really give two shits.
I always thought that this forum was for the productive exchange of information. And I get that you wouldn't touch this uke. But when you attach personal judgments to your opinions, like keeping this uke would make you a gullible rube, I think that undermines everything.

Then to break in with profanity - yes you really don't care.

The Big Kahuna
07-10-2015, 04:29 AM
I honestly give up with you people. It should be clear to anyone even remotely intelligent that I didn't call you a rube, I was merely hypothesizing on how he himself might consider this transaction.

buddhuu
07-10-2015, 04:33 AM
Butting in here due to a report from a member.

Ladies and gentlemen, where at all possible could we make at least a token attempt at diplomatic phrasing? Perhaps bear in mind the possibility of a family audience etc etc etc.

That said, and for what it is worth, in this particular instance I find myself heartily agreeing with the profane advice. Personally, I would not find that "modification" acceptable if it had not been disclosed prior to the transaction. In fact, I would be annoyed that the seller didn't mention it.

I would, of course, express that annoyance in restrained, diplomatic, moderator language containing no (or little) profanity.

wayfarer75
07-10-2015, 06:39 AM
Wow, never seen a bridge/saddle set up that way before. As anthonyg said, It it's spot on, it's spot on. Why worry about it. Only possible problem is the Mainland Warranty.

Good point. I didn't think of that. Hopefully keeponukin got a good deal on it.

keeponukin
07-10-2015, 07:14 AM
Good point. I didn't think of that. Hopefully keeponukin got a good deal on it.

Yes, I did. The prices are listed on his website.

Catulele
07-10-2015, 07:32 AM
If HMS or Mim or Elderly or Mainland Mike or Guitar Center or Sam Ash or 99% of all other stores had received this uke, they'd have returned it to their supplier. The fact that your retailer didn't, speaks volumes about the way he's willing to run his business.

You, however, can do whatever the f**k you wish with that information. Keep it or return it, I don't really give two shits.



Well, since it's a Mainland Uke then obviously Mainland Mike did NOT return it to his suppliers. I don't think I'd take advice from someone who puts so little thought into his posts.

Down Up Dick
07-10-2015, 08:02 AM
Well, Big, now I've seen more of your posting, and you don't seem nearly as humorous as before. Even your put-downs are lame. I feel very sorry for you now; I hope your life improves. :old:

The Big Kahuna
07-10-2015, 08:24 AM
Stay out of this, ****rag.

jwieties
07-10-2015, 08:49 AM
I'd have the same initial reaction if I received that uke. However, like you, I'd also quickly come around to keeping it. What more can you ask for out of a uke for less than $200 other then for it to play and sound great.

I certainly would worry about resale.

If I had any concern, it would be about any future saddle adjustments. I tinker with set-ups to get it dialed in. This would be more challenging with this mod.

Cool uke. I could understand some wanting to sending it back, but I'd have no problem keeping it if it played well, sounds great and the uke otherwise appears in good/stable shape.

buddhuu
07-10-2015, 09:54 AM
Closing this for a moment. Check back in a few mins.

buddhuu
07-10-2015, 10:01 AM
Right. Some of you need to grow up.

The sweary kid at the back, grow up.

The goading little sneak taking snide pot-shots after a moderator steps in to comment, grow up.

Seriously, you guys, either behave yourselves or go find another forum. Or, of course, do the drama queen thing, push just a little further and get banned so you can wallow in martyrdom and the unjust way you've been treated.

To the other members, I apologise for yelling at the kids in the middle of the supermarket.

As always, anyone who objects to my handling is welcome to complain to the other mods/admin. Have a nice evening.

Luke El U
07-10-2015, 10:16 AM
Thank you buddhuu. I was beginning to wonder if I was still reading in the same good old UU forum.

Nickie
07-10-2015, 04:08 PM
I'd have the same initial reaction if I received that uke. However, like you, I'd also quickly come around to keeping it. What more can you ask for out of a uke for less than $200 other then for it to play and sound great.

I certainly would worry about resale.

If I had any concern, it would be about any future saddle adjustments. I tinker with set-ups to get it dialed in. This would be more challenging with this mod.

Cool uke. I could understand some wanting to sending it back, but I'd have no problem keeping it if it played well, sounds great and the uke otherwise appears in good/stable shape.

I agree....
this is one of the most interesting mods I've ever seen....I like modding about with my ukes, steel strings, re-shaped necks, sound holes, etc, but not sure I'm brave enough to try this. But WTH, if it fixed the problem, I'd play it to sawdust!
I sure hope we stop kicking sand in one another's faces here.
Thanks Buddhu for moderating this thread.
Let's be civil, ya'll....no need to get huffy over a little ukulele adjusting....(maybe attitude adjusting is in order?)

Captain Simian
07-10-2015, 04:29 PM
I purchased a Mainland mahogany concert ukulele from Laurence White Luthery. When I had opened the box, I thought the front of the bridge had been broken and allowed the saddle to fall forward. According to Laurence White, this is a modification he makes on many ukes to correct otherwise poor intonation.

Check out the photos - has anyone seen this before or have experience with this modification? I must admit that the uke sounds great and intonation is spot on. I'll also add that his setup work is exceptional - easy player at the first fret and comfortable up the neck. I initially was put off by the saddle appearance and was going to return it, but it plays & sounds so good I can't let it go.

81360813618136281363

I don't know... something about this screams snake oil to me. If he's a skilled luthier couldn't he have found a more elegant solution?

mm stan
07-10-2015, 05:04 PM
Intresting that he shortened the scale that much and if he was to glue wood blocks on the shave bridge, he could had easily made a slot for the saddle..as for the break angle, its not the severe
I say if it plays well and intonation is spot on...this uke is probally only a few hundred dollars... I don't think you're not going to add a pickup on this ukulele anyways....
it it bothers you that much send it back...otherwise just enjoy it, no big thing.... happy strummings

anthonyg
07-10-2015, 05:40 PM
I don't know... something about this screams snake oil to me. If he's a skilled luthier couldn't he have found a more elegant solution?

Elegant solutions cost $$$.

From what I can make out the luthier has taken instruments that were faulty and fixed them so that they are playable and intonate well, and then sold them at a budget price.

There is no headroom in his price to spend many hours making the fix look good. A whole lot of the price of high end instruments is the time it takes to make them look good.

If you really want to fit a pickup then a piezo spot such as a K&K Sound pickup would be the go. I don't like under-saddle piezo strips anyway.

Anthony

tangimango
07-11-2015, 11:16 PM
lol, you make reading forums delightful, big fan, your like conor McGregor.

Stay out of this, ****rag.

buddhuu
07-12-2015, 03:30 AM
lol, you make reading forums delightful, big fan, your like conor McGregor.

Thanks for contributing. I don't know how the thread would have survived without your helpful contribution.

buddhuu
07-12-2015, 03:33 AM
Say goodnight, Gracie...