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View Full Version : fixing intonation after replacing nut



fleadermaus
03-21-2009, 09:02 PM
I took my Ohana to a repair shop today and asked them to replace the nut. The first string on the instrument was too close to the edge of the fretboard. They told me that if they shifted the slot position on the new nut, it would make the instrument sharp. Well, I can see how that would happen, but wouldn't it be possible for them to adjust the bridge or saddle to compensate? Would that be an unreasonable amount of extra work for the flat fee? The nut replacement will be about $50.

ukantor
03-21-2009, 11:27 PM
I don't see how moving the string slot inwards by a few thou would make a significant difference to the intonation. However, if you are having difficulty with your fretting fingers pushing the string off the edge of the fret board, can't you correct that with a slight change of technique? I'd definitely give that some thought before spending $50 on adjusting the uke.

Ukantor.

fleadermaus
03-22-2009, 06:35 AM
I thought I could just get used to it, but the longer I tried, the more distracting I found the issue. I would be overly cautious with my ring and pinky fingers, constantly pausing to check exactly where they landed. The $50 would be buying peace of mind more than anything else.

ukeatan
03-22-2009, 06:45 AM
Hmm, I agree with ukantor here... and I would be suprised if the nut was set up that poorly to begin with. Have you had another uke player give it a go to see if they have the same problem?

Otherwise, your $50 might be better spent upgrading your uke :)

fleadermaus
03-22-2009, 07:05 AM
I never got anyone else to play it, but none of the other ukes I've owned or tried(admittedly, only 4 or 5) have had this issue. You may be right in that it would be more rational to save that money toward a better uke, but now that I own this instrument I want to be able to play it. If it costs more than $50 I will write the instrument off.

Renaissance-Man
03-22-2009, 07:09 AM
Is the g-string offset more than the a-string, or do they both have the same offset distance on the fretboard?

fleadermaus
03-22-2009, 07:34 AM
Is the g-string offset more than the a-string, or do they both have the same offset distance on the fretboard?
The A-string is noticeably closer to the edge than the G-string.

Renaissance-Man
03-22-2009, 07:57 AM
In that case, you could pop the nut off yourself and recenter it correctly. You'll most likely not have any new intonation issues. If it works out to your satisfaction, you can replace the nut yourself (keeping the original), or have it replaced. If it doesn't work-out, just slide the nut back to it's original position.

dentuke
03-22-2009, 08:43 AM
You can also fill the G groove of the nut using Thin CA (cyano glue) and baking soda then re-file the new groove to your liking.......

ukantor
03-22-2009, 09:25 AM
I'd go with Renaissance-Man's suggestion. It is easy to knock the nut off. No need to glue it back right away. Just slide it over until the strings are equally spaced from the edges. String tension will hold it in place long enough for you to try it and decide what to do next. If that does the trick, a very small spot of super glue applied to the joint at one end of the nut will hold it in place.

Ukantor.

ukeatan
03-22-2009, 09:29 AM
I'd go with Renaissance-Man's suggestion. It is easy to knock the nut off. No need to glue it back right away. Just slide it over until the strings are equally spaced from the edges. String tension will hold it in place long enough for you to try it and decide what to do next. If that does the trick, a very small spot of super glue applied to the joint at one end of the nut will hold it in place.

Ukantor.

To be clear though, Renaissance-Man's and dentuke's suggestions address different problems, right? I think Renaissance-Man is assuming that the grooves in the nut are evenly spaced, but are off-center in relation to the nut, while dentuke is assuming that only the 1st string groove is off-center and the rest are correct... :confused:

ukantor
03-22-2009, 09:49 AM
Ukeatan, the problem is that the nut is offset towards the 'A' string. Fleadermaus has said so. I think Dentuke means, once the nut has been moved over to give more clearance at the 'A' string, then the 'G' string might need to be moved in slightly.

Anyway, it is not a difficult thing to fix, and doesn't need an outlay of fifty smackers.

Ukantor.

ukeatan
03-22-2009, 10:13 AM
Sorry, this is confusing to describe (or maybe I'm just confused :() A picture would help.

Fleadermaus said:

The A-string is noticeably closer to the edge than the G-string.

Which could mean that either all of the strings are closer to the 1st string edge of the uke than they should be, or only the 1st string groove was incorrectly filed too close to the edge, in which case you don't want to move the others.

In any case, I def. agree with you that it's not a fifty buck problem!

fleadermaus
03-22-2009, 10:24 AM
Thank you all for the advice. I've decided to take it to the repair shop after all because I just don't feel comfortable messing with the nut myself. From what you've told me, I should not be getting the uke back with significant intonation problems. We'll see how it goes.

ukeatan
03-22-2009, 10:27 AM
Thank you all for the advice. I've decided to take it to the repair shop after all because I just don't feel comfortable messing with the nut myself. From what you've told me, I should not be getting the uke back with significant intonation problems. We'll see how it goes.

good luck! hope you can keep those fingers on the old fretboard!

freedive135
03-22-2009, 05:04 PM
I had kinda the same problem with my Pono Soprano the A string is very close to the edge and it would cause me to roll the A string off the fretboard.

I solved it by putting on Aquilla Concert strings (higher tension) in place of the Ko'olau Golds and they feel better and sound better too.