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View Full Version : My Flea went sideways



Shazzbot
01-04-2016, 05:25 PM
I have owned my beloved soprano Flea for 4 years.
We have traveled the world together.
I restrung it with Martin 600's about two years ago.
It hangs on my wall when not on the road.
It is a rock.
I picked it up yesterday and it was way, way out of tune. And it won't hold tune.
I tightened the (standard friction) tuners and it helped a bit.
If it isn't in tune in the morning, I will definitely replace the strings.
My question is this:
Has anybody ever experienced an ukulele going south so quickly?
It's kind of disconcerting.

Booli
01-04-2016, 05:59 PM
I have owned my beloved soprano Flea for 4 years.
We have traveled the world together.
I restrung it with Martin 600's about two years ago.
It hangs on my wall when not on the road.
It is a rock.
I picked it up yesterday and it was way, way out of tune. And it won't hold tune.
I tightened the (standard friction) tuners and it helped a bit.
If it isn't in tune in the morning, I will definitely replace the strings.
My question is this:
Has anybody ever experienced an ukulele going south so quickly?
It's kind of disconcerting.

Depending upon how many hours of actual play time you have on the strings, they may need to be replaced. Common wisdom suggests to evaluate the strings for intonation and holding concert pitch every 100 hours or so of play time.

Having said that, strings under tension will eventually (a very long time) loose their tone, even if NEVER played due to the tension itself. It's a matter of physics.

Two years seems a long time to have strings on a uke that is played often without changing them. Temperature extremes can also be detrimental to strings.

However, unless your Flea has been damaged in some way, I highly doubt that it is the instrument itself that has failed. Strings are CONSUMABLE and do NOT last forever.

It could also be that the screws in the friction tuners need to be adjusted, which is a normal thing over time as humidity and temp changes will cause the wood in the headstock to alternately swell and shrink.

A new set of Martin M600 strings is like $5 USD everywhere, and a #1 Phillips head screwdriver can be used to adjust the tuner screws tighter. Both are an easy fix, and NOT the end of your Flea.

Just my :2cents:

Teek
01-04-2016, 06:01 PM
Yeah when the old repair I didn't know was there on the saddle of my Martin baritone started to let go. The saddle had been shimmed and glued because the front of the bridge slot was too thin and had started cracking. Only when the saddle started to tilt did I see it wasn't all proper bone.

Has the top changed in anyway, thereby changing the angle of the bridge and saddle? If it's an exterior wall temperature fluctuations could have had a slow but cumulative effect. I have way old strings on some of my ukes, also wall hangers, also exterior wall, so far so good except for one Dolphin that had the bridge start lifting.

Lori
01-04-2016, 06:56 PM
I have owned my beloved soprano Flea for 4 years.
We have traveled the world together.
I restrung it with Martin 600's about two years ago.
It hangs on my wall when not on the road.
It is a rock.
I picked it up yesterday and it was way, way out of tune. And it won't hold tune.
I tightened the (standard friction) tuners and it helped a bit.
If it isn't in tune in the morning, I will definitely replace the strings.
My question is this:
Has anybody ever experienced an ukulele going south so quickly?
It's kind of disconcerting.

When my uke sounds bad, and feels like it is out of tune even though I tuned it... time for new strings! I don't think I have ever broken a uke string, so they always get replaced when they start to sound bad. It is the natural course of things.

–Lori

bnolsen
01-04-2016, 07:10 PM
not sure where you live but i wouldn't be surprised if the friction tuners just gave and need to be adjusted. likely you'll need several days of retunings for the strings to settle again with the new tension.