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Fudgers
01-15-2016, 05:51 AM
Hey guys,

I just picked up a Mainland Banjo Uke, and i've been having some trouble setting the bridge.

The general consensus seems to be that the bridge needs to be placed the same distance from the 12th fret as the 12 fret is from the nut. I've tried measuring and placing the bridge in that spot, but the intonation is pretty wildly off there. Gotten some better results by moving it farther away from the neck w/ a tuner, but I can't seem to get the intonation perfect on all the strings.

Does anybody have any tips? For reference, the uke has a concert size neck and an 8" head, which seems pretty unusual. I've tightened the head, and let the strings sit for a while as well.

DPO
01-15-2016, 08:44 AM
Hey guys,

I just picked up a Mainland Banjo Uke, and i've been having some trouble setting the bridge.

The general consensus seems to be that the bridge needs to be placed the same distance from the 12th fret as the 12 fret is from the nut. I've tried measuring and placing the bridge in that spot, but the intonation is pretty wildly off there. Gotten some better results by moving it farther away from the neck w/ a tuner, but I can't seem to get the intonation perfect on all the strings.

Does anybody have any tips? For reference, the uke has a concert size neck and an 8" head, which seems pretty unusual. I've tightened the head, and let the strings sit for a while as well.

The bridge placement is often not at ninety degrees to the neck and Will more than likely need to to be angled one way or the other to get all strings In tune. The measurement nut to 12th fret etc gets you in the ballpark only.
Concert sized Ukes with 8 inch heads are the norm.

kypfer
01-15-2016, 12:20 PM
Hey guys,

I just picked up a Mainland Banjo Uke, and i've been having some trouble setting the bridge.

The general consensus seems to be that the bridge needs to be placed the same distance from the 12th fret as the 12 fret is from the nut. I've tried measuring and placing the bridge in that spot, but the intonation is pretty wildly off there. Gotten some better results by moving it farther away from the neck w/ a tuner, but I can't seem to get the intonation perfect on all the strings.

Does anybody have any tips? For reference, the uke has a concert size neck and an 8" head, which seems pretty unusual. I've tightened the head, and let the strings sit for a while as well.

Having started at the theoretical "correct place", you'll need to wriggle the bridge around to get best compromise. Do note at this point that unless you have a compensated bridge, preferably one compensated to suit the strings you've got fitted, it'll never be perfect ... as to whether anyone will notice ;)

Anyway, you need to get the harmonic of the string at the 12th fret to sound, so just rest your fretting finger on any one string above the 12th fret then pluck the string. You should get a note exactly one octave above the normal note for that string when unfretted.

Next, fret the same string at the 12th fret and pluck it again ... chances are the note will be slightly sharper than the harmonic. If so, move the bridge slightly (a millimetre or two) towards the tailpiece and try again. After a couple of iterations you should be able to get the fretted string and the harmonic to sound the same.

The bridge is now in the "correct" position for that string.

Repeat for the other strings, twisting and sliding the bridge as necessary to get best compromise. On a re-entrantly tuned ukulele (normal high-G strings) with an uncompensated bridge, it's quite likely the bridge will end up fairly close to 90 degrees to the strings to the neck, as you've got a treble string at each end.

Banjos are notorious for sounding out of tune ... it's part of their charm ;) ... so don't struggle to get everything perfect ... it won't happen!

Enjoy :)