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jerry54
01-23-2016, 06:37 PM
I purchased a Ohana SK-20S ukulele in November which had been professionally set up prior to my purchase. I have noticed that it is very difficult to keep the E and A string in tune for any length of time. The G and C strings seem to hold their tuning fairly well. I took it back to the instrument store that I bought it from and had a tech go over it. He could not find anything wrong and suspected that these 2 strings were still not properly stretched out yet and instructed me on stretching the strings before I played it until they stayed in tune. I use a Snark tuner as well as internal tuning to check tunings. I have played this instrument for approximately 30 minutes almost every day for the last 3 months. I'm not convinced this is a string problem as much as I suspect a tuning peg problem. The pegs currently on it were factory installed. What are some other thoughts on keeping this uke in tune and/or what other brands of tuning pegs should I consider to see if the pegs are the problem. Thanks for any and all suggestions.

Camsuke
01-23-2016, 06:44 PM
Hi Jerry, welcome to UU!

Can you post a photo of the headstock? The tuners should be OK if they are geared, one possible problem is the the tuner posts have too much string wound around them maybe?

Brad Bordessa
01-23-2016, 06:45 PM
1 of 3 things.

1. The strings are slipping somewhere.
2. The frame of the 'ukulele is shifting.
3. The strings themselves are moving.

Does it go flat or sharp? Do you change locations/temperature/environments between playing?

Usually it's like the dude at the music shop said and the strings just need to settle. Also possible that they were installed wrong and are actually slipping looser.

spookelele
01-23-2016, 06:50 PM
That's a geared tuner. It's very unlikely that the tuner is slipping. You could check the screw though just in case since it's opened gear tuner. The black screw in the middle of the brass gear. That screw holds the post to the gear, but even so, that post should slide down onto a keyed bit, so slippage there also seems unlikely.

More likely it's the strings.
Aquilas continue to stretch for kind of a long time, but shouldn't still be stretching much after 3 months.
You could try changing the strings to a flouro carbon.
They tend to be pretty stable after a week or so, and just stretch less than nylon.

spookelele
01-23-2016, 06:53 PM
Do you change locations/temperature/environments between playing?

That's an excellent point.
Today, I was at a friend's house, and she brought out her uke. I tuned it on the couch, and then sat by the fireplace to play, and it was out quite a bit in just a few minutes.

Tootler
01-24-2016, 12:15 AM
Strings do vary. I've just changed the strings on one of my ukuleles. While the G, C & E strings are reasonably stable - enough to maintain pitch during a playing session, the A string goes out and will need retuning after a while. The A string is also noticeably more off pitch than the G, D or E strings after leaving overnight. I've noticed this in the past with other ukes; one string, not necessarily the A string, takes longer to settle than the others to the point that while the other strings are in tune after leaving it overnight or longer, that one string still needs bringing up to pitch. Maybe you're a little unlucky that you have two strings that are taking longer to settle.

I agree with the suggestion of trying fluorocarbon strings, they do settle quite quickly though all strings will need "tweaking" for quite some time after fitting. Of course, you may prefer the tone of nylon based strings - that's a matter of personal taste.

PhilUSAFRet
01-24-2016, 01:21 AM
After no more than a week, my Aquilas are very stable. For the first day or two, I leave the uke where I can easily grab it and tune it 4 or 5 times a day.
If the tuners aren't slipping, or the strings aren't slipping on the post (highly unlikely), you have a mystery to be solved. Hope you get it squared away soon.

DownUpDave
01-24-2016, 01:28 AM
If it has geared tuners as spooklele said that should not be the problem. Temperature variations will cause the tuning to go sharp as the uke warms up. We see this in Canada, the uke will be cool when pulled from the case and then warms up. The very first thing I would do is change strings, the thinner strings are sometimes less consistent when manufactured and can be the source of the problem.

Some ukes will show constant tuning variances with temerature and humidty fluctuations, wood moves, some more than others. No strings need three months to stretch out if you are playing it 30 minutes a day. Most quality florocarbon strings settle 100% after 6-8 hrs playing time.

The way the string sits on the tuner is critical. It must come from the middle of the headstock to the tuning peg. The string winds from the hole down towards the headstock stock. Lastly and most important the string should wrap 3-5 times so it does NOT overlap itself. If that happens the string will always be going out of tune. To achieve the 3-5 wraps with nonwound strings pull the string tight before turning, no slack is needed. It will stretch enough to give you the desired wraps. I have included two pictures for your referance. If you know all of this already sorry for the lecture, it might help others though. Good luck

8771187710

jerry54
01-24-2016, 04:17 PM
Here are front, angled front and back of head stock877268772787728. The strings always go flat; not an entire 1/2 step but just enough to be noticeably out of tune. I have checked the screws for the gears and none even remotely need adjustment.

UkerDanno
01-24-2016, 04:23 PM
Might be some bad strings, put some new ones on it.

mm stan
01-24-2016, 07:38 PM
Slippery strings, go twice in the tuner post or even better tie a knot there.
What strings are you using and quickly do they go out of tune.
If i were you upgrade to premium strings at tie a knot in the post hole
3 times max around each post maximum.. good luck, happy strummings

ProfChris
01-25-2016, 01:22 AM
Here are front, angled front and back of head stock877268772787728. The strings always go flat; not an entire 1/2 step but just enough to be noticeably out of tune. I have checked the screws for the gears and none even remotely need adjustment.

All the lightly built ukes I've ever played go out of tune between playing sessions. This is because the body wood moves as it adjusts to the temperature of your body/different room temperature, etc. Solid woods move more than laminates.

What I do is to hold the uke and strum it for 30 seconds or so - this tends to bring it back closer to being in tune. Then I tweak the tuning, and after 5 minutes or so tweak it again. At that point it holds for the rest of the session. If you bring the strings to tune immediately, as the uke warms they go out again.

If this uke holds tune once you're into a playing session, then I'd say it's fine. That's just what they do.

actadh
01-25-2016, 02:48 AM
Even the type of heat you use in your house makes a difference. When I am using natural gas to heat, there are less problems as it does not dry out the air as much. If I am camped on top of an electric forced air space heater, I will need to keep tuning.

TheCraftedCow
01-26-2016, 09:44 AM
If you are convinced it is a tuner problem and want to fix them, consider PEGHEDS. Tim Szerlong reviewed them on www.ukeeku.com and I didn't bribe him to write it. In fact, I did not even know he was going to review them. I am having a special sale of $56.00 +7.00 shipping at $$42.00 +7.00

cpmusic
01-27-2016, 06:38 AM
Here's another thought: when you tune, do you tune up to the note, or down to it? That is, do you start a little flat and tighten the string to bring it to tune? The reason I ask is that most geared tuners almost have a tiny bit of lost motion, and tuning down can let the string go a bit flat.

Another thought, already noted, is that the tuners aren't up to the job. I don't know who made the tuners on your uke, but I've seen that parallelogram tuner design on a lot of inexpensive ukes, and some of them have been downright terrible. If different strings don't help and the uke is structurally sound, new tuners would be a logical next step. An inexpensive option is Grover Sta-Tite ukulele tuners, which run about $14 from Stewmac. I've used them to replace lousy tuners on three ukes, and they made a huge difference. See http://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and_Parts/Tuning_Machines/Ukulele_Tuning_Machines/Grover_Ukulele_Tuning_Machines.html

70sSanO
01-27-2016, 06:51 AM
I'm with Stan that the strings are slipping somewhere. It could even be at the knot in the bridge. I can't say that I have had strings slip over a period of months, but I have had a knot on an A string slowly slip over a week or two to where it eventually un-knotted (< real word???).

If you are really convinced that only those 2 tuners are the issue, and you are a little bit adventurous, swap the A and G tuners with the E and C tuners. All it takes is a phillips screwdriver. I'm better you will have the same slipping problem.

John

cpmusic
01-27-2016, 07:04 AM
It could even be at the knot in the bridge.

Also a good point. The type of knot in this website will hold better than a simple knot: http://www.pohakuukulele.com/pages/t_knots.html

hoosierhiver
01-27-2016, 07:15 AM
That's a geared tuner. It's very unlikely that the tuner is slipping. You could check the screw though just in case since it's opened gear tuner. The black screw in the middle of the brass gear. That screw holds the post to the gear, but even so, that post should slide down onto a keyed bit, so slippage there also seems unlikely.

More likely it's the strings.
Aquilas continue to stretch for kind of a long time, but shouldn't still be stretching much after 3 months.
You could try changing the strings to a flouro carbon.
They tend to be pretty stable after a week or so, and just stretch less than nylon.

They improved their formula last year, they settle in much quicker than they used to.

Allen
01-27-2016, 09:11 AM
If you are using Aquila's then change them to something else. There is a reason why you don't see any of the high end builders using them.

RichM
01-27-2016, 09:16 AM
If you are using Aquila's then change them to something else. There is a reason why you don't see any of the high end builders using them.

My Moore Bettah came with Aquilas. Chuck will be crushed.

mm stan
01-28-2016, 02:14 AM
Also a good point. The type of knot in this website will hold better than a simple knot: http://www.pohakuukulele.com/pages/t_knots.html
True but i ruled that out as the string would get shorter and eventually slip off