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bearbike137
06-24-2016, 04:37 AM
As a lifelong guitar player who does my own set-ups (including cutting saddles), I am well-versed in intonation. For example, I know that all else being equal, a thicker gauge string will fret sharper at the 12th fret than a thinner gauge string made of the same material. A lower tension string will fret flatter, etc.

However, ukueles? Good golly. They are beasts unto themselves when it comes to intonation. For example, Oasis offers two options for a Tenor: a Bright set and a Warm set. The only difference is the dimensions of the 1st and 4th strings - the Warm set having thicker string dimensions. Otherwise, the material appear to be the same (although I have no idea as to the density specs of the materials).

Strangely, the thicker Oasis 1st string (.230") actually frets flatter at the 12th fret than the thinner (.215") 1st string. Very weird. I don't see any real effect of the string swap on the neck relief - so I have no idea what causes this.

I now routinely "roll" different sets of strings on my ukes in order to find the best mix of tone and intonation. The difference between different string sets is often simply amazing.

I love ukuleles - but they are strange little creatures! :rolleyes:

saltytri
06-24-2016, 04:57 AM
So true! This podcast (in episode 6) provides interesting insight from the setup maestros at TheUkuleleSite and is well worth a listen:

https://soundcloud.com/theukulelesite

UkerDanno
06-24-2016, 05:58 AM
I try not to worry about it...:shaka:

Rllink
06-24-2016, 05:58 AM
It is so hard to use logic in an illogical world.

Booli
06-24-2016, 06:08 AM
IMHO, Independent of string diameter or linear density, I have found that HIGHER tension strings will intonate better at almost ALL frets than lower tension strings, and as such strings with closer diameters will be easier to intonate as a set than strings with diameters farther apart in size, with compensating BOTH the nut AND the saddle.

Thicker, higher tension strings seems to require the LEAST effort to get to intonate as close as +/-1 cent from the first fret up to the 15th fret on tenors.

The sole exception to this that I have found is with the Martin M600 string set on a TENOR, which seem to intonate better than the Martin M620 set, and NO you will NOT tear the bridge off putting thinner strings on a longer scale, the tension balances out for the M600 set, to be LOWER tension than the Martin M620 set, and you get a slightly brighter tone but with an EASIER play-feel on tenor scale with the M600s vs. the M620s.

Unless the instrument is poorly made to begin with, it should be just fine to put THINNER strings on a longer scale, as well as putting slightly THICKER strings on a shorter scale.

Anyone who says otherwise, really needs to educate themselves in torque, tension and how these are APPLIED over a length/distance and how they all interact with each other from a physics point of view.

ProfChris
06-24-2016, 09:04 AM
Strangely, the thicker Oasis 1st string (.230") actually frets flatter at the 12th fret than the thinner (.215") 1st string. Very weird. I don't see any real effect of the string swap on the neck relief - so I have no idea what causes this.

The thicker strings, if made of the same material, will be at higher tension to get the same note. That might explain the difference.

Another possible explanation is if you tend to press the string hard down onto the fretboard, rather than just until it touches the fret. If you really mash the strings onto the fretboard, you can stretch the thinner string more, increasing its tension but not its length because the fret sets that length, and thus making it sharper than the thick string. To put it another way, if I fret lightly and pluck, then increase finger pressure, I sharpen the note.

The test would to to fret as lightly as you can and still sound the note, to see if you get the same result.

Tootler
06-24-2016, 09:12 AM
Another possible explanation is if you tend to press the string hard down onto the fretboard, rather than just until it touches the fret. The high tension might lead you to press it down harder, stretching it more, in which case you lengthen the string more and so flatten it. The test would to to fret as lightly as you can and still sound the note, to see if you get the same result.

I noticed this recently when I was checking the intonation on a cheap plastic uke (Korala Explore, cost %GB). If I pressed down firmly the intonation was up to 15 cents out at the 1st, 3rd and above the 5th fret. Press lightly so the string just touched the fret but rang clearly and the intonation was acceptable; not perfect but acceptable as far as I am concerned within 5 cents everywhere.

manfromtexas
06-24-2016, 09:38 AM
First check your ukulele and see if it says "Makala Waterman" anywhere -

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
06-24-2016, 09:42 AM
Andrew Kitakis and his set-up crew at Hawaii Music Supply discuss the myths and realities of ukulele intonation on his most recent podcast. It's a must listen IMO.

https://soundcloud.com/theukulelesite

bearbike137
06-24-2016, 10:07 AM
Andrew Kitakis and his set-up crew at Hawaii Music Supply discuss the myths and realities of ukulele intonation on his most recent podcast. It's a must listen IMO.

https://soundcloud.com/theukulelesite

Agreed! Just listened to that podcast this morning. Good stuff!

Nickie
06-24-2016, 01:18 PM
What does this mean?


I now routinely "roll" different sets of strings on my ukes in order to find the best mix of tone and intonation.

And what is meant by five cents off?

Inksplosive AL
06-25-2016, 08:18 PM
What does this mean?


I now routinely "roll" different sets of strings on my ukes in order to find the best mix of tone and intonation.

And what is meant by five cents off?

Hehe hand rolled strings, that's my two cents. Put your 2 cents in and were a penny off!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJczf-fY3bE

I do what I want I run with gangs! lol Actually I'm quite a lone wolf/ bear type. That's how I roll... Rolling is also a term used by those who do psychedelics though I'm quite certain it means he mixes strings.

The five cents off thing is a side effect of paying too much attention to your tuner syndrome or PTMATYTS

~AL~

Mivo
06-25-2016, 11:39 PM
Andrew Kitakis and his set-up crew at Hawaii Music Supply discuss the myths and realities of ukulele intonation on his most recent podcast. It's a must listen IMO. https://soundcloud.com/theukulelesite

This was very interesting, thanks for pointing it out.

Unrelated to the intonation topic, earlier in the podcast there was some talk about string materials that almost sounded like nylon might "generally" be better, but also not really. Are any fluorocarbon string sellers actually manufacturing the material themselves? Or does everyone buy fishing line in bulk and repackage it? Are there many different companies that make fluorocarbon fishing line?

DownUpDave
06-26-2016, 01:23 AM
What does this mean?


I now routinely "roll" different sets of strings on my ukes in order to find the best mix of tone and intonation.

And what is meant by five cents off?

"roll" refering to the old term "roll your own" basically meaning he is making up sets of strings himself by using different brands in diferent positions. Example G & C strings from Oasis, E string from Worth and A string from South Coast.

"cent" refers to the percentage that a string is out of tune. Think of 5 hash markers on a Snark tuner. So if the A string is off 5 cents at the 12th fret that means the intonation is off 5 percent approx. That is the best way I can describe it, maybe someone else will give a more accurate answer...........Booli???

Booli
06-26-2016, 01:47 AM
"roll" refering to the old term "roll your own" basically meaning he is making up sets of strings himself by using different brands in diferent positions. Example G & C strings from Oasis, E string from Worth and A string from South Coast.

"cent" refers to the percentage that a string is out of tune. Think of 5 hash markers on a Snark tuner. So if the A string is off 5 cents at the 12th fret that means the intonation is off 5 percent approx. That is the best way I can describe it, maybe someone else will give a more accurate answer...........Booli???

Thanks for the shout out - I agree with everything you said here.

it seems to me, that via the common usage, that:

cents = shorthand for PERcent

But I got no hard proof, so this is just a guess..:)

Mivo
06-26-2016, 02:34 AM
I found this useful, if a bit complicated: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cent_(music)

Booli
06-26-2016, 03:14 AM
I found this useful, if a bit complicated: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cent_(music)

That link is both interesting and useful. The cents is a logarithmic measure, similar to the decibels measure.

My take-away as per what it says is that each semitone (whether it be a fret, or piano key) is 100 cents apart.

So it seems that my inference was ok, being that +5 cents from note 'A', is 5 cents SHARP, or 5 PERcent sharp going up in pitch towards note 'B'.

Hopefully Nickie will report back if this info helps, or just serves to confuddle the whole matter worse...

AndrewKuker
06-26-2016, 09:07 AM
That's right Booli except it would be 5 percent sharp going to A# from A. There's 100 cents between A and A# and another 100 cents from A# to B.

Booli
06-26-2016, 09:39 AM
That's right Booli except it would be 5 percent sharp going to A# from A. There's 100 cents between A and A# and another 100 cents from A# to B.

Yes you are correct with actual note names, I was not being so literal yet instead speaking figuratively, maybe I should have said LOWER note to HIGHER note, so maybe for my comment above, substitute 'A' with 'lower note' and 'B' with 'higher note' or 'next incremental semitone'.

Kekani
06-26-2016, 10:53 AM
What does this mean?


I now routinely "roll" different sets of strings on my ukes in order to find the best mix of tone and intonation.


The OP being from the guitar world, the term "roll" is used in the place of "swapping out" as in "rolling tubes" in a tube amp. Different tubes, different output/tones/etc.

With everything involved in setting up an ukulele, imagine adding in string height from the pickups (multiple ones tool), string spacing at the bridge, trussrod, etc. Now also add in Amps, cabs, effects, etc. We have it easy!

Nickie
06-26-2016, 02:07 PM
Thanks Booli, everyone....I think I get it now. I been wondering what "cents" means for a long time. It took me a long time to get up the guts to admit I'm ignorant.

mikebell48
07-02-2016, 03:20 AM
It seems that my impaired hearing has its advantages, a few cents sharp or flat at the 12th fret doesn't make a bit of difference to my playing pleasure. :) Seriously though, listening to the podcast it's clear to me that we maybe stress too much about this stuff.