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Tigermelon
09-08-2017, 11:15 AM
Hey, Ukulele Gurus. I'm sure this has been posted somewhere but I haven't been able to find what I'm looking for by searching.

The C and E strings on my new uke hurt a little to press down and it's hard to get clean notes from them. I understand that this might be due to the action being too high. As a relative newb, I was wondering how I could tell if this was the problem or not before taking it in to be adjusted.

Many thanks in advance!

Nickie
09-08-2017, 12:01 PM
Hey, Ukulele Gurus. I'm sure this has been posted somewhere but I haven't been able to find what I'm looking for by searching.

The C and E strings on my new uke hurt a little to press down and it's hard to get clean notes from them. I understand that this might be due to the action being too high. As a relative newb, I was wondering how I could tell if this was the problem or not before taking it in to be adjusted.

Many thanks in advance!

I suppose it's remotely possible to have high action on the middle strings. Have you checked the height between the top of the frets and the bottom of the strings? You may have too high of groove cuts in the nut. Maybe a radiused saddle was put in on a non- radiused fretboard? Look down the top of the uke from one end. The saddle should be straight across. So should the nut.
Also, have you discussed this with the dealer who sold it to you?
We don't know anything else about your uke, so it's hard to say.
Sorry I can't be much help....

Ukecaster
09-08-2017, 12:30 PM
Aren't we all? :D

Tigermelon
09-08-2017, 05:01 PM
I decided to visually compare my new uke to the old one and I see that the nut is at least twice as high on the new one. I think the reason I felt like the middle two strings were different is simply because I use them more and was thus more aware of the difference. In reality, all of the strings are really hard to press at the top of the neck because the nut is just too high.

Knowing that, is it something that can be easily fixed? I am guessing that I could take it to a shop and have it sanded down...

Thanks again.

robinboyd
09-08-2017, 07:17 PM
Get yourself a string action ruler. They're about $5 from ebay. Measure the height of the string from the frets at the 12th fret. People have different opinions on what is a good height, but probably somewhere between 2.5 and 3mm?? Anyway, if it's high, then get some 120 grit sandpaper, stick it to a flat surface. Remove the saddle from the uke and mark how much you want to take off with a pencil. A general rule of thumb (not accurate at all) is that taking off 1mm at the saddle lowers the action by around 0.5mm. Sand the BOTTOM of the saddle, making sure to maintain a flat base. Don't sand the top. Replace the saddle and see if things have improved. Only take it down a bit at a time, and don't get frustrated if you have to check several times. However, if you get the action how you like it and find that it has exposed a problem with uneven frets, feel free to swear your head off. I know I did!

P.S. Thanks to Booli for giving me the same instructions in the first place.

Rakelele
09-08-2017, 07:45 PM
Sounds like this problem is caused by high action at the nut rather than at the saddle (but of course, the two are interrelated). There are special files with individual gauges to deepen the nut slots. Or like you suggested, you could take it to a pro to have the action adjusted. Either way, it has to be done very carefully, as taking away too much will cause greater problems.

Jarmo_S
09-08-2017, 08:31 PM
Easy way to check the outer strings is by credit card. If there is gap between 1st fret and the string it is high action.

Mine is fine on A-string, but G and I guess also C and E strings are a bit too high. Makes harder fingertips :)

MopMan
10-03-2017, 06:47 PM
However, if you get the action how you like it and find that it has exposed a problem with uneven frets, feel free to swear your head off. I know I did!

I know I'm late to the party but I liked the punchline to your story! :rofl::rofl::rofl:

Rllink
10-04-2017, 02:48 AM
2mm-3mm at the 12th fret, bottom of the string to the top of the fret. Just measure it with a ruler. If it is more than 3mm it is too high.

JackLuis
10-04-2017, 05:54 AM
Adjust the nut first, by sanding the bottom as above, then measure the 12th fret and if it is too high, sand the bottom of the saddle qabout half the amount you need adjusted.

OR
Take it to a shop. My local shop charges about $10 to fix these action problems and they know what they are doing and have the file to adjust individual strings at the nut.

THis makes a big difference in how playable your Uke is. Well worth it.

jer
10-04-2017, 07:42 AM
Unless you're willing to invest some money in some decent files as well as practice and learn how to properly setup a string nut, I'd say just take it to a good shop and let a pro do it. Of course you have to find one of those first. If you're going to pay for the job, make sure you decide on what strings you want to keep on the uke first. That way the setup can be fine tuned specifically for that set of strings. Then in the future you just buy the same strings.
Personally, I don't agree with sanding the bottom of the string nut. I think to get the best, most accurate setup you need to work on the nut slots themselves. Each slot is slightly different in depth and width because of the variation in the strings that go into them as well as in the way they vibrate. So depth and width are both important.
I hope you get this resolved so you're happier with your uke.

robedney
10-05-2017, 07:44 AM
Unless you're willing to invest some money in some decent files as well as practice and learn how to properly setup a string nut, I'd say just take it to a good shop and let a pro do it. Of course you have to find one of those first. If you're going to pay for the job, make sure you decide on what strings you want to keep on the uke first. That way the setup can be fine tuned specifically for that set of strings. Then in the future you just buy the same strings.
Personally, I don't agree with sanding the bottom of the string nut. I think to get the best, most accurate setup you need to work on the nut slots themselves. Each slot is slightly different in depth and width because of the variation in the strings that go into them as well as in the way they vibrate. So depth and width are both important.
I hope you get this resolved so you're happier with your uke.

I agree- adjust the nut from the top.