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View Full Version : Alulu Tenor Ukulele Kit Build



copper999
05-19-2018, 09:22 AM
Hi all,
As these kits have minor defects and are unfinished, for approximately 80 delivered, represented descent value.
I decided it was something that would give me a challenge to complete (hopefully to a high standard). As for the sound, i'll only know once completed.
It only took 8 days to arrive and was very well packaged. Also, I ordered some 4mm Green abalone dots for the fretboard to give it some class.
If you want a challenge, go for it.
Glenn
109095
109097
109099
109100
109101

anthonyg
05-19-2018, 01:08 PM
I have some Alulu ukuleles and they are perfectly decent instruments for the money although not perfect. May I suggest that you measure up the instrument now to check saddle, nut and even fret placement now before you do any finishing work. If the saddle needs to be removed and repositioned do it now before working on the finish.

It wouldn't' surprise me if the nut and saddle were slightly misplaced so sort that out first.

kohanmike
05-19-2018, 03:22 PM
You shouldn't post the same thing twice.

copper999
05-19-2018, 03:37 PM
Well it wasn't intentional.

copper999
05-19-2018, 03:38 PM
Thanks. What are the measurements please.

anthonyg
05-19-2018, 10:35 PM
Thanks. What are the measurements please.

Well that depends on the instrument. Is the instrument a Soprano, a Concert, a tenor or a baritone? Is it built in inches or mm?

Lets say its nominally a Tenor size instrument. If it was buit in inches then 17" is standard but I've measured them at 17 1/2".

If its built in mm then 432mm is standard but sometimes its 430mm. 17" by the way is 431.8mm so figuring out if its 17" (431.8mm) or 432mm isn't always easy.

Anyway.

Actual scale length is, nominal scale length, say 17", plus saddle compensation, so, a 17" scale tenor should measure 17 3/32" or close to from the nut to the saddle.

Nominal scale length is also the distance from the nut to the centre of the 12th fret x 2. Actual scale length is the distance from the nut to the centre of the 12 fret x 2 + saddle compensation.

Still with me?

Start by measuring from the top edge of the fretboard to the centre of the 12th fret. Measure in inches and mm. Which lines up better. Say 8 1/2" or 216mm?

Is the distance from the top of the fretboard to the leading edge of the saddle slot double the distance + a fraction more for compensation?

copper999
05-20-2018, 04:32 AM
It's a tenor. Thanks for the detailed info, i'll start measuring.

copper999
05-20-2018, 05:39 AM
It's a tenor. Thanks for the detailed info, i'll start measuring.

Nut to 12th fret is 8 1/2". However, scale length is
16 3/4". Do I need to move the saddle back too include saddle compensation due to the scale length being what it is?

anthonyg
05-20-2018, 12:40 PM
Nut to 12th fret is 8 1/2". However, scale length is
16 3/4". Do I need to move the saddle back too include saddle compensation due to the scale length being what it is?

Yes, you need to move it back to a fraction longer than 17". What you have measured is a COMMON mistake which is why I wanted you to measure for it before you went any further. Just to be clear, have you measure to the leading edge of the saddle slot? Not to the leading edge of the bridge itself?

copper999
05-20-2018, 01:27 PM
Leading edge of the bridge itself. (hopefully I won't have to remove the bridge)? :wallbash:

Sven
05-20-2018, 05:23 PM
I recommend reading some more before touching tools or wood. Here’s a place to start, and on the page is a link to the fret calculator. I’m sure there’s a wealth of knowledge on youtube as well.

http://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Online_Resources/Learn_About_Guitar_and_Instrument_Fretting_and_Fre tw/Scale_Length_Explained.html

copper999
05-20-2018, 05:39 PM
Thanks for the link...makes sense now.

sequoia
05-22-2018, 06:41 AM
Leading edge of the bridge itself. (hopefully I won't have to remove the bridge)? :wallbash:

Measure to the middle of the saddle slot not the leading edge of the bridge. Should be about 3/32" longer than 17 inches to get approximate intonation compensation.

copper999
05-22-2018, 07:52 AM
Thanks. Here's what my measurements are:-
nut to 12th fret =219mm
Nut to middle of saddle slot = 434mm
This equates to a difference of 4mm. Do I move the bridge back 4mm to compensate plus 3/32"?

Sven
05-22-2018, 10:33 AM
Just to make sure, are you measuring from the front of the nut? If so, then your [I]scale length[I] is 219 x 2 = 438 mm. Put that into the fret calculator I showed you and check all frets to make sure the fretboard is decent. If you tell the calculator it’s a ukulele it’ll give you a ballpark figure for the compensation needed.

copper999
05-22-2018, 10:56 AM
Yes, your figures match mine. Thanks

sequoia
05-25-2018, 06:48 AM
434mm equals 17 3/32 which is spot on for metrically challenged people like me. Imperial sucks, but I can't help it, Im American.

Pete Howlett
05-28-2018, 07:30 AM
I am unclear what's going on here and the advice being given. From the nut to the 12th fret x 2 is the scale length. The string length is usually longer than this and as someone who achieves good if not excellent intonation I can affirm that the stew mac compensation is not quite correct.

On my bridges, from the front of the 3mm saddle slot to the leading edge of the bridge is 2.8mm. Add 2.8mm to 1.5mm (the centre of the saddle slot) and you get 4.3mm which in my experience is too much compensation. What I do is make a line perpendicular to the centreline 432.5mm from the nut. This is where I place the leading edge of my bridge. Intonation is near perfect with this amount compensation. I find it easier and much more logical to work to edges I can see rather than those I cannot.

I hope you find a way to get this right as there is nothing worse than a ukulele tuned re-entrant that doesn't intonate past the 5th fret!

merlin666
05-28-2018, 08:11 AM
I hope you find a way to get this right as there is nothing worse than a ukulele tuned re-entrant that doesn't intonate past the 5th fret!
I bought an older KoAloha with ebony saddle that has worse intonation than that. Do you have suggestions on how to address this?

Pete Howlett
05-28-2018, 08:12 AM
Get a luthier to put it right?

anthonyg
05-28-2018, 01:53 PM
I am unclear what's going on here and the advice being given. From the nut to the 12th fret x 2 is the scale length. The string length is usually longer than this and as someone who achieves good if not excellent intonation I can affirm that the stew mac compensation is not quite correct.

On my bridges, from the front of the 3mm saddle slot to the leading edge of the bridge is 2.8mm. Add 2.8mm to 1.5mm (the centre of the saddle slot) and you get 4.3mm which in my experience is too much compensation. What I do is make a line perpendicular to the centreline 432.5mm from the nut. This is where I place the leading edge of my bridge. Intonation is near perfect with this amount compensation. I find it easier and much more logical to work to edges I can see rather than those I cannot.

I hope you find a way to get this right as there is nothing worse than a ukulele tuned re-entrant that doesn't intonate past the 5th fret!

Thanks for your input Pete. Just to be clear, your saying that you place the leading edge of the saddle at 432.5mm for a nominal 432mm scale length when using a 3mm saddle thickness. Is this correct?

I had been concerned that the stewmac compensation was a fraction long myself but I didn't have any good data to challenge the stewmac recommendation with.

Pete Howlett
05-28-2018, 09:11 PM
No and I don't think I made it quite clear:


217mm x 2 = 434. This is MY scale length
2.8mm from the front edge of the bridge is the front edge of the saddle slot
My saddle slot is 3mm wide therefore its centre is 1.5mm from either long edge
4.3mm is too much string length compensation
My compensation that works for me and the Worth browns I use is 3.3mm

anthonyg
05-29-2018, 12:37 AM
No and I don't think I made it quite clear:


217mm x 2 = 434. This is the scale length
2.8mm from the front edge of the bridge is the front edge of the saddle slot
My saddle slot is 3mm wide therefore its centre is 1.5mm from either long edge
4.3mm is too much string length compensation
My compensation that works for me and the Worth browns I use is 3.3mm



Thanks Pete. Stewmac are quoting 434.55mm +/- 0.5mm at the string BREAK point as the correct compensation for a nominal scale length of 432mm so thats roughly in the range of 2 to 3mm. Your going a fraction longer not shorter than stewmac recommends.

Pete Howlett
05-29-2018, 02:34 AM
Because my scale length is 434.... Compensation is anywhere between 2.8mm and 3.5mm with this scale length. It's not a science. I have found what works for my scale lengths by trial and error.

copper999
05-31-2018, 02:53 PM
Thanks, I'll take onboard your info and carefully measure again.

copper999
06-02-2018, 03:44 AM
Having just taken accurate measurements, I came up with the following :- scale length 424mm
front of saddle slot to leading edge of bridge 4.28mm
Width of saddle slot 3mm
1.5mm centre of saddle slot
5.23mm compensation?

Sven
06-02-2018, 05:38 AM
To me that sounds as a bit too much. I add between 2.5 and 3.5 mm to my scale lengths to get great intonation.

Also I get a bit confused by your measurements, sorry. I will write what I would do if I was to do your job. Please don't think I'm being patronizing.

1. Carefully measure the distance from the face of the nut (the end of the fretboard) to the middle of the 12th fret (the crown of the piece of fretwire).
2. Multiply that distance by 2 and write it down as the scale length.
3. Measure from the face of the nut to the middle of the saddle slot in the bridge. Write down that measurement as your string length.
4. Subtract the scale length from the string length. You should end up with 3.5 mm.
5. Since the saddle slot is 3 mm you will have the possibility to file the saddle and get a compensation for each string anywhere from 2.0 mm to 5 mm if you need that much.
6. If you get another number in step 4, re-position the bridge to get the center of the saddle slot where you need it.
(7. I would also enter the scale length from step 2 into the Stewmac fret calculator and check all the fret locations.)

Note that no measurement is taken to any point on the bridge itself. I would only measure to the saddle slot. The bridge could have any shape or dimensions.

Best of luck / Sven

copper999
06-02-2018, 06:38 AM
Many thanks Sven, I'll start measuring....again.��

copper999
06-02-2018, 07:21 AM
This is what I've come up with:-
Nut -12th fret 212mm x2 =424mm (scale length)
String length 427mm
Subtract scale length from string length = 3mm
Stewmac fret to fret calculator shows each fret at the correct distance. Will I now have to move the bridge?

Sven
06-02-2018, 11:02 AM
I wouldn’t move the bridge then. I would finish the build and make some music.

copper999
06-02-2018, 11:42 AM
Thanks Sven and all the other contributors. I now have buzzing on some of the strings, so now on to solving the next problem.