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SandChannel
06-21-2018, 09:19 AM
Hi there, everyone.

I have a Peterson clip-on tuner that I use for my acoustic instruments and it does a great job on my guitars and ukulele. I just got a banjolele and it uses a movable banjo bridge. I have no problem tuning the instrument with open notes... but the Peterson doesn't do a very good job of picking up vibrations of a fretted note at the 12th fret. Maybe because it is such a short scale instrument. This makes setting the intonation a little wonky because I am moving the bridge by ear as opposed to a tuner.

Any ideas on a tuner that might do a better job? Should I try something other than a clip-on tuner for this purpose?

mmn
06-21-2018, 09:30 AM
Sometimes I have to move the thing around a bit on the headstock to find a sweet spot. Also try and not squeeze the neck or do anything that might dampen vibrations through the neck when you fret it. And hold it in the playing position.

If it's an open back (no resonator) you could try clamping it on the body somewhere. And if your phone has a tuner app, that works with audio (mic) vs. acoustic coupling. Might work better.

Uke Don
06-21-2018, 09:30 AM
You can try the Strobosoft tuner for your phone, also from Peterson. It usually does pretty well, and you can set it to read in cents off the note.

SandChannel
06-21-2018, 09:40 AM
If it's an open back (no resonator) you could try clamping it on the body somewhere.

Geez. You are probably onto something there! I will give that a whirl today!

anthonyg
06-21-2018, 01:49 PM
Banjolele's can be difficult in this regard as they have short sustain in the first place and then its normal on any instrument for the sustain to get shorter as you go up the neck.

Start by placing the bridge/saddle where it is mathematically supposed to be and then checking intonation at the 3rd fret, the 5th fret, the 7th fret and the 10th fret and see what the results are.

The formula for saddle placement is the distance from inside the nut to the centre of the 12th fret x 2 +compensation (start with 2mm compensation). If the intonation is sharp move the saddle further away and if the intonation is flat move it closer. Make very fine adjustments and retest.

Its highly likely that the intonation will be flat on some frets and sharp on others so you will need to make some compromises.

I don't support the idea/notion that you just need to test the intonation at the 12th fret as its overly simplistic and leaves many people thinking that they have done the job correctly when they haven't.

Geting the intonation right is far more complicated than just getting it right at the 12th fret and I haven't even opened up the can of worms that is the nut placements influence on intonation.

SandChannel
06-22-2018, 03:57 AM
Banjolele's can be difficult in this regard as they have short sustain in the first place and then its normal on any instrument for the sustain to get shorter as you go up the neck.

Start by placing the bridge/saddle where it is mathematically supposed to be and then checking intonation at the 3rd fret, the 5th fret, the 7th fret and the 10th fret and see what the results are.

The formula for saddle placement is the distance from inside the nut to the centre of the 12th fret x 2 +compensation (start with 2mm compensation). If the intonation is sharp move the saddle further away and if the intonation is flat move it closer. Make very fine adjustments and retest.

Its highly likely that the intonation will be flat on some frets and sharp on others so you will need to make some compromises.

I don't support the idea/notion that you just need to test the intonation at the 12th fret as its overly simplistic and leaves many people thinking that they have done the job correctly when they haven't.

Geting the intonation right is far more complicated than just getting it right at the 12th fret and I haven't even opened up the can of worms that is the nut placements influence on intonation.

I will have to give that a try. The lack of sustain as you move up the neck is what makes it hard for me to get the intonation where it should be. It also does't produce a strong vibration and that makes the clip on tuner lose the note very quickly as well. I have never tried to do it via a mathematical approach. I would begin the intonation process with the note at the 12 fret just to get the bridge in the approximate place before adjusting it as needed.

hoosierhiver
06-22-2018, 04:25 AM
Clip on tuners don't do as well on the vibration setting with banjoleles, try the mic setting if it has one.

SandChannel
06-22-2018, 05:17 AM
Clip on tuners don't do as well on the vibration setting with banjoleles, try the mic setting if it has one.

Oddly enough, the Peterson is packed with a lot of features but that is not one of them. They make a desktop one that has a strobe feature and microphone that I might give a go. For some reason, I use my phone for everything but I am having a hard time coming to terms with it as being my tuner as well!