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bREAd
10-07-2009, 03:57 PM
hay ,this may be asked many a times but can someone please tell me what this all means? Sounds like a beauty therapy session but does it heighten the sound or feel of the ukulele in any way. thanks

#
fret dressed and polished
#
fretboard oiled and waxed
#
nut and bridge adjusted

Uncle-Taco
10-07-2009, 04:36 PM
hay ,this may be asked many a times but can someone please tell me what this all means? Sounds like a beauty therapy session but does it heighten the sound or feel of the ukulele in any way. thanks

#
fret dressed and polished
#
fretboard oiled and waxed
#
nut and bridge adjusted

I'll take a shot at it: Those are elements of a set-up.

Fret dressing and polishing involves, usually, leveling the frets such that there are no high spots or low spots relative to the other frets. This is done by abrasion mostly, so then the frets are polished smooth. This keeps your strings from buzzing or deadening out. It often also means you finish the edges by either rounding or beveling them smooth.

Oiling and waxing the fretboard is just that. It means taking super care of the wood so it will resist cracking and hand gunk. Usually people use some kind of oil (mineral oil, lemon oil, orange oil) to clean the fretboard, and on some woods they wax it like furniture or floors.

Nut and bridge adjustment means to make sure the notches in the nut are at the appropriate depth and width for the string to ride in it, plus make sure the string rides at the appropriate height above the frets. Adjusting the bridge means this, too, and also making sure the bridge fits in the tailpiece like it should so your instrument vibrates right and notes sound and ring appropriately.

Someone qualified doing this for you is a lovely, lovely thing and it will make your instrument much more enjoyable. A well-set up instrument is a joy and a blessing; a poorly set up instrument is a sad thing.

(How'd I do?)

uke552
10-07-2009, 04:41 PM
Sounds good Uncle. A set up is so very important! if you are buying from MGM, you should be very happy with the all around service. You can read many threads on this site about him and his crew from a bunch of happy customers.

sukie
10-08-2009, 02:18 AM
:agree::agree::agree:

kissing
10-08-2009, 02:46 AM
I think the service MGM provides is really reassuring that the instrument you get will be at its best setup :)

No wonder I purchased 3 ukes from MGM within a timeframe of 6 months :D

Skrik
10-08-2009, 03:00 AM
I think the service MGM provides is really reassuring that the instrument you get will be at its best setup :)

No wonder I purchased 3 ukes from MGM within a timeframe of 6 months :D

It's good for the customer that there is a business that puts the customer's satisfaction in the forefront. It is unusual these days.

It's good to see that the business model (if it may be called that) also appears to benefit MGM.

hoosierhiver
10-08-2009, 03:28 AM
Getting ukes straight from a factory without any personalized set-up is a real crap-shoot. You could get a great uke that doesn't sound good due to the above mentioned issues and more. Unless you are comfortable and at least a little knowledgable in setting up your uke, having it tweaked by an experienced luthier AND ukulele player is a huge bonus.

RevWill
10-08-2009, 04:02 AM
Frets that aren't properly finished or polished will feel rough when bending notes or applying vibrato. The added friction will choke out sustain and chew up your strings.

Ever played an instrument where the ends of the frets sprout out from the sides of the fingerboard? It's not comfortable and makes an instrument feel cheap.

A non-oiled fretboard is susceptible to drying out. A good wax and polish will keep it looking and feeling great. A fretboard that is not properly cared for will be susceptible to fret sprout (see above) because the wood has shrunk around the fret ends.

Even minor tweaks to the bridge and nut can make a noticeable difference in the playability of the uke: easier to press the strings down, better intonation up the neck, eliminating fret buzz, etc.

So the answer to all of the above is a resounding yes - all of these things affect the playability of the instrument.

Ukuleleblues
10-08-2009, 12:30 PM
Ever played an instrument where the ends of the frets sprout out from the sides of the fingerboard? It's not comfortable and makes an instrument feel cheap.


I've cut a finger on a sharp fret. Man that hurts