View Full Version : Notes get sharp as I go higher.

12-03-2009, 06:00 PM
I believe this is called intonation but I'm not sure. I bought my uke from MGM and while it's ok it's nowhere near in tune when I get to the twelfth. Even the 3rd fret on the a string is a sharp C but only by a little. How do I fix this or do I just have a lemon of a uke? I bought the kala solid acacia tenor. Sounds wonderful aside from that.

Oh btw, my action is very low too, it's barely buzzing on the c string on 3rd fret but not enough for me to care.

More information I figured out. My G string is 15 cents low and my A string is 20 cents high on the 12th fret. Is there anything that can be done about this?

12-04-2009, 12:05 AM
At first glance, it sounds like a high action - but you say the action is very low. It COULD be that the strings are low at the saddle end, but still high(ish) at the nut. The gap between the top of the first fret and the bottom of the strings should be about the thickness of a credit card. If it is much more than that, it should be adjusted by lowering it at the nut, which would probably mean you would have to raise it at the saddle, to avoid troublesome buzzing.

The bridge COULD be misplaced, but this is unlikely. Poor strings can give this kind of problem, too. It needs to be looked at by someone with experience.

Very nice uke, BTW.

John Colter.

ps. you MIGHT be using more finger pressure than is necessary. Try using just enough - a gorilla-grip is not required.

12-04-2009, 12:22 AM
It's definitely worth checking out the bridge saddle height like John said.

The bridge saddle on the Kala can be taken out. That means you can try popping a shim or two or three under it to raise the height. I usually cut them from the lids of plastic margarine tubs.

I always set action at the nut of my instruments before adjusting it at the bridge. It's easy to get nut action right, but harder to set it at the bridge if the nut is not right...

Another thing is that the ebony saddles on some of the Kala acacia tenors have been fractionally too narrow to fit snugly in the saddle slot (as mentioned by Matt/thejumpingflea in his video review) - that can mean that the saddle may lean forward in its slot. That could put the intonation out.

12-04-2009, 02:13 PM
I turned my A string backwards and now its 20 cents low instead of high. All the other strings are now within +-6 cents on the 12th and I did what jumpingflea said to do and put something in the space to fill up the bridge gap. I'm thinking it's my A string.

12-04-2009, 05:35 PM
New strings are always a good idea when intonatin becomes a problem. It could simply be the strings. If a new set doesn't fix it then the saddle and nut are the next areas of interest.