View Full Version : Lanikai LU-21p bad intonation on the third string

01-06-2010, 03:14 AM
I just got my Lanikai LU-21p and Im loving the look and sound of it, certainly a fine uke for the price. The only problem is that the intonation on the e/d-string(third from the bottom) is sharp by nearly 1/4. I tried tuning the uke to both BF#DA and AECG, but the bad intonation on the third string was still very much there.

Seeing that this is one of my cheaper ukes, I was thinking I could experiment with it to try and fix the intonation problems. I believe what is making the third string go sharp is the height of the frets beneath the third string. Because when I press my finger on the third string the pitch changes if I press a bit harder, and I can clearly see the string being bent. This leads me to believe that the height of the first few frets beneath the third string is too great.

Using a small file to grind the fret a bit should theoretically do the trick, but Ive never acctually done anything like this to an intrument before so I dont know for sure. Suggestions?

Its acctually not as bad as I thought, If I make sure to press the third string a little less it sounds ok. I spent some time reading around and I understood that placement and high of the nut and bridge can also greatly affect intonation. Filing the nut where the 3 strings fit, bringing the third string closer to the fret board could help??

01-06-2010, 04:42 PM
Hi Krabben...and welcome to UU!!

First off, I'm a little confused by your description. You stated the 3rd string (from the bottom) and referenced it as the "E" string. The 3rd string from the bottom would be the "C" string (should also be the thickest out of the lot) for standard CGEA tuning.

Regardless...does the intonation get worse as you go up the neck? Also, check the action at the nut...if you hold one of the strings down at the 3rd fret, there should be about 0.010" clearance between the top of the 1st fret and the bottom of the string. You should be able to slide a business card between with a little resistance. High action at the nut can cause intonation to go sharp at the first few frets because of the extra tension required to press the string down to the fret.

Also...use a ruler (or some other straight-edge) and use it to check that the frets are level. This will tell you if you have a couple of frets sticking up higher than they should. I use 400 grit sand paper to level the frets. Make sure to put masking tape on the fretboard between the frets to protect the fretboard while filing/sanding the frets.

Edit: Also...if you only have intonnation problems on one string, it is probably a bad string. Replace the strings and let them stretch for about a week to see if it fixes it before you start making permanent modifications to your uke.

01-06-2010, 10:03 PM
I meant to write the C/D-string, sorry. The intonation is only sharp on the 3-4 first frets. Still it can be compensated to some extent by pressing the third string very lightly. Also moving all the chordshapes a whole tone up the neck makes the intonation better. Ill try out some of the steps you mentioned.

01-07-2010, 06:07 AM
Sounds like a setup issue to me. If you don't know how to do it, and it really bothers you, buy a new instrument - taking a Lanikai to get setup probably won't be worth the cost.

Of course, you could try changing strings first.


01-07-2010, 06:10 AM
Welcome to UU!

Like KP said... Its probably a bad string. Try changing it first before you try anything else :)