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rreffner
01-16-2010, 08:40 AM
On a 'quality' ukulele, is it a reasonable expectation to be able to put on strings from different manufacturers and not have buzzing?

Is a 'set-up' so specific as to only accommodate specific strings?

buddhuu
01-16-2010, 09:09 AM
You should be able to use pretty much any decent uke strings and expect them to work fine.

In extreme cases - for example changing between sets with very different tensions - you may need to tweak the ukulele's set-up a little to get the best out of certain strings, but in my experience I have never found a change of strings has caused me a problem - except for sometimes just finding that the new strings were not to my taste!

Kekani
01-16-2010, 10:17 AM
On a 'quality' ukulele, is it a reasonable expectation to be able to put on strings from different manufacturers and not have buzzing?

Is a 'set-up' so specific as to only accommodate specific strings?

Depends on the builder, or the technician doing the setup.

"Quality" instruments should be setup close, but not too close to allow for movement and the owner to have it properly setup later. In the big scheme of things, the cost of a good setup is minimal compared to the result. I would say this is a fair statement for any production instrument. Customs, that's another story.

Personally, my setup is specific to the strings. When someone wants to change strings and brings them to me, I'll plan on swapping out the nut and/or saddle if needed, ESPECIALLY if they go from D'Addario/Savarez to Worth, as an example. Sometimes you're lucky and you go from thin gauge to thicker so you can just recut the nut, or you go from high action to lower, and you can just recompensate the saddle. I like doing mine from the top anyway, but there are many that adjust saddle action from the bottom.
Of course, I had one guy that was adamant about swapping out Worth's on his instrument (although I told him not to), after it was delivered with Savarez. So, I had to swap out the nut (Saddle was close, enough). Then, he brings it back to swap out the Worth's, to D'Addario (by his request). No problem, cut bigger nut slots. Then, he brings it back again to reinstall the Savarez (by this time the instrument is being nicely broken in) - cut a new nut again because he wanted Normal Tensions (smaller guage). Fortunately, the Saddle stayed the same.

Oddly enough, one of my mentors (guess you could call that sleazy guy in Kalihi that) once told me that the finer tuned an instrument is, the more it reacts to the slightest changes. I've seen so many instances, here in fact, where someone changes out strings (without setting it up) then thinks there's something inherently wrong with the instrument. There is an exact thread like this going on right now in the lounge. My guess on that thread is not only string guages, but string tension (as buddhuu refers to) is causing problems.

-Aaron

rreffner
01-16-2010, 01:42 PM
I don't know what the deal is with PONO? My second new PONO in 2 weeks. Changed from Ko'olau to Aquila and I get buzzing on open A and up to the 4th fret. I tried a second set of new Aquilas and same thing. Had the same problem with the first PONO. I have a new set of brown Worth but am reluctant to put them on. Eyeball, they look about the same gauge, maybe even a little smaller. Looks like I'll have to take it back to the reatailer Monday. I've not had very good luck with PONO so far. It is a nice looking ukulele otherwise.

Kekani
01-16-2010, 02:18 PM
I've seen so many instances, here in fact, where someone changes out strings (without setting it up) then thinks there's something inherently wrong with the instrument. There is an exact thread like this going on right now in the lounge. My guess on that thread is not only string guages, but string tension (as buddhuu refers to) is causing problems.

-Aaron

Oh, wait. I'm just being redundant aren't I? What I forgot to add is there is a certain brand of string, extremely popular, that is infamous for intonation and other problems already mentioned, so, it could be brand of strings as well.

rreffner
01-16-2010, 03:46 PM
Oh, wait. I'm just being redundant aren't I? What I forgot to add is there is a certain brand of string, extremely popular, that is infamous for intonation and other problems already mentioned, so, it could be brand of strings as well.

I just put on a set of new Worth fluorocarbon. I'll let them stretch out and then see what they are like. Much different sound than the Aquila. I'll keep my fingers crossed. Am I understanding correctly that setting up is for a specific string, knowing others may buzz? Mahalo

Kekani
01-16-2010, 05:26 PM
I just put on a set of new Worth fluorocarbon. I'll let them stretch out and then see what they are like. Much different sound than the Aquila. I'll keep my fingers crossed. Am I understanding correctly that setting up is for a specific string, knowing others may buzz? Mahalo

I think the definition of "setup" is in order. If you go to Frank Ford's site, there's a whole section called "Instrument Setup". Of course, its guitar specific (don't think you'll need to look into truss rod adjustment), but there is valuable knowledge there.

I hope that helps. -Aaron

rreffner
01-16-2010, 07:25 PM
I have been to Frank Ford's site. Great resource.