View Full Version : weird makala problem

01-23-2010, 12:02 PM
i have a starter makala with aquila strings and when i was recently messing around i noticed that there was no sound difference in the A string after the 5th fret. ill pluck the 5th, 7th... whaever and even try sliding and it sounds the same. any ideas

01-23-2010, 12:39 PM
Just the A string?

Do you have a tuner? If so what notes does the tuner say for the 4th fret, 5th fret, 6th fret 10th fret and 12th fret on that string?

You may have some frets seated low...

If it's new I'd take t back to the store, show them the problem and ask for a replacement. If it's an older 'ukulele but the problem is new I'd try a change of strings.

01-23-2010, 04:44 PM
That is very strange. Check it with a tuner if you can. If what you describe is correct and it only occurs on the A string, than I suspect one of the frets towards the bridge is bulging on the A string side. That would give you the same note (a very high note) when playing notes beyond a particular fret.

01-24-2010, 01:59 AM
When I got my Makala Dolphin it did that on the first string between the first and second fret. I would notice it when I tried to play a C7 vs a Cmaj7 chord. It was a gift, and I didn't really want to return it and quietly fixed it myself. It turned out that the first fret was so low compared to the second fret that when you pushed down on the first fret the second fret actually made the note. It was sort of like a zero fret in the wrong place. It sounds like your 5th fret is very low or your 6th fret is very high causing the same problem as I had. I ended up having to pop the first fret out and reseated it. After that it was fine. You might try pushing your strings out of the way and laying a ruler on the frets to see if you have one that is very low or one that is very high causing your problem. High frets can sometimes be carefully tapped down with a pillow under the neck and body and small block of wood and hammer, but its not for the faint of heart.

One caution about fixing this yourself - when you pop a fret out by using a very thin blade to pry it up, it is easy easy to lift up some small pieces of wood from the fret board. I have no idea how luthiers pop out frets the right way. The pull up can be fixed with superglue, but on a decent uke who wants to do that?

This and a fret problem on my first uke (Kala Tenor) is the main reason I am now a firm believer in buying only from dealers with Setups (or one that has so many of the same model that you can thoroughly test them all and/or return them). Of course my plastic fretboard Flea is chuckling as I write this.

01-27-2010, 09:51 AM
yeah, its weird. i have had my uke since summer and it sounded fine, then all of a sudden it started doing this. its the first string and from the 5th fret down it sounds flat(sounds like crap.) i have a cheap tuner and when i pluck the open t sounds good and the notes on the tuner change when i switch through the 1st 4 frets, but after 5 the tuner will show a b if it shows anything at all.

01-27-2010, 12:55 PM
Can you post a vid to YT to demonstrate the prob?

01-27-2010, 01:42 PM
My understanding is that sometimes frets that were seated when they left the factory can pop up later, due to humidity, temperature chages, etc. Have you tried laying a ruler on top of the frets (running from top to bottom on the neck) to see if one is out of whack?