View Full Version : Fixed the Intonation, Although Some May Differ...

09-09-2010, 04:32 PM
Sometimes I have a lot of patience, and sometimes I have the patience of a 3 year old. So when I changed strings and the intonation on one string was way out of wack, I decided on the latter.

Let me start off by saying that this particular ukulele had some bridge placement issues after I lowered the strings a few years ago. No problem, don't move the bridge, just extend the saddle. Oddly enough I didn't find any difference in tone or volume.

So if one string is way off, just cut the saddle into pieces and turn one around. Still no impact on sound or volume, might be better but no worse.

Some may think it is odd, I think the split saddle looks pretty cool... this saddle is made of hard maple... but that is another story.



PS... If the next set is fine, I'll just turn it back around.

mm stan
09-09-2010, 06:29 PM
Aloha John.
You may just come across something... and adjusted compensated saddle, make all different size compenastions
taking the idea from electric guitars..without moving the bridge, make different size offset individual saddles for each string...
genius idea....forward or back ....MM Stan...
Is there money for me? lol, he he

09-09-2010, 06:53 PM
I dig it. I actually was thinking along these lines for a number of reasons. I am glad you had the sack to post that picture because man, I dig it.

buzzing. Got any of that?

How do you keep the saddles from moving both laterally and parallel to the stings.

One string looks off center. Is this an example of one of the saddle parts moving?

Do you have raised edges to keep the string from coming off the saddle?

09-09-2010, 07:03 PM
I had a quick question.

Have you lowered a particular string specifically lower than the level of the other strings for any specific playing reason?

It was mentioned that some people don't pick the top string when fingerstyle picking and it seems I unwittingly was training myself to miss the 1st string because I was playing chords on 2,3, and 4 during practice and finding I was missing that last note which sometimes was the important note.

Does this setup help you to lower your action better?

I noticed that saddles had different shapes and I couldn't figure why. It would seem the saddle then is working with the nut and the grooves help to set the strings to the right height.

09-10-2010, 04:51 AM
Hopefully I can answer your questions...

Since this was an existing saddle that was already offset/compensated, I shuffled them around for the best setup. But since I can only remove material I had to work with what I had. The string on the left (G) is the one where the intonation was off and I was positioning string to find the best spot and somewhat equal spacing with the other saddle pieces. I will probably make a new set and make each one an even width, etc.

The saddles don't easily move when the strings are sitting on them. I originally made the saddle to fit with as little play as possible, so with the string tension I have to work a little push them over with my hand. The string will move laterally before the saddle does. My ukulele has an 18 inch scale so that does increase the tension a bit.

The strings are set at the same height. I use an automotive feeler gauge to set them... something I learned from setting up guitars a long time ago. I don't have any buzzing.

Thank you for the compliment on the saddle but I'm sure this is not an original idea. As for the individual saddle pieces, this is somewhat tame compared to my other ukulele that uses individual 6mm dowels as saddle pieces. The nicest thing about individual pieces is that you only have to slightly de-tune one string and then set it next to the saddle it you want to work on the saddle. You can just pull out the piece file or sand and then put it back and after a couple turns on the tuner you're there. I have always hated compensating a saddle on a ukulele or guitar because you had to either loosen every string or tape cardboard on around the bridge to protect it.


mm stan
09-10-2010, 05:25 AM
Aloha John,
With this individual set-up, you can put the individual saddle peices backwards or forwards in the bridge to give you more play on the compensation, do you..
MM Stan...

Ronnie Aloha
09-10-2010, 06:16 AM
I have a question on this. I just noticed the other night that my Pono has a saddle that is angled. None of my other ukes have this configuration as they all appear to be straight. I know that guitars are set up this way. Could someone tell my why this is done?

09-10-2010, 09:38 AM
MM Stan,
In theory, you could flip it around, or have a replacement, when going from high g to Low G without effecting the other strings. I have seen a ukulele on this board where there is a separate saddle just for the G string and two slots to allow for compensating for the string diameter from high to low G.

Ronnie Aloha,
I'm not sure of this, but for guitars it may be a combination of string diameter, scale length, and maybe string tension.

If you have a Low G setup, the strings get thicker as you go from A to G so this would be similar to a guitar. If the Pono is not set up with a Low G, I'm not sure why it is angled, but if it works, it works. I would be interested to hear a good answer to this.


09-10-2010, 03:01 PM

Would like to see pics of the saddle dowels.

I too was going to ask why some saddles are angled. I thought it had to do with string diameter as well. THat's just my assumption but if that's true, we'd need the ukulele V for reentrant tuning, wouldn't we?

09-11-2010, 10:38 AM
Here are a couple of more pics...

Side view...


Dowel saddle...