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marymac
12-11-2010, 07:26 PM
Ok what's the scoop on compensated saddles. Why/when would you need one? I see this one on a William King Concert that is currently for sale on FMM http://www.fleamarketmusic.com/images/market/62258-P1000188.JPG

I assume the compensated saddle helps it be in tune on each string but if that's the case why don't all ukes need/have them?

mm stan
12-11-2010, 07:37 PM
Aloha Mary,
Compensated saddles are used when the scale is a little off(bridge is off)it is used to compensate the difference by the thickness of the saddle...

GX9901
12-11-2010, 08:08 PM
Ok what's the scoop on compensated saddles. Why/when would you need one? I see this one on a William King Concert that is currently for sale on FMM http://www.fleamarketmusic.com/images/market/62258-P1000188.JPG

I assume the compensated saddle helps it be in tune on each string but if that's the case why don't all ukes need/have them?

As far as I know, compensated saddles are used to really get the intonation as close to perfect as possible. It seems that many individual luthiers believe in this as I have ukes made by Glyph, William King, Kepasa, Collings, and T's Guitar (Kiwaya KTS-7) with compensated saddles. However, in practice I'm not sure it matters that much, at least to someone at my amature level. I've strung 2 low-G specific tenors, with low-G compensated saddles, with a high-G string set and observed pretty spot-on intonation. I guess it would make a difference for someone who can hear the difference, but at this point I can't. Still, compensated saddles are cool and I like having them.

olgoat52
12-11-2010, 08:14 PM
It makes more of a difference in the longer scale lengths. Less effective in shorter scale lengths. In guitars, a compensated saddle is a must have. I suspect a compensated saddle in a tenor might be helpful in getting better intonation out of an instrument versus a soprano. But I also suspect any instrument is probably better with one than without if done correctly.

A good compensated saddle is not easy to make. the compensation can change if you change strings or string gauges as well. Ie the saddle may not be as effective with a different brand or gauge of strings than the stings it was designed for.

southcoastukes
12-11-2010, 08:15 PM
We can make adjustments to the saddle, but they are based on the thickness of the strings. As you get higher up on the fretboard, a thicker string (typically 3rd, but sometimes also 4th) will play a little sharper than a thin one on a saddle without compensation.

A lot of people don't do it, because some strings can be much thicker than others, and players can switch from high 4th to low 4th set ups. As such, it is usually done after the fact, when the player knows what strings he likes on his instrument.

mm stan
12-11-2010, 08:28 PM
Ok what's the scoop on compensated saddles. Why/when would you need one? I see this one on a William King Concert that is currently for sale on FMM http://www.fleamarketmusic.com/images/market/62258-P1000188.JPG

I assume the compensated saddle helps it be in tune on each string but if that's the case why don't all ukes need/have them?

Sorry guys, I worded it wrong, I meant to say fine tune adjustments for the intonation.MM Stan

ichadwick
12-12-2010, 03:38 AM
It makes more of a difference in the longer scale lengths. Less effective in shorter scale lengths.
Bingo. Intonation varies slightly with each string and compensated saddles allow makers to adjust each string independently to ensure absolutely accurate intonation along the full length. As I understand it, thicker strings have slightly different positions than thinner strings. The drift tends to be found on the higher frets. On electric guitars (and bot the Risa and Jupiter Creek steel-stringed ukes), compensated saddles are individually adjustable so you can set up each saddle for different string brands and thicknesses. It's a fiddly job and requires both a good ear and a very accurate digital tuner.

For the most part, acoustic ukes are fine with a straight saddle. Intonation from the first to the 12th frets is good across the strings and only above that will you find issues - but those will be very, very minor because the distances are so small that the frequency shifts caused by miniscule intonation issues should not be noticeable. If you play a lot at those higher fret positions, and you have a low-G (or low-D baritone) uke, consider a compensated saddle. If not, it's really not necessary.