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Furyan
06-03-2011, 10:58 AM
Aloha guys!

My very first ukulele, a makala dolphin from mgm, has arrived at last! I'm completely overjoyed, it is gorgeous and has a surprisingly full sound for its price.

There seems to be a tiny intonation problem though. Which is weird, because I thought that mgm does a full set-up before he sends them.
So my question is; is it normal that the intonation is off on a new stringed ukulele? I mean, it's been in a box for 2-3 weeks, it was allmost a full 2 tones out of tuning.

So, is this intonation problem going to fix itself, after playing for a while?

Dan Uke
06-03-2011, 11:13 AM
Do you mean out of the box for 2-3 weeks? Do you have a tuner? To understand you correctly, after tuning it G,C,E,A when you play on a fret for instance, 2nd fret on the 4th string (G string), the note is a "B" note instead of an "A" note?

hmgberg
06-03-2011, 11:16 AM
What you are describing doesn't sound like an intonation problem to me. I can't imagine intonation being off two full tones. This would be an example of an intonation problem: You play a string open and then at the 12th fret and the tones produced are not an octave apart. Typically, an instrument with poor intonation will increasingly be "off" pitch as you move up the fretboard. It sounds like what you are describing is an instrument that is just out of tune. You have to tune it up. It will need to be tuned frequently for about a week, give or take depending on the brand of strings, until the strings settle.

Furyan
06-03-2011, 11:18 AM
No I mean it literally has been inside a box for 2-3 weeks. I had it shipped all the way to Belgium, Europe.
So when I got it out of the box, it was completely out of tune (2 full tones). So I correctly retuned it with a tuner to GCEA.
But when I check the intonation, it's not that far off, but it becomes a little bit worse every fret I go up.

Sorry if my first post was confusing :).

Ken Middleton
06-03-2011, 11:21 AM
There seems to be a tiny intonation problem though. Which is weird, because I thought that mgm does a full set-up before he sends them.
So my question is; is it normal that the intonation is off on a new stringed ukulele? I mean, it's been in a box for 2-3 weeks, it was allmost a full 2 tones out of tuning.

So, is this intonation problem going to fix itself, after playing for a while?

A ukulele has to be tuned every time you play it. If the strings are new they will still be stretching, a lot. Two full tones after a couple of weeks is nothing. The strings will eventually stop stretching so much. This isn't an intonation problem. If it were, it would never fix itself.

Furyan
06-03-2011, 11:25 AM
A ukulele has to be tuned every time you play it. If the strings are new they will still be stretching, a lot. Two full tones after a couple of weeks is nothing. The strings will eventually stop stretching so much. This isn't an intonation problem. If it were, it would never fix itself.

Well, I know that new strings have to be tuned regularly, because of stretching.
But after tuning, the intonation seems to be slightly off, and I'm just wondering if this could be due to the strings being new. :)
Because it was supposed to be fully set up by mgm, for intonation and string action.

strumsilly
06-03-2011, 11:29 AM
AN INEXPENSIVE UKE WILL RARELY HAVE SPOT ON INTONATION. THE DOLPHINS ARE PRETTY GOOD FOR THE MONEY, BUT IF YOU WANT IT RIGHT ON YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO SPEND A BIT MORE. WAIT FOR THE STRINGS TO SETTLE IN. THEY'LL STOP STRETCHING AFTER A COUPLE OF WEEKS. i RARELY TUNE MINE MUCH, JUST A LITTLE TWEAKING.

mm stan
06-03-2011, 11:33 AM
The Strings need to break in and get streched...and tuned often until they are stable..some strings as aquila take longer than others..get a clip in tuner too..MM Stan..
I'm sure Mike did a good job..but if you need help call him back privately too discuss the matter...it is always nicer when you use sugar...

Furyan
06-03-2011, 11:43 AM
The Strings need to break in and get streched...and tuned often until they are stable..some strings as aquila take longer than others..get a clip in tuner too..MM Stan..
I'm sure Mike did a good job..but if you need help call him back privately too discuss the matter...it is always nicer when you use sugar...

Yeah I would call him if it wouldn't cost me a fortune to do so from Europe. :) So I decided to ask here first.
I'm confident in mgm's expertise, so that's why I was a little surprised. I'll just wait and see how it plays after a while.

PhilUSAFRet
06-03-2011, 11:56 AM
check and see if any tuners need tightening just a little

mm stan
06-03-2011, 12:26 PM
Yeah I would call him if it wouldn't cost me a fortune to do so from Europe. :) So I decided to ask here first.
I'm confident in mgm's expertise, so that's why I was a little surprised. I'll just wait and see how it plays after a while.
You can always send him an Email too...if you need help, I can call him for you....let me know what you wanna ask him...Stan PM me....

Furyan
06-03-2011, 12:38 PM
You can always send him an Email too...if you need help, I can call him for you....let me know what you wanna ask him...Stan PM me....

Thanks man :). I'll contact him by e-mail first, if the problem persists after the strings have stretched.

ItsAMeCasey
06-03-2011, 12:53 PM
keep playing and in two weeks I'm sure it'll work itself out. Considering you're playing a pretty cheap instrument (nothing wrong with that btw lol, no offense intended!) the intonation won't be spot on all the way up the fret board. Sounds like the strings are just stretching a lot so no worries man.

hmgberg
06-03-2011, 01:35 PM
Wow! I'm really confused. If it's an intonation problem it would persist even after the strings have settled. No?

Furyan
06-03-2011, 01:41 PM
Wow! I'm really confused. If it's an intonation problem it would persist even after the strings have settled. No?

Not sure. I play the guitar, and when my strings are all worn out, they behave completely unpredictable, and the intonation gets weird.
Maybe it's the same when the strings are still stretching. I honestly have no clue, that's why I'm asking. :D
I have a hard time believing that mgm didn't set the intonation properly, because he has a superb reputation.

itsme
06-03-2011, 02:05 PM
AN INEXPENSIVE UKE WILL RARELY HAVE SPOT ON INTONATION. THE DOLPHINS ARE PRETTY GOOD FOR THE MONEY, BUT IF YOU WANT IT RIGHT ON YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO SPEND A BIT MORE. WAIT FOR THE STRINGS TO SETTLE IN. THEY'LL STOP STRETCHING AFTER A COUPLE OF WEEKS.
I agree. Mass produced, factory made ukes like Dolphins can be hit or miss, even with a decent setup.

SailingUke gave a pretty good description of how to check intonation here:

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?47951-Intonation-check.&p=695702#post695702