PDA

View Full Version : Compensated saddle and low g



wickedwahine11
08-31-2011, 03:12 PM
I just picked up my uke from the Kamaka factory, where they repaired a seam separation for me. The good news is the seam looks great, and they also refinished the uke, removing a couple of scratches and getting out a bubble in the prior finish job.

It is a bit gritty and cloudy in some spots, but they told me I could just use my instrument care kit at home to get that off, or they could re-buff it for me. I'm on a neighbor island now so I will opt for trying the polish when I get home to get the grit/powder of it. Hopefully that will work.

My main question is this - though I didn't ask them to they replaced my saddle with a compensated saddle and now my intonation at the 12th fret is off by a little bit on both the g and e strings (flat on e and sharp on g). I remember seeing on UU that compensated saddles should not be used on low g ukes. In fairness to Kamaka I put some cheap reentrant strings on it when I shipped it to them (the last time they worked on my uke they replaced my low g Worths with reentrant Kamaka strings and I didn't want to lose another set).

I only have my phone for Internet (hence any typos which I apologize for) and so I can't quote old posts properly but I know there was a thread about Kamaka doing compensated saddles now. Chris Kamaka told me he switched mine and would switch it back for me when I return to Oahu in a couple of weeks.

So my questions are: is it true that you shouldn't use a compensated saddle on a low g uke? In which case, I will definitely have him swap it back. And either way, is it possible that the compensated nature of the saddle is what is leading me to be off ny a few cents at the 12th fret?

janeray1940
08-31-2011, 03:25 PM
I know there was a thread about Kamaka doing compensated saddles now.


Here it is, that was me (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?45382-compensated-saddles-on-new-Kamaka-HF-2) :)

When I encountered the first Kamaka with a compensated saddle, I emailed Kamaka and asked about it. The response I got enthusiastically offered to send me replacement compensated saddles for my regular ones for barely over the cost of shipping. IIRC I was told that all of the newer ukes were leaving the factory with compensated saddles.

I never did swap mine out after a certain ukulele instructor told me I probably shouldn't mess with an already-good thing. But my new pineapple came with a compensated saddle, and the intonation is dead perfect.

I'm too much of a low-G newbie to be able to speak to the low-G issue - I'll be watching this thread to learn more.

And I have to say - I'm kind of shocked that they swapped out your Worths for Kamaka strings. As much as I love Kamaka, I will never, ever love Kamaka strings.

southcoastukes
08-31-2011, 04:40 PM
A compensated saddle is a good thing no matter what your strings or tuning.

No hard and fast rule about compensation on a low 4th, or any other set-up. Strings - both wound and treble type - have different densities which will determine their diameters. Your preferences as to tension are also important.

Best is to find the strings YOU like (these may or may not be a factory's favorites). After you find what you like, then get someone to do a little fine tuning on your saddle. It's not a difficult operation, but the important thing is to first play around with strings a bit - and with no regard to intonation. Make sure you have the sound and playability you like -then get your saddle compensated for the strings that work for you.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
08-31-2011, 05:26 PM
A compensated saddle is a good thing no matter what your strings or tuning.

Hmm, there's a bunch of us in the Luthier's Lounge who might disagree:
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?52456-what-do-you-think-of-this-action-too-high-just-right-what/page3
I personally have never found it necessary to compensate the entire saddle whether the instrument be strung high or low G. If anything, occasionally I will have to tweak the saddle at the C string position. Just my experience. :)

redBee
08-31-2011, 07:20 PM
And I have to say - I'm kind of shocked that they swapped out your Worths for Kamaka strings. As much as I love Kamaka, I will never, ever love Kamaka strings.

I know what you mean! I changed to Worth on mine, after only a week...

southcoastukes
08-31-2011, 07:21 PM
Hmm, there's a bunch of us in the Luthier's Lounge who might disagree:
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?52456-what-do-you-think-of-this-action-too-high-just-right-what/page3
I personally have never found it necessary to compensate the entire saddle whether the instrument be strung high or low G. If anything, occasionally I will have to tweak the saddle at the C string position. Just my experience. :)


A compensated saddle is a waist of time unless it was made for your uke, with your string choice, with your action and your playing style. As you can see the variables are just far too great....Allen

Chuck, take a look back at all of my post.

Allen's quote from the thread you reference is the point I am trying to make. We don't do much in the way of compensation on our intruments. As I was saying, and Allen says, it's the kind of adjustment that should wait until you know what you like in terms of strings and tension.

At that point, I do think it is valuable. How dramatic the improvement will be, will depend on the strings and set-up you've chosen.