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View Full Version : Is the action on my soprano too high?



FrankNoCal
09-06-2008, 09:00 PM
Just wondering cause it seems a lot higher than my tenor.

I just took some measurements and at the bridge, between the strings and the soundboard is 3/8", between the strings and the 15th fret is 1/8", between the strings and the first fret is 1/16". Does the 3/8" seem too high? I know its preference but I jut wanted some opinions.

I remember a post by Seeso giving some common measurements on action, but couldn't find it. If the action is too high, what can I do? It's just a cheap soprano but it's my first uke and has some sentimental value. I don't wanna mess it up.

UkeNinja
09-06-2008, 09:38 PM
I got you, babe. (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2991) edit: this is the seeso thread link

I keep looking for this thread time and again as well...

edited in: apparently this is bad advice. Don't do it.
What you can do: a relatively harmless method is to lower the saddle by grinding it down on sanding paper (sand the bottom of the saddle, not the top!). Mark how much you want to take off with a ruler and a sharpie, so you don't loose track and take off too much.

For search/reference purposes:

*** string action seeso in the thread setup / action adjustment ***

SuperSecretBETA
09-06-2008, 11:08 PM
If you worry about your sanding craftsmanship, a guitar shop will do it for you.

uke142464
09-07-2008, 03:03 AM
also, sometimes if as you go up the neck, if the pitch goes sharp, that might also mean that your action is too high

Kanaka916
09-07-2008, 03:50 AM
Just wondering cause it seems a lot higher than my tenor.

I just took some measurements and at the bridge, between the strings and the soundboard is 3/8", between the strings and the 15th fret is 1/8", between the strings and the first fret is 1/16". Does the 3/8" seem too high? I know its preference but I jut wanted some opinions.

I remember a post by Seeso giving some common measurements on action, but couldn't find it. If the action is too high, what can I do? It's just a cheap soprano but it's my first uke and has some sentimental value. I don't wanna mess it up.
I think this is the thread/post (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2991) you're looking for.

. . .A guitar guy can lower your action for you, but you can lower the action yourself. You can do this at the nut, the bridge, or both.

Check the action at the 12th fret. The space between the string and the crown of the 12th fret should be between 1/8 and 3/16 of an inch.

If it's too high, you'll have to adjust the action at the saddle. Before you do that though, check the action at the nut.

When fretting a string at the 3rd fret, you should be able to slide a business card between the string and the top (crown) of the first fret with a little bit of friction.

If there's no friction, then you'll have to lower the action at the nut.

To lower the action at the saddle:

Calculate the difference between your action at the 12th fret and 3/16 of an inch. Loosen your strings, take out your saddle, and mark this difference on it with a pencil, starting from the bottom of the saddle.

Get some 220 grit sandpaper, and start sanding the bottom of your saddle down to that pencil mark.

To lower the action at the nut:

Sand the bottom of the nut a little at a time, checking your measurements frequently. If you can't remove the nut, you can also file the slots in the nut a little at a time. Be careful if you choose this route. If the slots get too wide, you can have problems.

Hope that helps.

Kekani
09-07-2008, 10:24 AM
. . . a relatively harmless method is to lower the saddle by grinding it down on sanding paper (sand the bottom of the saddle, not the top!).

Umm, adjusting the action at the saddle is not relatively harmless, being that the saddle is an absolutely crucial element of the instrument.

Seeso has some good advice, and his measurements would work. Personally, I'd drop it lower to more like .100 to .110 above the 12th.

Again though, I don't agree with adjusting the action from the bottom, if you've never done it before. I do all of mine from the top, BUT, I'm setting intonation along the way (and I've done many).

Why is the bottom crucial? String balance.


also, sometimes if as you go up the neck, if the pitch goes sharp, that might also mean that your action is too high

While this is true, it more than likely points to a saddle with no compensation, which, I'll venture to guess, only a handful on this board have instruments with compensated saddles anyway. I'll also venture to guess that most on this board have instruments that could stand a little lowering of the action. Of course, this is why Aquila's are so popular, and we can go on and on about how one thing affect the other.

BTW - lowering your action should lower your volume and projection as well. However, on low end instruments, this is probably not a factor.

Hope some of this helps.

-Aaron

sukie
09-07-2008, 01:00 PM
Thanks for bring this back to the surface. It's good info.

tad
09-07-2008, 01:01 PM
The action on your soprano is far too high. You might as well get rid of it.



[...]



Send it to me.

chaz2912
02-27-2010, 05:30 AM
Your action is spot on. If you feel the need to lower it from where it is it's probably your technique that needs adjusting!!