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View Full Version : C string sounds dead at fret 6 ?



philrab66
02-06-2012, 12:06 PM
Hi all any suggestions to a fix for this ? Is it just the string.

Ingrate
02-06-2012, 12:17 PM
C string at fret 6? I'd guess that's Gb, if I get you correctly.

Is the E string also dead at the 2nd fret (also Gb)? If not, I'd replace the C string. If so, it's your 'ukulele.

philrab66
02-06-2012, 12:27 PM
C string at fret 6? I'd guess that's Gb, if I get you correctly.

Is the E string also dead at the 2nd fret (also Gb)? If not, I'd replace the C string. If so, it's your 'ukulele.
Yes also on the e string 2nd fret any easy fix? I guess not.

Dan Uke
02-07-2012, 06:21 AM
You can level the frets but typically its an issue on several strings on and not just one fret per string. Take it to a luthier as buying tools is pricey and no guarantee you are doing it correctly.

Ingrate
02-07-2012, 07:23 AM
Yes also on the e string 2nd fret any easy fix? I guess not.

I've played quite a few 'ukuleles, and have yet to find an acoustic one that doesn't have a "dead" note area. Some are worse, to an unacceptable degree. Perhaps the perfect acoustic 'uke exists, but I haven't found it, yet. I've tried changing string brands, but no real change. Duller strings can reduce the problem by reducing the all-round brightness of the instrument.

This is an interesting video, and Jake addresses this issue around minute 4+. Even Jake's 'ukulele isn't perfect! :p

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQZLX2c-E20&feature=player_embedded#

I've had 3 electrics (RISA and 2 Eleukes). They were solid body and did not have this issue, FWIW.

Please note: I am not a luthier. This is just my experience.

PoiDog
02-07-2012, 07:49 AM
If it's the same note across different strings, it's probably not something as simple as a setup or leveling a fret or two. It seems more likely that the frequency of that note just doesn't resonate well with your uke - whether it's the bracing, the wood thickness, the wood itself, or some other weird quirk that is just a part of your intrument. If so, no amount of tinkering with the strings or frets or nut or saddle is likely to change that.

As Ingrate mentioned, it seems every instrument has its imperfections (even Jake's custom Kamaka). Some of these will diminsh over time as the instrument opens up (for example, my Kanile'a has the middle C as it's dull spot, but over time that is becoming less an issue), or as you learn how to work around it (again, on my Kanile'a I found out that a more percussive pluck of that note tends to remove the dullness).

Keep working on your playing style and give your uke a chance to settle and grow. You may find that the dead spot starts to solve itself.

DaveVisi
02-07-2012, 08:34 AM
I gave up a beautiful classical guitar over it having a dead note right on middle "C"

It's a body resonance sort of issue that usually needs mechanical means to fix. Thinning top, shaving braces, modifying sound hole diameter, none of which are easily done by the end user. You may be able to "tweak" it slightly by adding mass at key points. Google "Chladni patterns" to see what's happening. You can do a low tech "glitter test" and strike the offending note to see how the soundboard reacts.

All you need to do is modify the resonant note by a quarter step so it lands between two notes G flat to G half flat so to speak.
Add some weight (tape a penny to the soundboard) where you see the greatest movement, (least glitter) and see how it affects things. If you find a combination that works, you can try to fit that much mass inside the instrument for an invisible fix.

Here's a peek at what some of these patterns look like:
33295

philrab66
02-07-2012, 11:51 AM
I gave up a beautiful classical guitar over it having a dead note right on middle "C"

It's a body resonance sort of issue that usually needs mechanical means to fix. Thinning top, shaving braces, modifying sound hole diameter, none of which are easily done by the end user. You may be able to "tweak" it slightly by adding mass at key points. Google "Chladni patterns" to see what's happening. You can do a low tech "glitter test" and strike the offending note to see how the soundboard reacts.

All you need to do is modify the resonant note by a quarter step so it lands between two notes G flat to G half flat so to speak.
Add some weight (tape a penny to the soundboard) where you see the greatest movement, (least glitter) and see how it affects things. If you find a combination that works, you can try to fit that much mass inside the instrument for an invisible fix.

Here's a peek at what some of these patterns look like:
33295

Thanks dave i will give this a try.