PDA

View Full Version : Is the action too low? Changed strings and now the uke is deadlined.



mrkuslives
03-22-2012, 06:27 AM
(bottom line up front: changed strings, first three frets sound the same, original strings dont fix the problem)

I'm a brass musician by study and bought a makala mk-s to play around with. After doing some video watching and article reading I tried putting on aquila soprano strings. Strings go on fine and open strings are tuned properly.

Problem is, the first three frets all play the same pitch, the second fret even lowers the pitch a half step. I took off an aquila string and replaced it with the original, but the same thing happens.

There was no damage to the bridge or the nut. The strings appear to be resting much higher off the fretboard the further down the neck they go, if that helps.

benjoeuke
03-22-2012, 06:33 AM
when u first changed the strings, did u take them all off at the same time or just replace and tune each string one at a time?

SailingUke
03-22-2012, 07:14 AM
sounds like something is wrong.
Did the saddle fall out of the bridge?
I have seen new players not notice the saddle missing from the bridge.
It is the little white piece that goes in the slot on the bridge.
Are your strings tuned to pitch? The C is middle C.

benjoeuke
03-22-2012, 07:37 AM
If the saddle fell out it would probably make the action lower but I was wondering if it got loose and raised up a bit, the string tension can hold it there when it binds in the slot.
Also, wondering if the strings are a different gauge, fatter and sitting on top of the nut. This can make the 1st fret play way sharp as you push down on the string it bends, then on 2nd fret the string doesnt bend as much and can actually match the pitch of the 1st fret, crazy but true.

mrkuslives
03-22-2012, 10:35 AM
I took off all the strings at once.

The saddle did not fall off.

Strings tune properly in their open positions.

Perhaps to better describe the symptoms, I believe pushing the string on the 1st fret forces the strings to make contact on the 2nd and
3rd.

There are 3 differences since I changed the strings. I secured the strings on the bridge differently than they originally came, the strings are the slightest bit thicker, and I did a messy job securing them to the tuning pegs. None of these should be showstoppers, while reading reviews for this model other people described putting the same strings on.

I'm going to do a total reset, put all the original strings back, make a clean job of it, and see how it works out.

chiefnoda
03-22-2012, 12:20 PM
I wish I could help, but without actually seeing your ukelele, it will be very difficult. You can post pictures and that might help. The best solution, however, is to take it to a music store and ask for the opinions - where do you live? There should be a store nearby. Your ukelele was fine before you did the string change so something (can be many possibilities) has gone haywire.

Cheers
Chief

Patrick Madsen
03-22-2012, 03:17 PM
Could be the frets need leveling. Or, with the thicker strings, it's just thick enough to touch the third fret when pressing down on the first or second fret..

weerpool
03-22-2012, 06:05 PM
the problem is not the strings.your uke has a tall nut and shallow frets on the first position.
you need a proper set-up done. i would start at filing the nut slots to the proper height likewise with the saddle.

Patrick Madsen
03-22-2012, 07:32 PM
the problem is not the strings.your uke has a tall nut and shallow frets on the first position.
you need a proper set-up done. i would start at filing the nut slots to the proper height likewise with the saddle.

I agree W, but I think I'd have a luthier or someone with experience doing the filing or seeing if the frets need leveling. Other than my Breedlove CM, I haven't had a guitar or uke that didn't need a setup of somesort done to it.

DaveVisi
03-22-2012, 07:43 PM
I wish I could help, but without actually seeing your ukelele, it will be very difficult. You can post pictures and that might help. The best solution, however, is to take it to a music store and ask for the opinions - where do you live? There should be a store nearby. Your ukelele was fine before you did the string change so something (can be many possibilities) has gone haywire.

Cheers
Chief
This is the only opinion I would trust. If it was good before, something went wrong. I doubt that it's the string thickness or uneven frets. Take it to a professional, and then tell us what they found.

mrkuslives
03-23-2012, 01:00 AM
Ill try and get some pictures up sometime today. I still haven't tried resetting to the original strings, but ill take some pics before and after I do.

Normally I'd run down to the music shop, but I'm active duty military stationed in Germany, so getting to another musician familiar with ukeleles will be a little more difficult than it should be.

Thanks for all the suggestions and on another note, even with this hiccup I've had a more than enjoyable experience with the uke and on these boards. Thanks again.

*When I first commented, I remarked how going from the 1st to 2nd fret actually lowered the pitch a half step. I would like to add insight to the reason. When holding the 1st fret, essentially the strings are contacting the 2nd and 3rd simultaneously. Holding the 2nd fret (with a bit of force) raises the string off the 3rd fret and plays as it should. So, 1st fret = 3rd, while 2nd = 2nd.