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joolsthebass
10-05-2012, 10:08 PM
Hi all, nice community you have here! I'm hoping you can help me... i recently became the first-time proud owner of a ukelele. The tuning settled in ok after a few days, but I'm having intonation problems (not entirely sure i'm using the right vocab here, so bear with me) on one string only. The other strings are all fine on any fret, but this one is horribly sharp - i'd guess getting on for 50 cents at the second fret. My first instinct would be to change the strings, but given that all the strings are new (if cheap and cheerful) I'm wondering if that's likely to be a wasted effort, and if the problem might be something more fundamental? My main concern is that by the time I've sent off for some decent strings, re-stringed it, and waited for the tuning to settle in, I might be too late to return the ukelele if the problem IS something more fundamental. I'd welcome any advice that you can give me...

Thanks in anticipation.

KyKo
10-05-2012, 10:23 PM
How is the action on the uke (aka how high are the strings from the fretboard) specifically toward the nut?

Ken Middleton
10-06-2012, 12:33 AM
if it is just one string, it is almost certainly not the instrument that is at fault. The string has probably been stretched unevenly. If you put a new string on, DO NOT tug it to get it in tune quicker.

ukuhippo
10-06-2012, 12:42 AM
if it is just one string, it is almost certainly not the instrument that is at fault. The string has probably been stretched unevenly. If you put a new string on, DO NOT tug it to get it in tune quicker.

It's nice to hear something different than 'pre-stretch that puppy' for a change.

OldePhart
10-06-2012, 05:24 AM
If the string is very sharp at the first and second frets but gets better as you move up the fretboard it may be that the slot in the nut is either not deep enough or not wide enough. The issue of not being wide enough usually is found on the C string where the string is just a bit too wide for the uniform slots molded into an inexpensive plastic nut.

Nut issues are fairly common on inexpensive instruments (guitars as well as ukes) although 50 cents is quite extreme. I think the worst I've seen was about 30-35 cents at the first fret on a Dolphin.

I would change the strings first as that is the easiest remedy...if you still have the problem it's time to address the nut.

John

joolsthebass
10-06-2012, 09:56 PM
thanks all for such a swift response!

i'll have a shot at changing the strings, but looking at the nut i can well believe that that's the root of the problems; it is the c string that's giving me grief, and it does look very snug.

thanks again, hopefully my instrument will have a full four playable strings in the very near future...

OldePhart
10-07-2012, 07:37 AM
thanks all for such a swift response!

i'll have a shot at changing the strings, but looking at the nut i can well believe that that's the root of the problems; it is the c string that's giving me grief, and it does look very snug.

thanks again, hopefully my instrument will have a full four playable strings in the very near future...

I forgot to mention - if you go with fluorocarbon strings it will sometimes solve the wide-C problem because fluorocarbon strings are noticeably thinner than nylon or nylgut.

John

joolsthebass
10-07-2012, 08:27 AM
I forgot to mention - if you go with fluorocarbon strings it will sometimes solve the wide-C problem because fluorocarbon strings are noticeably thinner than nylon or nylgut.

John

Many thanks, much appreciated.