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tomthebaptist
10-21-2012, 02:34 PM
I am relatively new to the ukulele, though I am teaching a first grade ukulele class (a real trip!). A couple of months ago I purchased a concert ukulele -- I was taken away by the sound. Then, about a week after purchase, I began hearing intonation issues with the instrument, especially as I played up the neck. Then I noticed discording - so bad that I had to tweek the tuning when I changed keys. Could this be due to the strings I'm using (D'Adarrio and Aquila)? Is there a better string set that you can recommend that might help correct problem.

oldetymey
10-21-2012, 03:26 PM
May be overstepping my knowledge level but intonation issues are usually an issue of string height no?
Either at the bridge or the nut. Was your uke professionally setup. Or just out of the box?
What kind is it? And where did you buy it? This info may help
Those smarter than me give you a solid answer

OldePhart
10-21-2012, 04:12 PM
It's not unusual for inexpensive and even relatively expensive "factory" ukes to have pretty bad setups from the factory. If you buy from chain retailers, online or B&M, you usually get a mystery box with a uke not touched since it left the factory.

The most severe intonation issues (i.e. those where the individual notes of a chord clash badly) usually occur in the "first position" and are the result of the slots in the nut not being cut deeply enough. This causes the action to be high and the strings to pull quite sharp when fretted at the first couple of frets. A high action at the bridge is usually less problematic, though many ukuleles do have some intonation issues up the neck. The scale is much shorter than a guitar, so very minor problems with string gage and tension have much greater impact than they do on guitar.

For intonation issues at the first few frets, look to the nut. For intonation issues further up the fretboard you usually just have to experiment with strings until you find a type that the ukulele "likes." (Unless the action is crazy high at the bridge end, then you should take care of that first.)

John

tomthebaptist
10-22-2012, 02:31 PM
Thanks, John for the advice. The ukulele that I'm having intonation with is a Pono concert MDC. The action is a bit high so I'll try dropping it a bit. As far as I know it has not been set up.

tom



QUOTE=OldePhart;1079427]It's not unusual for inexpensive and even relatively expensive "factory" ukes to have pretty bad setups from the factory. If you buy from chain retailers, online or B&M, you usually get a mystery box with a uke not touched since it left the factory.

The most severe intonation issues (i.e. those where the individual notes of a chord clash badly) usually occur in the "first position" and are the result of the slots in the nut not being cut deeply enough. This causes the action to be high and the strings to pull quite sharp when fretted at the first couple of frets. A high action at the bridge is usually less problematic, though many ukuleles do have some intonation issues up the neck. The scale is much shorter than a guitar, so very minor problems with string gage and tension have much greater impact than they do on guitar.

For intonation issues at the first few frets, look to the nut. For intonation issues further up the fretboard you usually just have to experiment with strings until you find a type that the ukulele "likes." (Unless the action is crazy high at the bridge end, then you should take care of that first.)

John[/QUOTE]

OldePhart
10-22-2012, 03:51 PM
Thanks, John for the advice. The ukulele that I'm having intonation with is a Pono concert MDC. The action is a bit high so I'll try dropping it a bit. As far as I know it has not been set up.

tom



That's unusual. I've never played a Pono but from what people say they usually come pretty well set up right from the factory.

John

Plainsong
10-22-2012, 04:14 PM
Yeah I had a concert mahogany and tenor mahogany at different points. They were the older models, and of all the things I could accuse them of, bad action and intonation wasn't one of em. Are there any luthiers (anyone who fixes and builds fretted instruments should do, anyone who doesn't treat your uke like a toy, that is.) local to you? If Mim was still in Charlotte, that would have been worth a trip up I-77 for ice cream and an action adjust. You could always try contacting Ko'olau to see what they say.

choan
10-23-2012, 02:24 AM
From my experience with Pono, they go out from the factory with low to very low actions. Unfortunately, they are strung with not-so-nice intonation strings. First I would do is mounting a new set.

tomthebaptist
10-23-2012, 01:00 PM
What set of strings would you recommend? I've tried D'addario Pro Art, NyGut, Titanium, and Aquilla....



From my experience with Pono, they go out from the factory with low to very low actions. Unfortunately, they are strung with not-so-nice intonation strings. First I would do is mounting a new set.

AndrewKuker
10-23-2012, 08:17 PM
Hi Tom,

Sometimes things can slip by with a manufacturer. Getting larger orders out to numerous dealers can be challenging. A good dealer is the final step in quality control and always has the customer's back with issues. If you've tried all these strings and the intonation is off maybe it needs to be replaced for you. If you bought it from us I would be a little embarrassed it passed QC/setup but things happen and we would replace it at no expensive in a timely manner including and shipping cost. You have enough instruments and strike me as someone who knows something is off. If your store won't take care of it I will make sure Koolau does. And if it was through us, don't even bother with the forum. I'll take care of you.

Every company will have customer service issues to take care of. Part of going with a reputable company is the knowledge that they care about your needs as a musician and appreciate that you have invested in their product. No good maker wants faulty products to even exist on the market. But sometimes mistakes slip by. The new Pono factory is much better than previously. So far only 3% defective or blemished and sound is much more open. I think the struggle and time overseas is paying off, but no production line is perfect. Bottom line is - #1 Your store should replace it or exchange it, #2 Koolau will replace it, #3 we will replace it if number 1& 2 don't work.

let me know if you need assistance. contact info below. if ever need my cell is (808)781-9168 -aloha-

ukuloonie
10-23-2012, 08:30 PM
Wow that's pretty amazing customer service

mds725
10-23-2012, 08:35 PM
Andrew and The Ukulele Site (Hawaii Music Supply) rock!

tomthebaptist
10-24-2012, 03:08 AM
Hi Andrew, I believe we talked on phone couple of weeks ago. Thank you for your support. I spoke with Koolau Thursday of last week and John issued me a FedEx return for repair or replacement. I packed uke up Thursday evening and have been waiting for FedEX to pick it up (as of this post FedEx hasn't picked it up yet). I'm taking it to a FedEx store this mornign to see if that will expedite things a bit.

The reason I posted my concern, was not a critisism of the instrument. I really like the sound of this instrument (minus the intonation). So, I was hoping to find a solution. After packing the MCD up I went back to the store I purchased it from (Deluxe Guitar Exchange) and bought a ATD. Partly because of the graciousness of Koolau to take it back, but more because the sound of the instrument blew me away! I'm sure the owner of the store would have replaced instrument but didn't have another MCD in stock. That is why I contacted Koolau. Honestly, I was surprised that John was so willing to make things right. This speaks highly of Koolau.

By the way, the ATD that I purchased, the intonation is spot on all way up neck! Also, I played a MC and ACD in the store, the intonation spot on.

Thank you so much.

Tom


Hi Tom,

Sometimes things can slip by with a manufacturer. Getting larger orders out to numerous dealers can be challenging. A good dealer is the final step in quality control and always has the customer's back with issues. If you've tried all these strings and the intonation is off maybe it needs to be replaced for you. If you bought it from us I would be a little embarrassed it passed QC/setup but things happen and we would replace it at no expensive in a timely manner including and shipping cost. You have enough instruments and strike me as someone who knows something is off. If your store won't take care of it I will make sure Koolau does. And if it was through us, don't even bother with the forum. I'll take care of you.

Every company will have customer service issues to take care of. Part of going with a reputable company is the knowledge that they care about your needs as a musician and appreciate that you have invested in their product. No good maker wants faulty products to even exist on the market. But sometimes mistakes slip by. The new Pono factory is much better than previously. So far only 3% defective or blemished and sound is much more open. I think the struggle and time overseas is paying off, but no production line is perfect. Bottom line is - #1 Your store should replace it or exchange it, #2 Koolau will replace it, #3 we will replace it if number 1& 2 don't work.

let me know if you need assistance. contact info below. if ever need my cell is (808)781-9168 -aloha-

OldePhart
10-24-2012, 03:38 AM
Bottom line is - #1 Your store should replace it or exchange it, #2 Koolau will replace it, #3 we will replace it if number 1& 2 don't work.

let me know if you need assistance. contact info below. if ever need my cell is (808)781-9168 -aloha-

And number three my friends, is called customer service wayyy beyond normal or even good and demonstrates why HMS has the reputation they do!

John