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View Full Version : Bought one of these for my first Uke, questions...



burdger
08-08-2013, 12:09 PM
I bought one of these as my first uke, thinking it was way too good of a deal to pass up.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/360710420378?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649

Now it just came in the mail and I have a few questions. First off, I'm having a difficult time keeping it in tune, especially the A string. Should I stretch the strings like I would a steel string guitar, or could that damage the nylon strings?

Along with the not staying in tune, could it be the tuners? They are either REALLY high ratio, or pretty crappy. Should I replace them, and with what?

The add says this thing was professionally set up just before shipping. Either that was a lie, or Ukuleles don't stay tuned and set up for long at all. How high should the action be compared to an acoustic guitar?

Thanks in advance for your help!

mailman
08-08-2013, 12:23 PM
The strings will take a little while to "settle in". After that, they should not stretch as much, and stay in tune much better. The more you play, retune, and play some more, the faster they'll settle. You'll go through this every time you change strings, too. In a few days they'll be fine. Enjoy!!

bobO G
08-08-2013, 12:37 PM
So besides the strings not having settled in yet how is the rest of the Uke ? I have one coming on Monday .

burdger
08-08-2013, 02:27 PM
So far it's not too bad. The action seems quite high on it, but like I said, my first uke. It might be set up right, and I'm just ignorant

ukuLily Mars
08-08-2013, 03:02 PM
New strings really do go out of tune very quickly. Like, before you can get through a song. That's not strange. I do not like to stretch mine but a lot of people do, so that jury is still out. I agree with mailman: just keep playing and tuning, at least for now.

Congratulations on your new 'uke, and welcome to UU!

Brad Bordessa
08-08-2013, 03:04 PM
It might be set up right, and I'm just ignorant

I highly doubt that if the action is something you are noticing. I've seen a lot of those kind of ukes over the years with high action. Not that they are bad (most actually sound really great for what they are - especially nowadays), but most could definitely benefit from a setup. My hunch is that they ship them on the high side to avoid buzzes which are going to be more obvious to a beginner than a bit higher action. (But that's just me thinking out loud.)

Action should be, according to Paul Okami from KoAloha 'Ukuleles in an old thread:


In terms of measurements, .015-.030" at the nut, above the first fret is average. .090-.110" at the 12th fret.

bobO G
08-08-2013, 03:51 PM
I figure at this price point if my only problem is high action I can deal with that and if intonation isn't any worse then my low dollar Ukes I already own I can deal with that . So long as the necks are straight and the saddle is where it's supposed to be , lets rock ! I do wonder how subjective a term "setup" is ? I think from what I've read fixing a high action is not to hard to do . Also from what I've read Butler has only one tech looking at all these Ukes . Now I don't know this guy and I don't drink but I feel like I want to buy this poor fella a
beer .

burdger
08-08-2013, 04:23 PM
I appreciate all of the replies. If that is the correct height for the strings, this is definitely high. I've played around with ukes before, so I'm not brand new to it, but I'm definitely a beginner. I've noticed that my index finger gets pretty sore from playing because I have to push down so far on the strings, which doesn't happen when playing guitar, so, yeah.

Still, don't get me wrong, I'm very happy with my purchase.

PhilUSAFRet
08-09-2013, 01:05 AM
I bought one of these as my first uke, thinking it was way too good of a deal to pass up.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/360710420378?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649

Now it just came in the mail and I have a few questions. First off, I'm having a difficult time keeping it in tune, especially the A string. Should I stretch the strings like I would a steel string guitar, or could that damage the nylon strings?

Along with the not staying in tune, could it be the tuners? They are either REALLY high ratio, or pretty crappy. Should I replace them, and with what?

The add says this thing was professionally set up just before shipping. Either that was a lie, or Ukuleles don't stay tuned and set up for long at all. How high should the action be compared to an acoustic guitar?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Hopefully, it's the strings. To a neophyte, they are freaky when they are new and stretch out in seconds in the beginning. You can gently stretch them a'la' guitar, but do easy on them. It takes several days of requent retuning before they "settle in." That uke, without the setup sold for $69.80 with free shipping. Shouldn't require much "setup." If there's a problem with it, contact Butler....they are good people. Here's hoping.

allanr
08-09-2013, 02:33 AM
That is a heck of a good deal for a solid wood a/e ukulele!

Aquila strings can take as long as two weeks to settle in, so it's much to soon to be wondering why the uke isn't staying in tune. Most mass produced Ukes ship with the action on the high side. Nothing that 30 seconds with a flat file (BOTTOM of the saddle) can't fix.

Nickie
08-12-2013, 03:42 PM
Congratulations and welcome to the fold!

Ukejenny
08-16-2013, 05:52 PM
I've purchased two ukuleles from Butler and I'm happy with the purchase. It is a pretty uke. I hope the strings settle down quickly so you can increase enjoyment!

vick2121
08-17-2013, 08:40 AM
Thanks for posting. I have this exact same ebay win arriving Tue (my very first uke). The ad specifically mentioned that these are setup, a major factor in my purchase decision. I'll measure and report back if the strings are set high on mine too

strumsilly
08-17-2013, 09:05 AM
these are great ukes for the money. the "gold" tuners are pretty crappy, but they work. I thought about putting a set of the Grover opened back that stewmac sells, but never got round to it. besides the logo, the other thing was how sharp the edges were. I actually sanded them down and because the finish is so light ans I was really sanding the binding, you couldn't tell. if you want to adjust the action, there are plenty of how to;s online. just get yourself some sandpaper, a set of welding tip cleaners, and small hacksaw blade. go slow. it's easier to take a little off than put a little on.

southpawmark
10-14-2013, 11:54 AM
did you buy an electronic tuner. the snark 6 is a lifesaver for me. It's made specifically for the ukulele.

http://www.amazon.com/Snark-SN-6-A-Ukulele-Tuner/dp/B004Z17008/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1381787653&sr=8-1&keywords=snark+6+ukulele

rickkes
10-14-2013, 12:30 PM
I bought a Lanakai L-MT (solid mahogany tenor) from them for $116 all up. I'm pretty pleased with it. I've had it for several days now, and the strings are starting to keep their tune much better . . .

the bridge has some loose binding (I guess that's what you'd call it) on the bottom edge-there are two gaps where the ends of the white stripe have about a 1/32" gap showing, but that should be easy to fix.

The wood on mine is very open grained. Believe it or not, I'm thing of coating it with some 'Pledge with Future Shine' floor polish. It's a model builders trick for glossing up a flat finish prior to applying decals , so they'll adhere better. It might fill some of the open grain a bit too . . .

Overall, heck of a deal for the money. The plastic stick-on logo is pretty cheesy though. . .

hucklelele
10-14-2013, 12:59 PM
Welcome Burdeger, and to the world of nylon strings- yes, they can take quite a while to not stretch so much- try a classical guitar where the tension is greater and SEE-

anyway- I'm not sure if theres a place where you can get nylon bridges of varying height-

so I'll throw that question out here to this forum.

anyone know?

I've ground down many a brdge myself cause I like the action as low as I can get without buzzing- my ancient lightweight damaged fingers can play longer that way

I don't have much of a shop, but a drill with a grinding wheel saves time- WATCH THOSE FINGERS!
and NOT how I damaged mine

and then a final leveling onto a nice flat file I have

Take the tension off the strings and the bridge should slide out the ends
Oh, and you'll probably find a little wire under that- so be careful- that's the acoustic/electric pick-up. Get that back in there the way it was

and it may even be the reason the action is high otherwise

good luck

Louis0815
10-15-2013, 09:48 AM
The wood on mine is very open grained. Believe it or not, I'm thing of coating it with some 'Pledge with Future Shine' floor polish. It's a model builders trick for glossing up a flat finish prior to applying decals , so they'll adhere better. It might fill some of the open grain a bit too . . .I wouldn't do so, this might well ruin the sound. Enjoy the open pore finish as a feature (which it most probably is)