View Full Version : Sticky tuning

05-27-2014, 10:30 AM
Hey, I did a search, but I couldn't find what I was looking for.
I bought a Lanikai LUTU-11S w/ the TunaUke bridge and compensated nut. I don't expect my first(and biggest) problem to be an specific to this instrument:
When tuning, the nut is really sticky. What I mean is that I can turn the key, probably 180 degrees before the tone changes... and when it changes, it tends to jump by a semi-tone. I can push/pull/lift/etc the string to try to get it break free, but that either accomplishes nothing, or I make the tuning worse. Anyone else have this problem and what do you do.

The other issue I'm less concerned about, but does sort of defeat the purpose of the TunaUke bridge. No matter what I do to adjust the intonation, it is always sharper than it should be for the open string. Action seems right, so I'm hesitant to cut the saddles down, to fix it that way. Given how far out it seems, I don't think it would be enough anyway. Thoughts?

05-27-2014, 10:44 AM
Had the same problem with a mandolin. Following advice from others, ended up loosening the string to where I could get it out of the nut groove. The I ran a pencil tip through the groove, the pencil lead acting as a dry lubricant. Put the string back into the groove, tightened and tuned it. The string did not hang up and ran smooth in the nut.

If that doesn't work, the problem could be the nut groove ends are sharp and cutting/catching into the string. That would mean filing the groove ends a bit to round them out. If you don't have the correct files or any experience working on instruments, then a trip to the local luthier for a better set-up may be in order.

05-27-2014, 10:54 AM
AH... the old pencil trick. I've actually heard about it before, but never tried. I'll see if that helps tonight!

05-27-2014, 12:16 PM
Pencil trick can help a lot but I've never heard of one sticking as badly as you describe - is it that way on all strings? Get a strong magnifying glass and look at the grooves in the nut. They should have almost vertical side walls and a shallow rounded bottom. If somebody has used a V-shaped jeweler's file to adjust the nuts (common mistake) they will pinch the strings really tight. If the grooves are V-shaped with a pointy bottom the nut is basically ruined - changing string strings will change the action and it will pinch strings, etc.


05-27-2014, 12:23 PM
Some of the strings are worse than others, but they are all sticky. I'll check the slots before I try a pencil.