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young-lecky
08-09-2014, 11:28 PM
Just after getting my Tanglewood sopranino ukulele that I ordered online, and it's a great wee ukulele. Amazing sound out of something so small and its really well crafted.

The sopranino is tuned an octave higher than a soprano, and it has aquila strings on it as standard, I bought them for my soprano uke and I'd recommend them, so dont think its the quality of the strings.

The problem I have with the E string is when its tuned (open string), it's then slightly high when playing the F note in the 1st fret, F# note in the 2nd fret and so one and so forth.
My I 1st thought maybe the measurement of the frets were slightly out but the other 3 strings are in perfect tune when moving up the frets.

Anyone know what the problem could be?

Cheers, Keith

VampireWeekday
08-10-2014, 01:01 AM
The string height may be high at the nut. To check this quickly, fret the string at the third fret. The string should be just barely above the first fret. A sheet of paper should be able to slide bewteen the string and the first fret, but it should be somewhat snug. If it's sitting too high, which is common, the intonation will be thrown off and fretted notes will all play sharp.

If the string height at the nut is good, the saddle might be able to be reshaped where the E string passes over it to correct the intonation.

Also, a new set of strings will often fix intonation problems. Sometimes you just get a bum string.

young-lecky
08-10-2014, 02:29 AM
Thanks for the help.

Done the 'paper test' as you said and everything looks fine, and from looking at the saddle, it looks fine too.

I'll go on the belief that its the string at fault and order a new one.

Again, many thanks :)

Ukuleleblues
08-10-2014, 02:31 AM
Intonation will never be perfect. The mathematical formula that defines the chromatic scale is a compromise. String saddle position, fret spacing, string height, string material, and string diameter are all factors that can cause intonation to be off. In the guitar world they have tried to address this. http://www.truetemperament.com

Does it sound off or have you just noticed it is off by looking at the tuner? If it is the former you can, change strings or lower the action at the nut (assuming you have room to do that) or install a compensated saddle (assuming yours is removable).

If it is the latter, I would not fret about it. :)

young-lecky
08-10-2014, 02:53 AM
It sounds off, especially when playing G and Em, and it shows slightly of with the tuner as well.

Maybe its because I have the High G string on this uke compared to the Low G on my soprano, which is highlighting the higher pitch.

Jim Hanks
08-10-2014, 04:01 AM
Did you mean the whole instrument is tuned an octave higher or just the 4th string. If you really have the whole instrument an octave higher, the bridge is probably about to fly off.

Is it this? http://www.southernukulelestore.co.uk/Product/1157/Tanglewood-TUTRV-Sopranino-Travel-Ukulele-including-padded-soft-case

If so, did you get it from a "big box" retailer or a uke-centric shop that does setups? If the former, I can almost guarantee it needs a nut height adjustment, probably saddle height as well.

young-lecky
08-10-2014, 07:32 AM
Did you mean the whole instrument is tuned an octave higher or just the 4th string. If you really have the whole instrument an octave higher, the bridge is probably about to fly off.

Is it this? http://www.southernukulelestore.co.uk/Product/1157/Tanglewood-TUTRV-Sopranino-Travel-Ukulele-including-padded-soft-case

If so, did you get it from a "big box" retailer or a uke-centric shop that does setups? If the former, I can almost guarantee it needs a nut height adjustment, probably saddle height as well.

The whole instrument is an octave higher. Sopraninos are meant to be. It's different strings needed for it and there's no more tension in the strings compared to my soprano. The only reason the 4th string is higher on this ukulele is because I purposely changed the 4th string on my soprano to a Low G one.

That's the uke that I got, and it was a ukulele shop I got it from.

Jim Hanks
08-10-2014, 08:22 AM
That's the uke that I got, and it was a ukulele shop I got it from.
Hmm, you might want to ask if they did a setup. If that's not it, I'm out of ideas.