Advise needed: E & A string plays sharp up the fretboard

dtikim1

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Don't know if anyone else has encountered a similar problem or if this subject may have been previously discussed. I have a 14 fret Compass Rose Sycamore Satin Finish jumbo Tenor ukulele. All string will hold their tune Low G, CEA. I have noticed that both the E as well as the A string will start to go sharp as I finger up the fretboard. I realize that one should expect some sharpness, but i feel that this may be a bit too extreme. Example; starting with the E string in tune, when hit the 5th fret (note A) and check it on my Sabine clip tuner it registers 25 cents sharp, 25 - 50 cents sharp at the 12th fret. Similar occurance on the A string. I don't encounter this on the lowG and the C string.

Could this have something to do with the height of the Saddle? If not, then what should I be thinking about. I have sent an email to Rick Turner at Compass Rose and am awaiting his response as to whether or not I should send it back for him to look at. Any direction would be greatly appreciated.

Dennis Kim
 

hawaii 50

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how long have you had the CR...are the strings broken in yet?
are the batteries in the tuner good...
 

anthonyg

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Something funny is going on so talk to Rick about it. No one here is going to second guess Rick on one of his instruments. Send him a Personal Message here on UU as well.

Anthony
 

dtikim1

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how long have you had the CR...are the strings broken in yet?
are the batteries in the tuner good...

Have had the CR for a few months now. Changed the original strings to Fremonts and first noticed this problem. Changed it to Koolau Gold low G wound 3 & 4; problem still exists. Batteries are good on my tuner.

Dennis
 

dtikim1

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Something funny is going on so talk to Rick about it. No one here is going to second guess Rick on one of his instruments. Send him a Personal Message here on UU as well.

Anthony

Spoke to his office earlier today and will send it back to him for repair. Will also send him a Personal Message.

Thanks
 

Rick Turner

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Dennis, we're happy to re-intonate the uke for you under warranty, but this points out that we have to start including a disclaimer note with every instrument that if you do change away from the strings we set up the uke with...usually Aquilas...then the intonation will almost inevitably change. If you change brand, model, or action, then you will need the instrument re-intonated whether it's a uke or a guitar. I don't anticipate a problem...a bit of filing and re-polishing of the saddle should take care of it, but this is just the way it works with any ukes, and intonation is, if anything, more "twitchy" with ukes than guitars, especially nylon string guitars. Classical guitars are rarely even ever compensated for intonation; it's considered to be a player issue, and once again, intonation cannot be dialed in until the exact strings to be used are chosen and the action set to the player's choice.
 

dtikim1

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Dennis, we're happy to re-intonate the uke for you under warranty, but this points out that we have to start including a disclaimer note with every instrument that if you do change away from the strings we set up the uke with...usually Aquilas...then the intonation will almost inevitably change. If you change brand, model, or action, then you will need the instrument re-intonated whether it's a uke or a guitar. I don't anticipate a problem...a bit of filing and re-polishing of the saddle should take care of it, but this is just the way it works with any ukes, and intonation is, if anything, more "twitchy" with ukes than guitars, especially nylon string guitars. Classical guitars are rarely even ever compensated for intonation; it's considered to be a player issue, and once again, intonation cannot be dialed in until the exact strings to be used are chosen and the action set to the player's choice.
Hi Rick
That is good to know. I will switch it back to the Aquilas before making a determination as to whether or not the problem then exists. I will keep you up to date as to what happens. Thanks for the explanation from the expert. Appreciate it much

Dennis Kim

Just Changed the E & A strings back to Aquilas and it seems to have solved the problem. Will need obviously a few days before I know for sure. I've also noticed the same sharpness existing with the lowG and C strings. I will switch those back to Aquilas tomorrow. If I remember correctly it came with the low G wound. If I should purchase the Aquila low G set with wound 4 & 3 will the 3 string run sharp? Will I have to get the regular set with the unwound 3 string? Thanks
 
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Rick Turner

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Kind of my point, exactly, BUT I'd rather you choose the strings YOU like, and then we or somebody dials the intonation in to suit the strings rather than you having to use the strings that suit factory intonation compensation.

Everyone has a "their string set"...as you may know, I don't even use uke strings on my personal uke; I use the top four strings from a Savarez Red Card set with nylon over nylon C, E, and A and a silver plated copper low G. I keep meaning to get these strings in bulk to use as our default set, but I've been too tied up with other things...like just running a business...to do it yet. Hopefully in 2014...

But this just confirms that every set of strings will intonate in its own manner. Go for tone, then action, and lastly for intonation.
 

gyosh

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Kind of my point, exactly, BUT I'd rather you choose the strings YOU like, and then we or somebody dials the intonation in to suit the strings rather than you having to use the strings that suit factory intonation compensation.

Everyone has a "their string set"...as you may know, I don't even use uke strings on my personal uke; I use the top four strings from a Savarez Red Card set with nylon over nylon C, E, and A and a silver plated copper low G. I keep meaning to get these strings in bulk to use as our default set, but I've been too tied up with other things...like just running a business...to do it yet. Hopefully in 2014...

But this just confirms that every set of strings will intonate in its own manner. Go for tone, then action, and lastly for intonation.

So, since my CR is pretty dialed in now, I should stick with the strings I have on so I won't have to fine tune it anymore? Wonder if I should stock up on a few sets? Big thanks to Eli for helping me fine tune it in Napa.
 
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Rick Turner

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Gary, yes. Once action and intonation are dialed in to a particular string set, stick with those strings if you want intonation to stay where it is. Bear in mind that intonation will drift more over time with wound strings than with plain as the string wears and also picks up finger oil, grime, etc.

Now that I'm happy with my string choice, I leave them on until the metal wound G shreds and/or the nylon wound C, E., and A break. I typically have to change the G two or three times before I have to go for new C, E, and A strings. When I finally get around to packaging this as a "Compass Rose" branded set, I'm going to provide a spare G with the set.
 

Gillian

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Interesting and valuable information. Thanks, Rick.

I wonder, though, with all the different wood combinations producing different tones, how you could come up with one Compass Rose branded set? One for spruce top, one for mahogany, one for koa....:)
 

stevepetergal

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Interesting and valuable information. Thanks, Rick.

I wonder, though, with all the different wood combinations producing different tones, how you could come up with one Compass Rose branded set? One for spruce top, one for mahogany, one for koa....:)

This sounds like a good idea. But it would probably accomplish nothing. It seems that Mr. Turner has already chosen the strings he likes to use on his instruments.

I think the problem stems from bad advice here on the UU. When I read many threads on the forum, people seem to be recommending changing strings as soon as you get your new instrument, regardless whether you like the originals. And now, Rick Turner has to do more work under warrantee (free) because of a choice the buyer made after the fact. Just my opinion: it's nuts. Especially crazy when you buy a very high end instrument. Is it really wise to simply ignore the recommendations of even the best luthiers? If you think Rick doesn't know what he's doing, why did you buy one of his instruments?

If I have an instrument built, I will either use the strings the luthier recommends or, if I (ill-advisedly) decide to go with something else, ask the luthier to build and string to my specs from the get-go.
 
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hawaii 50

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This sounds like a good idea. But it would probably accomplish nothing. It seems that Mr. Turner has already chosen the strings he likes to use on his instruments.

I think the problem stems from bad advice here on the UU. When I read many threads on the forum, people seem to be recommending changing strings as soon as you get your new instrument, regardless whether you like the originals. And now, Rick Turner has to do more work under warrantee (free) because of a choice the buyer made after the fact. Just my opinion: it's nuts. Especially crazy when you buy a very high end instrument. Is it really wise to simply ignore the recommendations of even the best luthiers? If you think Rick doesn't know what he's doing, why did you buy one of his instruments?

If I have an instrument built, I will either use the strings the luthier recommends or, if I (ill-advisedly) decide to go with something else, ask the luthier to build and string to my specs from the get-go.




I think that is where there is a disconnect...most builders or production companies buy strings in bulk, so they use the strings that they have in stock(they may be fine)

I also agree with you that many UU members have given Kamaka strings a bad rap...I see most people changing them as soon as they get their Kamaka...in the end most will try different strings..but hopefully they will give the strings a chance..

but as you can see Rick likes Savarez strings(which are good strings) but sends out his ukes with Aquillas since I believe he has in bulk..

so if you have a type of strings that you think will match your new customs uke, I would send it to the builder...and ask them to put them on,,,but I would also say if the strings don't match(sound/tone wise) to use what they feel is better

my 2 cents
 
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dtikim1

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I think that is where there is a disconnect...most builders or production companies buy strings in bulk, so they use the strings that they have in stock(they may be fine)

I also agree with you that many UU members have given Kamaka strings a bad rap...I see most people changing them as soon as they get their Kamaka...in the end most will try different strings..but hopefully they will give the strings a chance..

but as you can see Rick likes Savarez strings(which are good strings) but sends out his ukes with Aquillas since I believe he has in bulk..

so if you have a type of strings that you think will match your new customs uke, I would send it to the builder...and ask them to put them on,,,but I would also say if the strings don't match(sound/tone wise) to use what they feel is better

my 2 cents

It was not my intention to start a controversial thread. I've been following this thread which I started and I feel a bit of explanation is needed. Its not like this was my very first ukulele purchase Even though I agree with everything that has been said by everyone, I just felt that the intonation on both the strings at the 5th fret being off by 25 cents or more was a bit strange and possibly needed some attention or repair. I felt that the amount that it was off was a bit much. Especially because I've not noticed such a difference with all the other ukes that I have in my collection. Don't get me wrong I am not questioning the quality that went into the build of my Compass Rose. If I though it not to be a 1st rate quality instrument, I would not have spent the $1600+ for it. Is it possibly bad strings or the saddle possibly be slightly higher than was is normal for them to send out? I don't know. I don't think that it is an unreasonable request especially in light of the amount spent, and let me clarify and say that this was not a custom build. Suffice to say, I will continue to experiment with the different strings until I find the one with the right tonal and feel quality that I am looking for and then I will have my local luthier take a look at it and make the corrections if needed. So to prevent any further discussion that may inadvertently question anyone's knowledge, lets end this thread. Thanks for all of your response.
 

hawaii 50

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It was not my intention to start a controversial thread. I've been following this thread which I started and I feel a bit of explanation is needed. Its not like this was my very first ukulele purchase Even though I agree with everything that has been said by everyone, I just felt that the intonation on both the strings at the 5th fret being off by 25 cents or more was a bit strange and possibly needed some attention or repair. I felt that the amount that it was off was a bit much. Especially because I've not noticed such a difference with all the other ukes that I have in my collection. Don't get me wrong I am not questioning the quality that went into the build of my Compass Rose. If I though it not to be a 1st rate quality instrument, I would not have spent the $1600+ for it. Is it possibly bad strings or the saddle possibly be slightly higher than was is normal for them to send out? I don't know. I don't think that it is an unreasonable request especially in light of the amount spent, and let me clarify and say that this was not a custom build. Suffice to say, I will continue to experiment with the different strings until I find the one with the right tonal and feel quality that I am looking for and then I will have my local luthier take a look at it and make the corrections if needed. So to prevent any further discussion that may inadvertently question anyone's knowledge, lets end this thread. Thanks for all of your response.



I do not think there is anything wrong with this thread...just wanted to say what Rick is saying...when you change strings you have to do a new setup for the uke..

I have a $2200.00 Koa Compass Rose and I changed the strings 4 times before I found the one I liked...
I am very happy with my CR..no complaints
 

dtikim1

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I do not think there is anything wrong with this thread...just wanted to say what Rick is saying...when you change strings you have to do a new setup for the uke..

I have a $2200.00 Koa Compass Rose and I changed the strings 4 times before I found the one I liked...
I am very happy with my CR..no complaints

Don't get me wrong...I have no complaints. Its just that I felt that the intonation for whatever reason was off by a degree that I had not ever noticed before on any of my other ukuleles. Maybe I was a bit anal about it, but it sort of had me worried. Funny though, I actually checked it against my other ukes that I had changed strings and not had previously set up; using 4 different clip tuners and none were more that 25 cents sharp. That is what had me worried. Now with Rick's explanations my anxiety has been put to rest.
 

gyosh

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This sounds like a good idea. But it would probably accomplish nothing. It seems that Mr. Turner has already chosen the strings he likes to use on his instruments.

I think the problem stems from bad advice here on the UU. When I read many threads on the forum, people seem to be recommending changing strings as soon as you get your new instrument, regardless whether you like the originals. And now, Rick Turner has to do more work under warrantee (free) because of a choice the buyer made after the fact. Just my opinion: it's nuts. Especially crazy when you buy a very high end instrument. Is it really wise to simply ignore the recommendations of even the best luthiers? If you think Rick doesn't know what he's doing, why did you buy one of his instruments?

If I have an instrument built, I will either use the strings the luthier recommends or, if I (ill-advisedly) decide to go with something else, ask the luthier to build and string to my specs from the get-go.

I think that is where there is a disconnect...most builders or production companies buy strings in bulk, so they use the strings that they have in stock(they may be fine)

I also agree with you that many UU members have given Kamaka strings a bad rap...I see most people changing them as soon as they get their Kamaka...in the end most will try different strings..but hopefully they will give the strings a chance..

but as you can see Rick likes Savarez strings(which are good strings) but sends out his ukes with Aquillas since I believe he has in bulk..

so if you have a type of strings that you think will match your new customs uke, I would send it to the builder...and ask them to put them on,,,but I would also say if the strings don't match(sound/tone wise) to use what they feel is better

my 2 cents

My two cents?

When you're having a custom made, why not send the builder a set of the strings you prefer? That way, your uke will be set up and ready to go from day one.

(I know the OP didn't have a custom made, I was thinking more of stevepetergal's comment)
 
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dtikim1

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My two cents?

When you're having a custom made, why not send the builder a set of the strings you prefer? That way, your uke will be set up and ready to go from day one.

(I know the OP didn't have a custom made, I was thinking more of stevepetergal's comment)

I am in total agreement. My Boat Paddle Tenor Kayak that I am having custom built will be coming with Worths; Jerry Hoffman's and I agreed and I really don't intend to experiment since I like the way Worths sound to my ears. I had a choice though. With CR that I bought off the wall, I had no choice and didn't expect the intonation with changed strings to be that far off. Again, enough said on this subject, I'll live with it until I find the right set of strings to my ear and then have the CR re-set...end of story:eek:.
 

Dan Uke

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I agree with the bulk statement but I wish that manufacturers used strings that were they liked. I am not talking about CR in particular but a general statement.

I hope Kamaka likes their D'addario black strings, Koaloha likes their strings, Kanilea likes their Aquila strings, etc.

Aquila must have the best marketing team since that's the standard for so many manufacturers