Frustrated

dmecha1012

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I am just a 3 month player. I bought a cheap Cordoba $80 Laminate. The next week I bought a KALA Travel concert (About $175) from HMS,due to my constant airplane travel. (I bring that uke as "carry on")

Now, after a few months I notice that whenever I return to my Florida home, the cheaper Cordoba is almost always, for the most part, in tune...........even after returning from a 2 week Trip.

My Kala however loses its tuning DAILY, and even between songs.....even when not traveling. (IT has been 3 MONTHS now. More than enough time to settle.)

Both Ukes are set up with AQUILA strings.

Please advise, I am very frustrated.
 

Jim Hanks

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Are they friction tuners? Maybe they just need tightening? If not, maybe it just needs new strings?
 

OldePhart

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If they are friction tuners on the Kala, try tightening the screws at the end of the tuner buttons - that adjusts the tension. Properly adjusted friction tuners will hold their tuning just as well as geared tuners.

Most Kala ukes have geared tuners, though. However, a lot of people don't realize that some geared tuners, especially the enclosed type, also have a "friction" adjustment that works the same way. So, even if the tuners on the Kala are geared, see if you can snug up the screws holding the tuner buttons on. Often this works much like a friction tuner by adjusting the amount of force required to turn the button shaft, and because of the geared coupling, the tuner shaft, in either direction.

With all that said, there are many other reasons besides tuner slippage for tuning to change, and it doesn't necessarily indicate a "defect." Thin necks, and necks with little finish, can be very susceptible to slight movement due to temperature and/or humidity changes. When the neck relief changes even slightly it changes the tuning quite noticeably.

John

John
 

dmecha1012

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Well................. there have been changes. Florida to Maine, to Southern Cal to NY, and back to Florida. All in the past 2 weeks.

Would this affect the neck if I am always taking this Uke carry on the Airplane. The time between the airports, and the air conditioned hotels is very small. ??
 

haolejohn

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Well................. there have been changes. Florida to Maine, to Southern Cal to NY, and back to Florida. All in the past 2 weeks.

Would this affect the neck if I am always taking this Uke carry on the Airplane. The time between the airports, and the air conditioned hotels is very small. ??
It could also be the altitude change on the flight. I have learned to detune my uke before I fly, then retune it once I land.
 

OldePhart

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Well................. there have been changes. Florida to Maine, to Southern Cal to NY, and back to Florida. All in the past 2 weeks.

Would this affect the neck if I am always taking this Uke carry on the Airplane. The time between the airports, and the air conditioned hotels is very small. ??

Even the cargo hold is pressurized but as John mentions below, there are still "cabin altitude" changes - the reason some people's ears pop on landing. You're going from a lot of sea level places up to a cabin altitude of probably a few thousand feet (not sure what cabin altitude most commercial aircraft stabilize at but it's well above sea level).

On top of that, throughout both cabin and cargo hold airplane air is usually extremely dry. Then you've got the major changes in both temperature and humidity between Florida and SoCal vs. Maine and NY so, yeah, I wouldn't be surprised by a lot of change. I'd be more surprised if there wasn't a lot of change in tuning in that scenario. And don't expect the change to be instant and then stop, either - wood takes time to settle in both directions.

As for air conditioning - the air in the hotels in NY and Maine will usually be considerably drier than in Florida even allowing for air conditioning.

John
 

PereBourik

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Even the cargo hold is pressurized but as John mentions below, there are still "cabin altitude" changes - the reason some people's ears pop on landing. You're going from a lot of sea level places up to a cabin altitude of probably a few thousand feet (not sure what cabin altitude most commercial aircraft stabilize at but it's well above sea level).

On top of that, throughout both cabin and cargo hold airplane air is usually extremely dry. Then you've got the major changes in both temperature and humidity between Florida and SoCal vs. Maine and NY so, yeah, I wouldn't be surprised by a lot of change. I'd be more surprised if there wasn't a lot of change in tuning in that scenario. And don't expect the change to be instant and then stop, either - wood takes time to settle in both directions.

As for air conditioning - the air in the hotels in NY and Maine will usually be considerably drier than in Florida even allowing for air conditioning.

John

Commercial flights usually pressurize to about 6000-8000 feet when cruising above 30,000 feet. Up there the air is really dry anyway, then pressurizing doesn't make it any wetter. Nose & eyes usually dry out after a few hours. Same thing is happening to little miss ukulele.

John, you warned in a different thread not to wave numbers in front of an engineer. These numbers are approximates. Don't hold me to them. The stress of pressurization actually stretches the aircraft's fuselage, which is the pressure vessel.
 

mailman

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Keep in mind, too, that the travel uke is being handled a lot. Is it in a hard case, or in a gig bag? It doesn't cause much of a "bump" to knock a tuner out of tune. Do both ukes get equal playing time? The more a set of strings gets played, the faster they'll settle in and stabilize. Temperature changes can really alter a uke's tuning. The uke sitting at home isn't seeing appreciable temperature changes, I'd guess.

It could be lots of things....
 

OldePhart

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Commercial flights usually pressurize to about 6000-8000 feet when cruising above 30,000 feet. Up there the air is really dry anyway, then pressurizing doesn't make it any wetter. Nose & eyes usually dry out after a few hours. Same thing is happening to little miss ukulele.

John, you warned in a different thread not to wave numbers in front of an engineer. These numbers are approximates. Don't hold me to them. The stress of pressurization actually stretches the aircraft's fuselage, which is the pressure vessel.

Heh, heh. That's why I didn't use any numbers :) I knew it was a few thousand feet and I knew it was close to 8 or 9 thousand on military transports twenty years ago but that was as far out on a limb as I'd go for fear somebody would chop it off behind me. LOL

John
 

dmecha1012

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Well I know now why the tuning didn't snap back within a few hours of returning to Florida.

Thanks for sharing your knowledge guys. Much appreciated.

David