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Thread: Deviation of the strings?

  1. #1
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    Default Deviation of the strings?

    Hello, I have some Aquila strings, think the label is new nylgut, on a soprano. Though the set up isn┤t perfect yet. When moving up the fretboard I can see differences from what would be expected, in the tuning. What deviation can supposedly be accepted?

    Questions I ask myself does the deviations depend on the strings or the fretboard?
    The ukulele is a Stagg UC60-S

    Kind regards
    Last edited by Henning; 09-15-2018 at 10:15 PM. Reason: Aquila new nylgut, Stagg UC60-S, intonation

  2. #2
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    Default

    Assuming the strings are of constant diameter and haven't been deformed in any way, any "deviation" will be down to the accuracy of the fret spacing AND the height of the action, the placement of the bridge, and/or the accuracy of the bridge compensation. Whether or not you manage to fret the string in a manner so's to not invoke any sideways deviation may also be a factor.

    A criteria to consider here is although the intonation may be "out" at the ninth fret (or wherever), is it likely to affect your playing if you're only strumming below the fifth fret?

    As always ... YMMV
    There are those who will wax lyrical about the ability to play a double shuffle with a split fan and a tight G-string ...
    it just makes me walk funny!

  3. #3
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    You say you can "see" a difference. Can you hear that difference? If not, then don't worry about it. Just play that uke.

    John Colter.

  4. #4
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    What you are talking about is "intonation". These mass produced ukuleles almost invariably leave the factory with poor setup. The action at the nut and saddle is too high, perhaps to make up with poor fretwork. The result is you have to press harder to fret the notes causing them to be sharp.

    The frets not being in the right place would definitely affect intonation. That's usually not the problem, but it can happen.

    The strings themselves can also contribute to intonation but the effect there is usually minor - unless there is a defect in the string.

    Intonation is never perfect and your definition of "acceptable" may vary. Personally, I can deal with 12th fret intonation within 10 cents or so and not have it bother me.

    The place to start is with the setup. Until the nut and saddle action are at a proper height, the rest is useless to pursue.
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  5. #5
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    I accept a 2% deviation. Thereby the instrument sings much better. So back to the question in the first Place. Let┬┤s assume the fretboard is "reasonable Clean". How much do you expect the strings to deviate from the ideal, please?
    When ideal naturally is 0 % deviation.

    Most modern ukuleles are made with fine technology which makes them fret true. Ok?
    Right or wrong?

    Cheers!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hanks View Post
    What you are talking about is "intonation". These mass produced ukuleles almost invariably leave the factory with poor setup. The action at the nut and saddle is too high, perhaps to make up with poor fretwork. The result is you have to press harder to fret the notes causing them to be sharp.

    The frets not being in the right place would definitely affect intonation. That's usually not the problem, but it can happen.

    The strings themselves can also contribute to intonation but the effect there is usually minor - unless there is a defect in the string.

    Intonation is never perfect and your definition of "acceptable" may vary. Personally, I can deal with 12th fret intonation within 10 cents or so and not have it bother me.

    The place to start is with the setup. Until the nut and saddle action are at a proper height, the rest is useless to pursue.

  6. #6
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    I don't know what "2% deviation" means in terms of tuning. I check intonation with an electronic tuner. Play an open note and tune it to pitch. Then play the note at the 12th fret and check the tuning. If it is within 10 cents of the correct pitch, that is ok to me, especially for a mass produced instrument.

    If the action is too high, it can easily be 30 cents sharp or more, and that is unacceptable to me.
    Ukelele:
    Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - Bb, SC SMU
    Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    KPK pineapple SLN-GCEA
    Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    Imua iET-Bb, M600
    Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    Rogue bari
    Bonanza super tenor, cFAD SC LHU
    Kala KSLNG-C Lava
    Guitars:
    Cordoba C1m 1/4, TI CF127, G
    Cordoba Mini M, SC F# EFS
    Jupiter #47, TI CF127, G

    Jim's Blog

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hanks View Post
    I don't know what "2% deviation" means in terms of tuning. I check intonation with an electronic tuner. Play an open note and tune it to pitch. Then play the note at the 12th fret and check the tuning. If it is within 10 cents of the correct pitch, that is ok to me, especially for a mass produced instrument.

    If the action is too high, it can easily be 30 cents sharp or more, and that is unacceptable to me.

    Thanks for your answers. I just meant 2 percents off. Just read somewhere that it┤s a goal to reach for. Even a mass produced instrument will sound much better then. Or perhaps perticularily a mass produced instrument will benefit from a good set up. The human ear can tell the difference between a tone at 1000 Hz and 999 Hz. That┤s really impressing!
    Regards
    Last edited by Henning; 09-16-2018 at 11:42 AM.

  8. #8
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    Strings too high at the nut is probably the most common and worst issue with inexpensive ukuleles. No matter how far up the neck a person plays, chances are the first few frets are played even more. Also if you start off significantly sharp it will only be worse because less than perfect fretting only bends and sharpens the note even more.

    There will always be a few instruments that cannot be tuned open and not be off at the 3rd or 5th fret. I had a single pickup jazz guitar with a floating bridge years ago. I could never get it set up perfectly so I would do a compromise string to string tuning, but not the standard 5th fret to next string open. I'd tune notes across octaves and then do a minor tweak to end up a close enough tuning. I've done the same on occasion with a ukulele... 4th G open to 2nd G 3rd, 3rd C open to 1st C 3rd, etc. I'd usually end up doing the E last using the typical 2nd/3rd to see how close they ended up. The idea is to have the octave notes in tune with each so chords don't sound off.

    John

  9. #9
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    What are you using to measure your tuning?

    Many electronic tuners may be out of your range of accuracy. Though I'm not sure if you are saying 2% +- of the hz of each note or what.

    As far as I know, Peterson strobe tuners will give you a very accurate reading. But I don't want to open that can of worms...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
    Strings too high at the nut is probably the most common and worst issue with inexpensive ukuleles.
    John
    I┤ve seen it on American made Martin ukulele too. I run the AP tuner 3.07 now. It has the option if you want 1,0 % or 0,1 % resolution. http://www.aptuner.com/aptuner_index.html

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