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Thread: Action over the 12th fret

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Wales, UK
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    5,173

    Default Action over the 12th fret

    Recently my local ukulele store has suggested that if I ever send them a ukulele again they would prefer the action at the 12th fret to be 2.25mm or 89 thou. This as a rule of thumb or a perceived industry standard is far too low for a professional musician. I had a long discussion about this with Richard Durrant who was recording with my ukes in the workshop today. Professional musicians need instuments that give them dynamic range and a higher action allows the options playing softly or really digging in!

    Using my super tenor design, he rather liked the 'low' action on the ukes using the fretboard noise for effect in the collaborative quartet he has written for our festival here in Wales. He also preferred the 'versatility' of the spruce front over the cedar front.

    Anyway see/hear for yourself how a musician builds up a piece working with an engineer who also reads music and plays. Their interaction is quite cool.

    Last edited by Pete Howlett; 05-13-2019 at 10:16 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Saratoga, CA
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    682

    Default

    HMS has an excellent podcast around saddle height and saddle types.. it is a must watch on YouTube.
    will link it later

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Grand Junction, Colorado
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    Although 2mm is possible (heck, i can do 1mm if you are dumb enough to want it) but my min is 2.5mm, however I prefer it closer to 3mm- It sounds better closer to 3mm
    Last edited by Beau Hannam Ukuleles; 05-13-2019 at 06:34 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1,421

    Default

    Would that distance be the same for all sizes?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    NH
    Posts
    1,172

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    Eastman ukuleles come with 2mm action which is okay for finger picking but a little low for hard strumming.

    https://www.eastmanguitars.com/other_fretted
    Martin OXK Soprano
    Kamaka HF3 Tenor
    Eastman EU3C Concert
    Martin S1
    Martin T1K

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    406

    Default

    Is that for the G (low or high?) or A string or both? It's easy to lower the action by sanding the saddle. But if it gets too low, are there any remedies other than getting a new saddle?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by EDW View Post
    Would that distance be the same for all sizes?
    pretty much, but different scale lengths can have different string diameter/material and always do have different tension, which has to be taken into account in regard to buzz.
    Last edited by Beau Hannam Ukuleles; 05-14-2019 at 12:21 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    USA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by merlin666 View Post
    ......It's easy to lower the action by sanding the saddle. But if it gets too low, are there any remedies other than getting a new saddle?
    Pretty sure you could heighten the saddle by installing a thin shim underneath, but a correct height saddle is always better. I've heard that whatever amount you increase the saddle height at the bridge, the increase will be 1/2 that at the 12th fret.
    Last edited by Ukecaster; 05-14-2019 at 05:42 AM.
    John

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Grand Junction, Colorado
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlin666 View Post
    Is that for the G (low or high?) or A string or both? It's easy to lower the action by sanding the saddle. But if it gets too low, are there any remedies other than getting a new saddle?
    if you shim- use a hard substance- not a piece of foam or rubber. Old credit card, ebony etc.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Posts
    377

    Default

    How is the height measured? Is it above or below the string?
    Happy to be an Intermediate Newbie, Penny

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