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Thread: "Twitchy" Kanile'a Tuners? Or is it the strings?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2018
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    An airpark in NC
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    Default "Twitchy" Kanile'a Tuners? Or is it the strings?

    Just purchased my third Kanile'a, a beautiful KPA Concert, a store demo uke for a year. I also have a premimium slothhead soprano, and a custom spruce top baritone. The baritone and soprano were originally setup by HMS. the Concert was a store demo model at a music store on Maui.

    I love the sound of the new concert and it is a beauty to behold, but the tuners seem kind of "twitchy" (the baritone and soprano don''t seem to be so twitchy). What I mean is it is kind of hard to tune, particularly the E and A strings. I went back and forth tonight trying to get those strings in tune, I'd turn and it would be just a hair flat, tighten some more, still flat, tighten a hair more and suddently very sharp. It was quite a struggle to get it in tune.

    Although I have fallen in love with ukes, and have assembled quite a collection, I am still very new to the nuances of the insturments and setup. Thoughts on the tuners? Could this just be because the strings are a year old? I was thinking about changing them anyway as I don't really care for Aquilla strings (I'm thinking about putting some Anuenue Black Water strings on it). This would be my first time changing strings on something with bridge pins, which has me a bit nervous. I would hate to damage such a beautiful ukulele!

    Or could it be that I have spent so much time playing other ukes with UPT tuners (I LOVE those tuners) that I have gotten spoiled and am expecting too much from Grover tuners?

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    Last edited by shanmoon; 08-10-2019 at 10:57 AM.
    UAS!!!
    • Kamaka HB-2D Ohta San, 5.0
    • Anuenue UC200E Concert Moon Bird-My Favorite!
    • Kanile'a Custom Baritone, gCEA
    • Kala KA-SRT/MA, Michael Aratani Model, 5.0, gCEA
    • For Sale: Ohana CK-470G, 5.0
    • Pono RC-(S)-PC, 5.0, gCEA
    • Koaloha KTM-00 Tenor, gCEA
    • Anuenue UT200E Tenor Moon Bird
    • Firefly Concert Banjolele
    • Kanile'a KPA-C-PREM Concert
    • For Sale: Kala KA-ASFM-T-C Flame Maple Tenor, Misi
    • Risa Concert Stick
    • Anuenue UT140 Tenor Light Bird
    • Anuenue US200 Soprano Moon Bird

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    Bay Area
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    Default

    I would definitely change the strings instantly. Especially if it was a store demo. I think you probably know, living water/ black water/ worth strings should be on that beauty anyway. Those strings have probably seen their best days. Are the tuners smooth to turn like your other Kanile’a Ukes?

    P.s. get a string changing tool that has a bridge pin remover.
    Last edited by Kibes37; 08-09-2019 at 03:20 PM.
    Kiwaya KTS-4 - High G - Living Water
    Moon Bird UC200 - High G - Black Water
    Blackbird Clara Sunburst - Low G - Fremont
    Kanile’a K-2 Premium Concert - High G - Living Water
    KoAloha KCO-10 Acacia - High G - Stock
    Flea Concert - High G - Living Water
    Aiersi OU-31M - High G - Worth

    If you Uke easy, life will be hard. If you Uke hard, life will be easy.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Ma., Ga., Fl.
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    2,073

    Default

    Two things. 1. Assuming that the Grovers are open geared tuners, check to see if the screw holding the gears is not loose. If loose it could be slipping. Do not over tighten, just tighten gently . While your at it check to see if any of the gear teeth might be chipped or broken. Highly unlikely, but possible if it had been dropped or bumped into something. 2. Change the strings anyway.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2018
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    An airpark in NC
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    Default

    I've actually got 3 different sets of strings I am considering:

    • Anuenue Black Waters
    • Living Waters
    • South Coast Light Medium Guage Linear Set (no wound strings).

    I actually wish the South Coast LMLs were a re-entrant set, but all I was able to find of these now rare strings were two sets of Linear LML-NWs and 2 sets of LU re-entrants which I think are a bit too much tension for me on a concert since the Soathcoast site recommended them for tenors and said the would have modereate tension. One of the reasons I like the Black Waters is the lower tension.

    I'd love to hear thoughts from folks on these 3 string choices (they are the only concert ones I have on hand).

    As far as how hard they are to turn, the e and a tuners are definitely harder than the other 2 tuners, and harder than the other Kanile's. I'll take a closer look at the tuners as suggested.
    Last edited by shanmoon; 08-09-2019 at 03:49 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    NorCal
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    If the tuners are tight, it is easy to overshoot the tuning as you crank them to overcome the tightness and then it turns more than intended. You might try loosening them a bit if they feel tight instead of tightening them. I don't think the current strings should lead to the tuning issues you describe.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Bay Area
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    Yea I was wondering if the tuners were too tight. Black Water strings would probably be great. They sure would look cool.
    Kiwaya KTS-4 - High G - Living Water
    Moon Bird UC200 - High G - Black Water
    Blackbird Clara Sunburst - Low G - Fremont
    Kanile’a K-2 Premium Concert - High G - Living Water
    KoAloha KCO-10 Acacia - High G - Stock
    Flea Concert - High G - Living Water
    Aiersi OU-31M - High G - Worth

    If you Uke easy, life will be hard. If you Uke hard, life will be easy.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
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    Sparta, Wisconsin, USA
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    Default

    I have found that when the battery in my electronic tuner gets low it causes the same sort of situation.

    Always loosen the string so that it's low. Then push it with your finger to ensure that it isn't held slightly by the nut.

    Then, tune up to the proper tone for the string. Letting the tuner go to zero between each of the final small adjustments. (If you don't let it go back to zero, with no color showing, you will not get an accurate reading if you pluck the string without letting it clear.) Tuning up to the note is better than trying to tune down because you can get finer adjustments.

    Good luck.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you don’t begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    —Lou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    SE Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    874

    Default

    The strings might also be sticking in the nut slots. Try lubing the slots with a bit of pencil graphite.
    Sopranos: aNueNue Khaya Mahogany 1, Bruko No. 6; Kiwaya KS-1; Kiwaya KTS-4; Kiwaya KTS-4K; Martin S-O
    Concerts:Cahaya CY-0112; Kiwaya KTC-1; Martin C-1 (ca. 1947-1955); Musicguymic's Kolohe
    Tenors: Cordoba 24T; Kiwaya KTT-2K
    Baritones: Cordoba 24B

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    449

    Default

    I’m with Swamp Yankee!

    Sounds like the nut slots need some lubricating or they are just a tad too tight!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    An airpark in NC
    Posts
    259

    Default

    I tried loosening the screws on the tuners just a hair. They were so tight they squeeked when I loosened them. I also put graphite in the nut slots. I then restrung with Anuenue Blackwater strings. The bridge pins were a lot easier to deal with than I expected. Tuned it up and it sounds AMAZING. However, the tuners do intermittently all seem sticky still. I can live with it, it just makes me appreciate the Kamaka and Moonbird UPTs all the more. At some point I may take it to a luthier to have a 5.0 pickup installed. At that point I might have him/her do a full setup.

    For now I am enjoying the sound and look. With the black outline around the rosette and outer binding, the black strings look really nice.
    UAS!!!
    • Kamaka HB-2D Ohta San, 5.0
    • Anuenue UC200E Concert Moon Bird-My Favorite!
    • Kanile'a Custom Baritone, gCEA
    • Kala KA-SRT/MA, Michael Aratani Model, 5.0, gCEA
    • For Sale: Ohana CK-470G, 5.0
    • Pono RC-(S)-PC, 5.0, gCEA
    • Koaloha KTM-00 Tenor, gCEA
    • Anuenue UT200E Tenor Moon Bird
    • Firefly Concert Banjolele
    • Kanile'a KPA-C-PREM Concert
    • For Sale: Kala KA-ASFM-T-C Flame Maple Tenor, Misi
    • Risa Concert Stick
    • Anuenue UT140 Tenor Light Bird
    • Anuenue US200 Soprano Moon Bird

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