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Thread: Fixing intonation on an Ohana bari

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by John boy View Post
    Indeed, it is a huge error -- it's so huge that it's not accurate! Your instincts were right on, Anthony. There's an old saying about "measure twice, cut once." In my case it should be "measure four times." Apologies for my ridiculous measuring error. I went back and rechecked, and here are the actual numbers:

    Nut to 12th -- 9 and 10/16 inches. Nut to saddle -- 19 and 10/16 inches. So if you take 2x the nut-to-12th, that gives you 19 and 4/16 inches. Ergo, the difference between that and nut-to-saddle is only 6/16 inches, or less than half an inch.

    I'll also add this -- after my post, I removed the low A string and re-strung the uke with the normal DGBE strings in their proper slots on the nut. This seems to have eliminated the intonation problems for the first and second strings (the two highest strings). The lower two strings (D and G, which are both wound) still have intonation problems.

    I appreciate everyone's responses, and apologies again for creating something of a false alarm with my mismeasurement this morning. I gotta get these eyeglasses checked....
    OK, that's more like it but I'm still a little confused. 6/16 inches is still about twice as much as you want (2/16 to 3/16 is usually about right) and I don't know how the b and e strings could be right with that much compensation so more questions have been raised.

    Is the saddle on straight? Does it measure the same along the high and low strings?
    I'm starting to wonder if there is an excessively large distance from the nut to the first fret (an error) which gives us a situation where one error is partially compensating for another error. Intonation problems can be complicated.
    Last edited by anthonyg; 11-24-2019 at 02:04 PM.

  2. #12
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    Thanks for these additional thoughts. Looking at the saddle from above, it's hard to tell but I think it might be just a tiny tad "unstraight", that is the G string end of the saddle may be slightly closer to the fretboard than the D string side. But if it's off, it's not by much.

    Distance from nut to first fret is 1 and 1/16 inch.

    One thing I noticed while looking at the saddle -- it's not "centered" in line with the fretboard. I dont know if this matters or not, but I suppose it could contribute to the saddle not being on straight. This is hard to describe, but I'll try:

    If looking lengthwise down the uke, the right end (G string end) of the saddle is almost right in line with the G string edge of the fretboard (so if you held a straightedge along the G string side of the fretboard and extended that line to the saddle, it would almost perfectly hit the right end of the saddle. Not exactly, but almost. But the other end (D string end) of the saddle is not as "in line" -- if you held a straightedge along the D string edge of the fretboard and extended that line to the saddle, it would not meet the left end of the saddle as nearly as the G string side. Sorry if that's not clear. And it may not even be relevant.

    I'll keep tinkering and measuring and see if anything else pops out at me. Thanks again for the ideas, info, etc.
    Kala KA-TE tenor uke (currently tuned F-Bb-D-G w/Worth Browns)
    Kala APB-CTG baritone uke (currently tuned D-G-B-E w/Martin 22 Baritone strings)
    Ohana BK-35CG baritone uke (tuned A-D-F#-B w/Savarez classical guitar strings)
    Various guitars, banjos, and basses

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by John boy View Post
    Thanks for these additional thoughts. Looking at the saddle from above, it's hard to tell but I think it might be just a tiny tad "unstraight", that is the G string end of the saddle may be slightly closer to the fretboard than the D string side. But if it's off, it's not by much.

    Distance from nut to first fret is 1 and 1/16 inch.

    One thing I noticed while looking at the saddle -- it's not "centered" in line with the fretboard. I dont know if this matters or not, but I suppose it could contribute to the saddle not being on straight. This is hard to describe, but I'll try:

    If looking lengthwise down the uke, the right end (G string end) of the saddle is almost right in line with the G string edge of the fretboard (so if you held a straightedge along the G string side of the fretboard and extended that line to the saddle, it would almost perfectly hit the right end of the saddle. Not exactly, but almost. But the other end (D string end) of the saddle is not as "in line" -- if you held a straightedge along the D string edge of the fretboard and extended that line to the saddle, it would not meet the left end of the saddle as nearly as the G string side. Sorry if that's not clear. And it may not even be relevant.

    I'll keep tinkering and measuring and see if anything else pops out at me. Thanks again for the ideas, info, etc.
    John, your confusing me a little when referring to G and D strings. Is it DGBE or GCEA?
    It might be easier to say bass and treble.
    Anyway a slight slant with the treble string being closer to the frets and the bass string being further away from the frets is good on a DGBE baritone but only slightly.
    I'm still confused as to how you could have good intonation on the treble strings with 6/16 inch of saddle compensation. It should all be going very flat with that much compensation and this is why I think the nut is also a problem, or in your case, an error at the nut is partially compensating for an error at the saddle leaving you with quite a complex intonation error.

    How flat is the intonation going on the bass strings and is it going progressively flatter or is it all over the place?

  4. #14
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    From here on, I'll refer to the treble side or bass side (tuning, from lowest note to highest, is DGBE -- in my post above, I mistakenly referred to "G string end," I should've said "E string end"). Apologies, and I will just refer to treble or bass side from here on.

    The two bass strings go flat at the 5th fret and stay the same amount of flatness all the way up the neck. I'm not sure how to quantify how flat they are. I'm using a Snark clip=on tuner. At the fifth fret, it shows each of the two bass strings being one to two "red bars" flat on the little screen. I don't know if you're familiar with Snarks and I don't know how they would quantify that. I'll see if I can research it. Anyway, the amount of flatness stays consistent, from 5th fret all the way up the rest of the neck. It doesn't get less flat or more flat as you go up the neck.
    Kala KA-TE tenor uke (currently tuned F-Bb-D-G w/Worth Browns)
    Kala APB-CTG baritone uke (currently tuned D-G-B-E w/Martin 22 Baritone strings)
    Ohana BK-35CG baritone uke (tuned A-D-F#-B w/Savarez classical guitar strings)
    Various guitars, banjos, and basses

  5. #15
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    Is the calculator adapted for Baritone ?

  6. #16
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    The Stewmac calculator that I used doesn't specifically have different types of ukuleles, it just says "ukulele". But you also enter the number of frets and the scale length of your instrument, so perhaps that's how it adapts for baritone. Others here probably are more familiar with it than I am.
    Kala KA-TE tenor uke (currently tuned F-Bb-D-G w/Worth Browns)
    Kala APB-CTG baritone uke (currently tuned D-G-B-E w/Martin 22 Baritone strings)
    Ohana BK-35CG baritone uke (tuned A-D-F#-B w/Savarez classical guitar strings)
    Various guitars, banjos, and basses

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by John boy View Post
    From here on, I'll refer to the treble side or bass side (tuning, from lowest note to highest, is DGBE -- in my post above, I mistakenly referred to "G string end," I should've said "E string end"). Apologies, and I will just refer to treble or bass side from here on.

    The two bass strings go flat at the 5th fret and stay the same amount of flatness all the way up the neck. I'm not sure how to quantify how flat they are. I'm using a Snark clip=on tuner. At the fifth fret, it shows each of the two bass strings being one to two "red bars" flat on the little screen. I don't know if you're familiar with Snarks and I don't know how they would quantify that. I'll see if I can research it. Anyway, the amount of flatness stays consistent, from 5th fret all the way up the rest of the neck. It doesn't get less flat or more flat as you go up the neck.
    John, I'm just at a loss as to what to suggest. I'd have to have the instrument in my hands to measure it myself to know where to go next. What's got me perplexed is why the two treble strings aren't going just as flat as the bass strings.
    Maybe another new set of strings is required, yet going by the measurements the saddle needs to be moved at least 3/16 inch closer to the frets.
    Last edited by anthonyg; 11-25-2019 at 01:11 AM.

  8. #18
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    I'm grateful for your suggestions and the input that you and others have provided here, Anthony. I may try a different type of bass strings, and also I'll see if I can figure out a way to adjust the saddle somehow. I may do some tinkering with it. Also, I wonder if the neck is warped, to explain why the bass strings go flat but not the treble. As I look down the neck lengthwise I can't see any visible warp, but who knows? My eyesight ain't what it used to be.

    In any event, thanks again for the help, and I'll post back if any other revelations occur to me, or if I manage to somehow fix the intonation issues.
    Kala KA-TE tenor uke (currently tuned F-Bb-D-G w/Worth Browns)
    Kala APB-CTG baritone uke (currently tuned D-G-B-E w/Martin 22 Baritone strings)
    Ohana BK-35CG baritone uke (tuned A-D-F#-B w/Savarez classical guitar strings)
    Various guitars, banjos, and basses

  9. #19
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    I'm pretty sure that a modern build of this calibre can't be that much off, so I think you're on the right track trying different gauges of strings (or compensate the saddle to fit the strings you like, but that is harder to do than just trying different strings). According to Mim who has been setting up and selling ukes professionally for about 10 years, this type of intonation problem is something that happens on baritones more commonly than on the shorter scales (which is why she won't sell any baritones anymore).
    Enjoying instruments by - Beau Hannam - Jay Lichty - Jerry Hoffmann - Luis Feu de Mesquita - Kala - Kamaka - Kanile'a - KoAloha - Ko'olau - Moore Bettah - Pono - Romero Creations - and others

  10. #20
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    Right, I've heard that she was quoted as saying that. So I'm glad at least my other bari has good intonation. We shall see what some other strings do for the Ohana.
    Kala KA-TE tenor uke (currently tuned F-Bb-D-G w/Worth Browns)
    Kala APB-CTG baritone uke (currently tuned D-G-B-E w/Martin 22 Baritone strings)
    Ohana BK-35CG baritone uke (tuned A-D-F#-B w/Savarez classical guitar strings)
    Various guitars, banjos, and basses

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