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Thread: Action height on a tenor

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    West Michigan
    Posts
    11

    Default Action height on a tenor

    Started playing uke 6 months ago on a mail order Diamond head DU2OOT. NO inherited musical talent or any previous string experience. Bought and assembled a Stewmac Spruce top kit. Have hardly touched the Diamond Head since. The action on the Diamond Head is 1 mm at the nut and 2.5 mm at the 12th fret. Per the instructions with the kit the action is 1.5 mm at the nut and 3 mm at the 12th fret. The Stewmac feels like it requires more down force on the fret hand to get a nice clean chord. Is it reasonable to think lowering the action 0.5 mm will produce noticeable less effort to play? I had to work both the nut and saddle to get the current setup so I'm not concerned about being able to accomplish the change.

    Edit to add: The Diamond Head is strung GCEA with wound strings on the G and C and black nylon on the E and A. The Stewmac is strung D'Addario fluorocarbon EJ99T Low G.
    Last edited by Ron Carter; 05-09-2020 at 08:27 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    JoCo, NC (near Raleigh)
    Posts
    4,999

    Default

    Yes, I can tell the difference between 3 and 2.5mm, which is my preferred height
    Ukulele:
    Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - A, WoU Clarity
    Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    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, Eb SC XLU
    Hanson 5-string tenor, dGCEA
    Bonanza SLN GCEA
    Bonanzalele concert
    Guitars:
    Jupiter #47, G, TI CF127
    Pelem, B reentrant
    Jupiter #71, A, UG1

    !Flukutronic!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Honolulu
    Posts
    837

    Default

    Yes, .5mm can make a lot of difference in ease of fretting but there is a penalty in terms of reduced dynamic range. If you're a soft player the reduced dynamics won't matter but can't play freely at 2.5mm due to buzzes in forte passages. 2.75mm or even 3mm allow me play with abandon. Of course you can compensate by using a little lighter or heavier strings.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    West Michigan
    Posts
    11

    Default

    Thank you both. At this point in my career I had 4 formal lessons before going to Florida for 4 months. Self taught from the internet down there and came back intending to resume weekly lessons. Made significant progress but ran into social distancing when we came back. I've finally learned enough with the kit build to understand the differences in the 2 ukes. Will get to work on both the nut and saddle.

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