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Thread: Open strings tuned fine, notes played on frets badly out of tune

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Location
    Prague
    Posts
    14

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    Hi anthonyg,

    thanks again for responding, I really appreciate it.
    Unfortunately, I live in the Czech Republic where the pandemic is getting worse and vaccination is proceeding really slowly. So I have no idea when shops will reopen - it will probably be several months.
    I am going to send this one back as well and have one last try with the Fender.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    U.K.
    Posts
    1,278

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteKreff View Post
    ..... I've discussed my problem with the dealer, which is a reliable company I've been a regular customer of (for non-ukulele musical needs). They said it's quite hard to find a soprano uke with good intonation at a low price and advised me to get a tenor uke ...
    Quote Originally Posted by ukantor View Post
    "They said it's quite hard to find a soprano uke with good intonation at a low price"

    This statement is quite wrong. I have several very cheap soprano ukuleles and they all have acceptable intonation. It's only a matter of having the nut, saddle and frets in the right places, and decent strings with good action (height).


    I would echo John Coulter’s (Ukantor’s) earlier comment. IMHO either the dealer doesn’t know quite enough about Ukes or he’s not being completely honest with you.

    This afternoon I set-up a second hand Soprano that must be at least a decade old and it would have cost very little when it was new - it (the make and model) was quite likely the cheapest Uke in most ‘music’ shops. So it’s an inexpensive instrument that’s both been owned by a few people and (very likely) supplied by a ‘music’ shop, none of those people understood and acted upon the need to set it up before use. Initially that Soprano’s intonation was rubbish but the open strings sounded good enough. After sorting out the string heights in the nut and at the saddle, sorting the compensation at the saddle and replacing the strings with basic Aquila’s the Uke sounds just great and I am delighted with it. [The strings that it arrived with (as fitted by some earlier owner) had to be changed because they were for D tuning and not all of them would intonate properly in ‘standard’ C tuning.] All of those set-up tasks I’ve done on other sizes of Uke too, and more importantly all sizes of Uke need setting-up - expect for someone to have to do that work. How much work is needed on a Uke is most likely to be a function of its price and is not really a function of its size. Set-up work is not difficult or highly skilled, but it is time consuming and so an expense to businesses...

    Sopranos are the original size of Uke, they were created as a perfect instrument and built by craftsmen. Sopranos are still a very popular size of Uke - perhaps the most popular - and can play perfectly well, like all of the common sizes of Uke Sopranos do need setting-up properly. Shop-keepers, occasionally you do find good ones but IMHO too many are blaggers, too many are rogues and too few do either little or no more than process a sale of whatever they happen to have in stock.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 02-19-2021 at 11:41 PM.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Woburn, Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Greenbag View Post
    I would echo John Coulter’s (Ukantor’s) earlier comment. IMHO either the dealer doesn’t know quite enough about Ukes or he’s not being completely honest with you.

    This afternoon I set-up a second hand Soprano that must be at least a decade old and it would have cost very little when it was new - it (the make and model) was quite likely the cheapest Uke in most ‘music’ shops. So it’s an inexpensive instrument that’s both been owned by a few people and (very likely) supplied by a ‘music’ shop, none of those people understood and acted upon the need to set it up before use. Initially that Soprano’s intonation was rubbish but the open strings sounded good enough. After sorting out the string heights in the nut and at the saddle, sorting the compensation at the saddle and replacing the strings with basic Aquila’s the Uke sounds just great and I am delighted with it. [The strings that it arrived with (as fitted by some earlier owner) had to be changed because they were for D tuning and not all of them would intonate properly in ‘standard’ C tuning.] All of those set-up tasks I’ve done on other sizes of Uke too, and more importantly all sizes of Uke need setting-up - expect for someone to have to do that work. How much work is needed on a Uke is most likely to be a function of its price and is not really a function of its size. Set-up work is not difficult or highly skilled, but it is time consuming and so an expense to businesses...

    Sopranos are the original size of Uke, they were created as a perfect instrument and built by craftsmen. Sopranos are still a very popular size of Uke - perhaps the most popular - and can play perfectly well, like all of the common sizes of Uke Sopranos do need setting-up properly. Shop-keepers, occasionally you do find good ones but IMHO too many are blaggers, too many are rogues and too few do either little or no more than process a sale of whatever they happen to have in stock.
    +1 what Graham said.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Woburn, Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    20

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    I have a inexpensive concert that's having the same issue as your soprano. I just ordered some files to adjust the nut slot depths. If that doesn't work, I'm going to try a new saddle to move the point of contact of each string farther as appropriate (thanks to the advice from this forum.)

    On the other hand, I saw this: https://www.hosco.co.jp/en/accessories/sos-us1.html it seems like a fancy version of the toothpick trick. It's tempting to try.

    Lastly, If you have the heat on you may need to humidify your instrument. The heat dries out the air, and in turn dries wood out. This is less of an issue with laminate instruments. I use an inexpensive sound hole humidifier, but I've also used a sponge in a soap dish drilled with holes in a guitar case before.
    Last edited by Chewbacca; 02-24-2021 at 09:41 AM. Reason: I can't spell

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