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Thread: Set-up

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    Default Set-up

    This may sound like a stupid question, but I keep seeing people mentioning stores that sell ukes doing a "set-up." What does that mean?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Okinawa, Japan


    I will take a stab at this. When the manufacturer completes an instrument it has been built to a standard spec. Usually a certain type of string and a certain nominal dimension for the action and intonation. Stores that offer a setup will adjust the action "height of strings off fretboard", fix any intonation issues that exist. Put your preference of strings on, brand, hi G or Low G, etc. This is my laymans explanation. I hope someone will chime in with a more thorough explanation. Enjoy.
    Beeru Onegashimasu.
    Little ukes, Bigger ukes, Big ukes
    Stupid looking Hat
    Sunglasses and Sandles

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    NorCal 916


    Nana ka maka; ho`olohe ka pepeiao;
    pa`a ka waha.

    Observe with the eyes; listen with the ears; shut the mouth.
    Thus one learns.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009


    Yep - a decent store will check that the strings are nicely stretched, that the nut slots are not to high or low and that the bridge is the right height

    These things make for accurate tuning, stops buzzes and rattles and makes for a nicer playing experience.

    The problem with buying from mass sellers like Amazon is that they just lift the box off the shelf and ship it.
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  5. #5
    Manalishi Guest


    I agree with everything said so far.By 'set up' I usually look
    at the height of the strings above the fretboard at the NUT
    end (just below the tuners,where the fretboard starts) and
    then at the BRIDGE (or SADDLE if your ukulele has one)
    Lower at the NUT first,and usually that is all you need to do.
    If Not,a little saddle lowering may be required.Plenty of threads
    about that if you search on here!
    Then strings,are a personal choice.If you start with cheap
    laminate model,most recommend AQUILA nylgut strings,as
    they 'drive' the soundboard better.That is,they make the
    top surface of the ukulele vibrate more,and sound louder
    and,usually,better.Sharp fret ends either side of the fret
    board can be cured,again,plenty has been said in the past,
    use the SEARCH function.Simply 'set up' your instrument to
    suit YOU,so that it is comfortable to fret (finger) and strum,
    Musical Intonation is okay right across the scale,(you will
    hardly ever get it perfect,if you use an electronic tuner.
    That's another issue,called Compensation,which you will
    also find threads about!).Remember,one persons 'perfect'
    set up may not suit another.Just get it comfortable so that
    YOU enjoy playing it,and in tune!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011


    As always, thanks to everyone! The knowledge you guys have is insane!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011


    And, THANKS!

    "Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it. The history of liberty is a history of resistance." Woodrow Wilson

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