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Thread: 1st and 12th fret in tune.. others not

  1. #1
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    Default 1st and 12th fret in tune.. others not

    I built a soprano uke kit from Grizzly.com and replaced the strings with Aquila.
    I built the kit to spec and it looks good and sounds good.

    The sound is good, but I have having a time getting it tuned correctly.
    The 1st and 12th frets for all 4 strings are in tune, but the others tend to be sharp.

    As you can imagine any chord starts to sound off when playing.

    Do I need to raise/lower the bridge?
    is the fret board off?

    Thanks for any insight?
    Last edited by mswiggins; 04-09-2013 at 02:56 AM.

  2. #2
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    Various things it could be but the very first thing with Aquila nylguts is this. WAIT until they settle before judging the intonation. You cannot intonate new Nylgut strings. Give them at least 2 weeks to settle down and become stable and then assess the intonation. Any adjustment you make to new Nylgut strings will turn out to be wrong when they have settled down.

    EDIT. The other thing to do is measure where the frets, nut and saddle have been placed in relation to each other. Go to the Steward McDonald fret calculator and input the data of your particular build. Then with a steel rule and a set of vernier callipers very carefully measure the instrument to see if everything is to spec. Certainly don't do anything until you know what you are dealing with.

    Anthony
    Last edited by anthonyg; 04-08-2013 at 11:04 AM.

  3. #3
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    Are the frets level?

    Are they "tall"?
    9:23448

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  4. #4
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    The ukulele is a kit and I built it to the instructions.
    I will let the strings settle in before making a quick judgement.

    I do not know how to answer if the frets are not too high. I can compare to a guitar. I will have to visit a local store to judge if the frets are too high.

    Thanks

  5. #5
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    Kits can be good but sometimes it needs knowledge to make fine adjustments to get the best from them. Anyway let the strings settle for 2 weeks, retuning the instrument until the tuning is stable and then assess it again.

    Anthony

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyg View Post
    Kits can be good but sometimes it needs knowledge to make fine adjustments
    That is why I am here!

    The kit was a birthday gift and a fun build.

    Thanks

  7. #7
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    It may be a good idea to post some pictures which detail the neck, frets, nut and saddle from a side elevation. Use something like a credit card as a marker to indicate the gap.
    All the best,
    Campbell


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  8. #8
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    The nut might well be high, but it would have to be very high to affect intonation much beyond the fourth or fifth fret.

    Is the intonation off on all frets by about the same amount, or does it get progressively worse or better as you work up the fretboard from the first to the 12th?

    John
    I'm not entirely convinced that it is possible to polish a turd. However, if one were to accomplish that feat one would still have a turd, and one all the more noticeable for being shiny.

    Check out my ukulele-themed "stuff" at http://www.cafepress.com/fivebyfiveukulele - proceeds go to a good cause...UAS treatment!

  9. #9
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    BTW, welcome to UU. You might want to post your question in the tech section - there are several very good luthiers who hang out there and they might be able to help you better than us mere mortals.

    John
    I'm not entirely convinced that it is possible to polish a turd. However, if one were to accomplish that feat one would still have a turd, and one all the more noticeable for being shiny.

    Check out my ukulele-themed "stuff" at http://www.cafepress.com/fivebyfiveukulele - proceeds go to a good cause...UAS treatment!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldePhart View Post
    The nut might well be high, but it would have to be very high to affect intonation much beyond the fourth or fifth fret.

    Is the intonation off on all frets by about the same amount, or does it get progressively worse or better as you work up the fretboard from the first to the 12th?

    John
    the intonation seems to get a little better as you work from 1st to 12th fret.

    For example.
    A string
    Open In tune
    3rd fret sharp
    5th fret less sharp
    7th fret same as 5th fret
    10 fret even less sharp
    12th fret in tune.

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