Uke Tech Support intonation a little flat at 12th fret?

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faithmusic

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I'd like to know how I might be able to adjust my intonation at the 12th fret. i have a KPK tenor uke that sounds beautiful. But I noticed that the A string is a little flat starting at the 7th fret to the 12th fret. I've experienced intonation problems going sharp, but never flat.
Can anyone tell me what i can try?
Thanks for your time.
Joe
 
There are numerous factors that cause intonation problems. The single biggest factor in intonation problems is saddle placement or more precisely the string contact point at the saddle/bridge. There used to be a tendency to not provide enough saddle compensation. This lead to intonation going sharp. There seems to be a modern trend to provide TOO much saddle compensation. This leads to intonation going flat.

What's wrong with a happy in-between?

Anyway, accurately, I mean VERY accurately measure the distance from the nut to the centre of the 12th fret. Then measure the distance from the centre of the 12th fret to the saddle. In an theoretically perfect world these two distances would be the same. We don't live in a perfect world. The distance from the centre 12 th fret to saddle should be slightly longer than nut to centre 12th fret. This is called saddle compensation. Not enough saddle compensation the intonation goes sharp. Too much saddle compensation the intonation goes flat.

Anthony
 
fixing this is the question. a "set up" dolphin I bought when I first started is 6mm longer saddle to 12 than 12 to nut. raising the saddle where now I have 5/32 string height at the 12 mostly deals with that. the eBay lanikai bari is .5mm or so shorter saddle to 12 than 12 to nut. lowering he saddle will buzz the strings I'm tempted to try to tilt the saddle back if possible, need to figure out what to really do with this one.
 
Intonation being a little flat on the outside strings (and sometimes a little sharp on the inside strings) isn't terribly unusual on ukes, unfortunately. The first thing to do is experiment with strings. Sometimes you will find a set that will mostly solve the problem - usually I've found that higher tension strings seem to intonate a little better, or at least have less variation from string to string. Keep records as you experiment with strings - how each string intonates up the neck. As a last resort you can even attempt mixing strings from different sets - assuming that the strings are at least somewhat similar and that the resulting frankenset sounds reasonably balanced.

After you find the right strings to get you in the ballpark, a compensated saddle can help. Usually there isn't enough height on the factory saddle to go reshaping the top of it, so you'll need to get a blank and work with that. Unfortunately, the saddle is so thin that you don't get much improvement especially on a tenor scale - the improvement is more noticeable on a soprano. A few ukuleles actually come with a compensated saddle. My Kiwaya longneck soprano has a factory compensated saddle and is the only uke that I've gotten "perfect" (i.e. as close as can be measured with a Stroboclip tuner) intonation at the 12th - however, achieving that still took a lot of experimentation with strings.

John
 
Thanks guys for your replies. I'll start with trying different strings and tensions.

Thanks.
 
Thanks guys for your replies. I'll start with trying different strings and tensions.

Thanks.

Well give different strings a try but honestly the very first thing you should do is measure the instrument. Is it in the ball park? If it is then minor changes will help. If it isn't in the ball park strings won't help.

Anthony
 
I'd like to know how I might be able to adjust my intonation at the 12th fret. i have a KPK tenor uke that sounds beautiful. But I noticed that the A string is a little flat starting at the 7th fret to the 12th fret. I've experienced intonation problems going sharp, but never flat.
Can anyone tell me what i can try?
Thanks for your time.
Joe

When this happens to me, it means I need to change my strings.

The A string always starts going flat first.
 
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