Martin s1 question

Gress

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I am new to ukes. Coming from 40 years of guitar playing (of friends and family type).

I love my Martin GPC16 and got myself a Martin S1 uke
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Being a soprano type the frets beyond 7th are very narrow and string height makes it next to impossible for me to play any chords there.

Is that a norm to have the strings high on uke?

Anyway, I decided to lower them by filing the saddle down like I set up my guitars. Unfortunately, I learned from Martin that they do not offer uke saddles (they readily sell you one for a guitar).

So I got a 3rd party one which I filed down by 1.9mm and made it to fit the slot. Here is the original and the filed down one
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Here it's installed.
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The new one is not compensated, but I do not hear the difference. I assume it's OK, correct?

Also the strings are still high to my liking, but I cannot go down on the bridge side more as it might start buzzing I'm afraid. There, obviously, is no neck relief adjustment, so I assume that is it.

Am I trying to deal with something I should not? The strings are light and the issue I am facing is honestly not the height, but rather the width of the small frets on this soprano uke.
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Perhaps I will get used to play it..
 
What is the action height at the 12th fret? Its pretty normal for uke action to be higher than a guitar, but like a guitar you can basically lower it as much as you want until you encounter buzzing or not have enough back pressure on the saddle.
 
Welcome aboard, Gress.

There are no issues with setting up the uke the way you like it. I set mine up just like I would a guitar as far as action goes, making nut/saddle adjustments as needed. I've never run into a buzzing issue when taking the saddle down. Not that it's not possible, I just always got to the height I like without it happening.
 
Man, look at this guy, people!!

Calipers and everything!!

You can do it!!!

Don't be posting about your string is 20 cents flat and you're afraid to turn the little plastic button thingy!
Don't be crying that you literally can't change the battery in the pickup!!

Basic maintenance and adjustments are all part of the experience!!

You don't need a hydraulic lift, you dont need an impact wrench! A bit of sandpaper will go a long way!
 
Welcome!
Though (in terms of Martin quality control) it would be surprising, it’s possible that neck joint pitch is out of whack. Try laying a metal straight edge on top of the sound board so that it touches the bass edge of the bridge & lies parallel to the bass side of the neck so that the other end is at (flush with) the nut.

> If neck joint pitch is as it should be, the bottom of the straight edge should line up with the base of the fingerboard at the nut.
> If the bottom of the straight edge is lower than the base of the fingerboard at the nut, pitch is incorrect and will make it impossible to get proper (2.5mm or less) action.

However, if neck joint pitch is proper, you should be able to sand a bit more off the saddle base without causing buzzing issues.
 
Man, look at this guy, people!!

Calipers and everything!!

You can do it!!!

Don't be posting about your string is 20 cents flat and you're afraid to turn the little plastic button thingy!
Don't be crying that you literally can't change the battery in the pickup!!

Basic maintenance and adjustments are all part of the experience!!

You don't need a hydraulic lift, you dont need an impact wrench! A bit of sandpaper will go a long way!
Remember, I am coming from my guitar years. And yes I set my guitars to my preferred setups myself.
Uke is much simpler, at least this little one. I am using my tools to make it right with no retries and oversanding etc. Tools are helping ppl :) I fix my cars and use my impact wrench too :)
 
Standard string action for a ukulele is between 2.5 and 3.5mm at the 12th fret. This might be easier to measure with a steel ruler than with calipers. Beginning strumming players often prefer the lower end of that range, but more advanced fingerstyle players usually prefer the higher end of that range. How high is yours?
 
What is the action height at the 12th fret? Its pretty normal for uke action to be higher than a guitar, but like a guitar you can basically lower it as much as you want until you encounter buzzing or not have enough back pressure on the saddle.
It's not bad at all now, I assume..
It's at 3.25mm or thereabouts
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I set my Martin guitar at 2.25 mm or a bit less for the low E and 1.75mm for the high E.
No buzzing with 12th. But I set up my neck relief properly too.
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Looking inside my guitar for possible pencil wood marks just out of curiosity, I looked inside this s1 uke and on the back side of the top panel bracing I found Martin's logo. It is like what they do on the guitars. Interesting they do it even on the s1 at the bottom of their lineup.
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It's not bad at all now, I assume..
It's at 3.25mm or thereabouts
View attachment 165099

I set my Martin guitar at 2.25 mm or a bit less for the low E and 1.75mm for the high E.
No buzzing with 12th. But I set up my neck relief properly too.
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That looks good. When I said earlier I set them up the same as a guitar, I didn't mean the same height, just the same adjustments (nut, saddle, fret dress, etc). Thought I should clarify. I don't have a specific number I shoot for, just the feel. I just checked one of mine and it's 3/32" at the 12th fret across the strings. I play a mix of finger style and strumming.
 
What kind of guitar(s) do you have?
I have a classical Yamaha, an acoustic Takamine G20 from before they move production to China years ago, a Zager and couple others not worth mentioning. But the one I play everyday is my Martin GPC16e. It's one of their new GPC16e reincarnation. Rosewood / spruce with great sound acoustically and good enough with ny amp. Love that one.
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I set it up my way and with what they call a modified low oval neck it is perfect for me and is easy to play with no buzzing unlike that Zager. I use different 12-54s on my Martin and the ones I like the most are Tommy Emmanuel Signature flex cores.
They vibrate a bit more, so I had to increase the neck relief to 0.008 to keep the action at just under below 2.25mm .
I did a fair comparison to my zager once and posted an objective review on it to only be deleted by mods on acoustic guitar forum due to them seeing to much controversy with Zager.
 
That looks good. When I said earlier I set them up the same as a guitar, I didn't mean the same height, just the same adjustments (nut, saddle, fret dress, etc). Thought I should clarify. I don't have a specific number I shoot for, just the feel. I just checked one of mine and it's 3/32" at the 12th fret across the strings. I play a mix of finger style and strumming.
I got it, thx. 3/32 is what I like too and prefer staying at or below that.
 
Some people prefer higher, but if you like your guitar at 2.25mm and think your S1 feels high then that is totally understandable. I don't like the feel of a uke when strings are higher than 2.5mm. If you rest a straightedge on fretboard down towards bridge, where does it point? It should hit around the bottom of saddle. If it hits too much earlier then possible the neck is bent with too much relief
 
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Some people prefer higher, but if you like your guitar at 2.25mm and think your S1 feels high then that is totally understandable. I don't like the feel of a uke when strings are higher than 2.5mm. If you rest a straightedge on fretboard down towards bridge, where does it point? It should hit around the bottom of saddle. If it hits too much earlier then possible the neck is bent with too much relief
Very useful, thx! Will check on it.
 
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