Depending on the ukulele, we like to set the action at 2.5mm to 3.0mm in height. High-quality ukuleles will often have a compensated saddle. For cheaper instruments, one should be happy if the fretboard is perfectly flat. On the other hand, the type of wood is just a question of personal taste. In this way the progressive string height scale measures in .005" increments. Unfortunately, this happens more often than you’d expect…. When the bottom of a mark aligns with the bottom of the string, that measurement is the string height at that point. The slots should be slanted towards the head plate. If the strings are too high, the instrument becomes uncomfortable to play, if the strings are too low, it can cause fret buzz. These adjustments are very fine but often they make a big difference to the playability. To check the setup of the nut slots, compare barring in the 1st fret and the 5th fret. The strings should be supported by the nut only at the edge on the fretboard side, otherwise they may buzz in their slot when playing. Renaissance and baroque compact e-book: Alte Musik mit der Ukulele, Celtic e-book: Keltische Musik mit der Ukulele, Classical e-book: Klassische Musik mit der Ukulele, Klassische Musik mit der Ukulele, Volume 2: Das klinget so herrlich. A sharp edge can be uncomfortable for the player, so this step is quite important and fairly easy to do. The strings should be supported by the nut only at the edge on the fretboard side, otherwise they may buzz in their slot when playing. Setting up the nut slots is not as easy as one could think, you have to watch out for several aspects: A low action at the nut is great for playability and intonation, however, too low action will lead to annoying buzzing, since the strings will hit the frets while playing normally. Depending on your playing style, a very diverse setup may be preferred. Some instruments are just built too imprecisely. It shouldn’t be harder at the 1st fret than at the 5th fret. A flat top on a fret can certainly throw out your intonation because it changes the scale length ever so slightly but this certainly affects the intonation of the instrument. I use a feeler gauge to set the bottom of the slot.050 inches (1.27 mm) above the fretboard. The string height markings are at increments of .010" (ten thousandths of an inch). Some traders are diligent enough to return such bad examples by themselves — however you can’t take this for granted, some just leave this to their customers. At the upper end I would go no higher than about 8/64ths (or ⅛ inch, or 0.125 inches or about 3mm). No manufacturer of 30$-ukuleles can afford to pay the working time for a good setup. Once that’s done, we put the saddle back in and bring the uke back up to pitch. A quick measure and we are done with the saddle. The slots shouldn’t be too narrow, otherwise the strings may stick in the slots when tuning, making it much harder to tune accurately. We will sand down the frets also to give them a nice shiny finish. The slots shouldn’t be too wide, otherwise the strings may buzz in the slots when playing. Very diligent ukulele traders check the setup of the instruments they sell, and even improve it if necessary — adequate to the price of the instrument. It pays to be nearsighted. If a fret redress is required, we will typically need to clean the fretboard. If the strings are too high, the instrument becomes uncomfortable to play, if the strings are too low, it can cause fret buzz. We would like to show you exactly what we do. If the action needs adjusting it will always need to be lowered. Sometimes we find sharp edges on the fret ends, so we files those off. Only hand-crafted, premium-quality (and thus very expensive) instruments usually also have a very good setup from the beginning. For example, the 2nd fret might be slightly higher than the 3rd, this cause issues because the string will be slightly touching the higher fret when it shouldn’t be. The fret file will typically flatten out the top of the frets and they will require a fret recrown. If the neck is warped or the workmanship of the fretboard is lacking, the positions of the frets are wrong, or the bridge is ill-positioned, it won’t be possible to setup the instrument for good playability or intonation. Unfortunately, this can happen even with more expensive instruments — all industrially produced ukuleles exhibit some production spread. The optimum setup depends on the instrument and on the strings here as well. We will do this with a microfiber cloth. Some strings are prone to a higher oscillation amplitude, thus requiring a higher action. 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