Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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Compensated Saddle for the Gretsch Ukulele Finished

So I made a bone bridge.  I'm leaving out all the details, mainly since I'm written them before elsewhere. (See my Guitar Builds section).

I had glued the bridge in a spot where the middle of the saddle would be 350mm from the nut.  This was my scale length of 348mm (13.625 inches), with 2mm for compensation.  So far, so good.

As it transpired, with a set of Aquila strings on it, each string needed some additional compensation.  I had sort of figured they might, which is why I left the saddle at its full 3/16 of an inch width (like how I mix metric and Imperial/US customary measurement?).  I figured I could go either way for each individual string as needed.

To be honest, it probably would have been ok as it was, but I found each string was off enough (most were flat, one was sharp) at the 12th fret that it bothered me. 

So I just filed each string its own 'saddle' as needed.  The way it played out was:  G - about 1.5mm toward the nut, C - about 1mm forward, E - as far as I could make it forward , about 2+mm, and A, about 2mm back from the nut. 

It was hard to get clean pictures, but you can get the idea.  And now, it plays in tune perfectly up to the 12th fret.  All of this is interesting to me, because my tenors and baritone all have uncompensated saddles, and they play in tune well.  Maybe it's the super short scale length that a soprano has?  Or maybe I was just super picky?

At any rate, I officially proclaim the Gretsch Soprano Project done! 

Not only does it play in tune, but it has that nice clear "woody" mahogany tone.  It's surprisingly loud too, although I may give it a few days on the shaker to see if will open up some.

One other interesting note:  the tuning heads on this ukulele are not too bad.  It stays in tune well.  It's interesting because the tuners on my baritone were awful, but these, on an equally inexpensive instrument, are ok.


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