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Thread: Hard to tune a strings?

  1. #1
    Registered User Narayan Kersak's Avatar
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    Hi. My mando stays in tune pretty well. However it always sounds like the A is slightly out. I tune it with a tuner, play a bit and then it sounds like it is out. Then I try to tune it with the other strings and it takes forever. It always seems like one or other of the A strings is out. The others work just fine. The A string will occasionally also sound slightly dead compared to the others. Fret it, and it sounds great, let it ring open and it just doesn't sound right. This isn't a major thing, in fact I'm probably the only one who notices it. Any ideas or thoughts about what is going on or how it can be fixed?
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    Moderator JEStanek's Avatar
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    If it sounds great fretted and poor when open I would suspect the nut slots are not correct. Get thee to a Set-up-ery.

    Jamie
    There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and, after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second. Logan Pearsall Smith, 1865 - 1946

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  3. #3

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    it sounds like you may have either an intonation problem or something wrong with your nut. i would probably take it in and have it set up.

  4. #4

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    heh you pulled the trigger first i guess JE

  5. #5
    Registered User Narayan Kersak's Avatar
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    would that account for why it takes forever to get it in tune? I can tune the other three strings write up, but I have to spend a long time with that A, listening and tweaking and listening and tweaking, and then I start all over after about a half hour of playing.
    Asheville Celtic Mandolin Blog and Tablature Resource.
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  6. #6

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    yep - o , if its binding at the nut it will go ticka ticka and either pop sharp or flat of where you wanna be. its a good excuse to go ahaead and pop a bone nut on eh?

  7. #7
    Registered User Narayan Kersak's Avatar
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    its' already got a bone nut. It was built with J75s in mind, and I have since moved down to mediums. Would that make a difference?
    Asheville Celtic Mandolin Blog and Tablature Resource.
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  8. #8
    Registered User Laurence Firth's Avatar
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    I had the same problem a while back. The folks here at the forum suggested I get a setup by a pro. I did that and now my mandolin is easy to tune and stays in tune. I had other problems with my mando at the time. My bridge slots were not spaced correctly placing my two G strings on top of each other (well almost)and the action was high. The set up fixed all of these problems. Have your mando looked at by a mandolin-tech / luthier and let them do a set up. You will be soooooo happy!
    Mandolin : Weber Bitterroot F
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    Laurence

  9. #9
    Registered User Lane Pryce's Avatar
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    Ryan the smaller gauge string will require you to lower your bridge if you wanna play in tune. My mandolin was made for J75's as well; your mandolin will sound and play better if you stick with what it was made for. You can try a bit of graphite in the nut slots. It may be all that is needed. However you can always send it back to its daddy for some tweaking. Just my two but if you want it right send it back to Andrew ---- you'll be much happier. Lp
    J.Lane Pryce

  10. #10
    Registered User Narayan Kersak's Avatar
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    Aww...man...but he's in Oregan and I'm in West Virginia. I don't know if I could stand being away from it that long. It's too much fun to play and other than that slight problem with the open A string it sounds too fantastic. Can't I lower the intonation myself? Or would that be a no no? Anyone know any setup pro's around WV?
    Asheville Celtic Mandolin Blog and Tablature Resource.
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  11. #11
    Moderator JEStanek's Avatar
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    Any competent luthier will be able to make the adjustment. Don Kawalek is in WV as are these others registered on the Café's builders page. Take a look and good luck. If you're really in a pinch, see if your local music shop has anyone who's worked on mandolins...

    Jamie
    There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and, after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second. Logan Pearsall Smith, 1865 - 1946

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  12. #12
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    I find exactly the same problem with my Mandolins until i've been playing one of them for a 1/2 hour or so,then the slight discord between the 2 'A' strings disappears. I think that the Mandolin just gets back to a 'working temperature' after being held against my body for a while & after being 'cool' in its case. Why it should just affect the 'A' strings i don't know,other than that they seem to be a bit pernickety at the best of times,
    Saska
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