Tuesday, April 29, 2008

It works

More than a year ago I bought an Epiphone Mandobird. It's a 4 string electric mandolin modeled on the famed Gibson Thunderbird Guitar. Of course I play the Uke not the Mandolin. So I tuned it to GCEA, but the intonation was off because the some of the strings were the wrong gauge for that tuning. So on and off for the last year I've fiddling around making an electric ukulele out of an electric mandolin using guitar strings. No wonder I was having trouble. In the process I've learned a lot about setting up an electric instrument. I have a bit of refining to do since I get some fret buzz when I really wail on it, but for the most part I have a fully operational electric solid body ukulele that looks like a Firebird. I call it my UkeBird.


At 6/27/2008 12:46:00 PM, Blogger Steve Lewis said...

Mike, what string gauges did you wind up going with? I've just picked up a Mandobird, too, and am about to dive & and change strings and intonation.

At 6/27/2008 09:44:00 PM, Blogger Mike said...

I bought a set of electric guitar strings. The smallest of them was 0.010. Then I used the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th strings from that set. Of course that gave me a low G tuning, which is what I usually play. It is not ideal. The low G string has MUCH more sustain than the others, and it ends up sounding like a drone, especially when it is played open. I even adjusted the pickup so that it is angled away from that string, but it is still too loud. I'm considering stringing it with high G.

Incidentally this is the instruction site I used to set it up. Very informative:



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