Nut/Bridge Setup-Sharp at 1st fret.

Help for new mountain dulcimer players of all ages!

Nut/Bridge Setup-Sharp at 1st fret.

Postby HD-Luers » Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:58 pm

So, I have a beautiful Vintage Folkcraft that just got after playing one of Dave's student model's for a couple of years. The folkcraft needed a new nut and bridge. Bought 2 pairs from folkcraft. One to have as a back up in case I screwed up. They are the more expensive ones, forget the name but the simulated bone already pre cut like the drenlin ones. Anyhow, I know I went slow going back and forth got it so that it's a dime at the first fret but along the way I noticed it was very sharp on all strings and it still stayed sharp it's a nickle at the 7th fret. I kept going until I went about as low as I could go and was expecting them to come into tune, but they never did. There is no zero fret on this, it's still sharp 4 or 6 lines on my tuner?

It doesn't sound bad which I don't understand and the 2nd, 3rd, and rest of the frets are all in tune. I expected it to come in tune when it got lower, but it never did. So I don't understand. My VSL is 26 3/4 and I'm using the same strings as I did on Dave's, which did have a slightly lower VSL. I am wondering if that is all that it is. That'll be my next thing to try, but didn't have any to try. Thank you kindly.
User avatar
HD-Luers
Junior Mbr (0-50 posts)
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 5:28 pm

Re: Nut/Bridge Setup-Sharp at 1st fret.

Postby KenH » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:32 am

Strings should not affect what you're experiencing.

Are you saying its sharp ONLY on the first fret? Or sharp all the way down?

If everything is sharp, then the problem may be that the actual VSL changed a hair when you removed the old nut & bridge. A few millimeters can make huge difference. Look at the nut and bridge. They are wedge shaped in cross section, right? If there is one vertical side and one angles side, the flat sides need to be facing each other. Measure accurately between the inside edge of the tip of the nut to the inside edge of the tip of the bridge. If it is not precisely 26.75", that could well be the problem.

Are both the nut and bridge set in slots cut across the fretboard? Are the new nut & bridge tight fitting? If not, you may be able to adjust their position just a bit, which could help.
User avatar
KenH
Dulcified! (>2000 posts)
 
Posts: 10147
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2002 7:16 pm
Location: Afloat in Fort Myers, FL

Re: Nut/Bridge Setup-Sharp at 1st fret.

Postby dholeton » Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:23 am

Going along with what Ken said and assuming all frets are sharp, attached is a picture of the bridge on my scheitholt. I cut the slot for the bone a little wider than the bone. If you look closely, you might see a thin piece of aluminum in front of the bone to move the bridge farther away from the nut. It's not much, but it brought the scheitholt in true tuning on all frets. If your bridge needs to be farther away, this might be an option. Anything that is hard (metal, wood, bone, plastic) should be okay for making a shim.

Good luck and Merry Christmas

Dave
Attachments
Scheitholt_20170524_Final-15.jpg
Bridge cut wider than bone to allow for adjustment
User avatar
dholeton
Super Mbr (501-2000 posts)
 
Posts: 796
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:27 pm
Location: Clinton, TN

Re: Nut/Bridge Setup-Sharp at 1st fret.

Postby HD-Luers » Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:05 pm

It is sharp primary at the first fret on all 3 strings by 4 or 6 cents. 3rd fret and above they are all perfect.
User avatar
HD-Luers
Junior Mbr (0-50 posts)
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 5:28 pm

Re: Nut/Bridge Setup-Sharp at 1st fret.

Postby dholeton » Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:29 pm

Then the first fret might need to be moved. You might also be able to use less pressure so the string isn't pulled tighter as you press down. 4 to 6 cents on one fret might not be noticed by most people.

Dave
User avatar
dholeton
Super Mbr (501-2000 posts)
 
Posts: 796
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:27 pm
Location: Clinton, TN

Re: Nut/Bridge Setup-Sharp at 1st fret.

Postby KenH » Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:33 pm

What Dave said... moving the first fret that tiny of amount would be a royal witch! Most people won't hear 4-6 cents. A little easier down pressure will help.
User avatar
KenH
Dulcified! (>2000 posts)
 
Posts: 10147
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2002 7:16 pm
Location: Afloat in Fort Myers, FL

Re: Nut/Bridge Setup-Sharp at 1st fret.

Postby HD-Luers » Sun Dec 24, 2017 3:09 pm

Thank you all. I did realize one thing. I lightly sanded one and made a slight down angle on it rather than the cut slots and it helped some. Its still a hair sharp but not by much. It sounds and plays better. I guess I thought the slots were supposed to go on both ends.
User avatar
HD-Luers
Junior Mbr (0-50 posts)
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 5:28 pm

Re: Nut/Bridge Setup-Sharp at 1st fret.

Postby HD-Luers » Sun Dec 24, 2017 4:17 pm

Merry Christmas and Thank You very kindly all
User avatar
HD-Luers
Junior Mbr (0-50 posts)
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 5:28 pm

Re: Nut/Bridge Setup-Sharp at 1st fret.

Postby KenH » Sun Dec 24, 2017 4:23 pm

Ah so deska! When altering the action (or replacing bridge/nut) you only ever sand the bottom of the nut/bridge, never the top, to adjust the action height!
User avatar
KenH
Dulcified! (>2000 posts)
 
Posts: 10147
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2002 7:16 pm
Location: Afloat in Fort Myers, FL


Return to Mountain Dulcimer Beginner's Area

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 4 guests