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Thread: My Uke Came ALIVE!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    Beautiful Pacific Northwest
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    Default My Uke Came ALIVE!

    I own a stunningly beautiful Pono RTSH-PC-S (TENOR). I didn't love the tone. Very quiet Renntrant. Mostly fingerstyle. Currently strung with Fremont Blacklines and a Soloist 4th. Tried Worths and others before.

    Dropped tuning down two semitones to FA#DG (Bb tuning) and I have an entirely different uke: Loud, sustains forever, superior tremolo, and ALIVE!. Not being in a band it conflicts with no one. Just play chords and TAB identically as before.

    My wife was astounded at the difference hearing it from another room.

    Southcoast talks about the importance of different string tensions. I think that is it but THIS uke LOVES the lower tuning. I've seen this phenomena on other ukes.

    IF you're at all underwhelmed with your uke's tone, you might try moving the tuning up or down a semitone or two. YMMV but I absolutely LOVE this uke now!!! Simply blown away.
    Last edited by strat4me; 10-31-2017 at 11:05 AM.
    Mark & Dee Dee - enjoying the journey together.

    SOPRANO: ..Kiwaya KTS-4, Famous FS-5; Favilla U2
    TEARDROP: Favilla 1920s
    CAMP UKE: .Lyons & Healy 1920s
    CONCERT: ..Kala KA-CG, Bruko Maple
    TENOR: ......Bruko Cedar over Zebrawood, Pono RTSH-PC,
    ...................Amahi UK220, Pono AT, KoAloha Pikake KTM-10
    BARITONE: ..Pono ABD, Kala KA-KBE-C
    BANJOLELE: TFW
    GUITALELE: Yamaha.
    A dozen guitars of all makes and sizes

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
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    695

    Default

    Cool! Maybe it's a Halloween paranormal phenomenon

    But seriously, I'll be sure to try that on a tenor that underwhelms me.

    I saw this online...the Ukulantern

    Ukulantern.jpg
    Last edited by Ukecaster; 10-31-2017 at 08:22 AM.
    Ask NOT what your country can do for Uke...ask what Uke can do for your country.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Pennsylvania, USA
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    Default

    Glad you were able to improve your experience! I will keep this in mind if I ever find I am underwhelmed by a new instrument.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    627

    Default

    Tenor often sounds great in Bb. That is why some folks like having unique tunings for each size.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    MARTIN-sville Indiana
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    519

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EDW View Post
    Tenor often sounds great in Bb. That is why some folks like having unique tunings for each size.


    I am glad you found the sweet spot for your tenor. In my experience, most tenors I have played sound better in Bb tuning.
    Main players:

    Soprano: Laughlin 2K | Maui Music Deluxe Mango

    Concert: Collings UC2 | Talsma Style 3 | 16" Ono | Ono Pineapple | Blackbird Clara

    Tenor: Collings UT3SMB

    Baritone: LoPrinzi

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Nor Cal USA
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    Default

    I kept a tenor in A tuning for months but shifted it down to G tuning (dGBE) so I could play with my neighbor's Bari. The Fremont Bari-Tenor strings work well in DGBE with a Soloist as a low D fourth on a tenor too.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA
    Posts
    2,947

    Default

    Fantastic you have something you're much happier with. Now all you need to do is find which strings you like best at that tuning.

    All of my tenors are tuned Bb, except my Farallon which sounds better in B.
    More an appreciator of the ukulele than a true player. My motto is: "Don't matter how good it ring if it ain't got some bling."

    Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.—Voltaire

    Curious about the relative importance of tonewood vs. the luthier? See Luthiers for a Cause to learn more!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Bowral NSW AUSTRALIA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by strat4me View Post
    I own a stunningly beautiful Pono RTSH-PC-S (TENOR). I didn't love the tone. Very quiet Renntrant. Mostly fingerstyle. Currently strung with Fremont Blacklines and a Soloist 4th. Tried Worths and others before.

    Dropped tuning down two semitones to FA#DG (Bb tuning) and I have an entirely different uke: Loud, sustains forever, superior tremolo, and ALIVE!. Not being in a band it conflicts with no one. Just play chords and TAB identically as before.

    My wife was astounded at the difference hearing it from another room.

    Southcoast talks about the importance of different string tensions. I think that is it but THIS uke LOVES the lower tuning. I've seen this phenomena on other ukes.

    IF you're at all underwhelmed with your uke's tone, you might try moving the tuning up or down a semitone or two. YMMV but I absolutely LOVE this uke now!!! Simply blown away.
    Good for you Mark, it's always nice to hear others enjoying the hidden qualities of their ukes, I have always "tuned for the instrument" rather than anything else, it just makes sense to find that sweet spot where you and the uke are happiest.
    All the best,
    Campbell

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.
    Posts
    4,111

    Default

    I think tenors are strung too tight normally, that's why I use concert strings on mine, for GCEA, plus I also like them tuned to DGBE. Glad to hear you've made friends with yours.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.
    Formerly known as uke1950.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    115

    Default

    Strat4--Good thread. I've experienced the same thing this week. As some on here know, I couldn't find a baritone ukulele under $600 that played well. So I did what any red-blooded kid would do--I built one (with a LOT of help from the good people at Crow River Guitars in Paynesville, MN). I've had my own ukulele for just over a year, and I've dinged with the setup here and there. Then this week, I got some Martin strings I had ordered from Sweetwater (DGBE linear tuning) and WOW!!!!!! I can't put the instrument down!!!

    I had always liked the baritone I had built, but today, it, too, has come alive. Great thread--

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