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Thread: ADF#B tuning with Aquila strings?

  1. #1
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    Default ADF#B tuning with Aquila strings?

    I'd like to tune my soprano up a tone, ADF#B. Can I do this with regular Aquila strings without damaging the instrument? I did try it a while ago, and the bridge came off after a few weeks; the luthier glued it back on with "extra strong glue" (I'm not sure what type). After that, I haven't dared to try again, but the uke in question does sound much brighter at that pitch.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by wherahiko View Post
    I'd like to tune my soprano up a tone, ADF#B. Can I do this with regular Aquila strings without damaging the instrument? I did try it a while ago, and the bridge came off after a few weeks; the luthier glued it back on with "extra strong glue" (I'm not sure what type). After that, I haven't dared to try again, but the uke in question does sound much brighter at that pitch.
    If you've lost a bridge once I personally wouldn't risk it again. Aquila make a set specifically for that tuning for sopranos (Aquila 33U) - I really like them on one of my sopranos and they keep the low tension typical of a soprano too. Mivo on this forum recommended them to me.

  3. #3
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    Most of the old sopranos used that tuning, (1930/1940 era), & as it is only 2 semi tones up, plus soprano strings are low tension, it shouldn't cause any trouble.

    (I think you were probably just unlucky that your bridge came off before.)
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.
    Formerly known as uke1950.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by uke1950 View Post
    Most of the old sopranos used that tuning, (1930/1940 era), & as it is only 2 semi tones up, plus soprano strings are low tension, it shouldn't cause any trouble.

    (I think you were probably just unlucky that your bridge came off before.)
    I think gut strings might avoid your bridge problem. People used gut strings in pre war. Gut strings many break before your bridge break.

    Last edited by zztush; 11-13-2017 at 08:59 PM.
    Kamaka HF-1 100

  5. #5
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    Thanks, everyone! I'll give it a go and let you know.

    (I use gut strings on my baroque cello, but can imagine they would be a nightmare for tuning on a uke ... !)

  6. #6
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    I've tuned sopranos up and down between GCEA and ADF#B without any problems. I did once have an A string break when tuning up once but that particular set of strings had been on for some time and were probably due to be changed anyway and it made me do it

    I now tend to keep all my ukes in either GCEA or DGBE (1 tenor & baritone) and use a capo if I want a different tuning. It means I can have ADF#B even on the larger ones by putting a capo on the 2nd fret.
    Geoff Walker

    I have several ukuleles in various sizes and am not planning on getting any more...

    at least, not yet.

    I also play some blowy things and a squeezy thing

    Internet:
    You Tube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/TootlinGeoff
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by wherahiko View Post
    Thanks, everyone! I'll give it a go and let you know.

    (I use gut strings on my baroque cello, but can imagine they would be a nightmare for tuning on a uke ... !)
    Until after WWII instrument strings were either gut or wound strings typically had a silk core. The first use of nylon for guitar strings was in 1948. It would have taken a while after that for synthetic polymers to effectively take over.
    Geoff Walker

    I have several ukuleles in various sizes and am not planning on getting any more...

    at least, not yet.

    I also play some blowy things and a squeezy thing

    Internet:
    You Tube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/TootlinGeoff
    Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/tootlingeoff

  8. #8
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    I had my Kala soprano tuned to aDF#B with Aquilas for a long time with out any harm.

    I’ve since detuned it to gCEA because I don’t play it much and thought it would be better for it - I dunno . . .
    Kala "Spalted" baritone - Lo D GBD
    Kala tenor eight string - gG cC EE AA

    Luna "Peace" concert - Lo - G CEA
    Flea "Red" concert - Hi-G CEA -
    Kala "Exotic Mahogany" soprano - Hi-A DF#B

    Mahalo yellow "Smiley" soprano (Dad's Day gift) - C
    Ka-Lai Pineapple soprano (old) gift - C

    Two ukes are better than one. Uh, what’s better than two?

    God gave us old age so we wouldn't mind dying so much.

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