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Thread: Baritone D string slot too narrow for new strings

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    1

    Default Baritone D string slot too narrow for new strings

    My Kala KA-SMHB baritone came with some kind of Aquila strings.

    I've decided to change them, as I didn't like the squeakiness on the wound strings.

    It turns out that all the D strings for the sets I've bought are too wide for the D slot on the nut. Looking online, it seems that the Aquila D string is actually narrower than the G string, whereas the D string on all the other sets is wider.

    Obviously, the D slot on the nut needs to be widened. My question is, is this something that I can easily do myself with a file, without messing up the intonation, or should I take it to a luthier? It looks fairly easy, but am I taking on more than I should?

    Also, a secondary and more general question, isn't it a bit odd that the Kala has a narrower D slot on the nut? Aren't Baritone Ukes supposed to be built for low D strings?
    Last edited by baratoney; 05-14-2018 at 03:59 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Kekaha, Kauai
    Posts
    27

    Default

    That depends on how skillful you are with hand tools and whether or not you have a file the right size. If you are reasonably handy, it is not a difficult job. The slot needs to be cut in the same plane as the peg head. As far as the second question, it appears that Kala cut the slot correctly for the string they were using.
    Brad

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    526

    Default

    I am not exactly unhandy, but I would feel hesitant to undertake the filing myself. I would opt for a much more low-tech solution: switch to fluourocarbon (or however it is spelt) unwound strings. I use South Coast strings on my baritone, but I have heard others laud Living Water and, of course, Worth strings.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Sunny Jersey - where the cows come from!
    Posts
    1,176

    Default

    Widening the nut slot is easy ... work VERY slowly and try not to deepen the slot at the same time. A nail file will do the job if you're careful. Just a wipe or two on one side of the slot and then on the other side, then re-try the string for fit. Nut material is not very hard, the job will take only a few seconds of actual filing!

    Alternatively, practice with the wound strings until you can play without squeaking

    There are those who will wax lyrical about the ability to play a double shuffle with a split fan and a tight G-string ...
    it just makes me walk funny!

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