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jaffachamps
05-11-2015, 09:35 AM
I'm converting a kid's 1/4 size guitar (~30" overall, 19-20" scale) into a 6-string ukulele. I'd appreciate any input on sourcing strings.

The particular guitar that I'm using has a 20" scale and is designed for steel string tension levels. So I'm working with roughly a Baritone ukulele that can handle (if not prefer) slightly higher tension.

I put a set of soprano strings on out of curiosity, and, sure enough, it seems like too much tension. I ordered a set of 6-string tenor (Aquila), and I'll see how they work. I suspect that there is a better option, and I wanted to ask the community.

I can find 4-string GCEA Baritone sets, but that would still leave sourcing the high C (C5, 523.25Hz) and low A (A3, 220Hz).

gregmchugh
05-11-2015, 09:48 AM
One option would be the Kanilea GL6 Guilele String Set designed for the Kanilea/Islander baritone guilele with a 20" scale length, these are for ADGCEA tuning. HMS seems to be out of a stock, they have the best price on them. some have ordered direct from Kanilea but they are available at other dealers. Try google search.

jaffachamps
05-11-2015, 10:39 AM
for ADGCEA tuning.

That set would give the A4, E4, C4 but I'd still need two strings: either G4 & C5 (if I used the G3 as the A3) or A3 & C5 (if I did a low G). The D3 might be able to do the G3, but it may be a stretch, but would still be missing a C5. What layout were you suggesting?

gregmchugh
05-11-2015, 11:03 AM
Sorry, I missed what you wanted. Those are strings for a Guilele, not a 6 string like you are doing. Interesting idea though. Are you going to make a new nut and bridge saddle to set up the spacing fir the doubled strings?

Booli
05-11-2015, 11:21 AM
Sorry, I missed what you wanted. Those are strings for a Guilele, not a 6 string like you are doing. Interesting idea though. Are you going to make a new nut and bridge saddle to set up the spacing fir the doubled strings?

Yes, I was wondering the same thing, otherwise your octave strings will be spaced too far apart to finger them comfortably, unless your fingertips are super-wide and pod-like...

I was once thinking about converting my Yamaha GL-1 Guitalele (17" scale, ADGCEA) to a 6 or 8 stringer, but to really do it right, I'd have to replace not only the nut and saddle which are easy for me, but also the bridge, and that's more work than I want to do, (yes, I'm lazy) :(

bnolsen
05-11-2015, 11:33 AM
Yes, I was wondering the same thing, otherwise your octave strings will be spaced too far apart to finger them comfortably, unless your fingertips are super-wide and pod-like...

I was once thinking about converting my Yamaha GL-1 Guitalele (17" scale, ADGCEA) to a 6 or 8 stringer, but to really do it right, I'd have to replace not only the nut and saddle which are easy for me, but also the bridge, and that's more work than I want to do, (yes, I'm lazy) :(

I think you could convert it to string through by drilling into the body just behind the saddle. I think that would allow you to restore it to guitarlele by just putting back the original nut.

jaffachamps
05-11-2015, 12:03 PM
Are you going to make a new nut and bridge saddle?

Yes. I think that there is enough material around the existing slots that I can do this without needing to replace the nut.


Yes, I was wondering the same thing, otherwise your octave strings will be spaced too far apart to finger them comfortably, unless your fingertips are super-wide and pod-like

Any recommendation on the distance between strings at the nut? I don't have a 6/8 string to copy.


I think you could convert it to string through by drilling into the body just behind the saddle.

Yep, I'll drill new guide holes into the saddle. It's currently designed for ball-end-bead strings but I can do the classical guitar style where you feed a string through, loop it back around itself, add a few twists, and let friction do its thing. That method is currently working on this body at much higher tension (soprano strings) and has worked well with a previous cigar box type project.

Booli
05-11-2015, 12:11 PM
I think you could convert it to string through by drilling into the body just behind the saddle. I think that would allow you to restore it to guitarlele by just putting back the original nut.

That's a good idea.

I was also thinking about making a tailpiece that would hang off the endpin jack (MiSi pickup installed), and that way I would not have to put more holes in the instrument.

Only problem is that in past experiments with a tailpiece, the string-break-angle is not acute enough (too far away from saddle) and does not put enough pressure on the saddle, which allows the strings to move laterally across the saddle when plucked/strummed. This might not be such a problem acoustically, but with the pickup, you get a 'rubbing' sound whenever the strings are attacked.

So, the solution to that in the past was to notch the saddle for each string like for a mandolin or banjo/lele...

Booli
05-11-2015, 01:25 PM
Any recommendation on the distance between strings at the nut? I don't have a 6/8 string to copy.

This one would be very tricky for me, as I'm not a luthier, I know not how to approach it.

Hopefully some of the excellent, professional builders that frequent this section of the forum will see your thread, and offer some guidance.

Until then, you might want to see if there are any videos on youtube for 'ukulele string spacing' or 'mandolin string spacing' to give you some ideas...

jaffachamps
05-11-2015, 02:17 PM
I used some formulas on the D'Addario page and determined that the Aquila 17U 6-String Tenor set will mean about 90 lbs of tension at my scale length. There's a question if the guitar will support this. The soprano strings I have on now are probably only about 60 lbs and appear to torque the saddle more than I'd prefer. The math indicates (if I make a conservative guess of 135 lbs for tension on a 4/4 steel string, then at 1/4 scale that'd be 90 lbs, which may mean that the 17U will work) that it may work.

I am in no way, any sort of luthier, so I'm curious if this seems right. What sort of tension makes sense?



I used the same formulas and came up with two possible sets of strings (all codes should be prefixed with NYL0):

Str Code UW*10000 Tension
1 41 0.4751 9.64
2 21 0.1246 10.11
3 28 0.2216 10.10
4 34 0.3267 9.38
5 18 0.0916 10.51
6 24 0.1628 10.49
Total 60.23

Str Code UW*10000 Tension
1 41 0.4751 9.64
2 22 0.1368 11.10
3 31 0.2716 12.37
4 39 0.4298 12.33
5 19 0.102 11.71
6 27 0.206 13.27
Total 70.43

^^^ Str:
Str Name/D'Addario Notation
1 A3/a
2 A4/a'
3 E4/e'
4 C4/c'
5 C5/c"
6 G4/g'



Also, it may make more sense to get the Aquila Baritone gCEA set and buy D'Addario the A3/C5 separately. I can't find Aquila string tensions or unit-weights to verify that the tensions would be roughly the same as the D'Addario strings.


Opinions?


------------------Here's the excel table that maps D'Addario strings to tensions at 20.125" scale length. If it's interesting to people, then I'll format it to be prettier.

In Freq Order, Highest, to Lowest, Note C5 A4 G4 E4 C4 A3 G3
P/N UW #5 #2 #6 #3 #4 #1 #6-alternate
D’Addario Classic - Rectified Clear Nylon
J2801 0.2065 23.70 16.76 13.30 9.41 5.93 4.19 3.33
2802 0.29 33.29 23.54 18.68 13.21 8.32 5.88 4.67
2803 0.4602 52.83 37.35 29.65 20.96 13.21 9.34 7.41
2901 0.1928 22.13 15.65 12.42 8.78 5.53 3.91 3.11
2902 0.2803 32.18 22.75 18.06 12.77 8.04 5.69 4.51
2903 0.4486 51.50 36.41 28.90 20.44 12.87 9.10 7.23
3001 0.2065 23.70 16.76 13.30 9.41 5.93 4.19 3.33
3002 0.29 33.29 23.54 18.68 13.21 8.32 5.88 4.67
3003 0.4602 52.83 37.35 29.65 20.96 13.21 9.34 7.41
3101 0.2284 26.22 18.54 14.72 10.41 6.55 4.63 3.68
3102 0.3022 34.69 24.53 19.47 13.77 8.67 6.13 4.87
3103 0.4989 57.27 40.50 32.14 22.73 14.32 10.12 8.04

Rectified Clear Nylon
NYL018 0.0916 10.51 7.44 5.90 4.17 2.63 1.86 1.48
19 0.102 11.71 8.28 6.57 4.65 2.93 2.07 1.64
20 0.113 12.97 9.17 7.28 5.15 3.24 2.29 1.82
21 0.1246 14.30 10.11 8.03 5.68 3.58 2.53 2.01
22 0.1368 15.70 11.10 8.81 6.23 3.93 2.78 2.20
24 0.1628 18.69 13.21 10.49 7.42 4.67 3.30 2.62
27 0.206 23.65 16.72 13.27 9.38 5.91 4.18 3.32
28 0.2216 25.44 17.99 14.28 10.10 6.36 4.50 3.57
29 0.2377 27.29 19.29 15.31 10.83 6.82 4.82 3.83
30 0.2543 29.19 20.64 16.38 11.58 7.30 5.16 4.10
31 0.2716 31.18 22.05 17.50 12.37 7.79 5.51 4.37
32 0.2894 33.22 23.49 18.65 13.18 8.31 5.87 4.66
33 0.3078 35.33 24.98 19.83 14.02 8.83 6.25 4.96
34 0.3267 37.50 26.52 21.05 14.88 9.38 6.63 5.26
38 0.4081 46.85 33.13 26.29 18.59 11.71 8.28 6.57
39 0.4298 49.34 34.89 27.69 19.58 12.33 8.72 6.92
40 0.4522 51.91 36.71 29.13 20.60 12.98 9.18 7.28
41 0.4751 54.54 38.56 30.61 21.64 13.63 9.64 7.65