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scdano
05-18-2015, 03:06 AM
I recently finished my 16th uke, a mahogany baritone for my son. It's my first baritone and I'm not happy with the string tension. I know baritones have lower string tension than the other sizes, but this setup feels very loose and floppy and somehow not right. However, the uke sounds great. So, here are the specs- 20" scale, Worth brown non-wound baritone string set, standard dgbe tuning at the correct octave and the strings are fully settled in. I've also tried Aquila baritone strings. String break angle is good at the saddle and nut and the string height is .090 at the 12th fret and .020 at the 1st. So my question is, would I increase the string tension going to a smaller, or larger, gauge string set using the same tuning? I really don't want to tune up a step to get it to feel right. I was thinking of trying a low G tenor set, but if I need to go thicker, I can use strings from a classical guitar set. Thanks for any advice on this, I just can't get my head around the string gauge/tension thing.

Patrick Madsen
05-18-2015, 08:41 AM
For myself, after many, many string tryouts on my baritones; I've settled on Southcoast HL-SW's. They're a low D string, G tuning. I like a higher tension and these are the ones with the tension I like best. On my vintage Martin, they were too high tensioned so stuck with Martin strings on it.

Allen
05-18-2015, 11:56 AM
I build a lot of baritones, and at the 20" scale length, you are really going to struggle getting DGbe to work optimally with any string set. Even though they call the sets out as baritones and say they work, there just isn't enough length to pump up the tension to something that feels right. You are far better off to go with GCea.

Alternately stretch out the scale length to 21" or even better at 22".

However you are stuck with trying to get this one to work. So I'd recommend that you go with some hard high tension strings like the Saverez. I've used the Classical 500CJ set. I see that they have a Baritone uke set now for 19". Not tried them, but perhaps they might suit.

itsme
05-18-2015, 12:41 PM
...Worth brown non-wound baritone string set, standard dgbe tuning at the correct octave and the strings are fully settled in.
IMO, using all non-wounds on a bari does feel floppy to me. Were the Aquilas also all non-wound? As much as I love Worth browns on tenors, they just didn't do it for me on bari. I find a 2 wound/2 plain set to be much better and the 2+2 setup gives it a nice balanced feeling and tone.


So I'd recommend that you go with some hard high tension strings like the Saverez. I've used the Classical 500CJ set. I see that they have a Baritone uke set now for 19". Not tried them, but perhaps they might suit.
Savarez 500CJs are what came with my 580 scale requinto guitar. It tunes the same as a full-sized guitar and the strings have a lot of volume and punch.

I'll have to look further to find their baris... the first several places I looked don't have them.

Norman2
05-18-2015, 12:53 PM
Hi, I have a Kala Baritone and tried Worth, Aquila, Martin, and GHS however none of these gave me the tension
I needed so I use D'Addario hard EXP classic guitar stings. I throw away the 5th and 6th string and only use
Silver plated wound D and nylon G,B and E. Total tension is 56Lbs and that is where my baritone sings. Will keep
on using this combination. Regards
Norman2
PS, Fluorocarbon strings do not have the proper tension for a baritone. Prone to buzzing on low set-ups. You will
be amazed at the sound of a Baritone with D'Addario EXP classical guitar strings!

PS. Wanted to clarify that you should not put strings on a baritone ukulele that exceeds 56 total tension lbs. You
can snap the bridge off or your soundboard may start sagging. I am at the limit and will probably have to change
to a set of D'addario T2 titanium baritone strings which have a total tension of 46 lbs. regards.
Norman2