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View Full Version : Bb tuning on a Bari, string help needed again.



hammer40
06-12-2015, 11:19 AM
I was wondering if anyone else uses Bb tuning on there baritone? I seem to keep popping a string, either the 1st or 3rd string. I thought I had the right diameters but maybe not. I have checked the nut and saddle and both seem to be free of anything that would cause it to break a string.

I have tried different brands, even the recommended Southcoast set, which had the third string break on me.

I have asked for help with this string diameter calculation before, usually just get referred to the string formula from D'Addario, which I (I know, I'm a idiot) can't figure out. So if anyone has a string set that is working for you, would you mind posting what you're using, or the diameters? I prefer fluorocarbon, but nylon would be okay as well.

I can order some strings in an even thinner diameter, but there must be some accurate way to know what to use.

Jim Hanks
06-12-2015, 02:52 PM
What is your scale length and which Southcoast set was it?

Patrick Madsen
06-12-2015, 03:30 PM
Buy a set that can be tuned to GCEA and tune it down to a Bb instead of C. Look up SOuthcoast site they'll have them there. If you want a higher tension, go with the HML-RW's tuned to a Bb. If you use a 19" bari, the tension will be a little less than the charts read.

I used the predecessor of them on my Martin Bari. WOrked great.

hammer40
06-12-2015, 03:35 PM
What is your scale length and which Southcoast set was it?

I have a Pono Bari, the scale is 20-1/8th.

It was the HML-RW set. According to the visual chart Dirk uses they should be fine. I did speak with him once and he then mentioned that they are a higher tension set. I don't care for his charts, since it clearly shows they can be used for that tuning. At just over the halfway mark in tension in the visual, but he then suggested using something else in a lower tension. I went elsewhere, his strings are pricey and if I can't trust his charts, what's the point?

Jim Hanks
06-12-2015, 06:12 PM
I don't care for his charts, since it clearly shows they can be used for that tuning. At just over the halfway mark in tension in the visual, but he then suggested using something else in a lower tension. I went elsewhere, his strings are pricey and if I can't trust his charts, what's the point?
Well, the charts are a guideline and there are often several sets that can work for a given tuning on a given instrument. I would recommend trying the LML-NW set - lower tension and half the price of the sets with wound basses. I hate wound strings anyway. If those strings snap there is something wrong with your uke.

Booli
06-12-2015, 06:23 PM
Buy a set that can be tuned to GCEA and tune it down to a Bb instead of C. Look up SOuthcoast site they'll have them there. If you want a higher tension, go with the HML-RW's tuned to a Bb. If you use a 19" bari, the tension will be a little less than the charts read.

I used the predecessor of them on my Martin Bari. WOrked great.

^^^ THIS.

Aquila sells sets for baritone GCEA tuning in their New Nylgut (NOT the SUPER-Nylgut) and also LAVA series strings.

I have tried both in Bb tuning on different baritones and liked them very much. Great warm tone, lower tension and nice ringing sustain.

Most string sellers have them for ~$6-7 per set.

hammer40
06-13-2015, 02:32 AM
Well, the charts are a guideline and there are often several sets that can work for a given tuning on a given instrument. I would recommend trying the LML-NW set - lower tension and half the price of the sets with wound basses. I hate wound strings anyway. If those strings snap there is something wrong with your uke.

I actually like/prefer wound strings, so those won't work for me. I can try his other options, I just thought at his prices I didn't want to keep experimenting with the strings since I know his one chart was off, at least for me it was. Which is why I asked if anyone had specific sets or diameters that were working. Thanks for the advice though, any info is very much appreciated.

hammer40
06-13-2015, 02:41 AM
Buy a set that can be tuned to GCEA and tune it down to a Bb instead of C. Look up SOuthcoast site they'll have them there. If you want a higher tension, go with the HML-RW's tuned to a Bb. If you use a 19" bari, the tension will be a little less than the charts read.

I used the predecessor of them on my Martin Bari. WOrked great.


^^^ THIS.

Aquila sells sets for baritone GCEA tuning in their New Nylgut (NOT the SUPER-Nylgut) and also LAVA series strings.

I have tried both in Bb tuning on different baritones and liked them very much. Great warm tone, lower tension and nice ringing sustain.

Most string sellers have them for ~$6-7 per set.

I didn't think of going with a GCEA set and tuning down, I wonder about the tension though. I like more vs less in that category, I can certainly give it a try though. I really like the Bb tuning and whatever strings get me there at this point, I'm ok with it. Thanks for the tip guys.

Norman2
06-13-2015, 03:06 AM
Hi, I have a Kala Baritone and after trying many sets of strings I finally ended up using D'Addario EXP
classical guitar strings, I throw out the 5th and 6th string and use silver wound 4th and clear nylon
3rd 2nd and 1st. I have tried Worth. Martin, Aquila, D'addario T2 titanium and none sound better than
the EXP coated. However I do tune DGBE.
Norman2

Patrick Madsen
06-13-2015, 06:19 AM
If you like more tension rather than less, I think you'd really appreciate the HML-RW's. Especially with a 20" bari. I have a drawer full of bari strings put away because the tension wasn't right or had a muddy sound . The SC ended up being what I was looking for. They may be a bit more expensive but man they sure make the difference on my instruments. Both tenors and baritones.

On his charts, I found they are in the ballpark. I was reluctant to buy his HL-SW's for a G tuned bari because the chart said they were on the lower tension scale. Turned out the tension is right on.

kissing
06-13-2015, 07:05 AM
I didn't think of going with a GCEA set and tuning down, I wonder about the tension though. I like more vs less in that category, I can certainly give it a try though. I really like the Bb tuning and whatever strings get me there at this point, I'm ok with it. Thanks for the tip guys.

In my experience with Aquila's GCEA set for baritone.. the tension is uncomfortably high anyway in C tuning.
Tuning the GCEA set down to B-flat will feel just right ;)

Another easy fix is using DGBE strings from any regular tension Classical guitar set to tune in B-flat.

ADGB classical guitar strings can tune a baritone to DGBE tuning, FYI.


I find myself using classical guitar strings for ukes more and more.
There is more variety and frankly, often better properties than actual ukulele strings.