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View Full Version : High G Tenor, Where Has it Gone?



70sSanO
10-23-2015, 07:38 AM
This is not a High G Low G debate, but more of an observation. In the next year or so, I am planning on retiring. At that time, or sooner, I really want to find, or have made, on wait list, or ??? a new High G tenor. So I am trying to get an idea of the different brands/luthiers out there. The main criteria is to find one that is not as bright as what I currently have.

When I go out to find videos of wood sound samples, it seems that every video I find is a ukulele that is tuned to Low G. I have nothing against Low G, as there are some ultra stellar performances out there. I have a good sounding Low G (many thanks to the string recommendation of the good folks here on UU). But I am looking for a High G addition.

Also, most of the samples are fingerstyle, which I love, but the samples donít demonstrate that up the neck fingernails on strings strumming. What Iíd love to hear is some heavy duty Jake attack at the 12th to see how well the sound holds up.

John

DownUpDave
10-23-2015, 10:46 AM
I have a Collings UT2 and a Mya Moe sycamore tenor that are both strung high G. I love low G and all my other tenors are strung that way. But those two ukes sound really good in high G and fill the niche' very nicely. I take the Mya Moe to the regular uke jam I attend and it is a strumfest there, it's handles it superbly

greenie44
10-23-2015, 11:39 AM
I have a Collings UT2 and a Mya Moe sycamore tenor that are both strung high G. I love low G and all my other tenors are strung that way. But those two ukes sound really good in high G and fill the niche' very nicely. I take the Mya Moe to the regular uke jam I attend and it is a strumfest there, it's handles it superbly

I second that. I have a Kinnard that I keep in low G, and my Collings UT2 just sounds better high G. My cheapo travel tenor is also high G. It's funny - the Collings sounds great (to me) because it has such a beautiful tone accentuated by the high G, and my travel tenor sounds better high G because the sound makes up for a comparative lack of resonance. IMHO.

DownUpDave
10-23-2015, 11:46 AM
I second that. I have a Kinnard that I keep in low G, and my Collings UT2 just sounds better high G. My cheapo travel tenor is also high G. It's funny - the Collings sounds great (to me) because it has such a beautiful tone accentuated by the high G, and my travel tenor sounds better high G because the sound makes up for a comparative lack of resonance. IMHO.

My favorite string set for my UT2 are South Coast mediums with a wound 3rd. I was talking to Katysax and those are her favs as well on her UT2. Just a little something to try if you are looking for a change.

katysax
10-23-2015, 12:31 PM
I think my Collings UT2 is my best sounding tenor with a high G. Mya Moe and Martin are pretty good. Most of my tenors sound better with low G.

farmerjones
10-23-2015, 02:34 PM
When I first bought my own uke, I got a Kamoa tenor that was factory strung with a wound low G. When I played it, I loved the more fully rounded sound that I got with the linear tuning. Also, the lower tuning just appeals to my ears. Here I am a year later, and I just bought a baritone, which has become my new favorite.

So with that, I'm about to change my tenor over to high G. I bought a set a while back but never put them on. Now that the baritone has linear covered, I feel like swapping the tenor out to reentrant. I haven't played that tuning since I first picked up a uke over a year ago. I'll let you know how it goes.

M3Ukulele
10-23-2015, 03:15 PM
High G is alive and well at my house. My four tenors are all high G. That is just how I started . I like it. And....... It leaves me room to look for and experience low g when I get to be a better player.

Nickie
10-23-2015, 03:37 PM
My partner's Boulder Creek tenor is strung hi g and it really sounds good. It sounds great strung lo G too, and it only cost her $139.00. She plays the heck out of it. It has a really nice neck. I may get one....

70sSanO
10-23-2015, 04:07 PM
I've been playing high G for 7 years and my tenor sounds really good, but I want one that is not so bright when strumming up the neck. It has great sustain and really rings, I just would like less brightness in the next ukulele, especially if I spend more than a few bucks.

When I check out redwood top tenors, I seem to only able to find low G videos. Bill1 is right about talking to other players. My problem is seeing a potential uke that is not a typical brand and not being able to get a good idea how it sounds. I have tried a lot of ukes on my travels, including a Collings (which is very nice), but I haven't found one that will displace my current one. I guess I'm just a little disappointed that I haven't seen a high G video that fits what I am looking for. I don't know if this makes sense to everyone.

John

kohanmike
10-23-2015, 08:08 PM
I've gone through 16 ukes in the last 2 years, all but one were tenors, all high G. Tried low G once and couldn't get used to it, but then I'm mainly a strummer.

hammer40
10-23-2015, 09:14 PM
High G is alive and well with me. All my ukes are strung that way, well, except the baritone of course.

Teek
10-23-2015, 09:31 PM
Maybe a rosewood cedar topped Pono would have the sound you're looking for. Mine is mellow but articulate, tons of sustain.

My Collings UT2 is also re-entrant. I just got a set of Southcoast medium low tension for it since it is a tight, higher than usual tension uke. Southcoasts seem to go great with mahogany.

lnsrain
10-24-2015, 07:11 AM
Maybe a rosewood cedar topped Pono would have the sound you're looking for. Mine is mellow but articulate, tons of sustain.

My Collings UT2 is also re-entrant. I just got a set of Southcoast medium low tension for it since it is a tight, higher than usual tension uke. Southcoasts seem to go great with mahogany.

I have to second that Pono Cedar with rosewood works really well with High G.
i have one Pono RTSH-C-PC, strung with PHD strings high G. It is very warm and mellow, sings like a dream with great sustain.

That wood combination does not work that well in low G IMHO, rather boomy bass with comparative weaker highs. But in High G, it is very sweet and well balanced sound.

Ukulelerick9255
10-24-2015, 07:53 AM
I have a custom African blackwood and sinker redwood I keep in high G and a Kanilea I keep in low G and having a may Moe built in May. I like the low G for strumming and singing and the high g for instrumentals. The wood choice depends on the sound you want, my AB uke is deeper and in low G it sounds to bass so I keep it in high G. If you want a deeper tone that's more harp like the AB wood is an excellent choice.

70sSanO
10-24-2015, 09:39 AM
I have a custom African blackwood and sinker redwood I keep in high G and a Kanilea I keep in low G and having a may Moe built in May. I like the low G for strumming and singing and the high g for instrumentals. The wood choice depends on the sound you want, my AB uke is deeper and in low G it sounds to bass so I keep it in high G. If you want a deeper tone that's more harp like the AB wood is an excellent choice.

So how does your AB/redwood sound to harder strumming up the neck? For lack of a better example, the bridge(?) in Jake's Weeps. Does it break up? Stays clear but not bright? I'm probably asking a lot, but I'm trying get a perspective on what redwood will do.

Thanks!

John

brimmer
10-24-2015, 11:07 AM
I don't play tenor these days, but my Collings UT1K was usually strung with a high G. I agree with others about how nice Collings tenors sound with High G tuning.

earljam
10-25-2015, 03:48 AM
I use reentrant on everything except a Vega baritone that I use for the low part of classical duets from Rob Mackillop's Bach Uke book. I just bought some "Baritenor" strings from Craig Chee/Sarah Maisell to tune my Gibson tenor down to dGBE, like Lyle Ritz does (did?).

iDavid
10-25-2015, 04:07 AM
Have have my Kinnard in High-g and it is really warm sounding. Cedar top

deschutestrout
10-25-2015, 05:32 AM
High G is dead? Low G is dead in my house. All my ukes are tuned re-entrant. I've tried low G many time and just don't care for it. I'm a guitar player, so maybe that's why. If I want a lower-register sound or availability of lead scales ... I grab my guitar.

Tootler
10-25-2015, 07:26 AM
I tune my tenors down to dGBE. That way I get the best of both world, the more mellow tone of the larger uke but still with the reentrant sound. If I want standard tuning high G my concert fits the bill and then top it off with a soprano tuned aDF#B for that bright "classic" ukulele sound.

When I play out I usually take a tenor in G-tuning and a soprano in C-tuning. If I want D tuning, I use a capo.

igorthebarbarian
10-25-2015, 08:41 AM
I like Bb reentrant tuning in Tenors. Definitely cooler and mellower sound


I tune my tenors down to dGBE. That way I get the best of both world, the more mellow tone of the larger uke but still with the reentrant sound. If I want standard tuning high G my concert fits the bill and then top it off with a soprano tuned aDF#B for that bright "classic" ukulele sound.

When I play out I usually take a tenor in G-tuning and a soprano in C-tuning. If I want D tuning, I use a capo.

peanuts56
10-25-2015, 09:40 AM
I have a Kamaka Tenor as well as a Kanilea and both are high G. Love them both and I try to put in an equal amount of practice time on each. Both are pricey, but hey, you only live once. Fortunately I'm in good shape financially. I have tried a few low G's and it just didn't feel right to me.

Tootler
10-25-2015, 01:30 PM
I have a tendency to grab my linear ukes. To counteract this, I've left most of my newer ukes in reentrant tuning. (I also have a reentrant DGBE baritone that comes in quite handy.)

I like the idea of putting a tenor in reentrant G tuning--it's essentially the same low pitch range as linear C tuning, but you get the smaller-bodied sound of tenors (with respect to baritones). Geoff, what string set or string comination do you use?

I have Worth CF on both of mine. I tried An Aquila DGBE tenor set on my Fluke - Nylgut with a Red G. They were OKish but I prefer the Worths. The Aquilas wouldn't fit in the slots on my Bruko so I went straight for the Worth. I considered South Coast but their pricing plus shipping to the UK made them expensive - and they could well slip over the duty free cost which adds to the cost and hassle. South Coast are worth a look as I believe you're in the USA.

Nickie
10-25-2015, 04:22 PM
I tune my tenors down to dGBE. That way I get the best of both world, the more mellow tone of the larger uke but still with the reentrant sound. If I want standard tuning high G my concert fits the bill and then top it off with a soprano tuned aDF#B for that bright "classic" ukulele sound.

When I play out I usually take a tenor in G-tuning and a soprano in C-tuning. If I want D tuning, I use a capo.

Is that like re entrant bari tuning?

Tootler
10-25-2015, 11:17 PM
Is that like re entrant bari tuning?

Yes, that's right. I find it works very well on the tenor. From what I have gathered, the tenor was originally designed for that tuning but it didn't take off at the time.

earljam
10-28-2015, 05:09 AM
Is that like re entrant bari tuning?

You can hear it on the CD that comes with Jumping' Jim's book of Lyle Ritz playing standards. Has chord charts for both dgbe and gcea tunings, great for duets. Lyle rolled with a Gibson tenor tuned re-entrant dgbe. I just put a set of baritenors from Craig Chee and Sarah Maisell on my Gibson; didn't like them at first but they're starting to play in really nicely now and I believe they're on to stay.