View Full Version : Extra-hard nylon guitar strings (top 4) for baritone uke?

07-18-2016, 03:10 AM
I've been considering alternate strings for one of my baritone ukes, a Lanikai solid koa CK-B. It's currently strung with d'Addario NylTech (similar to Aquila Nylgut) and the combination is excessively bright to my ears.

Also, I play low G tenor (wound low g) and I comparing that to baritone, I prefer having only one wound string rather than two as in most baritone sets. I do a lot of Travis picking and arpeggios, and I take advantage of the contrast between the "boomier" single wound bass string and the regular trebles. Also, having only one wound string means less squeaking. I have another baritone (Lanikai LU-21) strung with a low G nylgut tenor set, and dropped one step in pitch from GCEA (F Bb D G) and I confirmed that I like the feel of 1 wound / 3 plain on baritone.

I've been thinking about getting an extra-hard-tension classical guitar nylon set (looking at d'Addario EJ-44) and using the top 4 strings on baritone, which would give me that kind of setup (3 trebles and 1 wound bass). I see the top (E) string is same gauge as their equivalent baritone string, and the 2nd string is just a little lighter so seems like this combo might work in terms of tension.

Has anyone tried this?

07-18-2016, 03:23 AM
Looking through the remaining string gauges, the guitar D string is the same gauge as the d'Addario baritone G string from the EJ65B set (.0300 on both) so that might be too loose when tuned to D on bari. Looks like I could use the A string, since it's just a little heavier (.0360) than the EJ65B D string (.0350) and probably wouldn't complain.

07-18-2016, 04:02 AM
If you decide to give it a try, I'd be interested in your conclusion. I settled with the Aquila Red Series for my baritone (Pono, spruce top, rosewood sides), which don't sound like Nylgut, but I think might be too bright for you (brighter than nylon).

07-18-2016, 04:37 AM
I'd also consult with Southcoast re: baritone strings that have the characteristics you are looking for. Looooots of happy users.

07-18-2016, 05:07 AM
You could try Worth Brown Baritone (BB) strings, no wound strings at all and nice tension. People say they are 'warm' what ever that means? My Big Zebra likes them.

07-18-2016, 01:20 PM
I tried it and also tried the 'hard', I found the extra hard a step too far for my comfort but the hard works just as well. They certainly allow for very rapid and percussive finger picking, think Jake playing those super insanely fast arpeggios. Not super comfy for regular relaxed play though.

07-18-2016, 06:02 PM
Big massive +1 on this. Oh my the number of sets i have gone through only to find out it was the way i was picking not the strings...

. A boomy bass string can be controlled by your strumming or picking hand and your fretting action, you don't need to buy more strings, you just need to work on your playing technique.

07-20-2016, 07:56 AM
If you decide to give it a try, I'd be interested in your conclusion.

Just ordered a set of EJ-44s from Fleabay -- I'll let you all know!

08-11-2016, 04:08 AM
The results were not great -- I will definitely swap these out soon. The nylon 3rd string feels overly thick and stiff, and sounds dull and "thuddy." With my current setup, it also buzzes where the regular, wound 3rd did not. It also is a tight fit in the nut due to the thickness.

Overall, the 3 treble / nylon strings do indeed sound much darker than the Nyltech bari strings I had on there recently, but too much so -- more like dull. The wound 4th string (I used the 5th / A string from the set), on the other hand, has much more sustain than I'd had from Nyltech. But I'm not crazy about using the top 3 nylon strings on baritone uke, at all.