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View Full Version : Baritone strings - southcoast alternative?



Recstar24
10-09-2016, 10:58 AM
I've used southcoast for awhile and have really enjoyed them on my ukes, from tenor to baritone. My issue though is I seem to really wear them out! I seem to play them enough where I can get 3-6 months before they start sounding and looking a little dull, and the intonation starts to suffer. With another custom baritone coming in December, I'm wondering if there is another Bari string set you all like to use that's maybe more cost practical with multiple ukes and string changing.

I like the double wound setup, and southcoast seems to almost always have the right feel, nice light gauges that are very responsive. I'm looking at daddario ej65b which is a clear nylon "custom extruded" as an example. Thanks!

jollyboy
10-09-2016, 11:07 AM
I like the double wound setup, and southcoast seems to almost always have the right feel, nice light gauges that are very responsive. I'm looking at daddario ej65b which is a clear nylon "custom extruded" as an example. Thanks!

During my brief foray into baridom I developed a liking for the Martin M630s - they come with an aluminium wound 3rd and silver wound 4th.

Nylon strings won't give you light gauges - they will be quite a bit fatter than fluorocarbons.

Recstar24
10-09-2016, 11:36 AM
During my brief foray into baridom I developed a liking for the Martin M630s - they come with an aluminium wound 3rd and silver wound 4th.

Nylon strings won't give you light gauges - they will be quite a bit fatter than fluorocarbons.

I'll check out the martins for sure!

For whatever reason the daddario carbons for baritone are heavier/thicker than the clear nylons, based on listed specs. The carbons have one wound whereas the clear nylon has two wounds, and the 2nd and 3rd string are thinner on the clear nylon.

Mivo
10-09-2016, 11:38 AM
I sold my baritone recently (a spruce/rosewood Pono, and I do miss it), but my favorite strings for it were the Aquila Red Series with two wounds. I found them to be crisp and lively, with a good feel (once the chalk-texture wore off). The wound red D had good tension also for a low-D string on a baritone. They are thinner than nylons, too.

Recstar24
10-09-2016, 11:54 AM
I sold my baritone recently (a spruce/rosewood Pono, and I do miss it), but my favorite strings for it were the Aquila Red Series with two wounds. I found them to be crisp and lively, with a good feel (once the chalk-texture wore off). The wound red D had good tension also for a low-D string on a baritone. They are thinner than nylons, too.

How was the durability? Just read the description on strings by mail and it states they last 1-2 weeks, and due to the use of a fine wire wrap require being very careful stringing and winding them up.

DownUpDave
10-09-2016, 12:34 PM
Ryan I have three baritones string up with a combo I "mixed" myself. I use the florocarbon #1 & #2 strings from the Martin M630 and the wound 3rd & 4th from the D'Addario Titanium baritone set. The wounds have the best tonal balance from 3 to 4 and the Martin floros give a nice bright sound that I find most baritones need help with.

Each set cost about $6.00 a piece so $12.00 total, not much cheaper than South Coast. This mixed set lasts a long time and has given me the best sound from my mahogany Gianinni, spruce/mahogany Pono and all koa Kamaka. Seems very versatile and durable. I stopped string experimenting on baritones once I found these.

UkieOkie
10-09-2016, 12:35 PM
How was the durability? Just read the description on strings by mail and it states they last 1-2 weeks, and due to the use of a fine wire wrap require being very careful stringing and winding them up.

I can't speak to the Reds on a Bari, but as far as durability goes, I have had the same set on my most played tenor for over 6 months and they still sound and play great.

SailingUke
10-09-2016, 12:38 PM
I like Living Waters on my baritone. All unwound, but they feel good and are easy to play.
Available in high or low d.

jollyboy
10-09-2016, 01:02 PM
Ryan I have three baritones string up with a combo I "mixed" myself. I use the florocarbon #1 & #2 strings from the Martin M630 and the wound 3rd & 4th from the D'Addario Titanium baritone set. The wounds have the best tonal balance from 3 to 4 and the Martin floros give a nice bright sound that I find most baritones need help with.

Just as an addendum to this - the wound strings in the D'Addario set appear to be one NYL030W (https://www.stringsbymail.com/daddario-nyl030w-classical-guitar-030-single-string-1650.html) and one NYL035W (https://www.stringsbymail.com/daddario-nyl035w-classical-guitar-035-single-string-215.html), both available to buy as singles. Having checked the unit weights/given tensions I am 99.9% certain of this :)

I use D'Addario silver wounds on a tenor, also matched with Martin trebles. And I also think they work well together.

DownUpDave
10-09-2016, 01:12 PM
Just as an addendum to this - the wound strings in the D'Addario set appear to be one NYL030W (https://www.stringsbymail.com/daddario-nyl030w-classical-guitar-030-single-string-1650.html) and one NYL035W (https://www.stringsbymail.com/daddario-nyl035w-classical-guitar-035-single-string-215.html), both available to buy as singles. Having checked the unit weights/given tensions I am 99.9% certain of this :)

I use D'Addario silver wounds on a tenor, also matched with Martin trebles. And I also think they work well together.


Good catch on this one . I use the D'Addario silver wounds on my Ono. I will order singles to go with the Martin floros. Thanks jollyboy

jollyboy
10-09-2016, 01:23 PM
Good catch on this one . I use the D'Addario silver wounds on my Ono. I will order singles to go with the Martin floros. Thanks jollyboy

Cheers :)

It occurs to me that the M630 4th string may well actually also be a NYL035 (in disguise), in which case only a separate 3rd string would need to be purchased. Just conjecture on my part but it would make for a more economical solution. I think I will try it myself next time a bari comes into my possession. As my UAS has been a bit twitchy lately that might well prove to be sooner rather than later ;)

jollyboy
10-09-2016, 01:30 PM
I've been using these baritone strings https://www.myamoeukuleles.com/stringsAccessories.php

That's interesting - Mya Moe also use the D'Addario silver wounds in their custom sets but it looks like they've gone for a NYL028W and a NYL033W in the bari set, giving slightly less tension.

hollisdwyer
10-09-2016, 01:31 PM
Are all you people who have posted in this thread using GDBE Bari tuning?

Recstar24
10-09-2016, 01:54 PM
Are all you people who have posted in this thread using GDBE Bari tuning?

DUD, I'm looking at titanium wounds vs the clear extruded nylon wounds and even though they are same diameter I'm seeing slightly lower tension on the clear extruded wounds, which I may prefer in my case.

Mivo
10-09-2016, 02:02 PM
How was the durability? Just read the description on strings by mail and it states they last 1-2 weeks, and due to the use of a fine wire wrap require being very careful stringing and winding them up.

I didn't keep the baritone long enough to get to the point where I needed to replace them, but after two months I had not noticed them going dull or fraying. I read a lot of horror stories about reds and I waited rather long with trying them, but after using them on the baritone, a tenor and two concert scales, I have never had a single string snap or malfunction. I also didn't do anything unusual (no pre-stretching or such), but put them on like all other strings. I did only use reds manufactured in 2015 and 2016, though.

Pirate Jim
10-09-2016, 11:10 PM
Strings wear out. Wound strings wear out faster than nylon and fluorocarbon strings. If you play your baritone every day, three months is probably a good life for wound strings.

I echo these sentiments. When I played electric guitar in a band I needed to change my strings every 3 - 4 weeks; getting 3 - 6 months out of a string set is fantastic durability. On my mandolin, the A strings start to go within 4 - 6 weeks if I'm playing often. Strings don't last forever.

Recstar24
10-10-2016, 05:45 AM
I think I may be overthinking this, so everyone reading please feel free to check my work:

If I am happy with a certain set on a 17" tenor scale, such as the Oasis brights with smooth wound low G, those should transfer just fine to a 19 or 20" scale tuned down, correct?

GregT
10-10-2016, 12:30 PM
I echo these sentiments. When I played electric guitar in a band I needed to change my strings every 3 - 4 weeks; getting 3 - 6 months out of a string set is fantastic durability. On my mandolin, the A strings start to go within 4 - 6 weeks if I'm playing often. Strings don't last forever.

Agree. I play baritones exclusively, most often using Southcoast strings. I'm pleased with 3 months of string life. Lots of pros (not saying I belong to that group) change strings daily.

hollisdwyer
10-10-2016, 04:19 PM
Agree. I play baritones exclusively, most often using Southcoast strings. I'm pleased with 3 months of string life. Lots of pros (not saying I belong to that group) change strings daily.

I'm happy with 3 months of string life or even shorter. I don't perceive this as a financial burden but then again I only have 4 Ukes. If I had 12+ like some UU members maybe I'd think differently.

Recstar24
10-10-2016, 06:16 PM
I'm happy with 3 months of string life or even shorter. I don't perceive this as a financial burden but then again I only have 4 Ukes. If I had 12+ like some UU members maybe I'd think differently.

I guess it is what it is! It's hard to figure out with other brand what the feel will be when tuned to different keys on different scales. I think it may be best to stick with south coast on my baris as I'm playing with non traditional keys, but I'll save cost and go oasis on my tenors.

JonThysell
10-12-2016, 08:05 AM
I've had the following set on my Bari (my primary) for a good year now:

4th - Fremont Soloist (0.030" smooth-wound) D
3rd - Thomas Inkfield CF27 (0.027" flat-wound) G
2nd - Worth Brown Baritone BB (0.0291" plain fluoro) B
1st - Worth Brown Baritone BB (0.0244" plain fluoro) E

Nice tension and squeakless. Though now that I've checked the date it's probably time to change them. :-)

djc
10-13-2016, 02:30 PM
Reading this thread was interesting to me, I've been using Ko'olau Alohi string set on my Pono EBSHC - (Cedar), and thought I'd try something different, liking the fluorocarbon idea on the 1st and 2nd strings, I mixed in the wound A and D strings from a D'Addario EJ44 classical guitar set I had available. Quite a difference in volume, nice tension, I'm liking this string set.

Thanks a lot for the inspiration to try this.