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View Full Version : ADF#B tuning with Aquila strings?



wherahiko
11-13-2017, 09:40 AM
I'd like to tune my soprano up a tone, ADF#B. Can I do this with regular Aquila strings without damaging the instrument? I did try it a while ago, and the bridge came off after a few weeks; the luthier glued it back on with "extra strong glue" (I'm not sure what type). After that, I haven't dared to try again, but the uke in question does sound much brighter at that pitch.

Pirate Jim
11-13-2017, 09:54 AM
I'd like to tune my soprano up a tone, ADF#B. Can I do this with regular Aquila strings without damaging the instrument? I did try it a while ago, and the bridge came off after a few weeks; the luthier glued it back on with "extra strong glue" (I'm not sure what type). After that, I haven't dared to try again, but the uke in question does sound much brighter at that pitch.

If you've lost a bridge once I personally wouldn't risk it again. Aquila make a set specifically for that tuning for sopranos (Aquila 33U) - I really like them on one of my sopranos and they keep the low tension typical of a soprano too. Mivo on this forum recommended them to me.

Croaky Keith
11-13-2017, 09:55 AM
Most of the old sopranos used that tuning, (1930/1940 era), & as it is only 2 semi tones up, plus soprano strings are low tension, it shouldn't cause any trouble. :)

(I think you were probably just unlucky that your bridge came off before.)

zztush
11-13-2017, 02:42 PM
Most of the old sopranos used that tuning, (1930/1940 era), & as it is only 2 semi tones up, plus soprano strings are low tension, it shouldn't cause any trouble. :)

(I think you were probably just unlucky that your bridge came off before.)

I think gut strings might avoid your bridge problem. People used gut strings in pre war. Gut strings many break before your bridge break.

https://s7.postimg.org/6ltz6qbbf/image.jpg (https://postimages.org/)

wherahiko
11-13-2017, 04:54 PM
Thanks, everyone! I'll give it a go and let you know.

(I use gut strings on my baroque cello, but can imagine they would be a nightmare for tuning on a uke ... !)

Tootler
11-14-2017, 12:16 PM
I've tuned sopranos up and down between GCEA and ADF#B without any problems. I did once have an A string break when tuning up once but that particular set of strings had been on for some time and were probably due to be changed anyway and it made me do it :)

I now tend to keep all my ukes in either GCEA or DGBE (1 tenor & baritone) and use a capo if I want a different tuning. It means I can have ADF#B even on the larger ones by putting a capo on the 2nd fret.

Tootler
11-14-2017, 12:26 PM
Thanks, everyone! I'll give it a go and let you know.

(I use gut strings on my baroque cello, but can imagine they would be a nightmare for tuning on a uke ... !)

Until after WWII instrument strings were either gut or wound strings typically had a silk core. The first use of nylon for guitar strings was in 1948. It would have taken a while after that for synthetic polymers to effectively take over.

Down Up Dick
11-14-2017, 12:41 PM
I had my Kala soprano tuned to aDF#B with Aquilas for a long time with out any harm.

I’ve since detuned it to gCEA because I don’t play it much and thought it would be better for it - I dunno . . . :old: