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View Full Version : Sound comparison DGBE vs. Bb tuning on a cedar topped tenor, preference?



Doc_J
01-21-2018, 05:22 AM
Thought some folks might be interested in hearing a sound comparison of
baritone DGBE vs. Bb tuning on the same instrument. I had been trying to love DGBE tuning on a cedar topped Boat Paddle tenor with the appropriate South Coast strings (HL-WB?). I received the uke with those strings and thought I should give them a try. But IMHO the tenor really didn't sound quite as good in baritone tuning as a baritone uke. So, I did a final sample recording with those DGBE strings and replaced them with South Coast Medium Smooth Wounds in Bb tuning. For me it was a good change. I definitely prefer Linear Bb to DGBE tuning on this tenor. See what you think.

Bb tuning sound sample:
https://app.box.com/s/nalqe1y08e7nxe3s0owcrm4ft3k54p09

DGBE bari tuning sound sample:
https://app.box.com/s/bccx3t3w0x2xtd9r67yhnx29q1aw2k57

Here's the BP tenor
https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4676/39107816834_4f92668453_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/22zPMs3)2017-08-28 00.06.56 (https://flic.kr/p/22zPMs3) by , on Flickr

twokatmew
01-21-2018, 05:48 AM
I like them both! Thanks for the comparison.

Jim Hanks
01-21-2018, 08:52 AM
Good comparison. This is tough. I think they both sound good and the DGBE sounds better than I thought it would. The low D is maybe a tad "muted" but I wouldn't say "muddy" and certainly not "boomy". Seems like a good balance really.

Since you have good baritones, I agree relegating this one to DGBE probably isn't the best solution, but I like the mellow tone. I bet high d dGBE would sound really good on this one.

bsfloyd
01-21-2018, 09:20 AM
I did like both, thanks for the comparison. Being a baritone player, and guitarist as well, I lean towards the DGBE tuning. I like the depth it has. I admit the higher tuning has more "pep".

That is a lovely instrument! Hoffmann?

Doc_J
01-21-2018, 11:22 AM
I did like both, thanks for the comparison. Being a baritone player, and guitarist as well, I lean towards the DGBE tuning. I like the depth it has. I admit the higher tuning has more "pep".

That is a lovely instrument! Hoffmann?

Yes, it’s a Boat Paddle uke, Jerry Hoffmann’s former uke brand. He did replace the top on this ML style tenor in 2017, bringing the top bracing up to his current Hoffmann Lutherie standards.

It does sound fine in either tuning, but the thicker baritone treble strings lose some clarity and resonance higher up the fretboard.

Osprey
01-22-2018, 02:45 AM
I voted Bb. I thought both tunings sounded good. But the ukulele really sang with the Bb tuning.

ralphk
01-22-2018, 08:42 AM
I liked the Bb too

Kimosabe
01-22-2018, 08:55 AM
I like the A or Bb tuning on both my tenors and baritones because these tunings suit my voice and I agree with Southcoast that they make the baritones sound best.

Sometimes, however, I will use a GCEA tuning if I am studying a course that uses this tuning in its audio examples.

Some Southcoast string sets work well with a wide range of tunings. Sometimes I will go down from a GCEA to an EAC#F# or even DGBE. Yes, the tension changes and the strings slip for a short while but nothing that bad. I experiment to find what suits my voice. I do this with high and low fourth string sets.

DownUpDave
01-23-2018, 02:50 AM
Great sounding instrument and excellent sound samples as always Hodge. I picked Bb, I would be very interested to hear this instrument in B tuning as well.

Doc_J
01-24-2018, 02:24 AM
Great sounding instrument and excellent sound samples as always Hodge. I picked Bb, I would be very interested to hear this instrument in B tuning as well.

Thanks Dave, happy to oblige your request. :) Did a quick tune up to B and recorded a sample for you. Hmm....I like it in B.

https://app.box.com/s/l5luxcrzupktpraka4blxewkcknb4ecl

DownUpDave
01-24-2018, 02:52 AM
Thanks Dave, happy to oblige your request. :) Did a quick tune up to B and recorded a sample for you. Hmm....I like it in B.

https://app.box.com/s/l5luxcrzupktpraka4blxewkcknb4ecl

Thanks so much for doing that. I gotta tell you that instrument in B tuning REALLY sings, perfect blend of resonance and sweet highs. That sound sample was one of the nicest I have heard. Your playing is always excellent but that instrument is so lush and musical sounding now, makes me want to own one!!!