PDA

View Full Version : Tenor guitar into a baritone ukulele?



maki66
02-14-2018, 12:36 PM
Is it possible to turn a tenor guitar into a baritone ukulele satisfactorily?
We have a Kala tenor that doesn't see much use(it belongs to my wife).
She seems to like playing my Kala KA-B baritone, which is a problem, because I like playing my baritone!

Is it worth while, and what string set would be the most likely candidate for success?
I'm sitting on a set of non-wound Southcoast heavy gauge (HU-NW).
And a set of Living Waters non-wound FC baritones on the way.
I don't mind ordering others, if these don't suit.
Thanks!

DownUpDave
02-14-2018, 12:56 PM
I had a Pono UL4-20 which is a steel string tenor guitar. As an experiment I put florocarbon classical guitar strings on it for that "nylon"sound. If you search my "Latest Started Threads" you will see a thread I did called Pono UL4-20 goes Nylon.....or something like that. I did a three instrument blind sound sample, Kamaka baritone, Pono baritone and Pono UL4-20 with floro strings.

The bottom line was it sounded just fine, some people picked as their favorite sound of the three. Because of the longer scale length and the instrument being braced for steel strings I chose Oasis GPX carbon classical guitar strings in high tension to help drive the top. You can buy them as singles from Strings by Mail so you just buy 4 individual strings. You can certainly try normal baritone strings and see if you like the sound.

Sorry I should have mentioned in both steel and nylon it was tuned DGBE. Thanks Jim for talking about tuning

Jim Hanks
02-14-2018, 01:02 PM
If you just want the DBGE tuning, then sure : https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?128925-Kala-KA-GTR-Tenor-String-Gauges-and-Tensions

At 21.5" scale, I'm not sure any of the SC or LW sets are going to work for DGBE, but maybe CFAD or BEG#C# would work tension-wise and you could capo up to get to DGBE when needed.

kitsunegarcia
02-14-2018, 03:31 PM
I am not sure what exact strings my friend put on the tenor guitar, but he said they are La Bella guitar strings. Two are wound and the 2 are not wound (black nylon(?)). I really dig the sound it makes. It is a nice contrast to the other ukuleles I play with.

maki66
02-14-2018, 07:42 PM
I never thought about the higher tension and the stouter bracing.
Low tension and easy playing is what's so nice about baritones.
I suppose I'll just have to buy the Mrs her own.
Thanks anyway, I appreciate the help.

LimousinLil
02-14-2018, 08:00 PM
I have a secondhand Ashbury mahogany tenor guitar, tuned DGBE. It has steel strings (I like the sound of these, especially for picking.) I asked the shop I bought it from to check out the gauge of strings required, but usually that information would be available from the manufacturer - although, in the case of Kala, they won't accept responsibility if you want to use DGBE tuning on their tenor guitar!

bsfloyd
02-15-2018, 01:18 AM
I just replied this on another thread - I once had an older Sigma parlor style guitar, which was steel string, back in the early 90's I think. It had a 1 7/8" nut width, so the string spacing was a bit wider than a more standard steel string 1 11/16" or 1 3/4" nut widths. I put a set of nylon folk strings on it (LaBella Folk Singer's I think it was) and it didn't sound that bad at all. This guitar was a parlor sized, 12 fret to the body instrument. Perhaps it wasn't braced as heavy as I thought it might be, but the nylon strings sounded quite nice on it.

DownUpDave
02-15-2018, 01:34 AM
I never thought about the higher tension and the stouter bracing.
Low tension and easy playing is what's so nice about baritones.
I suppose I'll just have to buy the Mrs her own.
Thanks anyway, I appreciate the help.

The high tension strings were just an experiment and normal tension strings would work fine. It really wasn't much different than the tension on a baritone. Try baritone strings and see what you think, nothing to lose but a few bucks on strings and it might be the cats meow (see what I didi there)