View Full Version : Has anyone experimented with strings/tuning on Bugsgear soprano?

02-26-2018, 08:42 AM
I'm a soon-to-be owner of a plastic Bugsgear soprano, and I'm hoping to do some experimentation with tunings (D tuning, Low G/A, GDAE). Has anyone done this with this uke, and what combos worked or didn't? I'm a little mor concerned than I normally would be given the ABS neck, so I don't want to do too much damage, but the folks at Bugsgear assured me that they've done some experimenting of their own with strings and "the strings have always broken before the uke itself sustained any damage."

Any string and tuning combos that have worked particularly well for you? Would be especially interested if anyone has strung it GDAE with the Aquila set.

Joe King
02-26-2018, 09:06 AM
The Aquila 5ths tuning set for soprano GDAE has 2 wound strings in the G and D strings.

The wisdom of the crowd on UU seems to say that wound strings on a plastic neck is bad news and will eventually sand down the frets and you end up with a partially fretless instrument.

metal (windings) vs. plastic, guess which is stronger in a contest of constant friction?

However, if you take a normal re-entrant string set for soprano, and swap strings 3 and 4, so it is kinda like CGEA, and then only tune your E string to D, you can get 5ths tuning as CGDA will all unwound strings. This will be a 5th lower in pitch from the mandolin tuning, and also now sort of double re-entrant.

I learned about this from Booli, since he uses 5ths tunings a lot, and has a few different ukes strung and tuned in 5ths. He explained all of this to me via PM after I was reading all of his posts on 5ths tunings and string topics here on UU and had some questions.

I was interested on how to do this on my concert Flea with the plastic fretboard, and not ready to buy a second uke nor invest too much other than a few string sets to try. This means no wound strings for me. I have some string sets now, but have not tried it yet in 5ths tunings.