PDA

View Full Version : EJ87 Titanium Baritone Tension--REALLY?



Locolele
07-17-2018, 05:09 AM
So, I just put a brand new set of D'Addario EJ87B Titaniums on a new (to me) Hoffmann baritone, and I thought I had done something wrong.

I looked back at the string package (hidden inside, of course), and the tensions are (lbs):

14.87
14.37
7.24
9.13

Huh? D'Addario actually meant to make them this way?

I'm okay with the (fairly tight) wounds, but the unwounds are toy-like floppy, which is exacerbated by the fact that the wounds have twice the tension. Trying to strum is comical. Maybe it's just me.

LL

DownUpDave
07-17-2018, 08:20 AM
We don't know each other so please don't take anything I say as a slight. I have a lot of experience with 4 different baritones and MANY different string sets. The Titaniums are one of my go to sets along with Martin M630. The Martins are actually floopy feeling compared to the Titaniums. I have never felt the Titanium 1 and 2 strings were floppy. Are you sure you have them tuned up to the proper octave.

Pirate Jim
07-17-2018, 09:28 AM
Regardless of the feel, LL is right - the trebles are way lower in tension than the wounds:

http://www.daddario.com/DADMobileProductDetail.Page?ActiveID=3769&productid=265&productname=EJ87B_Titanium_Ukulele__Baritone&sid=96ce5fdb-ade6-487a-bd94-c2e3b2159811

That's really quite the difference!

Locolele
07-17-2018, 11:25 AM
I don't take things too personally. Any advice is always welcome. Thank you for your input.

I initially had your reaction, but the pitches are correct. My bari has a 19" scale, which is also part of the story. But, the difference between the wounds and plains really surprised me, and accentuates the relative lack of tension in the plain strings. It is very unnatural feeling to me.

And, "floppy" is a relative term, of course. I play more steel-stringed guitar than ukulele, and I'm newer to the baritone, as I have spent most of my ukulele time on tenors. Your floppy and my floppy are likely different. (Did I just say that?) :)



We don't know each other so please don't take anything I say as a slight. I have a lot of experience with 4 different baritones and MANY different string sets. The Titaniums are one of my go to sets along with Martin M630. The Martinss are actually floopy feeling co pared to the Titaniums. I have never felt the Titanium 1 and 2 strings were floppy. Are you sure you have them tuned up to the propery octave.

Locolele
07-17-2018, 11:33 AM
Regardless of the feel, LL is right - the trebles are way lower in tension than the wounds:

http://www.daddario.com/DADMobileProductDetail.Page?ActiveID=3769&productid=265&productname=EJ87B_Titanium_Ukulele__Baritone&sid=96ce5fdb-ade6-487a-bd94-c2e3b2159811

That's really quite the difference!


That link shows an even bigger difference than my (year-old) pack. I find that big difference difficult to play.

The only other baritone strings I have on hand are Alohi's, so I'll try those. I hate to go right through a set of strings like that, but I'm bad enough without having the strings working against me.

merlin666
07-17-2018, 04:38 PM
I hate to go right through a set of strings like that, but I'm bad enough without having the strings working against me.

Well at least with uke strings you can just save and reuse them either as a set or as emergency replacement. They don't lose quality like steel strings.

kissing
07-18-2018, 12:01 AM
It is possible that it has less to do with the strings, and more to do with the ukulele's setup, such as the shape and height of the saddle.

Strumaround
07-18-2018, 05:16 AM
I recently put the Titaniums on a 19" baritone (perfectly set up) and the trebles don't feel loose in general play, but they are rather 'bendy'. So much so, that they sometimes slip down off the fretboard (which, I suppose means that they must be under low tension).

On the other hand, the Titanium wound strings feel higher in tension than the Martin M630s (which I love) feel on my 20" baritone. I might swap the sets around and see how that works.

Either way, the Titaniums sound fantastic (especially the trebles) for bluesy picking (or, I suppose it might be this lovely Kala Elite).

But, having read this thread, I tend to agree that the set feels a bit unbalanced to me. Not sure if I'd have noticed otherwise. :)

Locolele
07-18-2018, 12:49 PM
Well at least with uke strings you can just save and reuse them either as a set or as emergency replacement. They don't lose quality like steel strings.

Can i reuse the wounds?



It is possible that it has less to do with the strings, and more to do with the ukulele's setup, such as the shape and height of the saddle.

I don't think it is the ukulele, but I'm not an expert. The saddle and fretboard are flat. It's a Jerry Hoffmann baritone. The string packaging indicates the plains have about half the tension of the wounds, especially the 2nd string. When strumming, the force needed to get a good sound with the wounds is more than ideal for the plains.


I recently put the Titaniums on a 19" baritone (perfectly set up) and the trebles don't feel loose in general play, but they are rather 'bendy'. So much so, that they sometimes slip down off the fretboard (which, I suppose means that they must be under low tension).

On the other hand, the Titanium wound strings feel higher in tension than the Martin M630s (which I love) feel on my 20" baritone. I might swap the sets around and see how that works.

Either way, the Titaniums sound fantastic (especially the trebles) for bluesy picking (or, I suppose it might be this lovely Kala Elite).

But, having read this thread, I tend to agree that the set feels a bit unbalanced to me. Not sure if I'd have noticed otherwise. :)

Sorry about that. :) I think if you hadn't really noticed, then that means you are just really good.

kissing
07-18-2018, 07:31 PM
I don't think it is the ukulele, but I'm not an expert. The saddle and fretboard are flat. It's a Jerry Hoffmann baritone. The string packaging indicates the plains have about half the tension of the wounds, especially the 2nd string. When strumming, the force needed to get a good sound with the wounds is more than ideal for the plains.

That might be the problem.
The saddle shouldn't be flat. For ukuleles that use a linear tuning like DGBE with wound D and G, the saddle should be a slant, with the bass strings being slightly higher than the treble strings.

An ideal setup for me is about 2.5-3.00mm height at the 12th fret on the "D" side and 2-2.5mm height at the 12th fret on the "E" (treble) side.
These D'addario strings were probably originally designed for Classical guitar, so it makes sense the string makers assumed a slanted classical-guitar style saddle.

That being said, the issue you're having are loose trebles, so it's hard to say.
It would be useful if you could measure the string height of the D and E strings above the 12th fret (the space between top of the fret and bottom of the string)





As for reusing wound strings - you can reuse them as long as you haven't worn them out much.

DownUpDave
07-18-2018, 11:20 PM
I don't take things too personally. Any advice is always welcome. Thank you for your input.

I initially had your reaction, but the pitches are correct. My bari has a 19" scale, which is also part of the story. But, the difference between the wounds and plains really surprised me, and accentuates the relative lack of tension in the plain strings. It is very unnatural feeling to me.

And, "floppy" is a relative term, of course. I play more steel-stringed guitar than ukulele, and I'm newer to the baritone, as I have spent most of my ukulele time on tenors. Your floppy and my floppy are likely different. (Did I just say that?) :)

Your last line "Your floppy and my floppy are likely different" gets voted internet post of the week, LMAO:biglaugh:

I do have a light touch, been told I play like a little girl, you coming from steel string would no doubt have a harder attack. Bottom line is if they feel floppy to you they are. Your Hoffman baritone is an awesome instrument so no issues there. Baritones are very low tension by nature due to the "guitar tuning" on such a short scale, espiecally compared to say a tenor ukulele.

Strings are cheap so time to try something different.

Locolele
07-19-2018, 04:10 AM
That might be the problem.
The saddle shouldn't be flat. For ukuleles that use a linear tuning like DGBE with wound D and G, the saddle should be a slant, with the bass strings being slightly higher than the treble strings.

An ideal setup for me is about 2.5-3.00mm height at the 12th fret on the "D" side and 2-2.5mm height at the 12th fret on the "E" (treble) side.
These D'addario strings were probably originally designed for Classical guitar, so it makes sense the string makers assumed a slanted classical-guitar style saddle.

That being said, the issue you're having are loose trebles, so it's hard to say.
It would be useful if you could measure the string height of the D and E strings above the 12th fret (the space between top of the fret and bottom of the string)

As for reusing wound strings - you can reuse them as long as you haven't worn them out much.

Good to know on the wounds. Thanks.

The saddle is flat, but it is also slanted, as you describe. By "flat" I meant not rounded. As you see, though, if the saddle were lower than normal on the bass side (or higher than normal on the treble side) then the effect would be the opposite of what I'm feeling.

I think the strings are to spec. It's just the specs don't agree with me, and I didn't know them before the string purchase. I may try using the wounds with a different set of trebles. Or, vice versa and tune up.



Your last line "Your floppy and my floppy are likely different" gets voted internet post of the week, LMAO:biglaugh:

I do have a light touch, been told I play like a little girl, you coming from steel string would no doubt have a harder attack. Bottom line is if they feel floppy to you they are. Your Hoffman baritone is an awesome instrument so no issues there. Baritones are very low tension by nature due to the "guitar tuning" on such a short scale, espiecally compared to say a tenor ukulele.

Strings are cheap so time to try something different.

Thank you! That line was truly inspired, if I do say so myself. LOL

I think I'm going to tune up to at least A, if not Bb. I have some strings coming that should allow that. I might even try a re-entrant tuning to see what that sounds like on a baritone.

I also have plenty of classical strings around. I just need to figure out what to use where. More reading required...

kissing
07-21-2018, 06:57 PM
Ah well, hopefully using a different set of strings solves the issue.
I also have some experience of some string sets just not matching my style, or my uke.

For instance, I can't stand Aquila Baritone strings on any baritone ukulele. They feel so thin and tinny and the wound strings disintegrate so quickly.

hollisdwyer
07-22-2018, 05:49 AM
I recently installed Thomasik Enfield Chrome flat wounds on my Hoffman Bari. Being an old guitar player I too prefer higher tension sets. My trebles are currently Southcoast but after I run out of my spare sets I’ll be in search mode again myself. Maybe try one of the Hannabach high tension treble sets.

vcs700s
07-23-2018, 01:43 PM
I recently installed Thomasik Enfield Chrome flat wounds on my Hoffman Bari. Being an old guitar player I too prefer higher tension sets. My trebles are currently Southcoast but after I run out of my spare sets I’ll be in search mode again myself. Maybe try one of the Hannabach high tension treble sets.

Which T.E. chrome flat wounds do you use for the D and G?

DownUpDave
07-23-2018, 04:00 PM
Which T.E. chrome flat wounds do you use for the D and G?

CF35 on D string and CF30 on G string. I like those a lot as well

vcs700s
07-23-2018, 04:16 PM
CF35 on D string and CF30 on G string. I like those a lot as well

Who do you buy them from? HMS only has the CF27 currently. Thanks Dave.

hollisdwyer
07-24-2018, 08:04 PM
CF35 on D string and CF30 on G string. I like those a lot as well

Yep, that’s what I am using and as Cam said, Stringsbymail.com sells the singles. I use the CF30 as a G on my tenors as well. Note that their stock of the 35’s were somewhat low a few weeks ago but they might have restocked by now. If anyone has found some trebles to match these well, please let me know.

PS. I should mention that my Bari is tuned to Bb.