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sopher
02-11-2019, 12:42 AM
All,

I generally play a reintrant Bari and concentrate on campanella stuff, but I'm learning Fred Sokolow's Slack Key Uke songs and love them on a low D, and I'm having problems finding a set of strings that I like.

Normally I avoid wound strings like the plague because they have a short life and are hard to get a tonal match to the unwound strings.

I recently tried the D'Addario Titanium strings. They were tight (high tension) and had a lovely chime to them. However, the wound D had too much sustain and after about a second a harmonic emerges that sounds a bit like a buzz - not really a buzz, but very different from the crystal pure tones the other 3 strings are giving, so as you move along the fingerstyle tunes, it sort of sounds like a buzz. Very annoying when I am trying to produce a clean fingerstyle line.

I tried substituting an unwound 4th from a bari Worth Clear set and it sounded terrible. It was a dull thud compared to the other 3 D'Addario strings, which were chiming away. Not useable with those other 3 at all.

Next I replaced the strings with a complete set of Bari Worth Clears - they are more consistent tonally now, but the tension is much lower plus the sound is consistently much duller than the D'Addarios. This is not acceptable for these tunes.

I tried a set of SouthCoast Heavy that I had and despite the fact it has 2 wound strings there is a great tonal balance (SouthCoast was great for that!). However, there is no future supply of those, plus the treble strings were still not as bright and lovely sounding as the Titaniums.

So, ideally I want the D'Addario Bari Titaniums trebles and either:
1. An unwound 4th string that would match the other 3
2. A different set of strings that are high tension, hopefully no wounds
3. A clever way to "slightly" dampen the Titanium wound 4th so that it dies off before the ugly overtone emerges (could my luthier attach a piece of wood or something on the bottom of the uke top to dampen out the D frequency?).

Thanks to any suggestions you might have.
Sopher

Doc_J
02-11-2019, 01:24 AM
A great suggestion in a recent thread for a single baritone D string is using an Oasis warm smooth wound .033 tenor low g string.
https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?137578-Anyone-try-the-new-Oasis-baritone-strings&p=2128001#post2128001

jelow1966
02-11-2019, 06:07 AM
If Hodge's suggestion doesn't work then I'd suggest you buy wound single guitar strings and try them out until you find one you like. Lots of choices out there. The Tomastik-Infeld strings are very nice so that might be a good place to start. I think it'll take a bit of experimentation to find the right combo. We can give advice but it's your uke and your ears. On the bright side, you know which trebles you like so it's only one string. Buy a bunch of singles and have fun :)

John

DownUpDave
02-11-2019, 06:58 AM
If Hodge's suggestion doesn't work then I'd suggest you buy wound single guitar strings and try them out until you find one you like. Lots of choices out there. The Tomastik-Infeld strings are very nice so that might be a good place to start. I think it'll take a bit of experimentation to find the right combo. We can give advice but it's your uke and your ears. On the bright side, you know which trebles you like so it's only one string. Buy a bunch of singles and have fun :)

John

Great call on the Thomastiks, CF35 and CF30 for D and G strings respectively. Thomastik have a good fundamental tone with a less chiming sustain compared to any other wound strings I have tried. Sometimes this works for me and other times not, it depends on the instrument and if I want a slightly flatter sound or not.

UkerDanno
02-11-2019, 07:30 AM
I don't play baritone, but have friends that like Living Water on theirs...

bratsche
02-11-2019, 04:12 PM
I don't know what the scale length on your baritone is, but I use a Seaguar Premier 130 lb fluorocarbon for my low D on my Pono (20" scale). I had tried the .035 Thomastik, but found I prefer the sound of the Seaguar on this instrument. It's actually the 3rd string for me, not the 4th, as I tune mine to GDAE, like an octave mandolin. The Seaguar balances well with a Thomastik .045 flatwound for the G. YMMV!

bratsche

Patrick Madsen
02-12-2019, 08:40 AM
Great call on the Thomastiks, CF35 and CF30 for D and G strings respectively. Thomastik have a good fundamental tone with a less chiming sustain compared to any other wound strings I have tried. Sometimes this works for me and other times not, it depends on the instrument and if I want a slightly flatter sound or not.

Have you settled on the treble strings yet Dave? I've got Hannabach on my jumbo bari; sounds okay but not what I was hoping for. Have tried Savarez'; they were okay. May see what T-I has for trebles.

sopher
02-12-2019, 11:24 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions - I guess I'm going to have to get some strings in and try some stuff.
Where do I get "130 lb Seaguar Premium"? Is that fishing line?

Thanks

DownUpDave
02-13-2019, 12:31 AM
Have you settled on the treble strings yet Dave? I've got Hannabach on my jumbo bari; sounds okay but not what I was hoping for. Have tried Savarez'; they were okay. May see what T-I has for trebles.

I have 4 baritones and each one has a different set of strings. For my LfdM jumbo baritone I followed your advice and went much lighter gauge then usual. The wounds are CF30 and CF27 paired with La bella normal tension nylons from a classical guitar set, this instrument has a 22-1/4" scale length.

I tried Thomastik nylon trebles and they had a nice warm sound.

bratsche
02-13-2019, 06:33 AM
Thanks for all the suggestions - I guess I'm going to have to get some strings in and try some stuff.
Where do I get "130 lb Seaguar Premium"? Is that fishing line?

Thanks

Yup. I got mine from the cheapest eBay seller I could find at the time. Yes. it's pricey, as you have to buy 25 yards, and was a much researched gamble which fortunately paid off for me. Plus I'm already used to buying expensive strings for mandola and viola anyway.

I sent you a PM.

bratsche

DownUpDave
02-13-2019, 11:55 AM
Thanks for all the suggestions - I guess I'm going to have to get some strings in and try some stuff.
Where do I get "130 lb Seaguar Premium"? Is that fishing line?

Thanks

Instead of spending all that money on 25 yds of line you might not like just buy single strings. Strings by Mail carries both Savarez and Pyramid florocarbon single length classical guitar strings in all kinds of diameters. I have used these single strings alot for everything from sopranos to baritones to classical guitar. They are only $2.50 -$3.50 a piece so if you don't like the sound you are not out much money

sopher
02-20-2019, 06:55 AM
Yup. I got mine from the cheapest eBay seller I could find at the time. Yes. it's pricey, as you have to buy 25 yards, and was a much researched gamble which fortunately paid off for me. Plus I'm already used to buying expensive strings for mandola and viola anyway.

I sent you a PM.

bratsche

Okay, my bari string experiments continue. I just got the bit of Seaguar 130 that you kindly sent. At this time, I have D'Addario Baritone Fluorocarbon on and the Seaguar 130 seems to be exactly the same as the 3rd string (G) in the D'Addario set - they both have a diameter of 0.041" and when I loosen the D'Addario 3rd string down to D it sounds exactly like the Seaguar next to it. I have no idea if the D'Addario are available as individual strings, but if so might be cheaper.

The Seaguar sounds very nice with the D'Addario and has eliminated the prolonged buzzy sustain of the wound string. However, the tension is a bit less than the other 3 strings, so now I'm wondering if I should try an even higher strength version.

I did try a Worth C-LGEX, which is even bigger at 0.433", but it was much duller sounding and didn't match well with the other strings.

I need to let these stretch and stabilize a little bit so I can do a more extensive evaluation.

Then, my next step is to start introducing the D'Addario Titanium strings that had such a beautiful chimey treble (but 2 wound strings) to see if I can Frankenstein a combo to get the chimey treble but without the buzzy 4th. It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it!


Thanks for your help
Sopher

bratsche
02-21-2019, 06:24 AM
Okay, my bari string experiments continue. I just got the bit of Seaguar 130 that you kindly sent. At this time, I have D'Addario Baritone Fluorocarbon on and the Seaguar 130 seems to be exactly the same as the 3rd string (G) in the D'Addario set - they both have a diameter of 0.041" and when I loosen the D'Addario 3rd string down to D it sounds exactly like the Seaguar next to it. I have no idea if the D'Addario are available as individual strings, but if so might be cheaper.

Interesting - it sounds like you may have inadvertently discovered the source from which d'Addario acquires its baritone fluorocarbon 3rd strings. ;)


The Seaguar sounds very nice with the D'Addario and has eliminated the prolonged buzzy sustain of the wound string. However, the tension is a bit less than the other 3 strings, so now I'm wondering if I should try an even higher strength version.

I did try a Worth C-LGEX, which is even bigger at 0.433", but it was much duller sounding and didn't match well with the other strings.

The next larger Seaguar Premier line is its 150 lb test, which measures .046" I never bought that one, because the 130 lb tension matched well with that of the trebles that were on my baritone when I got it. (I did also buy the 100 lb Seaguar for the 3rd string on my tenors, which are tuned to G.)

I blushingly admit I have not changed the trebles on my baritone since then (more than a couple years now) because I don't know what the ones on it are, and neither did the person who sold it to me! Whenever I do, I may be faced with more experimentation of my own! Anyway, glad to be able to help with yours.

bratsche

sopher
02-21-2019, 11:23 PM
Okay, so the Worth was obviously 0.0433". Missing a zero there!

I see that D'Addario sells Titanium guitar strings - I have ordered a set of trebles (e, b & g strings), plus a "High-Tension" 3rd string (all unwound). I'm thinking that a "High Tension" G string might work just fine as a normal tension D string, so the experimenting must continue.

Sopher



Interesting - it sounds like you may have inadvertently discovered the source from which d'Addario acquires its baritone fluorocarbon 3rd strings. ;)



The next larger Seaguar Premier line is its 150 lb test, which measures .046" I never bought that one, because the 130 lb tension matched well with that of the trebles that were on my baritone when I got it. (I did also buy the 100 lb Seaguar for the 3rd string on my tenors, which are tuned to G.)

I blushingly admit I have not changed the trebles on my baritone since then (more than a couple years now) because I don't know what the ones on it are, and neither did the person who sold it to me! Whenever I do, I may be faced with more experimentation of my own! Anyway, glad to be able to help with yours.

bratsche

JonThysell
02-22-2019, 10:38 AM
I play slack-key baritone, and the custom set I finally settled on is:

D 4th - Fremont Soloist (0.030" smooth-wound) or Thomastik Infeld CF30 (0.030" flat-wound)
G 3rd - Thomastik Infeld CF27 (0.027" flat-wound)
B 2nd - Worth Brown Baritone BB (0.0291" plain fluoro)
E 1st - Worth Brown Baritone BB (0.0244" plain fluoro)

I find it to be the best balance, least-squeak bari set.

If you prefer the punchier Aquila style strings, or just want a cheaper, all-in-one solution, I recommend the D'Addario Nyltech set.