View Full Version : Review: GHS bari-tenor re-entrant dGBe strings (Craig Chee signature)

06-15-2019, 01:17 PM
Hi everyone.

I have just been through a life cycle of the GHS bari-tenor re-entrant dGBe (or D4 G3 B3 E4) strings (Craig Chee signature) for tenor ukulele so i thought i might review. My set came from strings by mail who gave me a very good price (US$9.70 including international postage) and also enclosed a nice card. Lovely service, would use them again.

I played these on an Ohana tenor ukulele with solid Mahogany top and laminate mahogany and sides.

The D B and E strings are nylon and I think they are standard GHS classical guitar strings. The low G is a silvered copper string.

This is the big plus of these strings, the tension is symmetric across the set which is important for anyone who has tried mixing and slackening strings to get dGBe tuning. With other sets i have used i get string buzz slackening a C string to get the B and it feels odd having some spongy strings (D and B) and some standard tension (G and E). Overall tension was slightly slacker than Living Waters strings but not Loose and slightly tighter than if you took LW or Aquila strings and dropped them a semitone.

Initially they were slightly powderey but after a few days they felt nice to the touch. They were larger in diameter than i expected (previously used living waters and aquila) but i got used to it very quickly

edit: Volume:
Nice and loud, maybe not as loud as expensive aquilas which i find too loud. Low G was not boomy.

Sound (excluding resonance and sustain):
Nice when strummed, odd brushing sound when playing finger style. In the end they sounded like nylon strings.

I have not tried these amplified and given the sound modification you can make with amplification they may be good here.

Oh dear. When these first arrived there was no sustain. It was like playing a weird electronic instrument. I nearly took them off immediately but forced myself to let them break in. It took weeks 4 weeks at 15-30 mins per day of regular playing for the strings to break in and develop some resonance and sustain. It was really frustrating and quite impractical.

Life time:
I have had these on for 6 months and they have just started to age. I think i could get another 1-2 months out of them if i liked them. I have started to play guitar in the meantime so they got 3 months of hard work and then 3 months of occasional use.

Would i buy again:
No, took weeks of playing to get bearable tone and even then it was a nylon sound and i much prefer other brands. At the end of 6 months i took them off because i wanted a nicer sound. On the plus side the tension was really good and they were really long lasting (twice as long as my usual). Price was good.

Jim Hanks
06-15-2019, 01:24 PM
Interesting. I ordered a set but haven't installed them yet. You are right about the thickness, especially the B string. I think either of my tenors would need some work on the nut to fit well. One has a bone nut so I'm not touching that. The other I thought I might just put on and let it ride on top for a while to see if I like it.

That's very strange behavior with the sustain. I don't think I've ever heard of that.

06-15-2019, 01:40 PM
I don't think I've been able to play strings on any of my instruments for more than a month or so. They get really scratched where I pick and wear on the frets so much they won't play in tune up the neck. But I have noticed certain string materials do sound better after being played for a few hours. Nylon doesn't seem to matter much other than more stable tuning but the composite core wound strings are horrid for the first couple hours—dead and lifeless—and sound great thereafter. But, yeah, I do a lot of string changing...