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findurpath
09-18-2010, 06:38 AM
Hi guys,

I apologize if this has been asked in the forum. I searched but didn't find anything.

I recent got a Kala baritone tuned to GCEA with a low G on Aquila strings. The thing is my low wound G always breaks. I've had to replace it twice in less than 2 months. Buying a new set every time is going to be cost prohibitive.

I can see small impressions on string where it meets the fret and as the strings stretch and I retune, that impression slowly moves upwards, while new ones are being created. Does that make sense? lol

Been playing for 10+ years but never had this issue as I've always played on nylon strings. Does anyone else experience this?

Kekani
09-18-2010, 10:36 AM
Welcome to the Underground. I don't think many here 1) play baritone, and 2) would tune it up 5 steps if they did.

NatalieS
09-18-2010, 10:45 AM
I've had this happen several times with wound strings. The first thing is to look at both the tuner and the nut and make sure that there aren't any sharp edges that cut into the metal of the string. The nut on my old baritone had a bit of a rough edge that I used a file to smooth down, and had no more problems.

The other possibility is that the string is unwinding from the end and eventually loses its strength so it snaps. I usually avoid this by not cutting the end of the string, or if I must, I then put a knot in the end so it won't unwind.

cletus
09-18-2010, 11:26 AM
Hello and welcome to the UU. Enjoy yourself!
I also would look for sharp edges that might nick a string.

My Kamaka baritone is tuned gCEA with Aquila strings, although no wound strings, and the sound is wonderful to me.

lozarkman
09-18-2010, 11:32 AM
Same here as Cletus. I have my Bari tuned GCEA with low G but no wound strings. Have had no trouble and love the sound out of my Bari tuned this way. Also like the fretting and picking a bit better than my tenors. Good luck and welcome to UU. Lozark

Ukuleleblues
09-18-2010, 11:52 AM
Hello and welcome to the UU. Enjoy yourself!
I also would look for sharp edges that might nick a string.

My Kamaka baritone is tuned gCEA with Aquila strings, although no wound strings, and the sound is wonderful to me.

Definately check what Cletus says. You might need to radius the frets if you have a few with sharp edges. That said, in my expereince some brands of strings are more prone to this. You can buy singles at http://www.juststrings.com/ukuleleothersinglestrings.html I buy the GHS Bronze wound for my baritone 3rd and 4th.

southcoastukes
09-18-2010, 04:19 PM
I think Kelani has the key. The Aquila string set with one wound string is not meant to be tuned to key of C on a 20" standard baritone scale. If nygut didn't stretch so much, you would break the other strings as well.

If you like the Aquila strings, tune them down 1-2 steps to A or B flat. Linear (low 4th) key of C, however, as lozarkman says, is an excellent tuning for the Baritone. We like it better than the standard linear G tuning.

findurpath
09-18-2010, 06:15 PM
Hi guys,

Thanks for the welcome. I've been a lurker forever but I guess just finally decided to post something. lol

Let me clarify on my initial post. The way I have been putting the strings together is using 2 different Aquila sets. I buy the Baritone AECG and the standard Baritone EBDG set and use that low g in with AEC strings. Does that make sense? I absolutely love how it sounds that way. I also own a soprano and concert but the mango baritone gets all the play any more.

I'm thinking I might just have to change to a unwound low G.

mm stan
09-18-2010, 06:42 PM
Aloha findurpath,
Check out www.aquilausa.com/
all the info you need....

southcoastukes
09-18-2010, 07:09 PM
Hello path,

No, it doesn't make complete sense. Let me take a stab at it, though. You are tuning a baritone GCEA with a low 4th string.

You buy a GCEA Baritone set and use three of those strings for positions 1-3.

Then you buy a set of regular Aquila Baritone strings, DGBE, and use the wound 3rd string for your 4th string?

If I have that correctly, it should work. The standard Aquila Baritone set has two wound strings. You should use the 3rd string, not the 4th. The 4th will break.

Still, you could get a better sound with ours.

Kekani
09-18-2010, 11:46 PM
So, you're taking the 4th string from the standard bari set and tuning it up 5 steps and wondering why they break? SCU has it right, why not use the 3rd string, otherwise, I'm pretty sure its not because the string is wound, & I'm fairly confident that if you found an unwound string gauged for proper tension for g tuning at 20" the deep sea fishing supply store would only sell it in extremely long lengths. . .

Just my less than $.02, because I don't play bari's, but I do mess around with string tensions. . . Aaron

findurpath
09-19-2010, 07:51 AM
Yup that is exactly how I do it. I use the wound g from the standard baritone set aka dgbe strings. The g I am using is indeed the third string that you all have been referring to. I am definitely NOT using the FOURTH string as some have mentioned. My problem exists with using the 3rd string and it still snaps from the fret impressions.



Hello path,

No, it doesn't make complete sense. Let me take a stab at it, though. You are tuning a baritone GCEA with a low 4th string.

You buy a GCEA Baritone set and use three of those strings for positions 1-3.

Then you buy a set of regular Aquila Baritone strings, DGBE, and use the wound 3rd string for your 4th string?

If I have that correctly, it should work. The standard Aquila Baritone set has two wound strings. You should use the 3rd string, not the 4th. The 4th will break.

Still, you could get a better sound with ours.

Kekani
09-19-2010, 11:12 AM
. . .I use the wound g from the standard baritone set aka dgbe strings. The g I am using is indeed the third string that you all have been referring to. I am definitely NOT using the FOURTH string as some have mentioned. My problem exists with using the 3rd string and it still snaps from the fret impressions.

Sorry, I misunderstood from your 2nd post. If you are using the 3 string and it keeps breaking, then the other advice given is where you should go. I'll reiterate - seems like the strings are getting "impressions" from the frets (and not the nut or saddle). If this is correct, then your frets needs to be dressed, properly.

-Aaron

mailman
09-19-2010, 11:28 AM
The "impressions" you are mentioning remind me of the wound string on my "low G" tuned concert (Aquila strings). The wound string has a discoloration above each fret, caused (presumably) by oxidation due to dissimilar metals coming into contact. This is just a color change on my wound string, and has not caused any issues....

findurpath
09-19-2010, 02:54 PM
The "impressions" you are mentioning remind me of the wound string on my "low G" tuned concert (Aquila strings). The wound string has a discoloration above each fret, caused (presumably) by oxidation due to dissimilar metals coming into contact. This is just a color change on my wound string, and has not caused any issues....

Yes mailman, that's a good way to describe it. Maybe it is oxidation where the impression occurs. There definitely is a "copperish" color there. So after I string it, and start playing it. I'll see the initial impression directly above the fret. As the low g starts to stretch, like any newly strung string, you can see the impression slowly start to make it's way "up" towards the nut. While this is happening, I'll see new impressions get created. By the time it finally snaps, there will be maybe 3-4 little impression marks on that string that have made their way "up". This is over the course of maybe a month.

I'll take a look at the frets.

mailman
09-20-2010, 04:54 AM
Yes mailman, that's a good way to describe it. Maybe it is oxidation where the impression occurs. There definitely is a "copperish" color there. So after I string it, and start playing it. I'll see the initial impression directly above the fret. As the low g starts to stretch, like any newly strung string, you can see the impression slowly start to make it's way "up" towards the nut. While this is happening, I'll see new impressions get created. By the time it finally snaps, there will be maybe 3-4 little impression marks on that string that have made their way "up". This is over the course of maybe a month.

I'll take a look at the frets.

That sounds like what I experience, also. I don't think I'd call these "impressions", though. It is just discoloration, as opposed to a physical deformation of the string.

My guess is that this is not the problem causing your string to break. My wound low G string has been like this without breaking for quite some time. Check for something that could actually nick or wear the string; a sharp fret, a burred nut or saddle slot....whatever. Does the string consistantly break at the same place? May be a clue there....

Pueo
09-20-2010, 05:31 AM
Perhaps it could be a combination of rough frets and too much pressure? Mailman, you might not be getting impressions because you are fretting with proper pressure. I used to have this happen on my guitar strings too, but that was more likely laziness and poverty preventing me from changing strings in those days. I have never had a wound string break on me though, just the winding would wear away, but the cord inside still held together ok.

Findurpath, you may be either fretting with excessive force and/or the combination of your fretting force combined with a sharp-edged fret is literally sawing through your strings. I do notice that when I had wound strings on my Tenors, I would wear through the windings at the second or third fret before any other damage was apparent on any other strings. Backing off on the pressure I used for my left hand helped both my playing and the life of my strings. I eventually just went to all nylon strings though as I prefer the sound and feel.

I recently placed Aquila DGBE strings on my Baritone, the D and G strings are wound, but the action is so low (and therefore my fretting pressure) that I have not noticed any issues so far.
Good luck!

armytrucker77
09-20-2010, 06:24 AM
I had troubles with wound strings when I first got started...now I can get them but try to be careful with them...like alot have said..I stay with GCEA sounds better for me

lozarkman
09-20-2010, 07:03 AM
Really Guys: This is all really easy to solve. Just buy a set of Southcoastukes linear strings for the Bari and all is heaven again. I bought a set a few weeks ago and just put them on this morning to see what they were like. I certainly don't have a definitive opinion yet, as they are still settling in and I have to tweak every time I pick it up, BUT so far I am very impressed with what I am hearing and playing. I will post a fuller opinion in a week or so after they settle. You really don't have to go to all that trouble and cost to get GCEA tuning on your Bari. And I beg to differ on one comment, I think there a lot of Baris being played out there. Ok All of you, come out of the Bari closet and fess up :) :) Lozark

MGM
09-20-2010, 05:00 PM
i have single wound bari strings on ebay no need to keep watsing a whole set

Ahnko Honu
09-20-2010, 06:06 PM
i have single wound bari strings on ebay no need to keep watsing a whole set
Mahalo Mike ;)
http://cgi.ebay.com/SINGLE-BRONZE-WOUND-LOW-G-TENOR-UKULELE-STRING-/370435287608?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item563fa9ea38
http://cgi.ebay.com/SINGLE-SILVER-WOUND-LOW-G-TENOR-UKULELE-STRING-/330475367027?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4cf1ddea73
http://stores.ebay.com/Musicguymics-Room/Strings-/_i.html?_nkw=single+low+g+string&submit=Search&_fsub=10248&_sid=34517586

findurpath
09-21-2010, 07:18 AM
Shoots! Thanks guys for the links. Nice to see you on here MGM. I actually have bought stuff from you before and don't know why I didn't look you up.

Mahalo!