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tonyyyy
01-22-2011, 01:55 AM
I bought a friend a used guitarlele . She loves it and it has a sweet sound, though it is a bit subdued in sound compared to a uke (even tuned up to A) . The previous owner said the strings on it are regular classical guitar strings.

To brighten it up I thought of putting a set of low g tenor Aquilas (my favourites!) on it , with maybe a couple of guitar strings for the other two bass string (would guitar D and A work?) .

In another thread someone suggested requinto strings . Not common here in the UK but we could try them. The Daddario and La Bella requinto seem to have quite different diameters, so I guess would have different sounds 022, .028, .033,.025, .030, .036 versus 029, .0335, .041 .0285, .035w .0415w

Any suggestions would be appreciated:)

Richie23
01-22-2011, 03:33 AM
I bought a Mahalo Ukulele-Guitar, which is pretty similar to the Yamaha (slightly longer scale). I tried various combinations of strings, including Aquilas (both baritone & tenor) like you did, but eventually settled on a combination of D'Addario Pro-Arte classical's in various tensions, stringing it ADGCEA (up a fifth, so like a uke). It now projects really well, has better resonance, and feels like the strings are at the right tension.

So, I'm using...

A - Di'Addario Pro-Arte Classical Guitar, EJ44, Extra Hard Tension
D - Di'Addario Pro-Arte Classical Guitar, EJ44, Extra Hard Tension
G - Di'Addario Pro-Arte Classical Guitar, EJ44, Extra Hard Tension
C - D'Addario Pro-Arte Classical Guitar, EJ46, Hard Tension
E - D'Addario Pro-Arte Classical Guitar, EJ46, Hard Tension
A - D'Addario Pro-Arte Classical Guitar, EJ46, Hard Tension

This seems to offer the best sound, tension and feel, and would also work on the Yamaha Guitarlele in my opinion.

tonyyyy
01-22-2011, 08:22 AM
That is interesting you went back to the guitar set. Do you prefer a mellow or a brighter sound?

The guitarlele seems to be strongly made to take the tension - maybe it needs the higher tension guitar strings to get the top vibrating? Are uke strings a bit delicate for it?

Richie23
01-22-2011, 12:28 PM
On the Mahalo, the scale length is a touch too short for Aquila Ukulele Baritone strings, too long for Aquila tenor strings. I found the sound not to my liking, but I was being picky. I ended up mixing the D'Addario strings as in my post above. I guess I spent more on strings than on the Mahalo to get the balance I liked. The shorter scale length on the Yamaha might suit Aquila tenor strings, but I would go for Extra Hard tension strings for the 'A' & 'D' strings, as anything else might feel too 'floppy'.

tonyyyy
01-23-2011, 12:48 AM
Thanks Richie , that makes sense.
I will have fun trying a few combinations and I guess the rejected strings will get used on another instrument;)

my only concern would be putting too much tension on the instrument, though it does seem very strongly built

Paul Cote
01-23-2011, 02:42 AM
I wouldn't worry about it as I saw a guy on youtube using steel strings on it to play blues lol

SweetWaterBlue
01-23-2011, 03:21 AM
I thought my homemade Harmony kids guitar turned baritone, sounded a bit dull and floppy with the Aquila baritone strings, so I used the idea I read here somewhere and put a set of nylon and brass wound folk guitar strings on it (I used Ernie Balls), but... instead of stringing them the way they would be on a guitar, I moved them each up each a string. It improved the tension a lot and made it much louder and brighter. Since the Baritone (and the Guitalele) are tuned 5 semi-tones higher than a guitar it seems to work better. Of course on my baritone I only have 4 strings, so I am not sure what you would do about the other 2 strings you need on a Guitalele.

tonyyyy
01-23-2011, 04:47 AM
. Of course on my baritone I only have 4 strings, so I am not sure what you would do about the other 2 strings you need on a Guitalele.

Well Ive got a box of old guitar strings to experiment with;)
I 've found that with baritone - when I get mine back from its long term loan (popular with guitar friends with little hands) I will do something similar.

Paul - thanks - that confirmed my guess as to its toughness

Paul Cote
01-23-2011, 05:06 AM
I ordered a guitalele from Andy's and Well I am thinking some daddario pro arte strings (high tension?) for the low pitch strings but for the bottom three use martin fluorocarbons. The thing is a Tenor Ukulele with two more tuning machines and a slightly wider neck.

Paul Cote
01-23-2011, 05:17 AM
the low g I use on my ukulele is J4304 D'Addario Pro Arte Classical Guitar and it comes in a beige pack. I imagine the lower two strings in this set would work. It is "Light Tension" so I don't really know what that means. The string is tuned higher than on a guitar right? but the neck is shorter so maybe it cancels out. Probably like the people who already have these say, regular acoustic guitar strings work. Supposedly the Martin Fluorocarbons are High Tension? thats what it says on the martin sight, but they seem to work well on the ukuleles.

heres the guy with the steel strings:

oops no its this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnB19E7Ct1U

Paul Cote
01-23-2011, 05:38 AM
found these strings: http://www.meleukulele.com/shopexd.asp?id=277

Paul Cote
01-23-2011, 05:54 AM
there are fractional sized strings available as well for 1/4 size guitar:

http://www.stringsbymail.com/store/index.php?main_page=advanced_search_result&search_in_description=1&keyword=fractional

Paul Cote
01-23-2011, 06:01 AM
oh I suppose the fractional strings are the ones if you do NOT want to make it tuned like a ukulele but rather like a quitar.

tonyyyy
01-23-2011, 06:39 AM
oh I suppose the fractional strings are the ones if you do NOT want to make it tuned like a ukulele but rather like a quitar.
I think you are right about fractional strings; the Mele link is definitely if you want it to be in guitar tuning - I think we like the delicacy of the A tuning


Low tension strings are bit thinner . A Daddario D string is between .028" and .030" (low /high) so the low tension 'wants' to be a bit higher in pitch.

The fractional ones are significantly thicker so at the same tension would sound much lower (I'm just clarifying it in my head...)


The steel-strung player did sound very low in tension

Richie23
01-23-2011, 08:57 AM
there are fractional sized strings available as well for 1/4 size guitar:

http://www.stringsbymail.com/store/index.php?main_page=advanced_search_result&search_in_description=1&keyword=fractional

Thanks for pointing me towards these, I didn't know they were made. I found a store in Europe where I can get them. (see link)

http://www.thomann.de/gb/la_bella_nylon_kinder_set_fg11414.htm

I would prefer to play EADGBE, so these are perfect for my Mahalo

Doc_J
01-26-2011, 08:20 AM
I spoke with a representative of Yamaha USA. He said if I keep the GL1 in A tuning (ADGCEA), as designed,
to just buy any regular classical guitar strings. He said since the guitalele is tuned up a 4th, it compensates
for the shorter scaling. So that really opens up the possible choices.

He also mentioned that it might be possible to have standard guitar tuning with
high tension classical strings, but had no recommendations for this.

SailingUke
01-26-2011, 10:06 AM
I used the LaBella Requinto on my D-VI and thought they were a little thin sounding.
My regular set is Aquila low g. I then buy D'addario ProArte E & A strings basses.
The D-VI is a 17" scale just like a tenor ukulele. As with a low g uke I find I replace the wound strings before the trebles need it.
The E, A & D ProArte's are sold as individual strings so I don't need to waste strings.
Aquila also makes classical guitar strings in various tensions. I have a set, but have not tried them.
Aquila also sells the bass strings as a set which is nice for replacing strings.
When I first got the D-VI I tried tuning it EADGBE, even tried some Guadalupe strings of variuos guages trying to make a set.
The uke just lost all it tone and feel. I now keep it in ADGCE.
For what it is worth Daniel Ho told me he uses Worth low g and D'addarios, but he probably gets them free too.

tonyyyy
01-27-2011, 01:04 AM
Thanks - useful info.

I have just bought some aquila alchemia guitar strings, so i will try those, and report back

tonyyyy
01-31-2011, 01:59 AM
Brighter and more alive with the Aqila strings. Still not a BIG sound , but I guess that is the nature of the instrument

maikii
02-03-2011, 03:52 AM
I aso have the Mahalo uke-guitar (UNG-30). I recently got the Yamaha GL-1 too. The Yamaha sounds and looks better, but the Mahalo is a very good deal for the price. (Now available in red, blue, or black from Amazon.com for $35 postpaid!) (USA). The Mahalo fingerboard is less cramped though, being about a 19" scale.

I actually had the Mahalo for a couple of years, but most of the time thought it was junk, a gimmick. I still had the original strings on it, and was tuning it to standard guitar tuning. Recently I put new strings on it, and tuned it up a fourth to guitalele tuning, and now it sounds very nice. (The stock strings they put on it are absolutely terrible, can not be tuned to guitalele tuning, sound miserable, etc. I just put a set of cheap (D'Aquisto-$3 plus at Elderly.com) normal tension classical strings on it, and that worked fine. I don't feel any need for higher tension strings.

On the contrary though, I found the stock strings that came on the Yamaha GL-1 to work and sound fine (and hold tuning) , at guitalele tuning. So, haven't changed them. When I do though, I wonder if it would be better off with high tension strings, having a shorter 17" scale? (I did unfortunately find the action too high. I had to pay a local guitar shop $40 to fix the action. Now it plays fine, although of course cramped with that scale, on a 6-stringed instrument.)

Or, I wonder, if the GL-1, having a tenor uke body and scale, might sound better (instead of a classical set) to use a tenor low G set (Worth clears, perhaps?) and then use two individual classical guitar 5th and 6th strings for the last two? (The problem I would have with that--which strings (available individually, or in a bass set) to use on the 5th and 6th strings, to best match the uke strings on 1-4? Anyone here tried the Uke on 1-4, cg on 5-6 combination, on the GL-1? If so, which combo did you find to work the best? (One difference if one used the Worth low G set on 1-4, compared to just using a guitar set for all 6, would be that the 4th string would be unwound. Not sure how that would affect the sound.)

(OT) By the way, there is another guitalele readily available in the USA, online at least--the Aria ATU120/6. (I think that is the correct model number, not sure. (They don't call it a guitalele, but that is what it is.) More expensive than the GL-1--all stores that have it charge the same price--$160. Has anyone here tried one of these? What is the scale length? How does it sound compared to the Yamaha GL-1?




I bought a Mahalo Ukulele-Guitar, which is pretty similar to the Yamaha (slightly longer scale). I tried various combinations of strings, including Aquilas (both baritone & tenor) like you did, but eventually settled on a combination of D'Addario Pro-Arte classical's in various tensions, stringing it ADGCEA (up a fifth, so like a uke). It now projects really well, has better resonance, and feels like the strings are at the right tension.

So, I'm using...

A - Di'Addario Pro-Arte Classical Guitar, EJ44, Extra Hard Tension
D - Di'Addario Pro-Arte Classical Guitar, EJ44, Extra Hard Tension
G - Di'Addario Pro-Arte Classical Guitar, EJ44, Extra Hard Tension
C - D'Addario Pro-Arte Classical Guitar, EJ46, Hard Tension
E - D'Addario Pro-Arte Classical Guitar, EJ46, Hard Tension
A - D'Addario Pro-Arte Classical Guitar, EJ46, Hard Tension

This seems to offer the best sound, tension and feel, and would also work on the Yamaha Guitarlele in my opinion.

Teek
02-03-2011, 06:35 PM
There was an Aria guitarlele on eBay a short while back, but there are none now. There's one on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X496ELsEi4M). They look decently made. I have an Aria 1/2 size classical and it's a very nice quality student guitar.

SamilaSurfer
03-25-2011, 03:14 AM
I bought a Mahalo Ukulele-Guitar, which is pretty similar to the Yamaha (slightly longer scale). I tried various combinations of strings, including Aquilas (both baritone & tenor) like you did, but eventually settled on a combination of D'Addario Pro-Arte classical's in various tensions, stringing it ADGCEA (up a fifth, so like a uke). It now projects really well, has better resonance, and feels like the strings are at the right tension.

So, I'm using...

A - Di'Addario Pro-Arte Classical Guitar, EJ44, Extra Hard Tension
D - Di'Addario Pro-Arte Classical Guitar, EJ44, Extra Hard Tension
G - Di'Addario Pro-Arte Classical Guitar, EJ44, Extra Hard Tension
C - D'Addario Pro-Arte Classical Guitar, EJ46, Hard Tension
E - D'Addario Pro-Arte Classical Guitar, EJ46, Hard Tension
A - D'Addario Pro-Arte Classical Guitar, EJ46, Hard Tension

This seems to offer the best sound, tension and feel, and would also work on the Yamaha Guitarlele in my opinion.

richie, hows the sound of the "Mahalo" uke? Are they any good? thnx