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maikii
02-05-2011, 06:19 AM
I have become interested in guitaleles lately, and have the Yamaha gl-1, two of the cheap Mahalo uke-guitars, and am considering getting the Aria atu120/6.

I have heard some about an octave, soprano, or piccolo guitar too (I believe three names for the same thing), an octave up from a regular guitar. (kind of like a six string sopranino uke). I see strings for those for sale, but no actual instruments. are those only custom made, not mass produced?

I wondered if i could take one of the mahalo uke-guitars (about a 19" scale) , and put the soprano guitar strings on it? Probably not though, as i read that those strings are for 40 cm (about 14") scale instruments. (Again though I have not seen such an instrument.)

What about using a set of very low tension classical guitar strings? What is the lowest tension out there?

Similarly, i know there is a sopranino uke out there, tuned similarly (of course, two less strings), from Kala (Pocket Uke). But i assume that one could also tune a soprano uke that way (a fifth higher than normal), with the right strings? What strings might work for that? Tenor strings?

By the way, check out this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOo0k-5BW0g) of a Bach invention played on classical bass guitars and octave guitar. Great music, beautifully played. Cool bass guitar, with a floor peg like a cello. Looking at that "octave guitar", it is larger than a guitalele, more requinto size. So i doubt it uses the soprano guitar strings for a 40 cm scale instrument. I wonder what kind of strings she uses?

maikii
02-06-2011, 05:25 AM
Any suggestions?

Lori
02-06-2011, 05:43 AM
I bet these people would know exactly what you want.

http://www.guadalupecustomstrings.com/

They are in Los Angeles.

–Lori

HornedOne
02-06-2011, 06:04 AM
lori did you ever try their uke strings? they seem interesting with the multi colors :P

Lori
02-06-2011, 06:52 AM
lori did you ever try their uke strings? they seem interesting with the multi colors :P
I haven't tried them yet, but I am tempted by the colored ones too. I live in LA, so I might see if I can visit their shop... probably need an appointment. I am always looking for good non-wound low G too.

–Lori

mds725
02-06-2011, 11:54 AM
By the way, check out this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOo0k-5BW0g) of a Bach invention played on classical bass guitars and octave guitar. Great music, beautifully played. Cool bass guitar, with a floor peg like a cello. Looking at that "octave guitar", it is larger than a guitalele, more requinto size. So I doubt it uses the soprano guitar strings for a 40 cm scale instrument. I wonder what kind of strings she uses?

Pardon my lack of knowledge and, I guess, laziness, but are guitarleles a standard size and, if so, how much smaller are they than requintos and/or octave guitars? Thanks!

Doc_J
02-06-2011, 01:03 PM
The Yamaha GL-1 guitalele is tenor uke scale (17"). It takes standard classical guitar strings.
The higher tuning compensates for the shorter scale.

maikii
02-06-2011, 04:12 PM
Pardon my lack of knowledge and, I guess, laziness, but are guitarleles a standard size and, if so, how much smaller are they than requintos and/or octave guitars? Thanks!

No, not really standardized. Even the name is not standardized. It just means an instrument that looks like a ukulele (uke-sized), but has six strings. In other words, a six string ukulele, but not the type with doubled strings. Usually tuned like a guitar a fourth higher (or capo on the fifth fret), which is also the same as low-G uke tuning, with two extra strings. The requinto shares the same tuning, although it is larger, I think similar to a 3/4 guitar, a little larger than a bari uke.

As I wrote, the two I have, the Yamaha GL-1 is called a guitalele. The Mahalo is called a uke-guitar. The one I said I was thinking of getting, the Aria ATU120/6, they call a 6 string ukulele. (The same model number without the /6. is a four string uke, I think on the same body.)

Both the Yamaha and the Mahalo both have tenor uke size bodies. The Yamaha has a tenor uke scale too, about 17". The Mahalo has a little larger scale, about 17". I don't know the scale of the Aria. Kala made the Utar (still available used), a little larger, perhaps more like a baritone body and scale, not sure.

Due to the shorter scale, being tuned to higher notes, a regular classical guitar string set will usually work on them. (However, I wonder how it would work with a set of low g tenor strings (Worth, for example), with two lower classical guitar strings. (I wouldn't know which lower strings to get, to match the uke set though.) )

So, a regular classical set will work on a guitalele, due to the shorter scale, to tune up a fourth. But I doubt they would work to tune up a full octave from a guitar! Therefore, I wondered about very low tension classical guitar strings.

A requinto's body and scale are larger than a guitalele, yet is tuned to the same notes. Therefore, a normal set of guitar strings would be too stiff on it. Therefore, requinto strings are thinner.

mds725
02-06-2011, 09:44 PM
Thanks, Maikii, that was helpful. I've been considering getting this Cordoba requinto (http://cordobaguitars.com/63.php), which has a scale length of 22.8 inches, about an inch longer than the average baritone ukulele. I read somewhere online that an octive guitar has a scale length of between 15 and 17 inches, so I guess it's more similar to a guitalele than the Cordoba requinto is. Also, unlike an octave guitar, which is tuned EADGBE, the Cordoba requinto is tuned ADGCEA.

Teek
02-06-2011, 10:07 PM
I have an Aria requinto, also cedar top and mahogany back and sides, and it has Pro Arte classical strings on it, and is tuned standard guitar tuning. I just got requinto strings so that I could tune it up higher, I believe it's a 530mm scale, and should sound nicer tuned higher up. But I don't have any feedback for you at the moment. I already have a couple of 3/4 size (which run about 36" long and a 24" scale) vintage steel string acoustic guitars so want this to have a more distinctive voice. I was looking for something uke sized to take steel strings, and just decided to capo the acoustics until I can afford a Risa some day. With humbuckers. :)

maikii
02-07-2011, 03:01 AM
Thanks, Maikii, that was helpful. I've been considering getting this Cordoba requinto (http://cordobaguitars.com/63.php), which has a scale length of 22.8 inches, about an inch longer than the average baritone ukulele. I read somewhere online that an octive guitar has a scale length of between 15 and 17 inches, so I guess it's more similar to a guitalele than the Cordoba requinto is. Also, unlike an octave guitar, which is tuned EADGBE, the Cordoba requinto is tuned ADGCEA.


Thanks, Maikii, that was helpful. I've been considering getting this Cordoba requinto (http://cordobaguitars.com/63.php), which has a scale length of 22.8 inches, about an inch longer than the average baritone ukulele. I read somewhere online that an octive guitar has a scale length of between 15 and 17 inches, so I guess it's more similar to a guitalele than the Cordoba requinto is. Also, unlike an octave guitar, which is tuned EADGBE, the Cordoba requinto is tuned ADGCEA.

The guitalele is also tuned ADGCEA, but unlike a requinto, can do so with regular classical guitar strings, due to a shorter scale.

The octave guitar strings that I saw online, say they are for a 40cm scale. Converted, that is about 15.76 inches. I don't want to try the octave guitar tuning on my nicer Yamaha GL-1, with its 17" scale, but with one of my Mahalo UNG-30 uke-guitars, that have a 19" scale. I think that would be way too tight, no, with those strings? I'm not sure if low tension cg strings might be better, or requinto strings, or what?

By the way, the only octave guitar I could find anything about on the internet is one by Bruko, which uses steel strings. So I don't know where are the nylon-stringed 40cm scale instruments are, that the octave guitar strings on sees online are made for?

Let us know how you like the Cordoba requinto. I just bought a cheaper one, from Lucida, $113. (Didn't come yet.)

Any suggestions on strings for tuning a 19" scale an octave higher than regular guitar? Are any of the string tension-scale length gurus here?

maikii
02-07-2011, 05:47 PM
I also asked in the OP a similar question re ukes. There is an uke available that tunes an octave higher than guitar (or say, a fifth higher than most ukes), EBGD, the Kala pocket or sopranino uke. Very small and cute and portable, but also expensive, and with its very small scale (I think 11" or something) would make for very cramped fingers.

It occurs to me that one could tune a soprano uke that way, to have that higher voice, if one uses the right strings. Are there some very low tension uke strings, that one could perhaps tune a fifth higher than normal? Or--what if one strung the soprano with tenor strings--would they be floppy enough to tune a fifth higher?

SailingUke
02-08-2011, 05:41 AM
I bet these people would know exactly what you want.

http://www.guadalupecustomstrings.com/

They are in Los Angeles.

–Lori

I have tried Guadalupe and they are very nice. The shop folks are very easy to work with and make up custom sets for you.
When I got my D-VI we experimented with different strings trying to find someting that would allow me to tune EADGBE.
The strings were ok, but I eventually went back to ADGCEA, the uke just sounds better. I have a few friends who use the multi colored and are very happy.

maikii
02-21-2011, 07:47 AM
I have tried Guadalupe and they are very nice. The shop folks are very easy to work with and make up custom sets for you.
When I got my D-VI we experimented with different strings trying to find someting that would allow me to tune EADGBE.
The strings were ok, but I eventually went back to ADGCEA, the uke just sounds better. I have a few friends who use the multi colored and are very happy.

When you write EADGBE, I assume you mean lower, like the bari? I imagine that would not sound good on a soprano.

I was thinking it might be interesting to tune it an octave higher than that, like a sopranino uke, but I don't know which strings would work for that?