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View Full Version : Baritone Strings, What are you using?



Ukuleleblues
07-03-2011, 04:27 AM
I want to try something different on my Bari. I am playing Aquilias on the B and E with D'addrio J68s for the wound G and G. I like the Aquilias play-ability except they have a tendency to "squeek". Any recommendations on strings?

Kimosabe
07-03-2011, 04:40 AM
Hello there Partner,

Here's what I'm doing now for what it's worth and this is partly inspired by Glen Rose, of jazz uke fame. I put South Coast GCEA strings on my bari and it's made me really start playing it again. These strings are unwound even on the low strings and they definitely have a nice looseness to them rather than being super taut. Very sweet. Now if you want to stay with the DGBE you'd better look elsewhere.

kissing
07-03-2011, 04:47 AM
If you don't like how the Aquila baritone strings squeak, do try the D'addario baritone uke strings.
They have a warm and crispy tone that is quite nice. Quite affordable too!

spookefoote
07-03-2011, 05:36 AM
Guadalupe Custom strings C tuning one octave below mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Huna
07-03-2011, 05:40 AM
spookefoote, you gotta tell me how cuz I called them and they were ignorant of that tuning.

mm stan
07-03-2011, 07:39 AM
Koolau Alohi's......

spookefoote
07-03-2011, 07:45 AM
spookefoote, you gotta tell me how cuz I called them and they were ignorant of that tuning.

Try this my very good friend. I would not lie to you, this is where I got them. Oh and the one sold is me.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BARITONE-UKE-UKULELE-STRINGS-OCTAVE-BELOW-SOPRANO-/370520712210?pt=UK_Musical_Instruments_Sting_Instr uments&hash=item5644c16412

Bill Mc
07-03-2011, 07:51 AM
My preference in classical guitar strings. Savarez, super high tension, yellow card, 520 J series. DGBE tuning. Extra B string tuned to high D. Available on www.juststrings.com if you are interested. Great clean sound.

marymac
07-03-2011, 07:54 AM
Try this my very good friend. I would not lie to you, this is where I got them. Oh and the one sold is me.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BARITONE-UKE-UKULELE-STRINGS-OCTAVE-BELOW-SOPRANO-/370520712210?pt=UK_Musical_Instruments_Sting_Instr uments&hash=item5644c16412

Doesn't look like they ship to the US :(

EDIT: but I found them on their website under Ukulele Baritone: http://www.guadalupecustomstrings.com/pricelist
Doesn't say GCEA though.

spookefoote
07-03-2011, 07:59 AM
Doesn't look like they ship to the US :(

EDIT: but I found them on their website under Ukulele Baritone: http://www.guadalupecustomstrings.com/pricelist
Doesn't say GCEA though.

I would post them my ebay link and say what's all this then? Give me some of this matey!

marymac
07-03-2011, 08:01 AM
I would post them my ebay link and say what's all this then? Give me some of this matey!

Hahaha - good idea!

spookefoote
07-03-2011, 08:02 AM
Hahaha - good idea!

Ah the second good idea I had in my life!

GaryC1968
07-03-2011, 11:54 AM
I've only really used Aquilas on my baritones, but after reading a good thread last week I ordered some Worth CB unwound strings to try.

southcoastukes
07-03-2011, 06:09 PM
To me, the Baritone is the most versatile instrument in the Ukulele family. With some of the others, unnatural tunings are the norm. With the Baritone, a whole lot of things sound good.

I'd place the standard linear G (low 4th DGBE) at the bottom of the list. You can get away with it - obviously - but it's an awfully low range of notes for a body that size. To go down even lower, to an octave below C? ahhhhhh - you can get away with just about anything if you really want to.

When you raise the 4th string on the standard linear G back up an octave, you change the tonal value of the tuning by about 1-2 steps. Now you have a high reentrant G - a range that fits a Baritone to a tee. Bill Mc showed one way to do it. With us, you can use a set of our Heavy Gauge Ukulele strings, and do away with the wound 3rd.

You can do a low reentrant D tuning - Cuatro style. This gives the lowest overall range of any set-up that doesn't use wound strings - and most of the old ukulele sheet music was written in that key. (We have a Cuatro set for that).

We've formulated a nice set for linear C tuning - Kimosabe was kind enough to mention it. You don't need wound strings there either, and because of the low 4th, the range of that tuning actually fits a Baritone better than a Tenor, where most people now use it. Cowboy Mike just posted some videos using that tuning:

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?49510-Two-Videos-from-The-Ukulele-Cowboy-Society...

Finally the Baritone really can sound good with wound strings. What you'll be surprised at, is how much better it will sound if you raise that tuning. A B flat tuning hits another sweet spot. Any of our G650 sets will work for that, but you don't need our strings (even though they're awfully good!). Any normal set of guitar strings will work there (a set with a wound 3rd will be much nicer).

We've got a bunch of tuning samples here:

http://www.southcoastukes.com/index_files/inters.htm

marymac
07-03-2011, 06:28 PM
Thanks for the info Dirk. I really like wound strings and ordered a couple sets from your website yesterday, but I'm wondering whether you have any sets that might work for the linear GCEA tuning on the octave below standard? My bari is a 20" scale. I play with others so I really don't want to tune to another key. Any string selections I might try? Thanks! - Mary

southcoastukes
07-03-2011, 07:10 PM
Thanks for the info Dirk. I really like wound strings and ordered a couple sets from your website yesterday, but I'm wondering whether you have any sets that might work for the linear GCEA tuning on the octave below standard? My bari is a 20" scale. I play with others so I really don't want to tune to another key. Any string selections I might try? Thanks! - Mary

Hello Mary - Got your order - will ship it Teusday (and have a Happy 4th!). You "might could" actually use our Bass Guitar strings for that set-up. That gives you an idea how low that tuning really is. The 1st & 2nd strings will be a bit loose, but it could be workable. It's a flat wound set, so it's also "squeak free". It might be fun to play around with, but that's just a lot of string for that little body.

The no wound linear set in C will be a much better option if you want to stay in C tuning. The G650 sets you ordered will be best in B flat. Drop me a line if you want to change anything.

marymac
07-03-2011, 07:40 PM
Thanks Dirk - I'm going to try a set of the flat wound basses. Put in the order just now.

Huna
07-04-2011, 02:14 AM
Well I just got this new uke. Its a Goldtone Baritone Banjo and I believe the body size is the same as if it were a soprano or tenor or concert so the tuning may be able to be raised on it.

The strings on it are all nylon and not wound at all. It has re-entrant strings because the 4th is lighter than the third. I tuned it dGBE and it sounds real good like that. I would be curious what else would work well on it. I don't know if I can tighten these strings up to tune it gCEA or if it would cause a problem. Took me a while to figure how to set the bridge. I don't think I can even close the lid on the hardcase without flattening the bridge so I emailed goldtone as their instructions were only for a guitar and this is a banjo. The instructions were for the truss rodd I think. Any help would be appreciated.

southcoastukes
07-04-2011, 02:45 AM
Well I just got this new uke. Its a Goldtone Baritone Banjo and I believe the body size is the same as if it were a soprano or tenor or concert so the tuning may be able to be raised on it.

The strings on it are all nylon and not wound at all. It has re-entrant strings because the 4th is lighter than the third. I tuned it dGBE and it sounds real good like that. I would be curious what else would work well on it. I don't know if I can tighten these strings up to tune it gCEA or if it would cause a problem. Took me a while to figure how to set the bridge. I don't think I can even close the lid on the hardcase without flattening the bridge so I emailed goldtone as their instructions were only for a guitar and this is a banjo. The instructions were for the truss rodd I think. Any help would be appreciated.

Am not familiar with the Goldtone Baritone, but my old Tenor Banjo is pretty much a Baritone Uke scale. Regular high reentrant C works great on a regular Banjo of that scale. I'm guessing you would get the same results. While that tuning is much too weak for a wood body Baritone, on a drum body, you get a lot more volume & projection.

If you don't want to chance tightening the stock strings (you wouldn't damage the main structure, but might ruin the skin), Aquila makes a high reentrant C set for Baritones.

The only problem I had with them is that they weren't long enough for my Banjo. If yours ties off at a tailpiece, you may have the same problem. In that case, you get the Aquila gauges at the bottom of this page:

http://www.aquilacorde.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=96&Itemid=1656&lang=en

-then go here for longer lengths:

http://www.aquilausa.com/ng_strings.html

(they're having a sale on original nylgut).

spookefoote
07-04-2011, 06:49 AM
I've just emailed the ebay store that I bought my octave below strings from to see if they'll ship to the USA. I'll post on here as soon as I get a reply.

Huna
07-04-2011, 07:12 AM
well we could get them from Guadalupe in LA. Just have to call them up on the phone. I just didn't get someone who was familiar with alternate tunings etc. It looks like they are on the pricelist. I got the impression guadalupe would make strings to order and that was what they were about.

Huna
07-04-2011, 07:14 AM
Thanks SouthcoastUkes. I can see how this baritone neck might be a tad excessive on this uke. I would love to try a soprano.

lozarkman
07-04-2011, 07:18 AM
Hmmmm I play mostly baritone and have tried a half dozen different strings/tunings on my baritones, and I have to say, I have settled on Southcoastukes strings all the way. There is really no comparison to sound and quality when I compare to other strings. I know this sounds like a paid endorsement, but not, just my own personal experience. I have currently been playing the GS650 all metal (three wounds 1st string fine metal) and I just can't believe the sound I am getting. I am tuned to Bb, but that is just fine. I still just play the same chord shapes and pick the same notes, they just sound one step lower. Beautiful sound. I know many are put off with wound strings, but I can assure you these strings are DIFFERENT. They are smaller, smoother, no squeak, so easy to fret and just sound so clear and beautiful. Anyway, one just to has to try a number of string types to find the one that works for you. LOzark

marymac
07-04-2011, 07:52 AM
I've just emailed the ebay store that I bought my octave below strings from to see if they'll ship to the USA. I'll post on here as soon as I get a reply.

Thanks Spooky! I emailed Guadalupe directly yesterday but don't expect to hear from them until tomorrow since it's a holiday here. Somehow, I WILL have those strings!

spookefoote
07-04-2011, 08:49 AM
Happy Independence Day. You all seem to be doing remarkably well without us!

Ukuleleblues
07-04-2011, 01:38 PM
I guess from this thread my choices are Aquilia, D'adderio, or Worth non-wound. Thanks for the info!!! Peace on Dudes and Dudettes!!!

Pippin
07-04-2011, 09:05 PM
My Mainland bari is armed with Aquila standard bari strings. I put D'Addarios on my Ohana BK-32 and loved them.

ukulelecowboy
07-05-2011, 05:30 AM
Southcoast linears all the way. I have them now on seven of our baritones. I put a set on my 1966 Guild Baritone. Sounds great. I'll post some audio this week.

Mike

Pueo
07-05-2011, 06:24 AM
Koolau Alohi's......
I am using Ko`olau `Alohi strings on my Baritone...

I like them much better than the Aquila strings I had on there before.

marymac
07-07-2011, 09:01 AM
I talked to Gabriel at Guadalupe today and ordered the strings from them directly. I guess they wind them custom when someone orders them so it will take 10 days plus shipping time (probably 2 more days) to get to me. Cost was $8/set and with an order of 6 sets they send a 7th free. With an order of 10 sets you get 2 free. Shipping in the US is $4-6. I'll let you know what they're like when they get here. Thanks for pointing them out Spooke!