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OldePhart
07-26-2012, 11:57 AM
Like the title says, still messin' about with the Mainland baritone. You may recall I had it strung with some high-tension classical strings in a reentrant octave-down GCEA tuning for a while.

I really liked that tuning except for two things - while the lows were great the lack of highs made chords kind of muddy. I can see where it would have been great playing with a group where there were other ukuleles an octave up but as a solo accompaniment instrument it was lacking. The other thing I wasn't crazy about was the wound strings - I just flat don't like wound nylon strings.

Now I've got the uke strung all in solid fluorocarbon strings in a linear Bb tuning (full step down from standard ukulele octave C tuning). That seems to work pretty well. It actually sounds good in standard linear C tuning as well, but intonates up the neck better in Bb (the intonation at C isn't bad, but it's almost perfect at Bb). I like this a lot better than tenor in a linear tuning. I guess the extra body volume compliments the low G (or F) string.

Anyway, this is fast approaching novella length but for those interested, the strings I'm using in this tuning are:
G .0410 FP130
C .0319 FC80
E .0291 FC60
A .0224 FP40
"FP" means Seaguar Premium Fluorocarbon, "FC" means Seaguar Blue Label Fluorocarbon

Note that the C, E, and A strings are the same gages as those in a Worth CH set. The G string, however, is heavier than the .0358 string used in the Worth CH-LG set. I've got the .0358 gage as well and have tried it as a low-G on tenor and did not care for it at all. I don't think it would work well on baritone, either. The .041 130lb line is decent at low G and just barely adequate at low F. The tension at F isn't floppy, but I can't imagine the .0358 string cutting the mustard.

John

peewee
07-26-2012, 01:06 PM
Like the title says, still messin' about with the Mainland baritone. You may recall I had it strung with some high-tension classical strings in a reentrant octave-down GCEA tuning for a while.

I really liked that tuning except for two things - while the lows were great the lack of highs made chords kind of muddy. I can see where it would have been great playing with a group where there were other ukuleles an octave up but as a solo accompaniment instrument it was lacking. The other thing I wasn't crazy about was the wound strings - I just flat don't like wound nylon strings.

Now I've got the uke strung all in solid fluorocarbon strings in a linear Bb tuning (full step down from standard ukulele octave C tuning). That seems to work pretty well. It actually sounds good in standard linear C tuning as well, but intonates up the neck better in Bb (the intonation at C isn't bad, but it's almost perfect at Bb). I like this a lot better than tenor in a linear tuning. I guess the extra body volume compliments the low G (or F) string.

Anyway, this is fast approaching novella length but for those interested, the strings I'm using in this tuning are:
G .0410 FP130
C .0319 FC80
E .0291 FC60
A .0224 FP40
"FP" means Seaguar Premium Fluorocarbon, "FC" means Seaguar Blue Label Fluorocarbon

Note that the C, E, and A strings are the same gages as those in a Worth CH set. The G string, however, is heavier than the .0358 string used in the Worth CH-LG set. I've got the .0358 gage as well and have tried it as a low-G on tenor and did not care for it at all. I don't think it would work well on baritone, either. The .041 130lb line is decent at low G and just barely adequate at low F. The tension at F isn't floppy, but I can't imagine the .0358 string cutting the mustard.

John

I've got my Mainland Bari (Bari White) set up with DGBE Worth Browns (WSBB), but tuned up 2 steps to E-A-C#-F# (a half step lower than yours)

1st is .0244
2nd is .0291
3rd is .0319
4th is .0358

so very similar except the low string is thinner than your setup.
The low string was way too floppy at DGBE, and the set in general seems to benefit from the extra tension, but I don't love that low string, it's still a bit floppy, and it still sounds a little like an unhappy elephant seal. The fatter string would be higher tension at the same note, right? I don't suppose you can spare a few feet of .0410 leader?


The re-entrant octave low tuning (via Guadalupe strings) is great for ensemble play. Probably better with your guitar string setup. Where are the exact details of that?

In a side note, I initially disliked the all-wound Guadalupe Low G set for Tenor. The G is metal wound, the others are Nylon on Nylon. I have come around to liking them a lot for fingerstyle. They have less attack and more sustain, and even out the right hand sloppiness that can result in some notes being louder or twangier than others. They sound weird from strumming, unless you're needing lots of percussive chunking, in which case they are great.

thanks for sharing your findings. I don;t fell like I have the right Bari strings yet. I have a few more sets to try though..

OldePhart
07-26-2012, 01:45 PM
I've got my Mainland Bari (Bari White) set up with DGBE Worth Browns (WSBB), but tuned up 2 steps to E-A-C#-F# (a half step lower than yours)

1st is .0244
2nd is .0291
3rd is .0319
4th is .0358

so very similar except the low string is thinner than your setup.
The low string was way too floppy at DGBE, and the set in general seems to benefit from the extra tension, but I don't love that low string, it's still a bit floppy, and it still sounds a little like an unhappy elephant seal. The fatter string would be higher tension at the same note, right? I don't suppose you can spare a few feet of .0410 leader?

No problem, PM me your mailing address.



The re-entrant octave low tuning (via Guadalupe strings) is great for ensemble play. Probably better with your guitar string setup. Where are the exact details of that?

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?64724-I-think-I-found-the-strings-for-my-Mainland-mahogany-baritone

I updated the top post in the thread with the info about the .041 fluorocarbon replacement for the .04 nylon guitar string.



thanks for sharing your findings. I don;t fell like I have the right Bari strings yet. I have a few more sets to try though..
What is it they say, "half the fun is the journey..." Always been that way for me, anyway. I'm so crazy that I spent probably upwards of 3000 hours learning and experimenting with tube electronics to build my own amps because I couldn't find anything commercial that was what I wanted (started from a solid grounding in electronics, just no tube experience). :)

John

kissing
07-27-2012, 02:23 AM
For a tuning as low as octave-GCEA, I've had better success using it as a semi-acoustic instrument.

It doesn't sound as muddy through the amplifier. I'm thinking that it's mainly the small body of the baritone uke that muddies the tone.

AndrewKuker
07-27-2012, 03:47 AM
thought the octave low standard tuning was ok for some stuff but muddy especially strumming. I wanna hear the Bb. Must be bright,...sound sample? I was thinking though that you did the octave lower to not have to think about key changes. This doesn't really help in that way. But I bet it livens up the tone.

OldePhart
07-27-2012, 10:33 AM
thought the octave low standard tuning was ok for some stuff but muddy especially strumming. I wanna hear the Bb. Must be bright,...sound sample? I was thinking though that you did the octave lower to not have to think about key changes. This doesn't really help in that way. But I bet it livens up the tone.

The Bb tuning actually sounds pretty good. I'll try to do a quick vid sometime this weekend. I guess it's kind of bright for a bari but really mellow compared even to most tenors. It works nice both strummed and picked (well, to the extent of my rather limited picking ability, anyway). In fact, I think maybe the bari sounds better as a "super tenor" than tuned as low as the traditional bari.

I may have made some joking comment about not wanting to learn new chord positions but actually I've played guitar for years so the DGBE baritone tuning isn't an issue for me that way. I'm more looking for the right sound for the uke and so far I haven't found any strings that I liked in DGBE. The Aquilas that came on it were probably the best of those I've tried so far, and they weren't making me jump for joy. I tried some Martin 630's and they made me want to puke, that's when I started playing with alternate tunings.

This setup in Bb with a low F works pretty well but I do prefer reentrant tunings and the F is right on the edge of being too slack, as well. If I want to play a "little guitar" (linear tuning) I've got a bunch of those. ;) I got to thinking about it though and I think that some of these same gage strings might work for a reentrant DGBE tuning. Playing around with that idea I tuned the 4th, 3rd, and 2nd strings to G,B,E and they intonate pretty well there so now all I need to do is select one for the high D. I think I've got every size of Seaguar leader from .0205 to .041 now so I should be able to come up with something... :)

John

OldePhart
07-28-2012, 07:27 AM
thought the octave low standard tuning was ok for some stuff but muddy especially strumming. I wanna hear the Bb. Must be bright,...sound sample? I was thinking though that you did the octave lower to not have to think about key changes. This doesn't really help in that way. But I bet it livens up the tone.

Here ya go! Recorded a few minutes ago - video quality isn't great because I just used the front camera on my iPad but it will do unless someone wants to investigate my nose hair or something. :)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLs2B7FBA5Q
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLs2B7FBA5Q

John

AndrewKuker
07-28-2012, 01:20 PM
I love it!! Perfect balance of bite and body. Thanks John!! Interesting that the Mainland is a slightly shorter scale. almost 3/4" shorter than a Kala or Pono or Kamaka

1931jim
07-28-2012, 01:21 PM
The fishing line sounds good John. Did you get the blemish out with steel wool or perhaps you used the Maguire's car detailing stuff.?
PS: The Maguire name is also well known with ukulele enthusiasts. Mike has a Mainland baritone also if I remember correctly.

OldePhart
07-28-2012, 03:05 PM
The fishing line sounds good John. Did you get the blemish out with steel wool or perhaps you used the Maguire's car detailing stuff.?
PS: The Maguire name is also well known with ukulele enthusiasts. Mike has a Mainland baritone also if I remember correctly.

I haven't bothered to do anything with the scratch. It's still pretty prominent but my arm covers it when I'm playing so it's all good! :)