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View Full Version : Warmer, darker sounding baritone strings?



aarondminnick
05-16-2014, 08:23 AM
I've had my Lanikai koa baritone strung with two "synthetic gut" sets (Aquila nylgut and d'Addario nyltech) and I would like to find something warmer/darker in timbre. I'm mostly accompanying myself and my wife on vocals and use the bari as a lower alternative to my low-g tenor. I'd like to get a mellower sound.

Any recommendations for an alternative string set? Thank you!

kissing
05-16-2014, 02:51 PM
As it turns out, classical guitar strings work really well if you use the ADGB strings tuned up to DGBE.

I haven't really been entirely happy with baritone ukuele sets. A D'addario Pro-Arte classical guitar set would be good for your purposes in my opinion

mds725
05-16-2014, 03:27 PM
Maybe you could try fluorocarbons, like Living Water Strings or Worth Clears. I find that Aquilas can be a little bright, which is good for soft instruments but may sound brash on instruments that don't need the volume of nylgut or nyltech.

d-mace
05-16-2014, 03:51 PM
Good old black Hilo strings deliver a mellow sound and work just fine on a baritone IMO.

coolkayaker1
05-16-2014, 05:11 PM
I just popped some Southcoast HMU-NWs on my baritone today for re-entrant dGBE (all nylon, no metal strings) and it sounds like heaven.


http://www.southcoastukes.com/ukulele.htm

It sounds like Aaron's example at 1:40 minutes here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXvMXx0tWiE&index=60&list=HL1400297188

iamesperambient
05-16-2014, 08:22 PM
I've had my Lanikai koa baritone strung with two "synthetic gut" sets (Aquila nylgut and d'Addario nyltech) and I would like to find something warmer/darker in timbre. I'm mostly accompanying myself and my wife on vocals and use the bari as a lower alternative to my low-g tenor. I'd like to get a mellower sound.

Any recommendations for an alternative string set? Thank you!

I find the black nylon GHS strings give it a much 'darker' tone almost muddy and muted but still full and deep.

Jim Hanks
05-17-2014, 01:57 AM
, classical guitar strings are much easier to find and are cheaper. I use the D G B E strings and tune them to D G B E.
Is that a typo? You really take the top 4 guitar strings and put them straight on the bari? Seems like they'd be really floppy. Unless they were super hard tension maybe. Seems like you ought to have to use the A D G B strings. But I haven't tried it.

iamesperambient
05-17-2014, 07:01 AM
I have given up sourcing baritone specific strings, classical guitar strings are much easier to find and are cheaper. I use the D G B E strings and tune them to D G B E. Each company makes a range of several tensions etc so there is always a good choice in any music shop i care to visit, and i get the strings to take home straight away.
I have also found that i can actually impact the sound of the baritone myself, just by moving where I strum and how hard I strum and where i fret between the frets. I am not really expert at it, but it is a skill that can be learned. As i get better string choice becomes less of an issue.


amazon and ebay have a plethora of baritone uke strings at pretty affordable prices. I don't find them that difficult to source at all.

TheCraftedCow
05-17-2014, 07:17 AM
I openly, gratefully, thank Dirk at Southcoast for educating the uke community about Cuatro tuning. The fourth string is low. That same size 4th string replaces the 1st string and is tuned up a whole step from the 4th string. It will get you questioned from other stringed instrument players as well as from those who hear you. It works on a tenor the same way. One of my solid Acacia blackwood Lehua SOPRANO ukes is gCEa. Tuning to fCFa from GCEA or cGCe from DGBE produces a great sound. Be ready to be swamped with questions and comments!!

drmosser
05-17-2014, 09:51 AM
I enjoy the thrill of the hunt for the perfect sounding strings for every ukulele I own. Right now, I am liking the warm and mellow sound of Ko'olau Mahana strings (DGBE) on my Koloa Mahogany baritone. Also I found that I could modify my playing style a bit to avoid strumming or playing the E string sometimes and then incorporate more upward strums when strumming all strings. Those changes seem to add a darker and more mellow feel to whatever I'm playing. Good luck on your quest for strings.

coolkayaker1
05-17-2014, 10:06 AM
I just popped some Southcoast HMU-NWs on my baritone today for re-entrant dGBE (all nylon, no metal strings) and it sounds like heaven.



My mistake: this gives a colder, brighter sound.

JonThysell
05-17-2014, 03:07 PM
I openly, gratefully, thank Dirk at Southcoast for educating the uke community about Cuatro tuning. The fourth string is low. That same size 4th string replaces the 1st string and is tuned up a whole step from the 4th string. It will get you questioned from other stringed instrument players as well as from those who hear you. It works on a tenor the same way. One of my solid Acacia blackwood Lehua SOPRANO ukes is gCEa. Tuning to fCFa from GCEA or cGCe from DGBE produces a great sound. Be ready to be swamped with questions and comments!!

Are you using actual SC cuatro strings? Have you tuned a bari or tenor cuatro? I have so many unused string sets lying around, and an interested in trying cuatro tuning, but don't want to have to order more strings. Do you only play open tunings when in cuatro?

JonThysell
05-17-2014, 07:06 PM
Are you using actual SC cuatro strings? Have you tuned a bari or tenor cuatro? I have so many unused string sets lying around, and an interested in trying cuatro tuning, but don't want to have to order more strings. Do you only play open tunings when in cuatro?

Ha, couldn't wait, restrung my Kala bari g c' e' a with a couple sets of living waters. g to g, b' to c', e' to e', g to a. Sounds great, but I want to try slacking another b string for the low a since I think it'll be easier to barre, and then gives me the option to tune up to a d' f#' b. Can't wait to show the group on Wednesday.

aarondminnick
05-18-2014, 04:54 AM
Thanks, everyone!

iamesperambient
05-18-2014, 12:49 PM
Thanks, everyone!

I'm going to order the worth brown standard bari tuning strings next
they sound like they would be pretty good, although expensive.

JonThysell
05-18-2014, 03:27 PM
I'm going to order the worth brown standard bari tuning strings next
they sound like they would be pretty good, although expensive.

I think Worth browns and clears sound and feel great on 20" scale baris, probably my favorite strings at that scale. On my 19" bari though the low d is a little loose, so I swapped in a south coast heavy wound, which seems to fit the bill nicely.