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View Full Version : strings for Kanilea GL6 Guitarlele?



tbeltrans
08-23-2014, 06:06 AM
Recently, on the advise of people here in another thread a few weeks ago and my wife telling me to go get it, I bought a Kanilea GL6-D through the local Craig's List.

Though the instrument truly is in mint condition, it is also true that the original strings are on it and are now a year old and should be changed. I have looked for strings for it online and have not found any.

Kanilea makes a set, but HMS is out of stock and I don't see them listed anywhere else. Aquila has a set, 96C, but those are not for a baritone scale (they specify 17" scale, which the Yamaha and many other Guitaleles have).

I googled and read through some threads here and found a few references to using classical guitar strings, specifically D'Addario J-45. I have several of these from when I used to have a classical guitar. I put a set on the GL6 and they work fine - except that when I tune them up to A - A, they seem tight to me, while standard guitar tuning (EADGBE) seems just a bit loose though functional.

It may be that I am simply not used to playing on classical strings tuned up that high because I played classical guitar for many years. Pressing down on the strings, they don't feel particularly tight, so maybe it is just the higher pitch that I am reacting to?

So then I called HMS and they said that tuning the J-45 set up to A-A should not hurt the GL6, but that I really should use high tension strings because of the relatively short scale.

I know others here have had Kanilea GL6 Guitarleles long enough to have had to deal with changing strings.

Can I use J-45 or higher tension (J-46) tuned up to A-A without harm to the instrument (i.e. neck warping, bridge pulling up, bellying below the bridge)? This instrument is far, far too nice to risk harm.

Thanks,

Tony

Jim Hanks
08-23-2014, 06:17 AM
What's the scale? How about the Southcoast EFS set? http://www.southcoastukes.com/specialty.htm

tbeltrans
08-23-2014, 07:46 AM
What's the scale? How about the Southcoast EFS set? http://www.southcoastukes.com/specialty.htm

Thanks for the tip Jim. I did read about these, but they seemed quite expensive. My guitarlele has a 19" scale and Southcoast has an EFS set specifically for that scale. However, I have several sets of J-45 and J-46 left over from my classical guitar days, so it would keep money in my wallet to be able to use them. They seem to sound fine and are easy to play on the guitarlele, so if tuning them up to A-A won't hurt the instrument, I would prefer to use them first.

Thanks,

Tony

warndt
08-23-2014, 08:51 AM
If you email Kanilea..or call them, you can order the Kanilea GL-6 strings directly from them. They are much more expensive (16.00 + Ship) compared to HMS (9.50 + ship) but one set will get you through until HMS gets them back in stock when you can order multiples. You need to remind HMS though.

Kanilea GL-6 strings are the ONLY strings I use...they compliment the instrument perfectly IMO.

tbeltrans
08-23-2014, 11:11 AM
If you email Kanilea..or call them, you can order the Kanilea GL-6 strings directly from them. They are much more expensive (16.00 + Ship) compared to HMS (9.50 + ship) but one set will get you through until HMS gets them back in stock when you can order multiples. You need to remind HMS though.

Kanilea GL-6 strings are the ONLY strings I use...they compliment the instrument perfectly IMO.

Thanks warndt. I did try calling Kanilea to ask them about this, but Joe was on a business trip. I will follow up next week.

If Joe says it is OK to use classical guitar strings tuned A-A, I will most likely go that route for a while because I have enough sets to last some time yet. The GL-6 strings are most likely made from a couple of different string sets, so finding out what those are would make economic sense too.

Tony

Jim Hanks
08-23-2014, 01:08 PM
The GL-6 strings are most likely made from a couple of different string sets, so finding out what those are would make economic sense too.
Unless you're Kanilea :p

tbeltrans
08-23-2014, 01:26 PM
Unless you're Kanilea :p

Yes, that is true. Having a single source for something that should be ubiquitous as a set of strings is a bit worrisome, so I would really prefer to find alternatives if possible.

One could say that if Kanilea makes a unique instrument, we should expect to have to use their strings on it. But usually, there are other ways to resolve that sort of issue.

Tony

Jim Hanks
08-23-2014, 01:33 PM
I had another thought. I've seen 19" scale referred to as a 1/4" size guitar like this one: http://www.cordobaguitars.com/p/c1-14-size
This article references "high tension Savarez" and also links to an Aquila guilele set. Searching for "quarter size guitar string" will get you some more leads

tbeltrans
08-23-2014, 01:37 PM
I had another thought. I've seen 19" scale referred to as a 1/4" size guitar like this one: http://www.cordobaguitars.com/p/c1-14-size
This article references "high tension Savarez" and also links to an Aquila guilele set. Searching for "quarter size guitar string" will get you some more leads

Excellent Jim! Thanks...

Tony

tbeltrans
08-23-2014, 01:47 PM
This is interesting. The Cordoba guilele has a scale just under 19", yet the site that Jim found says that there is an Aquila string set that can be used on this 1/4 size guitar to tune up to A-A. There is a link provided to a description of that set and it exactly matches the Aquila 96C set, which claims is specifically for a 17" scale.

I am going to order a set or two, probably from Elderly where I purchased my strings for my ukuleles and try it. If it works, then that is what I will go with.

Tony

warndt
08-23-2014, 07:49 PM
The Aquila 96C set sounds terrible on the GL-6 IMO...I removed them immediately. They are made for 17" scale Guitarleles, not the GL-6.

Maybe you'll have a different experience than I did.

Good luck to you!

tbeltrans
08-24-2014, 03:37 AM
Yes, that was one of my earlier comments - that I initially was not interested in the 96C set for that reason. I ordered a set yesterday and will try it. Last night, I tuned the J45 low tension classical set up to A-A and it sounded quite good both unamplified (my GL6-D has the factory installed pickup) and amplified. So far, there are no ill effects on the instrument. According to Hawaii Music Supply, these strings and their high tension counterparts would do just fine on the GL6-D. Hopefully, tomorrow I can talk to Joe at Kanilea.

Tony

tbeltrans
08-24-2014, 04:24 PM
After watching my GL6 closely, I can see a bit of strain at the heel (where the neck joins the body) with the low tension J45 classical guitar strings. Today, I switched to a set of J46 strings (high tension classical guitar strings), tuned to standard guitar tuning EADGBE. The intonation is fine and the sound is quite good, though less volume than with the guitarlele strings. This setup would make for a very comfortable classical guitar for those of us with aging fingers. Since my GL6 has a factory installed pickup, I can certainly amplify it when playing for a group of people as I do on occasion.

This coming week, I should be able to talk to Joe at Kanilea to find out what I can and can't safely do with this instrument, and possibly order some strings. I am certain that the current configuration with the high tension strings tuned to standard guitar tuning won't be a problem. The tension is very comfortable and easy to play, so I will leave the instrument as is until I find out from Joe what the alternatives might be.

Though there isn't a lot of interest in this thread, I will continue posting my findings as I experiement because those who do eventually end up getting either the Kanliea or Islander version of this guitarlele will be searching for this kind of information.

It seems to me at this point we have essentially two choices. One is to use the Kanilea strings as has been suggested earlier in this thread and the other is to use high tension classical guitar strings tuned to standard classical guitar. This is not at all a bad solution because the scale and tension of this configuration is very easy on the hands. We can get away with this because of the baritone scale of this particular Islander or Kanilea guitarlele. The intonation is just fine all the way up the fretboard.

Regardless of how you decide to use this instrument, it is a wonderful thing to own and play. From what I have read, you can't go wrong with either the Islander or Kanilea version.

Tony

warndt
08-25-2014, 04:37 AM
Thanks Tony. I hope your GL-6 is all good after the strain of the J45 classical strings. It will be interesting to hear your report on what Joe says.

My GL-6 sits next to my monitor on top of my desk, arms length away...a truly wonderful professional quality instrument!

tbeltrans
08-25-2014, 01:39 PM
OK, I just got off the phone with Joe at Kanilea. Here is the information regarding strings and the GL6...

If you put classical guitar strings on the instrument DO NOT tune it beyond standard guitar tuning EADGBE. The instrument was really designed to be tuned A-A, which is why I am not getting the same acoustic volume when tuning to standard guitar tuning. The only strings to use for this are the strings supplied by Kanliea, as mentioned earlier in this thread. Also, if you want to use classical guitar strings, then you need to get the slots for the strings on the nut widened since these strings are wider than those from Kanilea for this guitar.

Needless to say, I ordered strings from Kanliea during that phone conversation.

As an aside, the proper pronunciation of "Kanilea" is Kah knee leah (like "Princess Leah" in Star Wars). That comes directly from Joe.

If the Islander is identical in design to the GL6 from Kanliea, then I would imagine that what I provided here from Joe would likewise apply to the Islander also. Best to check with Joe on this.

Tony

warndt
08-25-2014, 04:38 PM
Thanks for sharing...If you can, send emails to support@theukulelesite.com (also cc Andrew) and contact HMS by phone (808)622-8000 to remind them to order some more Kanilea GL6 strings...They were out of stock a month or so ago but I was persistent with my reminders until they came in. The price difference is well worth it. I stocked up with a bunch of sets since the price will only go higher as time goes by.

BBJohn
03-09-2015, 02:31 PM
Have anyone in this thread tried the southcoast Guilele strings set yet :confused:
Getting an Islander soon and wondering if Kanilea stock string is still the prefer one for most of you!
Someone posted on forum with sound sample of Pro Arte for 3,4,5,6 and Worth brown for 1,2 ( http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?48054-Kanile-a-GL6-my-highly-strung-Angel)
Any new combinations or recommendation for the strings?

P.S: For the Kanilea factory string, do i have to contact them in order to purchase them? Dont see it on their website!

dwh
03-09-2015, 04:30 PM
I use the La Belle Requinto strings on my guitarlele. They work just fine.

Camsuke
03-09-2015, 04:36 PM
I've been using these for a while now, they seem to work just fine.
https://www.stringsbymail.com/savarez-520b-rectified-trebles-white-card-basses-low-tension-full-set-946.html?zenid=6uvuneqck4852dqmursb33r9f5

BBJohn
03-09-2015, 07:03 PM
I've been using these for a while now, they seem to work just fine.
https://www.stringsbymail.com/savarez-520b-rectified-trebles-white-card-basses-low-tension-full-set-946.html?zenid=6uvuneqck4852dqmursb33r9f5

Thanks for the Saverez and La Bella string recommendation! Do you tune it to A-A still with these strings?

Camsuke
03-09-2015, 08:45 PM
I generally tune G-g for standard tuning, that's just personal preference.

dwh
03-10-2015, 04:02 AM
Thanks for the Saverez and La Bella string recommendation! Do you tune it to A-A still with these strings?

A to A with the La Bella.

drbekken
03-10-2015, 05:22 AM
What's the scale? How about the Southcoast EFS set? http://www.southcoastukes.com/specialty.htm

Here are the Southcoast EFS strings. I love them:
http://youtu.be/5_dnYOa5w-w