"For what it's Worth"...

rustydusty

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For what it's worth, I have not been happy with the longevity of the wound strings in the sets I have put on my baritone uke. Seems like they last about a month or so and I start to see damage where the windings make contact with the frets. I can't help but think this is going to affect the tone. While I haven't looked at the strings with a magnifying glass, I can feel it catch when I run my fingernail under it. I liked the sound of the strings (Aquila Lava), but it is a little too "guitar" like for me as I have five guitars and want the baritone to sound more like a ukulele. So yesterday, I installed a set of "Worth" clear fluorocarbon strings and absolutely love them! At first l wasn't that impressed, but after only one day, they sound a lot better. Am I just being ""anal" or are other players having this issue with wound strings?
 

ripock

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I cannot stand wound strings! For me it is a consistency thing. I am primarily a picker and wound ukulele strings don't behave like unwound strings (and they sound different as well). To be honest, I am up sh*t creek when it comes to baritone strings. The last baritone strings I bought were about three years ago and I bought a composite set from a company whose proprietor has since died and the business is defunct. They are good strings, but since he has passed away i suppose I will try the Worth or see if Fremont makes some baritone strings. I tried Living Water strings and they were okay but the brand "Living Water" sounds like some non-denominational Christian Cult and i cannot abide that. Plus, I need dark strings for my sense of aesthetics.
 

Brad Bordessa

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Much as I hate wound strings, you really need them to get any kind of decent tension on a bari. I've had good luck with the Thomastik-Infelds lasting a good while. They're expensive, but seem to be the best thing around.

All strings wear - wounds go the quickest. Best you can do is get good strings and make sure you're not over-squeezing the frets causing premature wear.

Here are the tensions I use: https://baritoneukulele.net/strings/.
 

ripock

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The thing that ticks me off is the fact that this is strictly a ukulele thing. When I play my tenor guitar (all steel strings) I dont have this problem. When I play my cigar box guitar (whether I use the 4 base strings or the 4 treble strings) I don't have this problem. The only problem I encounter is with the lifeless unbendable wound strings of the ukulele. Am I feeling a bit disrespected. Why can't companies make good products for us like they do for every other instrument?
 

Nickie

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I cannot stand wound strings! For me it is a consistency thing. I am primarily a picker and wound ukulele strings don't behave like unwound strings (and they sound different as well). To be honest, I am up sh*t creek when it comes to baritone strings. The last baritone strings I bought were about three years ago and I bought a composite set from a company whose proprietor has since died and the business is defunct. They are good strings, but since he has passed away i suppose I will try the Worth or see if Fremont makes some baritone strings. I tried Living Water strings and they were okay but the brand "Living Water" sounds like some non-denominational Christian Cult and i cannot abide that. Plus, I need dark strings for my sense of aesthetics.

Living Water is Ken Middleton's brand. Yes, he is religious, but as far as I know, he isn't in your face about it. My bestie (who is Taoist) got over the name, put a set on her uke, and loves them. They sound a bit like my Oasis set of strings do. Ken is a terror on the baritone uke, he can play Clawhammer style as well as anyone I've ever heard.
 

UkerDanno

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If you want the ukulele sound, get a tenor (or concert)! Baritone just won't cut it...
 

bunnyf

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I also use wound D and G, usually the middle 4 of a classical guitar set like Savarez. I’ve used T-Is as well and they are occasionally on sale but they don’t work well for me on my bari. In my hot humid climate and with my “acid” touch, they just corrode almost immediately, especially since I play a lot outside. While they sound great, feel good and are low squeak, within a few days of playing (sometimes less) they are shot.
 

ripock

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Living Water is Ken Middleton's brand. Yes, he is religious, but as far as I know, he isn't in your face about it. My bestie (who is Taoist) got over the name, put a set on her uke, and loves them. They sound a bit like my Oasis set of strings do. Ken is a terror on the baritone uke, he can play Clawhammer style as well as anyone I've ever heard.

Thanks for the info, Nickie. I have a problem with the color of Ken's strings rather than the sound or the name. But he was kind of rude to me. I'm sure I deserved it, but someone who was invested with the holy ghost should have looked past whatever douchebaggy thing I said and hugged me as a being of pure light would have. But...whatever, as the kids say. I have been playing for years on my own terms and hurting absolutely no one. i have no complaints.
 

Nickie

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Thanks for the info, Nickie. I have a problem with the color of Ken's strings rather than the sound or the name. But he was kind of rude to me. I'm sure I deserved it, but someone who was invested with the holy ghost should have looked past whatever douchebaggy thing I said and hugged me as a being of pure light would have. But...whatever, as the kids say. I have been playing for years on my own terms and hurting absolutely no one. i have no complaints.

I hear ya. Anyone who calls himself Christian should forgive on the spot! My Taoist friend does. She could teach Christians a thing or two.....well, I digress....shame on me for talking religion here, I'm finished.
Back to the original topic, strings!
 

ripock

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Indeed lets talk about strings, strings, strings, and not other things, things, things.

Strings. Maybe, I am superficial but my main focus is on colors. Peut-etre (to be high brow) I am vain, but when I look at my dark fret board, I do not want to see white strings. I want dark worth or fremont stings. I tried Living Water strings, I tried many varieties of classical guitar strings...but they left me cold. So I went with darkly colored ukulele strings and i learnt to love the plonky bass strings.
 

ripock

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I have to go now. But be safe, Nickie. There's a lot of delta variant floating around. Hold your brreath and play your songs 'til this phase is over and our country starts to make its comeback
 

Brad Bordessa

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The thing that ticks me off is the fact that this is strictly a ukulele thing. When I play my tenor guitar (all steel strings) I dont have this problem. When I play my cigar box guitar (whether I use the 4 base strings or the 4 treble strings) I don't have this problem. The only problem I encounter is with the lifeless unbendable wound strings of the ukulele. Am I feeling a bit disrespected. Why can't companies make good products for us like they do for every other instrument?

It's the technology. Tenor guitar, to my knowledge uses steel core strings. Those would pull the bridge off of most ukes. So bari wounds are nylon wound for less tension.
 

rustydusty

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Yes, I never had this issue with my wound guitar strings. I even checked one of my guitars with a lot of hours on the strings, and the wear was minimal. Back when I was playing a lot, I could get 3-4 months out of a set of steel strings. I guess it's the "nylon core" thing with the uke strings. Nevertheless the Worth strings have plenty of tension, and I probably won't go back to wound...
 

Kenn2018

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So, does this happen with the Nylon wound strings on a classical guitar?
 

Joyful Uke

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I haven't had a problem with wound strings. Maybe I just change strings often enough to avoid the problem?

I've been experimenting a lot with different strings lately, so changing strings a lot, though I mostly use a Freemont low G for linear tuning.

I just got a set of Uke Logic strings with their wound low G to try, though the consensus here was that it's the same as the Freemont. I'm really liking the Uke Logic reentrant sets that I've been using.

I also just got an order from Ken Middleton, who was very helpful and very prompt in getting the order so me in the US. I really like Living Water strings, (I never worried about the name - all I care about is the sound.)

Now I better head off to work so I can pay for all my new string sets. :)
 

chris667

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I don't play any bigger-than-soprano scale instruments since I broke my finger last year (finger healed, but I can't stretch like I could before).

When I did play baritone, I used to just buy classical guitar strings to replace them as they wore out. That's the reason classical guitar strings are sold individually.

I believe there is less difference in wound strings (and certainly less choice), so I used to just get the cheapest.
 

merlin666

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The wearing out of wound strings was discussed in other threads where it was pointed out that Aquila wound seem to be particularly vulnerable. Using a wound guitar string may help. As for sounding more like ukulele and less like partial guitar the solution is not string material but going re-entrant with the D string an octave higher and without winding of course.
 

rustydusty

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Seriously? I've been playing stringed instruments for almost 60 years, including 5 string banjo, tenor banjo, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, auto harp, you name it. I'm hardly new to wound strings. What's new to me is strings that wear out in less than a month... kind of a pain spending up to week breaking in a new set of strings every month. I play a lot with a band, and can't be stopping to retune between every song. Two or three times a gig is fine, but we move too fast between songs to stop and tune every time. Usually this is done during breaks. I like the sound of the unwound fluorocarbon strings and it sets the baritone uke apart from our two guitars...
 

rustydusty

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Classical Guitars have three wound strings which are not the steel strings on Acoustic guitars.

They wear out. The metal wrap is a silver alloy, it adds mass to the string which makes it vibrate to get the low pitch. Silver is a soft metal.

Classical guitar students might change strings once a week, before every performance, IE frequently. Acoustic guitar players might do the same.

Its normal for wound strings to last less than a month if you play a lot.

What you get with wound strings is skinny. Its a nice skinny string. Low G fluorocarbon is fat, you may need to make the grand canyon to fit it onto the nut properly. On the other hand the other fluorocarbon strings are skinnier than nylon.

I use wound strings and just change them when they need to be changed. I don't like fat plastic strings. Its just a choice.

I checked the nut yesterday, and sure enough the D string was sitting on top of the slot. I marked the bottom of the groove with a shaved down pencil to insure that I didn't go to deep, then carefully opened it up with one of my "jewelers" files until the pencil mark was almost gone. Now that fat D string fits perfectly, and it shouldn't be an issue if I decide to go back to wound strings.