String set recommendations for reentrant fifths

bsfloyd

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Hello all!! I have a couple of ukuleles tuned to fifths (CGDA) using the Aquila 31U string set (wound C and G). I would like to tune another reentrant, with a high C. The thing is, I think having the G string still wound might be a bit odd with the other three being unwound. However, in order to have the G string unwound, it would be a pretty hefty string I imagine - similar to that of an unwound low G for standard uke tuning, which I have been reading can sound pretty tubby as their diameters are usually larger than that of wound low G strings. What do you all think? Is there a non wound low G that would fit in this mix, or do you think having one wound string would not be as big of an issue I think it might be. Of course the D and A strings would still be from 31U set (unless I wish to explore other options for them as well :)) Thanks!
 

Croaky Keith

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Maybe take a look at the Aquila Reds, I used to use them before switching to Living Water fluorocarbons on my ukes.
 

bsfloyd

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Thanks, Keith - are you referring to mixing the Aquila Red unwound low G in with the Aquila 31U D and A strings? And tips or the high C string to complete the fifths tuned set? Thanks
 

Jim Hanks

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What scale? If you think about it, any low G set will probably work for your tuning just by swapping the bottom two strings and tuning down the 2nd string from E to D. Any set that sounds balanced for standard low G tuning should be fine for cGDA
 

bsfloyd

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Never thought about it that way, but makes good sense! I will give that a try...

Oh... concert scale.
 

merlin666

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First of all, please don't try to unwind strings, there are plenty of plain strings available. As for the C, is this not just an octave lower than any regular C string? In that case a regular Super Nylgut C will be perfect. I have my low G tenor strung with super nylguts and a red low G and the balance of sound and tension for playing are perfect in my opinion. But if your wound G is not yet worn out then it is ok as well with three plain strings. The red will likely last much longer.
 

ripock

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Is there any particular reason to make it complicated? I bought an instrument with the strings tuned to fifths and I just adjusted them to ukulele tunings. There was no need for special string sets or anything; I just turned the tuning pegs until I got the notes I wanted.
 

merlin666

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Is there any particular reason to make it complicated? I bought an instrument with the strings tuned to fifths and I just adjusted them to ukulele tunings. There was no need for special string sets or anything; I just turned the tuning pegs until I got the notes I wanted.

Fifths tuning covers a much larger tonal range than uke tuning and therefore needs a very thick string for the low C. The three high strings cover the same range as the usual four uke strings in linear tuning, with a D instead of C and E.
 
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merlin666

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Actually for re-entrant fifths tuning you could also just use any regular low G set and simply swap the C and G strings and then tune the E two steps down to D.
 

bsfloyd

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Actually for re-entrant fifths tuning you could also just use any regular low G set and simply swap the C and G strings and then tune the E two steps down to D.

Yes, this is the recommendation from Jim Hanks above, and the plan I am going to take at next string purchase.

To those that think this may be complicated, please keep in mind this is for fifths tuning but in a reentrant style. The tuning can get a good amount lower on the bottom half than standard uke tuning and using regular uke strings can get pretty floppy. In this case it is the G string. In non reentrant fifths tuning it would be both the low C and G. The Aquila 31U is a great set for this, but I want to try a reentrant style in fifths, so the low C would up an octave. Swapping the G and C from a low G set is a suitable idea I think.
 
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bsfloyd

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First of all, please don't try to unwind strings, there are plenty of plain strings available. As for the C, is this not just an octave lower than any regular C string? In that case a regular Super Nylgut C will be perfect. I have my low G tenor strung with super nylguts and a red low G and the balance of sound and tension for playing are perfect in my opinion. But if your wound G is not yet worn out then it is ok as well with three plain strings. The red will likely last much longer.

I guess I’m confused - why would I try to unwind a wound string? What I was referring to is that low G ukulele strings are very common to be wound strings, and having a smaller diameter than a low G plain string. I admit that larger diameter plain strings can sound tubby at times, and I didn’t know how the contrast would be sitting in between the other strings, not at the very bottom. I also question the contrast of only having one wound string sitting in between the other three plain strings. I guess it’s all a test of trial and error really. I’ve read good things about the Aquila Reds so will try the plan as mentioned above. If I think the low G is sounding too boomy under the higher C string, I will try a wound G in its place.
 

merlin666

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I have a six string where a low red A sits in the middle of a high new Nylgut A and an E and it sounds great. As for tubby C my concert uke with fluorocarbon string has that issue. I haven't decided yet what to do about this. I have a spare set of Aquila Lava strings in concert so am thinking about putting that on. But the uke also needs a higher saddle I think so I want to get that done first.