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Thread: Classical guitar stringsmfor baritone uke

  1. #1
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    Default Classical guitar stringsmfor baritone uke

    There is always discussion and questions about using classical guitar strings on baritone ukuleles. I have experimented a lot with various strings but with two twists. I always buy single strings and everything I am going to discuss will be florocarbon for the B and E strings, no nylon. I buy everything from Strings by Mail and they are great to deal with and have an excellent website that is easy to navigate. Just go to classical guitar strings and click on the brand you want. I do not work for them or get a kick back, I'm just a very satisified customer.

    The strings that I list below I have tried on one of 5 baritones, I currently still have three of those. Tone is very subjective and each instrument can be a law unto itself. But in general terms the thinner the string the brighter the sound, but the looser the tension under finger. As an example I will use two Baritone sets to illustrate

    Worth CB............B string .0310"........E string .0250"
    Martin M630......B string .0256"........E string .0216"

    On every baritone I have tried the Martins were aways brighter. This also illustrates a key component to experimenting with strings, the wide range of diameters you can use. REMEMBER I am referring to florocarbon trebles for every thing below. We will start with wound singles

    Wound strings. Most D position strings are around .035" in diameter and G position strings are around .030"

    *D'Addario NYL035 (D) & NYL030(G), inexpensive with a great full sound, they balance well together, my go to wounds. They do squeak

    *D'Addario Pro Arte polished
    Normal J4505LP .034" (D) and J4504LP .027" (G)
    Hard.....J4605LP .035" (D) and J4605LP .028" (G)
    Brighter and almost squeak free compared to the NYL series above

    *Thomastik Infield
    CF35 (D) and CF30 (G)
    Very high quality string, very squeak free with an even tone, less chimey than the D'Addarios above

    *Dogal Diamante
    Extra Soft NR1275 .0325" (D) and NR1274 .027" (G)
    Soft.........NR127A5 .034" (D) and NR127A4 .028" (G)

    *Oasis GPX+Carbon
    Normal Sost NT05 .035" (D) and NT04 .029" (G)
    High Sost HT05 .037 (D) and HT04 .031" (G)


    Florocarbon Trebles. This is where I have found the greatest impact on tone from warm to bright.

    *Oasis GPX+Carbon

    Normal NT02 .027" (B) and NT01 .024" (E)
    High HT02 .028" (B) and HT01 .025" (E)

    *Dogal Diamante , very interesting string that combined nylon and florocarbon, sweet tone
    Extra soft NR1272 .032" (B) and NR1271 .0285" (E)

    *Pyramid (specialties singles) PVF Carbons
    Lots of different diameters, huge selection. Note there are smaller diameters for sopranos up to tenors as well

    *Savarez Alliance KF
    Same as above with a huge selection of singles

    *Hannabach Carbon Trebles
    Car2MHT .029" (B) and Car1MHT .025" (E)

    Please feel free to add to this thread with your favorites. Hopefully 2Xbass joins in with his spread sheet and extensive knowledge of nylon strings
    Last edited by DownUpDave; 05-28-2017 at 02:52 AM.
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  2. #2
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    Thanks for the list. I'm just changing one of my Baris strings today. I usually put two wound T-Is on and then just two fluorocarb trebles, which vary Worth, Oasis, Savarez. This time I'm gonna use the T-I classical set, using the middle 4 (3 wound, 1 plain nylon). If I hate the nylon, I'll swap it out for a fluorocarb but I'm gonna give it a try first. +1 on Strings By Mail. I am often not near anyplace with a nice selection of strings, so they are great...good prices, good service, quick ship, and I like being able to get single strings.

  3. #3
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    I echo the thanks - that's some valuable information to have, even as a fifths-tuner. I use two TI strings on mine, but the CF .035 is the D and the CF .045 is the (very low) G. :-)

    For the trebles, I still just have the strings that I got on it, when I bought it used. I tuned the 2nd down to A, and it sounds fine. But I have no idea what strings they are! I asked the seller, who didn't know either, as someone else had changed the strings for him and he had no clue.

    QUESTION: Is it possible to tell the difference between fluorocarbon and nylon? I'd love to identify what my trebles are, just to know in case I want to buy more of the same.

    bratsche
    A bunch of stringed instruments tuned in fifths. And a bunch of cats!


    "There are two refuges from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

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  4. #4
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    Hi DownUpDave,

    I'm currently using the D'Addario silver wounds as basses (NYL033W and NYL028W), matched with Savarez Alliance KF trebles (KF81A - 0.0319" and KF62A - 0.0244"). I'm very happy with this combination, which gives a really nicely balanced tone.
    I'd like to be under the sea...

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    Quote Originally Posted by jollyboy View Post
    Hi DownUpDave,

    I'm currently using the D'Addario silver wounds as basses (NYL033W and NYL028W), matched with Savarez Alliance KF trebles (KF81A - 0.0319" and KF62A - 0.0244"). I'm very happy with this combination, which gives a really nicely balanced tone.
    If you like a little squeak, I have Savarez (picked from full set)classical on one of my Baris and like them a lot. As I have said, I have the T-Is on my other, and I like them even better.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jollyboy View Post
    Hi DownUpDave,

    I'm currently using the D'Addario silver wounds as basses (NYL033W and NYL028W), matched with Savarez Alliance KF trebles (KF81A - 0.0319" and KF62A - 0.0244"). I'm very happy with this combination, which gives a really nicely balanced tone.
    Thanks jollyboy, I know you are a big fan of the D'Addario NYL series as am I, great strings for a good price. They also have so many diameters it is easy to pick something suitable for tenor or concert size.

    Same with the wide size range of florocarbon from Savarez and Pyramid PVF Carbons. I have used these with great success on tenors, concerts and soprano.
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  7. #7

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    Last week I put a standard baritone set of worth clears on a baritone, but I found the D string to be too floppy so I swapped it out for the D string from a La Bella classical guitar string set that I had laying around. It was taken from a set of La Bella 850 Gold Nylon strings. And I like it a lot! I like having the wound just on the 4th string with the top 3 unwound.

    And I thought well heck - the next time I put new strings on a Bari I think I'll just try out the top 4 strings from some of my favorite sets of classical guitar strings. So I've been thinking a lot of going down this road lately - but I have a question

    I did a bunch of lookups on the strings you guys have listed and it appears to me that you all are using what would be the A and D strings in a classical set for your D and G string on the bari. What's the reason behind this? Is it necessary? Is it because you just prefer to have a wound 4th and 3rd, and so need a pair that is closely set up that way? Or do you find that a necessary adjustment in order to get the correct diameter and tension for the uke?

    Because me personally - I like having the top 3 unwound, and I would like to just try various sets of classicals using the top 4. Is there any reason I shouldn't do that? Will it be a flop?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bratsche View Post

    QUESTION: Is it possible to tell the difference between fluorocarbon and nylon? I'd love to identify what my trebles are, just to know in case I want to buy more of the same.

    bratsche
    The thickness of the strings might offer a clue. If they're pretty chunky then they're more likely to be nylon.


    Quote Originally Posted by bunnyf View Post
    If you like a little squeak, I have Savarez (picked from full set)classical on one of my Baris and like them a lot. As I have said, I have the T-Is on my other, and I like them even better.
    Thanks for the tip I am interested in trying the Savarez wounds. Maybe next string change...

    Quote Originally Posted by DownUpDave View Post
    Thanks jollyboy, I know you are a big fan of the D'Addario NYL series as am I, great strings for a good price. They also have so many diameters it is easy to pick something suitable for tenor or concert size.
    I'd like to be under the sea...

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    Quote Originally Posted by manfromtexas View Post

    I did a bunch of lookups on the strings you guys have listed and it appears to me that you all are using what would be the A and D strings in a classical set for your D and G string on the bari. What's the reason behind this? Is it necessary? Is it because you just prefer to have a wound 4th and 3rd, and so need a pair that is closely set up that way? Or do you find that a necessary adjustment in order to get the correct diameter and tension for the uke?

    Because me personally - I like having the top 3 unwound, and I would like to just try various sets of classicals using the top 4. Is there any reason I shouldn't do that? Will it be a flop?
    You have to keep in mind the difference in scale length and how that affects string tension. For example a Thomastik-Infeld CF30 gives about 14lbs of tension when tuned to D on a classical guitar but tuned to D on a bari it's only going to give you about 8lbs of tension, which is going to be way too floppy for most people. A CF35 tuned to D is going to give you about 15lbs of tension - much better
    I'd like to be under the sea...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bunnyf View Post
    This time I'm gonna use the T-I classical set, using the middle 4 (3 wound, 1 plain nylon). If I hate the nylon, I'll swap it out for a fluorocarb but I'm gonna give it a try first.
    This is the set I put on my Kala baritone recently. I really like it, even the nylon (and I am not generally a fan of nylon strings). To me, this nylon string feels incredibly like a FC string. I had to re-check the package to be sure I didn't read it wrong. I didn't think there was anyway it could be nylon.
    Main players:

    Soprano: Kepasa Madeira | Kiwaya KS-1

    Concert: Collings UC2 | Collings UC2K | Talsma Style 3 | 16" Ono | Ono Pineapple

    Tenor: Collings UT3SMB

    Baritone: LoPrinzi

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