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Thread: Tell us about your 8 stringers!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    Default Tell us about your 8 stringers!

    Hello everyone! In light of always wanting to try new things, I am wanting to get myself into an 8 string (4 course) tenor. What would be different is that I would like to tune it like a mandola - CGDA. I believe the mandola and tenor ukulele have similar scale lengths, correct? Lately I have been listening to a lot of mandola videos and with my years of viola playing in the past, I really love the fifths tuning. Surely I could just purchase a mandola, but I much prefer the sound and (most importantly) the feel of nylon strings under the fingers. I'm thinking about stringing it up with Nylgut strings.

    I would love to hear what instruments you all found in your 8 string journeys and what you might recommend that doesn't break the bank. Surely this is an experimental phase on my part and don't want to spend a lot to find I don't like it. I guess I could always revert to standard ukulele tuning if it doesn't work as I wished. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Feb 2016
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    I was able to buy a Baton Rouge 8 String Tenor thanks to Stones Music (Mark Pugh) in the UK. As a ukulele, there is a Low G and High G, Low C and High C, two E’s (same pitch), and two A’s.

    I know that Kala, Oscar Schmidt, and Luna offer 8 string options as well. I was interested in the Baton Rogue as Barry Maz gave it a very favorable review. It was also pretty affordable—Mark set it up with his own fluorocarbon Jumping Cow Strings (I don’t like wound strings).
    Playing ukulele since January 2016.

    Have you participated in the thread, "How the Ukulele Found You?" If not, please consider adding your story--they are just fun to read.

    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...lele-found-you

  3. #3
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    Not sure what you mean by break the bank, but, you can get this from Mim or Ukerepublic for under $300...
    https://ohana-music.com/product/tk-7...tenor-ukulele/

    For less, Lanikai makes them too, for less $$'s.
    Just Play

    Sopranos: 1st uke, Lanikai soprano LU-11 - Aquilas | 30's Martin style 0 - Martins | Fender Piha'eu - Worth Browns | Lanikai banjolele - Worth Browns
    Concerts: Kanile'a K-2 CP - Living Water | Islander AC-4 - Living Water | Ohana CK-35-8 - Living Water | Kala KA-ACP-CT - Living Water, low G
    UBass: Kala Exotic Mahogany - Road Toad Pahoehoe

  4. #4
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    Jan 2017
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    Hi! I'm a violist who got bit by the mandola bug almost 20 years ago. The uke didn't bite until last year, but when I got my tenor, I naturally tuned it to CGDA. I had to experiment a bit to find just the sound I wanted, and am happy with a flatwound Thomastik C string (the 5th from a classical guitar set) and a piece of fluorocarbon Seaguar Premier fishing leader in 100lb test for the G string. Trebles are much less picky, but mine are fluorocarbons from a regular uke set - Oasis, I think.

    I haven't come full circle to try an 8-string uke yet, but feel like I probably will some day. Right now I'm more drawn to the idea of a baritone in GDAE tuning, though. ;-) I have a 4-string baritone already, but wonder what the lower pairs of an 8-stringer would sound like in octaves.... too much fun!

    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

    GearGems - Gifts & apparel for musicians and more!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Suffolk
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    My Kala solid acacia. A beautifully appointed instrument, the inlays and binding all exotic wood. I put low tension Worth browns on and it plays very nicely but isn't very loud. The original tuning with 2 courses in octaves and 2 in unison sounded amazing for strumming but I hardly ever strum. I got it for playing fingerstyle folk which sounded a bit strange with high, and even higher G, so I strung it all unison. It still sounds prety good but not as good as with the original tuning.









  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by UkerDanno View Post
    Not sure what you mean by break the bank, but, you can get this from Mim or Ukerepublic for under $300...
    https://ohana-music.com/product/tk-7...tenor-ukulele/

    For less, Lanikai makes them too, for less $$'s.
    I forgot about Ohana’s 8 string model. Does Lanikai still make an 8 string? I have not seen their 2017 models anywhere...and 2018 is here.

    Kamaka also makes an 8 string. That’s in the $1500 Range.

    Does anyone make an 8 string concert ukulele?
    Playing ukulele since January 2016.

    Have you participated in the thread, "How the Ukulele Found You?" If not, please consider adding your story--they are just fun to read.

    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...lele-found-you

  7. #7
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    Aug 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Choirguy View Post
    Does anyone make an 8 string concert ukulele?
    https://ohana-music.com/product/ohan...patch-concert/

    Also, just under $300...
    Just Play

    Sopranos: 1st uke, Lanikai soprano LU-11 - Aquilas | 30's Martin style 0 - Martins | Fender Piha'eu - Worth Browns | Lanikai banjolele - Worth Browns
    Concerts: Kanile'a K-2 CP - Living Water | Islander AC-4 - Living Water | Ohana CK-35-8 - Living Water | Kala KA-ACP-CT - Living Water, low G
    UBass: Kala Exotic Mahogany - Road Toad Pahoehoe

  8. #8
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    Nov 2014
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    Palm Beach County FL
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    I picked up an Oscar Schmidt for under $100.00. The OS28T got good reviews. For me definitely a st rummer.

  9. #9

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    Hello,

    I have a Baton Rouge strunged as a renaissance guitar with Savarez Alliance KF. The instrument proved to be fairly good for its price range, it is perfectly set-up and stays in tune. That said, the laminate soundboard doesn't allow much nuances and the dynamic range is quite poor. So I got gradually rid of it and I am now considering a real renaissance guitar copy — with a slightly longer neck. But for someone who plays the average uke repertoire and just wants a bigger sound with a chiming sound, the Baton Rouge remains a very good value.
    hope this helps,
    Gilles

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    539

    Default

    Thanks for the replies everyone!! Very helpful information here. By breaking the bank, I was hoping under $300 so most likely would be in the all laminate park. I'd be ok with that for a little while to see how it goes. Yes, I did see Baz's review on the Baton Rouge and thought it might be a great contender. Though I did just start looking, I haven't found one yet in the US. I will surely look into the others mentioned above.

    bratsche - I think I might have replies to a thread of yours on the Mandolin Café forums regarding your 8 string baritone quest

    choirguy - I was on the Lanikai website and seen they still show a couple of 8 string models. I also believe I seen some concert and soprano sized 8 stringers on Uke Republic's site:

    http://ukerepublic.bigcartel.com/pro...oncert-ukulele
    http://ukerepublic.bigcartel.com/pro...oncert-ukulele

    gilles T - Very interesting on the renaissance guitar! I'm a huge fan of early music. Did you use the GCEA renaissance tuning? Unison or octaves? I've seen a few different renaissance guitar tuning options.

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