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Thread: Bari linear string conundrum

  1. #1
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    Apr 2015
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    Default Bari linear string conundrum

    All,

    I generally play a reintrant Bari and concentrate on campanella stuff, but I'm learning Fred Sokolow's Slack Key Uke songs and love them on a low D, and I'm having problems finding a set of strings that I like.

    Normally I avoid wound strings like the plague because they have a short life and are hard to get a tonal match to the unwound strings.

    I recently tried the D'Addario Titanium strings. They were tight (high tension) and had a lovely chime to them. However, the wound D had too much sustain and after about a second a harmonic emerges that sounds a bit like a buzz - not really a buzz, but very different from the crystal pure tones the other 3 strings are giving, so as you move along the fingerstyle tunes, it sort of sounds like a buzz. Very annoying when I am trying to produce a clean fingerstyle line.

    I tried substituting an unwound 4th from a bari Worth Clear set and it sounded terrible. It was a dull thud compared to the other 3 D'Addario strings, which were chiming away. Not useable with those other 3 at all.

    Next I replaced the strings with a complete set of Bari Worth Clears - they are more consistent tonally now, but the tension is much lower plus the sound is consistently much duller than the D'Addarios. This is not acceptable for these tunes.

    I tried a set of SouthCoast Heavy that I had and despite the fact it has 2 wound strings there is a great tonal balance (SouthCoast was great for that!). However, there is no future supply of those, plus the treble strings were still not as bright and lovely sounding as the Titaniums.

    So, ideally I want the D'Addario Bari Titaniums trebles and either:
    1. An unwound 4th string that would match the other 3
    2. A different set of strings that are high tension, hopefully no wounds
    3. A clever way to "slightly" dampen the Titanium wound 4th so that it dies off before the ugly overtone emerges (could my luthier attach a piece of wood or something on the bottom of the uke top to dampen out the D frequency?).

    Thanks to any suggestions you might have.
    Sopher

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Default

    A great suggestion in a recent thread for a single baritone D string is using an Oasis warm smooth wound .033 tenor low g string.
    https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com...01#post2128001
    -Hodge
    Humble strummer of fine ukes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Default

    If Hodge's suggestion doesn't work then I'd suggest you buy wound single guitar strings and try them out until you find one you like. Lots of choices out there. The Tomastik-Infeld strings are very nice so that might be a good place to start. I think it'll take a bit of experimentation to find the right combo. We can give advice but it's your uke and your ears. On the bright side, you know which trebles you like so it's only one string. Buy a bunch of singles and have fun

    John

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jelow1966 View Post
    If Hodge's suggestion doesn't work then I'd suggest you buy wound single guitar strings and try them out until you find one you like. Lots of choices out there. The Tomastik-Infeld strings are very nice so that might be a good place to start. I think it'll take a bit of experimentation to find the right combo. We can give advice but it's your uke and your ears. On the bright side, you know which trebles you like so it's only one string. Buy a bunch of singles and have fun

    John
    Great call on the Thomastiks, CF35 and CF30 for D and G strings respectively. Thomastik have a good fundamental tone with a less chiming sustain compared to any other wound strings I have tried. Sometimes this works for me and other times not, it depends on the instrument and if I want a slightly flatter sound or not.
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Arizona
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    I don't play baritone, but have friends that like Living Water on theirs...
    Just Play

    Sopranos: 1st uke, Lanikai soprano LU-11 - Aquilas | 30's Martin style 0 - Martins | Lanikai banjolele - Worth Browns
    Concerts: Kanile'a K-2 CP - Living Water | Islander AC-4 - Living Water
    UBass: Kala Exotic Mahogany - Road Toad Pahoehoe | Kala SUB - Pahoehoes

  6. #6
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    I don't know what the scale length on your baritone is, but I use a Seaguar Premier 130 lb fluorocarbon for my low D on my Pono (20" scale). I had tried the .035 Thomastik, but found I prefer the sound of the Seaguar on this instrument. It's actually the 3rd string for me, not the 4th, as I tune mine to GDAE, like an octave mandolin. The Seaguar balances well with a Thomastik .045 flatwound for the G. YMMV!

    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!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DownUpDave View Post
    Great call on the Thomastiks, CF35 and CF30 for D and G strings respectively. Thomastik have a good fundamental tone with a less chiming sustain compared to any other wound strings I have tried. Sometimes this works for me and other times not, it depends on the instrument and if I want a slightly flatter sound or not.
    Have you settled on the treble strings yet Dave? I've got Hannabach on my jumbo bari; sounds okay but not what I was hoping for. Have tried Savarez'; they were okay. May see what T-I has for trebles.

  8. #8
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    Apr 2015
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    Thanks for all the suggestions - I guess I'm going to have to get some strings in and try some stuff.
    Where do I get "130 lb Seaguar Premium"? Is that fishing line?

    Thanks

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Madsen View Post
    Have you settled on the treble strings yet Dave? I've got Hannabach on my jumbo bari; sounds okay but not what I was hoping for. Have tried Savarez'; they were okay. May see what T-I has for trebles.
    I have 4 baritones and each one has a different set of strings. For my LfdM jumbo baritone I followed your advice and went much lighter gauge then usual. The wounds are CF30 and CF27 paired with La bella normal tension nylons from a classical guitar set, this instrument has a 22-1/4" scale length.

    I tried Thomastik nylon trebles and they had a nice warm sound.
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sopher View Post
    Thanks for all the suggestions - I guess I'm going to have to get some strings in and try some stuff.
    Where do I get "130 lb Seaguar Premium"? Is that fishing line?

    Thanks
    Yup. I got mine from the cheapest eBay seller I could find at the time. Yes. it's pricey, as you have to buy 25 yards, and was a much researched gamble which fortunately paid off for me. Plus I'm already used to buying expensive strings for mandola and viola anyway.

    I sent you a PM.

    bratsche
    Last edited by bratsche; 02-13-2019 at 05:01 PM.
    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!

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