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Thread: fifths tuning revisited

  1. #1
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    Default fifths tuning revisited

    Iíve read previous threads on fifths tuning but wanted to check again with folks who have perhaps been using gdae on sopranos for a while now and see how you guys have been doing with the high e. Iíve got the other three strings covered.

    I tried the Aquila specialty set for this tuning twice and the e broke immediately. Iíve read some of you have tried 20# fluorocarbon fishing line and am wonder howís that working out.

    I have a baritone in gdae and I like it. Iíd like to give the soprano a go but I donít want to be constantly breaking the e. The Aquilas broke before they even got close to up to tune. Whatís been your experience?

  2. #2
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    sorry I can't respond to your soprano question since I don't play one. I play bari, and I'm wondering what string you use for your low G string in gdae tuning.
    Kala KA-TE tenor uke (currently tuned re-entrant gCEA)
    Kala APB-CTG baritone uke (currently tuned DGBE)
    Ohana BK-35CG baritone uke (currently tuned low-octave ADF#B)
    Various guitars, banjos, and basses

  3. #3
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    Cannibalized from sets laying around for my GDAE bari:
    G- low E from class.guitar set (Thomastik-I, left over from set that I used middle four strings as DGBE on another baritone
    D- reg, D baritone string (worth clear f.c.)
    A- same reg, baritone set used B tuned tuned down, if it was floppy, I would have tried the G tuned up butit was fine
    E- high E from same classical guitar set

  4. #4
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    I'm not a fifths tuning guy, but I will say that I have a string from Living Water designed for c5 on tenor scale. He has two gauges that will work: 0.52mm and 0.47mm. The thicker one is high tension so I opted for the thinner one. I haven't actually tried it yet, but either should work for e5 on soprano I would think. You could order them both as part of a "spare strings" set.

    As to the low G baritone string, this has to be a G2 string, so the low string in most classical guitar sets will work. For example, this one should be great:
    https://www.stringsbymail.com/thomas...ound-2483.html
    Ukulele:
    Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - A, WoU Clarity
    Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    Imua iET-Bb, M600
    Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    Rogue bari
    Bonanza super tenor, cFAD SC LHU
    Kala KSLNG, Eb SC XLU
    Flea soprano, C LW
    Hanson 5-string tenor, dGCEA
    Bonanza SLN GCEA
    Bonanzalele concert
    Guitars:
    Jupiter #47, G, TI CF127

    !Flukutronic!

  5. #5
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    The T-I one I had left over was a nice flatwound and is working well. Its a bit thick for making the knot on the tie-on bring, but just one wrap held it fine.
    Jim, I know you are an alt.tuning guy and I hoped you might have some suggestions. Thanks. I’m hoping a fishing line guy chimes in and says that the 20# line works great for the e5. I wouldn’t saving $$. A roll costs about 8bucks.

  6. #6
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    hey bill, I’ve read alot of posts saying their aquila fifths e broke (here and at the m.cafe) but a few like you said they had luck. Many also had them break also before they got them up tp tune. I did use a tuner with the octave # showing, so no mistake there. It was trying them on my LoPrinzi sop and I don’t think there’s any issue with the nut slot but I will double check. I have a Fremont soloist that I like on the G, so I was gonna keep that, bring my c up to d, put a new a on the second string and figure out what to use for the e.

  7. #7
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    I love my mandolin but sometimes want something smaller, lighter, quieter and easy on the fingers to noodle around with on the couch. I have a spare soprano so I thought why not use it as a quiet little practice mando. I’m not looking to replace conventional uke tuning. I like the close harmony for strumming and singing along. If the fifth strings work out on the soprano, it might be nice to also use like a mando for fingerstyle ukulele. We shall see. First, I have to nail down a good high e string. Jim had a great thought on matching the proper guage (about .016”) to the single savarez alliance kf strings available at strings by mail. Just waiting to hear if anyone had reasonable success with 20# fishing line (that would be even easier.

  8. #8
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    I've had the same set of Aquila "5th's" since whenever (several years now). They've been moved between two or three different instruments and played sufficiently for the wound G to now show signs of needing to be replaced due to fret wear. I'm very light on all my strings and expect to get many months or even years of use from a set of "nylon" or steel strings on whatever instrument! The Aquila E string has never given me any trouble. I used these strings to learn to play mandolin and continue to use the instrument, a Mahalo "pineapple", as a "late-evening" instrument.

    Although I've read many postings about the Aquila E string breaking when being tuned, I don't remember ever reading exactly where it broke. Was it at the nut or saddle (tight slot or sharp edge?), at the tuning key (insufficient turns before tensioning?) or at the knot on the bridge (wrong knot?).
    There are those who will wax lyrical about the ability to play a double shuffle with a split fan and a tight G-string ...
    it just makes me walk funny!

  9. #9
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    In my aggravations over it happening twice in a row, I tossed out the strings and don’t know now for sure where they broke. If I were guessing, I’d say somewhere at the saddle end. It’s a slotted bridge and I feel like it broke at the knot but maybe it was at the actual saddle contact point. I’m really curious now. I’m gonna grab some 20# fishing line (since it’s cheap and I can just get it locally at walmart. I’ll give that a go and observe where it breaks, IF it breaks. If not then I’m good. If it does then I’ll perhaps have more info on the possible source (like a rough/sharp spot on the saddle). I almost never have a string break and have never had a string break on this uke (about 10 yrs old), but that e5 is pretty high tension, so maybe some issue that’s not enough to break an a tuned string will do it for a thinner, higher tension high e. My next step, after that, would be to order the single savarez class.git. strings. That’ll give me a few more tries (they’re long). If ALL fails, then back to gcea on the soprano and stick to my mando for gdae or my bari.uke/psuedo octav.mando.

    It’s a bit of a bother and I’m not sure if I’ll even like the sound or feel on my soprano (I have to get a working e to find out) but I love the beautiful, logical symmetry of 5ths tuning. It’s just easier for me to play melody in any key.

  10. #10
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    I have the Aquila cgda set on a concert and the low wound strings are not working well on that. Didn't play it much yet but the wound strings are already showing signs of wear. I hope that Aquila will make some red strings available for the fifth set.

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