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Thread: can I tune a baritone to cGEA using concert strings?

  1. #1
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    Default can I tune a baritone to cGEA using concert strings?

    I understand that if I use tenor strings the tension could be too high. What if I use concert strings ? Thank you for your advice.

  2. #2
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    People do all kinds of things.

    I personally try to buy strings that are created for that application. I'm not a big fan of gCEA on baritone, but I understand those that want it.

    In that case, I'd recommend that you buy gCEA strings for your baritone (they are out there) which are matched for the length of the instrument plus the tension needed to hit that higher pitch that DGBE. I would think that concert strings would be stretched out too long on baritone (if they even fit) causing even greater tension to tune to gCEA. I don't think it would hurt the baritone (especially if it had a truss rod), but I'm not sure it would feel good to play.
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  3. #3
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    My reasoning is that, being concert strings lighter in gauge, they should create less tension, not more tension. But I am not sure, that is why I am asking for opinions!

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    Quote Originally Posted by gerardo1000 View Post
    My reasoning is that, being concert strings lighter in gauge, they should create less tension, not more tension. But I am not sure, that is why I am asking for opinions!
    Someone once suggested stringing a tenor with soprano strings to lessen the tension; I'm not sure how that would work. The soprano strings will be thinner, and then be required to stretch further to reach the same pitch, which should result in higher tension. At least in my world.

    On a similar note, baritone strings, placed on a soprano, should be thicker, and with less tension for the scale (a reduction of 5-7 inches), the tension would be less than that of a baritone (and the strings should feel floppy).

    Ken Middleton is really the master of this domain; it would be interesting to ask him about this thoughts.
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  5. #5
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    Thank you for your comment. I also have a Kala super tenor (19" neck) and if I follow you, it would be better if on this instrument I use baritone strings (meant for 20" necks) instead of tenor strings (meant for 17" necks)? The teason why I am asking this question is because Kala customer service recommended me to use tenor strings for their super tenors, not baritone strings... I am confused!
    Last edited by gerardo1000; 09-07-2020 at 02:15 PM.

  6. #6
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    I'd have a hard time saying, "Better." In the case of your super tenor, how is it tuned? Or how do you plan to tune it?
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  7. #7
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    super tenor is tuned cGEA, high g re-entrant tuning. Kala says I should use regular tenor strings, which are supposedly made for 17" long necks. But super tenors have 19" long necks.

  8. #8
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    If it were my instrument, I would order Baritone gCEA strings for that application...and probably contact Ken Middleton at Living Water Stings and see what he would recommend.
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  9. #9
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    Thinner strings give lower tension, thicker strings give higher tension. This is an absolute fact, check any of the string tension calculator websites, ie : D’Addario.

    I have used concert gauge strings on a baritone to tune it gcea, it will work. Problem being is length, check before you blindly tie off at the bridge. You can use double length like Worth, sacrificing the second section. As Choirguy says there are companies that make baritone sets for this purpose.
    Currently enjoying these ukuleles : *LdfM tenor, *LfdM 19" super tenor. *LfdM baritone, *I'iwi tenor , *Koolau tenor, *Webber tenor, *Kimo tenor, *Kimo super concert, *Mya Moe baritone, *Kamaka baritone, *Gianinni baritone, *Fred Shields walnut pineapple super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Enya Nova *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

  10. #10
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    Yes, and it works well. Remember you're both adding length and raising pitch, so you'll want light strings for this application.

    My current strings on my erzatz Renn Guitar (Kala Spruce-top bari) are Worth clear, Low G. The downside as mentioned is length. Worths justify their high cost by claiming you get two sets out of each, which isn't true as I'm using them.

    Sometimes I like the longer scale for "normal" non-Renn music, and sometimes I prefer the sound of a low-G Tenor.

    The Jazzy Ukulele videos are done on a Low G Baritone because he likes the scale length.
    Concert: Lanikai LU-21C (Southcoast MU)
    Soprano: Kala KA-PWS (Southcoast Machete)
    Baritone "Rennaissance Guitar": Kala KA-SBG (C-Linear with Worth BL-LGs currently.)
    Tenor: Kala ATP-CTG (Southcoast LMU-NW
    Tenor "Low G': Kala KA-FMTG (Southcoast LML-NW
    Tenor: Kala SRT-CTG-E (Southcoast LMU-NW
    Baritone "Nui": Pono NS-10 (Worth B-B)

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