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Thread: Tuning down a soprano

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    New England, USA
    Posts
    4,187

    Default Tuning down a soprano

    I've tuned tenors down to B and Bb with nice results, as apparently that's where they resonate best, according to many. However, I never tried it on a soprano, until today, by accident. Yesterday, I restrung my thinline Famous FS-0 with Worth Browns. The strings are still settling in, and when I picked it up today, it was 1/2 step down, in B. The sound was excellent, a bit less jangly, but richer than I remember it in standard C tuning, with Martin M600. Not sure how much of that is due to the Worth Browns, or the halfstep lower tuning. When I first tuned up the Worth Browns yesterday, it sounded great, but seems to sound even better today in the accidental B tuning. I imagine that a thinline uke like this might have a much different resonance than full depth soprano. Anyway, I'm enjoying it, and will continue to check it out. Any thoughts on down-tuning sopranos?
    John

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Canada Prairies, brrr ....
    Posts
    1,398

    Default

    I tend to go the opposite way. Received a Koalana soprano earlier this year and found the C tuning way to dark. Going up to D makes it sound better and also improved intonation. The floppy titanium strings also feel a lot better with some more tension.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    West Philly, PA
    Posts
    538

    Default

    I've messed with this. Sounded pretty darn good as low as Bb. To my ear the body really didn't resonate well and things got kinda muddy with anything below Bb even with thicker strings with adequate tension (no real surprise there). Search my old threads (or I can a little later). I think I posted sound samples of Bb6, A6, and G6 tuning on my Pohaku using a Fremont soloist as the 3rd string.

    Found it: https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com...GBE&highlight=
    Last edited by CPG; 04-10-2021 at 07:16 AM.
    Pohaku "Yellow Label" Mahogany Soprano
    Weymann Model 10 Mahogany Soprano (c. 1918)
    Uke.S.A. Hawaii (by "Pops KoAloha") Bearclaw AO Soprano

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2,156

    Default

    Interesting......while I know some like a low G soprano, I have read that acoustically it is too low to resonate well with the size of a traditional soprano. I don't know where that "sweet spot"may lie in a soprano for the lowest tone. I have not tried B or Bb tunings. Years ago when I had a tenor I would sometimes tune to Bb and really like the sound and tension. This makes me curious to try some different soprano tunings.

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