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Thread: Kiku strings?

  1. #1
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    Default Kiku strings?

    I've been searching all over this site and the web in general, looking for strings for a 6-string 20" scale kiku that I'm building. Suggestions I've seen have been Cordoba strings for the Mini O, but I've never been fond of Aquila strings. Also suggested were D'Addario EJ27N nylon folk strings, and D'Addario EJ94 Requinto strings.

    I watched a video at The Uke Site with a guy playing a Kinnard kiku that was strung E to E, with strings 5 & 6 re-entrant. It sounded very nice, but I didn't see or hear anything about what strings were used. I'm assuming standard Baritone strings for 1-4, but what would work for 5 & 6? Am I safe in assuming those octave E & A strings would have to be unwound?

    The choices are bewildering to me . . . any suggestions out there?

  2. #2
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    Default

    What tuning are you after? I don't think there are any "off the shelf" for a true Kiku tuning which would be eaDGBE. There are obviously other options for 6-string baritone scale including linear E-to-E, A-to-A, G-to-G. And several reentrant variants of each.

    If you know the target tuning, I can offer some suggestions.

    I will say that the starting point for these discussions should be the realization that normal tension guitar sets will yield a linear Terz tuning for baritone scale: G2 C3 F3 Bb3 D4 G4. So if you want DGBE as your top four, you'll be using the middle four strings with a bit more tension. If you then want the bottom two to be octave up, you need extra 4th and 3rd strings to make those pitches.

    now let me back up to your actual questions. You are correct than standard baritone set could also be used for the first four. The E and the A would not have to be unwound although I suppose they could be. As mentioned above, you can use standard classical strings or you could use unwound flourocarbons like Worth or Living Water.
    Last edited by Jim Hanks; 04-21-2021 at 01:30 PM.
    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
    Hanson 5-string tenor, dGCEA
    Bonanza SLN GCEA
    Southern Cross concert GCEA
    Guitars:
    Jupiter #47, G, TI CF127
    Pelem, B reentrant
    Jupiter #71, A, UG1

    !Flukutronic!

  3. #3
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    Default

    Thanks for the replies. I'm just building this for myself . . . no customers. I just put a set of Seaguar unwound fluorocarbons on a Black Walnut and Western Red Cedar baritone I built, and they sound dead to my ears. I'll try giving them some more time to settle in. As for the kiku, I saw a reference to La Bella FG112 Classical Fractional Guitar strings for a 1/2 size classical. My only concern is if I tune linear E-E, will the tension be too floppy? If I decide to tune A-A, tension is not an issue for me. I've played guitar for over 20 years, and capoing at 5 and using uke chord shapes when band mates were uncapo'd has worked well for me.

  4. #4
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    You still didn't give us your target tuning.

    On the linear E-E idea, it is definitely possible. I had a Cordoba C1m 1/4 size that came that way. Cordoba also has a set made for the Mini in E-E. Personally I did not find the tension floppy. A little loose but not floppy. But I thought that instrument at least sounded muddy with those strings. It was much happier G-G with Thomastik Infeld CF127.
    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
    Hanson 5-string tenor, dGCEA
    Bonanza SLN GCEA
    Southern Cross concert GCEA
    Guitars:
    Jupiter #47, G, TI CF127
    Pelem, B reentrant
    Jupiter #71, A, UG1

    !Flukutronic!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hanks View Post
    You still didn't give us your target tuning.

    On the linear E-E idea, it is definitely possible. I had a Cordoba C1m 1/4 size that came that way. Cordoba also has a set made for the Mini in E-E. Personally I did not find the tension floppy. A little loose but not floppy. But I thought that instrument at least sounded muddy with those strings. It was much happier G-G with Thomastik Infeld CF127.
    Still debating on my target tuning. E-E is more natural for me as a guitar player, but A-A would work, since I play uke, too. I've heard examples of both on YouTube that sounded good. I may just try both when the time comes and see which I like better.

  6. #6
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    After much searching and consideration - as well as listening to a lot of recordings - I've decided my target tuning is eaDGBE. After watching Zanuck Lindsey playing a beautiful Kinnard kiku so tuned, I'm hooked. Not that I can play like Zanuck Lindsey or build like John Kinnard, but I'll do my best. As this is a personal project, I have no timeline other than steady progress through the summer. As the custom Southcoast set used in the videos is no longer available, I'll be looking for a suitable DGBE baritone set, as well as strings suitable for high E and high A at 20" scale.

  7. #7
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    I'd recommend the Living Water DGBE set and CF30 and CF27 for E and A. If you didn't like the fat flouro D, try the C35 for it.
    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
    Hanson 5-string tenor, dGCEA
    Bonanza SLN GCEA
    Southern Cross concert GCEA
    Guitars:
    Jupiter #47, G, TI CF127
    Pelem, B reentrant
    Jupiter #71, A, UG1

    !Flukutronic!

  8. #8
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    Default

    Thanks for the recommendation, Jim.

  9. #9
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    Default Romero UG2 strings

    Might want to consider Romero UG2 s. Just got some as spares for 2 instruments, for E to E tuning. One with a 20" scale length & the other 21.25”/53.98cm

    https://theukulelesite.com/pepe-rome...strings-1.html
    "This string set pairs Pepe’s Fluorocarbon trebles from his Guitar (guitalele or guitarlele) Set GFH with wound Basses that are perfect for tuning a Baritone Guilele E to E. Or if it's a slightly shorter scale it can be tuned G to G like in the example below."

    UG1s may be an alternative option for shorter scale (or: at your own risk, higher tension). https://www.stringsbymail.com/pepe-r...ug1-17520.html
    Last edited by Wukulele; 04-23-2021 at 02:42 PM. Reason: Original got cut off
    keeping an eye out for a very special pre-owned concert....

  10. #10
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    Aug 2018
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    Default

    Thanks for that information, but they appear to be linear. I'd still need to find the high e & a strings.

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