Strings Low GCEA string sets for baritone-- advice and suggestions please!

Dave Holiday

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Hello, All, and Happy Almost New Year!

I've played gCEA ukes a long time, but have taken up the baritone. I'm an old dude with a shot memory bank and switching back and forth between soprano and baritone is tricky... transposing, remembering the bari chord names, etc.

Can you good folks please recommend a good LOW G set of gcea strings for my baritones?

Thanks so much!
 
I've experimented with PhD, Guadalupe (which can be found at Mainland Ukes), and Perry's Octave. My preference is Perry's by far. They cost more but are quite nice, imho. I've tried Perry's both an Ohana 70RB (solid spruce top) and a Favilla (solid mahogany). They are good on both - really nice on the Favi. Guad's are also good, but they do have some string noise that some find annoying. Good luck with your string adventure!
 
I've experimented with PhD, Guadalupe (which can be found at Mainland Ukes), and Perry's Octave. My preference is Perry's by far. They cost more but are quite nice, imho. I've tried Perry's both an Ohana 70RB (solid spruce top) and a Favilla (solid mahogany). They are good on both - really nice on the Favi. Guad's are also good, but they do have some string noise that some find annoying. Good luck with your string adventure!
The only caveat I have to this is that I've tried GCEA octave strings made up for me by Joel at Uke Logic on a 20" scale Graziano baritone and, although fun, I eventually found them too dull and bass heavy. Granted, they aren't Perry's, and I've only tried them on the Graziano, but I much prefer playing it in tenor octave GCEA. I'm using Aquila Nylguts.
 
I have an acoustic Baritone that I have not used a lot as I have one with a pick up I use for gigs.

I decided to try the experiment of putting gCEA strings on this poor abandoned Bari to give me another option that I didn't have for a Bari (I've got a high G and a Low G already) so I bought a gCEA set from Aquila.

My problem now is to know how much tension to put on these strings. Certainly gCEA at a very low tension means the strings are all very floppy and the instrument sounds terrible. However, when I brought the C string up to what I felt was full tension (bright clear notes) - I grew afraid that taking the other strings up to what I assume is concert pitch for these strings will rip the bridge off.

Can anyone offer me some advice on this, please. I mean, in theory, the Aquila Strings are designed to be tuned to gCEA - and they can't possibly mean the floppy gCEA, can they?

Thanks in advance,

Berni
 
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I had tried baritone low G (5ths) in June, 2021. Here are my notes:

E4 .024 Standard baritone E
A3 .0327 EJ56 classical set 'B' string " (clear nylon)
D3 .030w From D'Addario J68 set (also in the EJ27n set)
G2 .045w Low E from D'Addario EJ27n set

Widened the nut slot to accept the .045W low E.
The string tensions, tonal balance and feel (tension) seem just fine.
It sounds a bit "dark" as if it were trying to sound like a guitar, but can't. It's just OK.

- - -
A3 would be the same as your intended GCEA's A.
I ultimately went back to standard baritone strings.
 
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When it worked for you guys was the tension on the string taut, or quite floppy? That's my main question.
 
The easy solution to this is use a set of Living Water strings made for GCEA on a baritone. Or as Terry said the PHd set designed to do the same thing. I have used concert or even soprano gauge strings on a baritone to tune standard GCEA. The smaller diameter gives less tension so it solves that problem. If you want low G just replace the G string with a wound Fremont soloist. But remember the increased scale length requires a longer string, use Worth as it is a double length set.
 
A concert set of strings gauges work well for baritone GCEA. You just need to ensure it is long enough. Flourocarbon strings are a little on the thin side. Another option is to get light or extra light classical nylon strings. I use Labella 2001 light gauge and it works. Tension is similiar to a tenor uke.
 
My question is related to the set I bought. Has nobody here used the Aquila High G Set specifically designed for gCAE tuning?
 
My question is related to the set I bought. Has nobody here used the Aquila High G Set specifically designed for gCAE tuning?
I used the Aquila Lava set last year after the PHD set kept breaking the A string. Here is the thread I started on that experiment and it has string tensions that I used. G was floppy on the PHD and a bit bright on the Lava so I tried a wound G. While I really liked the way the KA-B sounded decided to use both baritones as DGBE and working on buying a tenor (hopefully in 2024) strung low G.

GCEA Baritone
 
When it worked for you guys was the tension on the string taut, or quite floppy? That's my main question.
The Aquila Nylguts I have on my 20" scale baritone are intended to be tuned to the same pitch as soprano, concert and tenor GCEA. That's how I have mine tuned, although I replaced the high G string with a wound low G. Other sets mentioned above are meant to be tuned an octave lower.

I don't find the tension on the Nylguts excessive, but again, my baritone has a 20" scale. Tension on a 19" or 21" scale will be different but I'd think still playable
 
The Aquila Nylguts I have on my 20" scale baritone are intended to be tuned to the same pitch as soprano, concert and tenor GCEA. That's how I have mine tuned, although I replaced the high G string with a wound low G. Other sets mentioned above are meant to be tuned an octave lower.

I don't find the tension on the Nylguts excessive, but again, my baritone has a 20" scale. Tension on a 19" or 21" scale will be different but I'd think still playable
I think you've made a good distinction. To my knowledge, and that is certainly limited, only Perry's Octave and Guadalupe strings offer an octave lower GCEA.

Thank you for the clarification.
 
I think you've made a good distinction. To my knowledge, and that is certainly limited, only Perry's Octave and Guadalupe strings offer an octave lower GCEA.

Thank you for the clarification.
Or the middle 4 of a classical guitar set, I believe. And Joel at UkeLogic will also make up a set, which I referred to above.
 
I prefer Tomastik Infield CF 30 for a wound low g and the CF 27 for a wound c. Have been using either Aquila Lavas for the trebles or Worth Browns. The two wound stings seem to give much more depth in gcea on a Baritone. But just my opinion and preference. Going to have to try a set of trebles from Joel.
I really like his strings, have them on many ukuleles and have a couple of custom 8 string tenor sets on the way from him.
 
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I prefer Tomastik Infield CF 30 for a wound low g and the CF 27 for a wound c. Have been using either Aquila Lavas for the trebles or Worth Browns. The two wound stings seem to give much more depth in gcea on a Baritone. But just my opinion and preference. Going to have to try a set of trebles from Joel.
I really like his strings, have them on many ukuleles and have a couple of custom 8 string tenor sets on the way from him.
+1. The low octave baritone set Joel sent me were all TI flat wounds. I'm currently using the CF30 and CF27 with some of his trebles on a tenor.
 
Another route is to string the baritone with Seaguar fluorocarbon fishing leader. Mine is currently octave GCEA with 100 lb / 150 lb / 130 lb / 90 lb (all Seaguar Pink except the 90 which is Clear). The nice thing about using fishing leader is that if you don't like the tension, you can shift to a lighter/heavier string. There are downsides but it is an option (I use Seaguar on all my ukes).
 
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