Sorry if this sounds like a repeat question. I've searched around and found some answers, but not exactly everything I was looking for.
I've built a bass uke (here) and originally used classical guitar nylons tuned GCEA (low G) and down an octave from typical uke tunings. Didn't have exactly the sound I was looking for (sounded like a meatier baritone uke, more or less). I thought about trying string trimmer line and tuning it to EADG like the Kala Ubass. I've got .95 on the low string, .80 on the next two, and .65 on the high string. I know it'll take a while for the strings to settle in, but I'm having trouble getting the high string up to G. Am I expecting too much or will it take a while for the string to settle (it's been on for two days...only pulls up to E right now.) Maybe I'm just not pushing it enough.
Lane, from my experiments the only way to get trimmer line to bass pitch is with a much longer than uke scale. On the bass uke I made (21" scale) I went with Aquila Thundergut strings. With them I could tune EADG with no problem. It does take some stretching in time. Some so called bass ukes are more like what I'd call cello ukes since they're lower than a baritone but don't get down as low as what would be considered bass register. Nothing wrong with that but if you want lows in the range of an actual bass on short scale use the Thunderguts like Kala does on their Ubass.
Here it is in action.
Thanks, Jim. I had seen a few builds with trimmer line, but they were all around 34" scales. I'll have to see if I can find the Aquila strings locally. Or the new ones that D'addario makes (in consultation with Aquila)...they're online for about $11/set.
I think a "cello uke" is a good description. I had it an octave below a baritone with the guitar strings, but it definitely wasn't a "bass" sound.
That's a fine build you did. What did you fill the fret lines with? The text was cut off.
I'll have to look up the D'addrio strings since the Aquilas are around $25 a set. That's one reason I haven't made a 2nd one yet.
The fret lines were filled with a contrasting wood putty just so I could have a reference. After playing for a while I figured that marks on the side of the fretboard where you can see them would work just as well but the "fake" frets look nice.
Good luck with the build!
I'll see what I can find.
For now, it's just for messing around here at the house. I was doing research so I could build a bass uke for the lady that started our uke club, but she got a U-Bass for Christmas.