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View Full Version : String Review - Martin Ukulele Clear Fluorocarbon Soprano/Concert



SLOuker
02-24-2009, 12:17 AM
Ok, so I haven't been playing Ukulele for very long and I have a cheapo ply (I think) Uke (Golden Ton). However, I did want to change the strings from the no-name strings that were on it when I bought it. I figured this might be a good way to get an idea of what the Uke can sound like.

Since I live in Slovenia, it is kinda hard to find uke strings (and they can be expensive... example, in the US, I buy guitar strings for $3.95... in Slovenia, the same string is the equivalent of $10!!!!), so I had a family member send me some over from the US. I didn't know which brand to get and didn't want to bother to have him look for a specific brand so I just told him to get me Uke strings for a Soprano C tuning with a high g.

What I got was a package of Martin Clear Fluorocarbon Soprano/Concert M600 Strings in C tuning, gauge .0191 - .0261 (inch). First thing I noticed when I took them out of the packaging was that they were thinner than the ones currently on my Uke.

So after reviewing UU I restrung the Uke. I stretched the strings and let them settle a bit. I picked up the Uke to play and noticed the sound was a bit punchier and the tone a bit more bright. The volume was similar. The biggest difference was in the feel of the strings. Because the strings were thinner, I was able to finger chords a bit easier and this allowed all the strings to really ring out. This I like! I was noticing with the old strings that I was having a little trouble with some chords.

I really can't compare these strings to any other brands, but from my personal opinion (based on my guitar playing appreciation of tone), I think the strings sound fine... the biggest point for me is the ease of playing thinner strings.

So... if you are a Soprano player who is frustrated with the small neck and narrow fret spacing, consider a thinner gauge of strings and this might be helpful.

I will try other strings eventually, but since I have another new pack of Martins, this will be my string on this Uke for now!

Andy

arashi_nero
03-22-2010, 12:23 PM
sorry about the thread resurrection, but i was quite surprised to see that no one replied to this post. i also have martin fluouro-carbon strings on my cheapie soprano and i agree with everything that slouker said. these are actually really good strings. they have a good "wet" feel to them and play really well. i don't know what brand i had on my soprano before, but theye were the wrong gauge and made my soprano sound like crap. after i bought my tenor, i would hardly play my soprano. when i decided to get the saddle fixed on my soprano, i figured it was time to "upgrade" my strings and the place i took my uke to recommended these for soprano ukes. i actually think i play my soprano more than my tenor now because of the difference in the sound. i love my tenor and play it when i'm out playing with others or really practicing, but because of how playable these strings are, anytime i'm just noodling or doing some quick playing/practicing, i grab for my soprano now.

like slouker said, at first, the strings were punchy, but now they've stretched more, they really sound good.

fahrner
03-22-2010, 12:39 PM
Good job on the review and the followup.
I picked up some Martins when I first started playing uke but have not tried them yet.
Now I'm encouraged.
Thanks again.

J_Tay81
12-02-2010, 03:57 PM
How would the Martin's sound on a Flea soprano? The stock strings don't do much for me and the black strings on black fret board with black frets has me stumbling a bit :)

bassfiddlesteve
12-02-2010, 04:28 PM
How would the Martin's sound on a Flea soprano? The stock strings don't do much for me and the black strings on black fret board with black frets has me stumbling a bit :)

I liked them on my Flea concert.

- Steve

bazmaz
12-02-2010, 11:32 PM
I think Martin flouros are very much underrated, but it does depend on the Uke.

I have tried them on various ukes, Flea included, but wasnt happy. I put them on my Mainland Concert Mahogany and WOW - they are my string of choice for that particular uke.

They hold tuning brilliantly, are nice on the fingers, great volume, but most of all they give a beautiful sweet chiming tone to the Uke that I just didnt get with the supplied Aquilas. I love Mainlands, but I think Aquilas are just wrong on them.

v30
12-03-2010, 01:36 AM
I like the Martin clear fluorocarbons...I tried a bunch of strings on a particular uke including Worth clear and brown, aquila, Ko'olau alohi but the martins stayed on.

OldePhart
12-03-2010, 12:33 PM
How would the Martin's sound on a Flea soprano? The stock strings don't do much for me and the black strings on black fret board with black frets has me stumbling a bit :)

I suspect I'd like them better than the Aquillas a lot of people seem to be putting on the Flukes/Fleas. I have a set of the Martins that were the only Uke strings I could get locally when I broke one of the Aquila's on my little pocket uke. There, at least, the string is much, much nicer than the original (I'm going to put the rest of the set on when things settle down a bit around here).

Just my opinion but I think Aquila's just don't work well on short scales and on ukes that are already pretty bright, and the Fluke and Flea are very bright at least to my ears.

Now, on my LU-21C the Aquilas are great, though even there the sustain dies pretty quickly as you fret up the neck around the tenth fret or so.

John

J_Tay81
12-04-2010, 10:12 AM
I tossed my local music store $5 and some change and got the martin M600 fluorocarbons. I put them on my Flea last night, switching from the stock Hilos (those just sounded so thin and quiet to me). The Martins are still settling into their new homes on my fretboard, but already, they sound more full than the Hilos. I'd say they even sound a might bit louder too. Finger-feel while playing is much better to me. And the clear strings stand out better on the black plastic fretboard making it easier to visualize where your finger tips need to land. They still need to stretch out some more, as I have to fine-tune after every song or so, but I think if you have a Fluke Flea then Martin M600's are a good investment. And, heck they're cheap!

Happy strumming!

marymac
12-04-2010, 06:37 PM
I love Mainlands, but I think Aquilas are just wrong on them.

I totally agree Paul! I had a Mainland Mango Concert and the Worth Clears sounded so much better on it that the Aquilas. The Mainlands have a lovely tone to them that the Aquilas turn into a much harsher sound. On the other hand I like the Aquilas on my Kala Acacia Tenor; each uke is different. I haven't tried the Martin Flouros on my own ukes but the ones I've seen seemed a lot like the Worth Clears.

shopkins73
12-05-2010, 04:22 PM
i have a set of the martin flurocarbons and have been wondering which uke to put them on. i have a mainland red cedar soprano that has aquillas now and a kala acacia soprano with aquillas as well. the mainland is very loud as it is so, does anyone have any input as to how they would be on the kala. now the kala is much quiter than the mainland and much more mellow. any thoughts on this.....

Gillian
02-11-2011, 08:45 PM
I just put Martin 600s on my Lanikai/Kanile'a soprano and like them much better than the Aquilas. Easier to play, brighter and louder.

I wish they had a low-G, though.

Paul Cote
02-12-2011, 02:53 AM
Gillian you can buy a low G string to change out your G. The cost of the martin strings can be low and you just augment them with buying an individual low G wound string from D'addario. I can go find one and give you the number if you want.

kevkwak
02-12-2011, 09:04 AM
When I bought my Martin S-O the first thing I did was put Aquilas on it. I had it with Aquilas for 6-7 months. I Recently just bought a 2nd uke (SK-35G with Aquilas) and decided the Martin sounded a bit 'muddy' so I recently re-strung it with some Martin Fluorocarbons (M600).

The Martin really does sing now especially when fingerpicking, which, I think this uke will mostly be used for (the Ohana sounds great strumming but not so good when fingerpicking). The M600's really give a nice clean and rich tone and because of that they sound more pitch accurate (or maybe they are, the intonation does seem slightly better as per my tuner). They do appear to be thinner than the Aquilas, took a bit of getting used to at first as they're harder to "feel" but they come into their own eventually and make the job much easier (I find).

It's difficult to describe the difference in sound but I liken it to hifi equipment (being somewhat of an audiophile myself) where the equipment can "colour" the sound - The Martins seem more transparent and let the true tone of the instrument ring out cleanly.

The only thing I've noticed with the M600's is the 3rd (C) string feels a little rough. I don't know if anyone else has noticed or has that problem? it seems to have a bit of friction to it, a tad annoying.

P.S. Does anyone know what strings the Martin S-O's ship with?

pdxuke
02-12-2011, 10:14 AM
I am a convert to Martin Fluros. I believe they are a great choice for mahogany ukes. I now have them on my vintage Martin O, my Gibson 1, and my Ohana SK35. I like them better than the Aquilas on these instruments. I still have my Dolphins stringed with Aquilas, and Worth BM on my other vintage ukes. The new Kiwayas have Aquilas, but when it's time for a change, I'm trying Martins.

But when it comes time, I'll be trying Martins on all the solid woods I own. I'm a believer.

kevkwak
02-12-2011, 10:38 AM
pdxuke,

What sort of difference would you say there is between the Aquilas and Martins on the SK-35? I was tempted to try myself as I have a set of M600's here but scared to try in case I don't care for the sound too much.

philpot
02-12-2011, 10:53 AM
I love my Martins, except theres fret buzz with them now :/ so I bought some black diamonds and I'm going to switch them out tonight.

pdxuke
02-12-2011, 11:12 AM
pdxuke,

What sort of difference would you say there is between the Aquilas and Martins on the SK-35? I was tempted to try myself as I have a set of M600's here but scared to try in case I don't care for the sound too much.

It mellowed out the sound to my ears, and corrected some low fret intonation issues.

Paul Cote
02-12-2011, 12:44 PM
I started to use aquilas after using fluorocarbons but I think I like the fluorocarbons better. They are less sloppy

pdxuke
02-12-2011, 01:08 PM
I started to use aquilas after using fluorocarbons but I think I like the fluorocarbons better. They are less sloppy

+1 on that

Gillian
02-13-2011, 08:05 AM
Gillian you can buy a low G string to change out your G. The cost of the martin strings can be low and you just augment them with buying an individual low G wound string from D'addario. I can go find one and give you the number if you want.

Thanks, Paul, for your offer, but I'm not a fan of wound strings on my ukes. It's probably my bad technique, but I am happy to leave the "metal string screech" to my guitars.

I have Worth low-Gs on two of my ukes and they sound "deader" than the other strings,so I was hoping Martin made a non-wound low-G for me to try.

kevkwak
02-13-2011, 08:16 PM
Well I put the M600's on the SK-35G. They definitely provide a cleaner and more defined tone than the Aquilas. They've taken away the "boom" I had when playing certain chords, they were much louder than others but now it's all fairly linear (for lack of a better word).

I mentioned earlier that my 3rd string on my Martin (with M600's) felt really rough/had unwanted friction. Well, the set the Ohana is strung with are fine. On closer inspection of the "bad" string I can see a defect, sort of a cut line running up the length of the string. Perhaps it's one that got through the net. I just hope its not common otherwise I may have look at Worths.

Paul Cote
02-14-2011, 05:47 AM
I had ordered a set (four spools) of 30 yard Yo Zuri pink fluorocarbon in 25, 30 50 and 60 lb test and the guy said they were on back order so I said to cancel the order. Then he sent me a note me a note he was sending three of them with ten dollars shipping. Well that was not a good deal for me as then I would have to buy the last spool from someone else and pay another shipping so I asked him AGAIN to cancel it. I hope he refunds my money soon as he seems to not want to give up the order lol. So I am thinking that since I do like the fluorocarbon to just make them myself. But I will buy all of the fluorocarbon from someone who has it all in stock. Maybe Bass Pro Shop and get it on the phone so as I can be sure they have it. (after I get my money back from this guy).

SweetWaterBlue
03-18-2011, 06:38 PM
Well I put the M600's on the SK-35G. They definitely provide a cleaner and more defined tone than the Aquilas. They've taken away the "boom" I had when playing certain chords, they were much louder than others but now it's all fairly linear (for lack of a better word).


Sorry to revive an old thread, but I re-discovered this thread when I was searching for non-wound low Gs. I noticed the same thing on my SK-35G. There was a definite (and annoying to me) boom on the higher strings on some chords. The Martin M600s took it away completely. I love everything else about this uke, so I am very glad to find a cure for that boom. Strangely, I don't notice the same boom with Aquilas on SK-38s, or SK-70s. I think the SK-35s just have a very strong resonance somewhere in the F to C range, and the Aquilas are just too strident a string for them there.

I have had the Martins on my SK-35 for a few weeks now, and I love the bell-like tone (and balanced) tone they give it.

paeataa
09-13-2011, 05:54 PM
Apologies for finding this thread so late. I just wondered if anyone has tried Martin (M600) on dolphins. I'm getting two dolphins this week -- one is setup and restrung with aquila, the other will be fresh from the box :) And I'm thinking about restringing the out-of-the-box one with either Martin or Aquila. But not sure if Martin will mute the sound of this little uke.

Any advice? Thanks so much!

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
09-13-2011, 07:56 PM
Martin strings won't mute your Dolphin. I've had M600s on two ukes; they sounded nice and had plenty of volume on both ukes. Have fun!