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Thread: A strings question (please don't yell at me :))

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Default A strings question (please don't yell at me :))

    Hi All,

    I know that strings have been discussed to death, and I know about the search function, but I have a very specific question that the searched threads didn't answer for me.

    Some of you know that I'm prototyping a carbon fiber hybrid uke. After several iterations and lots of messing about with bracing, I've got something I really like. Other folks seem to like it as well, and some sort of demo will turn up here soonish.

    It's got both the volume and sustain that I've been after, as well as a nice round tone. My own ear, however, wants it to be a tad brighter -- more high end on the spectrum. It's currently strung with Worth Browns, and I have a couple of sets of the Southcoast high tension strings with the wound G and C on the way (I love those things).

    As a starting point, I'm looking for the brightest set (both low and high G) that I can find -- even if obnoxiously so. I want to find the high end limits of the uke itself. Any suggestions will be much appreciated!

    Thanks!
    Robert Edney
    Robert@ElixirViolins.com

    Much more interested in playing the ukulele than making violins just now...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    Texas
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    Assuming you are working on tenor size, I would suggest Oasis Brights or D'Addario EJ 99T. They both come in high G and low G versions. Worth Brown's are one of the warmest strings I have tried.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Toronto, ON
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    Default

    I prefer Worth CT Clear strings, or Ko'olau Aho strings ... they are superb.
    How bad is your UAS?

  4. #4
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    South Coast HML-WB have the brightest A string I have used, I have used most everything. They are the low G set with wound G and C string. They are my go to set. I sometimes swap out the two florocarbons for Oasis warms if I find it too bright, retaining the two wounds.
    A common trick is to go down in gauge to increase brightness.....thinner is brighter. Worth CM are the clear (bright) medium (concert) set and using them on a tenor is a good way to increase brighteness.
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  5. #5
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    Worth clears or Living Water for me. I changed from Aquila to Living Water on my 8 string and it's definitely brighter than it was. A very folky sound which is what I want.
    Geoff Walker

    I have several ukuleles in various sizes and am not planning on getting any more...

    at least, not yet.

    I also play some blowy things and a squeezy thing

    Internet:
    You Tube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/TootlinGeoff
    Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/tootlingeoff

  6. #6
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    +1 for EJ99T's for bright and clear sound.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the suggestions! I thought I'd update you all:

    As with all things, this is somewhat subjective. However, I have been using an audio analyzer to help visualize what I'm hearing. Here are the results to date -- all on my latest prototype, all low G:

    Worth Browns: I love Worths, but the brown are a tad muted and lack "sparkle". Spectrum graph shows a lack of overtones up high on the A string.

    D'Addario EJ99TLG (Pro-Arte Carbon): Better, but not there to my taste. As I find with a lot of unwound low G strings it's a bit thuddy, but certainly playable. Very good balance string to string. Still, however, not as many high end resonance points as I'd like to see, particularly on the A. These are also pretty stiff strings under the fingers. I've used them before however (on another uke) and didn't have any trouble getting used to them.

    Southcoast Heavy Medium Gauge Linear Set: This set features both a wound low G and C. Big difference, nearly all of it an improvement. First set to reveal significant high end resonance (overtones above the fundamental) on both the E and A strings. Full, rich sound with just enough sparkle for me. The wound low G makes all the difference -- no thud -- sounds clearly and plenty of sustain. Good string to string balance.

    This particular uke leans toward the "warm" side all on it's own. I like a nice warm sound but with a controllable edge on the high end, and the Southcoast strings provide this. The Southcoasts also provide the best separation, both audibly and visibly on the spectrum graf. What's separation? When you strum it can sound mushy, so that you can't really hear any of the individual strings. I prefer it when you hear a nice, clear blended strum but you can still identify individual strings. This is most noticeable on a slow thumb strum.

    By the way, one of our favorite vendors on UU carries Southcoast, that being The Ukulele Site (AKA HMS). Fast shipping from Hawaii to here in California.
    Last edited by robedney; 09-09-2017 at 02:09 PM.
    Robert Edney
    Robert@ElixirViolins.com

    Much more interested in playing the ukulele than making violins just now...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by robedney View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions! I thought I'd update you all:

    As with all things, this is somewhat subjective. However, I have been using an audio analyzer to help visualize what I'm hearing. Here are the results to date -- all on my latest prototype, all low G:

    Worth Browns: I love Worths, but the brown are a tad muted and lack "sparkle". Spectrum graph shows a lack of overtones up high on the A string.

    D'Addario EJ99TLG (Pro-Arte Carbon): Better, but not there to my taste. As I find with a lot of unwound low G strings it's a bit thuddy, but certainly playable. Very good balance string to string. Still, however, not as many high end resonance points as I'd like to see, particularly on the A. These are also pretty stiff strings under the fingers. I've used them before however (on another uke) and didn't have any trouble getting used to them.

    Southcoast Heavy Medium Gauge Linear Set: This set features both a wound low G and C. Big difference, nearly all of it an improvement. First set to reveal significant high end resonance (overtones above the fundamental) on both the E and A strings. Full, rich sound with just enough sparkle for me. The wound low G makes all the difference -- no thud -- sounds clearly and plenty of sustain. Good string to string balance.

    This particular uke leans toward the "warm" side all on it's own. I like a nice warm sound but with a controllable edge on the high end, and the Southcoast strings provide this. The Southcoasts also provide the best separation, both audibly and visibly on the spectrum graf. What's separation? When you strum it can sound mushy, so that you can't really hear any of the individual strings. I prefer it when you hear a nice, clear blended strum but you can still identify individual strings. This is most noticeable on a slow thumb strum.

    By the way, one of our favorite vendors on UU carries Southcoast, that being The Ukulele Site (AKA HMS). Fast shipping from Hawaii to here in California.
    Hey Rob, thanks for the review, because of your use of the spectrum analyzer it is very revealing. South Coast HML-WB are my go to strings so I am glad to hear (pun intended) of their good results.

    Those strings can also be had direct from South Coast, Dirk is a member here and always gives great insight into various topics when he posts. I am glad to know your instruments lean toward the warm side, that is my preference as well.
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  9. #9
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    Jun 2014
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    CH
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    Robert, I really like your scientific evaluation of these different string sets. Very helpful.

    I'm also excited that you will make affordable Carbon Fiber Ukuleles. I think there is quite a market for this. Just like Dave above, I like to hear that your instruments tends towards a deep and warm sound. Please keep us posted.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    The Land Of Aloha
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    I'd be sure to give the AGxAQ Aquila a try, if you haven't.

    http://www.gotaukulele.com/2017/03/a...e-strings.html
    Kanile'a Kuuipo - Tenor - (For Sale)
    Lanikai LU-21C - Concert

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