PDA

View Full Version : Koaloha Tenor Low G advice needed



strumsilly
09-08-2014, 06:10 AM
One of my favorite ukes is my Koaloha tenor. It sounds great fingerpicked, but the g is boomy when strummed. It has the stock strings on, which seem similar to worths. I had a Daddario pro-arte D around and put that on. It made the boom worse. I have 2 sets of worth around, a CD-lghd and a bt-lg setthe 4th with both of these is .0358, probably similar to what is on now. any advice to reduce the boominess. the other strings sound fine.

wickedwahine11
09-08-2014, 06:29 AM
I always liked the PhD low g strings best on the KoAloha tenor. I don't recall it being particularly boomy but maybe my ears were just used to it.

hawaii 50
09-08-2014, 06:34 AM
I always liked the PhD low g strings best on the KoAloha tenor. I don't recall it being particularly boomy but maybe my ears were just used to it.

I agree with Staci...I use the Phd low G set on my Ko'Aloha too...and like it
the strings were designed by Jason Arimoto for Daniel Ho a while back....

can be ordered from Daniel Ho Creations....

wickedwahine11
09-08-2014, 06:42 AM
I agree with Staci...I use the Phd low G set on my Ko'Aloha too...and like it
the strings were designed by Jason Arimoto for Daniel Ho a while back....

can be ordered from Daniel Ho Creations....

That is the first reason that I tried them -- I figured since Daniel and Jason both play KoAloha ukes, they would know what sounded good on them. :)

itsme
09-08-2014, 07:18 AM
I had a Daddario pro-arte D around and put that on. It made the boom worse.
I have no idea what strings Koaloha uses, but I presume the D'Addario you mentioned is a wound classical guitar string? (Any Pro-Arte CGs I've seen have 3 wound/3 plain, with the D being a wound.)

Wound strings will always have a different tonal quality than non-wounds, it's just the nature of the beast. And when there is one wound to three plains, it tends to stick out like a sore thumb.

I have a set of low G Worth browns (all plain) on my Mainland tenor, and the G does not sound boomy to me at all. I like them a lot.

Ironically, I tried Worths on my bari and the bass strings just seemed to be too floppy. So I went with another set that has two wound, two plain and I like that much better. 2/2 gives a more balanced tone.

strumsilly
09-08-2014, 08:54 AM
thanks for everyones responses. Since I have the worth low g brown around, I'll slap that on and see if I like it better. If not, I'll try the PHD.

mds725
09-08-2014, 10:26 AM
I've begun using this Fremont Soloist low G string (http://www.theukulelesite.com/fremont-soloist-polished-low-g-string.html) with Worth Clears. It seems to create a nice balance without the floppiness of an unwound low G string.

janeray1940
09-08-2014, 10:29 AM
I've begun using this Fremont Soloist low G string (http://www.theukulelesite.com/fremont-soloist-polished-low-g-string.html) with Worth Clears. It seems to create a nice balance without the floppiness of an unwound low G string.

I was about to chime in praising the Fremont Soloist, but I've been beaten to it! Personally I don't care for the sound or feel of an un-wound fluorocarbon low G; it always sounds boomy and feels rubber-bandy to me. I always used Savarez high tension guitar D strings for my low G, until the Fremont Soloist came out - I still like both, but the Fremont doesn't squeak and lasts a whole lot longer than guitar strings do for me.

hawaii 50
09-08-2014, 10:31 AM
I've begun using this Fremont Soloist low G string (http://www.theukulelesite.com/fremont-soloist-polished-low-g-string.html) with Worth Clears. It seems to create a nice balance without the floppiness of an unwound low G string.

Ko'Aloha still uses worth strings...but the lowest tension ones that Worth has(I can not remember maybe CE)....got to watch the high tension strings on their ukes....

wickedwahine11
09-08-2014, 10:39 AM
Ko'Aloha still uses worth strings...but the lowest tension ones that Worth has(I can not remember maybe CE)....got to watch the high tension strings on their ukes....


I was about to chime in praising the Fremont Soloist, but I've been beaten to it! Personally I don't care for the sound or feel of an un-wound fluorocarbon low G; it always sounds boomy and feels rubber-bandy to me. I always used Savarez high tension guitar D strings for my low G, until the Fremont Soloist came out - I still like both, but the Fremont doesn't squeak and lasts a whole lot longer than guitar strings do for me.

Yes, I like the Fremont Soloist very much on the Moore Bettah. But I am very cautious about what strings I put on a KoAloha. I figure the PhD are safe since that is what Daniel and Jason use, but I would not use the Southcoast or Soloist wound strings on a KoAloha. I agree they sound great, but I leave them for the MB or Kamaka only.

alanjang
09-08-2014, 10:47 AM
In addition to the PhD's the others have mentioned, I like Living Waters strings on my KoAloha for a less-boomy sound on the thicker strings (low G and C).

flailingfingers
09-09-2014, 12:41 PM
In addition to the PhD's the others have mentioned, I like Living Waters strings on my KoAloha for a less-boomy sound on the thicker strings (low G and C).
I've found the same thing. Tried many but always came back to the Living Waters Low g for my Collings tenor.

JJFN
09-09-2014, 04:30 PM
I've strung my Koaloha KTM-00 with Southcoast ML SW's. The intonation is brilliant, the highs are high and the lows are low. The G & C strings are wound so the boom effect is negligible. Like anything else, it's a matter of opinion, we all have different ears and ukuleles.

hawaii 50
09-09-2014, 05:36 PM
I've strung my Koaloha KTM-00 with Southcoast ML SW's. The intonation is brilliant, the highs are high and the lows are low. The G & C strings are wound so the boom effect is negligible. Like anything else, it's a matter of opinion, we all have different ears and ukuleles.

they are still heavy tension strings but not as heavy as the HML-RW's...but I would call Ko'aloha and tell them you have high tension strings on your uke...to be safe....
don't get me wrong I love the South Coast HML-RW's and think Dirk one of the best...but the Ko'aloha is braced very light(uni-brace) that no one else uses

my 2 cents

Dan Uke
09-09-2014, 05:59 PM
they are still heavy tension strings but not as heavy as the HML-RW's...but I would call Ko'aloha and tell them you have high tension strings on your uke...to be safe....
don't get me wrong I love the South Coast HML-RW's and think Dirk one of the best...but the Ko'aloha is braced very light(uni-brace) that no one else uses

my 2 cents

Yeah, I wouldn't put those strings on a Collings tenor

wickedwahine11
09-09-2014, 06:35 PM
they are still heavy tension strings but not as heavy as the HML-RW's...but I would call Ko'aloha and tell them you have high tension strings on your uke...to be safe....
don't get me wrong I love the South Coast HML-RW's and think Dirk one of the best...but the Ko'aloha is braced very light(uni-brace) that no one else uses

my 2 cents

My thoughts too. That is why even though I love my current setup on my MB (Southcoast HML-RW with Fremont Soloist low g), I would never put it on my KoAloha - hence the PhD strings on that uke.

southcoastukes
09-09-2014, 08:02 PM
Just saw this thread. There are 4 good customers on the last 4 posts here, but I'd like to ask a bit about this myself.

First, I personally have no experience with a KoAloha Tenor. Nonetheless, I can pretty much guarantee it's not braced lighter than ours. We build Tenors with construction more typical of a Soprano.

The HML-RWs that H50, nong, & ww11 use are relatively high tension when tuned to C on a 17" scale. They're designed for that - a finger-picking, low action set, some would say. The ML-RWs, on the other hand have substantially less tension. Are they less than a plain set? I also don't have experience with some of those plain sets mentioned, but based on the way most people formulate those type of sets I'd say the MLs will have somewhat more tension. Nonetheless, it's very hard for me to think of them as "high tension".

As I mentioned, I have no experience with a KoAloha, but it would seem very strange to me that any Tenor would be under significant strain with an ML-SW set. For that matter, we have no problem with the HMLs on our own super-light construction. It's simply that lightly braced soundboards have no need of high tension to produce responsive sound.

JJFN has actually played MLs on a KoAloha - it would seem to me to be an excellent choice based on some of what I'ver heard here - probably a better one than the HMLs. But has anybody had bellying or other structural problems with a KoAloha? I've seen a KoAloha Soprano, and know the tops are thin, but the unibrace, if I remember correctly, is above the bridge, and very strong. If that memory serves me correctly, it would be hard to cause structural damage to that arrangement.

So I'm thinking more that higher tension is unnecessary, not dangerous. Or in our case, an HML set might be overkill, unless you simply want a low action set-up. Seems to me MLs should be fine for normal action. And if you want to go even lighter, and keep the clear, balanced sound of a double-wound set-up there's also the LML-RWs or even the single wound LL-RWs (a tension to suit every taste and situation).

hawaii 50
09-09-2014, 08:36 PM
Just saw this thread. There are 4 good customers on the last 4 posts here, but I'd like to ask a bit about this myself.

First, I personally have no experience with a KoAloha Tenor. Nonetheless, I can pretty much guarantee it's not braced lighter than ours. We build Tenors with construction more typical of a Soprano.

The HML-RWs that H50, nong, & ww11 use are relatively high tension when tuned to C on a 17" scale. They're designed for that - a finger-picking, low action set, some would say. The ML-RWs, on the other hand have substantially less tension. Are they less than a plain set? I also don't have experience with some of those plain sets mentioned, but based on the way most people formulate those type of sets I'd say the MLs will have somewhat more tension. Nonetheless, it's very hard for me to think of them as "high tension".

As I mentioned, I have no experience with a KoAloha, but it would seem very strange to me that any Tenor would be under significant strain with an ML-SW set. For that matter, we have no problem with the HMLs on our own super-light construction. It's simply that lightly braced soundboards have no need of high tension to produce responsive sound.

JJFN has actually played MLs on a KoAloha - it would seem to me to be an excellent choice based on some of what I'ver heard here - probably a better one than the HMLs. But has anybody had bellying or other structural problems with a KoAloha? I've seen a KoAloha Soprano, and know the tops are thin, but the unibrace, if I remember correctly, is above the bridge, and very strong. If that memory serves me correctly, it would be hard to cause structural damage to that arrangement.

So I'm thinking more that higher tension is unnecessary, not dangerous. Or in our case, an HML set might be overkill, unless you simply want a low action set-up. Seems to me MLs should be fine for normal action. And if you want to go even lighter, and keep the clear, balanced sound of a double-wound set-up there's also the LML-RWs or even the single wound LL-RWs (a tension to suit every taste and situation).

Thanks Dirk..i do not know the correct answer about how high the tension is safe on a Ko'Aloha...and they have the best warranty in the business...but they use a uni-brace that no one else uses...one brace just below the soundhole looks like a airplane wing brace...touches the top side and back of the uke ...no fan bracing or any other kind of brace at all on the top.....

they have it fixed now but they had a lot or problems with their bridges coming off too.....but their warranty covers everything....

I see no harm in calling Ko'Aloha and see what they say.....

southcoastukes
09-09-2014, 08:50 PM
...one brace just below the soundhole looks like a airplane wing brace...touches the top side and back of the uke ...no fan bracing or any other kind of brace at all on the top.....they have it fixed now but they had a lot or problems with their bridges coming off too.....but their warranty covers everything....I see no harm in calling Ko'Aloha and see what they say.....

Hey Len,

Thanks for the info! To clarify one thing - when you say the unibrace is "below the soundhole", you are saying between the soundhole and bridge, correct? That's the way I remember it, and the way it makes sense. That's where it would prevent any bellying. It's actually a super strong brace - I seem to remember someone actually standing on it! It's a great idea when you use a very thin soundboard and want to keep things stable.

hawaii 50
09-09-2014, 08:56 PM
Hey Len,

Thanks for the info! To clarify one thing - when you say the unibrace is "below the soundhole", you are saying between the soundhole and bridge, correct? That's the way I remember it, and the way it makes sense. That's where it would prevent any bellying. It's actually a super strong brace - I seem to remember someone actually standing on it! It's a great idea when you use a very thin soundboard and want to keep things stable.

yes they stand on the brace at there factory tours.....but they also use the softest Worth strings that Worth has(maybe this gives you a better idea)....and they do not recommend high tension strings something that Martin and Collings guitars do too....:)....I don't think the tops are any thinner than any other ukes I see...but no other bracing on the top and no kerfling inside the uke too....like a soprano build...

but again they have the best warranty in the business...

btw I own a Ko'Aloha super concert...and the guys at Ko'Aloha always answer their phones....:)

consitter
09-09-2014, 08:57 PM
This sentiment has already been thrown out...I have PhD's on my KoAloha custom tenor. They were made especially for KoAloha's and Jason Arimoto hit the nail on the head, as far as I'm concerned.

If you'd stayed home last year when I was at Tybee Island, you wouldn't have to ask anybody's advice....:)

consitter
09-09-2014, 08:59 PM
btw I own a Ko'Aloha super concert...and the guys at Ko'Aloha always answer their phones....:)

Pfffft...they know my number when it comes up, and avoid me at all costs. :D

anthonyg
09-10-2014, 01:32 AM
A low G strung instrument is always going to be a little boomier than a high G instrument. I have however tamed the boomy sound of a low bass strung instrument with a little careful filing of the nut slot. The slot was a little too wide. I went a little deeper with a slightly narrower slot and the boom went away. Something to consider/try.

Anthony

strumsilly
09-10-2014, 04:34 AM
Just saw this thread. There are 4 good customers on the last 4 posts here, but I'd like to ask a bit about this myself.

First, I personally have no experience with a KoAloha Tenor But has anybody had bellying or other structural problems with a KoAloha? I've seen a KoAloha Soprano, and know the tops are thin, the unibrace, if I remember correctly, is above the bridge, and very strong. If that memory serves me correctly, it would be hard to cause structural damage to that arrangement.

yes. I have had bellying issues with Koalohas. One was a septre, which is kind if a unique animal. The nice folks at Koaloha took care of it though. I also have a concert that has a slight belly. I really like the Koaloha sound so a little belly is a small price to pay. The unibrace is just below the soundhole , less than 1/2 " away, not near the bridge. of your strings, what do you suggest for their tenor [C} tuning?
I had some worth BT-LG lying around so I put them on. They don't sound or feel too different than the stock strings The tension seems fine, are these some of their lower tension strings.?
Dirk.of your strings, what do you suggest for their tenor [C} tuning? I have your light gauge linear set on a 19 inch scale Favilla baritone[C tuning} and I really love the sound. just brilliant. thanks

strumsilly
09-10-2014, 04:46 AM
A low G strung instrument is always going to be a little boomier than a high G instrument. I have however tamed the boomy sound of a low bass strung instrument with a little careful filing of the nut slot. The slot was a little too wide. I went a little deeper with a slightly narrower slot and the boom went away. Something to consider/try.

Anthony
thanks. the string height at the nut is just about perfect and doesn't seem too wide, so I really don't want to mess with it.

wickedwahine11
09-10-2014, 06:16 AM
But has anybody had bellying or other structural problems with a KoAloha? I've seen a KoAloha Soprano, and know the tops are thin, but the unibrace, if I remember correctly, is above the bridge, and very strong. If that memory serves me correctly, it would be hard to cause structural damage to that arrangement.

Alas, yes. My old Pineapple Sunday had a bellying issue so they replaced it with a brand new one (which has now been sold to another UU member -- there were no problems with that one but I was also very careful to use light strings on it). I do occasionally worry about that on the KoAloha tenor I still have, so that is why I go with the PhD on that one. PS -- I do love your strings a lot though. They woke up a Kamaka that had been sounding so-so, and they are magical on the Moore Bettah. :)

southcoastukes
09-10-2014, 09:00 AM
Dirk.of your strings, what do you suggest for their tenor [C} tuning? I have your light gauge linear set on a 19 inch scale Favilla baritone[C tuning} and I really love the sound. just brilliant. thanks

Thanks all, for the interesting replies.

I thought we built lighter than anyone - sounds like I just might be mistaken. Building light means you may want light tension - may even require light tension. The big thing, however, is that you don't need high tension for good response.

It does sound like in this case you want to stay away from HMLs. It still seems hard for me to believe that MLs could be problematic (we call these pretty much "normal" tension). The LMLs (Light Medium Linears) would be the next choice. It's still a double wound set, and since the gauges are lighter than the MLs, it will be a bit brighter.

Several people have mentioned plain sets, and so then you also consider sound. Plain sets have a mellower tone than double wounds, and as KoAlohas have a reputation for brightness, that may be one reason so many people use them.

We have two light Linear sets, one single wound (bright) and the other all plain. These are so light in tension in C tuning @ 17" that there's enough play so that many people tune them up to D tuning. And that's one thing to keep in mind. If you have a set that really gives you the feel and tone you're looking for, you can always tune a little high or low to get the tension you want (or need).

anthonyg
09-10-2014, 12:49 PM
thanks. the string height at the nut is just about perfect and doesn't seem too wide, so I really don't want to mess with it.

I have the advantage of having accurately sized nut slot files and vernier callipers so it wasn't that big of a job to measure and file accurately. Mine seemed to be right before I started too. It probably wouldn't be that easy without the right tools yet ultimately that's where I fixed the fault. The difference between being spot on and annoyingly out is fractions of a mm.

Anthony