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View Full Version : Strings for a long neck concert Kamaka?



dwh
10-07-2014, 06:46 PM
Long time lurker, first post.
I just received the custom Kamaka long neck concert from the classifieds. Thanx UU!
It has D'Addario j71s on it, but they seem a bit thick and heavy for my liking. I ordered some Worth clears, soon to arrive, but I am looking for suggestions for other suitable strings to try. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

tangimango
10-07-2014, 07:03 PM
if you like thin light gauge then worth CL is really good set.

dwh
10-07-2014, 07:07 PM
I have these on my Koaloha Tenor and like them a lot. I'm not sure what others to try? Thanx for any suggestions!

PhilUSAFRet
10-08-2014, 02:16 AM
if you like thin light gauge then worth CL is really good set.

or Oasis lights

Tim Mullins
10-08-2014, 06:24 AM
When I got my Kamaka long-neck concert I put on an Aquila concert set and they worked so well I haven't tried anything else. Out of curiosity I called Kamaka when I got it and asked them whether to use concert or tenor strings (since it is a tenor scale) and they said to use concert. Enjoy your new uke -- I've hardly played any of my others since I got mine!

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
10-08-2014, 07:05 AM
When I got my Kamaka long-neck concert I put on an Aquila concert set and they worked so well I haven't tried anything else. Out of curiosity I called Kamaka when I got it and asked them whether to use concert or tenor strings (since it is a tenor scale) and they said to use concert. Enjoy your new uke -- I've hardly played any of my others since I got mine!

Interesting. I usually match strings according to the scale length, not the body size. I wonder what their thinking is behind this? Also, some concert string sets are cut uncomfortably short for a tenor scale.

pritch
10-08-2014, 01:24 PM
Interesting. I usually match strings according to the scale length, not the body size. I wonder what their thinking is behind this?

As a beginner I almost hesitate to make a suggestion. Almost :-) Could it be to do with string tension?

dwh
10-08-2014, 03:13 PM
Just so happens I have a set of Aquila nylguts laying around. I may try these while I wait for the Worths to arrive. I may get order some Oasis too.
Thanx folks!


When I got my Kamaka long-neck concert I put on an Aquila concert set and they worked so well I haven't tried anything else. Out of curiosity I called Kamaka when I got it and asked them whether to use concert or tenor strings (since it is a tenor scale) and they said to use concert. Enjoy your new uke -- I've hardly played any of my others since I got mine!

southcoastukes
10-08-2014, 03:47 PM
Concert strings - Tenor Strings, it all depends on whose "Concert Strings" you buy. Some folks "Concert Strings" are more like other peoples "Tenor Strings". Every instrument and every player need a certain tension, so we don't try to tell you, by giving our strings these kind of "names", what strings are right for you or your instrument.


Interesting. I usually match strings according to the scale length, not the body size. I wonder what their thinking is behind this? Also, some concert string sets are cut uncomfortably short for a tenor scale.

True that some Concert strings will be too short, but here's what I think their reasoning is. While construction is a huge factor in selecting strings, that will vary from one brand to the next. What varies a lot less is the size of the soundboard. A Tenor soundboard is larger, and therefore will need more energy to drive it. If you take someone's "Concert Strings" they will have more tension on the Tenor scale, but typically not as much as a set of "Tenor" strings. That's usually about right. You need a certain extra force with a longer scale, but not that much, as you're still only driving a Concert sized soundboard.

With us, for example, a Light Medium (reentrant) set gives a very comfortable feel on a 17" (typical Tenor) scale. Just the same, it can sound a little weak on some Tenors because of the energy needed to drive such a large soundboard with those relatively light strings. As a result, our Medium Gauges (reentrant) are the most popular for C tuning on a standard Tenor. On the other hand, put the Light Mediums on most longneck Concerts (our Alto Largo, for example) and the lighter, more comfortable tension works just fine with the smaller soundboard.

Tim Mullins
10-08-2014, 05:00 PM
I just play 'em, not build 'em, but what Dirk said makes sense to me. Perhaps they use the same concert bodies with identical bracing for both scale lengths and the tenor set tension would be too much? I do notice they change out the bridge for the tie-style bridge they use on their tenors.

UkerDanno
10-08-2014, 06:00 PM
Try Martins, I think they are a little brighter than Worths. Maybe try Fremont blacklines too, I love them on my Islander concert. I've heard a lot of people love Living Waters, too, but I didn't like them on my Ohana...still looking for something with warmer sound for the Ohana. May have to go back to Aquilas, maybe the Super Nylguts.

dwh
10-08-2014, 07:52 PM
I strung the Aquila nylguts on my long neck concert about a couple hours ago. Gave them a good stretching and played for a little. They feel better and sound more crisp. I'll let them settle in for a while, but they already seem an improvement to me over the D'addario j71s. I'm sure individual subjective preferences for feel, sound and general comfortability lead to many differing opinions on the subject. I guess I'll just have to experiment. All the input and suggestions are appreciated greatly!
Cheers!

Dan Uke
10-09-2014, 11:18 AM
yeah I need help too as I don't play reentrant often and didn't like the SC light, Oasis, or Martins for this uke. Maybe it's the high g sound, Im not used to

southcoastukes
10-09-2014, 04:27 PM
yeah I need help too as I don't play reentrant often and didn't like the SC light, Oasis, or Martins for this uke. Maybe it's the high g sound, Im not used to

Hello friend Dan,

Let's see what help I can give. I noticed you didn't like one of our Light Gauge Sets. What we've tried to do is give folks a system that allows them to zero in on the strings that work best for them and their instrument.

We actually have two Light Gauge sets - the standard formula and the Soft. While they have the same tension ("Light", as we rate it), the Soft formula has the warmer sound. If a standard set seems harsh, go to the Soft formula. If a Soft set seems to need more "pop" go to a standard set.

But tension also plays a big part. Notice in the previous post that I mentioned Light Medium Gauges. Those are a step up in tension from the Lights. They would be my first choice for an ideal tension on these sorts of instruments. Still, construction varies enough that this is not a hard and fast rule. And again in the Light Medium Gauges, you have standard and Soft formulae to choose from.

Tim mentioned (great post) that something like Medium Gauges, (a step up in tension from Light Mediums) might be too much for the typical bracing on a Concert soundboard. It's true that if you overload a soundboard with too much tension, you actually lessen the response. Still, I doubt that will be the case with the great majority of Concert soundboards. From what Chuck says, for example, it certainly isn't a problem with his.

What I suggested is not that Medium Gauges would be too much, but that they just aren't necessary in most cases, due to the smaller soundboard area. You, Daniel, fan of higher tensions that you are, would likely benefit a lot from at least one step up in tension, if not two. Then pick standard or Soft formula to get the tone you and your instrument prefer.

Hope that helps!


then again, as you mentioned, maybe you're just not a reentrant sorta guy!
.
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Kamanaaloha
10-13-2014, 09:30 AM
ima baddie...still using the stock black kamakas...until they break...it's the pake in me :P

Dan Uke
10-13-2014, 03:18 PM
Hey Dirk,

I will give you an email after getting it back. You could be right about the tension.