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ChasGrav
11-07-2014, 08:43 AM
I'm trying to decide which strings to try out when it comes time to replace the Aquila Nylguts on my Kala tenor. I'm happy with them, but want to try new things. I had been considering a set of Worth clear CTs.

Has anyone had experience with the new Kala Pearls? They're described as microwound using a thin polyamide over a multifiliment nylon core.

They're actually a bit more expensive than Worth, (considering Worth gives you enough length for two sets). Just curious if anyone has given the Pearls a go yet.

Thanks

hammer40
11-07-2014, 08:41 PM
While I have not tried the Pearls, I did try a similar string from Savarez, the 520PI. They are an all nylon wound string set, not sure if the nylon is the same as the Pearls though. Either way, I did like the strings, had improved sustain and they seemed a little louder as well.

Being an all wound string set, you will have string noise as you slide your fingers over them, so if you like the quiet of plain unwound strings you will not like the all wound strings. That was not an issue for me, I already prefer wound third string sets and don't mind string noise.

Here is MGM doing a little review of them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXUTzr4mjm8

The Pearls do not mount the same as regular strings though, since you can't cut the strings because they may unwind. Here is a video showing the suggested stringing procedure.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAzY3JGxPNo

Lastly, I believe the Kala Pearls are made by Magma strings, here is a link to there string as well.

http://www.magmastrings.com/producto_ampliado_en.php?id_SubCategoria=63&id_Categoria=10

Inksplosive AL
11-07-2014, 08:57 PM
I have a set of re-entrant Aquila reds on a soprano and wouldn't hesitate to put them on another size ukulele. They are not wound but have a feel to them and do make a slight breathy sound that seems to diminish in time.

I was having fun with a set of Kala reds in concert size on my soprano before switching to the Aquila reds. I've heard them described as sounding metallic. They ring a bit more like a bell.

M3Ukulele
11-07-2014, 09:29 PM
I tried kala pearls on my Pono AT tenor and didn't like them on that ukulele. They were very cool feeling and tension was good , thinner strings but sustain wasn't that good. That being said I would try them again but this time on my Fluke..... But my AT just didn't like them.

Where are magma strings made. That is a new one for me.

Trying new and different strings is fun and you eventually will find what you like. My AT lives Salverez and Worth CT strings.
Good luck!

stevepetergal
11-08-2014, 04:34 AM
I tried the Kala Pearls. In my opinion whether or not you'll like them depends heavily on how you play.

I came from using Worth clears on all my ukuleles. I wanted something that would give me more robust sound without the harshness I have gotten from other strings. When I used the Pearls for strumming, I got just what I was hoping for. I liked them very much. But when picking, I found the noise from the windings just distracting enough to bother me.

This was my experience. I believe the strings are very high quality, and the sound is very slight (not like four metal-wound strings). If you don't pick much you may love them. In fact, the noise I didn't like may not bother you at all. I say give them a try.

By the way, I believe these strings are made by a company called Magma (Argentina). I found some sold under their name and tried them, too. They're identical and cheaper.

SteveZ
11-08-2014, 05:08 AM
Whichever strings you want to try, suggest you pick out a favorite tune, one you always seem to play when you grab a certain instrument. Make a recording of yourself playing that tune with every string set you use, just as an instrumental (vocal can be distracting). That way you can compare somewhat objectively, something that's harder to do once string set #4 or 5 are installed (remenbering the voice of that fist or second string set can be difficult, especially if weeks/months go by between changes).

ChasGrav
11-08-2014, 05:15 AM
Thanks for the very useful input, and particularly to Hammer40 for the information and links. Based on the videos, I like the sound and may give them a shot at some point. For now, I'm happy with my Aquilas, and need to concentrate more on playing than obsessing over gear! No harm in getting educated about it though! Cheers!

katysax
11-08-2014, 05:27 AM
My Ukiyo Vita copy came with Guadalupe wound strings. It was an older one and the strings were original. They were kind of yucky from age so I took them off and put some fluorocarbons it it. The Pearl's looked like the closest thing to the Guadalupe so I tried them on it. I like them. They warm up the sound. Not a lot of sustain but that instrument doesn't have a lot of sustain anyway. I even like them for fingerpicking, don't have a lot of problem with string noise or squeaking. I don't like that the ends should not be cut. They are kind of a specialty string but in some applications they are very good.

Russellbarnett
09-01-2015, 08:53 PM
Bumping an old thread because I just put these on and took them for a test drive. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about them but I have a feeling they aren't for me. I like the sound of the strings well enough, they are bright and loud. But They squeak horribly when I move my fingers up and down the fret board, which is ironic since the packaging proudly proclaims that the special design of the strings eliminates common finger squeak. I usually play fluorocarbon and have never had an issue with finger squeak until today. Also when playing finger style there is a slight friction sound as my fingers rub against the windings when I pluck - distracting at first though I notice it less as I play more and I'm not sure how audible it is to people listening to me play.

I'll give them a shot for at least a few more days and see if I get more used to them. Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between "not good" and "different from what I am used to" in the beginning.

Russellbarnett
09-02-2015, 08:25 PM
After another day I'm kind of torn. I really really like the sound of the micro wound strings, except for that darn finger squeaking. The texture is still weird to my fingers but I'll get used to that quickly enough.

hammer40
09-02-2015, 10:33 PM
After another day I'm kind of torn. I really really like the sound of the micro wound strings, except for that darn finger squeaking. The texture is still weird to my fingers but I'll get used to that quickly enough.

You will never totally get rid of the noise associated with wound strings, but if you adapt your style of playing you can eliminate a lot of it. If you search youtube, using classical guitar as an additional search tag, you will find some video on the subject.

Basically, you just lift your fingers off the string instead of dragging them along it. Also, placing your finger at a more direct 90 degrees as you place or remove it from a string, you will be surprised how much noise you can eliminate. Also, eliminate as many position changes as possible. This is were your finger dexterity exercises will pay off big time. Like anything, it will take some practice but it does work.

I use a wound third string on all my ukes and this is what I do and it works. I don't mind the noise wound strings make anyway, but there are plenty of folks that do.

Here are a few links where these techniques are discussed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ia_0Vs5WB94

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wd9tsnNSLM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auPCpvI7D-I

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TWOnmSrgs4

Russellbarnett
09-03-2015, 03:18 PM
Thanks for the tips, and I'll look at those videos too.