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AJ Hill
02-01-2015, 07:30 AM
I've just got my second hand but immaculate Kamaka tenor the strings had seen better days so I put a set of Martin 620 strings on it ,,,it's early days but they seen very tight and maybe slightly course they are also High G , I have read that the Kamaka brand strings are not so good so what would you recommend or should I stick with these Martin Strings and give them a chance ?

janeray1940
02-01-2015, 07:36 AM
I'm a big fan of the Martins on my Kamakas (they're all I use, and Kamakas are all I play, so - yeah, I like them!). Count me among those who do not care for the stock Kamaka strings at all.

For low G, I use a Fremont Soloist "squeakless" string, or a wound classical guitar D string when I can't find a Fremont Soloist. Thankfully the Soloists have become really easy to find; a lot of the online retailers like HMS sell them.

ETA - some people say the Martins do feel much higher tension than (fill in their choice of strings here). Personally I like this, it's great for single-note playing, but some who have tried my ukes have said the tension hurts their hands. Worths or Oasis might be better if the Martins tension bothers you.

Cornfield
02-01-2015, 07:40 AM
I have Worth clears on my Kamaka Tenor and 8 string. I used to have a Kamaka Soprano and a Kamaka Baritone with Worths too.
I still have some stock Kamaka strings and think I may try them again on the Tenor in the future.

DownUpDave
02-01-2015, 07:55 AM
Go to the Hawaii Music Supply web site, click on free resource and from that page click on news and reviews. There is an article titled " 12 string test on Kamakas" , or something like that. Have a listen because it gives a great sampling of how all those different strings sound on Kamaka tenors.

It will not inform you on the feel and tension, that is very personal and you can only get there by trying different strings for yourself. For what it is worth the Martin florocarbons are a higher tension string compared to the nylon Kamakas.

Booli
02-01-2015, 08:21 AM
Give the strings more time.

You need to PLAY them to help them stretch to a point of equilibirum where they will hold tuning. Playing MORE (every day - a couple times per day even) will accelerate this process and decrease the time it takes for them to settle, and eventually will require less frequent tunings.

In my experience the first 48 hours after installing most strings, they are pretty taught, and it takes about 7 days IF you play every day for at least 30 mins in newly installed strings for them to RELAX enough to judge the sound and the tension.

The only thing to be vigilant about is to make sure that they are not too taught by checking the bridge and the top for signs of bellying or dishing (at least every day in the beginning), and if so, they may in fact have too much tension for the specific way that the instrument was constructed.

You can also tune down to Bb and see if you like that tension, and play on that for a week, and then after, tune back up to C6 and see how it feels.

Kanaka916
02-01-2015, 08:40 AM
Southcoast for me . . .

PhilUSAFRet
02-01-2015, 10:06 AM
A lot of people recommended Oasis lights for my Kamaka soprano....love them. I'd be tempted to try Oasis mediums on the tenor.

Lalz
02-01-2015, 10:55 AM
Southcoast for me . . .

Same. I find Martin strings to be quite tight too. It works on some ukes and on other ukes it doesn't. Southcoast are by far the best strings I've tried so far, all the sets I have from them have been very well balanced and enjoyable to play, with just the right tension.

Paul December
02-01-2015, 12:48 PM
Give the strings more time.

You need to PLAY them to help them stretch to a point of equilibirum where they will hold tuning. Playing MORE (every day - a couple times per day even) will accelerate this process and decrease the time it takes for them to settle, and eventually will require less frequent tunings.

In my experience the first 48 hours after installing most strings, they are pretty taught, and it takes about 7 days IF you play every day for at least 30 mins in newly installed strings for them to RELAX enough to judge the sound and the tension.

The only thing to be vigilant about is to make sure that they are not too taught by checking the bridge and the top for signs of bellying or dishing (at least every day in the beginning), and if so, they may in fact have too much tension for the specific way that the instrument was constructed.

You can also tune down to Bb and see if you like that tension, and play on that for a week, and then after, tune back up to C6 and see how it feels.

:confused: Once new strings fully stretch out do they have less tension?

Booli
02-01-2015, 01:19 PM
:confused: Once new strings fully stretch out do they have less tension?

Yes. (at least is seems that way to me.)

I have found that once you are no longer have to constantly retune every time that you go to play, not significantly more than 2 cents or so, that the strings have 'relaxed' a bit once settled to pitch, and while I have no idea how (nor the equipment) to measure the string tension, they feel less taught, have more sustain, and seem to sound better once 'relaxed' as such.

This seems to be a parallel experience on all of the many many (more than 20) different brands and set of strings that I have tried.

The only exception to this improvement observation was when I put Aquila SuperNylgut tenor strings on a baritone and tried to get up to Bb tuning, and at a certain point the tension was too much and the strings literally gave out, and at that point you can turn the tuner peg forever and the pitch never goes up, until the string thins out at a weak point and then just, almost passively 'breaks' due to how thin it is.

I did this, with these strings because there were no SuperNylgut strings for baritone. I have not looked again since, so I am not sure if they are out now.

I have NOT yet had any experience with Southcoast, nor Alohi, nor some of the other more traditional nylon sets (sold at HMS), since I really dont much like the short sustain typical of nylon strings when compared to the many other materials that are available.

Some that I have tried (that I can remember off the top of my head, I dont have my notes handy right now) are:

D'Addario Titaniums on all scales
D'Addario J71 tenor (Jake's set)
Jim Dunlop's nylon tenor set (in the green package)
GHS Hawaiian black nylon concert set
La Bella clear nylon soprano & concert
Other brands in concert & tenor scale that were black nylon (tynex)

they pretty much sound more the same compared to each other than many of the clear, black and brown fluorocarbon strings (which all have slight differences in tone and tension, which also depends upon the resonant characteristics of the specific instrument they are installed on, as well as playing technique (finger pads, fingernails, plastic or felt pick). Other materials in strings such as the Aquila Nylgut, SuperNylgut, REDS and collaborative Aquila/D'Addario Nyltech as well as the 'BioNylon' strings also seem to have a different tension from each other, as well as a different tone profile from each other, even MORESO when compared to any traditional 'monofilament' nylon strings that I have installed/played on.

Since growing out my nails on my right hand (9 months ago) I try to use them to good effect for both flamenco-inspired strumming as well as finger-picking, and the sound is significantly DIFFERENT than when I had played before without fingernails (with fleshy finger pads), and to my ear and play-feel, there is more control over the sound and volume (articualtion and dynamics), as well as an improvement in the clarity of the tone using fingernails.

Jon Moody
02-02-2015, 02:34 AM
:confused: Once new strings fully stretch out do they have less tension?

In terms of the tension the string puts on the body of the instrument when it's tuned to pitch, no. The tension doesn't change.

In terms of how the string FEELS under your fingers, definitely.

Cornfield
02-02-2015, 03:50 AM
A lot of people recommended Oasis lights for my Kamaka soprano....love them. I'd be tempted to try Oasis mediums on the tenor.

I just saw some of the Oasis ON Ebay. . If Chuch from Moore Bettah recommends them, they are probably pretty good. It looks like you get 2 sets for $12 (once you add shipping). That's a better deal than Worths from Elderly at $15 plus shipping.

spookelele
02-02-2015, 04:31 AM
does oasis have a non-wound low G? The only ones I could find were wound.

AJ Hill
02-02-2015, 07:18 PM
Well I must say the strings have settled a bit and are sounding and feeling good ,,,,never thought I would have a Kamaka I've had some very nice ukes made by Mya Moe , but must say the Kamaka is a mighty fine instrument ,my thanks for all your advice its been most enlightening

Mattyukaholic
02-02-2015, 09:23 PM
Of course you could also try a lower tuning to ease the tension. My tenors are tuned to Bb. My kamaka concert is too. It just seems to resonate so much better in that tuning. If I play with others I just stick a capo on.

mm stan
02-02-2015, 10:43 PM
I have 2 white label kamaka tenors and prefer martins for their warm tone....the strings are probably new and new breaking in...Happy Strummings

AJ Hill
02-03-2015, 03:23 PM
Thanks Stan yes they are sounding better already now

fisher00
02-03-2015, 03:30 PM
I hope this doesn't hijack the thread - but I asked a question on another topic but it got lost - so I'm asking it again here:

I have no knowledge of these things - does thickness actually matter? If a string is tuned to high G, does it matter if its previous life was as an A or C string? Its still tuned to high G, and will sound like a high G, right?
cheers

TjW
02-03-2015, 04:16 PM
I hope this doesn't hijack the thread - but I asked a question on another topic but it got lost - so I'm asking it again here:

I have no knowledge of these things - does thickness actually matter? If a string is tuned to high G, does it matter if its previous life was as an A or C string? Its still tuned to high G, and will sound like a high G, right?
cheers
It will still sound like a G, but the tension will be different. Generally, people size the strings so the tensions when tuned are close to the same.
If you have to pull a thicker string too tight to get it to up to high G, conceivably you could pull the bridge off.

fisher00
02-03-2015, 05:39 PM
It will still sound like a G, but the tension will be different. Generally, people size the strings so the tensions when tuned are close to the same.
If you have to pull a thicker string too tight to get it to up to high G, conceivably you could pull the bridge off.

Gotcha - makes sense! thanks

mm stan
02-03-2015, 08:55 PM
Thanks Stan yes they are sounding better already now

To me not only the diameter of the strings but the compound makes a huge difference in the tone and feel
Of the string, that is why they sell matched balanced sets. Make sense :)

Jon Moody
02-04-2015, 01:51 AM
It will still sound like a G, but the tension will be different. Generally, people size the strings so the tensions when tuned are close to the same.
If you have to pull a thicker string too tight to get it to up to high G, conceivably you could pull the bridge off.

Or in many cases, the string will snap before you even get to that tuning.

Mikemj
06-24-2016, 10:12 PM
I use worth Browns on my 8 string and worth Browns on my tenor love them, not so keen on kamaka strings.

Booli
06-25-2016, 02:03 AM
I use worth Browns on my 8 string and worth Browns on my tenor love them, not so keen on kamaka strings.

Just FYI - this thread's last activity was about 16 months ago, and you are likely to get some criticism for the necro-post here, if folks even reply at all.

Carry on...:music: