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Andy Chen
05-21-2015, 03:53 PM
Hi, do you find you like different strings for amplification than when playing acoustically?

When amplified, nylon strings sound fabulous to me: full, warm, sweet.

But acoustically, they just do not seem to have the punch and volume of fluorocarbons.

Booli
05-21-2015, 06:47 PM
Hi, do you find you like different strings for amplification than when playing acoustically?

When amplified, nylon strings sound fabulous to me: full, warm, sweet.

But acoustically, they just do not seem to have the punch and volume of fluorocarbons.

I never tried nylon on an amplified uke, since you've mentioned it, I might try the D'Addario J88T or the Jim Dunlop nylon strings I have.

Also, I find that using a rosewood or ebony saddle can also really warm the sound with a more 'woody' tone than an plastic or bone saddle (which sound very plasticky to me) with an under-saddle piezo transducer (foil) ribbon (as opposed to a rod piezo) with the Mi-Si pickup and preamp.

I've found that surface transducer piezo pickups have too much surface noise of the instrument for my liking and can produce bad feedback that is hard to control and/or minimize.

All the Aquila strings that I've tried sound very plasticky to my ear, even with a wooden saddle, mostly I use Oasis bright High-G and Living Water High-G sets on my tenors that have the Mi-Si installed.

Last year I bought a block of ebony from StewMac (on sale for $8 at the time) that was intended for carving an acoustic guitar bridge, but instead I've been cutting slices off of it to use for saddles and nuts where I wanted to replace them and try a different sound than bone, micarta, tusque or plastic..

Andy Chen
05-21-2015, 06:53 PM
Wood saddles? Very interesting indeed... But you would have to change them often?

Booli
05-21-2015, 07:10 PM
Wood saddles? Very interesting indeed... But you would have to change them often?

Why would you change them often?

Once installed, they never wear down or wear out?

Ebony is a very hard (but brittle) wood in 2" long by 1/8" wide by 1/4" tall strips for a saddle. The down-pressure from the strings does not mar or wear the saddle, but they are easy to snap in half, so you have to be careful when you are sanding them for shape or for string compensation, but they are MUCH easier to work with than bone.

Kekani
05-21-2015, 11:07 PM
Hi, do you find you like different strings for amplification than when playing acoustically?
I find it doesn't matter if you have a good sound guy.

If you don't, a good place to start is with an LRBaggs Five.0 into a Venue or Para Acoustic DI. What you put in, you get out, only louder, with no quack and the ability to notch feedback frequencies and eq to taste (read: no smiley face eq for those in the know). Yes, that would be an extremely biased statement, but relevant nevertheless.

Of course if you have a crap PA, a good sound guy may do okay. Good instrument, good pickup, good sound guy through a good PA? This thread wouldn't have been started. . .

Booli
05-21-2015, 11:28 PM
I find it doesn't matter if you have a good sound guy.

If you don't, a good place to start is with an LRBaggs Five.0 into a Venue or Para Acoustic DI. What you put in, you get out, only louder, with no quack and the ability to notch feedback frequencies and eq to taste (read: no smiley face eq for those in the know). Yes, that would be an extremely biased statement, but relevant nevertheless.

Of course if you have a crap PA, a good sound guy may do okay. Good instrument, good pickup, good sound guy through a good PA? This thread wouldn't have been started. . .

And what about if you are just going into an amplifier and jamming with your band?

There is no 'sound guy' there but you yourself.

Many of us do not carry a PA system around, but have a very nice acoustic instrument amplifier.

Also, at many of the open mic venues in my area, the sound guy cares nothing other than to avoid feedback, and cares not 'how' or 'how good' you sound otherwise.

The OP never mentioned a PA system, and ANY preamp can alter the sound, either for good or for bad. Adjusting a notch filter on a preamp or on an input channel on a PA system to mitigate feedback has nothing to do with the sound of the strings themselves, which can vary quite a bit.

Some folks think all strings (regardless of material or brand) sound exactly the same, opinions vary, but some other folks think certain strings sound different from others. There is no 'wrong' or 'right', it's whatever works for each person and makes them happy. :)

Andy Chen
05-21-2015, 11:44 PM
I, for one, think nylon strings sound very different from fluorocarbons, and feel very different too.

Between different brands of fluorocarbons and nylons, I hear much less difference.

PhilUSAFRet
05-22-2015, 12:26 AM
Quality ebony is nearly as hard as bone. I have an ebony nut and saddle on my KPK and would never change them. Great woody bark. Am trying to decide what else I want to try them on.

Doc_J
05-22-2015, 01:29 AM
Andy, I agree with you. Amplified I usually prefer D'addario T2, ProArte or Koolau Alohi. Fluorocarbon strings are generally more pleasing to me when not amplified. But there are exceptions.


Hi, do you find you like different strings for amplification than when playing acoustically?

When amplified, nylon strings sound fabulous to me: full, warm, sweet.

But acoustically, they just do not seem to have the punch and volume of fluorocarbons.

Jon Moody
05-22-2015, 01:54 AM
Yes. Piezo and transducer pickups are VERY unforgiving in terms of sounds; what you put in is exactly what is put out. So I usually keep nylon and nickel smoothwound strings on my BP ukulele, which I normally play through an amp. The smoother, warmer sound of that combo works very well, and there aren't very many things that jump out at you while playing.

Kekani
05-22-2015, 06:40 AM
I, for one, think nylon strings sound very different from fluorocarbons, and feel very different too.

Between different brands of fluorocarbons and nylons, I hear much less difference.

I agree. The "feel" can be a variable in string choice for some.

ricdoug
05-24-2015, 10:00 AM
Strings are one of many factors that contribute to the sound. There are so many things we use to get the right sound. Here are a few of mine. As you can see, strings are a relatively inexpensive way to change the sound of an 'ukulele:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/AC33MemorialDay.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/Mixers.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/StagingForGig.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/BehringerADI212.jpg