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View Full Version : Strings to recommend?



matakazer
06-01-2015, 08:42 PM
I am currently using the Aqulia Nylgut strings on the tenor and would like to try out other strings to see if I like them.

I prefer them to sound 'happier' or is it termed as brighter?

Adrian Ortiga
06-01-2015, 10:29 PM
try d'addario pro arte stris, i reccomend the ones with extra-hard tension

hammer40
06-02-2015, 12:42 AM
Strings are very subjective, so the best thing is to try as many as you can and decide for yourself what sounds best on your uke.

Generally, they aren't that expensive, so it's not to bad to try different brands out. You will no doubt see suggestions for some of the following. These seem to be the more popular brands, South Coast strings, Savarez, Oasis, Worth, PhD, Living Water, D'Addario, Martin and Fremont. Flourocarbon strings generally will yield a brighter sound than nylon strings, but some don't like the thinner diameter or the density/tension of fluorocarbon.

Again, try as many as you can and decide for yourself. There are a lot of threads on strings here, so if you do a search you will find a ton of info on them.

PhilUSAFRet
06-02-2015, 01:06 AM
Depends a lot on which tenor you are referring to.....wood, construction, etc. to get more specific string recommendations.

kissing
06-02-2015, 01:19 AM
There are so many options! That's like asking, "what beer do you recommend?" It is so open ended and there is so much variety.

I am also a fan of D'addario Pro-artes. I prefer the concert set to use on Concert and Tenor ukes. I dont really like the Tenor set - the tension is a bit too much for my liking. When I want a low-G set, the 4th-1st strings from a Pro-Arte normal tension classical guitar set corresponds to the Concert ukulele set. I use these on concert and tenor ukuleles. I love them for their mellow, but not too muddy tone. It still is bright and happy sounding, without being brash or tinny.. and it fingerpicks very well. They are my goto strings.

But you really do have to match the strings to the ukulele. They dont sound great (to my ears) on all ukes. On some ukes, I have Fremont blackline fluorocarbons and some with Savarez classical strings (1st-4th).

Worth is also extremely popular; though personally I am not a fan (the low tension ones feel too thin/tinny..the higher tension ones feel too extreme. Worths just dont feel comfortable for me).

Robin Harrison
06-02-2015, 02:12 AM
I've got some high g Living Waters on a tenor...............sound fantastic.

hendulele
06-02-2015, 02:18 AM
Fluorocarbons are a good alternative to the nylguts. Living Waters and Martins tend to be bright; Worth clears have higher tension but a lot of people love them. My experience with the Pro Artes wasn't as good (too squeaky). As they say, your mileage may vary!

Icelander53
06-02-2015, 03:23 AM
I am currently using the Aqulia Nylgut strings on the tenor and would like to try out other strings to see if I like them.

I prefer them to sound 'happier' or is it termed as brighter?

I love these threads. I can give advice without any idea if it's going to be good. :D

If you want happy I hope you're talking soprano here. I think Aquilas are pretty decent for brightness. Outside of that I'd have to just try different string sets and hope I get lucky. There is a huge number of variables it seems. Your own ear/taste in sound being one of the big ones.

matakazer
06-02-2015, 03:48 AM
Fluorocarbons are a good alternative to the nylguts. Living Waters and Martins tend to be bright; Worth clears have higher tension but a lot of people love them. My experience with the Pro Artes wasn't as good (too squeaky). As they say, your mileage may vary!

I intend to try out the D'addario Pro-Arté Carbon but worry about too much tension. Higher tension = harder to fret right? You were saying the set for concert works for the tenor too?

Olarte
06-02-2015, 03:50 AM
I use mostly Worth clears or Worth browns on most of my ukes, also like PHD, and Living Waters strings...

kissing
06-02-2015, 04:07 AM
I intend to try out the D'addario Pro-Arté Carbon but worry about too much tension. Higher tension = harder to fret right? You were saying the set for concert works for the tenor too?

The D'addario Pro Arte Concert is not high tension, but regular tension. It works for both concert and tenor size ukuleles despite the "concert" labelling.

You may need to give it a few days to open up. These strings have a break-in period before they sound their best

WCBarnes
06-02-2015, 05:11 AM
Higher tension = harder to fret right?

In my opinion, yes. I recently got a tenor and, to me, the string tension was too high. I couldn't play it very long at all without my fingers aching. So I changed strings a few times but didn't find anything that lowered the tension. I went to Southcoast's site and the tension for each set & scale is clearly marked. I got a set of LL-NW that indicated lower tension. I absolutely love them! They put the tension more in line with the sopranos/concerts I usually play. I went from nearly selling a uke and giving up on the size altogether to loving the sound and playability! Strings are cheap, I would keep trying until you find what you like!

Icelander53
06-02-2015, 05:53 AM
strings are not cheap when you end up trying them all or most of them. It's going to be the price of a nice new uke over time. I know.

Just out of curiosity how much play time did it take to make your fingers ache. I've never had that but my fingertips can get sore if I play a whole lot more than usual.

hendulele
06-02-2015, 07:28 AM
Just out of curiosity how much play time did it take to make your fingers ache. I've never had that but my fingertips can get sore if I play a whole lot more than usual.

I have learned (ow) that if you own ukes of varying scales, it's wise not to pick one up that's been inactive for awhile and try to play it for an extended session. I made the mistake of taking my tenor (that I hadn't played for at least a month) to a jam and my fingertips were cross with me for several days after that.

Patrick Madsen
06-02-2015, 08:22 AM
Are you a picker or a strummer? Play linear or reentrant? I went thru what you are now; most of us do. Do you like wound 3&4th, just a wound 4th?

I'm an old guitar player so like a higher tension low(linear)G 4th. For me the Southcoast HML-RW's just can't be beat. I haven't tried their lesser tensioned strings but feel they would be as good as the RW's. Oasis were okay but too soft sounding on my Griffin. I have a set of custom Craig Brandau(?) from Strings By Mail that I've heard rave reviews about. Found out last night they only have a wound 4th so not sure if I'll put them on or not.

I have a set of Oasis on my Moore Bettah. They're okay but I like a higher tension. The nice thing about Oasis is his sets are double length so you actually are getting two sets.

String selection seems to be a never ending trial. I'm sure many of us have a drawer full of strings not used looking for the right one. For me, on my tenors, it's Southcoast all the way.

WCBarnes
06-02-2015, 08:54 AM
strings are not cheap when you end up trying them all or most of them. It's going to be the price of a nice new uke over time. I know.

Just out of curiosity how much play time did it take to make your fingers ache. I've never had that but my fingertips can get sore if I play a whole lot more than usual.

That is true! Every $10 adds up! But it is better than trying a whole bunch of different ukes! :D

I guess ache was the wrong choice of words as they didn't really "hurt." It is more that they would tire very easily. I was only be able to play for about 10-15 min before I needed to rest my fretting hand. I found that it took more effort to fret the higher tension strings. I know some people love having higher tension and that is a selling point. For me it made it more of a chore to play vs fun. I have too many chores to do each day, playing a particular uke didn't need to be one of them!

johnson430
06-02-2015, 09:01 AM
Just buy a bunch of differnet types of strings.
I have several sets waiting to go on my mango.
Right now I am loving the pro arte extruded. Ej65t.
I like them better than the j71 pro arte.
I also have a friend who plays a custom Breedlove(1 of 10 made) and has kept the extruded ej65t on his uke for aome time as well.
They are much easier to fret than the j71 but I still have some j71 sets and will revisit them in the future.
What and how you play determines what strings will work best for you. And realize your string needs might change too.
Good luck,
Johnson