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neovolver
03-11-2009, 11:38 PM
sorry - the thread title should read "Nylgut."


I've got a Pono Tenor Ukulele that i enjoy very much. I have Aquila strings on it now and I believe I have had them on for about 4-5 months. The ukulele had being staying in tune well, but recently has needed to be tuned more frequently. I understand the nylgut (was included with the ukulele when I bought it in June as a back-up set of strings) lasts longer, but it seems like they have reached the end of their playing lives. I've got Ko'olau strings to replace them, but am a bit hesitant to change them. I've grown accustomed to the nyglut (I can't even remember what the uke sounded like beforehand), so does anyone know how different the sound will be when i switch?
Also, i've got a song (the first one i've written) that i'll be playing in a service this coming Sunday - should I play it safe and keep the same strings on for now? I am a bit wary, also, because the A string sounds a bit weak - the first time I changed strings, I did so because the A string snapped while I was playing!

Okay - verbose, I know.
Thanks

Neel

Kaneohe til the end
03-11-2009, 11:50 PM
I've got a Pono Tenor Ukulele that i enjoy very much. I have Aquila strings on it now and I believe I have had them on for about 4-5 months. The ukulele had being staying in tune well, but recently has needed to be tuned more frequently. I understand the nyglut (was included with the ukulele when I bought it in June as a back-up set of strings) lasts longer, but it seems like they have reached the end of their playing lives. I've got Ko'olau strings to replace them, but am a bit hesitant to change them. I've grown accustomed to the nyglut (I can't even remember what the uke sounded like beforehand), so does anyone know how different the sound will be when i switch?
Also, i've got a song (the first one i've written) that i'll be playing in a service this coming Sunday - should I play it safe and keep the same strings on for now? I am a bit wary, also, because the A string sounds a bit weak - the first time I changed strings, I did so because the A string snapped while I was playing!

Okay - verbose, I know.
Thanks

Neel

just so you know, theyre nylguts, not nygluts
youve got some things to consider.
1. is your new strings a high or low g? will that affect the song your playing (itll probably sound weird at first if you end up switching)?
2. the strings will take time to settle in. if you change it thursday and play it a lot on friday and saturday, making sure to stretch out the new strings, youll be okay on sunday. hell you could even use all that time as practice.
3. you said youve become accustomed to the sound of nylguts. know that its still a 'ukulele. it wont sound that much different. who knows, you may even like the ko'olaus better. never know until YOU try.

neovolver
03-12-2009, 12:04 AM
I appreciate the rapid response.
I did catch my typographical error - corrected it in the body of the message, but wasn't able to change the thread title.

The new strings are standard, which I'm assuming is high G.

The timing really is an issue here - not just referring to the number of days I would have to stretch the new strings, but also to the whole deal of hearing how this song will sound on different strings.

I am all for experiencing new sounds, but I do a whole lot of chunking in this song (actually, throughout the entire song), so I wonder how the ko'olau's will sound with that employed (I did not know how to chunk before I put the nylgut strings on).

I know i'm splitting hairs here. If I was sure that the A string wouldn't break, I would wait until after Sunday to replace the strings (wouldn't it be nice if we could predict that?)

ukantor
03-12-2009, 02:27 AM
Myself, I wouldn't fit new strings so close to a gig. If you are worried that a string might break, can you not take a spare uke with you? Not everyone has a second uke, but I wouldn't be without one. I take the uke I intend to perform on, and another which is good enough if I should need a replacement - and the stand-in uke can be handed to others who want to get their hands on one, which happens quite a lot.

Ukantor.

allinfun
03-12-2009, 05:25 AM
Sound wise for the pono and aquila combination...

There will be a difference in sound. The Ko'olaus are tensioned higher than your aquilas. So you need to get used to that. They are also a different sound, in the regards that they tend be a bit more balanced between bass and treble. They are more mellow than Aquilas, and their bloom (the sound after you strum) is more mature and develops more than the aquilas.

Second, check the Ko'olau package as they are predominately low g setups, or if it's reentrant, the 3rd string is most likely wound. It's not bad but be informed.

You didn't say what wood and size the pono is, but I do know that also plays a huge difference in the Ko'olau string sound. Many concert koa pono players don't care for the Ko'olau strings as they are a bit too heavy for the instrument that don't really let the sound ring out. Tenor players typically are happier with their ko'olau strings.

bbycrts
03-12-2009, 07:31 AM
My new Pono PTS-E came with Aquilas on it. I played with it a bit and just really didn't like the sound. I had a couple sets of all-plain Ko'olau Golds I bought from MGM - replaced the Aquilas yesterday with the Golds and the sound is sooo much better! Balanced, mellow, but still with great volume. It took a nice uke that looks great and sounds okay and turned it into a great uke!

neovolver
03-12-2009, 07:39 AM
Ukantor - thanks for the input. I believe I will hold off on changing the strings until after the event. I have yet to purchase a second 'ukulele, but will now perhaps consider at least beginning the search.

Allinfun - thanks for the input as well. The pono is a Mahogany PCO. I ordered the high G (standard), but do not see it written anywhere. Would this be noticeable in terms of thickness? (I haven't put them on yet)
Also, the 3rd string doesn't appear to be wound - though i'm not completely sure if I am looking for the right thing.

GrumpyCoyote
03-12-2009, 07:47 AM
If I need to play out, I don't use new strings. I give them at least a week to settle in.

I second the idea of a spare uke at a show, rather than changing a string if it breaks. If you have a spare, pack it along.

New strings = unreliable. Too prone to stretch and break. Almost every string I ever broke was from a brand new set. Nicks and flaws can ruin your show, so it's best to play them for a while to make sure they can take a beating.

allinfun
03-12-2009, 09:19 AM
no worries on the wound, it's a concert which means all nylon strings in Ko'olau line. The ko'olau strings last about half a lifetime in regards to longevity. And once broken in they dont need to be tuned much at all. My husbands 8-string hasn't been tuned in 2 months and when I put the tuner on it last week it had no measureable stretch/creep in the strings.

Try the golds out on the concert and see what you think after your event, and play them for awhile. Some folks make the concert golds sound great.

Howlin Hobbit
03-12-2009, 09:22 AM
Interesting. In all the time I've played ukulele I've only broken one string and it was one of the weird nylon-wound nylon strings from National.

allinfun
03-12-2009, 09:51 AM
I've seen 2 A strings on tenors go (both were Aquilas), and one Aquila C string as well. The A strings broke in 2 different places, one at the nut the other at the 3rd fret. The C string went at the 7th fret. Had one LaBella go (A string) and that was the happiest day of my life, as it meant I had a perfect excuse to change out the strings! That brand was not my fav.

neovolver
03-12-2009, 12:13 PM
Yes, I am hoping that once was good enough in my lifetime of string-snapping. I was, of course, playing a riff that was heavy on the A string - left that alone for a while.

So, i'll take all of that and head for this Sunday with confidence in the Aquila's and then be eager in anticipation to see how those gold's sound afterwards.

Now, the topic of the back-up ukulele has been broached more than once. I have a guitar that i'm also fiddling around on, but I suppose a tenor would be my first inclination among the remaining 3 general ukulele sizes. I am entertaining the thought of a soprano, though, but really haven't given it all that much thought.

It's a broad question, but what would anyone recommend?

Kaneohe til the end
03-12-2009, 07:05 PM
It's a broad question, but what would anyone recommend?

2 words. ebay, MGM