View Full Version : Best strings to buy.

06-23-2015, 10:16 AM
I am a new ukulele player, less than 60 days. A friend, who bought it at a yard sale, gave me a Lanikai LU-21B Baritone.

This friend said that the yard sale lady said she thought her daughter bought it around 7 years ago.

It's in great shape, but I know it needs new strings, as I figure the strings on it now are original.

My question is: What would be the best strings to purchase to replace the old strings? I haven't a clue.

Best Regards,


06-23-2015, 12:13 PM
Any baritone strings would work. You'll likely get many recommendations. I hear lots of good things about Southcoast baritone strings, but I am sure you will get some recommendations from members who have that specific model.

06-23-2015, 02:55 PM
Southcoast and D'Addario work very well on my 1950's Martin. Get various sets and try them out. They will all give your instrument a different sound.

06-23-2015, 05:57 PM
There is no "best", only what works for you.

In my own experience, I don't like all plain strings on a bari. I prefer sets with 2 wound/2 plain because they sound more balanced to my ear.

Jim Hanks
06-24-2015, 01:25 AM
I do like all non-wound. You want the best? Here ya go:

And yes I had these on my LU21B when I had it.

06-24-2015, 03:03 AM
Thanks to everyone who replied to my question. Jim, I took your advice and ordered the strings you suggested. A little expensive, but I thought what the heck.

06-24-2015, 03:10 AM
Hey terrgy! LU-21B was my very first uke, about 15 yrs ago. It's still getting played today by my son. For the longest time, I had Aquila on it. They sound fine, are inexpensive and readily available (especially back in the day, when internet shopping was not so prevalent). Its gonna take some time for you to learn what you like in strings. As others have said, it's very personal and there really is no consensus. I vacillate between wound and unwound strings. I feel like I get bigger sound from sets w/ some wound strings but the trade off is squeak. I also like living waters in no wound strings, no sweak, sweet sound but a little quiet. Experiment a bit, strings are cheap. Cheaper than buying more ukes.

06-24-2015, 10:34 AM
I would have said Aquilas, because they're pretty inexpensive and readily available. But if I had a bari, I'd try those Living Waters on it! SO let us know how you like them! I had that uke once too, liked it but have no bari right now.

Jim Hanks
06-24-2015, 10:39 AM
Jim, I took your advice and ordered the strings you suggested. A little expensive, but I thought what the heck.
I'm great at spending other people's money. :p Let us know how you like them.

Patrick Madsen
06-24-2015, 11:12 AM
Once I tried Southcoast strings, my search is pretty well over. I still try the odd Oasis, Living Waters etc., on my ukes the SC sounds best. On my '62' Martin bari., I use nylon with wound 3&4; the fluros didn't bring out that Martin sound nylon does.

06-24-2015, 03:24 PM
I'm great at spending other people's money. :p Let us know how you like them.

You can count on it.

06-25-2015, 09:38 AM
At the risk of threadjacking... I just brought home an inexpensive Harmonia UKLL2N ff-hole baritone, my very first bari. Yeah, it's one of those Chinese productions with tons of finish and a slim body. The construction renders it a bit quiet and sombre. I don't know what the factory strings are; I just know it sounds much brighter tuned up a whole tone to e A C# F#. I suspect that fluorocarbons lie in its future -- they're brighter than nylon and nylgut, right? I'm a novice at selecting uke strings; I'm open to all cost-effective suggestions.

EDIT: The factory strings felt... funny. I just whipped out my digital micrometer. Top and bottom strings are both around .026-in and the two middle strings are both around .032-in. I now suspect that ANY bari set might be better. Or at least, when I go to town in a couple days, find something around .040 for the 3rd string.

07-13-2015, 10:31 AM
I'm great at spending other people's money. :p Let us know how you like them.

You asked me to let you know how I like the strings. Nice, real nice. The Living Waters set of bass strings sound great, and were easy to install. My first time installing uke strings. I've installed many on dulcimers and a harp (16 strings), so no problem.

Until I took the off, I didn't realize how rusty the old strings were, so much have been originals. It's a definite improvement. If I am not mistaken, I think the "to my door" cost was around $17.00.

Thanks for your advice.


07-14-2015, 09:10 AM
Sorry if this has been said already.

There are no 'best' strings. There are only the strings that YOU like best. What you like, with your own ears, your own ukulele, your own playing style is not necessarily what I would like and vice versa. Yet we are both right.

07-17-2015, 03:38 AM

07-17-2015, 09:40 AM
Right after I got my butler music lu21b I put on a set of worth browns but reordered the strings to cuatro. After a while I switched the worth browns back to DGBE tuning but was never happy with the intonation of the lower strings.

A month or so ago I put the original aquila DGB strings back on the bari but had to keep the worth brown E since the aquila E had split for some reason. Intonation is actually very good now with at most 5cents deviation down the fretboard on the G.

Having had a very hard time getting friendly with the bari I've discovered that I only like it for classical finger picking. And for that I really like having the bottom 2 strings wound as I kind of like the squeak, the sustain and the audible sympathetic ringing you get.

I'll probably give one of the d'addario sets a try when I start seeing these aquilas going bad.

I just don't like strumming on a bari. If I want to sing I'll still grab a soprano.