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View Full Version : strings to maintain warm lute like sound?



Brian_the_electrician
09-03-2015, 02:58 PM
I have my first decent uke, a Snail ebony concert. No idea what strings are on it. My guess is that they are nothing remarkable. It has a soft, warm, almost lute like tone. It projects well and overall for what I assume is an all laminate instrument has good volume and very good intonation. I would like to maintain these properties when the time comes for a string change. Cost will not be a consideration. Thoughts? Thanks!

photoshooter
09-03-2015, 03:10 PM
I had Living Waters strings on my Kala concert laminate and they sounded warm and wonderful. I currently have it strung with Savarez Alliance strings which I'm really liking a lot. I'd describe them as "harp-like" on my particular uke. Not too bright, not too warm and they have a beautiful ring.

Booli
09-03-2015, 06:46 PM
I had Living Waters strings on my Kala concert laminate and they sounded warm and wonderful. I currently have it strung with Savarez Alliance strings which I'm really liking a lot. I'd describe them as "harp-like" on my particular uke. Not too bright, not too warm and they have a beautiful ring.

You mentioned the Savarez once before - are these uke strings or re-purposed classical guitar strings?

Do you have a pack #? as Savarez has many different sets...

Brad Bordessa
09-03-2015, 08:04 PM
Contact the company, if possible. If they endorse a string they'd be stoked to tell you what it is. Certainly beats guessing - especially if you like what's one there now.


You mentioned the Savarez once before - are these uke strings or re-purposed classical guitar strings?

Do you have a pack #? as Savarez has many different sets...

They are repurposed guitar strings. I used the 540R trebles (https://www.stringsbymail.com/savarez-540r-trebles-alliance-normal-tension-treble-set-3806.html?zenid=tb0459fhoa9g0m2bq6m618lmb1) and a single KF95 (https://www.stringsbymail.com/savarez-alliance-kf95a-95-mm-0-0374-inches-single-string-3890.html?zenid=tb0459fhoa9g0m2bq6m618lmb1) for a low G. A whole set with the wound D would be cool too, but I like all unwound.

photoshooter
09-04-2015, 03:56 AM
I use the 140R set. I found out about them through recommendations here on the forum.
https://www.stringsbymail.com/savarez-ukulele-strings-soprano-concert-140r-alliance-full-set-7297.html

Booli
09-04-2015, 09:43 AM
They are repurposed guitar strings. I used the 540R trebles (https://www.stringsbymail.com/savarez-540r-trebles-alliance-normal-tension-treble-set-3806.html?zenid=tb0459fhoa9g0m2bq6m618lmb1) and a single KF95 (https://www.stringsbymail.com/savarez-alliance-kf95a-95-mm-0-0374-inches-single-string-3890.html?zenid=tb0459fhoa9g0m2bq6m618lmb1) for a low G. A whole set with the wound D would be cool too, but I like all unwound.

Brad - thanks for the info and the links - did you try the Savarez uke strings at all, or is there something special about the ones offered for classical guitar that makes them unique?

Savarez has MANY classical string sets and hard to tell them apart. I've tried nearly 2 dozen different brands of uke strings over the past 2 yrs on all of my ukes, but have not tried the Savarez nor the Southcoasts yet...


I use the 140R set. I found out about them through recommendations here on the forum.
https://www.stringsbymail.com/savarez-ukulele-strings-soprano-concert-140r-alliance-full-set-7297.html

photoshooter - Thanks for the link...

Are these the strings you had installed on your Kala concert that you brought to UKE NJ last weekend?

photoshooter
09-04-2015, 10:21 AM
B
I've tried nearly 2 dozen different brands of uke strings over the past 2 yrs on all of my ukes, but have not tried the Savarez nor the Southcoasts yet...
photoshooter - Thanks for the link...
Are these the strings you had installed on your Kala concert that you brought to UKE NJ last weekend?

Yes the uke I had with me had savarez strings.

Brad Bordessa
09-04-2015, 11:26 AM
Brad - thanks for the info and the links - did you try the Savarez uke strings at all, or is there something special about the ones offered for classical guitar that makes them unique?

Never tried the uke strings. No idea what makes them different. I'd be curious to hear from somebody in the know.

hammer40
09-04-2015, 12:46 PM
Never tried the uke strings. No idea what makes them different. I'd be curious to hear from somebody in the know.

The uke sets are the same carbon as the classical 540R Alliance strings, just a slightly different diameter for the G and A strings on for the uke. They use .52mm/.69mm/.84mm/.57mm for the tenor set. The .69 and the.84 are the same strings/diameters right of the 540R Alliance classical set, the b and e strings.

Brian_the_electrician
09-04-2015, 12:46 PM
Thanks for the suggestions. I am waiting to hear back from the distributor but I suspect they don't shop with anything identifiable which is remarkable given the tone this little thing produces. I have seen Savarez strings locally and likely will start there.

How about Diadarrio for uke?

70sSanO
09-04-2015, 01:08 PM
So, what color are they? I did see a Snail uke online and the distributor listed Aquilla as the strings.

John

Brian_the_electrician
09-04-2015, 02:43 PM
So, what color are they? I did see a Snail uke online and the distributor listed Aquilla as the strings.

John

Well I feel like an idiot. There isn't a whole lot of information on the distributors webpage but one thing they clearly list...Aquilla strings. Thanks again everyone.

Booli
09-04-2015, 03:06 PM
Well I feel like an idiot. There isn't a whole lot of information on the distributors webpage but one thing they clearly list...Aquilla strings. Thanks again everyone.

No worries, don't be too hard on yourself...

If they are in fact Aquila strings, then this poses and interesting point regarding hearing perception - as I've never heard anyone on UU, nor on YouTube describe ANY Aquila strings as 'warm', but in fact quite the opposite.

My own hands-on experience with all of their ukulele strings bears this out as well. Across more than a dozen ukes, mostly different woods, they tend to sound either bright or somewhat brash when compared to most fluorocarbon, and nearly ALL nylon strings that I've tried, with nylon having the 'warmest' tone with the least sustain, regardless of tuning or tension.

Another difference in the sound and play/feel will occur depending upon whether your plucking/strumming hand attacks the strings with fleshy finger pads, or with your fingernails....hmmm

Could it be the wood combination that renders this tone?

or

maybe Brian (the OP) has nothing else to compare it to under his own fingers and ears in person?

This all reminds me that, like with many things, hearing perception is VERY subjective (and that can be a good thing, but makes absolute comparison difficult). :)

Brian_the_electrician
09-05-2015, 03:33 AM
No worries, don't be too hard on yourself...

If they are in fact Aquila strings, then this poses and interesting point regarding hearing perception - as I've never heard anyone on UU, nor on YouTube describe ANY Aquila strings as 'warm', but in fact quite the opposite.

My own hands-on experience with all of their ukulele strings bears this out as well. Across more than a dozen ukes, mostly different woods, they tend to sound either bright or somewhat brash when compared to most fluorocarbon, and nearly ALL nylon strings that I've tried, with nylon having the 'warmest' tone with the least sustain, regardless of tuning or tension.

Another difference in the sound and play/feel will occur depending upon whether your plucking/strumming hand attacks the strings with fleshy finger pads, or with your fingernails....hmmm

Could it be the wood combination that renders this tone?

or

maybe Brian (the OP) has nothing else to compare it to under his own fingers and ears in person?

This all reminds me that, like with many things, hearing perception is VERY subjective (and that can be a good thing, but makes absolute comparison difficult). :)

Interesting observations. Thanks! I play steel string acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and banjo so I imagine any nylon string instrument will sound "warm" in comparison. For some reason I thought Aquila strings had a rough texture.

The Snail is a well built, nice looking, and to me, sounding uke. But I don't want to get too carried away. This is obviously an all laminate instrument. It doesn't have the overtones and sustain I would expect from something all solid. Still, ebony is dense hard stuff, and even in plywood form maybe it is causing the warmth I hear. It also has a sound port which maybe emphasizes the lower register.

I bought it from a store called Musica in Hudson NY which along with the requisite guitars is more of a "world music" shop. Not many places you can find a Turkish ude and a Chinese snake fiddle next to a telecaster, a hurdy gurdy, and steel drums! He has a lot of ukes for sale although none of them are super high end. I tried them all and this was among the fullest sounding and one of the loudest he had. Since it was to my eyes at least, the best looking, and came with a halfway decent gig bag, it came home. This is a long and roundabout way of saying maybe it is more the instrument than the strings.

PhilUSAFRet
09-05-2015, 03:57 AM
I believe they ship with Aquila strings and in their pics, they look like Aquila strings. Guess I'd stick with them if you like the way it sounds now.

Booli
09-05-2015, 09:56 AM
Interesting observations. Thanks! I play steel string acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and banjo so I imagine any nylon string instrument will sound "warm" in comparison.

Ahh! That make a lot of sense. Any nylon or non-metal string would sound warm in comparison to a steel-string instrument. Thanks for clarifying, and this proves (once again) how everything is relative when it comes to perception.


For some reason I thought Aquila strings had a rough texture...

Many folks have commented about the surface of the Aquila strings here on UU, so you are not alone.


The Snail is a well built, nice looking, and to me, sounding uke...

I saw them for sale on Elderly's site, and was considering the Ebony or Rosewood tenor, but funds got diverted to something else. Reports have been overall positive from other folks that took the plunge on the Snail brand.


I bought it from a store called Musica in Hudson NY which along with the requisite guitars is more of a "world music" shop...

It's great that you got to play a good sample of ukes in person and could compare them to find the best one available to you locally.


This is a long and roundabout way of saying maybe it is more the instrument than the strings.

Could be a bit of both, especially since your ear is not yet 'tuned' to the subtle differences in sound and texture across Nylgut, nylon, fluorocarbon and similar string materials...

:)