View Full Version : Settling period for U bass strings?

09-04-2015, 01:13 PM
sorry if this has been asked but my search didn't find a thread. Do the Aquila bass strings hold a tune from the get go or is there a stretching period? Mine seem to go flat quickly but I'm new to the u bass and don't know what's normal for rubbery strings.

09-04-2015, 05:21 PM
Think I found an old string thread that answers some of my questions about settling. It sounds like bass strings aren't quite as stabile as uke strings in holding their tuning. I have the white thunder guts and apparently folks are saying that these are considered relatively stabile

09-04-2015, 08:11 PM
I never liked the Aquila Thunderguts, way too sticky for me and after short while, they got dents where I played the most. I've replaced them with Road Toad Pahoehoe, which take longer to settle in, but to me sound and feel much better and do not dent. I've also recently used the new Kala metal wound strings that I also like.

09-05-2015, 03:11 AM
KohanMike, thanks for the reply. I just gave my husband a UBASS for his birthday and it came with the A. white Thunderguts. He played regular bass in a band when he was younger (Fender usually with flat wounds). He said it make take a little time to adjust his technique to these rubbery strings (it seems like his attack is a little too aggressive) also, he's rusty. But his main question was whether these strings ever stay in tune or will he have to tune up every time he picks the UBASS up. I found it interesting to hear that there are now wound strings for UBASS (never seen them at jams). Might be something a conventional bass player would find more familiar. He's not hating the rubbery ones, just finds them weird and a little annoying having to retune so frequently. The onboard tuner is a little small for his old eyes. I told him I'd leave one of my Snarks clipped onto his headstock for now. He said since your on UU forum reading all the time, please ask for him whether this retuning problem goes away..hence the post.

09-05-2015, 04:48 AM
The poly strings will eventually settle down, but even after a couple of months, I still have to tune them at the start of a rehearsal or gig, they also require more knob turning than regular bass strings. Since I never played a regular bass, only bass ukes with poly strings, poly strings are fine with me.

09-05-2015, 06:09 AM
Depending on the strings, it takes a long long time for them to settle down. The white Thunderguts stretch a little less than the black Paoheohe strings. Most people find the Thunderguts are sticky and hard to play. The Paoheohe strings are better for most people. I think they give the u-Bass its unique sound. They are quirky and I find it makes sense to unwind them from the post periodically, cut off a bit of the excess, and rewind them. They perform much better without too much overwrap on the post. I think it takes as long as a year for them to stop stretching.

I have put the wound strings on one U-Bass. They do make it feel (and sound) more like a regular bass guitar with a very short scale. I never use the steel strings at a ukulele jam. It's my rock n roll u-bass.

The onboard tuner on the Rumbler (which it sounds like he has) is pretty terrible. I have tried a bunch of tuners on the u-bass and found they have a hard time with it. For me the Snark tuners work the best.

The u-Bass is different. It does have its quirks. I love them for the sound and the size. I don't want to play a full-sized bass, even a short scale one anymore because they are way too heavy.

09-05-2015, 08:29 AM
Thanks for the info guys! I have given him a Snark and he will play these strings for awhile and see. As an old regular bassist he might just like those wound string (just more natural feel to him, but I think he usually played flat wounds). He will give these more of a go tho before he changes up.

09-05-2015, 07:40 PM
They do settle down- I played a wedding on the beach tonight in cape cod, and I didn't need to tune often- I checked at the beginning of each set but they were very close each time.

I also haven't played my regular electric on a gig since I got my rondo solid body. I have a 31" scale 6.5 lb birdsong that is beautiful and sounds amazing, however my arthritis is making even that one hard to play, and the uke bass is so easy that I'm probably not going back. 4 lbs and 21" scale (23.5" when I can finally get that 5 string, very soon!) is really working for me.

Tell your husband that the biggest adjustment is to fret in between the frets rather than at them as you would on a traditional electric bass, and while the rubber strings can take a hard attack, they're better with a lighter touch. I had to remind myself of that during tonight's gig...

09-06-2015, 02:59 AM
Mrufino1, thanks for the tips. I will pass them on. We jammed together last night and he is getting more familiar with the feel, just has to keep himself from slapping that E against the body so much.