View Full Version : Sopranino strings?

09-27-2015, 01:23 PM
I had a UAS attack the other day and bought a Rubin Laminated Zebra wood Pocket Uke. While I am still waiting for it I had the thought that the Aquilas that it comes with might not be "the best" strings for the short scale.

I had bought another Sopranino for my grand daughter, who is just three and put Lucy strings on it because they were colored and it made the little one play a bit better, though they weren't as precise in intonation.

I recently switched to Phd's on my concerts and like them, for feel and volume. Do you guys think the FC Phd's would work on the shorter scale?

The Rubin will be quiet as it is a 'thin body' type and I was looking to add volume.

09-27-2015, 05:11 PM
I put on some worth CH's which work well. The only problem is they wear too fast. But they've been very stable and allowed me to tune standard gcea no problems.

You'll probably need to up tune whatever standard type strings you might choose.

09-28-2015, 12:18 AM
Don't have a sopranino, but I have to wonder how the Oasis lights I put on my Kamaka soprano would work. Here's an extensive thread on those ukes.


Don't count those Aquilas out just yet. They make one of the few "piccolo" sets available: Here's another thread on the matter:


09-28-2015, 04:58 PM
Thanks for the thread ref's. Phil.

I have purchased four Rubin Ukes and one Caramel (new Name for Rubin) in the last six months. Most I've given away. The Caramel Concert is a Lam zebrawood and is what I play mostly now. This last one came set up, unlike the others which needed string lowering and touch ups.

This latest Sopranino is just like my Zebra wood Tenor thin line I bought first. It was the last one and had some cosmetic defect on the fret board edging so it was marked down to $30. I couldn't resist, even if it turns out a wall hanger. I'm hoping that it will play well.

My neighbor bought a Caramel spruce top tenor and we've been playing a couple of hours a week together. He's a guitar player and says he wanted to try four strings. He seems to like Uke's now.

09-30-2015, 03:40 AM
At the very least, they are starting to sound like a great "toy."....at best, a fun, amazingly compact "player." I'm starting to be tempted. Now if inexpensive cases were more readily available.

10-03-2015, 07:40 PM
I received my Rubin Sopranio today. The shipping box had a big dent in it, but no harm to the Uke. It is very cute. I took it up to the Strum Shop and had bridge and nut work done to lower the strings a bunch. The strings are still settling and the E string intonation is pretty sharp but the others seem reasonable with the Aquilas. I don't think they are the piccolo set as they seem like the same as came on my concert.

It makes your fingers seem awfully big but it sounds pretty good. I'll give these Aquilas a few days to see how they settle down.

10-06-2015, 06:56 PM
After the Aquilias settled down, the intonation was horrid. Probably due to the short 11" scale of this tiny little box. I changed them to Fremont Black Line, Hard Soprano strings. They are much thinner and fluorocarbon. Now after a few hours of tuning up, they seem to be dead on +/- 5 hz all down the 12 frets.

The only thing is they are HARD. makes fretting difficult at the first fret. They do have more volume and if you pick single notes they all ring nicely, except the first four frets of the C string, which are on frequency, but plunk rather than ring.:confused:

I think the volume is pretty weak when strumming, but if I use a pick, on individual notes, oh what a nice chime it has.

The Black strings contrast well with the Zebra wood and make it all the cuter.:D

If nothing else I can use it to learn scales and transfer that to my Huge Concerts. Ah ha ha.

10-07-2015, 10:01 AM
maybe the nut slots are too high? very easy to check the first fret intonation with a tuner. And yes, that C string is the limitation on these sopraninos.

10-07-2015, 11:40 AM
OOps! I made the mistake of tuning the C string an octave too high! I used my Snark to tune up the first time and, boy the C string was tight!

I used my Image tuner which has a Uke setting and found the mistake, now the C is getting sharp as it settles rather than flattening like the others. It sounds so much better tuned correctly. :)

I had a luthier adjust the string heights and the bridge already, and with the C looser, fretting the first fret is a lot easier. G7 is hard mostly because my fingers are too fat, F and A are easy and sound good. Bb is a bit tricky though.

I am getting the hang of it though. I playing this morning I found the sustain of the G caused it to drone, unless fretted. That surprised me.

I also found that keeping the body away from my belly makes it sound a lot fuller, but it's hard to hold it like that.

It sounds like my other Zebra woods ( Concerr and Tenor) nice an full but quieter. It does need a pick to spark it up though.

10-10-2015, 07:20 PM
After a few days the strings have settled and now it's close to being in tune most mornings. I found that G7/Dm are hard to get cleanly as the frets are so small. However, it sounds much nicer with the Fremonts .

I found it is very useful for practicing arpeggios, and finger picking notes, you can take it anywhere and it is not so loud as to disturb the neighborhood. If my nails were longer I wouldn't need a pick.