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View Full Version : Strings with strong fundamentals and strings with polished/ground/flat basses



2xbass
06-10-2016, 09:33 AM
In the double bass world we often talk about strings with strong fundamentals. I've never thought about it much with uke strings but my wife put Mahanas on one of her ukes last night and they are awesome. Really strong fundamental but still very clear. Electronic tuner locks right in on them even while they are decaying.

I'm wondering if others can recommend low G tenor sets with similarly strong fundamentals.

Separately, I have Southcoast HML-RWs on one uke and ML-WBs on another and love the polished windings. Are there other low G tenor sets that have similar polished/ground/flat wound basses?

Thanks,

Adrian

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
06-10-2016, 05:05 PM
Try the Thomastik-Infeld CF30 (G) and CF27. Flatwound polished chrome over nylon. Extremely well balanced with Oasis fluorocarbons and as quiet to finger noise as I've seen. These are the best linear strings I've seen. As it is now you still have to piece the sets together though and they aren't cheap.

2xbass
06-10-2016, 08:49 PM
Awesome. Thanks for the tip Chuck. I've ordered some.

anthonyg
06-10-2016, 08:55 PM
In general I find that fluro-carbon strings have a strong fundamental tone with a strong mid-range tone which sounds sweet but after a while a bit boring to me. I like Aquila Nylguts which are weaker in the fundamental tone but have stronger harmonics. Not as sweet but I find they sound bigger and more interesting to me.

Anthony

2xbass
06-10-2016, 10:20 PM
I agree on the tone for the Nylguts but I find them too plucky for me with not enough sustain.

Mivo
06-10-2016, 10:40 PM
How would one define "strong fundamentals"? I haven't heard the term before in regard to strings.

anthonyg
06-11-2016, 02:49 AM
How would one define "strong fundamentals"? I haven't heard the term before in regard to strings.

When a note rings at a given pitch, you hear the nominal pitch, plus harmonics. Harmonics such as 4ths and 5ths sound "warm" and harmonics such as 3rds, 6ths and 7ths can sound "cold".

Strong fundamentals would be the nominal note plus some 4ths and 5ths. I haven't analysed the sound but Nylguts would be weaker on the nominal tone compared to fluro-carbon strings and strong on the harmonics including the 3rds and 6ths.

Anthony

anthonyg
06-11-2016, 03:25 AM
I agree on the tone for the Nylguts but I find them too plucky for me with not enough sustain.

I always detune my tenor ukuleles 2 or 3 semitones which provides MORE sustain and mellows the sound a little. I like to detune concerts 1 semitone.

Anthony

2xbass
06-23-2016, 06:57 PM
Try the Thomastik-Infeld CF30 (G) and CF27. Flatwound polished chrome over nylon. Extremely well balanced with Oasis fluorocarbons and as quiet to finger noise as I've seen. These are the best linear strings I've seen. As it is now you still have to piece the sets together though and they aren't cheap.

I installed these on my LFDM and these are like the holy grail for me. Absolutely awesome tone and feel. As Chuck said, extremely well balanced. These absolutely trounce the South Coast strings that came on my uke. I honestly couldn't imagine anything better. Thanks for the awesome tip, Chuck!

DownUpDave
06-24-2016, 04:01 AM
I installed these on my LFDM and these are like the holy grail for me. Absolutely awesome tone and feel. As Chuck said, extremely well balanced. These absolutely trounce the South Coast strings that came on my uke. I honestly couldn't imagine anything better. Thanks for the awesome tip, Chuck!
I ordered a few pairs of these based on Chucks recommendations as well. I have an LfdM with HML-RW on it..........I feel a string experimentation coming on.

Thanks for your feed back and sharing

2xbass
06-24-2016, 01:01 PM
Please do share your thoughts when you try them. I may have lost a tiny bit of volume on the bottom end between this setup and the HML-RWs but it is totally worth it and I do appreciate the new bass strings being slightly lower tension. The entire set is, as Chuck said, very balanced. The sound is more open and sweeter.

DownUpDave
06-25-2016, 12:31 AM
Please do share your thoughts when you try them. I may have lost a tiny bit of volume on the bottom end between this setup and the HML-RWs but it is totally worth it and I do appreciate the new bass strings being slightly lower tension. The entire set is, as Chuck said, very balanced. The sound is more open and sweeter.

I was talking to Andrew at HMS and he also mentioned about loosing a bit on bass when switching to the Thomstik pair. My LfdM is a spruce top and while it has decent bass I certainly don't want to loose any of it. I guess there is only one way to find out. It won't happen for a while as I am very happy with the sound and I just changed strings on it about two months ago. But you DO have me curious

2xbass
07-16-2016, 03:25 PM
I'm still super happy with the Thomastik strings on the bottom and definitely prefer them over the HML-RW. I still have plenty of low end on the LFDM. I'm loving the Thomastiks so much I am using them on two other ukes and ordered a whole bunch of spares.

Separately I did swap out the Oasis strings just this morning for Mahanas on the top and I think I am preferring that. They also have pretty strong fundamentals like the Thomastik strings and are a good match with a fatter tone. There is a bit less sustain than the Oasis strings but they sing as much as the Thomastiks do so it's a good match. I have actually wondered what it would be like to use the top two nylon strings from that Thomastik Classic N set that the CF27 and CF30 come from.

2xbass
07-22-2016, 06:23 AM
I abandoned the Mahanas. I found they (and the Oasis) tended to crap out too easily if I really dig in with my thumb (not even strumming but mostly single finger soloing). Now trying Worth Browns with the CF27 and CF30. The second string is a reasonable match but the first is still a little too bright. Worth Brown Fats might work. I've also ordered the matching nylon strings from that Thomastik set plus various D'Addario fat nylons to try (from the EJ65T and EJ53T sets). Coming from double bass where I'm used to much fatter strings and about 8x the tension I'm quite happy to play much heavier gauge if it gives me more tone.

stevejfc
07-22-2016, 08:36 AM
Fremont Soloist is a nice smooth wound low G string with some good thump. Pairs well with both Living Waters and PHD C, E & A strings .

2xbass
07-28-2016, 04:51 PM
So I now have three ukes with the CF27 and CF30 strings on the bottom. On the top of the LFDM I have the CN27 and CN31 strings. These are the matching nylon strings from that Thomastik-Infeld set. You can get all these strings in the Classic N CF128 set. Just use the top four strings from the set. So far I'm liking it. Sounds more like guitar than uke but that's fine with me.

On my Pono TE I have the top two strings from the D'Addario EJ53T set. These are black nylon. Needed these super dark strings on that uke. Sounds great amplified. They are a bit high-tension but fine for me. On a Córdoba 30T-CE I have the two top strings from the D'Addario EJ65T. These are clear nylon. I believe these are actually the Mahana strings (or something close) as made by D'Addario for Ko'ohlau. Not sure if I'll stay with these or just put the CN27 and CN31. I wanted something a bit darker for that particular uke which is a pretty bright instrument.

2xbass
08-03-2016, 11:49 AM
Still loving these strings and delving more into classical guitar strings. So many more options available. I took delivery of a Pono Pro Classic baritone cutaway slothead today with Cedar top and Macassar Ebony back and sides and pretty quickly replaced the bottom two strings of the Alohi set with the Thomastik CF30 and CF35 strings from the same set we've been discussing. These are what would normally be the A and D strings on guitar, tuned to D and G on baritone. Tension seems pretty spot on.

DownUpDave
08-03-2016, 12:26 PM
Thanks very much for the continual updates, keep them coming. This is really valuable stuff for those of us that like to experiment with different string combos, especially the wound third and fourth strings.

How are you liking the Pono Pro Classic baritone, I like the wood set that you picked. I have the very same in a Pono Pro Classic tenor, great pairing of top and back woods to bring out sustain and projection.

2xbass
08-05-2016, 02:30 PM
Another example of how good these strings Thomastik strings are: I was having a lot of trouble getting the new Pono baritone to sing between the 7th and 12th frets. Enough that I was thinking I might even have to send the uke back. It was sounding really choked up there. Even though I had the CF30 and CF35 on the bottom, I had tried various other strings on the top including the Alohi that it came with, some Worth Browns (bottom two from tenor set as top two on baritone), and clear (EJ65B) and black nylon (EJ53B) D'Addario baritone strings. I finally put on the CF27 and CN30 from the Thomastik set - so now the uke has the middle four strings from that guitar set (as opposed to the top four which are on my LFDM tenor) and it is just a complete world of difference. Really sings up there now.

I had initially avoided putting the Thomastiks on the top because it meant having three metal strings. Thomastik does provide other options for that string - either a CN39 (pretty thick) or a CP33 (a hybrid high density fiber string) which can be obtained in sets with roundwounds but can also be ordered separately from Strings by Mail (special order for the CP33) but I have not ordered any. As it turns out I'm totally fine with the metal 2nd string especially as these flatwounds are so nice under the fingers and it really helps fill in the sound for the Cedar/Macassar which has a bit of a natural EQ scoop (lots of bottom and top but less in the mids).

By the way, I found the D'Addario baritone nylon strings pretty crappy. The clears especially sound and feel very much like typical cheap, plasticky, hollow sounding strings.

Mivo
08-05-2016, 03:02 PM
So I now have three ukes with the CF27 and CF30 strings on the bottom. On the top of the LFDM I have the CN27 and CN31 strings. These are the matching nylon strings from that Thomastik-Infeld set. You can get all these strings in the Classic N CF128 set. Just use the top four strings from the set. So far I'm liking it. Sounds more like guitar than uke but that's fine with me.

What's the tension like in comparison to the Ko'olau strings that your Pono baritone came with? I'm still happy with the Aquila Red Series set on mine, but you seem to have a much better ear for nuances, and experience, than I do, so I'm curious now. The CF128 set is easy to get over here (costs 12 euros or so).

DownUpDave
08-05-2016, 03:03 PM
Great detailed info as always. I love Strings by Mail, so does my paypal and credit card accounts, lol. They have an excellent selection of single strings for those of us that like to experiment. It is very interesting that you have three wound strings, on your baritone, I am intrigued, very intrigued.

I ordered some high tension florocarbon Oasis GPX classical guitar strings as singles in the sizes I wanted for baritone. I have actually restrung my steel string Pono UL4-20 tenor guitar with these to see how the instrument sounds as a nylon strung guitar. I will do a blind "baritone shoot out" thread once these have settled but so far I like it.

2xbass
08-05-2016, 07:09 PM
What's the tension like in comparison to the Ko'olau strings that your Pono baritone came with?

Mivo, it's about the same tension. Not noticeably higher or lower.

Mivo
08-06-2016, 01:57 AM
Mivo, it's about the same tension. Not noticeably higher or lower.

Thank you. I'll give this a try when I change strings the next time. I'm glad all four come from the same set, so that makes it hassle-free. :) I appreciate all the info you've posted.

kissing
08-06-2016, 02:32 AM
I'm a bit late to this show, but if you want strong fundamentals - good old fashioned D'addario Pro-Arte clear nylons are the way to go for me.
If you want a low-G, just use the Regular Tension classical guitar version and use the top 4 strings.

Nylguts and Fluorocarbon, if I'm not mistaken, inherently have richer overtones than nylon (but less fundamental).

Ever wonder why Jake Shimabukuro has such strong fundamental in his sound? He uses the D'addario Pro-Artes.

flailingfingers
08-12-2016, 01:29 PM
Any updates on these combos? 2xbass? Particularly interested if you all still like the Thomastik-Infeld CF 128 for the #3 and 4 strings ...also the use of the #1 and 2 strings from the full set.

2xbass
08-12-2016, 07:01 PM
flailingfingers they are still great. I have the top four strings from the CF128 set on my tenor and the middle four on my baritone. Great on all accounts. I have a bunch of other guitar strings coming soon and will also test amd report back on those soon. Regarding the first two strings from the CF128 set (CN27 and CN30) I much prefer them over any fluorocarbons and over various D'Addario uke nylons.

flailingfingers
08-13-2016, 10:48 AM
flailingfingers they are still great. I have the top four strings from the CF128 set on my tenor and the middle four on my baritone. Great on all accounts. I have a bunch of other guitar strings coming soon and will also test amd report back on those soon. Regarding the first two strings from the CF128 set (CN27 and CN30) I much prefer them over any fluorocarbons and over various D'Addario uke nylons.
Good info. Thanks. Your reports are much appreciated here.

2xbass
08-14-2016, 10:42 AM
Thanks for that info Kekani. I have some Hannabach Silver Special 8158MT coming soon and look forward to trying them. I have heard great things about them. The great thing about a lot of these classical guitar strings is you can buy treble-only sets for very little.

2xbass
08-14-2016, 08:20 PM
Yes totally agree. There are so many more options with classical guitar strings including, in many cases, many choices for tension for the same string.

2xbass
08-23-2016, 04:46 PM
Today I put the Thomastik-Infeld CN39 string on as the second string on my baritone (replacing the CF27). So I now have two nylon strings (CN31 and CN39) and two wound strings (CF30 and CF35). So far it's working out quite well. The string sings quite nicely and there is less noise when sliding up and down all four strings and I don't really notice the larger gauge of the CN39 that much, at least not on the baritone. Not sure you'd want it as the third string on a tenor.

The Thomastiks are actually very decently sized for nylon strings. For example the equivalent (2nd and 3rd) strings from the Hannabach Silver Special Medium Tension set are 0.033 and 0.0412. The equivalent strings from the D'Addario Pro Arte EJ45 (Normal Tension) are 0.0322 and 0.0403.

2xbass
09-14-2016, 04:01 PM
So another update: I recently replaced the Thomastik nylon strings on the top of my LFDM and Pono Pro Classic Baritone with strings from the Oasis GPX Carbon classical guitar set. You can buy a half set that has only the treble (top three) strings. These are fluorocarbons that many classical guitarists rave about as the only carbons they will use because they are not as bright or as harsh as others.

So on the baritone on the top I have the 2nd and 3rd strings from the GPX set. These are 0.027 and 0.034 in size and then, as before, I have the Thomastik CF30 and CF35 strings. The overall sound is definitely more to my liking. As you'd expect, they sing a bit more than the Thomastik nylons. The slightly smaller gauge also makes them easier to get around. The tension is definitely higher to the point that there is no more sustain (perhaps even a bit less) than the Thomastik nylons but the tone is more consistent as the notes decay. I should also mention that the tone is more compressed than the nylons but I like it.

An important note about the tension: My gut feeling is that if you were to use this setup on a 22.25" baritone, that instead of using the 2nd and 3rd GPX strings that it might be better to get the high tension set and use the 1st and 2nd strings. I bet the CF30 and CF35 would be fine at higher tension on the longer scale.

On the LFDM I have the 1st and 2nd strings from the GPX set plus, as before, the CF27 and CF30 Thomastik strings. Initially I was not as enamoured with this switch but I found I had to adjust my technique slightly. I can play less heavy-handed since the fluorocarbons speak much more easily and once I did that I was getting a more balanced sound in the strumming.

2xbass
10-24-2016, 04:29 PM
Today I receive a Pono Baritone Nui Acacia which has a 23" scale. It uke came with the top four strings of a guitar set on them and they were too slack and the response was quite underwhelming.

I put the Thomastik CN31, CN39, CF30 and CF35 (middle four strings of the CF127 set) on a 23" scale Pono Baritone Nui tonight. I was concerned they might be too high tension. It's pretty high but still comfortably playable. So right now I have the CF30 and CF35 as the bottom strings on a number of ukes all tuned to D and G with scales ranging from 17" to 20" and now 23". Although the tension varies a fair bit they are very playable in all situations.

frigiliana
10-25-2016, 01:44 AM
Hi which string in the Thomastik range would be the C string for the Tenor ukulele (flat wound ) ?

Booli
10-25-2016, 02:22 AM
Hi which string in the Thomastik range would be the C string for the Tenor ukulele (flat wound ) ?

I've been using the CF27 (0.027") for my flatwound C strings when I use them instead of fluoro or nylon, depending on the uke.

Some of my ukes have a wolf-tone with an unwound C and the CF27 seems to minimize that, if not cure it all together.

You can buy the CF27 as a single string (~$6), or it comes as part of the T-I CF128 full set (~$20) which has it as a WOUND third string instead of the CN39 (0.039").

Strings By Mail, Just Strings and All Strings Nylon sell them, but Strings and Beyond does not have them and I have not checked Elderly and I've not seen any T-I strings other than for electric bass (~$70) or various orchestra instruments on Amazon.

frigiliana
10-25-2016, 02:36 AM
Thanks Booli is this the one ? https://www.stringsbymail.com/thomastik-infeld-cf27-3rd-string-g-027-chrome-steel-flat-wound-2480.html

Booli
10-25-2016, 02:46 AM
Thanks Booli is this the one ? https://www.stringsbymail.com/thomastik-infeld-cf27-3rd-string-g-027-chrome-steel-flat-wound-2480.html

Yes, that the correct single string, or the full set as per here: https://www.stringsbymail.com/thomastik-infeld-cf128-classic-n-superlona-nt-guitar-strings-full-set-2181.html

2xbass
10-26-2016, 06:21 PM
Hi which string in the Thomastik range would be the C string for the Tenor ukulele (flat wound ) ?

Yes as Boole said, CF27 if you want a wound string. You could also go for the CN39 if you want unwound.

Mivo
10-26-2016, 06:53 PM
The CF27 is fantastic. I have been using it on my tenor for a bit now and it's a fantastic string (as is the CF30 for a low-G).