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View Full Version : Looking for new stings and would like some opinions. (thickness / feel)



Philipraposo1982
12-13-2016, 09:05 AM
Hi everyone,

I have a Kala KAS Concert ukulele, nothing special but for now its what I got. Stock Aquila nygut strings. I have been playing for almost 2 years and never changed the string. They still hold their tone quite well.

The reason I am looking to try something new is more out of curiosity more then an actual need to replace them. One thing I have always felt is that my nygut strings are thick, a bit hard to press, and have a kind of "muddy" (not crisp) sound at times.

So i am hoping with the experience of others i can be advised on some different strings to try.

What I am looking for:
- crisp sound, not too deep/full, but not muted or soft.
- thinner diameter / soft to touch?! is that a thing
- should have a good feel to them

Is there a string out there that fits what I am looking for?

Thanks in advanced,

Philip

PTOEguy
12-13-2016, 09:25 AM
Sounds like Aquila reds would be a great place to start. I think they have one of the best/softest feels of any string I've played and they have a nice light/bright chime to them.

Also, I'd highly recommend reading the southcoast strings guide http://www.southcoastukes.com/stringuide.htm, they should give you the tools to understand the implications of string choice.

Philipraposo1982
12-13-2016, 09:35 AM
thanks for the feedback. Another trait i forgot to mention was concerning the "sticky" feel i got from using the Aquila nyguts. I don't know if they all have the sticky kind of feel to them but I would like to avoid it if possible.

I will likely buy 2 sets to try, both of which will be chosen based on feedback I get from this post. I will most definitely consider the reds.

Would you say that they are a fair bit thinner than the nygut? how do they feel?

Anoything string I have been looking into is the D'Addario T2 EJ87C, any thoughts?

Dan Gleibitz
12-13-2016, 09:45 AM
I think you'll get a bunch of different opinions, so you may need to try a few.

My favourite strings fit most of your requirements. Enya E31s:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Enya-E6-E31-High-Polymer-Carbon-Fiber-Ukulele-Strings-For-21-23-26-Inch-Ukulele-/291965047520

Don't be put off by the low price; these are quality PVDF strings used on high end Enya (nothing to do with the singer) ukuleles. Crisp and clear but not harsh, thinner than Aquila Nylguts. Tension/softness you'd have to test, but they feel easy and silky to me where I find some flourocarbon strings a bit sticky.

Philipraposo1982
12-13-2016, 10:28 AM
i looked into aquila red for a bit to find a large number of people complaining about broken string after a short period of use. I think I will steer clear of these for now considering how many other options are out there.

PereBourik
12-13-2016, 11:14 AM
I'm a fan of fluorocarbon strings. Martin M600 (sop/con) M620 (tenor) are a good set to start with. The last well, hold tune once settled, and intonate well. Other good flourocarbon choices include Oasis GPX and Worth.

Snargle
12-13-2016, 11:20 AM
I'm a fan of fluorocarbon strings. Martin M600 (sop/con) M620 (tenor) are a good set to start with. The last well, hold tune once settled, and intonate well. Other good flourocarbon choices include Oasis GPX and Worth.I've had excellent results with both the Martin strings and Worth Browns.

Bill Sheehan
12-13-2016, 11:28 AM
Philip, I'll throw in my vote for the Martin M600's. I've had very good luck with them, and I think they just may fit what you're looking for. -Bill

pritch
12-13-2016, 11:39 AM
I have had reds on four ukulele, two currently without a problem. I think there was a problem when they first came out but I ordered mine from the factory hoping to get new stock. It worked, and Aquila were a pleasure to deal with.

My other choice is Fremont Blackline which would seem to meet your requirements. They come in two tensions though: medium and hard. Make sure you get mediums if you buy those.

I have no idea where in the world you are, but I buy my strings by mail from Elderly Instruments or Hawaii Music Supply. There are others I haven't tried, but both of those are good to deal with. HMS are slightly more expensive for postage but delivery is a lot faster. There is usually a minimum price for postage so i buy several sets at once to lower the cost per set.

The Southcoast website can be a bit intimidating at first, but if you persevere it is very informative. As has already been mentioned they may have stringsets of interest to you.

Choirguy
12-13-2016, 12:32 PM
As a player who doesn't like the Super Nylgut, I would also suggest the Martin 600 strings for your concert. Then you'll know if you like flurocarbon or if you need another solution.

You can later try more expensive flurocarbon strings if you feel the need to keep searching, but I am pretty happy with the Martins on most of my instruments.

Some people are using Seagur flurocarbon fishing line with their ukuleles.

Ukulele Eddie
12-13-2016, 12:43 PM
I would check out Southcoast, which offers different thicknesses. Like you, I tend to prefer medium to thinner strings. Others I also use regularly include Worth Browns, Oasis Brights (don't be fooled by name, they're not bright, it's simply their thinner string) and Reds. I have only ever had one string break, but do agree many people seem to have issues.

Philipraposo1982
12-13-2016, 12:45 PM
I think I will get a set of Martin and a set of the ej87c

luv2uke
12-13-2016, 04:58 PM
I had the aquila nylguts come with my Lanikai concert and my Kanilea tenor. Played with them for a year on the Lanikai and changed them to the Martin M600. Made a world of difference in the clarity of sound and sustain. The first string however felt a little thin and did not deliver the proper sound volume when hammering on, but a good string and vast improvement over the aquila. Strung Oasis bright string (can also choose warm string) on the Kanilea. Really happy with them and had comments about them sounding really good. Elderly sells them for $6 and change, plus the length of the strings are long enough to string 2 ukuleles or save a set when restringing again.
Good luck.

WCBarnes
12-13-2016, 07:30 PM
i have tried several fluorocarbon strings and the two i keep coming back to are Martins and Oasis (both warm and bright).

mrStones
12-13-2016, 09:36 PM
Hi Philip,
well I am quite a fan of Reds. They are great, but a little frail. Anyway, the breakage I personally experienced was only on tenor size. On concert and soprano size, never experienced a breakage.
But, reading your expectation on strings, I strongly recommend Living Waters by Ken Middleton.
They are bright but not too crisp, thinner than Worth and have a great feel, smooth and well... "liquid" (I know it does not make a lot of sense but I can't describe differently).
hope it helps.

Croaky Keith
12-13-2016, 09:54 PM
Late to the party, but I'd go for flourocarbons, I use Living Water. :)

mikebell48
12-14-2016, 01:35 AM
Hi Phillip,
I've settled on Ken Middleton's Living Water strings for both my ukes. They are fluorocarbons and very smooth and thin. Ken is a real gentleman to deal with and extremely helpful. Might be worth a try. Strings are very much a matter of personal taste though. http://www.kenmiddleton.co.uk/Pages/LWS.aspx

Mike

UkerDanno
12-14-2016, 03:48 AM
+1 for the Martins and they are inexpensive and available at most local music stores. Also, Worth browns and Fremont blacklines will be warmer and a bit thinner than most. I love Living Water on my Kanile'a, have Fremont blacklines on my Islander.

JackLuis
12-22-2016, 07:50 AM
I'll just stick in a plug for D'Addario EJ99 Carbons. They have a bright sound and soft feel. I also like the Fremont Blacklines might not be a bright as EJ99s but real nice. PhDs are good too. Aquilas sound too brash to me.

manfromtexas
12-23-2016, 03:27 AM
Sounds like Aquila reds would be a great place to start. I think they have one of the best/softest feels of any string I've played and they have a nice light/bright chime to them.

I gave up on reds a long time ago because they kept breaking on me - but that was early on when they were new. I've read in various places that issue was either fixed or improved upon so I'm open to giving them another shot. But another thing I didn't care for about them at the time was the texture. You describe them as "soft" but I always found them to be rough - I thought they felt like paper. I was wondering did they also change something about the feel and texture of the later reds compared to the earliest ones, or do they feel pretty much like they always did?

mrStones
12-23-2016, 03:43 AM
I gave up on reds a long time ago because they kept breaking on me - but that was early on when they were new. I've read in various places that issue was either fixed or improved upon so I'm open to giving them another shot. But another thing I didn't care for about them at the time was the texture. You describe them as "soft" but I always found them to be rough - I thought they felt like paper. I was wondering did they also change something about the feel and texture of the later reds compared to the earliest ones, or do they feel pretty much like they always did?

I think PTOEGuy meant that they are easy to fret. At touch, they are rough like paper, but they are really "plastic" (not the material, but they fret and bend really easily).
I think that after the "reformulation", they are always the same. I was happy I had no breakage with reds on tenor in a while, but gave up 2 weeks ago after another A string broke while the uke was in the case.
But on concert they sound great and never had a breakage and I think my Concert fluke will mount 'em for a long time.