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jollyboy
12-26-2016, 05:59 AM
I thought this might provoke some mildly heated debate...


The facts:


I'm thinking of trying a few different string sets on my new baritone uke.
Most of the string sets are made up of some or all clear fluorocarbons.
I prefer relatively even tension across all four strings.
Finding accurate string tension information is hard.


I'm wondering if I can reasonably interchange tension numbers between clear flouro strings from different suppliers (for strings of the same gauge tuned to the same pitch). I know it's not going to be 100% accurate, but then again, they are all made by the same Japanese fishing line manufacturer... right? :p

Cornfield
12-26-2016, 06:14 AM
I prefer Worth Browns on baritone ukes. I use Worth clears on my tenors.

http://www.elderly.com/accessories/strings/ukulele-strings/baritone-ukulele-strings?manufacturer=330

Mezcalero
12-26-2016, 06:15 AM
I've mixed and matched different brands of fluorocarbon for similar reasons at times, other times because I had a broken string and had an open set of a different brand laying around. I also have mixed and matched different sets and unique wound strings together with great success. And I have even cobbled together 3 totally different brands, to come up with a CGDA mandola tuning setup. I will not go so far as to say they are all the same. In fact, I would say there are very noticeable differences between the different brands. Especially Worth to me, stand out as unique to all the other fluorocarbon strings I have tried. I am not saying better or worse, just unique. Once the strings settle in, and they are to your liking balance wise, I don't think you will have any complaints.

ralphk
12-26-2016, 06:23 AM
Southcoast folks go to a lot of effort to explain why they select specific formulations and gages for their string sets, one factor being equal tension. They and Worth Browns are my favorites

Ralph

jollyboy
12-26-2016, 06:52 AM
Just to throw in some more thoughts:



The same string gauges seem to show up time and time again - in sets from the same supplier, and even in sets from different suppliers. It's as though string sets are being put together from a "limited palette" of gauges. For example Worth's Fat Low-G set is basically identical to their baritone set. I do wonder if this is because only certain gauges are available from manufacturers.

Suppliers often declare their strings to be '100% pure flourocarbon'. As I understand it fluorocarbon is pretty simple stuff, made up of just three elements - hydrogen, carbon, and fluoride. So how much difference can there really be between strings from different suppliers?

Some sets seem to have wildly uneven tension figures. For example D'Addario's baritone Titanium set has tension figures listed as follows: E: 9.120lbs B: 7.110lbs G 17.830lbs D 16.640lbs

.

I guess I'm frustrated cos I'm finding it hard to identify an "off the peg" baritone set that has evenly balanced tension and I don't really want the hassle (or cost) of making up my own frankenset.

Mivo
12-26-2016, 07:01 AM
I've learned to value gauge/diameter of strings and pay attention to that information, if it's listed, because my ukuleles are set up for specific diameters, so the intonation is negatively affected if new strings are thinner or thicker (the latter can be a real issue with the 3rd string in particular).

I do think fluorocarbon strings are basically all the same, yes, but I'm not entirely sure how much the smaller differences matter. Living Water strings have a different texture than, say, Worth Clears. They do feel, well, wetter. I'm relatively sure that is not just my perception, but I'm not a hundred percent sure about it. Perception based on knowledge or what we've been told by others isn't always factual, but powerful (e.g. when people hear differences that they didn't hear before they were told that they should be hearing them).

I think if a ukulele sounds good with one material of strings, it'll sound good with other strings of the same material also. Would be interesting to see how many people can hear the difference between different fluorocarbon strings on the same ukulele played by the same player, even with varying gauges -- in a blind test with a large enough number of samples (perhaps with some duplicates).

DownUpDave
12-26-2016, 07:06 AM
Making up my own "Frankenset" as you put is about the only way I have been able to get what want. As you say a lack of good info is frustrating and has caused me to experiment.........which is the best way to find out what works for yourself.

I would say most florocarbons are similar when comparing similar diameters. But the compound mix can vary which will change tone and tension. Not enough to rip your bridge off but enough to notice it under finger..........hence the personal experimentation.

UkerDanno
12-26-2016, 07:38 AM
All fluorocarbons are NOT alike! I've tried Martin, Living Water, Worth, GHS, Fremont they are all different. I liked Martins on my vintage Style 0 and my C1K. Living Water works great on my Kanile'a, Worth browns on several things, Fremont blacklines on my Islander. Living Water strings are made in England, Martins are made in Mexico, Worth and Fremont are made in Japan.

JackLuis
12-26-2016, 07:59 AM
I recently did a review of bari-tenor strings and Tenor strings used dGBE on a tenor. Most of the strings sets were Fluro's.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?124671-dGBE-DGBE-for-a-Tenor-Eight-options

janeray1940
12-26-2016, 08:10 AM
All fluorocarbons are NOT alike! I've tried Martin, Living Water, Worth, GHS, Fremont they are all different.

Agree completely, and I'll add Oasis to that list as well. Of all of those the only ones I favor are Martins (which are my go-to string for my soprano and concert koa ukes).

The only mixing I've done is between tenor and soprano/concert sets, and using a G string as an A string since as a low G player I tend to have a lot of extras on hand - and quite honestly, I've never found tension balance to be an issue either way other than my extreme dislike of non-wound low G strings, which feel to me like a floppy rubber band. So that last bit might apply to the OP's bari uke situation, but having never played a bari I can't really speak to that.

Mivo
12-26-2016, 08:37 AM
Agree completely, and I'll add Oasis to that list as well. Of all of those the only ones I favor are Martins (which are my go-to string for my soprano and concert koa ukes).

Martin strings have unique gauges, though. The core question for me, and that I don't know the answer to either, is whether fluorocarbon strings of the same diameter sound differently. Martin's specs stray from the bulk of fluorocarbon strings, so their tension and sound are also different.

janeray1940
12-26-2016, 08:49 AM
Martin strings have unique gauges, though. The core question for me, and that I don't know the answer to either, is whether fluorocarbon strings of the same diameter sound differently. Martin's specs stray from the bulk of fluorocarbon strings, so their tension and sound are also different.

Interesting question, and one I certainly don't know the answer to. But maybe that's why the Martins have the characteristics that I tend to prefer, which I suppose I'd describe as higher tension and brighter sound.

besley
12-26-2016, 09:03 AM
....Suppliers often declare their strings to be '100% pure flourocarbon'. As I understand it fluorocarbon is pretty simple stuff, made up of just three elements - hydrogen, carbon, and fluoride. So how much difference can there really be between strings from different suppliers?....

As polymer chemist retired from Dow Chemical, I got quite a grin at this. Believe me, we chemists are clever enough to take those three elements and turn them into amazingly different substances by varying the ratios of the elements and the molecular weights of the polymers. And after that we compound them with various additives and plasticizers to make them even more different.

Better living through Chemistry (no wait, that was DuPont!).

jollyboy
12-26-2016, 09:10 AM
Martin strings have unique gauges, though. The core question for me, and that I don't know the answer to either, is whether fluorocarbon strings of the same diameter sound differently. Martin's specs stray from the bulk of fluorocarbon strings, so their tension and sound are also different.

I currently have the Martin 630 set on my bari and they sound fine. Pretty good actually. It's just that nagging feeling that maybe there's another string set out there that will sound even better ;)

Heres another random thought, based entirely on personal conjecture:

I seriously doubt that there exists anywhere in the world today a factory devoted exclusively to the manufacture of fluorocarbon strings for musical instruments. I suspect, instead, that there are large-scale plastic manufacturers (such as Kureha Corporation in Japan) who produce various pvdf products, amongst them long thin lengths of the stuff that might be termed 'line' or 'string' (or even 'membrane') depending on the intended application. I think that it's entirely possible that available gauges might be influenced by the laws of supply and demand. And that demand for fishing line might well be higher than the demand for uke strings.

Just me thinking out loud :)

slackkey007
12-26-2016, 09:15 AM
As polymer chemist retired from Dow Chemical, I got quite a grin at this. Believe me, we chemists are clever enough to take those three elements and turn them into amazingly different substances by varying the ratios of the elements and the molecular weights of the polymers. And after that we compound them with various additives and plasticizers to make them even more different.

Better living through Chemistry (no wait, that was DuPont!).


Aloha besley,

Mahalo for chiming in with your "Professional" perspective on this matter being that you are a retired polymer chemist from Dow Chemical. :shaka:

jollyboy
12-26-2016, 09:18 AM
As polymer chemist retired from Dow Chemical, I got quite a grin at this. Believe me, we chemists are clever enough to take those three elements and turn them into amazingly different substances by varying the ratios of the elements and the molecular weights of the polymers. And after that we compound them with various additives and plasticizers to make them even more different.

Better living through Chemistry (no wait, that was DuPont!).

Ah well, I was wondering about all of this so I was interested to read your reply.

Firstly I wasn't sure about varying the ratio of elements - my basic knowledge of chemistry led me to believe that a molecule of a compound substance always contained the same 'ratio' of elements - e.g. water is H2O - so always two hydrogen to every one oxygen.

And... I guess I figured that different additives would probably end up in there somewhere (Worth have to be putting something different in the browns after all). But then, strictly speaking, that ain't '100% pure' anything is it? So the advertising is a little misleading (no real surprise).

besley
12-26-2016, 09:28 AM
Ah well, I was wondering about all of this so I was interested to read your reply.

Firstly I wasn't sure about varying the ratio of elements - my basic knowledge of chemistry led me to believe that a molecule of a compound substance always contained the same 'ratio' of elements - e.g/ water is H2O - so always two hydrogen to every one oxygen.

And... I guess I figured that different additives would probably end up in there somewhere (Worth have to be putting something different in the browns after all). But then, strictly speaking, that ain't '100% pure' anything is it? So the advertising is a little misleading (no real surprise).

Well I have to agree about the "100%" bit, but I'd be amazed if these strings aren't all formulated or coated with something other than fluoropolymer. As for the ratios, a fluorcarbon contains hydrocarbon and fluorine, and the number of things attached to each carbon (the "valence") stays the same, but the amount of fluorine can vary all over the map. If it were completely substituted with fluorine replacing every hydrogen you get Teflon, which probably wouldn't make very good strings. So we vary the amount of hydrogen on the hydrocarbon that is replaced with fluorine. And after that we can even vary where we put the fluorine - randomly, bunched up, or strung out. Anyway, I take the "100%" fluorocarbon tag to simply mean that it isn't part nylon.

Down Up Dick
12-26-2016, 09:37 AM
I'm simply amazed that everyone in the UU can hear all the differences between the many, many different strings offered for sale. I'm also impressed that everyone has opinions about which strings go best on what ukuleles. Most of my fellow Ukers even know the blooming string sizes!

And here I am still trying to keep my fingers from getting stuck between the strings. And changing them?--Ha! :old:

TjW
12-26-2016, 11:17 AM
Just to throw in some more thoughts:

Suppliers often declare their strings to be '100% pure flourocarbon'. As I understand it fluorocarbon is pretty simple stuff, made up of just three elements - hydrogen, carbon, and fluoride. So how much difference can there really be between strings from different suppliers?

Not being in the string business, I couldn't say how different the various fluorocarbon brands are, but in general, the physical properties of plastics are greatly influenced by their molecular weight -- how long the chain of atoms that make up the molecule are.
For example, the stretchy polyethylene bags that you might see in the grocery store for putting vegetables in have the same chemical formula as Dyneema, which is, for a given weight, about ten times the strength of steel. Dyneema has much longer molecules, though. It's an ultra-high-molecular weight polyethylene. They both float, though.

So, yes, in theory, there can be differences between two "100% pure fluorcarbons", even if they have the same chemical formula.

Choirguy
12-26-2016, 11:23 AM
As a relative newcomer to the ukulele, it has been interesting to note the string discussions, and to have a little bit of an eye towards the history of string preference as well.

I'm surprised nobody has brought out the threads about using fluorocarbon fishing line...but that is also worth a try if you think fluorocarbon is fluorocarbon.

As I have noted in the past, I like the feel of the Martins on all of my instruments--and I also like that they are readily available and relatively inexpensive. I have been changing out the Super Nylgut strings that have come on all of the sub $500 instruments that I have owned...but I wouldn't dare tell someone else that they shouldn't use them. Additionally, I just put Aquila KIDS (colored Super Nylgut) strings on 90 ukuleles at our school for instructional purposes...so I have nothing against them.

I also just ordered some Living Waters strings...one set for the (cheap) baritone that I own, and one set for my Opio in the event that something happens to the stock KoAloha low G strings that are on that instrument. I also plan on ordering some low G worth clears for that instrument. I don't believe that Martin sells a 620 set with low G, and while some of you are happy "Frankensteining" sets together like that, I am not at that level of tinkering in my ukulele playing. I've heard the detailed conversations about strings on the Ukulele Site podcast (not much there for a while, which makes sense as they are so busy right now).

What I really would like to see is someone that would take the "named" fluorocarbon strings and do a detailed chemical analysis to compare them to the Seagur fishing line. There has been a lot of speculation that only one or two factories actually make the fluorocarbon strings.

Years ago, I got caught up in motorcycle engine oil analysis. Along with many other Victory owners across the United States, we were spending money to get chemical analysis of different oils at an oil change, as well as studying the post-use analysis (you would also send a clean sample in). These were the early days of synthetic oil mass availability (synthetic is almost the same price as non-synthetic today). We were surprised to find that (at the time) some branded motorcycle oil (more than $8 quart) was the same apparent formula as inexpensive oil that could be purchased at Wal-Mart, etc ($2 quart).

There are some ukulele players that suggest the same might be true with strings...I just don't have the scientific knowledge to prove it.

70sSanO
12-26-2016, 03:15 PM
About 5+ years ago there were some very detailed threads on Seaguar fishing line used for ukulele strings. At one time I felt that all fluorocarbon strings were the same, not the same diameters, but the same formulas. I have backed away from that position for a couple reasons...

I can't explain why Worth clear and browns sound different, when the diameters are the same.

And... 100% fluorocarbon fishing isn't even the same for the same diameters as I have tried a few different brands and even different types of Seaguar line.

I will say that Seaguar Premier is an excellent option if there is a string or two that needs a slight change. I use digital calipers and measure the diameters of the strings, if the mfg doesn't provide it. On occasion I have used Seaguar Premier for a C or A string because the diameter is slightly (.001") different. My understanding is that Premier is fishing tournament approved and is made to closer tolerances, which is a plus for intonation on a uke, even if you are not fishing with one.

The honest truth is that I have yet to find any manufacturer come out and say that fluorocarbon ukulele strings are identical to fluorocarbon fishing line or they are unique. It would not surprise me to find out that there are a certain number of fishing line formulas and string manufacturers just piggyback off of that production.

John

Al Davison
12-26-2016, 04:45 PM
About 5+ years ago there were some very detailed threads on Seaguar fishing line used for ukulele strings. At one time I felt that all fluorocarbon strings were the same, not the same diameters, but the same formulas. I have backed away from that position for a couple reasons...

I can't explain why Worth clear and browns sound different, when the diameters are the same.

And... 100% fluorocarbon fishing isn't even the same for the same diameters as I have tried a few different brands and even different types of Seaguar line.

I will say that Seaguar Premier is an excellent option if there is a string or two that needs a slight change. I use digital calipers and measure the diameters of the strings, if the mfg doesn't provide it. On occasion I have used Seaguar Premier for a C or A string because the diameter is slightly (.001") different. My understanding is that Premier is fishing tournament approved and is made to closer tolerances, which is a plus for intonation on a uke, even if you are not fishing with one.

The honest truth is that I have yet to find any manufacturer come out and say that fluorocarbon ukulele strings are identical to fluorocarbon fishing line or they are unique. It would not surprise me to find out that there are a certain number of fishing line formulas and string manufacturers just piggyback off of that production.

John

As an avid bass fisherman for most of my long life, I've tried a lot of different fluorocarbon lines and they are definitely not all the same. Seaguar is one of my favorites, too. I couldn't say if they are the same or very close to the same formula as some uke strings but, as our resident chemist here has already mentioned, there are about a zillion ways to compound fluorocarbon so, I'm guessing that most uke strings are not the same as fishing line. However, that's not to say that sometimes fishing line would work just fine.
Adding to the infinite combinations is the whole experience that many of us have had - a string brand/set that sounds great on one uke may not sound good at all on a different one.

70sSanO
12-26-2016, 04:57 PM
The only potential issue with unique ukulele string formulas is the setup and run cost to produce just ukulele strings without running fishing line at the same time. I'm sure that fishing line production dwarfs ukulele string production.

John

Booli
12-26-2016, 06:32 PM
I'm going to mostly abstain from commenting here in this thread...(famous last words, yes I failed the brevity test - sorry for the 'wall of text')

...primarily to avoid repeating myself from among my numerous posts about strings, all of which come from my own personal hands-on testing of nearly 100 different string sets on more than a dozen different ukuleles, yes, and costing a small fortune to me, but when I have a question that is not satisfactorily answered by conversation with or reading the opinions of 'experts', it requires me to deep dive and experience the matter myself to the best of by ability, whatever the limit, and try to find and even push that limit...I dont have a chemistry lab, I tested them BY USING THEM.



...and secondly, since often times actual science is thrown out the window when folks are passionate about something and I do not have a need to convince anyone else of my own conclusions...nor do I want to feed into any conspiracy theories about the Fishing Line/Fretted-instrument Strings Cartels of Japan (or Italy), that duke it out in the market like the Yakuza...or Cosa Nostra...LOL


However, Chris brought up a few good points...


...I'm surprised nobody has brought out the threads about using fluorocarbon fishing line...but that is also worth a try if you think fluorocarbon is fluorocarbon.

This has actually been discussed and theorized many many times previously here on UU, going back over 10 yrs to the early days of UU. Many folks have calculated the exact Seaguars fluoro fishing leader or lines to use in what gauges for which tension and tuning on which scale lengths...

IIRC, there have been at least a dozen times this info has been reposted since April 2013...but the search function is lacking even when I have tried to find it, which when I did I bookmarked the threads...

You can use google to index this site or any other...


"fishing line string" site:forum.ukuleleunderground.com

put the above into your google search box will direct google at this site looking for those terms, and if too few results, remove the quotes and try again...also try variations on those terms...rinse and repeat...google is the almighty indexer.

There are also many folks who have made comparison and sound demos on YT...

What it comes down to is yes, you can get 30 yard spools of fluoro fishing leader from Seaguars, in maybe 8-10 different gauges if you want to cover all scale lengths, tunings and tension possibilities...

I priced it out on Amazon, and it will run about $250 to go from 20# up to 100# fluoro leader in either 5 or 10 lbs increments (yes I use different gauges for my A strings, for different instruments).

Even if you have a dozen ukes and change strings once a month on all of them (which some will be premature due to lack of wear) you are going to have decades worth of string changes on your bench...

HOWEVER, the big problem with this, as said by Dirk from SouthCoast, is that now you are fitting the UKE to the STRINGS and not the STRINGS to the UKE, and thus are likely to only forever now use your DIY string sets, and force them onto instruments which might sound or feel better with other gauges, or other string material compositions. There is wisdom in Dirk's words, not because Southcoast sells strings, but because he has a good point.

String materials like, uh, maybe Aquila Nylgut or Aquila REDS, or old-fashioned rectified nylon, or BETTER YET, the extruded magic fairy dust that comes out for sale in 2020 that creates a 'universal harmonic resonance' which effects a realignment of the planets due to the polymers (and/or sound board of the instrument) being able to oscillate at the same frequency as neutrinos, or tachyons or dilithium crystals???!!!?!?!?!


...What I really would like to see is someone that would take the "named" fluorocarbon strings and do a detailed chemical analysis to compare them to the Seagur fishing line. There has been a lot of speculation that only one or two factories actually make the fluorocarbon strings.

Me too. This would once and for all either confirm or refute all the conspiracy theories and [I]just maybe answer the incessant speculation. Maybe we could form a group here to identify a proper lab to do the tests, set our criteria, and then put up a gofundme page so that if folks want to know about this, they can help to make it happen, and for real and we can stop depending upon package labels or string makers that are selective (secretive) about their products...

Feel free to PM me as I want in on this...




...We were surprised to find that (at the time) some branded motorcycle oil (more than $8 quart) was the same apparent formula as inexpensive oil that could be purchased at Wal-Mart, etc ($2 quart).


There are some ukulele players that suggest the same might be true with strings...I just don't have the scientific knowledge to prove it.

Conspiracies abound. Caveat Emptor. As a general rule, I distrust 'labels' on packages and expect more transparency from manufacturers. I do not expect them to give away their 'secret sauce', but some product labels are just outright fraud (maybe not in the uke strings), but why do you think we have these FDA Nutrition Labels mandated by law now in the USA? It's because of the lies and people dying because of the lies (food allergies).

Any way, just food for thought here (puns intended, re:FDA), and I'm not trying to single out Choirguy for anything, I agree with most of his posts in this thread, but some of the items I quoted from him are directly why we, as a group, keep asking these questions over and again...

bunnyf
12-26-2016, 08:34 PM
I'm simply amazed that everyone in the UU can hear all the differences between the many, many different strings offered for sale. I'm also impressed that everyone has opinions about which strings go best on what ukuleles. Most of my fellow Ukers even know the blooming string sizes!

And here I am still trying to keep my fingers from getting stuck between the strings. And changing them?--Ha! :old:

LOL, I don't think my ears are refined enough to hear subtle differences between some sets either. Even tension across the strings is the most significant factor for me. I do not like floppy strings. After that comes size, as I really don't care for overly thick lower strings. After that would be having the least amount of squeak in my wounds.

jollyboy
12-26-2016, 11:34 PM
...nor do I want to feed into any conspiracy theories about the Fishing Line/Fretted-instrument Strings Cartels of Japan (or Italy), that duke it out in the market like the Yakuza...or Cosa Nostra...LOL


:D

But... it's fun...

So, through extensive research (google), I have discovered that Savarez Alliance KF strings (their fluorocarbons) are manufactured by Kureha Corp (the Seaguar guys). A-ha!

@Booli - I agree with the whole empirical approach thing. As a science-on-the-cheap idea I was thinking of buying an electronic jewellery scale and weighing some strings, in an attempt to calculate pounds-per-inch. With that information I should then be able to come up with some tension figures. It would be interesting to see how different brands match up. Anyway, it's definitely on my maybe-to-do list :p

Tootler
12-26-2016, 11:43 PM
Some technical comments. Fluorocarbon strings are made from a polymer called Polyvinylidene Fluoride. It's the same polymer that is used in fluorocarbon fishing line which is why some people have tried fishing line with success. However, it's possible to modify the properties by the way in which the polymer is formulated before extruding into the line that the strings are made from. Such things as blending together polymers with different degrees of polymerisation and adding inert fillers to the polymer to vary the properties of the final product. The difference between Worth Clears and Worth Browns will almost certainly be the filler that's added to Worth Browns.

String gauge and therefore, string tension needed to tune up to a particular note will also affect how the strings sound.

Beyond that, it's a matter of personal preference which strings you like. The strings that give the balance between feel and tone that you like are the right ones for you. Others differ. I don't like high tension in strings. I find them uncomfortable to play and I don't like their tone so I go for lower tension strings. It's interesting that Janeray complains about the floppiness of a low G fluorocarbon string. I don't find that at all with my low G ukulele. It feels right to me and I'm very happy with the low G Living Water set on my Bruko concert ukulele. Similarly the Worth Fats I use to tune tenor ukes to dGBE (same pitch G) feels right to me but I suspect many would find the strings "floppy".

At the end of the day you have to go with what feels right to you. Just because you like/dislike high tension strings on your tenor doesn't mean its right for everyone and you need to bear that in mind when making recommendations. That's one of the strengths of Southcoast strings. Dirk clearly recognises that not everyone is the same and provides strings at a variety of tensions to suit different tastes. I confess, I've never tried Southcoast strings but that's primarily because adding the cost of shipping to the UK makes them seem expensive to me. Also I've been very happy with Worth and Living Water strings which are readily available here in the UK. My recently acquired baritone came with Aquila strings - two plain, two wound and when they need replacing I will look either at getting some classical guitar f/c strings (many people suggest strings 2 - 5 of a classical guitar set) or a set of Living Water and see if, as some people complain, the D string is too muddy or not. Just now the Aquila strings sound just fine.

Edit: I forgot to add; This link is interesting https://allstringsnylon.com/asn/whats-special-about-carbon-strings/ It's about classical guitar strings but much of what is said is still relevant.

Booli
12-27-2016, 02:21 AM
I'm simply amazed that everyone in the UU can hear all the differences between the many, many different strings offered for sale...

Some folks lack the hearing acuity, others just dont care and play whatever strings are cheap / easily available / Jake Shimabukuro [or insert other famous person here______] plays...

As my eyes are getting worse, it seems that my hearing is getting better (for now) until that too starts to decline...:old:

Too bad our nervous system (and basically the rest of our bodies) decay faster than they regenerate once we reach our peak, whatever actual 'age' in years that is, for each individual...

I hope I don't live long enough to be completely deprived of my five senses or to have dementia leave me as a babbling and drooling mess, yelling at 'shadows' that nobody else can see...as they say 'youth is wasted on the young' :) and the good part of your life is always too short...

Since the clock is ticking folks - how will you spend your precious time that is left? :music: :rock:

Booli
12-27-2016, 02:35 AM
:D

But... it's fun...

So, through extensive research (google), I have discovered that Savarez Alliance KF strings (their fluorocarbons) are manufactured by Kureha Corp (the Seaguar guys). A-ha!

@Booli - I agree with the whole empirical approach thing. As a science-on-the-cheap idea I was thinking of buying an electronic jewellery scale and weighing some strings, in an attempt to calculate pounds-per-inch. With that information I should then be able to come up with some tension figures. It would be interesting to see how different brands match up. Anyway, it's definitely on my maybe-to-do list :p

Maybe it's fun once in a while, but if Kureha is the evil master supplier behind the green curtain, maybe I am just afraid to stare....

Not sure if 'weight' is going to give you the precision you need, since the string diameter is a combination of some calculus maths interactions between the mass (weight) and density (linear density) and when I tried to use the charts supplied by D'Addario it just gave me a headache and I am thankful for their newer online string calculator called String Tension Pro, which does the maths for you and I've played with this site extensively over the past 2 yrs or so...

http://stringtensionpro.com/Home

The string-weight-density-tension maths also reminded me of the organic chemistry classes I had in high school and college, where we had to calculate the 'Moles' of each element or compound and do some futzy-math with 'Avogadro's Numbers' while paying attention to the molecular bonds, i.e. covalent or ionic, etc, and thinking about it all reminds me why I did not pursue going 'pre-med' and I recall the the Methyl-hexane and sulfur fumes from the chemistry lab...I did not like chemistry and thus those classes were one of my lowest grades, but if you have the stamina and the will to persist to a meaningful result, then I am all for it and will help in other ways if possible.

Please don't let my chemistry ineptitude interfere...or dissuade you, I merely mention this all so as to help set your own expectations, in that unless you are going to deep dive, the effort and cost may seem like a long walk off of a short pier...

DownUpDave
12-27-2016, 02:52 AM
My own thoughts are this...........keep in mind I am a string changing junky with a set of dial calipers and I measure everything. Once you know diameters and can make an educated decision regarding appropriate size for scale length it all gets very personal very quickly. I know what I like to feel as far as tension goes, I'm ok with high tension and I know the sound I am after. It then comes down to changing strings on the ukulele until I get the "sound" I want and like. Each ukulele can be a law onto its own. They are all different

A huge data base of weights and measures with never give you that. Sound or tone preference is so individualistic that you can only find what you want to hear through trial and error.

jollyboy
12-27-2016, 03:07 AM
Maybe it's fun once in a while, but if Kureha is the evil master supplier behind the green curtain, maybe I am just afraid to stare....

Wait until they start making replicants...


Not sure if 'weight' is going to give you the precision you need, since the string diameter is a combination of some calculus maths interactions between the mass (weight) and density (linear density) and when I tried to use the charts supplied by D'Addario it just gave me a headache and I am thankful for their newer online string calculator called String Tension Pro, which does the maths for you and I've played with this site extensively over the past 2 yrs or so...


Well, yes, weight is the number I need. Measure the length of the string (thus answering one particular age-old question ;)) in inches; find the weight in pounds; divide the latter by the former. That gives you the PLI (pounds per linear inch. With that number, plus instrument scale length and tuning pitch, you can calculate tension. However 'precision' is indeed an issue - mainly in terms of finding an affordable scale that can very accurately measure the weight of something that weighs as little as a ukulele string. There seem to be a couple of decent ones on Amazon - but for every dozen five star reviews there is, of course, one person warning you (all in capitals): "DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT". Because it is the biggest piece of crap ever, apparently.

The D'Addario charts are something of a curate's egg. They seem to offer so much yet are clearly riddled with errors. Thus making them less than reliable.

Booli
12-27-2016, 03:12 AM
My own thoughts are this...........keep in mind I am a string changing junky with a set of dial calipers and I measure everything. Once you know diameters and can make an educated decision regarding appropriate size for scale length it all gets very personal very quickly. I know what I like to feel as far as tension goes, I'm ok with high tension and I know the sound I am after. It then comes down to changing strings on the ukulele until I get the "sound" I want and like. Each ukulele can be a law onto its own. They are all different

A huge data base of weights and measures with never give you that. Sound or tone preference is so individualistic that you can only find what you want to hear through trial and error.

This ^^^ exactly has been my experience. Including the calipers, but mine are digital.

One can READ about string gauge and string tension, but the wood of the uke's top does not vibrate in a vacuum, so we need to EXPERIENCE the strings to understand them. This also, is what I have done.

jollyboy
12-27-2016, 03:23 AM
A huge data base of weights and measures with never give you that. Sound or tone preference is so individualistic that you can only find what you want to hear through trial and error.

Yes, I essentially agree. But I think you can apply some science also. The object of the exercise, from my point-of-view, is to find a string set where tension is as evenly distributed as possible across all four strings. Maybe this is something I'm personally over-sensitive to. But if I have one floppy (or tight) string I'm acutely aware of it... and I think it affects tonal balance.

DownUpDave
12-27-2016, 03:33 AM
Yes, I essential agree. But I think you can apply some science also. The object of the exercise, from my point-of-view, is to find a string set where tension is as evenly distributed as possible across all four strings. Maybe this is something I'm personally over-sensitive to. But if I have one floppy (or tight) string I'm acutely aware of it... and I think it affects tonal balance.

I can definitely appreciate that. We all have certain criteria that is important to us. Because of a left hand issue I have to have a radius fretboard to play barr chords cleanly. It is a neccessity for me while others think a radius is useless and some have called it snake oil. We all have to do what is right for us.

Great thread as some chemists have even weighed in and I have learned a lot.

Tootler
12-27-2016, 04:25 AM
Great thread as some chemists have even weighed in and I have learned a lot.

Chemical Engineer actually, but I did a course on polymers some years ago. My daughter took an option in Polymer Chemistry at University too.

70sSanO
12-27-2016, 05:48 AM
Conspiracy? Kureha makes strings for Savarez. There is no conspiracy or evil empire. It has been going on for years... decades. The original question was if all fluorocarbon strings were the same. I think the answer, nearly everyone has said no they are not the same.

I don't own a dozen different weights of fishing line and use the same strings on everything. I typically use a Oasis and some Worth, but I also have Reds on one uke and even Nylgut. I use 2 different Seaguar leader weights for an A string or a C string because they are an in between sizes.

I don't care about chemical formulations, but it would be interesting to find out how much it would cost to have proprietary string formulas. That is really the answer. If it is too cost prohibitive to develop and manufacture individual runs of ukulele strings, then there has to be some collaboration. If it is not cost prohibitive then the sky is the limit as far as string development.

John

Booli
12-27-2016, 06:22 AM
Conspiracy? Kureha makes strings for Savarez. There is no conspiracy or evil empire...

Sorry if my attempts at sarcasm and/or satire did not translate well via text-only.

It's all good to me. String On! :)

Down Up Dick
12-27-2016, 07:41 AM
Some folks lack the hearing acuity, others just dont care and play whatever strings are cheap / easily available / Jake Shimabukuro [or insert other famous person here______] plays...

As my eyes are getting worse, it seems that my hearing is getting better (for now) until that too starts to decline...:old:

Too bad our nervous system (and basically the rest of our bodies) decay faster than they regenerate once we reach our peak, whatever actual 'age' in years that is, for each individual...

I hope I don't live long enough to be completely deprived of my five senses or to have dementia leave me as a babbling and drooling mess, yelling at 'shadows' that nobody else can see...as they say 'youth is wasted on the young' :) and the good part of your life is always too short...

Since the clock is ticking folks - how will you spend your precious time that is left? :music: :rock:

I belong to your second group. I use Aquilas for all my Ukes, but not the red ones (breakage problems, but I like the wound ones better anyway). I have used others that came on Ukes that I bought, but they grew old and were changed with Aquilas.

I think that string sounds and feel for Ukists like me are not worth thinking about. Learning to play (boring) is what a beginning or struggling player should be concentrating on. An instrument that feels perfect and sounds like a harp from heaven, will still just make noise if the owner doesn't know how to change groups/notes smoothly or strum correctly. There aren't many posts on the UU about that stuff compared to strings, etc. but maybe I'm just being an old fogey . . .

I suppose Jake needs to use the very best strings and equipment that he can buy, but I'll wait a while.

Tootler
12-27-2016, 08:55 AM
I don't care about chemical formulations, but it would be interesting to find out how much it would cost to have proprietary string formulas. That is really the answer. If it is too cost prohibitive to develop and manufacture individual runs of ukulele strings, then there has to be some collaboration. If it is not cost prohibitive then the sky is the limit as far as string development.

John

I think you'll find the quantities required to make it economical to manufacture strings to your specification are too great and the cost for small batches will be prohibitive. You require expensive, specialist equipment.

Tootler
12-27-2016, 09:06 AM
Some folks lack the hearing acuity, others just dont care and play whatever strings are cheap / easily available / Jake Shimabukuro [or insert other famous person here______] plays...


I'm somewhere in between. As long as they sound good, I'll play the strings the uke came with till they need changing. At that point, I might experiment a bit but only until I find some strings I like for the uke and I will try the ones I use regularly first. If they sound good then they stay on till they need changing. I don't think it's worth the hassle of trying umpteen different string brands just for small differences which may just be in my imagination. The time is much better spent playing.

Booli
12-27-2016, 09:41 AM
Wait until they start making replicants...

I do not recall any musical androids (other than whistling) in 'Blade Runner', do you?

I'll have to re-watch it again, Director's Cut of course...:)




I belong to your second group...

I'm somewhere in between. As long as they sound good..

We each have our own path, and our own preferences along that path. We have an embarrassment of riches/plethora in the current choices for strings today.

Maybe I'm just an odd duck, but for me, string discussions are a celebration of these choices, and everyone is welcome to the party.

It's all good to me. :)

Mivo
12-27-2016, 09:51 AM
Technique is overlooked often, probably finger/hand anatomy, nail shape, nail consistency/thickness, etc also. This became apparent to me in the past couple weeks when I started to experiment with plectrums/flatpicks on my ukuleles. Huge difference between material and gauges, more so than strings almost (at least as much). I imagine that applies to technique/etc as well. Different strings/materials may sound different not only on different instruments, but also when played by different hands, fingers, and nails. So that makes strings even more of a subjective choice. Then there is sound preference. What sounds great to one person may sound average to another, even if their hearing is the same, and it depends on what sound you want. Cheap, plinky may be what's desired, whereas guitar-like sustain may not be wanted by someone.