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DownUpDave
03-26-2017, 07:04 AM
I am a self admitted string changing junky. I will burn through a number of different sets in search of the "one" set that sounds best. Sometimes mixing and matching until I am happy. But when I do find the set that sounds best to me I stick with it.
Here in lies the problem........or one I just discovered a few days ago. I can go a long time without changing strings on these instruments and not realize it.

Simon came over with some of his ukes and we were going to do some back to back blind sound samplings. I was critically going through some of my ukes and realized most of the wound strings looked dull and cruddy. I keep a slip of paper in the compartment of each case noting the strings and last time changed.

I'iwi..........Aug 2016
LfdM ......April 2016
Kamaka ..Feb 2016

Not good :wallbash:

I changed out the LfdM and holy smokes what a difference ( I hope Luis is not reading this). Then the I'iwi and Kamaka, same amazing transformation. The thing is none of them sounded bad before, but the brilliance of tone and chime, especially from the new wound strings was VERY noticeable.

If you haven't change strings in over six months and you play a "lot", change them. I knew this but just got complacent, I'm so glad I rediscovered what a difference fresh strings makes. Really important with wounds as they gather dead skin, oils and dirt and the tone gets very dull.

They say confession is good for the soul......oh I hope so

Ukulele Eddie
03-26-2017, 07:29 AM
"Ego te absolvo." ;-)

Mivo
03-26-2017, 08:20 AM
I'm the same way with strings. When I'm on the quest for the right strings for an instrument, I'll swap them within a week or two, if I even wait that long, but once I like something, I don't feel like changing them or even forget to do it (good idea with a date slip in the case!). I got into the habit of oiling the fretboards before and after winter, which should help. :)

It's an argument for having fewer ukes! Or, well, for buying more strings.

Jim Hanks
03-26-2017, 09:18 AM
Simple answer - don't play wound strings :p :biglaugh:

Osprey
03-26-2017, 09:38 AM
Simple answer - don't play wound strings :p :biglaugh:

But wound strings sound so goood.

SoloRule
03-26-2017, 09:40 AM
Dave
You can change mine anytime.

stevejfc
03-26-2017, 10:04 AM
I usually write the string change date on the empty string packaging and keep that in the case...........because I not only forget to change the strings, but I forget what brand of strings are on a particular uke!

DownUpDave
03-26-2017, 10:12 AM
I write the name of the strings on the slip of paper..........but you Steve are a genius. Gonna steal that idea. Except when I mix and match up a "Frankenset"

jollyboy
03-26-2017, 10:18 AM
I need to change the wounds on my bari - and I know I'm just being lazy about it :)

Edit: If only I could remember the exact gauges I ordered last time...

keod
03-26-2017, 10:41 AM
:worship:
"Ego te absolvo." ;-)
ROTFL.
Better absolve me too :worship:
And thanks Dave for the reminder. Now if only I could remember where I put all those new strings.

DownUpDave
03-26-2017, 01:04 PM
:worship:
ROTFL.
Better absolve me too :worship:
And thanks Dave for the reminder. Now if only I could remember where I put all those new strings.

Good one is right, Eddie is the great redeemer. Yea the remembering part is the hardest........now where did I leave that tuner

sam13
03-26-2017, 01:33 PM
I usually write the string change date on the empty string packaging and keep that in the case...........because I not only forget to change the strings, but I forget what brand of strings are on a particular uke!

I do this as well. Make note of the date, and if I have switched things up I make note of what string is what.

M3Ukulele
03-26-2017, 03:02 PM
I seem to go two month and then can hear the strings getting dull. Not a hard and fast rule, just seems to work out to two months. I also will change sooner when a string doesn't sound like it's working out. I have the string blocks which make changing fast and easy. I like the idea of writing down the date of the change and will incorporate that into my system.

dhbailey
03-27-2017, 12:09 AM
A corollary to this discussion is the question of how long do new strings last sitting in the package waiting to be put on the instrument? I haven't had my ukulele long enough yet (6 weeks or so) to have the spare sets I bought sit around long enough to go bad (I hope). I originally bought a spare set of the Aquila Nylguts (the strings that came on the Kala tenor uke) but just recently I bought two sets of the Carbonblack (which I love and will most likely stay with). So one set of the carbonblacks is on the uke and one will simply wait around either to be installed piecemeal if I break any strings or eventually to be installed as a replacement set. But I have no idea how long that will be so I am simply hoping the spare set will retain its "new" characteristics when I put it on eventually.

LarryS
03-27-2017, 12:12 AM
I bought my uke in 2014 and it still has the same strings on!

ukatee
03-27-2017, 12:41 AM
A corollary to this discussion is the question of how long do new strings last sitting in the package waiting to be put on the instrument?

I would expect that so long as they are not exposed to sunlight, or extremes of heat or cold, they will last for years without changing tonal characteristics. Unlike real gut, which even in the packet can dry out and become brittle.

Tootler
03-27-2017, 02:13 AM
I am a self admitted string changing junky. I will burn through a number of different sets in search of the "one" set that sounds best. Sometimes mixing and matching until I am happy. But when I do find the set that sounds best to me I stick with it.
Here in lies the problem........or one I just discovered a few days ago. I can go a long time without changing strings on these instruments and not realize it.

Simon came over with some of his ukes and we were going to do some back to back blind sound samplings. I was critically going through some of my ukes and realized most of the wound strings looked dull and cruddy. I keep a slip of paper in the compartment of each case noting the strings and last time changed.

I'iwi..........Aug 2016
LfdM ......April 2016
Kamaka ..Feb 2016

Not good :wallbash:

I changed out the LfdM and holy smokes what a difference ( I hope Luis is not reading this). Then the I'iwi and Kamaka, same amazing transformation. The thing is none of them sounded bad before, but the brilliance of tone and chime, especially from the new wound strings was VERY noticeable.

If you haven't change strings in over six months and you play a lot, change them. I know this but just got complacent, I'm so glad I rediscovered what a difference fresh strings makes. Really important with wounds as they gather dead skin, oils and dirt and the tone gets very dull.

They say confession is good for the soul......oh I hope so

Stop searching for that "one string". You'll never find it. Fit the ones that sounded best to you and get on with playing your ukulele.

I don't get this crazy string chasing business. There are three types of string (leaving gut out); Nylon, Nylon composition (Such as Aquila Nylgut) and fluorocarbon. The rest is simply variations on a theme. So once you have decided on which you prefer, fit your favourite brand and get on with enjoying your ukulele.

Mivo
03-27-2017, 02:38 AM
It's not that easy! :p Gauges can make a substantial difference, and with composite materials you can't generalize. For example, Nylgut, Super Nylgut, and Red Series are nothing alike in feel and sound even though they broadly fall into the same category. I used to think and say that all fluorocarbon strings are the same, but that's just not so. For instance, Worth Browns aren't anything like Martin M600s, and I bet those medium tension aNueNue Black Water strings that I just bought won't be just like some other fluorocarbon strings in feel and sound either.

That said, I usually stick to strings once I find something that I like and don't try other brands unless I have a specific complaint or desire (e.g. want lower tension or a different gauge), or there is something new that promises to be markedly different to what I tried. Preferences also change over time, and you do have to experiment in order to have refined preferences at all.

While string expenses can quickly add up, occasionally trying something new is also fun and educating. Like buying different brands of cream cheese, even though all cream cheese is fundamentally the same thing. Or tea, beer, and so on.

DownUpDave
03-27-2017, 05:28 AM
Stop searching for that "one string". You'll never find it. Fit the ones that sounded best to you and get on with playing your ukulele.

I don't get this crazy string chasing business. There are three types of string (leaving gut out); Nylon, Nylon composition (Such as Aquila Nylgut) and fluorocarbon. The rest is simply variations on a theme. So once you have decided on which you prefer, fit your favourite brand and get on with enjoying your ukulele.

I do enjoy my ukuleles a LOT when I like the way they sound. With all due respect the "one string" is the one that sounds the best to me, then I keep them on. If I want to change strings until my fingers bleed that is my choice.

We all get joy from our ukuleles in different ways and we should all be free to explore all the different aspects of this fun instrument

bborzell
03-27-2017, 01:18 PM
What? Beer isn't all the same?

DownUpDave
03-28-2017, 01:54 AM
Many string sets cost $15 - $20 by the time they are delivered to Australia or bought in a shop. 50 x $15 = $750. If you change strings every week when you really don't need to it will cost you $750 a year, getting close to the price of a nicer uke. If you have a lazy $750 lying around or if you are a professional musician, this is not really a problem. But if you are a person who is working to a tight budget, it pays to get maximum value out of your strings. Plastic strings can last for several years on some ukes, and they hold their tune and sound ok. Wound strings wont last several years, more like a month maximum if you play them a lot.
In many cases you can get the sound of the uke to change just by varying your playing technique. If you have an action that is 2mm high, you will be surprised when you do some work and realise that you can get three or four fretting heights, each with a different sound, just by controlling your fretting fingers. There are a few cm from the join to the bridge where you can hit the strings, you can learn several picking or fretting positions, each of which will have a different sound. And you can learn how to use them all in a single three minute tune if you feel like it, you do not have to stick with the same technique all the time. Add in a pick, and you get more possibilities. Fretting and picking technique does not cost any money, picks cost less than $1, you can get a lot of mileage out of your strings without spending more money.
I like to spend money on things that last like ukes and music books, strings are consumables, they can be expensive consumables if you are not careful in how often you change them and how you use them.
Realistically if you change strings every week and you know what you like, you would be better off finding a way to bulk buy strings. You either get the fishing line in the right sizes or just find the discount thresholds from your string seller, often a box of ten costs less per unit than a single packet. However, if you do want to buy in bulk you need to be using the strings.

I usually read your posts and just shake my head, cause you are really out there. But I feel you are taking a shot at me, I saw your comment in the Moore Bettah post about "people who like to spend $750.00 a week changing the strings on their $200.00 uke". This doesn't suprise me as you always come off as very opinionated.

You don't seem to get the point of my thread. That was.........after changing strings on three of my ukes the sound was noticably better because the old strings were on there for over one year and I play those ukes a lot.

DownUpDave
03-28-2017, 08:49 AM
Sorry DownUpDave I would be surprised if you actually owned a $200 uke, you seem to talk about more expensive ukes in your posts. My comment on the other thread was a deliberate exaggeration to illustrate a point, it was not intended to be a personal attack on anyone, sorry if you felt it was directed to your personally.
Thanks for the compliments, being opinionated is what recreational music is all about and everyone who likes to be creative really does want to be out there. Anyone who is not opinionated or out there is generally very boring musically and creatively.

Fair enough Bill, sorry if I took it the wrong way. I agree about opinionated people "not" being boring and I have certainly learned some valuable things reading your posts

Cheers

SailingUke
03-28-2017, 12:43 PM
I was one to always change strings frequently (about 3 months). I tried an experiment and went a full year on one of my instruments. When I did change I could hear a HUGE difference. I am now back to 3 to 6 months for a change. My theory is if you hear the difference in the new set you waited to long. I am using flouro carbons that I pay $5 for high G and $7.50 for low G.

Tootler
03-29-2017, 01:47 AM
Fair enough Bill, sorry if I took it the wrong way. I agree about opinionated people "not" being boring and I have certainly learned some valuable things reading your posts

Cheers

My understanding of an 'opinionated' person is someone who has an opinion on everything but doesn't actually know very much. They're often a rag bag of prejudices and very irritating.

I don't think that fits Bill1 at all. He may have opinions on many aspects of music but these are always backed up with the knowledge he clearly has. I may not always agree with him but I respect his knowledge of music. It's someone like that who's interesting. They have opinions, yes but they also have knowledge to back the knowledge up but what really makes them interesting is a willingness to go out on a limb and go against the accepted view if they believe it to be wrong even if they are in a minority.

Doc_J
03-29-2017, 02:08 AM
I usually write the string change date on the empty string packaging and keep that in the case...........because I not only forget to change the strings, but I forget what brand of strings are on a particular uke!

I like to do that too.

jollyboy
04-01-2017, 05:46 AM
Finally got around to changing the wounds on my baritone - what a difference!

Now I've just got to wait for them to settle in :rolleyes:

kkimura
04-01-2017, 04:22 PM
What? Beer isn't all the same?

Actually they do taste the same if you drink enough of them. Ever hear of "three beer bands"? This concept (to many beers) could solve the whole string question too. Strings sounding bad, have another beer. ;)

pritch
04-04-2017, 12:09 AM
I haven't been noting down the date but am inspired to start next string change. Thanks