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robinboyd
07-18-2017, 11:46 PM
Alright, I've been slowly working my way through strings, and I'll write my thoughts below. I'm just wondering what to try next. One thing that interests me is the Aquila Carbon Black. Otherwise, I might try some different fluorocarbons. Maybe Worth? Living water? Oasis? Also, I'd appreciate recommendations for sites that ship to Australia. In the past I've ordered from Daniel Ho and Uke Republic. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Here are my thoughts on the strings I have tried so far:

Aquila Nylgut high G - Not bad. Don't love them, but they sound and feel pretty good to me.
Aquila Nylgut wound low G - Felt rough, sounded bad, disintegrated in no time. Will definitely not use again.
Aquila Red high G - Totally love them. I've heard stories about breakages, but it hasn't happened to me.
Aquila Red single low G - Sounds a bit muted, but has the advantage of not overpowering the other strings when strumming.
Fremont Soloist wound low G - Rings clear as a bell and feels nice. A little bit loud when strumming, but it's my favorite low G so far when finger picking.
PHD fluorocarbon high G - I only briefly got to try these out because there was a weird effect so that they didn't work well with the uke I was trying them on. Without that weird effect, they seemed good.
Echoes of Aloha nylon strings(high and low G sets) - Felt cheap. Didn't like them.
Aquila Bionylon - Look and feel a lot like Nylgut. Possibly not quite as good, but hard to tell the difference.

Booli
07-19-2017, 12:23 AM
Robin, You might want to try Martin fluorocarbons, M600 or M620...(and others, see at the bottom)

They are my go-to and first try on a new uke, and on many, they stay on.

They have been consistent and no breakages in 4 yrs, which I have had breakages with brand new sets of Worth, Fremont, Oasis and REDS.

My string selection/satisfaction criteria on a given uke are in the following order of importance to me:

1. Intonation accuracy. I can hear if the intonation is +/- 4 cents off, and more than that I find the instrument simply unplayable, like fingernails on a chalkboard. I play all the way up to the 15th fret now, so intonation is a serious concern. (yes I do my own setups)

2. Tone and note clarity with all of the following: strummed chords, fingerstyle, campanella, etc. This varies for each instrument

3. SUSTAIN. Atypical of old-school thinking, I want as MUCH sustain as possible.

Having said the above, I have observed the following:

- Thinner strings = more sustain = less tension = less volume = brighter tone

- Thicker strings = less sustain = more tension = more volume = warmer tone

- I am not really a fan of 'nylon' strings save for the D'Addario T2 titanium, but for one uke, typically the sustain of nylon strings is about 1/4 that of fluoro strings, and sounds too much 'hit-and-run' for the style of music that I write and play.

- I much prefer and have easily found #1,2,3 above in FLUOROCARBON strings and Worth has 15 differently gauged string sets, but lately I am finding favor with the Martin M600 & 620, D'Addario EJ99, Oasis brights, and Worth CM or BM sets, all dependent upon the instrument's individual sound profile.

Nota bene: The D'Addario EJ99 strings only recently came available in Feb 2017, and are the same gauges as the Worths BM/CM, and the odd thing is that both the EJ99-SC (soprano/concert set) and EJ99-T (tenor set) are all the same gauges, but will be LOWER tension on a shorter scale AND also that the EJ99-TLG (tenor low-G ALL fluoro) has a low-G string that is 0.0413" in diameter which is THICKER and has more tension than ANY other fluoro low-G that I have seen which are typically 0.036" (Fremont) and 0.0358" (Worths).

Another thing to note that lots of folks here on UU are using Thomastik-Infeld classical guitar strings that are chrome flatwound and IMHO are in fact smoother and less squeaky than the Fremont Soloist smoothwound low-G string. There are TONS of threads here on UU if you search for 'thomastik'. When I started back in 2013, long lost UU member named OldePhart (John) told me about them, and I tried them, and that is all I use for a wound C or wound G string, and all I use on my classical guitar and Cordoba Mini.

Strings By Mail (but not Strings and Beyond) has the Thomastik chrome flatwound strings, and you are looking for the following part numbers:

CF27 = 0.027" = wound C string on tenor or smaller
CF30 = 0.030" = wound G string on tenor or smaller, OR G string on baritone
CF35 = 0.035" = wound D string on baritone

I talked about liking them so much here on UU that I got a PM from Chuck Moore (master luthier of Moore Bettah ukuleles) thanking me for inspiring him to check them out and he likes them a lot, and from his influence, HMS now has them as a regular stock item in the strings they sell.

I usually buy my strings from Strings and Beyond when they have free shipping, OR from Strings By Mail. Both are great and I'm pretty sure that they both ship internationally.

I have a referral code for Strings and Beyond, that if you use it by clicking this link

(http://myaccount.stringsandbeyond.com/mod_referralRewards/welcome.php?referralCode=RHQJGP)

you get a discount on your order, as well as I get 'points' that I can use on their site to buy strings. Note that you must use this link each time before you buy, as it sets a 'cookie' in your web browser that will indicate the discount when you create an account and then checkout and pay.

Also, if you want to see ALL of the strings that Worth makes, here is the page on their web site. Most string vendors do NOT have all of the sets laid out in an easy-to-compare chart. Like Oasis, with Worths you get the equivalent of 2 sets of strings in each pack, but ONLY if you cut them exactly in half.

see here: http://worthc.to/english/w_strings.html (they are in Japan and sometimes it takes about 90 seconds for the page to load for me)

Other string vendor web sites that I know of (but have not ordered from) are:

https://juststrings.com
https://allstringsnylon.com

All of the above is based upon testing and trying over 100 different sets of strings from more than 20 different makers of strings over the past 4 yrs.

Hope this all helps! if not, I am happy to answer any questions. :)

Croaky Keith
07-19-2017, 12:31 AM
I quite liked D'Adarrio Titanium when I tried them on a tenor, but found that I liked Living Water strings better, & they are what I now have on my better ukes. :)

robinboyd
07-19-2017, 12:38 AM
Robin, You might want to try Martin fluorocarbons, M600 or M620...(and others, see at the bottom)

They are my go-to and first try on a new uke, and on many, they stay on.

They have been consistent and no breakages in 4 yrs, which I have had breakages with brand new sets of Worth, Fremont, Oasis and REDS.

My string selection/satisfaction criteria on a given uke are in the following order of importance to me:

1. Intonation accuracy. I can hear if the intonation is +/- 4 cents off, and more than that I find the instrument simply unplayable, like fingernails on a chalkboard. I play all the way up to the 15th fret now, so intonation is a serious concern. (yes I do my own setups)

2. Tone and note clarity with all of the following: strummed chords, fingerstyle, campanella, etc. This varies for each instrument

3. SUSTAIN. Atypical of old-school thinking, I want as MUCH sustain as possible.

Having said the above, I have observed the following:

- Thinner strings = more sustain = less tension = less volume = brighter tone

- Thicker strings = less sustain = more tension = more volume = warmer tone

- I am not really a fan of 'nylon' strings save for the D'Addario T2 titanium, but for one uke, typically the sustain of nylon strings is about 1/4 that of fluoro strings, and sounds too much 'hit-and-run' for the style of music that I write and play.

- I much prefer and have easily found #1,2,3 above in FLUOROCARBON strings and Worth has 15 differently gauged string sets, but lately I am finding favor with the Martin M600 & 620, D'Addario EJ99, Oasis brights, and Worth CM or BM sets, all dependent upon the instrument's individual sound profile.

Nota bene: The D'Addario EJ99 strings only recently came available in Feb 2017, and are the same gauges as the Worths BM/CM, and the odd thing is that both the EJ99-SC (soprano/concert set) and EJ99-T (tenor set) are all the same gauges, but will be LOWER tension on a shorter scale AND also that the EJ99-TLG (tenor low-G ALL fluoro) has a low-G string that is 0.0413" in diameter which is THICKER and has more tension than ANY other fluoro low-G that I have seen which are typically 0.036" (Fremont) and 0.0358" (Worths).

Another thing to note that lots of folks here on UU are using Thomastik-Infeld classical guitar strings that are chrome flatwound and IMHO are in fact smoother and less squeaky than the Fremont Soloist smoothwound low-G string. There are TONS of threads here on UU if you search for 'thomastik'. When I started back in 2013, long lost UU member named OldePhart (John) told me about them, and I tried them, and that is all I use for a wound C or wound G string, and all I use on my classical guitar and Cordoba Mini.

Strings By Mail has the Thomastik chrome flatwound strings, and you are looking for the following part numbers:

CF27 = 0.027" = wound C string on tenor or smaller
CF30 = 0.030" = wound G string on tenor or smaller, OR G string on baritone
CF35 = 0.035" = wound D string on baritone

I talked about liking them so much here on UU that I got a PM from Chuck Moore (master luthier of Moore Bettah ukuleles) thanking me for inspiring him to check them out and he likes them a lot, and from his influence, HMS now has them as a regular stock item in the strings they sell.

I usually buy my strings from Strings and Beyond when the have free shipping, OR from Strings By Mail. Both are great and I'm pretty sure that they both ship internationally.

I have a referral code for Strings By Mail, that if you use it by clicking this link

(http://myaccount.stringsandbeyond.com/mod_referralRewards/welcome.php?referralCode=RHQJGP)

you get a discount on your order, as well as I get 'points' that I can use on their site to buy strings. Note that you must use this link each time before you buy, as it sets a 'cookie' in your web browser that will indicate the discount when you create an account and then checkout and pay.


Also, if you want to see ALL of the strings that Worth makes, here is the page on their web site. Most string vendors do NOT have all of the sets laid out in an easy-to-compare chart. Like Oasis, with Worths you get the equivalent of 2 sets of strings in each pack, but ONLY if you cut them exactly in half.

see here: http://worthc.to/english/w_strings.html (they are in Japan and sometimes it takes about 90 seconds for the page to load for me)

All of the above is based upon testing and trying over 100 different sets of strings from more than 20 different makers of strings over the past 4 yrs.

Hope this all helps! if not, I am happy to answer any questions. :)

Thank you. That is incredibly helpful. The Martins happen to be stocked by my local music shop, so I'll definitely check them out. Just put in an order for a few soloists, but I'll check out the TI strings when I next need more low G strings.

Booli
07-19-2017, 12:48 AM
Thank you. That is incredibly helpful. The Martins happen to be stocked by my local music shop, so I'll definitely check them out. Just put in an order for a few soloists, but I'll check out the TI strings when I next need more low G strings.

No worries, I am glad to help. While you were typing this^, I was also editing and adding the following to my post:


...Other string vendor web sites that I know of (but have not ordered from) are:
https://juststrings.com
https://allstringsnylon.com


I just want to be sure you dont miss the edit. :)

Like Keith above...

I also tried the Living Water strings, and liked them enough, but in the end they seemed a bit higher tension than I wanted, while the Living Water hi-G concert set is the same gauges as the Oasis Bright hi-G set, and for the same price as the Living Waters, you get length enough for two sets of strings for the same price, so I just kept on with the Oasis.

Another note is that the Living Water hi-G tenor set is the SAME gauges and tension as the Worth CT or Worth BT string set, but the BT (browns had a slightly mellower tone) and ALSO the same gauges as the Oasis Warm hi-G set.

librainian
08-24-2017, 12:20 PM
Great info here Booli! I'm adding it to my growing list of useful info from you I place into my auxiliary brain, also known as Workflowy (https://workflowy.com/). I have a special tag for these nuggets #booliwisdom

Cheers brother!

Booli
08-24-2017, 12:57 PM
Great info here Booli! I'm adding it to my growing list of useful info from you I place into my auxiliary brain, also known as Workflowy (https://workflowy.com/). I have a special tag for these nuggets #booliwisdom

Cheers brother!

Thanks Andrew!

I am glad to help, and just paying forward what I have learned in the hope that others can benefit from the info. :)

WCBarnes
08-25-2017, 09:24 PM
For flurocarbon strings I really like Oasis. They have a good feel, tension and sound (obviously that is all subjective). I also think Martin strings are a good inexpensive flurocarbon strings.

You mentioned you like the Aquila reds. That being the case, I would HIGHLY recommend the Carbonblacks. The best description can give them is a cross between the reds and flurocarbon strings. Nice bright tone. Easy on the fingers. I really like them.

TopDog
08-25-2017, 10:34 PM
Worth Browns for me every time. I went with Aquila for a
few years when I started playing ukulele, but found that
I prefer the tone of the Worths,and they last much longer!

robinboyd
08-25-2017, 10:56 PM
For flurocarbon strings I really like Oasis. They have a good feel, tension and sound (obviously that is all subjective). I also think Martin strings are a good inexpensive flurocarbon strings.

You mentioned you like the Aquila reds. That being the case, I would HIGHLY recommend the Carbonblacks. The best description can give them is a cross between the reds and flurocarbon strings. Nice bright tone. Easy on the fingers. I really like them.

I just bought some :) I'll be trying them in the near future.

Maiden Uke
08-26-2017, 06:59 AM
No worries, I am glad to help. While you were typing this^, I was also editing and adding the following to my post:



I just want to be sure you dont miss the edit. :)

Like Keith above...

I also tried the Living Water strings, and liked them enough, but in the end they seemed a bit higher tension than I wanted, while the Living Water hi-G concert set is the same gauges as the Oasis Bright hi-G set, and for the same price as the Living Waters, you get length enough for two sets of strings for the same price, so I just kept on with the Oasis.

Another note is that the Living Water hi-G tenor set is the SAME gauges and tension as the Worth CT or Worth BT string set, but the BT (browns had a slightly mellower tone) and ALSO the same gauges as the Oasis Warm hi-G set.

Interesting observation on the Living Water as compared to Oasis and Worth. Thanks Booli, I appreciate this info. Very helpful.

Estudiante
08-30-2017, 04:02 AM
Yeah, hard to recommend strings as it's a matter of preference and characteristics of the particular ukulele. As with many things in life, it's fun to try new things, but it's also nice to find something good and stick with it for the long haul.

peanuts56
08-30-2017, 05:27 AM
I'm using Fremont Black Lines on my Kanilea and Kamaka Tenor. They're getting hard to find.

Graham Greenbag
05-01-2018, 09:07 AM
I'm using Fremont Black Lines on my Kanilea and Kamaka Tenor. They're getting hard to find.

For Fremont Black Lines try Lucy’s in Seattle. I found ‘her’ by chance on Reverb but ‘she’ also has eBay (USA) listings too. I’m in the U.K., so a long way from the shop, but was delighted with the way my order was processed and found the price competitive.