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View Full Version : Relative string tensions



Funster
05-01-2009, 05:19 PM
In the past two years, since I've gotten into ukes, I've played all sizes of ukuleles. I'm OK with baritone string tension, tenor's just fine, concert just OK. It starts to feel loose and rubbery around that size, tuned high G standard tuning. I recently got a soprano with Aquila strings low G standard tuning to do some choral jazz on. This feels REAL loose to point where I'm bending the strings out of tune just forming some challenging chords. It just seems too low and loose. Ohta-San sounds mighty good at standard though. Of course mine is a KALA and his is... much more expensive.

Now I know I can tune up a whole step on those concerts and sopranos. But to copy tunes on You Tube or whatever I have to tune them back down which is a pain. And they play pretty hard up a whole step. Most of the strings I've used have been Aquilas.

Has anyone else been bothered by this? Are there strings with a higher tension than Aquila that I might try on my soprano? Remember, this is low G and that string seems to be at the limit of acceptable sound.

Myala509
05-02-2009, 01:05 AM
I do not know much but I would like to add something too. I got the worth low g clears and the tension goes from very soft to very hard from low to high. Is that normal?

FrozenMango
05-02-2009, 12:03 PM
what do you think of the worth clear low g strings, i ve been thinking of getting them...

uke5417
05-02-2009, 12:29 PM
I believe the string tension does decrease through the sizes. I'm approaching things from the other end, having begun on soprano and recently acquired a bari, which I find very demanding on the fingers because of the increased string tension. Your problem is compounded by the fact that you're already on Aquilas, which tend to be firmer than many other strings I've tried.

Myala509
05-02-2009, 04:14 PM
what do you think of the worth clear low g strings, i ve been thinking of getting them...

I like them. They were worth the money.

Harold O.
05-03-2009, 06:39 PM
Has anyone else been bothered by this? Are there strings with a higher tension than Aquila that I might try on my soprano? Remember, this is low G and that string seems to be at the limit of acceptable sound.

See if you can find a good uke shop in your area and ask the guy (hopefully he'll have enough knowledge to address your specific concerns). Bring your uke in and compare the string tension relatively to the others. Do some experimenting.

Spooner
05-03-2009, 06:41 PM
I've just made a new saddle for this older uke I have and slapped on Aquillas (that came with it).
They are the low g tuning with wound g string package.
The tension is HIGH!!!
I dont think I like these very much at all.
Not on this uke anyway.

ichadwick
05-17-2009, 06:35 AM
Here's a page with some technical info on strings and string tensions:
www.ukuleles.com/Technology/strings.html (http://www.ukuleles.com/Technology/strings.html)
Note that tenors have an average 29 lbs tension compared to 21 for the soprano (baritones are a mighty 53lbs!).

That's one reason the strings feel looser: because they are!

The answer, it seems, is that thicker strings can increase the tension and alleviate the loose feel, but only to a point. To really make a difference, you may have to go with an entirely different set of strings - i.e. a custom set selected from guitar strings that can be tightened higher than their usual range.