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RafterGirl
10-19-2017, 08:04 AM
My Bonanza HPL concert ukulele is kind of quiet, which I suppose is not unexpected with the HPL. The Bonanzas come with Seagar(?) Fluorocarbons. Mine got pretty rough after outdoor use this summer. I put Oasis brights on, and now it's even quieter than before. What strings might help with volume and projection?

Pirate Jim
10-19-2017, 08:14 AM
I went through the exact same thing with my Bonanza until I tested it against my other ukes with a sound meter. It turns out it's about the same volume as my others but the sides are extremely rigid so not much sound reaches the player - it's reflected out. Anyway, Aquila reds did the trick for me and it sounds louder to me now.

RafterGirl
10-19-2017, 08:35 AM
I went through the exact same thing with my Bonanza until I tested it against my other ukes with a sound meter. It turns out it's about the same volume as my others but the sides are extremely rigid so not much sound reaches the player - it's reflected out. Anyway, Aquila reds did the trick for me and it sounds louder to me now.
Thanks. I had thought about regular Aquila strings, but wasn't sure. Will put the Reds on the list of possibilities.

PhilUSAFRet
10-19-2017, 08:40 AM
Aquila Blacks?

WCBarnes
10-19-2017, 11:05 AM
Southcoast strings sounded the best on my Bonanza. I believe I used either the LMU-NW or the MU-NW. They really brought out a great sound.

70sSanO
10-19-2017, 03:29 PM
My thought is that the uke needs more string tension, especially if the Oasis brights made it quieter, then thicker strings might help. Aquila Nylguts have been a somewhat maligned string over the years, as new renditions of fluorocarbons are brought to market. However Nylguts do offer a loud balanced sound that might be a good choice for HPL. My experience is that the Reds have less tension.

John

M3Ukulele
10-19-2017, 04:24 PM
Interesting....never thought HPL would be quit. More tension seems like a good idea. Does Bonanza offer a side sound port? I've considering either HPL or their hybrid solid top , HPL sides and back, I would think side sound port would help either version. I also believe there will be a string that works for your HPL as it is. That is half the fun of trying new strings. Post you results on strings. Going to Check out Bonanza site again.

maki66
10-20-2017, 01:28 AM
I like Martin 600 on my HPL.

EDW
10-20-2017, 01:46 AM
Southcoast strings sounded the best on my Bonanza. I believe I used either the LMU-NW or the MU-NW. They really brought out a great sound.

Southcoast strings are really nice. They make a wide variety to sets that would fit most any tuning and tension and sound really clear and balanced. While some may be a little overwhelmed by their variety they also have a ton of resources on the site and you can contact them for help.

70sSanO
10-20-2017, 06:25 AM
To test whether tension is an issue without changing strings.
To see if higher tension improves the sound tune up G#C#F Bb. Half a step, play the uke and see how it sounds, use the same shapes. Increasing tension too far can cause damage so you need to be careful on some ukes tuning up more than 1/2 step, you just want to increase the tension a bit to see how that makes the uke sounds, so 1/2 step will be enough. C# tuning is not very common and it is unlikely that you would leave the uke tuned in C# tuning. If you think it improves the sound look for higher tension strings.
Tune down to F Bb D G (Bb tuning) and see if that improves the sound. If it does you need lower tension strings. Lower tension wont hurt the uke.
These two tests do not cost anything and can be carried out in an hour or so, you don't need to wait for the strings to settle at the new tuning to do the tests. And then you will know whether to get new strings with more or less tension, without buying several sets of strings to test them all. Some people tune down to Bb and find they like the sound a lot and leave it in the Bb tuning, this saves them a lot of time and money, but it may not be the case with your uke.
The musical intervals between the strings are all the same on these tunings, so the shapes you know will all work. They will make a noise in a different key.

Excellent suggestion.

John

RafterGirl
10-25-2017, 01:31 AM
To test whether tension is an issue without changing strings.
To see if higher tension improves the sound tune up G#C#F Bb. Half a step, play the uke and see how it sounds, use the same shapes. Increasing tension too far can cause damage so you need to be careful on some ukes tuning up more than 1/2 step, you just want to increase the tension a bit to see how that makes the uke sounds, so 1/2 step will be enough. C# tuning is not very common and it is unlikely that you would leave the uke tuned in C# tuning. If you think it improves the sound look for higher tension strings.
Tune down to F Bb D G (Bb tuning) and see if that improves the sound. If it does you need lower tension strings. Lower tension wont hurt the uke.
These two tests do not cost anything and can be carried out in an hour or so, you don't need to wait for the strings to settle at the new tuning to do the tests. And then you will know whether to get new strings with more or less tension, without buying several sets of strings to test them all. Some people tune down to Bb and find they like the sound a lot and leave it in the Bb tuning, this saves them a lot of time and money, but it may not be the case with your uke.
The musical intervals between the strings are all the same on these tunings, so the shapes you know will all work. They will make a noise in a different key.

I tried tuning up a half step and this did help. It's still not loud, but louder than it was. I think I'll try regular Aquillas on it first and see what happens. They are easy to find locally.

igorthebarbarian
10-25-2017, 02:09 PM
I have the Baz/Got a Ukulele Concert tester one that I got from Bonanza after it returned home to USA. It sounds like as Pirate Jim describes, that it's kind of trapped in there. A side port really would help. I have Aquila Lava's on it now and that seemed to help a bit.

Side note: the Corian fretboard on mine is fantastic. So smooth. Probably my favorite fretboard I've ever played.




I went through the exact same thing with my Bonanza until I tested it against my other ukes with a sound meter. It turns out it's about the same volume as my others but the sides are extremely rigid so not much sound reaches the player - it's reflected out. Anyway, Aquila reds did the trick for me and it sounds louder to me now.

Ziret
10-26-2017, 07:33 AM
I have the Baz/Got a Ukulele Concert tester one that I got from Bonanza after it returned home to USA. It sounds like as Pirate Jim describes, that it's kind of trapped in there. A side port really would help. I have Aquila Lava's on it now and that seemed to help a bit.

Side note: the Corian fretboard on mine is fantastic. So smooth. Probably my favorite fretboard I've ever played.
I have an Enya soprano that's HPL and I'm thinking about putting a sound port in it myself. I just don't know what to use to cut HPL and have none to use for tests.

mm stan
10-27-2017, 04:56 AM
Quieter ukes i prefer, Aquilas or Oasis...but the later is brighter tone.. sell the Ukulele :)

mm stan
10-27-2017, 05:05 AM
I tried tuning up a half step and this did help. It's still not loud, but louder than it was. I think I'll try regular Aquillas on it first and see what happens. They are easy to find locally.
I had a feeling this would not work.. Its probably the build of the ukulele issue, also changing tunings alot with strings stretches them and wears them out faster...
but Its best to try all options before selling the uke

Pirate Jim
10-27-2017, 07:13 AM
I had a feeling this would not work.. Its probably the build of the ukulele issue, also changing tunings alot with strings stretches them and wears them out faster...
but Its best to try all options before selling the uke

Or listen to those of us that own the same uke? They're not quiet, it's just that the sound is reflected out more efficiently than in other ukes. Really no need to sell.

Edit: this reads really snarkily, sorry about that - been a long week!

mm stan
10-27-2017, 06:19 PM
Or listen to those of us that own the same uke? They're not quiet, it's just that the sound is reflected out more efficiently than in other ukes. Really no need to sell.

Edit: this reads really snarkily, sorry about that - been a long week!
Aloha, sorry i did not elaborate, I didn't want to start to sound snobby or rain down on any company.. i thought you could read between the lines, my mistake ...Not saying for sure this is the case here though .. it could be wood quality or build tolerances too

These are factory ukes made in quanity with little concern for consistency or craftsmanship in every ukulele built , im sure there may be several lemons in every batch, some lemons you cannot make lemonade. Sorry :)

JackLuis
10-27-2017, 07:01 PM
I am a fan of D'Addraio Carbons (EJ99) but the PhD strings work well too and they are a bit denser which may help on a quiet uke.

Pirate Jim
10-28-2017, 01:12 AM
Aloha, sorry i did not elaborate, I didn't want to start to sound snobby or rain down on any company.. i thought you could read between the lines, my mistake ...Not saying for sure this is the case here though .. it could be wood quality or build tolerances too

These are factory ukes made in quanity with little concern for consistency or craftsmanship in every ukulele built , im sure there may be several lemons in every batch, some lemons you cannot make lemonade. Sorry :)

The Bonanzas are individually hand made by Pete and Shelley in their workshop (they even let me pick the specific bit of HPL for the top to get the pattern i wanted) so perhaps less variability in this case? Would definitely be the case for an Enya or other mass produced ones, I agree. I don't think I've read much discussion on variability of non-mass produced ukes I guess because far fewer people own them.

RafterGirl
10-28-2017, 02:58 AM
Aloha, sorry i did not elaborate, I didn't want to start to sound snobby or rain down on any company.. i thought you could read between the lines, my mistake ...Not saying for sure this is the case here though .. it could be wood quality or build tolerances too

These are factory ukes made in quanity with little concern for consistency or craftsmanship in every ukulele built , im sure there may be several lemons in every batch, some lemons you cannot make lemonade. Sorry :)
Bonanzas aren't factory, mass produced ukuleles. They are hand-made in Minnesota. Pete & Shelley make all HPL, HPL/wood top, and solid wood ukes in both standard and unique styles. They often customize the design for folks. All I want are string recommendations that will best bring out the volume in my Bonanza. The Oasis brights were not the answer. I know this will never be a really loud ukulele because it's all HPL. Just looking to maximize potential.

RafterGirl
10-28-2017, 03:03 AM
I had a feeling this would not work.. Its probably the build of the ukulele issue, also changing tunings alot with strings stretches them and wears them out faster...
but Its best to try all options before selling the uke
It did work. Tuning up a half step did increase volume.

So, to recap. Folks have had good results with Southcoast, Aquilla Reds, and Martin 600 on their Bonanzas.

DIYDave
10-28-2017, 04:35 AM
Well my Uke is Kala always been Kala and will always be Kala.
It's has the best tune for sure to put it in plain English (http://www.englishschools.co.il/)