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View Full Version : Kanilea String Discussion - Best Sound



Ragtop232
02-18-2018, 09:19 AM
I know this is highly subjective topic depending on each individual, but I thought it would be a fun topic for Kanilea owners. I purchased a K1-C brand new and it's a beautiful instrument with wonderful tone. I would describe the tone as more mellow and resonant than what I'm used to hearing with my Martin Ukes. My K1-C offers a definite tonal contrast when compared to my Martins.

My research has pointed to Joe voicing all his Kanilea Ukes for optimal tone and playability with Aquila Corde Super Nylgut strings. I have to admit mine sounded great with them, however, I am not a fan of the feel and larger diameter. I prefer fluorocarbon strings such as M600's for feel and playability. This led me to change the stock Aquila strings to M600's. Verdict, they sounded dull and lifeless, but of course had the same feel that I prefer. I kept the M600's on for about 3 days and knew the Kanilea didn't sound to it's potential with the Martin M600 strings.

This led me on a string changing expedition that included D'addario Nyltech, Titanium and Carbons, Worth Clear and Browns as well as different brands of nylon strings. After many string changes and not being completely happy, I thought, why not try the M620 Martin Fluorocarbon strings and see what happens. I was afraid of the string tension being to much, but from my research, the C string presents the most tension and it just so happens, it's the same gauge on both M600's and M620's. So I gave it a try. I'm so glad I did. This really brought the K1-C to life with only a small loss of playability between the M600's and M620's, which I attribute the M620's being a bit thicker the cause.

I thought I would share my findings with the group. Of the strings I've tried so far, here are my top 5 best sounding on this particular Ukulele:

1: Martin M620 Fluorocarbon
2: D'addario Nyltech
3: Aquila Corde Super Nylgut
4: Worth Clear
5: D'addario Titanium

I would love to hear what your favorite strings are on your Kanilea.

Jim

unrealdark
02-18-2018, 10:28 AM
When I got my K1-Tenor, I removed the aquilas and put the Martins M620.
No need to try any more at the moment.

:)

Steedy
02-18-2018, 10:56 AM
My top three favorites are:
1. Oasis Brights
2. Worth Clears
3. Living Waters

All three sound really good on my Kanile'a and other solid Koa ukes! :cool:

luv2uke
02-18-2018, 08:29 PM
I did not like the Nygut. Changing to Oasis bright sounded fantastic! After needing to change the strings due to wear and tear, tried Oasis warm and did not like the sound. Will change back to Oasis bright as it sounds much better; clearer, cleaner, more distinct, with a much longer sustain.

Rakelele
02-18-2018, 10:46 PM
Very interesting observations, thanks for sharing! My own preference is for fluorocarbon strings in general, and all non-wound sets on Kanilea and other solid Koa ukes. I like the results I'm getting with Worth Brown and Worth Clear, but also Fremont Blackline. I guess I will try the Martin 620 set somewhere along the line.

Ragtop232
02-19-2018, 04:42 AM
I have some Martin M610 strings on the way. It's their new premium line that's a collaboration between Martin and Aquila. These are optimized for the concert scale. I will report back on my findings after they arrive and I've had them on a few days.

UkerDanno
02-19-2018, 10:58 AM
I tried several on mine when I got it, including Martin, Aquila (several different types) and Worth and wasn't impressed with any of them until I put on Living Water and will stick with them, I think they definitely make the uke!

seesar
02-19-2018, 01:16 PM
I have a K1-C and think Fremont Blacklines (hard) sound good.

Kyle23
05-16-2019, 10:38 AM
Just wanted to bump this thread rather than making a new one. I'm thinking oh changing my Kanilea strings soon and was looking for some more feedback on which strings people use on their Kanileas (Tenor specificially)

M3Ukulele
05-16-2019, 12:55 PM
Funny, I'm a self proclaimed Oasis Bright Fluorocarbon guy. Five Tenors all high g. For my solid Top TT, I could not get strings so went in for what the guitar store had. Aquila New Nylgut. I had read about putting Concern on a tenor. Lower tension. thinner string so brighter and perhaps just a TAD loss of volume. This is what I read. so, I gave it a try!

I've never been a fan Aquila Nylgut but like the company, mimmo is a great guy and I like what his company is doing pushing the string boundaries. I do like their RED. carbon black were OK, Lava was great but too high tension for me. Well, the Concern New Nylgut have impressed me so much, I'm going to try a different flavours, ONE a monthh. All will be concert string on my Tiny Tenor. I like what I'm hearing. The feel is much better - concert on Tenor and GONE is the BOOMY C string that I heard on original tenor Nylgut.

Anyways, fun to try all the options. I know Kanilea's all come with Aquila and seem to be optimized for them. They all sound good to my ears but I must admit I've never had the opportunity to play a Kanilea Its on my WISH list.

YMMV

YogiTom
05-16-2019, 06:16 PM
While I don’t enjoy how thick they are, I did learn on Aquilas before I ever knew there was another option, so I’ve been ok with the stock strings on my Kanile‘a. They sound so good, the small discomfort from the strings hasn’t been enough to make me want to change them out...yet.

I’ll also be watching for other opinions from those who like or don’t like the other options.

Ukecaster
05-29-2019, 03:24 PM
I have some Martin M610 strings on the way. It's their new premium line that's a collaboration between Martin and Aquila. These are optimized for the concert scale. I will report back on my findings after they arrive and I've had them on a few days.

Hey Ragtop, what ever happened with the Martin 610 strighs on your Kanilea? What was your opinion of them compared to the other sets you've tried?

Ragtop232
05-29-2019, 05:18 PM
Hi John -

Well, I no longer have the Kanilea, but I did put the 610 strings on and they were fine. I found they tuned up faster and for being new strings, they required less break-in time to hold tune. I think the feel of them was a bit different, maybe rougher at first, but smoothed out after a couple weeks.

I have one ukulele now that I think these strings really make a huge difference in tone, and that’s the Martin S1, a 2018 build. The 605’s really bring out the traditional Martin jangly sound. However, on my other ukuleles, I think the regular Martin fluorocarbon line works just as good or maybe better. Just my opinion and I encourage everyone to try different strings to find the right match for your ukulele.

Jim

stevejfc
05-29-2019, 06:47 PM
PHD's have great feel and sustain...………...they really sing on a Kanile'a.

AustinHing
05-30-2019, 01:15 AM
Hi John -

Well, I no longer have the Kanilea, but I did put the 610 strings on and they were fine. I found they tuned up faster and for being new strings, they required less break-in time to hold tune. I think the feel of them was a bit different, maybe rougher at first, but smoothed out after a couple weeks.

I have one ukulele now that I think these strings really make a huge difference in tone, and that’s the Martin S1, a 2018 build. The 605’s really bring out the traditional Martin jangly sound. However, on my other ukuleles, I think the regular Martin fluorocarbon line works just as good or maybe better. Just my opinion and I encourage everyone to try different strings to find the right match for your ukulele.

Jim

Off topic, I can’t help but noticed you got 6 Martins and 1 kamaka last year alone!
Great collection!

Counter
05-30-2019, 02:14 AM
I can only speak for Tenors but D'Addario Carbon's (EJ99T) always sound good to me on a Kanile'a. Those and the Martin M620's but they sound good on anything.

Ragtop232
05-30-2019, 04:24 AM
Off topic, I can’t help but noticed you got 6 Martins and 1 kamaka last year alone!
Great collection!

The 2 - 2018 customs were actually purchased in 2017, I just had to wait until 2018 to receive them. the 2018 Centennial and Konter were all bought this year, 2019. The only ones actually purchased in 2018 were the 1T IZ and the S1. I have one more Martin to add next year and then I'll try and restrain myself from purchasing any more, (yeah, right :cool: ) but I want to add a Martin 5K to my collection.

Jim

AustinHing
05-30-2019, 06:51 AM
The 2 - 2018 customs were actually purchased in 2017, I just had to wait until 2018 to receive them. the 2018 Centennial and Konter were all bought this year, 2019. The only ones actually purchased in 2018 were the 1T IZ and the S1. I have one more Martin to add next year and then I'll try and restrain myself from purchasing any more, (yeah, right :cool: ) but I want to add a Martin 5K to my collection.

Jim

A 5k will definitely compliment the collection! 6 Martins in 2+yrs is pretty impressive. Well, enough derail to the thread.

shanmoon
05-30-2019, 09:57 AM
Thanks for sharing! I've got a Kanile'a Super Soprano that looks and sounds beautiful, but I really don't care for the feel of the Super Nylgut strings either, so it doesn't get a lot of play time.... I've become a big fan of flurocarbon strings, with worth clears/browns or D'addario Titaniums on several ukes. I was just thinking about what strings to try on it. Based on your post I might try the Martin M620 tenor strings on it since a super soprano has a concert scale neck like your K1-C. I was also considering some Worth Clears, Anuenue Black Waters, or possibly Living Waters strings.

Kibes37
05-30-2019, 10:14 AM
Living waters made me decide to keep my Kaniléa and truley start to appreciate it. D’addario on deck.