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View Full Version : Strings for Koaloha KSM-02 Long neck soprano



etudes
02-18-2018, 10:18 AM
I have yet to change the strings on the Koaloha KSM-02 long neck soprano purchased over a year ago. I would appreciate any recommendations. I'm interested in exploring more finger picking so that is a consideration..

Thanks

DownUpDave
02-18-2018, 12:01 PM
I always put a concert gauge string on long neck sopranos. I have had good results with Worth CM (clear mediums) Martin M600. Those will be similar to what came from the factory. You can try Worth BM or Living Water concert for a slightly warmer tone if you like.

etudes
02-18-2018, 12:36 PM
I always put a concert gauge string on long neck sopranos. I have had good results with Worth CM (clear mediums) Martin M600. Those will be similar to what came from the factory. You can try Worth BM or Living Water concert for a slightly warmer tone if you like.

Thanks Dave- appreciate the input. I'll try a few of those you mentioned and yes I am looking for a little more warmth that I hope the Koaloha is capable of producing.

DownUpDave
02-18-2018, 12:50 PM
Thanks Dave- appreciate the input. I'll try a few of those you mentioned and yes I am looking for a little more warmth that I hope the Koaloha is capable of producing.

If you are looking for more warmth the Worth BM would be my first choice

Jim Hanks
02-18-2018, 01:33 PM
Southcoast SLMU-NW would be worth a try. They brought the warmth back to my Cocobolo after a brief foray into D tuning with the LU set.

stevejfc
02-18-2018, 02:42 PM
Dave and Jim are ( as always) spot on. In "mellowest" order: 1. Living Waters, 2. Worths, 3a. Southcoast, 3b. Martins. I would also add PHD's somewhere in the Worth/Martin range........all concert size.

PereBourik
02-18-2018, 04:05 PM
For my KoAloha l/n pineapple I found Worth CL to be most like the factory strings.

etudes
02-18-2018, 04:34 PM
Dave and Jim are ( as always) spot on. In "mellowest" order: 1. Living Waters, 2. Worths, 3a. Southcoast, 3b. Martins. I would also add PHD's somewhere in the Worth/Martin range........all concert size.

Thanks! you guys have given me somewhat of a road map.

etudes
02-18-2018, 04:43 PM
However I'm not sure the best place to purchase some of these sets.. I've bought strings from HMS but I see they don't carry many of ones mentioned.

janeray1940
02-18-2018, 04:58 PM
After years of using Martin M600s on my longneck soprano, I've recently taken a liking to D'Addario Fluorocarbons instead. Lots of online sources but Uke Republic (http://ukerepublic.bigcartel.com/product/d-addario-ukulele-strings-various) has good prices and fast shipping.

Jim Hanks
02-18-2018, 05:16 PM
For Living Water, it's either UkeRepublic or direct from Ken. Southcoast is direct only.

RafterGirl
02-19-2018, 06:40 AM
Elderly also has good prices. They carry the Worth, Oasis, D'Addario, Fremont, Martin, and Aquila strings. If you buy more than one set on many of the strings, the price goes down. I do love Living Waters strings and get them from Uke Republic.

I currently have Living Waters on my KoAloha concert and my Loprinzi cedar/rosewood concert. My Islander soprano has Worth Clears, and My Gary Gill short neck tenor has Worth Browns. All are high G. I did switch out the Aquila Nylguts on my starter Teton laminate concert to Oasis Brights not long before I gave it to a friend and I really liked the way it sounded.

etudes
02-19-2018, 04:12 PM
Thanks you all. This forum is the best.

rainytown
04-19-2018, 05:23 PM
Just picked up a KSM-02 as well and I was also wondering about strings, so this is great information! Though I really like the sound of the factory strings or whatever Mim sets them up with, so it might be a year before I change these out.

Lapyang
04-20-2018, 01:02 AM
Stringsbymail.com has flat shipping of $3.95. Usually arrives within 2-3 days. I used this site most for my strings, and I bought direct from Living Waters in UK, it is surprisingly easy.
I love my KSM -02 and just started thinking about a getting a Concert this morning.

stevepetergal
04-20-2018, 02:42 AM
downupdave gives you very good advice. Worth clears are excellent, as are Martin M600s (just as good but cheaper). The Southcoast strings Jim recommends are very expensive and are, in my view, no better. The Worth browns sound almost the same as the clears (not much warmer if at all), and, even after months of break-in time, will not hold a tuning. My experience with nylon strings has been that they sound hollow (something tonally missing) on my KoAloha concert. For this reason, I've abandoned nylons. Your experience, of course, may differ. Try them all.

etudes
05-27-2018, 03:33 PM
In the original post I was seeking a warmer sound from the Koaloha KSM-02 (long neck soprano) more appropriate perhaps for finger picking. I tried Worth Browns and Southcoast and yes they were certainly warmer but the Koaloha doesn't sound great with warmer strings. The body seems tuned to a brighter sound and I feel like I'm fighting it. So with that in mind I'm doing a 180. I'd love to hear recommendations for what string sets would bring out the native bright tone this long neck soprano is known for.

DownUpDave
05-27-2018, 03:51 PM
Thanks Dave- appreciate the input. I'll try a few of those you mentioned and yes I am looking for a little more warmth that I hope the Koaloha is capable of producing.

Interesting observation about the Koaloha being voiced on the loud, resonant bright side, I agree. Try the above mentioned Worth Clears CM or CL for even brighter sound as well as the Martins. I would even try Oasis brights, I've had them on everything from sopranos to tenors. Right on the package it states they are designed to be used on all those sizes. They will be a little higher tension than the Worth CM.

actadh
05-28-2018, 05:36 AM
I do fingerstyle and some strumming.

I have Living Waters on my KoAloha Opio soprano and it is the sound I was looking for in my uke. Great for fingerpicking. I get mine from Uke Republic.

Martin M600 gets me the sound I want on my other sopranos - Martin, Brueko, Kala. My local music stores carry those.

A third choice I have been using on my vintage sopranos is D'Addario Titanium. They work quite well. I get them from Walmart.com. Free shipping with a $35 order, (I get a lot of stuff online from them anyway as I live out in the country, and that saves me a trip into town). I use the soprano size, but here is the concert. The price is right for trying out to see if it is the sound that you want.
https://www.walmart.com/ip/D-Addario-EJ87C-Titanium-Concert-Ukulele-Strings/24804521

etudes
05-28-2018, 06:12 AM
I do fingerstyle and some strumming.

I have Living Waters on my KoAloha Opio soprano and it is the sound I was looking for in my uke. Great for fingerpicking. I get mine from Uke Republic.

Martin M600 gets me the sound I want on my other sopranos - Martin, Brueko, Kala. My local music stores carry those.

A third choice I have been using on my vintage sopranos is D'Addario Titanium. They work quite well. I get them from Walmart.com. Free shipping with a $35 order, (I get a lot of stuff online from them anyway as I live out in the country, and that saves me a trip into town). I use the soprano size, but here is the concert. The price is right for trying out to see if it is the sound that you want.
https://www.walmart.com/ip/D-Addario-EJ87C-Titanium-Concert-Ukulele-Strings/24804521

Thanks for the good info and links! I'll let you all know how it goes..

etudes
06-21-2018, 01:55 PM
I reached out to Koaloha to see what strings shipped on the kSM-02. Learned they have their our own line of fluorocarbon strings and have them available for purchase for $10 a set plus shipping (without retail packaging). I went ahead and ordered a few sets, installed today. I've come full circle with a greater appreciation for the unique voice of the Koaloha's. I appreciate your comments- I'll come back to this post when I'm ready to experiment again.

frianm
06-21-2018, 03:16 PM
I purchased a used Opio longneck soprano - with a spruce top, a one off from what I am told. I put on a set of Worth clears and love the sound. I love the Living Waters strings but had no more on hand, but the Worths I had so on they went. I love them. High g as I like the ukulele sound and find low g makes it too like a small 4 string guitar.

etudes
06-21-2018, 07:27 PM
I purchased a used Opio longneck soprano - with a spruce top, a one off from what I am told. I put on a set of Worth clears and love the sound. I love the Living Waters strings but had no more on hand, but the Worths I had so on they went. I love them. High g as I like the ukulele sound and find low g makes it too like a small 4 string guitar.

Sounds like a cool instrument. I would think the spruce top on a soprano would sound great. I'm interested in the Opio's and hope to get a chance to play one!