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Tabbycat
03-17-2018, 05:04 PM
Is there a reason not to buy a set of tenor strings (if they're less expensive) and just cut off a few inches and string them on a soprano or concert?

Inksplosive AL
03-17-2018, 05:09 PM
Yes tension.

hendulele
03-17-2018, 05:16 PM
You’re likely to damage the ukulele when you tighten the strings (aka the tension) reply. The neck or bridge could bend or crack or split. Strings are cheaper than ukes.

Choirguy
03-17-2018, 05:41 PM
This isn’t a dumb question...it’s a good question—particularly as beginners might not know about different sizes of strings (or ukulele), much less the material they are made of.

And to be honest, if someone online posts that they get great tone out of colored dental floss, other people are going to try it.

The Aquila KIDS strings that we use at my school are “okayed” by Aquila to be used on sopranos, concerts, and tenors. I don’t know what would make them different than other strings, but what I expect is that they are probably long strings meant for concert, bridging the gap between soprano (thicker than usual) and tenor (thinner than usual).

Also, Martin M600 strings are for Soprano/Concert, as are many other strings...covering scale lengths of 12-16 inches. Tenor at 16-18 inches isn’t much more of a stretch (literally and figuratively).

I doubt that you’ll do structural damage to a soprano by using tenor strings, but you may find that tension at that scales is too loose at pitch (floppy) and the strings are too thick for your liking...and may not even fit in the guide holes on the nut.

Perhaps Mimmo can address this issue, too (From Aquila).

But as I said before, people do all kinds of things with their strings...different mixes of materials, different tunings, and so on. As long as you’re okay with the possibility that there could be some damage based on using strings that weren’t originally rated for the scale...do what you want! :)

Jim Hanks
03-17-2018, 07:09 PM
I doubt that you’ll do structural damage to a soprano by using tenor strings, but you may find that tension at that scales is too loose at pitch (floppy) and the strings are too thick for your liking...and may not even fit in the guide holes on the nut.
This. Tenor strings will yield a higher tuning for the same tension on a shorter scale. Imagine putting a capo on your tenor to see what I mean. So if you wanted D tuning on a concert, you might use tenor strings to get there. Or if you wanted lower tension for C tuning. But like CG says, that might not work dimensionally with a given uke.

RafterGirl
03-18-2018, 02:48 AM
Oasis strings are also marketed as soprano/concert/tenor. I have only used them on a concert & they worked great.

Booli
03-18-2018, 02:53 AM
I have repeatedly & purposely mis-used strings intended for one scale length on another, in order to get a different sound or tension as per the different gauges of strings.

The have been zero issues doing to for me in 4.5 yrs with over 100 discreet sets of strings.

Unless your uke is poorly built or overly-lightly built, the extra tension should not cause damage. However, proceed at your own risk and do your own research in 'string gauge' vs 'string tension'.

If your uke is 'overbuilt' using thinner strings, i.e., with less tension, you will likely get a quieter volume and possibly poor intonation, both due to the string tension being too low, but I've not seen myself hands-on, nor heard of any damage occurring from using a string set with too low tension.