View Full Version : Latest eBay madness: Steel strings?!

04-25-2018, 09:48 AM
Evening all,

As always perusing eBay and the latest episode from weird and wonderful would be this - https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Blue-Ukulele-with-steel-strings/183196574821?hash=item2aa75de465:g:b~cAAOSwbq9a4Mh n

Well im a beginner but even I am pretty sure it wasnt supposed to be like this! Wonder how much tension the neck will take to get it to pitch?

Of course i could be talking rubbish in which case just ignore me nothing to see here! :D

04-25-2018, 10:01 AM
The price seems a bit high. :)

Interesting tie-down for those steel strings. It's more like a banjo or resonator uke.

04-26-2018, 12:48 AM
Yes, I saw that too. It looks like a typical cheap Chinese uke except for the metal string tie (what is that called) which makes me think it might really be made for steel strings. Now if you all don't bid against me, I'll buy it and tell you if it has a truss rod. Which as I understand it is needed to run steel strings.

04-26-2018, 11:32 AM
That's a wallhanger at best.

By the time you have proper strings to give the right tension to intonate propely, you will likely exceed the tension that the neck and body can handle.

Most soprano ukes are only built for a total of ~25-27 lbs of string tension for the set. this is with nylon-type strings.

A 'proper' set of steel strings will be double or even triple that. Such high tension is likely to cause the neck joint to fail and or the soundbox to collapse.

Also, saddle compensation for steel strings is quite different from that in terms of nylon strings, and even if the uke does not collapse from tension stress, getting it to play in tune is going to be difficult or even impossible.

This would be a hard pass for me, and I enjoy hacking instruments, but this one would be futile.

For the time, effort and frustration involved, if you want a steel string uke, there are plenty made that are designed for steel strings that have none of these shortcomings, like:



the Konablaster

the Mahalo Surfboard soprano

there are also MANY other brands and models of steel string electric ukes in all scale lengths, but each costs at least $200 and that is because they are INSTRUMENTS and not toys nor wallhangers.

04-26-2018, 11:35 PM
Oh I've played one of these. Don't do it, they're awful! Piece of genuine junk.

If you were after a usable steel string ACOUSTIC ukulele type instrument, something like this is ok-ish
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CARVALHO-555-Carvalho-Braguinha/173289909906?hash=item2858e22e92:g:uhcAAOSwG~ta4lR 0

You can use the DGBE strings from an electric guitar set to tune up to GCEA.
Tension should be ok.

04-27-2018, 04:23 AM
The bridge looks like it was made from a toothbrush