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View Full Version : Deadest sounding strings?



jelow1966
04-28-2018, 03:08 PM
Ok, I know this is a weird question since most of the time we are looking for more life in our instrument. I love the sound of carbons when I play acoustically but more and more I'm being drawn back to playing plugged in, right now mainly on my Teton but I hope to someday add either a TE or Multiuke. I'm learning to play jazz now and I find that there is too much attack in the strings that are on it right now (southcoast I think) so am looking for what I would call a really dead string, I want the note to just sort of roll out, not jump out like it does now even without using my nail. I'd like a string set that has as mellow of a tone and attack as possible. I could get what I'm looking for using compression but I would prefer to not have to use any effects, just the uke and the amp. I'm assuming a nylon string would be a good place to start but if any one has any advice, strings they have tried that might fit the bill etc I'd love to hear it. Thanks.

John

Brad Bordessa
04-28-2018, 03:18 PM
Hilo or GHS black strings come to mind. Strings don't get much more boring. Your playing style makes more difference plugged in than the strings. Could be the pickup. Could be a lot of things.

jelow1966
04-28-2018, 03:33 PM
Hilo or GHS black strings come to mind. Strings don't get much more boring. Your playing style makes more difference plugged in than the strings. Could be the pickup. Could be a lot of things.

I think I have a set of Hilo I could try. I used to have a bunch but threw them away because like you say, can't get much more boring. It could also be that because the Teton is a solid body instrument it might magnify the effect, I don't know enough about ukulele construction to know how much of a difference that makes. But regardless, I need to deaden the sound and my right hand technique isn't going to change much at this point so I'll start with strings and go from there. Thanks for the tip.

John

robinboyd
04-28-2018, 04:17 PM
Hilo or GHS black strings come to mind. Strings don't get much more boring. Your playing style makes more difference plugged in than the strings. Could be the pickup. Could be a lot of things.

That would have been my answer, too. I also have some lying around that I'll never use... Probably not worth the expense of sending them to you unless you are near me.

Jim Hanks
04-28-2018, 04:17 PM
Tenor scale? You might want to try the Fremont blackline "bari tuned tenor" set tuned dGBE. Those are very mellow on my Bonanza. I don't much care for the feel of them but that's a personal thing. You might like them.

NoyBoy98
04-28-2018, 04:17 PM
Try the Ko’Olau nylons with the wound third. They came stock on my Pono AT. Incredibly clear and balanced, and not a lot of extra “life” in them. I think these strings are great for someone who wants to record a super clean sound then add EQ/effects to it later. Might be right up your alley.

jelow1966
04-28-2018, 04:37 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions! Looks like I'll be trying out a lot of different strings. I just put a clear nylon D'Addario classical guitar string on using the .028 as the A. Made it mellower for sure. I may have to look into what is available in classical guitar strings as well, I use the Savarez single carbons on my Applause.

John

vanflynn
04-28-2018, 04:49 PM
Each uke handles strings differently but if you are looking for good tone but more mellow - Worth Browns may do the trick

ProfChris
04-29-2018, 08:46 AM
I'm interpreting you to mean that what you want is less sustain, because the notes are running into each other and muddying the music.

In that case, rule out all fluorocarbons. No matter how mellow, they sustain the most.

For Jazz before the bebop era, Aquila Nylguts are excellent. I perform mainly Tin Pan Alley and 30s/40s stuff, and the jangly overtones really fit.

For later jazz you might want a smoother sound, and D'Addario nylons should work there. If Hilo are still available they are nice too, but I had problems with the C string stretching unevenly and ruining the intonation - worth trying if you can get them, they feel very nice under the fingers. D'Addario feel harder and give less tactile feedback.

jelow1966
04-29-2018, 10:20 AM
I'm interpreting you to mean that what you want is less sustain, because the notes are running into each other and muddying the music.

In that case, rule out all fluorocarbons. No matter how mellow, they sustain the most.

For Jazz before the bebop era, Aquila Nylguts are excellent. I perform mainly Tin Pan Alley and 30s/40s stuff, and the jangly overtones really fit.

For later jazz you might want a smoother sound, and D'Addario nylons should work there. If Hilo are still available they are nice too, but I had problems with the C string stretching unevenly and ruining the intonation - worth trying if you can get them, they feel very nice under the fingers. D'Addario feel harder and give less tactile feedback.

Less sustain and punch I think is how I would put it. Pretty much the opposite what I have always looked for. My main influences at the moment are Wes Montgomery and Jim Hall, especially his earlier work, so that is the type of sound I'm after, though of course without the same level of talent. I'm going to dig around and see if I can find the set of Hilo I think I still have. I'l also order some various nylon singles and play around, see if I can find the right sound so that I'm only fighting my technique and not that and the strings.

John

kissing
04-30-2018, 08:18 PM
I think nylon in general is good at clarity with a bit less sustain.