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bsfloyd
05-16-2018, 08:56 AM
Not to start another Low G thread, but I recently acquired a new soprano with the Martin style bridge and I am wanting to try a low G for it. I am wondering how this will work with the "standard" style "tie a knot in the string" bridge slot. I'm thinking this will not work well with a wound string, and I don't think a wound ball end string will work well with this type of bridge. I have read that there are some non-wound, smaller diameter, higher dense low G strings available? Perhaps the Aquila Red? Are these thin enough to tie a knot? Any other brands? Any other suggestions? Thanks!

wayfarer75
05-16-2018, 10:46 AM
Try a Fremont Soloist. What uke are you using for this? I haven't put any low G strings on my sopranos, but I can't think of a non-wound low G that is thinner than a wound. Please, someone correct me if I'm wrong! Also, what strings do you have on it now? If big fat nylon strings will fit, likely a wound one will too.

bsfloyd
05-16-2018, 12:59 PM
Thanks, Laura. The ukulele is a Martin S-O. Currently strung with Nylgut. True, a normal non wound string is surely a bigger diameter than a wound string, but I figure tying a knot in the end of a wound string would be the problem. I thought I read somewhere here that some makers are making a smaller diameter non wound low G string, and I thought it might be the Aquila Red. Surely I could be wrong.

Graham Greenbag
05-16-2018, 01:24 PM
I thought I read somewhere here that some makers are making a smaller diameter non wound low G string, and I thought it might be the Aquila Red. Surely I could be wrong.

It might be that you are thinking of the Aquila 70U , see: https://aquilacorde.com/modern-instrument-sets/modern-instrument-products/165/red-series/?lang=en . I seem to recall comments about Aquila Reds breaking, something for you to research and perhaps whatever the problem was has now been solved.

I believe that Living Waters strings might be available with an unwound low g too, see: http://www.kenmiddleton.co.uk/living-water-strings/ . The Concert and Soprano sets use the same diameter line, but Id email Ken just to check that the low g Concert set will work on a Soprano.

mmfitzsimons
05-16-2018, 01:33 PM
Yes, Aquila reds have a non-wound low G. I liked them a lot. I'm not totally sure the knot size would be a problem on a low G wound string; the bridge holes don't vary that much do they? I didn't imagine them being downsized for sopranos...

Let us know how it pans out. I love low G on a tenor, but the alchemy didn't pan out on smaller instruments I tried.

bsfloyd
05-16-2018, 01:36 PM
Thanks, Graham - yes, it was the 70U, thanks for the link! I will also look into the Living Waters offering....

bsfloyd
05-16-2018, 01:40 PM
Yes, Aquila reds have a non-wound low G. I liked them a lot. I'm not totally sure the knot size would be a problem on a low G wound string; the bridge holes don't vary that much do they? I didn't imagine them being downsized for sopranos...

Let us know how it pans out. I love low G on a tenor, but the alchemy didn't pan out on smaller instruments I tried.

Thanks for the reply, mmfitzsimmons. I didn't think wound strings would be able to tie a small knot in the end of them. Surely, I've never tried but thought that the winding would cause trouble for tying. With the Martin style bridge, the knot needs to be tied on the end of the string before the string fits in the bridge string slot.

Gary52
05-16-2018, 02:20 PM
I have not had a problem tying a knot in a wound G string, including the Fremont Soloist recommended above.

robinboyd
05-16-2018, 02:46 PM
OK. I have a tenor with a slot bridge and getting it strung with a low G has been quite an adventure. The slot was too thin for anything except wound strings.

Firstly, wound strings are the thinnest option. Yes, you can tie a knot in wound strings without a problem. However the first time I tried this with a Soloist, the string was so slippery that it untied itself after a few weeks. I definitely recommend putting a drop of super glue on the knot to fix it.

Aquila makes unwound low G Red strings. I've never had a Red string break on me. The unwound low G I used had a unique sound that I particularly liked for strumming because it was less boomy than any other option I have tried. It is thinner than any other unwound string, but thicker than the wound options. The slot on my bridge was initially too narrow to use it.

In the end, I decided that the slot was just too narrow to try a lot of the things that I wanted to try on it (Red and Fluorocarbon), so I attacked it with some sandpaper to widen it. It worked in that I can now string it with whatever I want, but it does look a little bit messy. If you want your uke to look pristine I don't recommend this.

mmfitzsimons
05-16-2018, 02:54 PM
With the Martin style bridge, the knot needs to be tied on the end of the string before the string fits in the bridge string slot.

OK, I see your worry now—and I don't think it's a worry. I've used wound strings on exactly the kind of bridge, no problemo. In fact with thin fluorocarbons I often do a double knot to make it big enough to be sure it really grips, whereas with the wound, one knot does the trick. But you might like the Aquila, and maybe it's a better fit at soprano scale. It had a great texture, almost like high-quality paper, that I really liked.

kissing
05-16-2018, 06:14 PM
generally speaking, there's no major issues of using wound strings for this kind of tie bridge :)

Croaky Keith
05-17-2018, 12:03 AM
Aquila Red low G, Living Water concert low G fluorocarbons, no problems using them on soprano - & if you want to use a wound string, just tie knots on it as you would any other strings. :)

bsfloyd
05-17-2018, 02:10 AM
Thanks for the replies, everyone! Great confirmation that wound strings can be tied. I just thought this would be the problem, but you all confirmed it is not. I admit that I did want to use a wound low G, but now I think I will need to try both wound and non-wound (that is as long as I don't need to modify the bridge slot for the non wound low G - I really didn't want to do any luthier type modifications to the instrument if not necessary). Thanks again!

wayfarer75
05-17-2018, 07:52 AM
You should be fine. The Fremont Soloist is .03 of an inch in diameter, or .762 mm, and it's what I use on my Kelii concert with a slot bridge; it came with Worth Browns and I did no modification to the uke to put on the low G. The Aquila Nylgut high G you have in that slot now is 0.65 mm, which isn't a huge difference. I think you'd have a hard time--if not impossible--finding a non-wound low G that is thinner than wound low G strings, and frankly I don't think they sound as good as wound strings anyway.

The slots on your uke's bridge are different widths, but in my experience the holes you use to put the knot into at the bottom of the bridge are the same size. Non-wound strings are very large, and I do have issues with my Kamaka pineapple with knots that are too big for the hole. (As an aside, with fluorocarbon strings, I have tied knots that are small enough for the hole on the pineapple's bridge, but pull through the slot as the string is tightened. A tiny glass bead solves that problem. The fatter strings like low G and C aren't an issue.) My Kelii's slot bridge has very large holes, but I don't know which way your Martin goes. Just know that the wound low G isn't going to stretch very much. I use a figure eight knot. http://www.animatedknots.com/fig8_/index.php

bsfloyd
05-17-2018, 08:40 AM
Thanks for the info, Laura. Good to know information. I also like the figure eight knot and will use it at string change :)

This Martin is the first ukulele I have that has a slotted bridge so I have nothing else to compare it to for size.

Mr. Sweetie
05-17-2018, 04:19 PM
I enjoy an unwound low G on my latest Outdoor Ukulele Soprano. Fluorocarbon. The string is knot-able and it sounds great. I'm not personally a fan of wound strings on my ukulele's but many enjoy them and they sound great to my ears. :) I realize this doesn't address your question specifically but I hope it is encouragement to go for it. ;)

bsfloyd
05-18-2018, 02:33 AM
Thanks, Mr. Sweetie - it surely does.