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Steve in Kent
05-25-2018, 11:39 PM
Hi,

Just wondered what everyone's experience is with strings affecting the brightness/warmth of a ukulele.

Is it easier, by the judicious choice of strings, to make an overly bright ukulele warmer, or an overly warm ukulele brighter?

Thanks,

Steve

DownUpDave
05-26-2018, 01:04 AM
Hi,

Just wondered what everyone's experience is with strings affecting the brightness/warmth of a ukulele.

Is it easier, by the judicious choice of strings, to make an overly bright ukulele warmer, or an overly warm ukulele brighter?

Thanks,

Steve

In my experience it is easier to make a bright sounding instrument warmer. Just try making a mahogany baritone sound bright..........not gonna happen. With a bright uke there are mellow sounding florocarbon strings like Oasis Warms, Fremont Blacklines, Living Water or Worth Brown. If that doesn't do it then go to nylon, works a charm.

Booli
05-26-2018, 02:40 AM
IMHO, given the same scale length, say for a tenor, I've observed:

- thinner string gauges will sound brighter and have longer sustain at the expense of some loudness, and also have less tension

- nearly any fluorocarbon strings will sound brighter than variations of Nylgut

- both fluorocarbon strings and Nylgut variations will sound brighter than nearly any gauge of nylon strings

- higher tension strings will have less sustain

- nearly all Nylgut variations and nearly all nylon strings will be thicker than fluorocarbon, Aquila REDS, or Aquila CarbonBlack strings since the fluorocarbon strings, Aquila REDS, and Aquila CarbonBlack strings have a higher molecular density than Nylgut and/or nylon

ralphk
05-26-2018, 05:29 AM
As noted above, fluorcarbon strings, with their comparatively higher density, will be thinner, and brighter than versions of the nylon options. But there are variations in flurocarbon chemistry too. Worth, one of the best suppliers, has a large table of their product line and they say that some are more mellow or brighter than others. Ditto for Southcoast strings, another great source. Here is the Worth table. So if your uke is too bright, try one of the "warmer" variations and one on the nylon options

http://worthc.to/english/w_strings.html

ukantor
05-27-2018, 04:17 AM
I take a simplistic approach to this question. If a uke needs to be brighter, I fit Aquila strings - if it needs to be warmer sounding, it's Worth brown mediums.

My Martin style 1 came to me with Aquilas fitted. It was, to my ears, obnoxiously loud and bright. With Worth's in place, it sounds like a different uke.

I've no doubt many folk have a more nuanced approach, but this works for me.

Ziret
05-27-2018, 06:10 AM
I take a simplistic approach to this question. If a uke needs to be brighter, I fit Aquila strings - if it needs to be warmer sounding, it's Worth brown mediums.

My Martin style 1 came to me with Aquilas fitted. It was, to my ears, obnoxiously loud and bright. With Worth's in place, it sounds like a different uke.

I've no doubt many folk have a more nuanced approach, but this works for me.

This is confusing as I think it is the opposite of what Booli says about the physics of string thickness. I guess you mean Aquila Nylguts? It seems like they should sound warmer, because they are thicker, but folks are always saying they're brighter than fluorocarbon.

TjW
05-28-2018, 05:32 AM
It isn't the diameter that's critical, it's the mass per unit length. Honestly, I don't know why string manufacturers don't specify them in grams per meter.