View Full Version : String suggestions for solid mahogany tenor

05-13-2009, 12:02 AM
Yeh, it's an old question, but at least my version has some specs to go on... :p

My new uke is a Kala solid mahogany tenor. In the past I have always gone for Aquila strings. My knowledge of other brands is limited.

I'd be grateful for a few suggestions that bear the following in mind:

* tenor uke
* solid mahogany
* mostly strummed, but also finger picked
* need some volume and projection as I sometimes play unplugged gigs, and often into a condenser mic at amplified gigs
* low or re-entrant welcome
* recommendations for low G should specify if the low G string is wound or non-wound, please (the Aquila wound low G seems a little 'boomy' on this uke)

Along with any suggestions or recommendations, I'd be grateful if you'd tell me a little about the strings you are recommending - tension, thickness, playing and sound characteristics etc.

Thanks in advance, peeps. :)

05-13-2009, 01:03 AM
My thought would be either Aquilas or Worths.

I tried the J71s from D'Addario on a Pono and wasn't impressed. I didn't care too much for the original Ko'olau strings either. But I have them on a Fluke and they sound good there. I personally don't like Hilo or GHS strings but that's in part because I play tenors and think they're better suited for smaller scales.

Am planning to replace the J71s with Aquilas this coming weekend. The J71s very smooth to the touch and have a good tone, but are softer in volume and I think a tenor needs the volume to bring out its richest sound and those underlying harmonics.

Most of my ukes have Aquilas now. I also notice a difference in the punch when I plug a uke into an amp. Aquilas give a lot.

05-13-2009, 01:48 AM
Yeh, Aquilas generally work for me, and that's what I have on the tenor at the moment, but I'd like to experiment a bit - hence the request for pointers. I'm another GHS avoider too... I never have got on with them.

I simply can't afford to order random strings; I need to narrow the field to ones that might fit my requirements. For instance, very mellow, soft strings won't cut it for the gig situation.

What was your problem with the D'Addarios? Aren't the J71s the ones Aldrine and Jake S use? What wood is your Pono? Obviously the sound a set of strings gives on a Fluke will probably not bear much resemblance to the sound they give on a mahogany uke.

Ukulele Dude
05-13-2009, 04:27 AM
Have you tried the Savarez classical guitar strings? I started using them on tenors after GX9901 and Craig recommended them a few weeks ago and I like them. Here is a link to William King's website where he discusses this setup:


It is a low g setup with a wound low g string. The strings are a little thicker and higher tension than some of the other uke strings I've used. Definitely not too soft. You can order them from stringsbymail.com

05-13-2009, 05:28 AM
Cheers. :)

That's something to look at. :shaka:

05-14-2009, 04:40 AM
I have used the Savarez nylon wound treble G or B string they do for flamenco players (also used in the 520P set) as a low G. It is not wound with metal, but nylon, giving you the depth but not the annoying ring of a regular wound string.

In the end, I prefer Aquila, but if you want to experiment, maybe the above is an idea.

Don't go overboard with those wound strings though as they are quite high tension.