View Full Version : Strings for tenor

05-15-2009, 02:51 PM
Hi, I have Ko'olau T1 and it comes with Ko'olau Gold.
I am now evaluating strings and the current one I use is D'addario J71.

A guy (he is a kind of expert) told me I need to be careful with such high tension stirings because ukes may be damanged in long term.
(According to him Jake's Kamaka is strong enough with a thicker sound board.)

Anybody has experienced issues with J71 in this respect?

FYI, here are the specs:

Ko'olau Gold Tenor
4G - .032
3C - .040
2E - .036
1A - .029

G4 - .029
C3 - .041
E2 - .033
A1 - .029

Actually Ko'olau Gold Tenor has slightly higer tension overall:p, assuming the characteristics of each nylon are almost identical.


05-16-2009, 05:25 AM
I have d'Addario J71's on one of my tenors now which I like very much. I had Aquilas but they weren't for me. My other tenor now has Worth strings which I like very much. I tried the brown Worths and now have the clear Worths (CH-LGEX) which I like better. Experiment and find what YOU like. You should be able to find many threads under the search function above. Check out Worth strings: http://www.worthc.to/W-Strings-e.html :music:

05-16-2009, 06:01 AM
Thanks, kailua.

So you don't have any problems with those high-tension strings, do you?

It depends on the structure of uke anyway.
Vertically (parallel to strings), Ko'olau T1 has two flat braces sorrounding the hole, and three normal braces underr the bridge, which would be fine I suppose.

When it comes to the tone, I love J71.
Ko'olau Golds are not bad, but too energetic (and I need enregy to drive them).
I am using Worth BM for my soprano, and it's OK I think. I would like to try brandnew BF/CF (fat) for richer tone.
Aquilas are not for me either.

What I am thinking of is to utilise 1st-3rd strings of D'addario EJ43, which is a bit lighter than EJ45 (=~ J71). If they sound fine, I may use them instead of J71 for safety.

Thanks again.

05-16-2009, 09:06 PM
I just bought some J92's for my concert,did I get the wrong ones? should they have been J71's? or dosn't it matter!

05-30-2009, 06:16 PM
Every time I sring my tenor with d'addario stings I end up regretting it. They kill my fingers, and I feel like I have to re-tune them every ten minutes, I have had similar experiences with the Ko'olau gold strings not so much with the tuning but they just seem really hard.

My problem is that the guitar store near me only sells d'addario stings for the ukulele. I try to buy on line in bulk- GHS black and KALA red, on my tenors, seem to have the best sound, and the GHS have the best playability of any strings I have found (except perhaps the aquila nylgut, but I don't like the way those sound)

additionally I play every day, and unless I'm working (which is rare in the past year or so) I play for two or three hours a day. Also I don't play gently, I tend to hammer pretty hard when I'm rockin' out- if a set of strings last me a month I'm thirlled. The GHS are by far the longest lasting strings I have found.

I feel like a lot of people want to buy the more expensive strings because they figure they must be better for some reason. Give me a set of GHS black for six bucks over a twelve dollar pack of worths any day!

If you are playing a Ko'olau uke, chances are it is very well built and can handle a pretty high tension string, but if I was you I'd mostly worry about which strings give you the best combination of comfort and sound.

05-30-2009, 06:41 PM
I think you've raised a good point.

Coincidentally, GHS black is my favorite especially for soprano. It's very good from both sound and playability perspectives.

As you might watch my Stardust video in Videos & Links section, that was played with 5-year-old+ GHS black.
I replaced them with Worth BM, which I regret very much.

When it comes to tenors, I like D'addario J71's tone very much.
Ko'olau Gold is OK, but it's tone is a bit edgy for me.
John Kitakis from Ko'olau told me he thinks Ko'olau Gold is the best to get full potential from Ko'olau ukes. Seems high tension strings are required to drive Ko'olau tenor to its full potential.
Like you said, playability may not be that good, but I am getting used to it.


FYI my youtube account is TerryUkes (same as here)

06-11-2009, 03:45 AM
How's the volume on the Worth CH-LGEX, I just put on a set of CT LG and the tone is rich and very warm. The volume is a tad low. I was thinking of trying those out or the CF-LGEX. Thanks for your time and consideration.

06-11-2009, 05:16 AM
I can't see why D'addario J71 tenor strings would be a bad choice here.

GHS strings do seem to be more durable than any other string I've tried. I keep a set on a uke that I play regularly. But don't dismiss Worth just because they're twice as expensive... you get TWO sets per pack so they really should be twice as expensive.

06-11-2009, 06:36 AM
I currently have EJ45 Pro Arte guitar strings on my tenor for a low G tuning. I like it. I'll be trying a combination of Titanium T2s and a 80/20 soon as suggested in an earlier thread.

06-11-2009, 10:34 AM
Every time I sring my tenor with d'addario stings I end up regretting it. They kill my fingers, and I feel like I have to re-tune them every ten minutes, I have had similar experiences with the Ko'olau gold strings not so much with the tuning but they just seem really hard.

I have J71s on a Pono, and I like the feel of the strings - very smooth - but not the sound. Too mellow, and soft. I have some time-for-a-restring Ko'olau golds on my Fluke and I like them well enough, but they have a bit of a flat sound, which might simply be their age. Time to try something else.

I'm still a fan of Aquilas, and have them on most of my ukes, except the cigar box, which I seem to recall are GHS low-G.

06-15-2009, 09:42 AM
I found the D'addario J71 to be a bit dull on my Koaloha, I am currently using Worth CT's they seem to be the best overall for my uke.