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View Full Version : Frankenstein String Sets - What Do You Use For Trebles?



hollisdwyer
09-04-2018, 06:50 AM
Thereís always been a lot of discussion about which wound base strings we each favour but I donít remember much talk about treble strings.

Now that the wonderfully helpful Dirk and Southcoast Strings are no more, I can see it might be difficult to find treble strings that complement the Thomastik-Infeld Chrome Flatwound bases that I am currently enjoying on my Tenors and Baritone.

Iíve just been looking online and I havenít found any obvious candidates so far. Has anyone gone through this exercise yet themselves and if so what have you come up with?

70sSanO
09-04-2018, 02:49 PM
Measure the diameter of the Southcoast string. It is fluorocarbon. Then see what is out there in other mfg's or even fishing leader. I find that C and A strings are difficult to get right (re-entrant). I will use a different diameter of Seaguar Premier or Blue Label leader. I'm sure others will have some better suggestions, but in my experience, fluorocarbon string diameter is the best starting point.

John

DownUpDave
09-04-2018, 03:28 PM
What John said above.....calipers are a string experimenters best friend. South Coast HML- WB had the E string at .0265" and the A string at .0215, these are bright, thin is usually bright. Strings in the .024" range for the A string are warmer. These are tenor sets. I have used Oasis brights or warms to pair well with Thomastik wounds.

If you want to go individual florocarbon strings go visit Strings by Mail in the Classical guitar section and look at Savarez and Pyramid Carbons. They have a huge selection of diameters from very thin to thick.

luv2uke
09-04-2018, 03:39 PM
I use Oasis brights or warms depending on the ukulele with TI base strings. Kanilea and I'iwi (Torrified spruce top) the brights; Kimo Jones spruce the warm.

hollisdwyer
09-04-2018, 06:25 PM
Measure the diameter of the Southcoast string. It is fluorocarbon. Then see what is out there in other mfg's or even fishing leader. I find that C and A strings are difficult to get right (re-entrant). I will use a different diameter of Seaguar Premier or Blue Label leader. I'm sure others will have some better suggestions, but in my experience, fluorocarbon string diameter is the best starting point.

John


What John said above.....calipers are a string experimenters best friend. South Coast HML- WB had the E string at .0265" and the A string at .0215, these are bright, thin is usually bright. Strings in the .024" range for the A string are warmer. These are tenor sets. I have used Oasis brights or warms to pair well with Thomastik wounds.

If you want to go individual florocarbon strings go visit Strings by Mail in the Classical guitar section and look at Savarez and Pyramid Carbons. They have a huge selection of diameters from very thin to thick.


I use Oasis brights or warms depending on the ukulele with TI base strings. Kanilea and I'iwi (Torrified spruce top) the brights; Kimo Jones spruce the warm.

Thanks all for the sage advice. I do have some Oasis' around and may use up the trebles from what Southcoast sets I still have. John, thanks for identifying the brands of fishing line and Dave, thanks for providing a metric of the string diameters (my callipers are not digital and therefore are to read for small diameters).

saltytri
09-04-2018, 06:54 PM
As mentioned, the Oasis set is a good place to start. Also, you can get Savarez singles from stringsbymail.com. 541R and 542R pair well with the CF27 and CF30 on a 17" scale. I've got this combo on a cocobolo tenor and haven't felt the need to swap for anything else.

hollisdwyer
09-04-2018, 08:23 PM
As mentioned, the Oasis set is a good place to start. Also, you can get Savarez singles from stringsbymail.com. 541R and 542R pair well with the CF27 and CF30 on a 17" scale. I've got this combo on a cocobolo tenor and haven't felt the need to swap for anything else.

Thanks for the specifics!

So far everyone has mentioned solutions for a Tenor scale. Is there anyone using the TI CF35and CF30 on their Baritone and if so what trebles are you using?

DownUpDave
09-04-2018, 11:28 PM
Thanks for the specifics!

So far everyone has mentioned solutions for a Tenor scale. Is there anyone using the TI CF35and CF30 on there Baritone and if so what trebles are you using?

I have used the TI set you mentioned above on baritones. Trebles for the B and E strings are usually around .027" and .024" respectively. This is where it gets interesting, those are the same diameters as Oasis warm tenor set. If you go to Strings By Mail to the classical guitar section and look under Oasis GPX carbon normal tension you can buy singles. Again using the same diameters, it can vary slightly thinner for brighter, seek out Savarez and Pyramid in those diameters. You can use the E and A string from florocarbon tenor sets......Worth, D'Addario, Fremont etc.

hollisdwyer
09-05-2018, 01:18 AM
Thanks again Dave. I just put in an order with Stringsbymail for the Savarez to try them out. I was happy with that brand when I used their wound bases.

Ukecaster
09-05-2018, 01:33 AM
While away on vacation, the A string on my soprano popped, and I didn't have any spare strings. I remembered about using fishing line, and checked the fishing tackle box, and found some 30 lb monofilament line. It wasn't Seaguar, the flouro recommended here, but it did the trick, and held me over for a few days. Since it always seems to be the A string that will let go (at least in my experience), I ordered up some 30 lb Seaguar for future A string poppage.

111760

hollisdwyer
09-05-2018, 05:39 AM
While away on vacation, the A string on my soprano popped, and I didn't have any spare strings. I remembered about using fishing line, and checked the fishing tackle box, and found some 30 lb monofilament line. It wasn't Seaguar, the flouro recommended here, but it did the trick, and held me over for a few days. Since it always seems to be the A string that will let go (at least in my experience), I ordered up some 30 lb Seaguar for future A string poppage.


111760

It looks like you have a good decade or two of string changes with that reel. You have to wonder just how much difference there is between fishing line and strings from companies who have been making them for musical instruments for 60 years or more. In what situations are we able to tell the difference? With which instruments? Are shorter scale lengths more forgiving than long scale lengths? Interesting questions, no?

Ukecaster
09-05-2018, 06:15 AM
It looks like you have a good decade or two of string changes with that reel. You have to wonder just how much difference there is between fishing line and strings from companies who have been making them for musical instruments for 60 years or more. In what situations are we able to tell the difference? With which instruments? Are shorter scale lengths more forgiving than long scale lengths? Interesting questions, no?

I don't have the answers, but remember reading here that Ken Timms now uses the Seaguar fishing line in various gauges on his new soprano ukuleles, so that's good enough for me! BTW, I'm gonna use some for fishing too! ;)

The epic fishing line thread: https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?18975-fishing-line-ukulele-string-recipe&highlight=fishing+line

hollisdwyer
09-05-2018, 06:43 AM
I don't have the answers, but remember reading here that Ken Timms now uses the Seaguar fishing line in various gauges on his new soprano ukuleles, so that's good enough for me! BTW, I'm gonna use some for fishing too! ;)

The epic fishing line thread: https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?18975-fishing-line-ukulele-string-recipe&highlight=fishing+line

You quote a reliable source and you’ve got the fishing angle covered. Sounds good to me also.

hollisdwyer
09-05-2018, 08:17 AM
I like Living Water trebles, same diameter as in the standard LW bari sets, but I order two pair of trebles as a single custom "set"—more cost effective than using only two strings from two standard sets. I've also been happy with Worth or Martin bari trebles.

Back to tenors: one reason the Oasis strings have been mentioned several times above (and why the warms are my general go-to strings) is that Oasis sells the same string set for sopranos, concerts and tenors; effectively, one is using concert strings, with thinner diameter and a bit lower tension than with most tenor-specific sets.

For linear D tuning on a tenor, I use a TI CF27 for the 4th.

I'm not overly particular about which brands of fluorocarbons to use, but one uke came to me with Seguar fishing line; it worked okay, but I replaced it in short order with real uke strings, with a clear improvement.

Thanks for more specifics. I am definitely going to document all these suggestions for future reference.

Re fishing line, I think that for most short scale length instruments it may not be critical.

photoshooter
09-05-2018, 12:05 PM
Thanks again Dave. I just put in an order with Stringsbymail for the Savarez to try them out. I was happy with that brand when I used their wound bases.


I was using Oasis Warms for my trebles paired with the TI wound G and C. A few weeks ago I switched one of my ukes to the Savarez trebles and am really liking the sound. I used a 542R for E and 541R for A. I plan on switching a few more ukes over to this combination.

hollisdwyer
09-05-2018, 02:34 PM
I was using Oasis Warms for my trebles paired with the TI wound G and C. A few weeks ago I switched one of my ukes to the Savarez trebles and am really liking the sound. I used a 542R for E and 541R for A. I plan on switching a few more ukes over to this combination.

I have the same plan. Once I start to try something new I conform all my instruments to the same string set up. That way I can experience hoe the experiment works across different platforms.

70sSanO
09-05-2018, 03:10 PM
...(my callipers are not digital and therefore are to read for small diameters).

In the states we have a retailer called Harbor Freight and they sell inexpensive tools. Ironically they have cheap digital calipers that work really well and mine have held up for years. If you can pick up an inexpensive digital caliper you will be light years ahead. As odd as it may sound a change of less than .05mm can have a significant effect. Once I find a "Frankenstein" set I write it down on a card, along with diameters, keep it in the case.

John

hollisdwyer
09-05-2018, 04:18 PM
In the states we have a retailer called Harbor Freight and they sell inexpensive tools. Ironically they have cheap digital calipers that work really well and mine have held up for years. If you can pick up an inexpensive digital caliper you will be light years ahead. As odd as it may sound a change of less than .05mm can have a significant effect. Once I find a "Frankenstein" set I write it down on a card, along with diameters, keep it in the case.

John

That’s a particularly good recommendation. Ever since Woodstock my memory isn’t what it was.

Kekani
09-05-2018, 09:05 PM
As Dave already recommended, Savarez Alliance. At one point I floated between those and D'Addario T2 trebles, but always find myself going back to Savarez.
Depending on the build, I'll go between the 540R or 540J, mostly J.

That said, I've moved over to the 540CR or 540CJ series. I like the 540CJ on my Spruce tops a little better than the 540J, and I feel they string up more "balanced"; seems the 541R/J takes a lot of turns to bring it up to pitch. I wouldn't suggest ONLY the CJ, but I would suggest trying them both, and in the different tensions (R & J) to see what fits you and your instrument(s) best.

Side note: years ago I walked away from NAMM with a prototype ukulele set from Savarez, but it didn't even come close to hitting the mark vs. the Alliance/Cristal series.

hollisdwyer
09-05-2018, 11:51 PM
As Dave already recommended, Savarez Alliance. At one point I floated between those and D'Addario T2 trebles, but always find myself going back to Savarez.
Depending on the build, I'll go between the 540R or 540J, mostly J.

That said, I've moved over to the 540CR or 540CJ series. I like the 540CJ on my Spruce tops a little better than the 540J, and I feel they string up more "balanced"; seems the 541R/J takes a lot of turns to bring it up to pitch. I wouldn't suggest ONLY the CJ, but I would suggest trying them both, and in the different tensions (R & J) to see what fits you and your instrument(s) best.

Side note: years ago I walked away from NAMM with a prototype ukulele set from Savarez, but it didn't even come close to hitting the mark vs. the Alliance/Cristal series.

Thanks for the great specifics. As I tend to like higher tension (I find that I 'bend' low tension's) which one would you prefer?

Kekani
09-06-2018, 10:39 AM
Thanks for the great specifics. As I tend to like higher tension (I find that I 'bend' low tension's) which one would you prefer?

If I were to string up a Spruce top right now (I'll actually do 2 Sitka Spruce/Quilted Maple in a month), it'll be 540CJ (Cristal Trebles, High Tension). If you like higher tension, I'd suggest trying both the 540J and 540CJ.

I still run the 544J for the 4th, but plan on getting some TI soon.

Kinda surprised to see others using Savarez Alliance. Been my secret sauce for years. I think its a builder thing, meaning, builders like Dave, that use Savarez. Players seem to buy sets of ukulele strings, rather than guitar strings; with exceptions of course.

DownUpDave
09-06-2018, 11:41 AM
If I were to string up a Spruce top right now (I'll actually do 2 Sitka Spruce/Quilted Maple in a month), it'll be 540CJ (Cristal Trebles, High Tension). If you like higher tension, I'd suggest trying both the 540J and 540CJ.

I still run the 544J for the 4th, but plan on getting some TI soon.

Kinda surprised to see others using Savarez Alliance. Been my secret sauce for years. I think its a builder thing, meaning, builders like Dave, that use Savarez. Players seem to buy sets of ukulele strings, rather than guitar strings; with exceptions of course.

If you ever feel like experimenting I find the Pyramid CVF carbon strings excellent and very comparable to Savarez. You can find them at String by Mail, classical guitar section, specialty singles. They are called lute strings and have a huge selection of diameters

Kekani
09-14-2018, 09:12 AM
If you ever feel like experimenting I find the Pyramid CVF carbon strings excellent and very comparable to Savarez. You can find them at String by Mail, classical guitar section, specialty singles. They are called lute strings and have a huge selection of diameters

Thanks for that Dave. If it were for myself, definitely something to look into.

One of the issues with a mixed string set is the customer may not remember, or be able to find the set. I used to mix D'Addario 4904 with the T2 trebles, but since I can't readily get them individually, I switched to Aranjuez 600 series to replace the 4904. This is one of the variables in always gravitating back to Savarez, I like all 4 strings, and it's easy enough for a customer to get replacements. If the TI don't improve the 4th string, I'll keep it as is, all Savarez with Cristal trebles, mainly because its worked, for years.

Hollis, please post a review on the sets you try.

hollisdwyer
09-15-2018, 04:45 AM
Thanks for that Dave. If it were for myself, definitely something to look into.

One of the issues with a mixed string set is the customer may not remember, or be able to find the set. I used to mix D'Addario 4904 with the T2 trebles, but since I can't readily get them individually, I switched to Aranjuez 600 series to replace the 4904. This is one of the variables in always gravitating back to Savarez, I like all 4 strings, and it's easy enough for a customer to get replacements. If the TI don't improve the 4th string, I'll keep it as is, all Savarez with Cristal trebles, mainly because its worked, for years.

Hollis, please post a review on the sets you try.

I’ll do that. I have sent Allen McFarlen the Savarez 541R & 542R as well as the TI CF27&CF30 to string up my new Sugar Box Maple/Alaskan Yellow Cedar Tenor that he is making for me. I’ll put that same set on all my 4 string Tenors to see what they sound like on the different builds.