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View Full Version : Mahogany concert owners. Your favorite strings?



Astein2006
01-04-2019, 07:24 AM
Iím having a 12 fret all Mahogany concert built. Looking for string choices. If you own an all mahogany concert what has been your favorite string choice?
I know sound and feel are subjective.

pix.fairydust
01-04-2019, 07:47 AM
I have worth browns on mine at the moment which I think suit it well. Interested to get other string suggestions though!

merlin666
01-04-2019, 07:51 AM
Good question. I also have a build in progress and when I asked the luthier he said he was considering Aquila Lava strings. I have Aquila Super Nylgut on my mahogany tenor, and d'Addario fluorocarbon on my koa concert, and I like both ... so I though I just go with what the luthier thinks is best. But obviously open to suggestions here.

Jerryc41
01-04-2019, 07:58 AM
I'll be surprised if there is a brand not mentioned here. :)

I'd have top check, but I'm sure that most of my mahoganies came with D'Addario strings. I like the Martin fluorocarbon, and I've put them on a uke or two. I don't change strings just to see how they sound. I keep a supply on hand, and I have several different brands.

kkimura
01-04-2019, 08:11 AM
I've settled on Martin M600 strings for my Eastman all solid mahogany concert.

Astein2006
01-04-2019, 09:40 AM
I have worth browns on mine at the moment which I think suit it well. Interested to get other string suggestions though!

I’ve heard this suggestion before. What is it you like about the Worth browns? Typically I don’t like fluorocarbons. They are too bright and feel thin under my fingers.

Astein2006
01-04-2019, 09:40 AM
Good question. I also have a build in progress and when I asked the luthier he said he was considering Aquila Lava strings. I have Aquila Super Nylgut on my mahogany tenor, and d'Addario fluorocarbon on my koa concert, and I like both ... so I though I just go with what the luthier thinks is best. But obviously open to suggestions here.

Is your build an all mahogany?

pix.fairydust
01-04-2019, 10:01 AM
I’ve heard this suggestion before. What is it you like about the Worth browns? Typically I don’t like fluorocarbons. They are too bright and feel thin under my fingers.

They were the ones the luthier put on them and they sound right. Bright and clear and crisp with good volume and sustain.
The sound reminds me of water.
I think I'm partial to thinner strings too

merlin666
01-04-2019, 10:06 AM
Is your build an all mahogany?

Yes "african mahogany" aka Khaya body, with spanish cedar neck and rosewood fingerboard.

Swamp Yankee
01-04-2019, 10:31 AM
Jeepers, I've got three solid hog concerts and each has different strings on it. One has super nylguts, one has Martins, the other has black strings... dunno what they are but they came with the uke when I bought it second hand. I'm quite happy with each choice.

Dansimpson
01-04-2019, 10:44 AM
Worth Browns, but then sound is subjective........

Astein2006
01-04-2019, 12:22 PM
Jeepers, I've got three solid hog concerts and each has different strings on it. One has super nylguts, one has Martins, the other has black strings... dunno what they are but they came with the uke when I bought it second hand. I'm quite happy with each choice.

What order from brightest to mellow would you say the strings are? I lean more towards mellow than bright as far as preference.

Nickie
01-04-2019, 12:54 PM
Due to the advice of MMStan, I use Oasis mediums. I really like them on my solid mahog Kala concert.

hendulele
01-04-2019, 02:52 PM
If you don't like the tension and brightness of fluorocarbons, you might consider the Martin Premiums (made by Aquila). They have a cleaner sound than the Nylgut variations but have about the same tension. I have them on a laminate Makala and really like them, but could easily see them on a very bright hog. (I tend to prefer fluorocarbons, personally.)

UkerDanno
01-04-2019, 03:08 PM
Someone already recommended Martins, I second that, but Living Water probably would work for a slightly mellower and softer feel.

CommonCurt
01-04-2019, 03:32 PM
If you don't like the tension and brightness of fluorocarbons, you might consider the Martin Premiums (made by Aquila). They have a cleaner sound than the Nylgut variations but have about the same tension. I have them on a laminate Makala and really like them, but could easily see them on a very bright hog. (I tend to prefer fluorocarbons, personally.)

I second the newer Martin Premium "Polygut" strings (by Aquila).
I prefer a mellower sound with low tension also, I've liked them on everything I've played them on.

RLM3121
01-04-2019, 03:38 PM
I have a Kiwaya mahogany concert that came with Worth Browns. They are my favorite strings, a little less bright than the clears but very clear with good sustain.

CommonCurt
01-04-2019, 03:41 PM
I second the newer Martin Premium "Polygut" strings (by Aquila).
I prefer a mellower sound with low tension also, I've liked them on everything I've played them on.

P.S. Worth Browns would be my second recommendation. They also sound good on everything I've heard them on.

vanflynn
01-04-2019, 06:00 PM
For me - Fremont Blacks or Worth Browns. Crisp and bright or soft and mellow. Give ‘em both a try and decide for yourself!

Croaky Keith
01-04-2019, 11:28 PM
I use Living Water concert scale low G on all my solid mahogany ukes, both of my Ohana long neck sopranos (concert scale & tenor scale), & my long neck concert (tenor scale) Ohana.

DownUpDave
01-05-2019, 12:24 AM
You like mellow and you don't like how thin florocarbon strings are...........obvious choice is nylon. Nylon is thicker in diameter and warmer then florocarbon. Nylon has fallen out of favor with uke players but Classical guitar players still love them and they have much higher standards then uke players. Good quality nylon strings like D'Addarrio sound wonderful, warm, clear and articulate. Jake Shimaburkuro uses D'Addario Nylon strings ONLY. The disadvantages can be not as much sustain, less perceived volume, bright sounds louder to humans and limited choices compared to florocarbon.

At one time I snubbed my nose at nylon......until I actually tried them and on some instruments they do sound best. Be open minded and try different types until YOU find what YOU like

MopMan
01-05-2019, 01:48 AM
My mahogany concert is wearing Martin M600s at the moment. If you are looking for bright and crisp, this is the best choice, IMO.

Ziret
01-05-2019, 05:07 PM
I second the newer Martin Premium "Polygut" strings (by Aquila).
I prefer a mellower sound with low tension also, I've liked them on everything I've played them on.

I like these on my Kiwaya mahogany concert. They are similar to the now-discontinued Carbon Blacks.

Astein2006
01-05-2019, 05:21 PM
You like mellow and you don't like how thin florocarbon strings are...........obvious choice is nylon. Nylon is thicker in diameter and warmer then florocarbon. Nylon has fallen out of favor with uke players but Classical guitar players still love them and they have much higher standards then uke players. Good quality nylon strings like D'Addarrio sound wonderful, warm, clear and articulate. Jake Shimaburkuro uses D'Addario Nylon strings ONLY. The disadvantages can be not as much sustain, less perceived volume, bright sounds louder to humans and limited choices compared to florocarbon.

At one time I snubbed my nose at nylon......until I actually tried them and on some instruments they do sound best. Be open minded and try different types until YOU find what YOU like

You are the first person to suggest nylon. I have been thinking hard about using them. It’s funny fluoro became all the rage yet the worlds most renowned player uses nylon. That speaks volumes. Granted it’s all about personal taste. Maybe I’ve been leaning toward nylon in my head because I’ve played classical guitar on and off and love the feel and sound of nylon. Yet I’m relatively new to the ukulele and have felt like i “should” use fluoros because that’s what’s in so to speak. I know Kamaka makes black nylon and D’Addario like you said makes them. I wonder how their gauges compare?

EDW
01-05-2019, 06:24 PM
I think it is important to make a decision based on the sound and feel you want/like, what fits your instrument/ taste/playing style

Too often we get caught up in the idea that everyone likes x, or player y likes z and then we end up with something we don't like. Experimentation is probably the key and luckily strings are relatively cheap. As I sometimes have to remind myself, the goal should be to make music and have fun. There are so many choices out there that it is easy to get caught up in the equipment dilemma. I suppose years ago people used whatever they found at the local shop and just played.

MopMan
01-05-2019, 06:43 PM
You are the first person to suggest nylon. I have been thinking hard about using them. It’s funny fluoro became all the rage yet the worlds most renowned player uses nylon. That speaks volumes. Granted it’s all about personal taste. Maybe I’ve been leaning toward nylon in my head because I’ve played classical guitar on and off and love the feel and sound of nylon. Yet I’m relatively new to the ukulele and have felt like i “should” use fluoros because that’s what’s in so to speak. I know Kamaka makes black nylon and D’Addario like you said makes them. I wonder how their gauges compare?

If you want a fat, mellow, classic sound, nylon and mahogany is a good way to go. I have a 'hog soprano fitted up with D'Addario Nyltechs and that uke is my goto for jazz era rhythmic tunes. If you are already into nylon, don't hesitate--string it up. Ukulele strings are ~$10 a set. If you don't like 'em, it's a few minutes to switcheroo and you can be breaking in a new set.

DownUpDave
01-06-2019, 01:26 AM
I just checked Strings by Mail website and they have nylon strings by D'Addario, Dogal, Hannabach, GHS and LaBella. These are all big names in classical guitar strings so will be of the highest quality. At approx. $8.00 a set or less strings are a cheap experiment that pays huge dividends.

Down Up Dick
01-06-2019, 03:59 AM
I have Aquila 5ths(CGDA) on my Luna concert. I really like playing in 5ths, especially finger style. :old:

Swamp Yankee
01-06-2019, 07:19 AM
What order from brightest to mellow would you say the strings are? I lean more towards mellow than bright as far as preference.

It's hard to say how much of the difference is because of the strings on three concerts by different makers - but - the black strings on my Kiwaya KTC1 are the most mellow - the Nylguts on my Kolohe are brighter - and the Martin Fluoros on my Cahaya are the brightest of all.

They are all solid mahogany. However, it's likely they're all African Mahogany if that makes any difference to you.

Astein2006
01-06-2019, 08:27 AM
If you want a fat, mellow, classic sound, nylon and mahogany is a good way to go. I have a 'hog soprano fitted up with D'Addario Nyltechs and that uke is my goto for jazz era rhythmic tunes. If you are already into nylon, don't hesitate--string it up. Ukulele strings are ~$10 a set. If you don't like 'em, it's a few minutes to switcheroo and you can be breaking in a new set.

The D'addario Nyltechs. Those are essentially similar to Aquila Nylgut? How close to a nylon sound are they on your Hog soprano? They dont necessarily have to be nylon but they are in the lead. If i can get a nice fat sound from the Nyltechs I'd certainly put that at the top of the try list.

Astein2006
01-06-2019, 08:28 AM
Anyone know much about the new Martin Premium strings and where they fall on the mellow-bright scale?

EDW
01-06-2019, 08:39 AM
The D'addario Nyltechs. Those are essentially similar to Aquila Nylgut? How close to a nylon sound are they on your Hog soprano? They dont necessarily have to be nylon but they are in the lead. If i can get a nice fat sound from the Nyltechs I'd certainly put that at the top of the try list.

The are similar to the Nylgut, but I am not sure what the differences are. I would have to try them back to back to see. As I mentioned in another thread, the Nyltech have a nice warm, relatively fat sound, still with some crispness.

MopMan
01-06-2019, 10:41 AM
The D'addario Nyltechs. Those are essentially similar to Aquila Nylgut? How close to a nylon sound are they on your Hog soprano? They dont necessarily have to be nylon but they are in the lead. If i can get a nice fat sound from the Nyltechs I'd certainly put that at the top of the try list.


The are similar to the Nylgut, but I am not sure what the differences are. I would have to try them back to back to see. As I mentioned in another thread, the Nyltech have a nice warm, relatively fat sound, still with some crispness.

In my experience I would agree that the Nyltechs are similar to Aquila Nylgut. I also have not done a heads-up comparison, though I have used both. They both give me the classic uke sound that I prefer for certain kinds of music.

merlin666
01-06-2019, 11:56 AM
I have Aquila 5ths(CGDA) on my Luna concert. I really like playing in 5ths, especially finger style. :old:
Can you tell more about this set? Is it specifically for concert and is it linear or re-entrant style?

Down Up Dick
01-06-2019, 03:39 PM
Can you tell more about this set? Is it specifically for concert and is it linear or re-entrant style?

It is Linear Tuning - CGDA. I think the part number is Aquila 31U. Some UUers use it on tenors too, but I haven’t. The Soprano one is 30U I think (I don’t play sopranos much.

It sounds good to me, but my ears are old. I enjoy 5ths tuning a lot. I have it on a lotta stuff — try it. :old:

merlin666
01-06-2019, 06:00 PM
It is Linear Tuning - CGDA. I think the part number is Aquila 31U. Some UUers use it on tenors too, but I haven’t. The Soprano one is 30U I think (I don’t play sopranos much.

It sounds good to me, but my ears are old. I enjoy 5ths tuning a lot. I have it on a lotta stuff — try it. :old:

Thanks I think I will ask my luthier to put these on my upcoming custom build. I have a guitar background and have not used this tuning before but am aware that there are many mandolin resources with tabs etc. Do you have a few favourites that work well to get started on an uke with this tuning?

CommonCurt
01-06-2019, 07:14 PM
Anyone know much about the new Martin Premium strings and where they fall on the mellow-bright scale?

I personally think they sound a little brighter than Super Nylegut, but warmer than Fluorocarbons.
You get better sustain with them vs regular super nylegut.

Down Up Dick
01-06-2019, 07:58 PM
Thanks I think I will ask my luthier to put these on my upcoming custom build. I have a guitar background and have not used this tuning before but am aware that there are many mandolin resources with tabs etc. Do you have a few favourites that work well to get started on an uke with this tuning?

No, I use it mostly for noodling right now with or without a flat pick. I also have a 5ths tuned Lanikai concert banjolele, which I use for Celtic and Classical.

I hope you do try it and enjoy it as much as I do. :old: