View Full Version : String diversification coupled with UAS/SAS

04-03-2019, 09:57 PM
Like many on this site I’ve tended to upgrade all my ukes to “higher end” strings immediately upon acquisition. My go-to strings have been Warm sounding Worth Clears and now the Martin fluorocarbons in the yellow package. A lot of folks on this board go with the Worth browns so I went ahead and tried these on my tenor. They had an interesting and lively sound for the first month but they ended sounding dull/muted after that and I not adapted to the slim width of the strings. With that said I liked the initial change in complexion. On a whim I picked up some Aquila Lavas (funny name so I bought them) which I haven't seen mentioned on this board. Wow! What a different sound. Where my Worths and Martins sing like Bing Crosby, these Lavas are like Freddy Mercury. Amazing singers both but just so different.

With that said, sign me up for string diversification. Now I wish I had multiple nice ukes just so I can play with different sounding strings. Maybe I now have a case of String Acquisition Syndrome (SAS)? Anyway, I encourage all who have a singular string preference to go out shake it up. I was really surprised by my fortunate discovery. Worst case, you can always go back.

04-03-2019, 10:46 PM
I have often used the pretty decent aquilas the ukes often come with for a while before changing them, not to waste them. Then tried something else when changing.

I like dark coloured strings.
I like the Lavas. They are pretty much like other aquilas, but thats not bad.
I dislike the Carbonblacks. Gritty surface and didnt sound nice on the uke i tried them on.
Fremont Blacklines were my first flourcarbons. Fine. A bit waxy to the touch, probably because I was used to nylgut back then.
Then I tried Worth Browns. I use them on a few ukes now.
I also tried the Clears. I think that the difference is small to my ears.

04-04-2019, 05:10 AM
Strings are strings. You can get as much variation for free by learning how to vary your playing techniques. You can also get some variations for free just by learning to play tunes in different music genres. Instead of buying a new uke, you can buy some new music which has a completely different sound to anything you have played before.
When the strings wear out try something new for sure, but there is a lot more to getting varied sounds out of a ukulele than just changing strings.

Still, it's a lot cheaper than a new uke. But yeah, you can waste a lot of time playing with strings instead of playing your uke. I know I'm guilty of that. I wouldn't go as far as to say strings are strings though, especially if you like finger picking. Some strings don't ring out nicely and get muddled and other string sets, the 3rd string just overpowers the others.

04-04-2019, 05:57 AM
I definitely have developed favourite strings over time (D'addario Pro-Arte black nylon), but it is even more important to match the string to the ukulele.

On one of my ukes, it sounds dull with the D'addarios, but amazing with Aquilas. So the Aquilas stay on it *shrugs*

I went through a big fluorocarbon phase a few years back based on recommendations.
But I simply don't like how they feel. They feel harder on the fingers, I don't like their thin wiry feel and don't suit my fingerpicking technique *shrugs*
Each to their own.

04-04-2019, 02:53 PM
Not sure if I could call this SAS in my case. My latest tenor (I know, UAS) went through 4 sets of strings in less than 2 weeks.
It came with D’Addario Titanium and I thought it could sound better (with a longer sustain) using some other strings. I went with my favourite M620 Martin strings and it sounded worse than before. Could not believe it. I took it off within an hour.
Then I went on to try the Martin gray graphite immediately. Much better than the Titanium, but the string texture is not working for me. I gave up after a week. Next set, Worth brown, which kind of tick all boxes. Except for the A string. It’s kind of too thin for me to do a proper barring.
So I went out to get the D’addario Black Nylon and replaced just the A string to make it thicker. And now my uke has a weird mix of fluorocarbon and nylon but it’s working for me now.
So I’m left with some spare tenor string sets but no tenor uke to put them on. Buy another tenor?