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cogfasser
04-19-2019, 06:00 AM
Anyone have a recommendation for a lower tension TENOR strings. I usually use Worth Clears (hight G)—but they are sounding and feeling rather tight on my uke. Living Waters lower tension? I used to have SouthCoast strings, but I think they are not available anymore.

AQUATOPAZ
04-19-2019, 06:27 AM
Anyone have a recommendation for a lower tension TENOR strings. I usually use Worth Clears (hight G)—but they are sounding and feeling rather tight on my uke. Living Waters lower tension? I used to have SouthCoast strings, but I think they are not available anymore.

I remember seeing a Mya Moe video where he explains that the reason they string with fluorocarbons is the higher inherent tension of the strings. For lower tension, maybe try nylon.

Pirate Jim
04-19-2019, 07:00 AM
Or use Worth concert strings - should be the same density material in a lighter gauge.

cogfasser
04-19-2019, 07:11 AM
Thanks. I do have a set of Worths Browns Concert on hand. I can give that a try:)

gochugogi
04-19-2019, 07:56 AM
The first string on the Worth CT (Clear 63") is .0224" and the Concert/Soprano sets have .0185 and .0205" first strings. Oddly the 2nd and 3rd strings are the same—.026 and .0291"—in all Worth sets save for the Heavy series. With that said I prefer the .0205" on the first string of my tenors but .0291 is too thin for the C string (need .031"). I suspect Worth sets are derived from Seaguar fishing line since the measurements are exactly the same...

natchez
04-19-2019, 07:57 AM
From Strings and Beyond: A E C g
Worth concert sizing:
Clear
Fluorocarbon Medium CM 46 in .0205 in .0260 in .0291 in .0224 in

Worth tenor sizing:
Clear
Fluorocarbon Tenor CT 63 in .0224 in .0260 in .0291 in .0244 in

Looks to me like the C and E strings are the same diameters in the two sets, but the g and A are a little thicker in the tenor set. The concert g diameter is the tenor A diameter. I think the browns are the same diameters. So, you may end up with the same tension on the middle two strings with your browns.

Yes, unfortunately when Southcoast's founder passed away we lost a wonderful friend and resource.

70sSanO
04-19-2019, 10:18 AM
Here is my take on it. Most (All?) fluorocarbon ukulele strings are based on fishing line (leader). There are real cost drivers to developing ukulele strings and then lot size that impact a from-scratch formula or unique size.

The overly simplistic rule I have found for the past dozen years is string tension of fluorocarbon string is directly related to string diameter. But a thinner string tends to produce a thinner sound.

I did buy some cheap fluorocarbon fishing leader, GT brand, off eBay almost 10 years ago that was a little thicker but not higher in tension, probably a cheaper formula for it’s intended purpose. I use it on one of my ukes; I almost tossed it out.

There is one option not typically made and that is Aquila “non” Nylgut strings. Reds are typically lower tension as well as Martin Premiem Polygut, which are probably an improved version of Carbon Blacks and made by Aquila. Aquila is one of the few that develops their own strings. But with Nylgut supplied as OEM on so many lower end ukes it helps a lot.

Nylon is an option, supposedly Martin and D'Addario make nice nylon strings, but you’ll need to try them and see if you like them.

My advice is to do specific string searches on google adding “forum” or here on UU. Get specs... string diameters.

John

Edit added: I have 8-10 rolls of Seaguar Premier and Blue Label that I use almost exclusively. I’ve used digital calipers on the fishing leader and some popular ukulele strings.

Kenn2018
04-19-2019, 11:55 AM
I have found that the tenor Fremont medium Black Line Fluorocabon strings to be "stretchier" and easier on my fingers than any other fluoros I have tried. I'm not sure how that relates to the tension.

They come in a "medium" and a "hard." It is not clear to me if that refers to the diameters or there is a difference in the polymer formula. Nor am I sure how the tension differs. The hards only fit soprano & concert. The mediums fit all three.

From Uke Republic's website:
FREMONT FLUOROCARBON BLACK LINE HARD GAUGE UKULELE STRINGS
(Made in Japan)
Black Fluorocarbon for Soprano/Concert (STR-FH)
SPECS:
Length (24.5 inches / 62 cm)
1st - 0.022; 2nd - 0.027; 3rd - 0.031; 4th - 0.023

FREMONT FLUOROCARBON BLACK LINE MEDIUM UKULELE STRINGS
(Made in Japan)
Black Fluorocarbon for Soprano/Concert/Tenor (STR-FM)

Living Waters strings are my go-to strings. 1st: 0.57mm; 2nd: 0.66mm; 3rd: 0.74mm; 4th: 0.62mm (Low-G 4th: 0.91mm)
Martin M620 strings are hard on my fingers. 1st: 0.56mm; 2nd: 0.72mm; 3rd: 0.86mm; 4th: 0.64mm

Futurethink
04-19-2019, 03:44 PM
Or use Worth concert strings - should be the same density material in a lighter gauge.

^This^
Tenor 'ukuleles tend to have "higher tension" (feel more difficult to fret). A common remedy is to use concert strings on the tenor and feel "less tension" as a result.
We all refer to this as "tension" when we are actually talking about how difficult or easy it is to fret.

70sSanO
04-19-2019, 05:25 PM
We all refer to this as "tension" when we are actually talking about how difficult or easy it is to fret.

This is correct. Tension is basically has to do with string composition over a particular scale length tuned to a certain pitch. The other half has to do with string compliance which is the tension “feel” when we fret a note. Obviously strings that are tuned down will have less true tension and easier to play.

Other than comfort, too much real string tension may surface as notes that seemed to be choked out or thudding because the soundboard can’t vibrate enough. In extreme cases the soundboard will dish out in front (sound hole side) of the saddle and bulge behind the saddle.

In addition to lighter strings, the action can be lowered for easier fretting. Another technique I have used is winding up the tuning machine post to effectively reduce the break angle at the nut. Polishing the nut slots or using a little graphite powder might help. These are very minor tweaks, but they may help.

John

Brad Bordessa
04-19-2019, 07:12 PM
You could also drop the tuning. No string changing required. You can reach all tension feel stops with a set you know you like. Half-step not loose enough? Go down a whole step. Worth a try until you can find something.

But like others have said, fluorocarbon strings are high tension. That's sort of the point and reason they bite like they do.

ripock
04-19-2019, 08:46 PM
Brad is right. I drop my tuning until I am happy with the feel of the string. I have concert strings on my tenor Kamaka and I have it tuned to E A C# F# because that's what feels good to me. Alternatively, on my custom ukulele, I have tenor strings on a tenor and I have it tuned to D# G# C F. I do whatever feels good to my fingers and to my technique. Of course, there is a liability. I couldn't sit down with a room full of strummers and pump out some Kumbaya because I would be in a different key. However. sitting on my porch and watching the cars go by my stoop like the waves upon the beach...no one is the wiser. I am jamming out some chords harmonized to the Harmonic Minor scale and it all sounds appropriately in tune. I think I'm playing in the key of A, but since my ukuleles are either three or four half-steps removed from standard tuning, I don't know what the hell I'm actually playing...but I sound good.

kkimura
04-20-2019, 12:56 AM
Maybe try some black Kamaka strings? Totally different feel than Worth clears (but different sound too).

DownUpDave
04-20-2019, 01:14 AM
All very good suggestions have been given, I was thinking about suggesting you drop the tuning. Most importantly is action height, have a good luthier look at it and see if it can be lowered. It really does make a world of difference with ease of fretting.

besley
04-20-2019, 02:42 AM
I have used both Worth Brown and Living Waters on my Farallon tenor uke, and my (very subjective....) impression is that the tension on the Worths was much higher. So Living Waters strings are all I use now.

YogiTom
04-20-2019, 05:12 AM
I have used both Worth Brown and Living Waters on my Farallon tenor uke, and my (very subjective....) impression is that the tension on the Worths was much higher. So Living Waters strings are all I use now.

Interesting. I had the exact opposite opinion with my experience between the two! Then again, I went from Living Waters to Worth Browns, so not sure if that changed things more than if I’d gone to the clear version.

YMMV could never be truer than when it comes to finding what works best for you. That’s part of the fun (for me), to see what works best for you with each unique ukulele.

AQUATOPAZ
04-20-2019, 08:40 AM
I have found that the tenor Fremont medium Black Line Fluorocabon strings to be "stretchier" and easier on my fingers than any other fluoros I have tried. I'm not sure how that relates to the tension.

They come in a "medium" and a "hard." It is not clear to me if that refers to the diameters or there is a difference in the polymer formula. Nor am I sure how the tension differs. The hards only fit soprano & concert. The mediums fit all three.

From Uke Republic's website:
FREMONT FLUOROCARBON BLACK LINE HARD GAUGE UKULELE STRINGS
(Made in Japan)
Black Fluorocarbon for Soprano/Concert (STR-FH)
SPECS:
Length (24.5 inches / 62 cm)
1st - 0.022; 2nd - 0.027; 3rd - 0.031; 4th - 0.023

FREMONT FLUOROCARBON BLACK LINE MEDIUM UKULELE STRINGS
(Made in Japan)
Black Fluorocarbon for Soprano/Concert/Tenor (STR-FM)

Living Waters strings are my go-to strings. 1st: 0.57mm; 2nd: 0.66mm; 3rd: 0.74mm; 4th: 0.62mm (Low-G 4th: 0.91mm)
Martin M620 strings are hard on my fingers. 1st: 0.56mm; 2nd: 0.72mm; 3rd: 0.86mm; 4th: 0.64mm

I have found Fremont Black Line Mediums to be harder on my fingers than Phd strings. Next string change I will try Living Waters, though I do love the feel of the Phds.

bratsche
04-20-2019, 09:35 AM
It's also possible to have the exact same strings feel like they have different tensions on two instruments with the same scale length. I suspect it has to do with subtle differences in the break angle at the nut and saddle, but I've found it strange nonetheless.

bratsche

70sSanO
04-20-2019, 05:51 PM
It's also possible to have the exact same strings feel like they have different tensions on two instruments with the same scale length. I suspect it has to do with subtle differences in the break angle at the nut and saddle, but I've found it strange nonetheless.

bratsche

This is true. I have 2 tenor ukuleles with the same strings. One is 18” scale tuned to C and the other is 17” scale tuned to B. The 18” has a shallow break angle; so much so, that I have to make sure the C and E strings are as low as possible on the tuner machine posts. Even with higher tension due to a longer scale and pitch, the string can be lifted easier out of the nut than the 17” scale uke.

The 18” tenor is still seems to need a little more effort to fret, so I can’t say how much the reduced break angle helps to reduce the string compliance, effort to fret. But you may want to try my earlier suggestion if winding the strings up toward the top of the tuning machine posts to see if there is any improvement.

John

kissing
04-21-2019, 03:57 AM
The main reason why I don't use fluorocarbon strings any more is that the tension never felt quite right for me to fingerpick.

I prefer a lighter tension, and thicker strings.

I get that with nylon strings, like D'addario Pro-Arte.



If the tension of fluorocarbon strings feel a bit uncomfortable for you, then definitely try some nylon strings instead.
There's nothing inherently magical about fluorocarbon that makes it a better string than others.

Ukulele Eddie
04-21-2019, 04:39 AM
All very good suggestions have been given, I was thinking about suggesting you drop the tuning. Most importantly is action height, have a good luthier look at it and see if it can be lowered. It really does make a world of difference with ease of fretting.

I also prefer lower tension strings and also less hard strings.

I agree with DuD--try lowering your tuning to Bb (F-Bb-D-G). I play most of tenors at this tuning because they wound better to me (a few don't, so they are tuned B or C).

Be careful if you do low your action. Very low action can start to sacrifice tone before you get string buzzing.

Jarmo_S
04-21-2019, 04:43 AM
The main reason why I don't use fluorocarbon strings any more is that the tension never felt quite right for me to fingerpick.

I prefer a lighter tension, and thicker strings.

I get that with nylon strings, like D'addario Pro-Arte.



If the tension of fluorocarbon strings feel a bit uncomfortable for you, then definitely try some nylon strings instead.
There's nothing inherently magical about fluorocarbon that makes it a better string than others.

Yours is one good post and I appreciate.
For me it is a bit different in that my nails cant last to able to fingerpick. Nylon could be better in that sense yes.

The real tension of fluoros might not be that much higher than nylons though?

AQUATOPAZ
04-21-2019, 06:51 AM
Yours is one good post and I appreciate.
For me it is a bit different in that my nails cant last to able to fingerpick. Nylon could be better in that sense yes.

The real tension of fluoros might not be that much higher than nylons though?

They are a much higher tension inherently. That's how they get that sound. If you want lower tension, use nylon or sugar strings. Fluorocarbons are MADE to have higher tension. They are DESIGNED that way. You can lower the tension and change tuning, not use fluorocarbons, or live with the tension. Low tension fluorocarbons don't exist as the reason for their existence is a high tension string. Remember, fluorocarbons originated for fishing, which require a higher tension. Try finger picking with the flesh of your fingers. I do.

Jarmo_S
04-21-2019, 07:07 AM
They are a much higher tension inherently. That's how they get that sound. If you want lower tension, use nylon or sugar strings. Fluorocarbons are MADE to have higher tension. They are DESIGNED that way. You can lower the tension and change tuning, not use fluorocarbons, or live with the tension. Low tension fluorocarbons don't exist as the reason for their existence is a high tension string. Remember, fluorocarbons originated for fishing, which require a higher tension. Try finger picking with the flesh of your fingers. I do.

LOL .... i think needs at least 10 characters ... but LOL