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rrieth
05-06-2019, 09:18 AM
I have just ordered a Baton Rouge 8 string ukulele. After reading the many positive reviews I am looking forward to receiving it. I am considering replacing the octave C with a unison pair, leaving the low G as the only octave pair as others here have done.

I was wondering about using 2 different brands of string in each unison pair to create a more complex sound. I'm thinking of pairing different flavors of the same brand of string, such as Worth Browns and clears. or even strings of different brands with significantly different characteristics. I can imagine with the right string pairs it could expand the tonal spectrum, and with the wrong pairing could sound horrible.

If anyone has tried this I would be interested to hear whatever experience you could share.

MopMan
05-06-2019, 01:17 PM
It would seem the combinations are endless...

I suspect "horrible" will be difficult to achieve on a well-made instrument, but I suppose ultimately that will always be a subjective judgement. Curious what interesting things would happen if you mixed, say, a fluorocarbon set with a nylon set.

Tension differences between the sets are probably something to watch out for. You might not want one extra stiff and one extra floppy string in each course.

Will you share some sound clips with us when you execute these experiments? This could be interesting.

gochugogi
05-06-2019, 05:09 PM
Curious what interesting things would happen if you mixed, say, a fluorocarbon set with a nylon set.


Fluorocarbon and nylon custom sets are not uncommon in the guitar world. I like smooth warm nylons on the 1st and 2nd strings of my Ramirez classical guitar with a fluorocarbon 3rd string. In fact the combination is is popular enough D'Addario sells treble sets configured thus. A Nylgut 3rd string is my 2nd preference followed by Titanium.

On my Romero Creations TT6 I use Seaguar Pink Label fluorocarbon 30LB, 50LB and 80LB test for the treble strings and D'Addario EXP basses. It usually took me half a dozen test combos to find the ideal mix of types and gauge so you'll probably need a couple months of messing around to find the ideal sound and feel for your instrument.

rrieth
05-07-2019, 03:42 AM
It would seem the combinations are endless...

I suspect "horrible" will be difficult to achieve on a well-made instrument, but I suppose ultimately that will always be a subjective judgement. Curious what interesting things would happen if you mixed, say, a fluorocarbon set with a nylon set.

Tension differences between the sets are probably something to watch out for. You might not want one extra stiff and one extra floppy string in each course.

Will you share some sound clips with us when you execute these experiments? This could be interesting.

Thank you for your comments MopMan. I hadn't thought about the string tension issue.

I was hoping that strings with different tonal characteristics would enhance the chorus effect of paired strings.

The reason I brought up sounding horrible is based on reading posts about certain string brands having intonation problems on certain instruments. I could imagine strings with different intonation characteristics sounding unpleasantly dissonant when paired and played on the upper fretboard.

rrieth
05-07-2019, 03:47 AM
Fluorocarbon and nylon custom sets are not uncommon in the guitar world. I like smooth warm nylons on the 1st and 2nd strings of my Ramirez classical guitar with a fluorocarbon 3rd string. In fact the combination is is popular enough D'Addario sells treble sets configured thus. A Nylgut 3rd string is my 2nd preference followed by Titanium.

On my Romero Creations TT6 I use Seaguar Pink Label fluorocarbon 30LB, 50LB and 80LB test for the treble strings and D'Addario EXP basses. It usually took me half a dozen test combos to find the ideal mix of types and gauge so you'll probably need a couple months of messing around to find the ideal sound and feel for your instrument.

Thank you for your comments Peter. It is encouraging that mixing string types can sound good. I don't have experience with custom sets of strings and appreciate you sharing your experience. It is daunting to think of the amount of work to pin down the ideal combination.

MopMan
05-07-2019, 01:36 PM
It is daunting to think of the amount of work to pin down the ideal combination.

This is the wrong mindset... strings are only ~$10 a set. Buy a dozen sets and spend a few months having fun with it!

FiL
05-08-2019, 04:21 AM
If you want to "create a more complex sound", stick with the high C string. It is my favorite part of the 8-string sound.

- FiL

rrieth
05-09-2019, 04:08 AM
Thank you for your comments.

MopMan, For me the daunting part is changing strings and waiting for them to stretch. The ukulele I bought comes with nylguts. I could swap out one of each pair from a set of Martin clears I have on hand, but before I do that I was actually hoping someone might have already tried it and would share their results.

FIL, I have tried an 8-string briefly in the past and didn't like the octave pair on the C string. However, due to inertia and my general aversion to changing strings I will probably use the octave combination on G and C strings for a while and may find eventually that I like it.

My crazy idea is that different string materials in each string pair might enhance the chorus effect.

I am still hoping that some forum member has tried unison pairs where the two strings in each pair are different brands or different materials, for instance one nylon and one fluorocarbon on each E, A, and C string pair, or just E and A as per FIL's suggestion to stay with the standard configuration and would share their results.