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View Full Version : Can you use G-C-E-A Tenor strings on a concert or soprano Uke?



rickyricky
06-22-2009, 02:07 PM
Hey UUers...

I have a spare set of Tenor Aquila strings and I'd like to restring my concert with 'em. Other than the obvious issue with length (scissors here I come!) can you use strings intended for a Tenor Uke on a smaller ukulele?

Thanks,
RickyRicky

specialmike
06-22-2009, 04:10 PM
One thing I know is that the diameter of the tenor strings are going to be different than those that you would normally use on a soprano or concert. But on my KoAloha tenor, I have a C string from a "soprano set" and it works fine. It was long enough so it fit, and although it sounds a little less bright than the other strings, it works. Until the strings lose their energy, so to speak, I don't have to replace the entire set of strings.

Why don't you try stringing it without cutting them and see what happens? It won't be damaging to your ukulele.

hoosierhiver
06-22-2009, 04:21 PM
They would probably work on the concert good enough, but they get slightly wider in diameter with each size and are made for the intonation of that size instrument, so I don't think they would work well on the soprano.

danged
06-22-2009, 09:21 PM
Hey UUers...

I have a spare set of Tenor Aquila strings and I'd like to restring my concert with 'em. Other than the obvious issue with length (scissors here I come!) can you use strings intended for a Tenor Uke on a smaller ukulele?

Thanks,
RickyRicky

The Tenor strings are larger diameter, had will require more tension, but it will work. Saving some money on using incorrect strings can cost you more in the long run, such as pulling the bridge off the top, or pulling the top up. Use the correct strings, it's not worth the risk. :eek:

rickyricky
06-24-2009, 11:48 AM
Thanks! I wasn't sure if the strings were just longer or if there were other changes...

I appreciate the info and will get the correct set of Aquila's to try on my Fluke..

Ricky


The Tenor strings are larger diameter, had will require more tension, but it will work. Saving some money on using incorrect strings can cost you more in the long run, such as pulling the bridge off the top, or pulling the top up. Use the correct strings, it's not worth the risk. :eek:

ichadwick
06-24-2009, 01:41 PM
Hey UUers...

I have a spare set of Tenor Aquila strings and I'd like to restring my concert with 'em. Other than the obvious issue with length (scissors here I come!) can you use strings intended for a Tenor Uke on a smaller ukulele?

No. They'll be too slack.

joejeweler
07-29-2011, 03:25 AM
Hey UUers...

I have a spare set of Tenor Aquila strings and I'd like to restring my concert with 'em. Other than the obvious issue with length (scissors here I come!) can you use strings intended for a Tenor Uke on a smaller ukulele?

Thanks,

RickyRicky

No. They'll be too slack.

Ummm, actually they are a bit stiffer than a set of concert strings would be. How do i know????

Well, i've been fooling with my Cordoba 25CK ukulele that i picked up a few weeks ago. (Concert sized 14 7/8" scale or so)

First off the intonation, volumn, and tone were pretty bad. I tracked down the intonation to a ill shaped and fitted saddle of inferior materials. (usually the case on a $255 but solid acacia wood uke, the zip bag was $25 and came with it)

Here's the post on my saddle change over to a superior saddle material,...hard african ivory:
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?50984-Cordoba-25CK-New-Hard-African-Ivory-Saddle-Cures-Intonation-Volumn-amp-Tone

Anyway, the uke had been sitting (actually hanging way up out of reach) for a few years probably, as it has the older
lazer engraved "Cordoba" name into the headstock plate. I have a few sets of Aquila concert sets coming shortly, as
the ones on it were of the older rough finish style, and i could feel some rough spots on the strings in varying places.

While the new quality saddle made a huge difference in the intonation and volumn compared to the original, it is
still not as loud or sound near as mellow and rich as my Moore Bettah soprano,.....never expect it to. However, it's
nice to have something to shoot for! :drool:

Frankly, i would "guess-ti-mate" it is a bit overbuilt as a production & modest cost ukulele. Safer and quicker that
way. Well, last night i decided to try a new set of Aquila C-set of Tenor sized strings on it!

(PLEASE DON"T TRY THIS ON A VINTAGE OR HIGH END LIGHTLY BUILT UKULELE!, and i assume NO liability for anyone trying this)

Yep, i figured since it was overbuilt (at least as far as top bracing and thicknessing probably), that i would try to
drive that top a bit more from a bit heavier guage strings. One concern when stringing up was watching the neck for
any signs of increasing neck relief, as i wasn't sure if the neck had any stiffiner under the fingerboard. I also kept
a keen eye on the bridge for any signs of the top beginning to come up or, yikes, bridge lift off!

Everything looked good and i got up to pitch, made the frequent tuning adjustments that new strings need, and played
it for a few hours last night. This morning they had settled in and are more stable, and i found the intonation on
this ukulele was still pretty good even with the slightly heavier strings.

Initially i was going to lower the saddle height a little when i got my Aquila concert strings in, but i like the ability
to really strum or pluck hard and have no string buzz, so i'll leave it for now.

One thing i like is the stiffer "feel" of the strings,.....very much the stiffness you have with the strings on a Tenor
ukulele. The A string really can sing now, and shout out the melody line. The tone is a bit richer also, with a big improvement in volumn of course. Still not sure if i will leave it like this long term, but for now it's vastly superior
to where it started.

I'm wondering if the higher tension strings will speed the "opening up" process we note happens on a solid wood
instrument. Just hoping the "opening up" isn't literal,....as in exploding ukulele! :eke: (not really that worried,......:D)
But i will keep an eye out for any signs of neck relief increasing or top pulling up. Both straight for now, and i expect
it to stay that way.

If i added an extra 5 Kg of pull total that shouldn't be a problem long term. But i can live with the consequences if a "mishap" occurs,....CAN YOU?

cheers,
Joe T