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View Full Version : So I ordered my first ukulele...



Vroom
04-11-2008, 07:08 PM
I ordered my first ukulele. It is a Mahalo Tenor ukulele and it has a mahogany body and neck, frets are brass... and all it said on the string description is "black"

so... do you think the strings it will come with will be decent or would you recommend that I buy new ones for my ukulele when it comes?

I am expecting it in 5 days or so, The wait has been KILLING me.

tad
04-11-2008, 07:34 PM
No, they won't.

Go ahead and order some strings now, so you'll have 'em ASAP when the uke comes.

Personally, I like the clear strings by Worth. A lot of folks around here seem to like Aquilas. But get some strings. You'll not have a good sense for what the instrument sounds like until you get some decent strings on it.

seeso
04-11-2008, 07:52 PM
Congrats, Vroom! Let us know when it arrives.

I don't know what kind of strings those come with, but Tad sure seems to know what he's talking about.

tad
04-11-2008, 08:06 PM
Congrats, Vroom! Let us know when it arrives.

I don't know what kind of strings those come with, but Tad sure seems to know what he's talking about.

Whenever I've seen a uke listed as having "black strings" they're usually GHS blacks or something quite similar. Not great strings. Given the price point of Mahalos, I'm going to assume that (unless you buy it from a dealer who restrings it to improve sound, in which case they'll usually point that out) it's a safe bet that these are some cheapie no name strings.

And while I'm a cheap bastard, and I like the sound of ukes that some of the connoisseur-types around here would never touch, I have to say that strings are something so simple and cheap to upgrade-- I can't see why anyone would use the ones that come with their uke out of the box.




OH-- and btw, I forgot to say it earlier, but congrats, Vroom!

Ukuleles are the bomb. And they can be addictive... Don't be surprised if you end up buying another in a couple months. :D

Vroom
04-11-2008, 09:54 PM
Haha, thanks guys. yea i plan to take it pretty much everywhere with me. where would you recommend I buy strings? just ebay, or is there a good site you would recommend?

redsedge
04-11-2008, 11:14 PM
I got Aquila strings for my soprano Makala (another cheapie here!) and they made a striking difference. I just browsed ebay for the cheapest deal here in the UK. Got great service too, but that's not much use to you over the pond. And congratulaions too!

andrew
04-12-2008, 04:40 AM
Haha, thanks guys. yea i plan to take it pretty much everywhere with me. where would you recommend I buy strings? just ebay, or is there a good site you would recommend?
MusicGuyMic on eBay has string sampler sets. Four sets of strings, all different brands. Seems like a good way to see what sounds best. Slap one set on, play it for a couple weeks, then try the next.

The GHS strings on my tenor don't sound awful to me, but I've nothing to compare them to. No doubt I'll wonder why I didn't change them sooner when I actually do, but sometimes ignorance is bliss.

Kanaka916
04-12-2008, 04:46 AM
Haha, thanks guys. yea i plan to take it pretty much everywhere with me. where would you recommend I buy strings? just ebay, or is there a good site you would recommend?
You can get 'em from MGM (http://stores.ebay.com/Musicguymics-Room_Strings_W0QQcolZ2QQdirZQ2d1QQfsubZ10248QQftid Z2QQtZkm), Ukulele World (http://ukuleleworld.com/home.php?cat=3) and Elderly (http://elderly.com/accessories/cats/STUK.html). There are a couple of other places, just do a search and you can compare prices.

WS64
04-12-2008, 04:52 AM
On guitars I hardly cared for strings at all. When I got an instrument I played the strings until one broke or it really did not sound anymore.
On the ukulele it is way different. On all ukuleles I get now I will change the strings immediately. I too prefer Worth, but have never tried Aquilas.

russ_buss
04-12-2008, 05:12 AM
i have ko'olau golds on my fluke and i really like the sound. i plan to try aquila and worth sometime in the future so i can make a real comparison. but you should definitley replace your stock strings. it's less than the price of two beers and will make a big difference.

Vroom
04-12-2008, 10:34 AM
unfortunately i don't have a credit card so I will be using paypal... so i have to wait a week first before the funds transfer... then i can buy the strings off ebay, i found a few good sellers for good price on worth strings, since worth strings seem to be a favourite of quite a few people i figured i would go with that.

Lol I'll probably get my ukulele before i have a chance to order my strings.

anyways, thanks to everyone for all the helpful advice I really appreciate it!

davoomac
04-12-2008, 11:25 AM
I ordered some J71 Daddario's for my ukulele from musician's friend for like 3 dollars and I love them. They sound really good.

I personally like the J71's better than aquila strings.

tad
04-12-2008, 01:42 PM
On guitars I hardly cared for strings at all. When I got an instrument I played the strings until one broke or it really did not sound anymore.
On the ukulele it is way different. On all ukuleles I get now I will change the strings immediately. I too prefer Worth, but have never tried Aquilas.

All I know is that my Mitchell MU-70 sounded like crap with the out-of-the-box "black strings," and with the Worths on it, I'm no longer feeling as ripped off about the hundred bucks I paid for it... I'd been thinking about reselling it until I restrung it.

You know, I'm not a guitar person, but I've been hanging out with musicians-- mostly guitarists-- for at least fifteen years or more. I *never* hear my guitarist friends talking about strings, string quality, string sound, etc...

Do strings make less of a difference with guitars than ukes? Why would that be? (My only guess would be that with such a larger resonating chamber, guitar sound is more a result of guitar quality, and strings are very secondary... but that's just a guess...) Or is it maybe just that the guitar and ukulele culture are different? Are my guitarist friends just not particularly picky, or so set in their ways that they don't change up strings and find newer, better ones?

What's up with that? Any opinions?

seeso
04-12-2008, 03:25 PM
The biggest quality that factor into differences in steel guitar string tones is diameter. The fatter the string, the fatter your tone. (Your action will make a big difference too.)

I can't tell much difference in tone between steel guitar string brands of the same diameter.

I think that steel guitar strings make less of a difference because they're basically only made with one material (steel), and you're always buying the same diameter sizes.

Ukulele strings come in a variety of materials and diameters.

Dino
04-12-2008, 04:27 PM
I would say definately change the strings. Even my friend who made my Tenor uke for me put GHS strings on it and admitted I should change them. I use Aquila's. Worths are good. Ko'olau Golds are good. Try em all on your uke to see what sounds best.....TO YOU.

tad
04-12-2008, 05:44 PM
I would say definately change the strings. Even my friend who made my Tenor uke for me put GHS strings on it and admitted I should change them. I use Aquila's. Worths are good. Ko'olau Golds are good. Try em all on your uke to see what sounds best.....TO YOU.

HaHa... Although there's no harm in asking those around you how it sounds TO THEM, too...

;)

Kekani
04-13-2008, 06:37 PM
davoomac,

Good to see D'Addario J71's getting play time. I've used the J46 for a while (which is basically what the J71 was built off, except for high G - I string low g), but much prefer the J50 sets. Gauge and tension are the same, but the 50's seem bright and crisp, where the 46's seem sweet and clear. Of course, this depends on the instrument as well. Only problem, hard to find (juststrings has them).

Vroom,

I've seen a reference to you being across the pond. You can order up a set of Savarez Alliance (if you ordered a Tenor). They're currently working with their distributors on making an `ukulele set, but I'm not sure if, and how long it will take. For now, I usually keep the J and R 540 series available for myself, again, depending on the instrument, and which tension I'm going with. They're carbon based, harder to find, and will give similar brightness to Worths (which are flourocarbon). I much prefer the feel of the Savarez - the high tension feels like D'Addario J45/J49, so they have a softer touch than the J46/50. I have a few friends that won't play anything else, and MGM request them on his customs (probably because they cost more than $2 a string).

Vroom
04-13-2008, 06:48 PM
thanks. uhh, what did you mean by


Vroom,
I've seen a reference to you being across the pond.

is this a term i should know about?

Kekani
04-13-2008, 10:32 PM
Sorry, read it wrong - the poster was across the pond, not you.

Anyway, let me add one caveat to my statement about strings being "hard to find". Actually, they're not necessarily hard to find from an availability standpoint. Its just that the strings I use don't land in your lap if you do a search for `ukulele strings.

Vroom
04-14-2008, 10:59 AM
I'm still not positive but i might get the worth's. they sound really nice. i'm not that big of a fan of the gold's

NotoriousMOK
04-14-2008, 07:11 PM
I'm a big fan of the Worths too. I used to use Aquilas, but now all 3 of my ukes (Standard tuning on the soprano and tenor, low G on the concert) are sporting the clear Worths and I'm pretty happy with them.

Have fun

dakine2009
04-14-2008, 08:22 PM
order new strings just in case....
if they come with decent strings, save the ones you ordered.
=D

UkuleleHill
04-15-2008, 02:31 PM
I would have to strongly agree that unless the retailer replaced the strings you should replace the strings. I switched my ghi's to High G D'Adarios and and LOVE the difference. Next I am going to try worths... I know there are ebay sales that have 4 different sets in one sale... So you can try out a mariad of strings. Just an idea...