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View Full Version : Ko'olau Golds on a Koaloha Concert



existence
11-02-2009, 08:44 PM
Three days into my first try with nylon strings on the KCM-00, I'm starting to get a feel for them. I like them very much, more so than the previous string types I've had on, at any rate. It came with Worth clear hards, I tried Fremont Blacklines, then put Worth clear mediums on it. The other day the Ko'olau Golds I ordered from MGM came in, so I put those on. Was very curious to change from flourocarbons to nylons.

These definitely sound mellower than the Worths, but they produce a heartier, thicker tone. The ukulele has a more complex sound with these strings. The Worths sounded a little thin to my ears (no offense to anyone who likes them, I know they're very popular on these instruments!) One thing I was worried about regarding Golds was mellowing out the bright Koaloha sound too much; dulling it, as it were. I was also concerned about volume, since I'd read that some folks experienced a drop in it with these strings. Well, I think that even though they're not as bright as the Worths, they retain more than enough brightness to keep that tropical sparkle in the tone. As far as volume, it sounds about as loud as it did with the Worths.

My only complaint is a minor one with regards to playability: these strings seem slippery to me. The other nylon strings I use--the Hilos on my Flea--have a good bit of traction on the string, so your fingertip doesn't slide right off when you're trying to fret a note. The Golds do that sometimes--though it's possible that I can adjust to avoid it with some more practice. It's not a big deal though, it could just be a quirk of mine.

All in all: Ko'olau Golds on a Koaloha Concert....thumbs up!

reyn
11-03-2009, 01:18 AM
Just have to put my 2 cents in and say I agree! Tried a concert set recently and I really like the sound, i'm inclined to say more than aquilas now, shocking haha

dnewton2
11-03-2009, 01:31 AM
I have Ko'olau Golds (low g) on my Moore Bettah Concert right now. I like they way they sound and play. I think I am about to give something else a try soon though.

Lanark
11-03-2009, 03:21 AM
It's good you're liking the Golds on there now. The real test will be where you're at in a few months and a couple sets down the line as your ear and familiarity with the instrument evolves. I've got been through a few different brands after saying "this is it. these are the ones I'll always use."

cornfedgroove
11-03-2009, 03:27 AM
regardless of how popular anything is on the forum...

we all have varying preferences of the sound we like, and its always good to hear that people are finding it.

rasun
11-03-2009, 04:07 AM
My Pono came with the Ko'olau Gold, I've tried different types of strings on this ukulele, but have returned to the Gold, a much richer,warmer,"kinder gentler" sound. Plus I try to do Lyle Ritz covers, the Gold come close to his tone, which he plays a Ko'olau Ukulele with Gold stings on his new stuff, and tunes down to DGBE.

haole
11-03-2009, 05:21 AM
Ko'olau Golds are good strings on the right uke. They're super mellow so they don't really help if your uke is already quiet. But for something loud like a KoAloha I can see why they'd sound good.

existence
11-03-2009, 06:21 AM
It's good you're liking the Golds on there now. The real test will be where you're at in a few months and a couple sets down the line as your ear and familiarity with the instrument evolves. I've got been through a few different brands after saying "this is it. these are the ones I'll always use."

Yeah, I thought I liked the Blacklines on it at first, but a few days later I thought they sounded thin. That's why I waited several days to post my impressions of the Golds. It's funny how your perceptions can change, even in a matter of days.

Anyways, I don't mean to say Golds are better than this or that. Just trying to articulate the tonal differences I can detect. I figured switching materials would make a big difference, and it did. I'll probably try Nylguts next; haven't heard those on here yet...

Lanark
11-03-2009, 06:35 AM
There's also going to be tonal differences between individual instruments as well. I've got two 2000 Koaloha concerts that sound quite different from each other. One has a much fuller boxier sound to it and the other is quite a bit brighter and forward.

The Worth clear hards work really well for the former, but I'm still trying to find a good balance for the latter to open it up without sacrificing some of the flavor of what I like about it. I need volume and to be able to cut through a crowd a bit for our group so the Golds don't really work for me.

I just keep finding that as I progress with the instrument the tonal palette I'm looking for changes too.

freedive135
11-03-2009, 06:37 AM
I've been thinking about trying a set of the concert gold's on my KoAloha Soprano...

existence
11-03-2009, 09:22 AM
@Cornfed: Word!

@rasun: Yeah man, rich is probably the best word to describe the tone. I think the fact that they're a thicker gauge (I actually had to file the bridge slot for the A string) helps in that department.

@haole: After reading about how soft and mellow they sounded, I was surpised at the punch and brightness they produced on the Koaloha, but then, as you say, it is a Koaloha....

@Lanark: That's one of the more fascinating things about acoustic instruments to me. Two ukes, same year, same maker, same wood type....different sounds. I'm looking forward to attending some local uke jams, because hopefully someone will have another Koaloha I can try out!

@Freedive: You should try it, I'd like to hear your opinion about the Koaloha/Ko'Olau combo...