View Full Version : the mgm great string comparison sample test

03-30-2010, 05:29 PM
Boy I must have way too much time to restring the same ukulele this many times. I need to sell more ukes..lol The strings are about 5 mintutes old installed on the uke so if they slip a little sorry....
All done on same Kala ka kte ct tenor with same camera and tried to play same thing.


03-30-2010, 05:47 PM
Thanks Mike. Very interesting. Which ones did you like the best listening in-person?

03-30-2010, 05:51 PM
ho das choke twist action, editing would've been better but this was more than enough. mahalos

03-30-2010, 05:59 PM
its like asking me if i like apples or oranges better....don;t depend on me depend on your ears lol

03-30-2010, 06:40 PM
Thanks so much for doing that Mike. It really is a great resource to be able to hear the differences in each type of strings. It probably will save some people from being like me (with a huge box filled with tons of packs of strings).

03-30-2010, 06:43 PM
After a quick listen, the only thing I am sure of is I don't like the Hilos. Too muffled for my taste.

03-30-2010, 07:36 PM
Mahalo nui loa Mike, that was very helpfull. I definetly need to listen to them on better speakers than these in my work laptop though!

03-30-2010, 11:10 PM
Are the Alohi strings the "new" ones? It has a familiar "ring" to it, a la Savarez Alliance and D'Addario T series.
Either way, definitely the best of the bunch.


Ahnko Honu
03-30-2010, 11:19 PM
To my ears I was surprised I liked the Fremont Blacks, and the Aquilas the best in this comparison.

03-31-2010, 12:20 AM
Thanks for all the time and effort to do this Mike. Very helpful. For my ears, I like the Freemont Black and the Worth CTs on that ukulele. I'll have to try some Freemonts. Several of my ukes are strung with Worth CTs and the rest have Aquilas. I especially like the Aquilas on my Fluke and Flea.

03-31-2010, 12:23 AM
Great videos, Mike! Really good comparison all done on the same ukulele.
Agree with didgeridoo2 that the Hilos sound a bit muffled. All of the others sounded pretty good.
Will listen again to pick some favorites. Thanks!

03-31-2010, 12:47 AM
Thanks, Mike.

The Makala Dolphin Group respectfully requests a run through with all those sample string options...just joking...

Them Mahanas weren't bad either...

03-31-2010, 01:12 AM
wow, thats a fantastic resource thanks Mike.

I made the mistake of opening them all in seperate tabs to suddenly have 8 Mikes shouting at me at once!.... as much as we love you Mike, 8 of you at the same time is just too many ;)

03-31-2010, 01:23 AM
Very interesting. I was hoping to see a set of D'Addario in the comparison but I guess you can't do them all!

03-31-2010, 02:03 AM
Wow. That was a lot of work Mike. Thanks for doing it.

03-31-2010, 02:35 AM
It's fun watching your hands turn into a blur during the more rapid strumming.

I didn't know there were different Ko'oalu strings beyond the golds. The Mahanas had a sweet harp-like quality that I liked. I thought the Freemont Blacks had a very forward sound that could even be a bit banjo-y. I might have to string up my Mahalo camp uke with a set of those.
The Hilos wind up sounding imprecise. I absolutely get why folks are finding them a little muddy sounding.

03-31-2010, 02:38 AM
Does this mean you have a bunch of slightly used strings for sale?

03-31-2010, 03:52 AM
Wow! That took some work. Now people will expect you to do the same comparo with a mahogany soprano, a koa soprano, some concerts, and to use all the different Worth types CL's, CM's, Browns, etc.

I can't wait ;-)

Seriously though, thank you for taking the time to do this comparo!

03-31-2010, 04:52 AM
Mahalo MGM, great comparrison on the strings. Per my ears, I liked the Freemonts and the Aquilas the best. I might give the Freemonts a shot on the next string change.

Coconut Willie
03-31-2010, 05:05 AM
Wow, thanks mgm that was a lot of work changing all those strings. This is a big help in deciding what string to try knowing now haow they sound.
Thanks again!!

03-31-2010, 06:01 AM
Good topic. Mahalo nui loa, MGM. :) Nice of you to have done it all on a cedar top since I'm thinking of that one. ;)

Easier to have them all on the same page so I created this post. You can now play them closer together with fewer clicks.



















03-31-2010, 06:17 AM
I just put Fremont's on my Lanikai a bit ago. It took my fat fingers awhile to get used to the thin strings...it felt like playing with dental floss after using the Aquilas so long.

But thanks for doing it! I wanted to get the Kala Reds but I'm really anal retentive about my strings being clipped up all nice and neat...now I hesitate. Decisions decisions...

03-31-2010, 06:32 AM
My preferences are for Aquila, Worth CT and Fremont - an apple, an orange, and a guava.

03-31-2010, 07:38 AM
My preferences are for Aquila, Worth CT and Fremont - an apple, an orange, and a guava.

I'll have a banana....in my beer and tomato juice

03-31-2010, 11:10 AM
Thanks so much for doing that Mike. It really is a great resource to be able to hear the differences in each type of strings. It probably will save some people from being like me (with a huge box filled with tons of packs of strings).

Haha, that's like me too! Except it's all the same stuff b/c I've already grown brand loyal and am too lazy and stubborn to change my ways, esp since changing strings sometimes involves setup problems. So right now, I'm just using:

Ukulele: Worth Clears. For what I have, this requires packs of concert, tenor, and baritone size.
Electric Guitar: Ernie Ball Coated Titanium Regular Slinkys (.10s)
Acoustic Guitar: Elixr Polyweb .11s and .12s depending on guitar scale length
Good thing I sold my classical guitars. Don't need to keep a stash of classical strings anymore. :D

I could actually hear the difference between worth clears and browns in the video though. I think browns sound great on my KoAloha superconcert. I wonder how they'd sound on other KoAlohas.

03-31-2010, 11:42 AM
Wow. This was great. You just saved me a lot of money there, Mike (and probably a lot of frustration, too). Now I've got a pretty good idea which strings give me the sound I want (having only used Aquilas, D'Addarios and GHS so far). Thanks so much!

03-31-2010, 04:04 PM
Thanks Mike. Gotta try some Worths on my Martin.

03-31-2010, 06:15 PM
Thanks for this Mike! I love the Aquilas...took some time for me to like them but now they are on all my ukes!

04-05-2010, 06:10 AM
Thanks for this Mike! I love the Aquilas...took some time for me to like them but now they are on all my ukes!

I have been a huge fan of Aquilas since I first tried them.
I have used them on every uke and have always seen a huge improvement on every uke I put them on.
Sometimes I believe we get to set in our ways. I decided to try a set of Worth Browns on my DaSilva. It sounded great with the Aquilas, but it is such a warmer tone/voice with the Worths.
Thanks to MGM for putting this comparison together and of course the great service on my string aqusition. I ordered them on Tuesday and put them on my uke Thursday.

04-05-2010, 09:30 AM
Think it might be some Mahanas for me next. Just a bit more warmth than the Aquilas. Played some Kala reds the other night, and found the wound texture a bit odd for a ukulele.

Of course, I play a concert, so maybe the Aquilas would still be best there.

Thanks, Mike. As someone still in his first year of ukulele life, this was a great lesson in brands and names. I'd never heard of Mahanas!

04-09-2010, 12:33 PM
Thanks so much for doing this, Mike! It's interesting how different strings sound on different ukuleles too! This was really helpful!


04-09-2010, 01:39 PM
Strings sound different with different types of woods and construction used with the uke. I still say you should try as many strings as you can on your uke, and see which you like best, maybe even mix and match certain strings. Personally for my mahogany, I used worths for a while, then I found I like blacklines better, I had to replace them recently because they were getting worn out by the frets (Uke stays in tune extremely well) so I tried the pro artes. Blacklines do take a bit of getting used to, but I really liked them, I have to get used to larger strings now with the pro artes haha. It is nice to hear the strings in a consistent manner though.

Just out of curiosity though mike, do you think you could edit them together into a single file and just sub-title them with the string type? You could put the times in a description on the side (1:12 - Worth Clears 1:25 - Alohi, etc) and we could just click back and forth between the ones we'd like to compare. Just a thought =)

04-10-2010, 09:25 PM
Michael, are you sure you're not just drumming up string sales, lol? :D

Because now I'm going to have to order another set of Fremonts, I'm down to one, and a spare set of Aquilas. I find I like the Worth Clears best on most of my ukes, your sound file of the Browns sounded crummy to me and they actually sound very nice on my mahogany ukes, and the Aquilas are great on cedar and spruce tops at least to my ears and so far. Squeaky though when new, and the seem to go dead quicker. While Worths tune forever. I had been thinking about trying the K Golds on one uke but now remember why I wasn't totally happy with them before.

Thanks for doing this, it was a lot of work and a PITA for you, but a great service to us.

That's why you're the best! :love:

04-11-2010, 06:18 AM
I put K Golds on a new Ohana long neck soprano yesterday and for some reason, the 3rd string(C) lost intonation at the first fret on up. It was a thicker string and didn't settle into the nut perfectly. I didn't want to altar the nut so I switched to Worth CTs and re-realized why I like them. I'll keep the K Golds and try them somewhere else in the future. I find them to feel similar to Pro Artes, but I prefer Pro Artes and Worths.

04-11-2010, 06:48 AM
To my concrete ears only the Hilos and Aquilas sounded significantly different from the rest--Hilos were muffled (less bright) as someone said, while the Aquilas seemed slightly louder and brighter sounding. I noticed also that harmonics on the Worth BTs were quite loud. I doubt I could detect a difference in the rest.

A long time ago I learned not to fret too much (te he) over the perceived differences in major string brands for my electric guitars so I'm relieved to discover the same for ukes. It makes more sense for me to just play the darn things. Practice seems to affect my sound more than anything.