View Full Version : Which Strings Have YOU Tried?

04-21-2010, 08:58 AM
It's cool when people share their string experience. But I always wonder about their basis for comparison (which is probably why I have tried so many for myself).

I'm curious about the different strings people have tried before (presumably) deciding on what they prefer for themselves.

I have listed here the strings that I have tried. I think it covers most (but not all) of the more common/popular brands. And a couple not quite as common ones. I chose to list them alphabetically, so the order has no significance other than that. :)

04-21-2010, 09:11 AM
I have tried Aquilas, Savarez Alliance, and Jose Ramirez strings. I like them all but I think the Savarez are my favorites so far.

04-21-2010, 09:21 AM
I've tried Aquilas, GHS (I think, it came on one of my ukes), Worth CM's, Hilo's, D'Addario's (J71's and J65's and the cheapies). I don't have a "favorite." Different strings sound good on different ukes. I can say that I don't want all my ukes strung up the same. Aquilas tend to be awfully bright, and I don't always want that.

04-21-2010, 09:29 AM
I have tried GHS, Martin Fluourocarbon, D'Addario Pro Arte J71, Aquila, and who knows what was on my soprano before I switched to the Martins. I was ok with the GHS strings, but I chose the best sounding ou4 with those strings. Now, they all come with Aquilas. If I had to put GHS on again, I would, but if I have the choice of something else, I will go with something else. The D'Addario Pro Artes are awesome--they work really well with my tenor. I have played many of my model and other ukes with the Aquilas and they have a good sound. It seems a little more mellow than the Pro Artes. I have no clue what strings were put on my soprano 12 years ago. I was totally clueless back then and when I changed to the Martins, I was told the strings were the wrong gauge for the soprano anyway. They really sounded horrible, tho. The Martins really help my soprano to sing, even though it's a super-cheap soprano. I'm sure I'll try other strings on my soprano in the future. I'm also sure I'll try several different types of strings on all my instruments.

04-21-2010, 09:30 AM
Worth Clears for the win! I love them. But, I'm no ukulele expert.

04-21-2010, 09:45 AM
Aquilas, because a lot of ukes come with them.

Daddarios because my dad's a fan

GHS because they were the cheapest ones

Ko'olau Gold because that was all the store had and I needed some real quick.

Worth Clears because everyone said they were AWESOME and I wanted to try them

My favorites are Aquilas and Daddarios :)

04-21-2010, 10:07 AM
Aquilla, D'addario, d'addario pro-artes, GHS (came on one uke), Worth browns and clears, and you forgot Fremont Blacklines, which are my favorite!

04-21-2010, 10:08 AM
I like the Aquilas and D'Adario J65s the best, but I want to try Worth Clears!

04-21-2010, 10:11 AM
Aquilas, D'Addarios, Freemont Fluerocarbon, GHS, Worth Browns and Clears. So far, on most ukes, I prefer Worth Clears

04-21-2010, 10:21 AM
I use Aquila Nylguts, and a new one I found from Jasper Happy of England.. I have those on two of my Ukes, and have really liked them.

04-21-2010, 10:35 AM
Depends on the uke. Worth browns on my KoAloha concert. Just a perfect match. KoAloha brand clears on my PS and sceptre. Freemont blacklines on my KoAloha tenor. Aquillas on my Kanilea, fluke, flea, and Pono. Took off the Ko'olau golds that came on it. Didn't care for them.

04-21-2010, 10:51 AM
I'm always up for trying new strings, but I've settled on Worth Browns for my Kamaka, Aquilas for my Flea, Worth Clears for my KoAloha, and Ko'olau Golds for my creepy old baritone. Waiting until the Worths start to die on the KoAloha so I can try out a set of Ko'olau Alohis. They're pretty!

04-21-2010, 06:30 PM
My go-to strings are Worth Clears. Although I do like Worth Browns on my KoAloha super concert a LOT. It just seems to fit perfectly. Aquilas were my old favorite, and I still like them on certain ukes. I'm also willing to try DAddario titaniums like Aldrine if I eventually get my hands on a few sets. I've only tried them on his uke, and I was relatively impressed, although I don't think I'd like them as much as Worth Clears.

04-21-2010, 10:44 PM
my preference depends on the uke, right now I have ukes strung with Martin, Aquila natural gut, Koolau Gold, and Black Diamond. Each one works with that particular uke, and I have tried several types on each uke. I do say I prefer the Martin to any other flourocarbon I tried (Worth and Fremont).

04-22-2010, 04:14 AM
My string of choice right now are the Fremont Blacklines. Just ordered a low G to put on my Lanikai. I have Aquila's on my other three ukes, but I really hate the wound C I have on the my Cordoba. I hate, Hate, HATE it. I only put it on because I had to take the strings off to fix the electronics and then I could get the original strings to wrap around the peg again. All I had were wound strings...blah.

04-22-2010, 04:42 AM
I'm still playing around with strings and seeing what different ones offer on different instruments. I am particularly fond of the Ko'olau golds and their harp-like sound. Aquilas are on a few, but often because they came that way. Enjoy playing around with different Worths. Martins in a pinch. Put D'Addarios on a tenor, but I'm not really a tenor person. I think they're a little higher tension than I find comfortable. I want flexibility.
I never know which black strings are on the Flea and a CBU I have, but those are the only ones where I didn't want to change out the strings immediately. I usually ditch the black strings for immediate upgrade. I've also tried the Kala Reds. I like them more for the novelty. I favor non-wound strings.

04-22-2010, 06:37 AM
Mike at UkeRepublic gave me a new string to try out, the Ko'olau 'Alohi. They are a transparent purple-ish color. From the Ko'olau website:

The Ko'olau 'Alohi Series. The Gold Series and Mahana Series are similar in tone, volume, and projection, but our new 'Alohi Series is completely different. 'Alohi is defined as brilliance ('Alohi is pronounced A-lo-hee). Instead of being made of nylon, the 'Alohi Series is made of a dense, hard monofilament material which produces a much brighter tone with increased projection. Not necessarily better, just different.

I've only had them on for a couple of weeks. After the Southeast Ukers play our comic store gigs next weekend, I'm putting Aquilas back on. The 'Alohi strings sound fine, but I don't care for the smooth feel, and for some reason I don't know, my barre chords don't sound nearly as clear with them as with the Aquilas.

Also, a cool feature of Ko'olau strings now is that they are using non-tree plant fibers in their packaging. These came in a banana paper wrapping.

04-22-2010, 06:54 AM
So far.... GHS & Aquila strings.

04-22-2010, 06:55 AM
Whew, what haven't I tried? I've used GHS, Aquila, Fremont Blackline, Fremont Blackline low g, Worth CT, Worth CM, Worth CL, Worth CT low g, Worth BT, Worth BL, Worth BT low g, Savarez Alliance, D'addario J71, D'addario J54 (the black ones), D'addario classical guitar strings, Guadalupe colored custom strings, Ko'olau Golds, Hilo, and Kamaka branded strings.

Hence, I have a shoebox and a drawer full of unused strings. After all that trial and error, my current lineup is:

Fremont Blackline low g on the Kamaka, Worth CL on the KoAloha Pineapple Sunday, and Worth CT low g on the Kanile'a (soon to be restrung as Worth CT or Savarez as this will now be my High G tenor).

04-22-2010, 07:27 AM
Worth Clears for the win! I love them. But, I'm no ukulele expert.


I stopped trying strings after the Worth clears.

04-22-2010, 09:20 AM
When I had my KoAloha soprano I tried Aquila, Worth Brown, Ko'olau Gold, and a green colored string that I got from MGM a few years ago that I thought was made by KoAloha. In the end I found the Worth Browns were a perfect match for that soprano. I don't know if Aquila has changed their Nylgut strings a bit because back then the tension was so high I was worried the top would fly off.

On my Keith Ogata ukulele, I had a really tough time getting a string to work with the 18.25” scale and not have the tension feel too high. I tried a bunch of strings including Aquila, Hilo, a Savarez set Mike Atkins, Alternate Tunings, put together. I ended up with the Worth Brown Strong and tuned down to Bb; the BT’s didn’t cut it in C. Super easy to play, nice and bright and right on the edge before the Bb flat string wanted to "fartout". Only downfalls were a little lack of volume and all the mental transposing to Bb. So after almost 3 years I decided to try out a set of Aquilas to get a little more punch. Much to my surprise they seemed to have a lot less tension than I remember from 2007 and I’m back in C tuning again. Of course now I have to do all that mental transposing going the other way.


04-22-2010, 12:00 PM
Thanks for your responses! Especially interesting to me was the fact that nearly everyone has tried Aquilas. For me, it was surprising how many different brands I had tried once I started listing them. Especially considering how much I dislike changing strings!

IMO, which are the "best" strings is very subjective (similar to the "best" ice cream flavor). I like to try different flavors, but I definitely have my favorites!

04-22-2010, 12:54 PM
No one has mentioned Orcas in this thread so far. I'm curious about those... Has anyone tried them?

I see SSB has:


04-22-2010, 04:24 PM
I have tried aquilas, ko'olau golds, d'addarios, and d'addario pro artes. The d'addario pro-artes are my favorite overall

06-20-2010, 04:52 AM
I have tried Aquilas (concert), Worth Clears (low-g tenor and concert), D'Addario (soprano), Martin, Ko'olau Gold (tenor). I also just got sets of Southcoast uke strings for concert and tenor as well as sets of Orcas for concert and tenor. Just put the Orcas on my tenor (Kanilea, K-2, low g) and after just a few hours like the sound.

06-20-2010, 12:28 PM
Under the "other" category, I tried Kala Reds, in the low G. It was my experiment with wound uke strings. I had a feeling that I wouldn't like the wound strings, since I don't like the wound strings on my guitar, where my fingertips squeak like basketball shoes on a wood floor. I figured I would give them a try, tempted by the red color scheme. I liked the sound fine, but I am convinced now that I must have only non-wound strings. I would totally go for a Kala Red non-wound set, if they decide to make it.

06-20-2010, 03:39 PM
Hilos for the other.

Just to add I think that Martin fluoros which I've tried on even some budget sopranos (Kala pineapple) are worth a try (no pun intended)...on even some budget sopranos.

I think people equate Hilos with GHS...

I have tried GHS on the Kala pineapple and liked it but suspect that I'd like Hilos on something like that more.

The Hilos on the Lanikai S-T really work for me. The Aquilas on that spruce top did not, at least for me.

I think it's safe to say at this point that for reentrant tuning I prefer an overall fatter warmer tone yet still articulate enough. "Very articulate" to my ears starts to sound a little too precious, especially with fingerstyle.

With the right combo, I think the Hilos sound sexy.

06-22-2010, 05:17 AM
I don't think there is such a thing as one perfect brand of strings. Each of my ukes seems to have it's own favorite flavor. Aquilas are perfect for one, Worth clears are perfect for another. Doesn't really seem to be any rational behind which instrument likes which strings. I do usually start with Worth brown mediums, though.

06-22-2010, 05:24 AM
I'm using La Bella Kala Reds - wound nylon strings. I notice no one on here has mentioned La Bella

06-22-2010, 05:51 AM
I'm using La Bella Kala Reds - wound nylon strings. I notice no one on here has mentioned La Bella

I just put a set of Kala Reds on my tenor Fluke and I like them a lot so far. Very nice tone, beautiful look. I'll have to see how well they last. I'm a big fan of Nylguts on my Fluke and Flea, but I like the Fremont Blacklines on my Mainland. I'm going to try Worth Clears next because everybody seems to like them. Right now, though, I'm happiest with the blacklines on the Mainland.

And I agree that it depends on the uke. I've had the same experience with guitars. I've got a buddy with an old Martin acoustic that rings and sings with D'Addario strings but sounds just average with Martin strings - while my Taylor really sounds much better with Elixirs than with D'Addario.

06-22-2010, 05:58 AM
My Maui Music 6-string came with Hilos and they sound nice! Still considering Worth Browns for it because the wound strings are fraying and getting nasty, but I'm afraid that the massive unwound low A will require some modification to the nut. Otherwise I really can't complain about the Hilos. They work soooo much better on this uke than they did on my Flea.