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wickedwahine11
09-18-2010, 04:26 PM
I have pretty much decided to keep one of my tenors low g from now on. Since I play the Kamaka predominantly, that is the one that has been strung low g. I tried Worths but I thought the g string was boomy and overpowered the other strings. I tried Fremont Blacklines (and they remain my go to option) but I missed the clear, bright sounds on the fingerpicking, though I felt strumming was very even and smooth. Plus, I'm superficial...I prefer the way the clear strings match the KK logo and tuners.:o

I have always liked Savarez Alliance strings for re-entrant tuning, so I put those on today, with a Corum wound Savarez for the g string. I had tried this setup a couple of months ago after reading NatalieS and Craig's reviews of Savarez. I couldn't get used to the squeaky nature of the wound string, so I was looking for other options.

I came across a posting from Rzr about using a Savarez C string as a low g. So I strung it up and gave it a try. The tension is a lot looser as it is not really intended for that string, and so it is floppy, but it is working right now as a compromise to allow me Savarez clarity without Worth boominess.

I fully admit it could be my uke. I'm always amazed at how different strings sound different on different ukes.

So I have two questions:

1) For you luthiers or advanced uke players, is there any reason that the loose tension on the g string could harm the neck, bridge or headstock? I wouldn't care if it were a knockabout uke, but this is my baby I'm talking about. Is having unequal tension (in such great amounts) bad for the uke's stability?

2) For those of you who have used Corum Savarez wound low g strings, I think I read that Craig said Savarez wound strings lose some of their squeakiness after a while. But I didn't know if that was for a Corum. Have any of you Corum users noticed a diminishing of the squeak factor?

mm stan
09-18-2010, 04:53 PM
Aloha Staci,
When you figure it out, let me know....I have always been a traditionalist for Kamaka strings on my Kamaka tenor..
But now I am open to try different strings...BTW I tune my Kamaka a whole step down....for the sound and playability.
Even then with the lower tension, it does not affect my ukulele....done that for years!!! MM Stan....
Actually I have my own special tuning, because I tune by ear...learned this from playing me baritone...

southcoastukes
09-18-2010, 04:59 PM
Hello Wicked,

One question: why did you call this post "unwound" string experiment? All the questions are about wound strings!

The jist of these somewhat lengthy discussions is that a linear no wound set in the key of D is your safest option, or a set with 2 wound strings in the key of C, if your tenor can handle the volume of two wound strings (pick your heaviest built instrument).

For your question of the imbalanced tension, should not be a problem, as your other treble material strings (unlike wound strings) even at high tension, would usually break before they could could cause a problem with neck twist.

As to the reduction in squeakiness, that will come naturally with any wound string as it wears down. What will also happen is that it will lose brightness as it becomes smoother. That may or may not be a good thing, depending on the balance with your other strings, but it takes awhile for it to happen - then once it does, most people replace it to get back the brightness of the new string.

Some wound strings (including as an option on Corum - but only one tension) are polished, which gives a reduction in squeaking. Our upcoming wound sets are polished as well. Strings that are to be polished are formulated with that in mind. They have a softer sound, but shouldn't suffer a "decline" in performance as quickly.

Hope that helps -

Dougf
09-18-2010, 06:51 PM
You might want to try Worths. For me, I'll never go back to a wound low G, the squeaks were driving me nuts. I did try the Corum polished, and they we're okay, but they did squeak, and the wore through pretty quickly. That may be partly my fault, as I probably press the strings against the frets harder than necessary.

clayton56
09-19-2010, 12:44 AM
try 100 lb test fishing line. I just bought 40 yds for $3.00

I don't have a tenor but it sounds nice as a G string for a baritone.

NatalieS
09-19-2010, 02:53 AM
I have yet to find the "perfect" low G. As far as wound strings go, I've had the best result with the Savarez. I have noticed that the "squeakiness" is no longer an issue since mine has been broken in for about 2 months. I agree with you, though; Worth's unwound G seems to overpower the other three strings.

wickedwahine11
09-20-2010, 02:19 PM
Hello Wicked,

One question: why did you call this post "unwound" string experiment? All the questions are about wound strings!

Because...the experiment involves using an unwound g string, not wound ones. But thank you for the information re: squeakiness and balance on the neck.

BTW...so far it is taking getting used to, so I'm not sure if I will stay with it, but it was certainly worth a try.

Rzr
09-20-2010, 02:24 PM
I think no matter what string you use for low g it will take some time to get use to it. I don't think the boom will ever go away. I think you just learn to hit it a little different so that it doesn't over power.

LoMa
09-20-2010, 03:11 PM
You might want to try an extra hard tension unwound srting - that might help your floppy situation...

jtafaro
09-20-2010, 03:35 PM
I have a wound Pro Arte classical guitar D string on my Fender tenor and like it. I have a savarez string on my Kala KA-C and it is a little overpowering. The rest are Martin flourocarbons. The wound Aquila low G didn't last but a couple of months.

Manalishi
09-20-2010, 11:11 PM
This often comes up,and what I do is use a set of Aquila
Tenor strings but fit them like this:
(Put the High G string aside for now)
C string as Low G string (Plain,not wound!)
E string as C String
Then Fit the High G string as the E string
and place the A string in it's normal position.
I have strung one of my tenors like this for a while
and found no problems!

dkcrown
09-21-2010, 03:00 AM
Hello oh Wicked one. Long time no speak. I was looking for a more balanced, (not booming), unwound low G string and Brian at KoAloha recomended a set of Worths that they put on all of their customs. They are a hard tension string, as loma suggested previously, and clear. I had Elderly Instruments custom order some for me about four months ago, and they still have some listed on their website. They are Worth CH-LGHD. Order WSCHLGHD. Like all Worths, they come double length. I think that you will like them. Very balanced. I have them on my Tom Guy CBU. Love em.

Ukulele Dave
09-21-2010, 05:51 AM
Yes, this has always been a problem, but for us concert guys it's an even bigger problem. You let me know when someone invents an unwound Low G for a 14" scale that has proper tension. Once that happens I'll worry about getting a concert scale uke with a bigger body so it sounds right(oh wait...I'm already in that process lol). PS: aquilas don't count they are naturally too bright & defeat the Low G purpose IMO

wickedwahine11
09-21-2010, 08:02 AM
Hello oh Wicked one. Long time no speak. I was looking for a more balanced, (not booming), unwound low G string and Brian at KoAloha recomended a set of Worths that they put on all of their customs. They are a hard tension string, as loma suggested previously, and clear. I had Elderly Instruments custom order some for me about four months ago, and they still have some listed on their website. They are Worth CH-LGHD. Order WSCHLGHD. Like all Worths, they come double length. I think that you will like them. Very balanced. I have them on my Tom Guy CBU. Love em.

Thanks for the tip, I'll try them out. I notice they mention on the Elderly site that "However, the user should be aware of the increased tension load and how it might impact their specific instrument." Is there any danger of neck pulling or bridge pulling? Just how hard is the tension on them?

Ronnie Aloha
09-21-2010, 10:22 AM
I believe D'Addarios are classified as high tension. Thus, your Kamaka should be fine with the high density Worths.

Also, if you're only adding the HDLG string then tension shouldn't be a problem since the low g is doesn't hold much tension. I would be more concerned with the High G or A strings as far as tension goes.

C'mon WW, be bold! If your bridge comes off its only a year wait at Kamaka for the repair! You'll get to know your Kanilea again.. : )

ukecantdothat
09-21-2010, 11:13 AM
I have a wound Pro Arte classical guitar D string on my Fender tenor and like it. I have a savarez string on my Kala KA-C and it is a little overpowering. The rest are Martin flourocarbons. The wound Aquila low G didn't last but a couple of months.

Yes, the Aquila wound G that I tried frayed within a month. Not good. I'm going to try the Worths next. I don't care about it "overpowering" the other strings (I think...), if that is indeed the case, as I usually only use the low G uke for soloing on blues. I wasn't crazy about the squeak either - doesn't sound "uke-y" to me. You might try a string lube on the wound string(s), like GHS Fast-fret (http://accessories.musiciansfriend.com/product/GHS-FastFret-String-Cleaner?sku=420451). I've used it for years on my steel string instruments - really prolongs the life of a steel string and makes the fretboard slick for all you shredders - and it's great for cleaning off the crud that accumulates around frets.

misterpk
09-21-2010, 12:27 PM
I don't find that the Worth Clear Low G normal tension overpowers the other strings (on my KoAloha Tenor). What I do find is that it's mellow to the point where the strings sounds a little dead. I wonder if the high tension Low G would/could fix this.

Pueo
09-21-2010, 02:30 PM
This often comes up,and what I do is use a set of Aquila
Tenor strings but fit them like this:
(Put the High G string aside for now)
C string as Low G string
E string as C String
Then Fit the High G string as the E string
and place the A string in it's normal position.
I have strung one of my tenors like this for a while
and found no problems!

I do the same thing wih D'Addario Pro Arte strings on my Pono tenor. I got sick of the wound strings, but I still liked the sound of low G on that ukulele. I heard that Iz used this method. At first, I thought the tension on C and G was waaaaaaaaaay too low, but once I got used to it I really like it now.

the52blues
09-21-2010, 06:11 PM
I still like Aquila strings except for the wound low G of course. I just swapped out the wound string for a Worth clear .36 low G from MGM. The package says it is for soprano - concert - tenor. It sounds great so far. Hopefully it will start to stay in tune soon too.

rasputinsghost
09-21-2010, 07:41 PM
Southcoast Ukes' linear set is incredible. It really manages the boom very well.

Kekani
09-21-2010, 10:57 PM
Wow, you've got so much to read in this thread, who do you listen to? I'll throw in my extremely biased opinion on Savarez (since the Alliance is my go to series, both high and normal tension). In speaking with Phillip from Savarez, the Corum takes a little bit more breaking in - you may want to stick with the non-Corum if you don't like the squeaks.

If you're really looking for a "nice" low G, D'Addario J4804 is my go to string to mix with T2's. Sorry, had to drop D'Addario in there as well. Of course, the 4804 is the high tension bronze wound that you can't get anymore - so why did I mention it? Because if you can get it, the transition from unwould to that particular wound string is almost transparent (to me, but what the hell do I know). Aranjuez has been suggested as a replacement for the D'Addario - when I run out, that's the next bronze wound I'll bring in.

Personally, the Savarez Alliance 544J and 544R strings are a bit "strong" compared to the trebles, but, once you get used to it, that ring that Savarez has is unmistakeable - your Kamaka should do very well with these strings. If you're worried about tension, go with the normals instead of the high. You'll sacrifice feel, but the tonal quality and complexity should still be there - if you need to make it louder, just turn up the amp.

Just my $.02, but what the heck do I know, I'm playing bass now. . . Aaron

dkcrown
09-22-2010, 03:13 AM
Thanks for the tip, I'll try them out. I notice they mention on the Elderly site that "However, the user should be aware of the increased tension load and how it might impact their specific instrument." Is there any danger of neck pulling or bridge pulling? Just how hard is the tension on them?

Hey Staci. I don't find the tension on the Worths to be overly taught and can't see you having any problem with them on your Kamaka. As a matter of fact, I find that the tension of the low G Freemont Blacklines that I have on my KoAloha tenor to be greater than the Worths on my CBU.

wickedwahine11
09-22-2010, 06:38 AM
Southcoast Ukes' linear set is incredible. It really manages the boom very well.

Thanks for the tip...I looked at their website after reading their comments on this thread and to be honest, the reason I didn't go with those is because it said for a tenor that you should raise your tuning to D. From their website, "For standard Tenor Uke players, you run up against the limitations of science here, and will need to raise your linear tuning from C to D to use this set. No need for panic - some of the worlds most famous ukulele players now use this D tuning no-wound set-up on their standard tenor ukes. Remember that the Key of D was one of the original options for the standard soprano uke. Most of the older sheet music has D tuning ukulele tabs, and of course if you are a solo player, it doesn’t matter at all (see the Tunings page for further discussion)."

I can barely play in C tuning, I'd be lost in D tuning. Is that what you did? Or did you keep C tuning on your tenor with them?

Thanks a lot to all who responded, so far I've kept the C string Savarez on there and it is working pretty well. I ordered two sets of the strings dkcrown suggested off Elderly (figured if I like them I didn't want to pay for shipping twice) so hopefully those heavy Worths will work out.

I'm not ruling out trying these Southcoast uke strings as well, if I can do so while keeping standard tuning...

rasputinsghost
09-22-2010, 07:03 AM
My Mainland's still in C and sounds fine.

LoMa
09-22-2010, 07:24 AM
I don't find that the Worth Clear Low G normal tension overpowers the other strings (on my KoAloha Tenor). What I do find is that it's mellow to the point where the strings sounds a little dead. I wonder if the high tension Low G would/could fix this.

It's possible another brand or tension of string would help this situation, but I've found that if a low G sounds thunky or dead, it's because that particular uke can't handle that frequency well. The same string can sound fine on another uke of the same aize, though.

An example - my Larrivee spruce & mahogany soprano sounds wonderful with a low G, but meh with a high G.
My Larrivee koa soprano sounds like something from heaven with re-entrant tuning, but really lousy with a low G (the low G is thunky).
My LoPrinzi spruce & maple soprano sounds fantastic with either low or high G.
My Keli'i koa soprano is so marvelous strung re-entrant that I haven't bothered trying a low G on it.
An Ohana spruce top soprano I had was fantastic with low G, but way too bright and harsh with re-entrant tuning.

The size of the body doesn't seem to make much difference as to whether a uke sounds good with low or high G. The LoPrinzi has a small Martin size body and it sounds great either way! The two Larrivees are the same size and yet they handle the G string resonance differently. Oddly, most of the concerts I've had sounded much better with re-entrant tuning (except for a Larrivee mahogany concert that was great with low G) while many of my sopranos have needed the low G!

By the way, I love Savarez strings - they are fantastic. I also like D'Addario Pro Artes Composite strings quite well too. And I love Aquila strings too - I tend to go for the bright tones...

southcoastukes
09-22-2010, 08:48 AM
Hello Wicked,

Saw your remark above - it's one I've often heard, but never really understood. Why is it that changing keys is so problematic?

We will, however, have a set you can use in the key of C very shortly. Note that it will have 2 wound strings - not every Tenor Uke can handle that much. We won't ever get into a single wound set. To me, the issues with the awful 4-3 transition and sound imbalance are too much for that arrangement to ever sound right.

At this time, we are just waiting on delivery of the initial inventories, but the info is already up on the web. Here it is:


http://www.southcoastukes.com/stringuide_files/wound.htm