View Full Version : Heh, just ordered 40.9 sets of strings...

12-13-2010, 12:41 PM
Sometimes you just have to follow your muse, or succumb to stupidity, something like that.

Anyway, after I did all those string tension calculations (see this thread http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?18975-fishing-line-ukulele-string-recipe&highlight=fishing+line there are a couple of custom string sets that I've just really been wanting to try. I could make both of the sets I wanted by combining a Worth CL set and a CT set, and a CM set and a CT set, and that's what I was planning to do. Unfortunately, I realized that it was going to cost me about $43 dollars and I was really only going to get two sets of strings (because the same string I planned on using out of the CT set was needed in both of my custom sets). That meant I'd need almost $60 worth of strings to get four complete sets because I'd need to order two CT sets. (Clear as mud, right?)

I realized for $76 I could order five 25 yard spools of Seaguar leader and make about 40 of my custom sets of strings (figuring some will go on the concert and some on the tenor).

At least I'll never have to buy strings again (as long as I stay away from sopranos...).

Actually, I'll have enough I can experiment with boiling some strings in RIT dye and see if it really makes a difference in the sound...


12-13-2010, 02:49 PM
like I said before i think the actual gauges to match the worths arte in the 5 pound test catagory 35 45 etc and they are smart...can't find it like before in their leader line available....

12-13-2010, 05:12 PM
Actually there is a 100% correlation between the Worth sets and the Blue Label and Flourocarbon premier lines from Seaguar without going into the 25lb, etc. values. Of course, I wasn't trying to match the Worth sets anyway. If I'd been trying to match a Worth set I'd just buy it and save the trouble!

All of the Worth "regular" (i.e. not "fat" "hard" etc.) seem to have the same C and E strings (.0291 and .0260) and these correlate to 4 decimal places with the Blue Label 60 and 50lb test respectively. That is, they correlate to 4 decimal places when you convert the mm dimensions given on the Seaguar web site to inches, instead of just using the Seaguar inch values that are only given to 3 decimal places.

The CM strings correlate with Premier 40lb for the G and Blue Label 30lb for the A. The CL sets correlate with Blue Label 30lb for the G and Premier 30lb for the A. The CT sets correlate with Blue Label 40 for the G and Premier 40 for the A.

The brown sets are identical, and my guess would be they begin life on the same spools.

I wrote a program a while back to calculate the tension for flourocarbon strings and then looked at how the different sets stacked up in terms of relative tension between the strings. Also compared them with Martin M600 strings (which don't correlate with Seaguar leaders at all but I'd bet dollars to donuts they correlate with some other line of fishing leaders).

The M600 strings are real balanced in terms of tension, but overall they're thicker. The Worth strings are "tilted" pretty heavily towards brightness (i.e. the E, G, and A strings are all under significantly greater tension than the C). The E seems a little heavy to me in the Worth sets, so basically I want to build sets simialr to Worth CM and CL but with a somewhat lighter E string.

I find it interesting that Worth goes to great lengths to get the tension very close on the G and A strings - these are only two semi-tones apart and you'd reasonably think one string could cover that range but they use a string that is .002 heavier for the G all the way through the product line.

And, yes, some of my friends do shake their heads and mumble behind my back when I go off on one of these tangents...:D


12-13-2010, 05:30 PM
I hope it works out well and makes many, many uke strings you're happy with!

12-13-2010, 05:46 PM
I hope you decide to offer a few reasonably priced sets in the marketplace to help defray your expenses. ;)

12-14-2010, 01:06 PM
I hope you decide to offer a few reasonably priced sets in the marketplace to help defray your expenses. ;)
No! They're mine I tell you, all mine! LOL

Actually, if I feel like the experiment worked out I am thinking about giving away twenty sets or so for some "sort-of-blind testing." I.e. just assign a serial number to a set and not say what's in it, ask the recipient to try it and compare it to other strings they've used on the same uke, then after everybody has responded do a "reveal" to show which sets seemed to be most popular. It's not very scientific because you really need a sample size in the hundreds to be even barely meaningful, but it might be fun.

As for selling strings - nah, I have better things to do with my time than try to compete with companies that buy string by the kilometer and have automated equipment to measure, cut and package it!


12-14-2010, 01:57 PM
Actually, if I feel like the experiment worked out I am thinking about giving away twenty sets or so for some "sort-of-blind testing." I.e. just assign a serial number to a set and not say what's in it, ask the recipient to try it and compare it to other strings they've used on the same uke, then after everybody has responded do a "reveal" to show which sets seemed to be most popular.

I'll sign on as a guinea pig if you decide to do it.:D

mm stan
12-14-2010, 02:13 PM
Jus let me know John....be happy to!!:):)

12-14-2010, 02:29 PM
I'll test too =)

12-14-2010, 03:00 PM
Yeah, I figure I'll have no shortage of volunteers! I think what I'll probably do is try to put together some kind of silly contest. Gotta keep it fun!


12-19-2010, 04:24 PM
So how did the experiment work?

I'm looking for a little less tension than the Worth CTs and BTs.

Also, are they a little softer or just as stiff?

Thanks for any info.


12-19-2010, 04:38 PM
I definitely would be a guinea pig as well. As much as I love their sound, the concert browns and clears are a little too high tension and distort my intonation more than I prefer.

12-19-2010, 04:51 PM
So how did the experiment work?

I'm looking for a little less tension than the Worth CTs and BTs.

Also, are they a little softer or just as stiff?

Thanks for any info.


The experiment hasn't happened yet - the company I ordered the strings from just shipped them Thursday or Friday - I was about to get worried but then I checked the site again and saw that they said they typically ship routine orders in 3 to 4 business days. The next day I got the notification that the order shipped. I'd selected the free ground shipping so what with the holiday rush I suspect they may not get here until after Christmas. So I'll just have to be patient - something that's never been my strong suit. :)

12-20-2010, 07:43 AM
I am really interested to find out how they sound compared to the Worths.

If it works out well, I'll probably look into going the same route. Not because I want to save a few dollars, but because lately a lot of strings are so inconsistent.

Aquila are a bad string every other set. Worth is pretty good but I'll come accross a bad one here and there.

I tried Southcoast and I like them the best. A little less tension and less bright than the Worths. Put a set of Mediums on my concert and they seem better than CT's.

When I put a set of lights on my tenor, two strings went wacko on the intonation, to the point where I can't compensate enough. And unfortunately reversing a string that has kinks in it is not always a good option.

I don't necessary fault the dealers as they get what they get and they are more than willing to send replacements. I'm just not willing to put up with the hassle. I guess too many years of electric guitar strings that if one break you just slap another one on without issues.

Also, if I get the right Flurocarbon, I can just toss out a bad string and I have plenty more.

I am looking at Seaguar Blue and Red Label and Gamma has some interesting sizes.


12-20-2010, 01:03 PM
I got a pleasant surprise, today. Angler systems shipped my order priority mail, even though I didn't pay for priority shipping! I'm not sure I'll get a chance to try them out tonight because I've got several things going on, but hopefully in the next two or three days I'll have a report.


12-20-2010, 05:45 PM
Well, I got excited a little too soon. Opened the box and found only four spools of leader, not the five I ordered. Checked the invoice and found that the premium 30 lb had a note "will refund" so apparently they don't do backorders.

It's okay, because the four that I did get were the main thing I wanted to try - gages equivalent to a Worth CM set but with a little bit lighter E string so it's tension would be closer to the C instead of the G and A. The spool that didn't get delivered would have let me try gages similar to a CL set but with the lighter E string.

I put a set of them on the mango tenor in place of the NylGut strings that were on it. I really intended these strings for concert size ukes but figured I'd try it on the tenor since I really don't care for the NylGut strings on it. Volume is down noticeably vs. the NylGut strings but I think I really like the tone a lot better - it's not as "jangly" and it's more complex. I think whatever it is about NylGut strings that makes them bring laminated tops to life is just too much on a good solid-wood uke - unless you like really bright tones, I guess. I've got to do some calculations, but I think I might be able to do tenor sets with just one more spool of leader - I think the string I'm using for C will work for E on a tenor, etc.

I did a quick check of intonation and it looks like twelfth fret intonation is pretty close to what it was with the NylGut strings. However, the strings haven't stretched in yet so they were changing tuning so fast it was hard to say for certain. I'll check it again after they've had a couple of days to settle in. That's one advantage the NylGut strings have over fluorocarbon - they stretch in and stabilize a lot faster.


12-21-2010, 04:45 AM

I know it is early in the game, but I have just a few of questions...

Do you feel and hear any difference between the Premier Fluorocarbon and the Blue Label Fluorocarbon as far as tension and brightness?

Is the brightness comparable to Worth... less or more?

I think you listed 30lb and 40lb in both the Premier and Blue Lable, what was the other weight?

Thanks for all your info, this is really helpful.


12-21-2010, 05:40 AM
Hey John,

It's hard to answer your questions definitively because I've only had Worth strings on other ukes, not on this tenor. I think individually the strings are very similar to the Worth CM set that I tried on the LU21-C - I took those off almost immediately because that laminated uke just didn't sound that good with Worths on it. I went back to the NylGuts on it before the Worths had even finished stretching in.

I suspect that the gC and A strings are exactly what's in a Worth CM set - I certainly can't tell any difference, anyway. I also can't see any visible difference between the regular 40 and the premium 40lb line, other than that the premium is smaller diameter.

I think individualy the strings are very much like the Worth strings but the set is slightly less bright overall when strumming because of the lower tension on the E string (that was my goal and it seems to have worked). Once the tenor stretches in I'll put a set on the KoAloha and see how they compare to the factory strings on it. I hate having both my good ukes stretching in at the same time - leaves me with nothing I can play without fiddling with the tuning. The KoAloha was really the target of this experiment anyway - I think this set is a little too light for a tenor. After the holiday craziness settles down I may buy another spool and work up a set for the tenor.

I'm kind of glad the FP30 was out of stock - I was going to use it to make up sets similar to Worth CL strings but with the lighter E string. I don't think I would care for that set too much - I think I'm going to like this CM equivalent better.

One question I can answer, and that's what gages I used (these are all Seaguar fluorocarbon leader - FC is the standard blue label, FP is premium):
G = FP40 = 0.0224" (this is the same diameter listed for Worth CM, BM)
C = FC60 = 0.0291" (this is the same diameter listed for all "normal" Worth sets, including CT
E = FC40 = 0.0244" (not same diameter as Worth sets - "normal" worth sets use 0.0260 (FC50)
A = FC30 = 0.0205" (this is the same diameter listed for Worth CM, BM)

The relative tensions from my calculation utility list tensions for this set (from G to A) as
133, 100, 111, 139 vs. 133, 100, 126, 139 for a Worth CM set. Martin M-600 sets are even more balanced, but also higher tension overall, at 124, 135, 122, 119 - I think it's that relatively heavy C string that gives Martins their reputation for being pretty mellow. NOTE: This is the relative tension on a concert scale instrument - the numbers are not calibrated to any particular units, they just give a relative indication of tension.

John - send me your mailing address in a PM and I'll send out a set of these so you can try them before spending sixty bucks on a lifetime supply. In fact, I'll send out a set to the first 20 people that PM me a mailing address (NOTE: USA mailing addresses only, please). Also note - please indicate whether you'll be using them on a soprano or concert so we can have as little wasted line as possible. I'm not going to cut any tenor sets because these really are too light for tenor.

Also note, these probably won't go out until after the holidays - for some reason my family expects some face time from me at this time of year... :)


12-21-2010, 06:59 AM
good thread. pity I'm in the UK...! :-) Slightly off tack, but wouldn't it be worth having a strings sub-section of the forum with individual threads titled by the exact type of string AND variant..so that people could post instrument-specific feedback to that exact string set. It would make interesting comparative reading, if the thread postings were well policed for inessential/off topic spam? Or does this exist somewhere...?