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View Full Version : New Uke - New Strings?



Baseballhack
12-28-2010, 11:35 AM
Bought myself a Uke from MGM after reading a lot of posts on this forum. So I ended up with a Kala Tenor with a cedar top. The Kala is nice but I think I want to try some different strings. I have read a lot on this forum but would like some advice. My Kala currently has Aquila strings. I was wondering what you all would recommend for softer maybe smoother warmer string.

Thanks

KevinV
12-28-2010, 11:37 AM
How long have you had the 'uke? I'd play the Aquila's for at least 4-6 weeks to get a basis for comparison.

Baseballhack
12-28-2010, 11:42 AM
KavinV only two days now. But I don't have any shops in the area that sell Ukulele strings so I will have to order some, so I would like to have them handy when I'm ready to change them out.

itsme
12-28-2010, 12:13 PM
A lot of us prefer Worths over Aquilas just for the reasons you mentioned.

OldePhart
12-28-2010, 12:31 PM
I'd guess that a cedar topped uke with NylGut strings would probably be a bit bright and brash - for my taste, anyway. You might try some fluorocarbon strings - you will probably lose a little volume but make up for it with a more complex tone.

I think I've kind of found the right "pigeon hole" for describing the phenomenon that are NylGut strings. I think most agree they work pretty well to liven up a somewhat "average" uke but can be a bit too bright or jangly on better solid tops. I think the actual way I'd characterize them is that they have their own overpowering character - what I mean by that is that the sound of the strings becomes more prominent than the sound of the instrument they are used on. if you have a $100 laminated uke with Aquilas and a $800 solid top with Aquilas - the solid top will certainly sound better - but it will still sound like Aquilas. Other strings seem to let a bit more of the nature of the instrument influence the sound.

Now, there's nothing wrong with "sounding like Aquilas" if that's the sound that flips yer wipper, but for a lot of us I think we're looking for more from expensive instruments, in particular.

That's my story anyway... :)

John


John

Baseballhack
12-28-2010, 01:08 PM
I was thinking about trying the below Worth strings. Never realized there were so many types of stings, guess I should have though having a guitar background. Are these the right strings for a Tenor with standard tuning. Thanks again everyone.
WORTH CT TENOR UKE SET
WORTH BT TENOR UKE SET

marymac
12-28-2010, 01:09 PM
As others mentioned, try fluorocarbon. I like Worth Clear Mediums (high G) and Fremont Blacklines (high and low G). If you REALLY want to mellow out the sound you can try Worth Brown Mediums.

marymac
12-28-2010, 01:11 PM
I was thinking about trying the below Worth strings. Never realized there were so many types of stings, guess I should have though having a guitar background. Are these the right strings for a Tenor with standard tuning. Thanks again everyone.
WORTH CT TENOR UKE SET
WORTH BT TENOR UKE SET

Oops - we must have been posting at the same time. Either of the strings you mention above would be right for your tenor uke. Clears have a little sparkle to them, browns don't (can you tell I haven't liked the browns so much?) Some people love the brown sound though. Try both.

Baseballhack
12-28-2010, 01:12 PM
Thanks marymac. I'll order those and see if its more to my liking.

itsme
12-28-2010, 02:22 PM
Clears have a little sparkle to them, browns don't (can you tell I haven't liked the browns so much?) Some people love the brown sound though. Try both.
I thought I'd like the clears better but at the time I first ordered MGM only had browns so I tried them. When I finally got some clears, I decided I didn't like them as much as the browns. Yes, they had a little more "sparkle" but it didn't seem to last.

I have browns on my mahogany and cedar top tenors. The darker color blends in well. But I just got a spruce top with Aquilas and think I'll give the clears another try again since they'll blend better with the lighter colored top.

Paul Cote
12-28-2010, 03:41 PM
I got a Makala Tenor today via fedex from Amazon (Georges Music). It was not setup but doesn't seem to need a setup. I didn't realize there was a local store that sold Kalas, if I had known it, I would have probably bought their Kala Concert for twenty bucks more than I paid for the Makala Tenor. They will set it up however a person wants if you buy it from them. Anyway, when I visited the store I picked up a pack of Aquilas cuz the Makala came with those brown strings they come with and I never tried Aquilas yet on any instrument that I have.... I don't know what they are like compared to Fluorocarbons. Anyway, I also got a set of Tenor Martin Fluorocarbons from BestBuy and put those on the Makala--because I think they would make the instrument sound nice. It sounds very bright as if it was a steel string imo. I like the sound. So, I don't know how easy it is to get Worth's around there, but the Martin's might also fit the bill.

Doctroid
12-28-2010, 03:52 PM
KavinV only two days now. But I don't have any shops in the area that sell Ukulele strings so I will have to order some, so I would like to have them handy when I'm ready to change them out.
I don't know where you are but if in the US, you should be able to get strings pretty quick. I ordered some strings from MGM on Sunday the 19th and they arrived here (upstate New York) I think on Thursday the 23rd give or take a day.

Baseballhack
01-08-2011, 06:31 AM
Thanks for all the replies. I have been using Worth Brown for about 2 weeks now. Love the feel of the strings, nice clarity. Will try the clears in a bit. I found these videos on MGM's youtube page which I thought was a good comparison and was perfect for me since that is the exact model Ukulele that I have. Just thought I would share them as strings are subjective so you can let your ears be the judge. I just posted the Worths and Aquila's but he has a few other brands as well. Sorry not sure how to post a link so just have to cut and paste the address. Thanks again everyone.

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=musicguymic#p/u/54/E3Q-Jc2UNAA
http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=musicguymic#p/u/55/iPBEZLpHZjM
http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=musicguymic#p/u/61/wZ5sKIqlfBs

J_Tay81
01-08-2011, 09:40 AM
I have a uke (my Applause) that never sounded right. I went through Aquilas (too loud and brash), D'Addarios J65 (kind of tinny), finally trying a set of Fremont Blacklines. Success! The Blacklines are a bit harsher on the finger tips then the Aquilas, but they really worked with the projection of the uke, yet mellowed the tone down. If you have a really loud uke, you may want to look into those.