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pdxuke
01-30-2011, 09:29 AM
Here's my report:

Gretsch mahogany soprano from 30s, swapped Aquila for Worth Browns. Yummy.

Martin O, '48: Swapped Aquila for Martin Fluro. Yummy x 2. I can't say enough about these strings. Love them, and the intonation issue that I had with aquila on this uke is gone.

Gonna try Browns on my Sopranino; aquilas too harsh.

Anybody have any string changes to report?

Ataraxia
01-30-2011, 09:48 AM
You have me thinking about trying out those Martin strings on my mahogany soprano now :D

HornedOne
01-30-2011, 09:48 AM
I changed the strings that came on a spruce topped zebra wood tenor uke made by a dutch builder. I think they were ghs. I changed them for worth browns

and now the uke is starting to come alive :P

might try marting fluoro tenors if I can find them. I like em for my bruko

OldePhart
01-30-2011, 09:55 AM
I have my own "recipe" of Seaguar fluorocarbon strings (similar to Worth CM but with a lighter-gage E string).

Mainland mango tenor - Aquilas to my recipe (both a high-g and low-g recipe) - yummy ^ 2

Kala solid acacia pocket uke (10" scale) - Aquilas to Martin 600 fluorocarbon - much better than the Aquila but still a bit stiff at CFAD and too stiff at DGBE. I need to string this puppy with my recipe some day.

KoAloha concert from whatever was on it to my recipe - very little difference - mine maybe a tad more mellow with the lighter E string. (I suspect what is on the KoAloha from the factory are Seaguar leaders in gages similar to a Worth CM or CL set.)

I've found the only place I really like Aquilas is on my laminated LU-21C and my granddaughter's LU-11 - there the improvement in volume overrides any negative impact on tone. On my better ukes, the Aquilas are noticeably louder but they sound like Aquilas, many of the more subtle differences of the uke are lost.

John

bazmaz
01-30-2011, 09:56 AM
I love Martin Flouros

On my blog I have a poll running re favourite strings. Aquila are currently winning my an absolute mile, and I knew they would, and this bothers me. It bothers me because I gave an option on the poll called "depends on the uke"

Dont get me wrong, I love aquila strings, and in particular, what they can bring out of a cheaper instrument. That said, I think there are others and people need to find what they like.

For each of my main 4 ukes I have tried about 5 or 6 strings on each uke. The results to my ears are all different.

Makala dolphin - Aquila
Ozark Banjolele - Aquila banjo
Mainland Concert Mahogany - Martin Flouros
Flea - Worth BM's
Fluke - Worth CM's
Bruko slimline - Ko'olau golds


The point being - people should not be afraid to try new strings. I understand why Aquila gets the great reviews it gets, but I worry that this means that most new ukers just go straight to Aquilas regardless of the uke and live with it. I made the same mistake and put them on my Flea when I bought it. To my ears, they were too powerful, boomy and muddy.

Paul Cote
01-30-2011, 11:39 AM
I bought some aquilas but have been buying mostly Martin fluorocarbons because they are the most available and I have been liking them a lot too. Worths are not easy to find for me and then I have to decide "Which" of them to get as they have two types and three flavors of each oy! The martins are on all of my instruments except my cordoba which has aquilas on it but if I have to change them, I will probably put the fluorocarbons on it too just to try it out.

Yeah sometimes I think theres a party line around here like.... you have to buy this uke with these strings and set up by this guy etc.....

mm stan
01-30-2011, 12:27 PM
I like the Martin Fleuro's M600 ...they do the job for me....

wickedwahine11
01-30-2011, 01:24 PM
I tried about a dozen different types of strings before I found the ones I liked on my low g tenor. I ended up going with Worth CHLGHD - the heavy, low g, hard version.

peewee
01-30-2011, 02:24 PM
Martin M600 Fluoros on two vintage sopranos, sound and play great.
Switched out the stock Aquilas for wound C Aquilas on the K1 Tenor Kanile'a. Sound improved from new strings, but weird balance between strings for fingerpicking. Recently switched those out for Worth Clear CT. Sounds prettier, quieter. They are skinny and have a little more tension than I would like. I am not clear on how the Worth product line designations work, is there a lower tension version?
Part of what I like about the Martin/Martin set up is the lower tension and greater elasticity, due in part to the shorter scale I suppose.
Anyone try the tenor Martin strings?
And while we're at it, what about stringing a soprano in low g, does that mean greater tension on the neck?

Paul Cote
01-30-2011, 02:29 PM
I am using Tenor Martins on my Ohana Tenor Neck Soprano and they sound phenomenal but after playing a concert all day and trying that Tenor Neck those strings sure are tense! The positive side is they can play loud with all that tension.

I tried a low G on my Makala Dolphin and it was just a string from a D'addario set and it pulled one of the tuner strings out so I don't think its such a great idea to string sopranos low g plus they don't sound that great with the low G in my opinion .... From now on I will use only high G on sopranos. I want to get a candy apple red dolphin or.... An Ohana SK-15 but ... lol.... I hear that ohana is actually a solid top and its cherry xD

OldePhart
01-30-2011, 02:34 PM
...The positive side is they can play loud with all that tension.
...
It's funny how different ukes react differently. After I got in some more Seaguar leader in a different gage (for low G) I experimented with a tight tenor set using the line I'd bought for a low-G as the C, then shifting all of the other strings one gage for a rather tight high-G tuning. (This was on the Mainland mango tenor.) The high tension wasn't particularly comfortable to play and I wouldn't have stayed with it anyway, but what surprised me was that it clamped the volume and sustain down to almost nothing and tone went to blech! I'm used to guitars where typical wisdom is "heavier gage equals more sustain, more volume, better tone." In this case it was just the opposite. I guess there is a limit. :)

John

J_Tay81
01-30-2011, 03:13 PM
I took odd the stock GHS or Hilos on my old Applause soprano and put Fremont Blacklines on it. Made a world of difference to my ears. I also like D'Addario J53's on my Fluke (the old Hilos just sounded dead to me).

cletus
01-30-2011, 03:21 PM
I put Aquilas on my concert Fluke to replace whatever the stock ones were (Hilos?). Much, much better! I would still try another brand, though.
Recently,I changed the original strings on my Koaloha concert to Aquilas. Hmmmmm, so much different! They definitely are bringing out some new sounds and tones to the uke... yet seem to be overpowering in some respects. Ultimately, I am craving the original sound, and will replace the Aquilas with Worth clears eventually.

philpot
01-30-2011, 03:25 PM
I need to replace my aquilas that came with my LU-21... I just got it Dec. 10 and I've got some pretty deep grooves cut in the bottom of em xP 3-4 hours a day average takes a toll on the strings I guess. I think I'll buy a set of Martin m600 and see what they sound like. I love the aquilas, but a different sound might be cool :) I'll post my thoughts once I switch em out.

pdxuke
01-30-2011, 04:41 PM
Just changed out Aquilas on my Ohana sk35 for Martin Fluros and it's been re-born. I'm convinced. Time for a bulk order from Elderly...

joeybug
01-30-2011, 09:06 PM
I'm wondering about trying a different string on Hoa, She came with GHS, which to my ears sound good, but I think she could sound so much better so wonder about ones other than Aquila, since I think those would be too "bright" on her. Any suggestions for a solid acarcia wood soprano?

Paul Cote
01-31-2011, 02:26 AM
people think the brown worths are more mellow than the clear so you might try them. I have not ever tried them myself. So far I have only tried the ones that come on the instruments and the aquilas and martins. The martins are bright in my opinion.

Jnobianchi
01-31-2011, 05:05 AM
Right now - I've changed the following:

Slingerland model 20 banjo uke - Switched from La Bella Senoritas to Aquila genuine gut strings - transformation to a great vintage sound, and no intonation problems to report.

Martin type O - switched from Aquila Nylguts (too percussive and bright) to Aquila guts - much mellower tone with great sustain, but intonation problems on the C string (which is common with larger diameter strings - going to switch to Worth clear mediums shortly).

Stromberg Voisinet banjo uke - switched from GHS Blacks (ghastly in every way - low tension, poor intonation, quick decay) to Aquila Nylgut soprano strings tuned up to D. transformed the instrument - great tone, bright, good sustain. Going to try Worth brown mediums on this one going forward.

cletus
01-31-2011, 05:12 AM
switched from Aquila Nylguts (too percussive and bright).

PERCUSSIVE. That's what I couldn't describe about the Nylguts on my KoAloha concert.:wallbash:
I'm not saying it's bad in this particular instance, just decidedly different.

Thanks :bowdown:John!

70sSanO
01-31-2011, 10:24 AM
I have Southcoast mediums on my Fred Shields poplar wood concert fluke style and they are working out very nicely.

Aquilas are on my wife's Kala cedartop concert. She is just beginning and working a lot of hours so she doen't have much time/patience to learn, but I like them because the brightness of the Aquilas are a good match for that ukulele.

On my tenors, I have gone the OldePhart route and got lucky with an off-brand fluorocarbon fishing leader. With 18 inch scale these ukuleles have been a love-hate relationship when it comes to strings. After a month of using the line, I may have found the right ones. They are thicker than CT's, thinner than Aquila and not as bright. Also the tension is easy on the fingers.

John

joeybug
01-31-2011, 11:59 AM
people think the brown worths are more mellow than the clear so you might try them. I have not ever tried them myself. So far I have only tried the ones that come on the instruments and the aquilas and martins. The martins are bright in my opinion.

Thanks for the advice, I've just gotten some Worth Browns off eBay, hope they are what I'm looking for, if not they might sound good on one of my other Ukes

RyRod
01-31-2011, 12:15 PM
right now I'm in the middle of a huge string trial on my Talsma.

I'll do a 1-10 scale...
It came strung with Worth Clears... 8
Then Worth Browns 8
Savarez Alliance 9 (very loud, great intonation, almost perfect)
D'Addario J71's 6 (never did like them)
Aquila's 7 (bright, kinda harsh)
Aranjuez 600 hard 8 (just as good as the worths, cool pink hue to the strings)
D'Addario Titaniums 8.5 ( never got to really try them out because the e string kept snapping but sounded very good when cooperating)
Currently: Conde Hermanos Flamenco Strings 9 (loud, clear, good feel, but now I'm having g-string snapping issues :/ )

I have 5 more sets to go.

Ukist
02-02-2011, 11:12 AM
I've just replaced the well-used, 15 month old Aquila strings on my Mainland Soprano Red Cedar with a new set of Aquilas. The new ones have a much richer tone that the old. The old ones were starting to slip out of tune, so they were certainly finished. I'm pleased with the change and will change them earlier next time.

It may be that the specification of the Aquilas has changed since my last set, but I'm inclined to think that age and wear make a difference and a fresh set of good strings are likely to improve the sound of an instrument.

OldePhart
02-02-2011, 12:28 PM
RyRod - you shouldn't have string snapping issues if you're using a tuner. Are the strings breaking at the nut or bridge, or elsewhere? I'd check the nut and bridge to make sure there is no flashing, sharp edges cutting the strings. I've had that before, where a nut had a sharp edge left by the file and kept cutting strings right where the string breaks over the nut. A quick brush with some 400 grit wet-or-dry sandpaper cleared that little problem right up.

John

RyRod
02-02-2011, 01:32 PM
RyRod - you shouldn't have string snapping issues if you're using a tuner. Are the strings breaking at the nut or bridge, or elsewhere? I'd check the nut and bridge to make sure there is no flashing, sharp edges cutting the strings. I've had that before, where a nut had a sharp edge left by the file and kept cutting strings right where the string breaks over the nut. A quick brush with some 400 grit wet-or-dry sandpaper cleared that little problem right up.

John

It's wierd. I snaps right by the knot. The current A string is totally fine. The bride and saddle are fine. Thanks for the info though. I'll go through and double check everything when I put another set on.

I should specify... in order to secure the strings I need to feed the string into the body, fish it out of the soundhole, knot it, and pull it back through.

OldePhart
02-02-2011, 01:50 PM
It's wierd. I snaps right by the knot. ... in order to secure the strings I need to feed the string into the body, fish it out of the soundhole, knot it, and pull it back through.

Ahh, I bet there is a sharp edge or burr inside the uke where the string goes through the bridge from the bottom. The holes were probably drilled from the top after the uke was assembled so the inside part of the holes never got the sharp edge knocked off. Just guessing.

John

Nickie
02-02-2011, 02:59 PM
I changed strings on my Makala Dolphin by myself! I took off those crummy black things, and put on a set of clear Martins. I can see them much better against the background of the fretboard, but the thing still sounds crappy. Maybe the uke is just a piece of junk, or I'm no good... I'm so new at this I'm clueless. Anyway, I was proud of myself for getting it done without jabbing out an eye!

OldePhart
02-02-2011, 03:07 PM
Ahh, I bet there is a sharp edge or burr inside the uke where the string goes through the bridge from the bottom. The holes were probably drilled from the top after the uke was assembled so the inside part of the holes never got the sharp edge knocked off. Just guessing.

John

Thought about a possible easy fix, too. Try slipping beads on the strings before tying the knots - that way it will be the beads that bear against the possibly sharp edges on the inside of the uke instead of the string.

John

RyRod
02-02-2011, 03:15 PM
Thought about a possible easy fix, too. Try slipping beads on the strings before tying the knots - that way it will be the beads that bear against the possibly sharp edges on the inside of the uke instead of the string.

John

Thank's. I've been thinking about that too. I wont have to worry about the knots causing buzzing inside the body then. I'll throw some on there from now on. We'll see how it goes.

-Ryan

OldePhart
02-02-2011, 03:22 PM
I changed strings on my Makala Dolphin by myself! I took off those crummy black things, and put on a set of clear Martins. I can see them much better against the background of the fretboard, but the thing still sounds crappy. Maybe the uke is just a piece of junk, or I'm no good... I'm so new at this I'm clueless. Anyway, I was proud of myself for getting it done without jabbing out an eye!

Heh, heh. Way to go. Changing strings isn't as tough as it looks, but it sure can be intimidating the first time!

I've never owned a Dolphin but a lot of people swear by them. I think the bottom line at that price point though is that there is simply a lot of variability - you can get lucky and get a great one while the one next off the line is pretty unspectactular, and vice versa.

John

Nickie
02-02-2011, 03:37 PM
Well, it sure is cute. And it matches my scooter.

mikerr
02-02-2011, 10:12 PM
I changed strings on my Makala Dolphin by myself! I took off those crummy black things, and put on a set of clear Martins. I can see them much better against the background of the fretboard, but the thing still sounds crappy. Maybe the uke is just a piece of junk, or I'm no good... I'm so new at this I'm clueless. Anyway, I was proud of myself for getting it done without jabbing out an eye!

Nickie, the next time you change strings on your Makala Dolphin, try some Aquilas. I like the sound of them on my green Dolphin.

Mike

philpot
02-03-2011, 03:03 PM
Just changed out my Aquilas for Martin Fluorocarbon M600's. I was so proud of myself xD I like the sound, a lot. I cant say I like it "better" necessarily, but I don't like it worse :P its different. A bit less bright, slightly mellower then the others... but I am very very frustrated, there is just the slightest hint of fret buzz on the C E and A strings >.< its super annoying!! Any ideas how to fix it? :/

philpot
02-03-2011, 03:54 PM
Oh, and might I suggest that anyone looking to buy a good amount of strings at once order from stringsandbeyond.com! I got my strings in 3 days, free shipping on orders over $35, and quite a good selection. Even a handwritten note on the bottom of the receipt! I also received a pack of Martin picks, a website magnet and case sticker as well... not sure if this is typical but I was quite pleased. :)

HornedOne
02-15-2011, 09:27 AM
I just changed the strings on my kala FMT from worth bts to d'addario j71 and I'm pleasently suprised, I was afraid of the strings making it rather bright. But the sound is rather mellow. the c string sounds a bit dull but that was always a bit of a problem on this uke.

and they feel very nice and smooth, like worths but because they are fatter they play smoother.

I'm going to order a set of d'addario t2s strings in the near future and see how they compare