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View Full Version : Aquila concert strings on a Kamaka soprano?



janeray1940
03-08-2011, 03:47 PM
I know a few people here use concert strings on their sopranos... Is there any downside to it in terms of potential damage to the uke? I like the feel of Aquila concert strings better than soprano strings - the soprano strings seem mushy to me - and was thinking of trying them on my soprano. But, it's, you know, a Kamaka:) Any reason I shouldn't try this?

I've tried Worth Clears and Fremont Blacklines on the soprano, and neither sound as good to me as the Aquilas.

fabioponta
03-08-2011, 03:53 PM
The Aquila strings that I buy for my Hamano concert are the same that I use for my soprano ukuleles. They have the same thickness and are labeled in the same package.
You found diferences between concert and soprano Aquilas nylgut?

didgeridoo2
03-08-2011, 03:57 PM
It'll be fine. I prefer concert aquilas, too and used them on sopranos. Also, try Savarez alliance. I posted last week that I've been trying them on my kts-5 and I really like em. You have to custom order each string, but they are similar to worths, but brighter and nicer feel. Bet they would sound great on that kamaka.

janeray1940
03-08-2011, 03:58 PM
The Aquila strings that I buy for my Hamano concert are the same that I use for my soprano ukuleles. They have the same thickness and are labeled in the same package.
You found diferences between concert and soprano Aquilas nylgut?

The Nylguts I've always bought are labeled either "soprano" or "concerto", and the concert ones appear thicker (and seem to have higher tension, which is what I'm looking for).

janeray1940
03-08-2011, 03:59 PM
It'll be fine. I prefer concert aquilas, too and used them on sopranos. Also, try Savarez alliance. I posted last week that I've been trying them on my kts-5 and I really like em. You have to custom order each string, but they are similar to worths, but brighter and nicer feel. Bet they would sound great on that kamaka.

Thanks! I've seen others recommend Savarez Alliance too, I may check that out if I'm not happy with the concert strings on the soprano.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
03-08-2011, 04:12 PM
I've lately been impressed with the Martin flourocarbons on my sopranos. The same strings are labeled for either soprano or concert.
And yes, watch the tension when using string that are not specified for you size ukulele. Most sopranos are built extremely light and you can do some serious damage.

70sSanO
03-08-2011, 04:23 PM
If you check the link below you will see that concert strings are a little thicker so they will have more tension. You ned to scroll to the bottom of the webpage.

This may have an adverse effect on a soprano. I'd look to see if the bridge seems to be tiled a little more and there is more of a bulge behind it and a hollow section in front of it.

http://www.aquilacorde.com/en/modern-instrument-sets/ukulele.html

John

adam2180
03-08-2011, 05:40 PM
I use Aquila concerts on my sopranos, I like the sound and feel. I have never had a problem.

janeray1940
03-08-2011, 07:57 PM
Most sopranos are built extremely light and you can do some serious damage.

Thanks Chuck, that's what I was afraid of. Not sure I want to risk it!

Have you tried other fluorocarbons (Worth or Fremont?) and found that you prefer the Martins?

hmgberg
03-08-2011, 11:44 PM
Thanks Chuck, that's what I was afraid of. Not sure I want to risk it!

Have you tried other fluorocarbons (Worth or Fremont?) and found that you prefer the Martins?

I'm not Chuck, but I've tried both Worths and Fremonts on my sopranos. They are both fluorocarbon strings. Both are thinner than Aquila soprano strings, so you may have to get used to the feel. If memory serves, the Martins are thinner than the Worths, except for the C string (Martin is thicker). They sound more alike than either does when compared to Aquila. The Martins have a bit more punch, Worths have more ring - that's what I hear anyway. Like Chuck, I would probably put Martins on all my sopranos, but alas, the nut slots on my favorite one are too wide and the A string buzzes. I use Worths on it - I don't want to change the nut on an 80-year-old ukulele.

It's counterintuitive to me, and I've queries the members about this in the past, but fluorocarbon strings seem tighter on sopranos than Aquilas. I've had the same sense that you have about Aquila soprano strings, that they just kind of flop around on the neck. I wouldn't go up to Concerts though, as Chuck said, you can hurt your instrument. You might try tuning the Aquilas up to D, or try a set of hard tension Worths. They feel a little stiffer, but I don't think it's so much that you'll risk pulling the bridge off your Kamaka.

coitmusic
03-09-2011, 02:14 AM
While I agree that you should be careful about putting undue stress on a lightly braced instrument, if you do the calculations the tension of a set of Aquila concert strings on a soprano tuned to C is about the same as a set of Aquila soprano strings on a soprano tuned to D. My point being that I've never heard anyone suggest that you might destroy your instrument by tuning up to D so why should using a slightly higher tension set (in this case you could think of the concert set as a "high tension" or "hard" set.)
Here's the Aquila chart on tensions in C: (the very bottom of the page)
http://www.aquilacorde.com/en/ukulele.html
Here's a calculator that will give you tensions for any tuning and lenght (use 1300 kg/m3 for Nygut):
http://www.cs.helsinki.fi/u/wikla/mus/Calcs/wwwscalc.html

Best of luck finding you ideal! I know it's hard, I'm looking too!
Chester

janeray1940
03-09-2011, 04:39 AM
try a set of hard tension Worths. They feel a little stiffer, but I don't think it's so much that you'll risk pulling the bridge off your Kamaka.

Thanks, I'll add this to the list of strings to try out. I've had the medium-tension Worth Clears on it and didn't really care for the sound, but liked the feel. The Worth Clears and the Fremonts on my soprano sound great playing first position chords, but to my ear they seem to get weaker further up the neck - the sound seems progressively thinner to me. I didn't notice this with the Aquilas.

Funny how until I got my concert Kamaka, I was perfectly happy with the soprano Kamaka/Aquilas combo. But the feel of the concert strings, combined with the fuller sound, has made me want to tweak the soprano to sound/feel as good.

hmgberg
03-09-2011, 06:05 AM
While I agree that you should be careful about putting undue stress on a lightly braced instrument, if you do the calculations the tension of a set of Aquila concert strings on a soprano tuned to C is about the same as a set of Aquila soprano strings on a soprano tuned to D. My point being that I've never heard anyone suggest that you might destroy your instrument by tuning up to D so why should using a slightly higher tension set (in this case you could think of the concert set as a "high tension" or "hard" set.)


Here's the Aquila chart on tensions in C: (the very bottom of the page)
http://www.aquilacorde.com/en/ukulele.html
Here's a calculator that will give you tensions for any tuning and lenght (use 1300 kg/m3 for Nygut):
http://www.cs.helsinki.fi/u/wikla/mus/Calcs/wwwscalc.html

Best of luck finding you ideal! I know it's hard, I'm looking too!
Chester

Didn't know that the tension difference between soprano and concert aquilas was so slight. Thanks for the links.

janeray1940
03-09-2011, 06:17 AM
Didn't know that the tension difference between soprano and concert aquilas was so slight. Thanks for the links.

Thank you for clarifying that for me - I am, er, a bit mathematically challenged and had no idea what to make of that link :)

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
03-09-2011, 06:18 AM
I like the sound (good volume and attack) of the Fremont Blacklines on my sopranos, I just find them very uncomfortable to play. The strings are too stiff and thin for my likes. Worths impress me as much as Aquilas do on a soprano; not much. I wasn't prepared to like the Martin flourocarbons but was pleasantly surprised.

janeray1940
03-09-2011, 06:21 AM
Worths impress me as much as Aquilas do on a soprano; not much.

LOL! When I had a Koaloha soprano I liked the Worth Clears on it, but as that was my first high-end uke I may just not have known any better :) I really didn't like how they sounded on my Kamaka soprano. I'm definitely starting to lean toward trying out the Martin fluoros before the Aquila concerts.

didgeridoo2
03-09-2011, 06:55 AM
I like the sound (good volume and attack) of the Fremont Blacklines on my sopranos, I just find them very uncomfortable to play. The strings are too stiff and thin for my likes. Worths impress me as much as Aquilas do on a soprano; not much. I wasn't prepared to like the Martin flourocarbons but was pleasantly surprised.
I have the Martin fluoros on a relatively cheap laminated concert and while I like the way they make that uke sound, I think them to sound a little thin (?). I should give em a go on a proper soprano and see how they sound. Once again, I'm digging the Savarez Alliance fluoros on my KTS-5. A little harder tension than Worths of similar dimensions and brighter sound as a result.

coitmusic
03-09-2011, 10:43 AM
Sorry....
to further clarify, according to the data from Aquila's site and from calculations based on their data:
the third string of a soprano nygut set tuned to "C" pulls at 2.9 Kg of tension
the same string tuned to "D" pulls at 3.6 Kg of tension
the third string of a concert nygut set tuned to "C" (on a soprano scale length) pulls at 3.1 Kg

janeray1940
03-09-2011, 10:50 AM
Sorry....
to further clarify, according to the data from Aquila's site and from calculations based on their data:
the third string of a soprano nygut set tuned to "C" pulls at 2.9 Kg of tension
the same string tuned to "D" pulls at 3.6 Kg of tension
the third string of a concert nygut set tuned to "C" (on a soprano scale length) pulls at 3.1 Kg

Thank you, the clarification is really helpful!

pdxuke
03-09-2011, 10:56 AM
I've lately been impressed with the Martin flourocarbons on my sopranos. The same strings are labeled for either soprano or concert.
And yes, watch the tension when using string that are not specified for you size ukulele. Most sopranos are built extremely light and you can do some serious damage.

Chuck: Glad to see another fan of these strings. Wonder how they'd be on a Kamaka?