View Full Version : Talsma Tenor String Trials

03-11-2011, 04:24 PM
A few weeks after I received my Talsma tenor I decided to go through the long process of finding the right strings for how I wanted the uke to sound/feel.

I found that I like a thicker (.026-.028) A string and a thinner (around .037) C string. I don't like that "fat", "thumpy" c string sound you get from thicker ones. As for the A string, i find that thicker ones make sure that I'm actually striking the string.

Over the past few months I've tried 12 sets of strings. Some are specifically marketed for the ukulele, and others you might not think of.

For the test, I came up with a set of songs to keep constant throughout the whole experiment. The mic was on the same setting and I sat the same distance away almost every time. (now that I think about it, I never played that much higher on the fretboard)

Here's the string list:

(PART 1)
1. Worth Clear (original strings)
2. Worth Brown
3. Savarez Alliance (high tension) with cristal "high-g" string
4. D'addario J41
5. Aquila Nylgut
6. Aranjuez Flamenco Guitar Strings

(PART 2)
7. Conde Hermanos
8. Augustine Blue/Regal
9. Savarez Cristal
10. D'addario Flamenco
11. D'addario Composite w/ coffee colored "c-string"
12. D'addario Titanium

All that's needed to make DGBE nylon guitar strings work is this:
E = A ukulele string
B = E ukulele string
G = C ukulele String
E = G ukulele string (get a higher tension/thicker E trebel string)

Part 1, it's lengthy



Chris Tarman
03-11-2011, 05:32 PM
Thanks Ryan! That Talsma sounds great, no matter which strings are on it. I think I liked the Worth Browns best. Which strings did you like best? Kind of a side-note, but how do you like the Talsma? I'm thinking of ordering a custom soprano from him... I've corresponded a bit with him, and he seemed keen on my idea. There's a guy who lives about an hour from me who has at least TWO of his ukes, but I haven't gotten to see them in person yet.

03-12-2011, 04:22 AM
Thanks Chris! Part 2 will give you even more to choose from this afternoon. It's rendering now.

Right now I have a mixture of Savarez on there and it's probably my favorite. The Alliance set comes with a really thin E(A) string, so I have a Cristal in it's place as well as in the G string slot. The inner 2 are Alliance.

The're really loud and when I had them on before Gerald Ross (name drop :cool:) said he could here my single notes all the way across the room during one of our meet ups.

As for the uke itself. I am very impressed with it. The cedar is really starting to open up and sound great. I don't think you can go wrong with ordering one from him. The only problem I have is the bridge. You have to put the strings into the body, fish them out of the sound hole, knot them (they need to be perfect), and pull them back through.

03-12-2011, 04:44 AM
Nice experiment. I listened last night on my phone and decided to give it another listen on my imac this morning and my initial thoughts were that I liked the Worth clears for overall balance and that I found the browns and the Savarez strings to sound a little quiet in comparison. I still think the clears are the best, but the browns aren't that far behind. The Savarez are still a little quiet and less defined to my ears, and while I think the flamenco strings sound great with your flamenco style, I feel they don't sound quite as good as the Worth strings do for overall performance. The Aquilas sounded better on the phones tiny speaker, but on my nicer desktop speakers I thought they sounded a little too brash for this uke. The uke is gorgeous, btw and really nice playing Ry...Look forward to checking out the second batch.

03-12-2011, 08:43 AM
part 2 is up now!

Thanks Didgeridoo2. The clears were definitely top 5. There were a couple that were really good to my ears. I agree though, the aquilas are definitely brash, plus, my nails wear through the strings.