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pdxuke
03-21-2011, 06:09 AM
I am a bit confused about strings for banjo ukes.

The aquila banjo uke string set has a wound C string. Yet the Mainland concert banjo uke looks like regular Aquila nylaguts with no wound strings. Can you all shed some light on this?

Uke Whisperer
03-21-2011, 06:14 AM
Hello,

Some choose the Uke Strings but some don't for a number of reasons I guess. Some do not like the feel of the wound string, some might not like the sound. I use and prefer the Martin 600s on mine for playability and the sound.

pdxuke
03-21-2011, 06:20 AM
Hello,

Some choose the Uke Strings but some don't for a number of reasons I guess. Some do not like the feel of the wound string, some might not like the sound. I use and prefer the Martin 600s on mine for playability and the sound.

Uncle Tom:

You mean the regular uke Martin Fluorocarbons, that sound so nice on my mahogany ukes?

Uke Whisperer
03-21-2011, 07:15 AM
Yep, and love the sound.

kenikas
03-21-2011, 07:54 AM
I am a bit confused about strings for banjo ukes.

The aquila banjo uke string set has a wound C string. Yet the Mainland concert banjo uke looks like regular Aquila nylaguts with no wound strings. Can you all shed some light on this?

Hmmm....I just strung up one of my old banjo ukes with an Aquila banjo uke string set and there were no wound strings. I have a couple more sets at home, I'll have to check them out when I get home.

wheelgunner
03-21-2011, 07:57 AM
I just use the regular Aquila nylguts on my Waverly banjo-uke and they work fine. Never tried "real" banjolele strings.

pdxuke
03-21-2011, 09:59 AM
Yep, and love the sound.

Boy! Is there NOTHING these Martin strings can't do? If they work on my Kamaka, I may be a one brand house soon!

SweetWaterBlue
03-21-2011, 10:18 AM
I've got a never-opened pack of Aquila banjo strings that I bought last year. I never used them on the banjo uke I restored (too many ukes). There is definitely a wound string in that pack.

SweetWaterBlue
03-21-2011, 10:20 AM
Boy! Is there NOTHING these Martin strings can't do? If they work on my Kamaka, I may be a one brand house soon!

When Chuck Moore said in this thread he was a new convert to the Martins I just about fell over. He has expressed some pretty strong preferences for Aquilas in the past, and the man knows ukuleles.

Jnobianchi
03-21-2011, 10:42 AM
Thom,

I think Aquila does this just to confuse us! They make two sets: a banjo uke pack with a wound third string, and make a second set without the wound string. Aside of the wound third, they are the same set of strings, and the only difference between these and regular Aqulia soprano nylgut strings is the string gauges, which are slightly heavier in the banjo uke strings.

I'm not sure why they do this, as the regular soprano nylgut strings have been better sounding from my standpoint. As for the wound third, I see no real benefit. It doesn't really make that big a difference in tone - it sounds ok, not particularly twangy (and let's face it, does your banjo uke need help sounding twangy?), but regular Nylguts sound better to my way of thinking, or hearing. Right now, I've got regular soprano Nylguts on my Wendell Hall (which are great), Aquila Banjo Uke strings on one of my Strombergs, and genuine Aquila Gut strings on my Slingerland model 20 (which sound very 'vintage-y' and great!).

I've also used Worth clear mediums on another Stromberg and on a little Tonk Brothers banjo uke I just sold, which are very similar to the fluorocarbon Martins, and gave a great sound - a little less percussive and richer. These sound particularly good when tuned up to D and Eb tunings, better than they sound in regular C tuning.

kenikas
03-21-2011, 10:45 AM
Boy! Is there NOTHING these Martin strings can't do? If they work on my Kamaka, I may be a one brand house soon!

I've tried them on a couple of ukes that I wasn't to impressed with them, but they were both laminate and I just don't think the Martins could drive them hard enough. I love them on my spruce top Vita and they are next in line to try on my solid mahogany.

pdxuke
03-21-2011, 10:52 AM
I've tried them on a couple of ukes that I wasn't to impressed with them, but they were both laminate and I just don't think the Martins could drive them hard enough. I love them on my spruce top Vita and they are next in line to try on my solid mahogany.

You have a point: for the laminate novelty Kalas (my Watermelon) and the Dolphins I own, can't beat Aquilas. But I have preferred the Martins on every one of the mahogany ukes I've tried them on.

Jnobianchi
03-21-2011, 12:53 PM
I'm completely in agreement. Aquila Nylguts on my partially laminate Ohana and on my kid's Lanikai sound great - on my Martin, they sounded percussive and the tone was just ok. Martins and Worth fluorocarbon strings on my Martin sound fantastic, on laminate ukes, not so much.

pdxuke
03-21-2011, 01:01 PM
I'm completely in agreement. Aquila Nylguts on my partially laminate Ohana and on my kid's Lanikai sound great - on my Martin, they sounded percussive and the tone was just ok. Martins and Worth fluorocarbon strings on my Martin sound fantastic, on laminate ukes, not so much.

John, Uncle Tom uses the martins on his banjo uke. Have you tried that?

Uke Whisperer
03-22-2011, 12:22 AM
Thom, my Banjolele came with one string that didn't seem to tune correctly. The only strings available locally at the time were the Martins, so the dealer put them on. They sounded good to him and me. I can play it very lightly or get on it with heavy and very fast Fan, Split and Triple and they sound great. I have the Banjolele without the resonator installed with the drum head tight. Might not sound as good to me with the resonator.(?) Interested in hearing what you end-up doing. Perhaps it is time to try others.

Tom

WestPhillyUke
03-22-2011, 03:58 AM
I'm completely in agreement. Aquila Nylguts on my partially laminate Ohana and on my kid's Lanikai sound great - on my Martin, they sounded percussive and the tone was just ok. Martins and Worth fluorocarbon strings on my Martin sound fantastic, on laminate ukes, not so much.

+1 matches my experience as well.

Jnobianchi
03-22-2011, 04:47 AM
John, Uncle Tom uses the martins on his banjo uke. Have you tried that?

Yes -

I outfitted an 8" SV banjo uke with martins, and a 6 7/8" pot Tonk Brothers uke with Worths. They both sounded quite good, but the smaller uke sounded better, and both were much better in D tuning, which isn't surprising with banjo ukes.

Did they sound better with florocarbon strings than nylon/Aquila Nylguts? The Stromberg simply sounded different, but less loud - the Tonk Brothers uke, which had GHS blacks on it, sounded about a million times better (fuller and no loss of volume). maybe it was the smaller size? Maybe the general awfulness of GHS strings? Maybe both.

I agree with Bill that some seem to like them and others don't.

Uke Whisperer
12-04-2011, 02:55 AM
A bunch of strums and picking have crossed-over Banjolele strings since last March when this Thread was completed. Many new Banjo-ukes seem to have been obtained as well. I would think many strings have been
changed-out in-search for one's "just right" sound? Since I made the conversion to the full resonator version of my Goldtone Banjolele, I have thinking of making a string change from my beloved Martins, but have no idea which direction to head-in.

Any new comments, suggestions, favorites, etc?

I really like the extra loudness and frontal sound projection that the resonator added, but seems to have become a litlle more "brashy"/"twangy" which really was not needed.

hoosierhiver
12-04-2011, 05:07 AM
Mainland strings the banjo ukes with regular ukulele Aquila's.
I didn't think the Aquila banjo-uke strings sounded any better on them and the wound string often has a shorter life to it.

PhilUSAFRet
07-10-2013, 11:24 AM
Boy! Is there NOTHING these Martin strings can't do? If they work on my Kamaka, I may be a one brand house soon!

Yup, they sounded like crap on a Mele mahogany soprano I had

SailingUke
07-10-2013, 11:59 AM
I have found on my banjo ukes that nylon monofilament sound good.
The banjo is so loud that the nylon strings seem to tone it down a notch.

Captain Simian
07-10-2013, 12:30 PM
I have Aquila's on my Firefly and I think they sound perfect. I played a Gretch banjolele with the wound 3rd and didn't like the twang.

AndrewKuker
07-10-2013, 12:53 PM
The Firefly is my favorite banjo uke. Less muddy than most and so light weight. You can use whatever strings made for the scale and it will be fine. Just a matter of taste.

Captain Simian
07-10-2013, 01:27 PM
Oh yeah, I love my Firefly. I had a Luna banjo uke and it was soooo heavy but I loved the sound. I was thinking of throwing some Worth Browns on her but I don't know if I want to mess with it too much. She sounds great as is and I have a bad habit of wanting to fix stuff that isn't broken.

PhilUSAFRet
07-11-2013, 03:16 AM
I just got a Morgan Monroe soprano banjo uke, mostly for fun and to practice Formby style strums in front of my computer screen. As I understand it, Aquila nylgut concert size strings are the same diameter as their unwound banjo uke strings. With the little soprano, based on what I've read here, the standard Aquila soprano ukulele nylguts may work even better than regular uke nylgut concert strings on a concert size banjo uke given that they are about the same thickness of the banjo uke strings. Do you think my reasoning is sound?

PhilUSAFRet
07-11-2013, 12:29 PM
Bump.....!