View Full Version : Do concert strings actually sound louder/bolder on a soprano uke?

05-03-2011, 03:33 AM
I've been reading every now and again that Aquila concerts sound louder and better on Soprano ukes than the soprano strings.

I did have a Mahalo Soprano Les Paul tuned with the concert strings, and did feel that they sounded quite good. But at the time I had the uke, I didn't have another Soprano to compare it to.

But does it actually make it sound louder?
I imagine concert strings are a thicker gauge than the sopranos, and thus requires a slightly higher tension (which comes with a longer scale). So concert strings on a Soprano would theoretically by looser than if soprano strings were used.

To illustrate, I once tried putting some Baritone DGBE strings on a Tenor, and found it to be very floppy and not practical at all.
I tried putting Tenor strings on a Baritone, but found that it was impossible to tune it up since the tension was becoming extreme.

I figured this was the case since the longer scale length would mean a higher tension is needed to reach the same tuning.
Higher tension (within reasonable bounds) usually means more energy is produced when the strings are struck, resulting in a louder sound.

So if Baritone strings sounded dead on a Tenor scale, why would Concert strings sound louder on a Soprano scale? It makes no sense to me.
Shouldn't it be the other way around? If we put soprano strings on a concert uke, wouldn't it be louder?

Nicu Pascu
05-03-2011, 04:47 AM
In my opinion the sound that a string produces is given by how strongly the string vibrates, if the tension is too low, it wont vibrate or it would sound dead, if the tension is too high, the string wont vibrate or it will vibrate just a little and the vibration will be killed by the tension really fast, so in my opinion the tension has to be in some kind of parameters for the sound to be just right.

If i put Aquilas on my tenor I can feel that the tension is a lot lower and the sound is louder and I can see the string vibrating a lot more than if I would put D'Addarios that have a high tension.

It all comes down to what you like, I like high tension for the feel of the strings when I play them and I feel that the notes ring out clearer.

05-03-2011, 05:38 AM
Some good string guides out there including UU and SouthCoast ukes that can provide all of the science of what makes strings sound "best."

mm stan
05-03-2011, 06:50 AM
Aloha Kissing 88,
Listen for the perfect pitch to get the optimum preformance out of your strings...for sound resonation and substain... it you are off either way, it will hamper the sound and vibration of the strings.