View Full Version : What is the best wound low-G on a tenor? You guys use some classic guitar D-string?

06-10-2011, 09:01 AM
I have a banjolele.net tenor banjolele. It's fun and all. By my request it came with low-G Aquilas. Snapped the A and G strings in a week. So no Aquilas for this little thing. I got the Worth clears in low-G on it, now for like a year already.

But the unwound Low-G just sounds nasty. The strings have lasted well, but need changing.

I'd like to get a wound low-G, so that the intonation would be better. The unwound one is always out of tune, kinda funky in a bad way. But the Aquilas are not a choice on this one.

Would you have suggestions for low-G. Classical guitar strings, I presume.

I wouldn't mind going to DGBE either, meaning the wound one would be the 3rd string. If you have suggestion for a mixed set, I'd love to know!

Thanks! :)

06-10-2011, 10:02 AM
Almost a year ago, I ventured into Low G on one of my tenors, but not a banjo uke, and here is what I did...

I first used a single D'Addario EJ45 classical guitar round wound D string and replaced the Aquila G string. It worked out quite well as the diameter is the same as the Aquila high G so there was no issue with intonation.

One thing I noticed with a wound string is the squeak when sliding on the string. Also, the wound string has a little more sustain and I guess boominess compared to the other Aquila Nylguts.

I did some research and found that some companies make semi-polished and flatwound strings that reduce the string squeak.

I ordered a single La Bella ground and polished D string from their professional studio 413P set. It is sold as 14ST-Studio. Because it is basically a flatwound classical guitar string the string feels pretty smooth and doesn't have that booming sustain so it seems to blend in better... and a lot less string squeak.

It is not cheap at $3.60 plus shipping, Strings By Mail.

I ended up going back to high g after about a month.


06-10-2011, 10:33 AM
Thanks for the info! I actually loved the metallic sound of the wound G of the Aquilas. (The low G isn't a 100% must, but I've enjoyed the added range for melody playing, so I am thinking of it as my top choice)

06-10-2011, 11:38 AM
I use a D'Addario Pro-Arte D Light Silverplated Copper Wound .028, J4304. $1.42 each at JustStrings.com. It's what the luthier recommended, and I've had great success with it. It doesn't overpower the other strings, and I haven't had one break on me yet.


06-10-2011, 08:58 PM
Thanks, so Light tension, not some heavy duty stuff like people like Shimabukuro plays... good to know.

06-11-2011, 07:06 AM
I use a Hilo low G with my Aquila sets. Works pretty good.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
06-11-2011, 07:13 AM
I like the Savarez Corum 504RH.

06-11-2011, 08:24 AM
D'Addario Pro Arte J4804 Bronze Wound.

06-11-2011, 10:28 AM
Thanks guys, now a list to pick from when I go string shopping. :)

But, I did a search here, and now I read that wound-C might be useful, to go with the wound G... oh my, string shopping has never been this complex.

Guitar wound strings aren't a choice for the wound-C, so I guess I'll have to pick from uke sets, then? I bet the Aquilas don't last. So what else is there... Hilo? What is there, that would have some lasting power? Kala Reds have some kinda wound G&C, but have never heard of those before...

I think the thing is that my instrument is the banjolele, the twang of the wound strings just fit. Unlike on a regular ukulele, were the aim is sweet tone, maybe more like classical g**tar then.

06-11-2011, 10:44 AM
Again, continuing with my research, it appears, I'll give the Southcoastukes.com G650 a try, although squeak (or balance) was never the problem to me. I hope there are other more readily available choices, though.

06-11-2011, 12:28 PM
Thanks guys, now a list to pick from when I go string shopping. :)

But, I did a search here, and now I read that wound-C might be useful, to go with the wound G... oh my, string shopping has never been this complex.

When I first got my Kawika tenor, the luthier supplied some sets of strings with it, and they included wound C strings. I didn't much care for them, and the luthier soon decided he didn't either. Now I use Savarez Alliance Plain KF Treble Standard Tension 541R, 542R, and 543R strings for the A, E, and C. And the D'Addario I mentioned above for the G. I buy them all as single strings on JustStrings.com.

06-11-2011, 03:41 PM
I dumped the wounds and fell into the best strings I've ever had on my cedar topped mahogany Mele concert... Fremont Blacklines (Medium). They just have a nice feel and sound! Ordered a dozen sets of 'em... don't ever want to be withou them on this uke... just in case they stop production.

06-12-2011, 08:51 AM
ko'olau, hawaiian music supply, has 2 low g string sets, a single low g wound set, and a wound g and c set I like the wound g and c set if you like a guitar sound with lots of sustain and ring soarcj

06-12-2011, 02:26 PM
Late to the discussion, but I fell in love with Guadalupe strings. The fibre-core strings are excellent. Here's their price list. (http://www.guadalupecustomstrings.com/pricelist)