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View Full Version : Unhappy with new strings! HELP!



butterfingersbeck
06-17-2011, 12:09 PM
I've had the same strings on my Mahalo U30 since I got it a year and a half ago, and they were beginning to sound a bit dull, so I bought a set of Rotosound RS85 Laguna strings and fitted them. The result? Same dull, twangy sound, but now they sound out of tune as well, and they feel "soft", especially the C. The strings seem to be much lower-tension than the original set, and are very sensitive to finger pressure. I have been using Rotosound bass guitar strings for over 30 years, and I can't believe that they would put their name on these horrible uke strings! What do you recommend?

SailingUke
06-17-2011, 12:38 PM
First, make sure you are tuned to pitch and not an octave low. Use an online tuner and make sure your C is middle C.
If you are using an electronic tuner make sure it is set on A440.
If all is ok than you may need to try strings with more tension. Aquilas because of the high tension are know to wakeup a dull ukulele.
I also like Orcas, the jury is still on the Kala Reds I just got.

sukie
06-17-2011, 12:47 PM
I recommend Worth clears.

veejayblox
06-17-2011, 12:53 PM
it takes a while for ukulele strings to stretch out, i wouldn't worry too much. about it.


Aquilas because of the high tension are know to wakeup a dull ukulele.
I also like Orcas, the jury is still on the Kala Reds I just got.i just got a set of Kala reds, haven't tried them yet.

butterfingersbeck
06-17-2011, 02:19 PM
I was wondering whether there is any difference in this set between the two thinner and two thicker strings - the gauges are described on the packaging as 23-29-29-23, but each string has a different code on its envelope, along with a letter (note?); "23 B 851", "29 F 852"; "29 D 853" and "23 A 854". Is it possible that the two "23"s and "29"s aren't identical? Maybe these strings aren't even designed for a soprano - if those letters are notes, the tuning BFDA looks completely wrong.

mm stan
06-17-2011, 02:28 PM
Aloha Butterfingersbeck,
You may have bought the wrong type of strings.. I have never seen F tuning strings before.. I'm not sure if the place you bought them was aware of that...give them a call back and tell
them you wanted the standard C tuning stings...GCEA.......Hope it helps..MM Stan

butterfingersbeck
06-17-2011, 02:33 PM
I think I'll just put it down to experience and buy a set of Aquila Nylguts on Ebay.

Pippin
06-18-2011, 02:23 AM
Aloha Butterfingersbeck,
You may have bought the wrong type of strings.. I have never seen F tuning strings before.. I'm not sure if the place you bought them was aware of that...give them a call back and tell
them you wanted the standard C tuning stings...GCEA.......Hope it helps..MM Stan

That tuning was not as common as "D" tuning, but I have seen sheet-music written for it. In the heyday, there were other tunings used frequently. It was that day's answer to singing in various ranges.

butterfingersbeck
07-23-2011, 10:49 AM
I think I'll just put it down to experience and buy a set of Aquila Nylguts on Ebay.

Just put a set of Aquila "New Nylgut" strings on my Mahalo. They not only look fantastic (sort of opaque pearly white satin finish) but they feel great to play and sound amazing. The tension is taut and even, thanks no doubt to the fact that each string really does have its own gauge, unlike the Rotosounds. Plenty of treble "snap" to the tone, but also lots of depth and sustain. I've no idea what real gut strings would sound or feel like, but these are great.

My advice to anyone wanting to buy their first set of replacement uke strings is to avoid Rotosounds like the plague (unless you habitually tune to A or actually like twangy, floppy out-of-tune strings) and to go for Aquilas every time.

Kanaka916
07-23-2011, 12:30 PM
See this thread . . . FYI - Uke Strings (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?39969-FYI-Uke-Strings). Strings, IMO is the most inexpensive upgrade one can do to improve the sound of your instrument. You're gonna end up trying different string sets and there are plenty to choose from. Favored by most UU members are Worth & Aquila. D'Addario, Martin (Fluoro Carbon) and South Coast Uke are also in the mix.

butterfingersbeck
07-26-2011, 05:02 AM
Here, just for your interest is my e-mail to Rotosound, and their response:


From: Simon Beck
Date: 24 July 2011 00:04:36 GMT+01:00
To: Rotosound
Subject: Disappointed with Laguna ukulele strings...

I have played bass guitar for 35 years and have always used Rotosound Swing Bass strings, originally on my home-made Gibson copy (built when I was 15) and subsequently on Peavey and Rhino basses. A few years ago I added a ukulele to my collection of instruments, and when it came time to change its strings, I bought a set of Rotosound Laguna strings from my local music shop. I put them on my ukulele, tuned it up (I play in standard GCEA tuning) and was very disappointed with the dull, twangy sound, quite unlike the sound of the original strings. The C (third) string in particular felt floppy and would not stay in tune, and overall the strings felt too slack. I eventually bought a set of Aquila New Nylgut strings, which have a higher tension and a nice crisp tone. I have done some research and it seems that:

1) your Laguna strings are intended for an obsolete tuning starting on A rather than G, popular many years ago but now rarely used

2) your string set only uses two different gauges rather than an individually selected gauge for each string. No guitarist would be satisfied with (say) a B and an E string of the same gauge!

I suggest that you either stop selling ukulele strings altogether, since you appear to be out of touch with modern playing practice, or develop a contemporary set of ukulele strings, specifically configured for GCEA tuning and preferably using more precisely chosen gauges.

Yours faithfully,

Simon Beck


From: John Doughty (Rotosound)
Subject: RE: Disappointed with Laguna ukulele strings...

Hello Simon,

With great respect the reason the strings do not seem right is because you have tuned them to the standard C tuning. This set is for the higher D tuning of A, D, F# and B which is why the tensions seem low. If the set and tuning were obsolete we would not be selling any sets yet we do. This is the original Hawaiian tuning and is still used for soprano and concert tuning up to this day.

Many thanks for your e`mail,

Best regards,
JohnAnyone wish to comment?

patico
07-26-2011, 02:37 PM
jajajaja
john doughty from rotosound it's absolutely right !!!!!


by the way, the tahitian ukelele uses only 1 string gauge for every different string.... so some uf us are satisfied with the same gauge for different strings.

mikemiragliuolo
07-26-2011, 07:04 PM
I would go with Aquilas they are awesome.