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View Full Version : low G string recommendations, please



janeray1940
06-18-2011, 03:12 PM
Aloha all. I've recently fallen hard for Martin M600 strings on all of my reentrant ukes, and this is left me dissatisfied with the Fremont Blacklines on my low G Kamaka HF-2 concert. I'm wondering what other options I have, and would love to hear your suggestions.

Here's what I know I like/don't like:

The M600s are very balanced - no single string overpowers the others. I find the low G to be very "boomy" and would like to remedy this somehow.

The M600s have a very clear, bell-like tone. I *love* this sound. If it helps, it's kind of the opposite of the way stock Kamaka strings sound (which I do not care for). I like bright and clean over mellow and muted.

I like the tension of the Martins. I honestly do not know if they are considered high tension or not - one friend says they are, another says because they are so thin they are not. They are not mushy or floppy. I hate mushy and floppy.

Wound strings - can't stand them. So that's out.

As far as I know that leaves me a choice of... Worths, maybe? Anything else??

Thanks for the help!

mm stan
06-18-2011, 04:10 PM
Hey JaneRay1940,
Pssst ...I like Koolau Alohi strings..little thicker, warmer, nicer tone...and playability is still nice....MM Stan got them on my MP concert downtuned
a step and it resonates so much, when I play it ...it vibrates my stomach...ha ha:)

hapuna
06-18-2011, 04:52 PM
I'm a fan of the Worth medium tension clears

webby
06-18-2011, 07:21 PM
http://www.ezibuy.com.au/productimages/MEDIUM/37920.jpg

janeray1940
06-18-2011, 07:25 PM
http://www.ezibuy.com.au/productimages/MEDIUM/37920.jpg

Okay, I admit it, I LOL'd :)

webby
06-18-2011, 08:25 PM
it's that kind of thinking that got me thrown out of the air force :)

janeray1940
06-19-2011, 06:11 AM
Hey JaneRay1940,
Pssst ...I like Koolau Alohi strings..little thicker, warmer, nicer tone...and playability is still nice....MM Stan got them on my MP concert downtuned
a step and it resonates so much, when I play it ...it vibrates my stomach...ha ha:)

Stan, do those come without a wound 4th? I went to my usual eBay supplier for strings and they seem to only be wound... I'm almost curious enough to give them a try anyway...

janeray1940
06-19-2011, 06:16 AM
I'm a fan of the Worth medium tension clears

I just read the description on Elderly (http://www.elderly.com/accessories/names/worth-cm-lg-soprano-/-concert-with-low-g-uke-set--WSCMLG.htm) and these sound pretty ideal. Do you have any sources for them other than Elderly? Their shipping is kinda ridiculous...

CTurner
06-19-2011, 09:07 AM
janeray,
Along with the Worth medium tension, you might consider the Worth CHLGHD strings. Unwound low g. I use a set on my custom Lichty tenor uke and their bit of extra tension is very nice, I think, and the low g to my ear is not boomy at all. Very smooth sound and I like the feel of Worths generally.
I'm with you about not liking wound low g especially, but I have ordered and will try out a new set of Southcoast flatwound low g very soon. I'm eager to see if the flatwinding really does remove the annoying wound string sound while more equally balancing the four strings. (Actually, the set has two wounds and two nylon)
As for Elderly: I felt the shipping cost was a bit high as well and some months ago I emailed them about it. Very nice and courteous email chat with a guy who said that they had problems with the mail system chewing up standard envelopes with strings in them, so they just went to a standard base price that is a bit more. Since you can get one more than one string set at a time (ahem, you <do> have a number of Kamakas there I see!!), ordering a few at a time is not that expensive. Anyway, that was their explanation and they usually have the widest selection of uke strings I can find that are already in sets, other than Southcoast.
HTH,
Craig

janeray1940
06-19-2011, 09:37 AM
janeray,
Along with the Worth medium tension, you might consider the Worth CHLGHD strings. Unwound low g. I use a set on my custom Lichty tenor uke and their bit of extra tension is very nice, I think, and the low g to my ear is not boomy at all. Very smooth sound and I like the feel of Worths generally.
I'm with you about not liking wound low g especially, but I have ordered and will try out a new set of Southcoast flatwound low g very soon. I'm eager to see if the flatwinding really does remove the annoying wound string sound while more equally balancing the four strings. (Actually, the set has two wounds and two nylon)
As for Elderly: I felt the shipping cost was a bit high as well and some months ago I emailed them about it. Very nice and courteous email chat with a guy who said that they had problems with the mail system chewing up standard envelopes with strings in them, so they just went to a standard base price that is a bit more. Since you can get one more than one string set at a time (ahem, you <do> have a number of Kamakas there I see!!), ordering a few at a time is not that expensive. Anyway, that was their explanation and they usually have the widest selection of uke strings I can find that are already in sets, other than Southcoast.
HTH,
Craig

Thanks Craig, this was all very helpful.

I've been curious about Southcoast for a while now but there is just *so much information* on their site I find it kind of daunting to place an order! Keep us posted as to how those strings work out. That wound string sound goes beyond annoying for me - when I play an instrument with wound strings, it feels like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.

The warning on Elderly that the CHLGHDs are for tenors and that smaller ukes may be impacted by the tension load has scared me off from those. I've used concert strings on my soprano before without problems though, so I wonder if it would be an issue at all.

And good point about the shipping costs. I'm either going to do a massive order of lots of strings as different recommendations come in, or maybe place an order with a friend to make it to that $49 free shipping minimum.

MGM
06-19-2011, 07:31 PM
if you really want like a clear flouocarbin loe string that is different feel from worth blackline a i have thisheavy flourocarbon string available

janeray1940
06-19-2011, 07:32 PM
if you really want like a clear flouocarbin loe string that is different feel from worth blackline a i have thisheavy flourocarbon string available

Hey MGM, what have you got? I'd like to give it a try.

MGM
06-19-2011, 07:32 PM
if you really want like a clear flouocarbin low gheavy flourocarbon string available

Teek
06-19-2011, 07:48 PM
Try a Worth Clear regular (not HD) single Low G from MGM (I believe that is what he was trying to type), I have the low 4th set on my Kanile'a tenor (after using Aquilas, Fremont Blacklines and Worth Browns and not being happy) and it is the best so far. I've gotten various single low 4ths including the clears from him in the past, and he is still selling stuff.

I know people seem to get low 4ths to work on their concerts, but I had my custom long scale built with that in mind and finally gave up for now and set it up reentrant. To my ear only a tenor and up can carry it off without sounding boomy or off. I haven't tried Southcoast strings yet but have some.

janeray1940
06-19-2011, 08:01 PM
Try a Worth Clear regular (not HD) single Low G from MGM (I believe that is what he was trying to type), I have the low 4th set on my Kanile'a tenor (after using Aquilas, Fremont Blacklines and Worth Browns and not being happy) and it is the best so far. I've gotten various single low 4ths including the clears from him in the past, and he is still selling stuff.

I know people seem to get low 4ths to work on their concerts, but I had my custom long scale built with that in mind and finally gave up for now and set it up reentrant. To my ear only a tenor and up can carry it off without sounding boomy or off. I haven't tried Southcoast strings yet but have some.

Thanks Teek! I wonder if I could combine the Martin M600s with the Worth Clear single low G... or if I should just get a low G set of Worths. Or hey, experiment with both...

Herb Ohta Sr. makes low G on a concert sound fantastic. While I'm sure that this is 99% a matter of the player's abilities and maybe less than 1% a matter of scale or string choice, I'm determined to somehow make it work for me :)

mm stan
06-19-2011, 08:10 PM
Stan, do those come without a wound 4th? I went to my usual eBay supplier for strings and they seem to only be wound... I'm almost curious enough to give them a try anyway...

Aloha Janeray1940,
I get mine from elderly and in 4 days it is here..yes shipping is expensive but they sound really good to me and I like the wound string....on this set because the other strings are a little thicker and
it balances out the set of strings.. amazing really ...give them a try....MM Stan

southcoastukes
06-20-2011, 08:53 AM
We've tested a lot of unwound material for a low 4th string. I'm not a fan of low 4th tuning on a concert (even though Ohta-san makes it sound good). If you want to give it a whirl, though, I think you'll need to do as Stan says - even though you're not a fan of wound strings.

We think our non-wound low 4th is as good as they come, and we don't even recommend it for C tuning on a 17" Tenor scale. You can use a thicker string, but beleive me when I say that anything thicker than ours, and the string is pretty much dead. Put it on a 17" Tenor scale, and we think it's too loose. On a standard 15" Concert scale, it goes from bad to unplayable.

Teek -

Remember when you get around to trying our set, to tune up one step to key of D tuning. Our set is for C tuning on the 20" scale Baritone. A low 4th D tuning sounds great on a Tenor, as James Hill would tell you. That's where you get really top performance for Tenors in a non-wound set.

janeray1940
06-20-2011, 08:59 AM
We've tested a lot of unwound material for a low 4th string. I'm not a fan of low 4th tuning on a concert (even though Ota-san makes it sound good). If you want to give it a whirl, though, I think you'll need to do as Stan says - even though you're not a fan of wound strings.

We think our non-wound low 4th is as good as they come, and we don't even recommend it for C tuning on a 17" Tenor scale. You can use a thicker string, but beleive me when I say that anything thicker than ours, and the string is pretty much dead. Put it on a 17" Tenor scale, and we think it's too loose. On a standard 15" Concert scale, it goes from bad to unplayable.


Thanks for the explanation. I'd been looking on your site and saw the part about D tuning, which is why I didn't try out Southcoast in the first place - I don't want to have to mess around with a whole different tuning.

It's not as if the Fremont low 4th on the Kamaka concert is awful - it's not, by any means. I just really, really like what the Martins do for the other ukes, and would love to be "wowed" by a low G set in the same way.

southcoastukes
06-20-2011, 09:22 AM
Thanks for the explanation. I'd been looking on your site and saw the part about D tuning, which is why I didn't try out Southcoast in the first place - I don't want to have to mess around with a whole different tuning.

You may already know this, but on your Concert, with our set, you'd likely go up another half step, to E flat. You find that sometimes on a sopranino. Of course with a low 4th, it has a much deeper tone, and would not be out of place on a concert.

Also, if you're a solo player, changing tunings doesn't mean you have to re-learn anything. You instrument just plays at a higher (or lower) pitch. TCK sums it the situation up nicely on another of todays' threads. The principles apply to any tuning change:

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?48899-Transposing-song-from-Tenor-uke-to-a-Baritone-Uke

janeray1940
06-20-2011, 09:27 AM
You may already know this, but on your Concert, with our set, you'd likely go up another half step, to E flat. You find that sometimes on a sopranino. Of course with a low 4th, it has a much deeper tone, and would not be out of place on a concert.

Also, if you're a solo player, changing tunings doesn't mean you have to re-learn anything. You instrument just plays at a higher (or lower) pitch. TCK sums it the situation up nicely on another of todays' threads. The principles apply to any tuning change:

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?48899-Transposing-song-from-Tenor-uke-to-a-Baritone-Uke

Thanks, I'm aware that playing solo it wouldn't be an issue. Might be worth a try since I don't usually play the low G uke when I'm with others. I'll file this away for consideration after I've tried a couple other string sets...

Doc_J
06-20-2011, 09:32 AM
I agree the wound 4th strings are better. But I have found the Worth CD LG strings weren't bad in C tuning. I tried Worth BM in low G, 4th string was awful (too loose and an occasional buzz on a hard strum).

Here's a crummy sound sample of them (worth CD Low G) on my Kanile'a concert. http://chirb.it/EeJJqn

janeray1940
06-20-2011, 09:37 AM
I agree the wound 4th strings are better. But I have found the Worth CD LG strings weren't bad in C tuning. I tried Worth BM in low G, 4th string was awful (too loose and an occasional buzz on a hard strum).

Here's a crummy sound sample of them on my Kanile'a concert. http://chirb.it/EeJJqn

Actually I thought that sounded pretty good. But "too loose" would definitely be a dealbreaker for me.

Okay, I think I'll be ordering some Worths pretty soon...

Doc_J
06-20-2011, 09:46 AM
Actually I thought that sounded pretty good. But "too loose" would definitely be a dealbreaker for me.

Okay, I think I'll be ordering some Worths pretty soon...

Sorry, I wasn't very clear. The sample was for the CD strings. The tension on the 4th with this set is fine.

janeray1940
06-20-2011, 09:50 AM
Sorry, I wasn't very clear. The sample was for the CD strings. The tension on the 4th with this set is fine.

Hey thanks for clarifying that, I thought the sound sample was for the Worth BM.

Are you sure they're Worth CD? Elderly doesn't have those in a low G set. They have Worth CM low G, which I'm going to try.

Doc_J
06-20-2011, 10:03 AM
Hey thanks for clarifying that, I thought the sound sample was for the Worth BM.

Are you sure they're Worth CD? Elderly doesn't have those in a low G set. They have Worth CM low G, which I'm going to try.

Just checked the package with the other half. It is CD-LG. I picked that set up from Roy Cone when he was clearing out Worth strings last fall for $5 (what a deal!). I see Elderly isn't selling the low g variety. Hmmm. I'll have to check around and see who has them.

I really did not like the BM low g; my guess is the CM LG will be very similar to the BM, too loose.

janeray1940
06-30-2011, 05:18 PM
So... I put Worth CM-LGs on. And, they're good! I like them quite a bit more than I did the Fremonts with the low G. Still curious as to what a low G Worth/CEA Martin M600 combo would be like, but that will be an experiment for another day :)

Uke Republic
06-30-2011, 07:04 PM
One mo to consider is Orcas low G concert. We have them but just not listed our site.

Teek
06-30-2011, 07:23 PM
Thanks Dirk for the tuning advice. Doc_J thanks for the sound sample, wow, sounds good. Janeray1940 thanks for the report back. Maybe I can try again on my concert.

poppy
07-01-2011, 08:11 AM
I ended up with the worth bm low g and the rest fremont and It really worked on "this" uke Funny how each uke is so different. But now I can't find single strings (worth) which means I buy 2 sets to get 1 lol.