View Full Version : Help with strings.

07-22-2011, 09:06 PM
Hi everybody got a new uke a few weeks back. I have read lots of info on here about string choice and would like some comments please. It was my first uke so did not know much about them .I got the salesperson to play it in the shop and it sounded pretty good for the money. It has GHS strings on but decided not buy aquillas and decided to see how I got on with them.

After playing it for a while I noticed some of the strings sound a bit (muddy, woody ) especially when you get up to higher frets. I think it is called intonation not sure. Anyway if I put better strings on would it cure this or is it because it is a cheapish uke.

Small sample here

Thanks Phil.

07-23-2011, 07:41 AM
I am no expert Phil, but from what I can gather is replacing the strings can be a short term fix for things like this.

Perhaps it being a cheapish uke, it'll never sound superb, but I think changing the strings can enhance the sound considerably. If the uke has cheap manufacture strings no doubt it doesn't sound perhaps as nice as it could. Certainly worth changing the strings if you are not happy though, it's a small price to pay rather then replacing for a new uke.

07-23-2011, 08:01 AM
Muddiness can be cleared up a little with a set of fluorocarbon strings, which tend to have better sustain and clarity than nylon strings, perhaps at the expense of a little depth of tone. There are lots of quality brands---Worth, Southcoast, Martin, Fremont, etc.

07-23-2011, 09:18 AM
For a cheapish uke, didn't sound half bad. Why not get some experience at doing a set up on it to make sound as good as it can? If it's laminate, Aquilas "usually" improve it quite a bit, but lots of other strings out there folks love.

07-23-2011, 01:33 PM
Thanks for your comments and suggestions. I think I will give the Martin fluorocarbons a go. Phil Usa what would be invloved in doing the set up, I have no fret buzz and I think the action is low what else can you do?

Thanks again for your time.

07-23-2011, 01:36 PM
Just wanted to welcome you to UU and the Ukulele! :D

I use Aquila's on my "cheap" Uke, but she's got the point where even those don't save her, the other five I own 4 of them have Aquila's and one has Worth Browns, hope you find the right string for your Uke!

07-24-2011, 05:11 AM
Thanks for your welcome Joeybug. i am sure the strings will make it sound a lot better. I think I am just to fussy, the reason I really got a uke because i played a guitar and was to fussy with sound of that. I thought maybe it would be easier to get a decent sounding uke. Mine is ok but when I hear others online it makes you think perhaps mine should sound better.
i am only learning at the mo have loads to learn how to play and what uke to buy next. I think i have the bug allready and looking foward to getting my next uke.
The on e I have now has solid spruce top and solid maple back and sides so it is a half decent one.

07-24-2011, 08:21 AM
The Martins sounded alright to me (and please keep in mind that the way a particular string sounds is TOTALLY subjective and everyone has their own opinion on this obviously) but for me personally I didnt like the feel/string tension. too loose and rubbery for me. I am not an Aquila fan either, and currently seem to be really enjoying Worth strings. I have a set of Worth Clear mediums on one ukulele and a set of Worth Brown mediums on another. The Clears are definitely the brighter, sparklier, louder clearer, of the two. The Browns are more mellow, warm sounding and quieter. Neither is better, just different, but compared to other strings I've tried out I like the Worths because they sound well balanced and sound great both strummed and fingerpicked. I did not like how the Aquilas sounded when you hit them hard while strumming.

I'm new to the ukulele as well, and to me it seems like you sort of have to find what string works best and compliments your particular instrument and experiment with different strings. Also, shelling out the $$ for a set up would be money well spent, even if it is an inexpensive instrument. You'd be amazed at how much better it will play and feel after someone who knows what their doing sets it up for you. This probably is even more important with the lower end instruments because they arent set up like a higher end or custom instrument would be since setting a price pointed instrument up at the factory ads valuable time to the manufacturing process which translates to costing the manufacturer more money, which means a higher retail price paid (but with that said I was impressed with the way my Ohana came from the factory and was set up pretty well).

07-25-2011, 07:33 AM
Whilst Aquilas regularly help a cheap uke, there is no substitute for road testing a few brands and trusting your own ears. There is no right and wrong string!

Some thoughts of mine on key brands here http://www.gotaukulele.com/2009/11/all-things-strings.html

08-04-2011, 01:50 PM
Thanks Bazmaz for the string review. Gonna pickup a set of Worth Browns low g to experiment with. :P