View Full Version : I want minimal sustain strings!!

Dan Uke
08-05-2011, 03:44 PM
I have a Koaloha tenor uke strung with Worth CH-LGHD, which are relatively high tension strings. I need a recommendation for some strings that don't sustain as long. I believe it's the ukulele as Koalohas are known to be bright, loud, with plenty of sustain. I put the same strings on a Pono Koa Tenor and they had a much shorter sustained note, which I liked much better.

I know that most people like long sustained note but I might be in the minority. Thanks in advance.

08-05-2011, 03:47 PM
GHS black nylons will probably do it lol.

08-05-2011, 03:53 PM
Have you tried Aquila? I find they have little sustain on some of my ukes.

08-05-2011, 05:06 PM
I found the Koo'lau (?) golds were like that.... less sustain. This was on a sailor soprano. I also saw less sustain with the aquilas and worth browns. I got some
appreciative sustain with worth clears on it. THere's my 2 cents :)

08-05-2011, 05:22 PM
Try a set of D'Addario T2 Titaniums (you can get them pre-packaged fro Big City Strings)


These are the ones that Jake Shimabukuro & Matt Dahlberg mention pretty often.

Dan Uke
08-05-2011, 05:28 PM
Try a set of D'Addario T2 Titaniums (you can get them pre-packaged fro Big City Strings)


These are the ones that Jake Shimabukuro & Matt Dahlberg mention pretty often.

I bought some D'addario Pro Arte, which I will try. I just put the worth on so I will play with it for a little bit. I definitely like crisp notes. Thanks everyone for the advice.

08-05-2011, 11:15 PM
I get your point since I happen to prefer a percussive sound on my ukes too. On my Koaloha soprano I like the Worth BMT, which give more of a "brash" than a "ring". If you achieve better results with the aforementioned strings, please let us know.

08-05-2011, 11:59 PM
Dont light tension strings have less sustainability?
Not sure but I think I've read that somewhere

08-06-2011, 12:06 AM
Not necessarily.

It may even be the other way around.
Light gauge strings can potentially sustain longer, since the strings are loose and vibrate more.

Whereas hard tension may vibrate less.

Well, it's more of a balancing act I suppose.

Hippie Dribble
08-06-2011, 02:01 AM
hey nongdam

get yourself a solid maple uke. You'll get a lovely, bright and crisp sounding instrument with very little sustain irrespective of the strings you use on it.

I also agree with rem on the Koolau golds. I have used them in the past and they deliver a nice mellow tone but noticeably less sustain.

08-06-2011, 02:43 AM
I believe they stopped making Ko'olau golds. Try Ko'olau Mahanas as a replacement.

08-06-2011, 04:01 AM
A good video comparison of Savarez & D'Addario's here:


08-06-2011, 07:13 AM
Well for a cheap test...

Go get a beanie and put it over the end (lower bout) of your ukulele up to the saddkle and see how that works.

Basically you are muting the soundboard at that impacts sustain; and probably some volume also.

And if you play in the winter, it will also keep your ukulele warmer and therefore happier.


Dan Uke
08-08-2011, 07:54 PM
Guys I am totally wrong with these strings. When I first asked this question, it was about 3 days worth of stretching but these strings stretch for a long time before they settle. With that said, they are very crisp to the point that they are difficult for me to get volume unless I really pick at them hard. They sound really good strummed. They remind me of really high tension classical guitar strings but might be too short of a sustain now?? To prove my point, I made a youtube video. I can't believe how nervous I was which caused me to make lots of mistake.


08-09-2011, 09:18 AM
Aquila BioNylons are your string. They have less sustain than Nylguts and Worths, or Martin Fluorocarbons.

08-09-2011, 12:40 PM
This is a tough one. Nerves aside, it sounds great. Ballsy choice for a tune too. Putting yourself on video is hard to do. Congratulations on putting it out there.

For my tastes, it sounds like a ukulele with Worth Clears should. You've got good sustain lower on the neck and only very high up does the note/ring trail off rapidly. It sounds natural to me or at least to my ears. I'm wondering if you maybe prefer more of a soprano voice and the respective sustain than that found on the tenor? I have a Pineapple Sunday and it carries that soprano sound, a bit more percussive, plucky and bright coupled with the longer tenor neck. That's how I would describe the sound based on my experience with sopranos. It's not exactly my cup of tea, as I like the longest possible sustain, but it is very unique.

Given I came to the uke via guitar, it definitely has colored my tastes in tone. Lately I've found myself playing more tenor and baritone for that reason. I know Koaloha (and now Kamaka, and others) make various "hybrids" such as soprano bodies with longer necks etc that may get you the sound you search.

As far as strings, I've found Worth Browns have less sustain than the clears. But at this point, I'm not sure if you want more or less sustain. :)

Ahh,the joys of uke.

Dan Uke
08-09-2011, 01:37 PM
Ballsy is the right choice of words. I play it perfectly without hesitation when there is no camera. How I envy performers with ice cold veins!! HAHAHA

I know I contradict myself from the first post but now I want more sustain. Amazing how much tension these strings have...night and day from time of putting them on new to now.