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View Full Version : Steel strings vs. Nylon.



onetrackmind
09-04-2011, 07:51 PM
I've heard of steel string ukes, but all I've ever seen are ones with nylon strings. I would like to give a steel string uke a try, but I'm assuming that you couldn't just throw on a set of steel strings onto a nylon strung uke because the neck isn't strong enough. Am I right about this?

RawrGazzawrs
09-04-2011, 08:28 PM
i think the tension on the bridge is too much

TCK
09-04-2011, 08:40 PM
You are very right- yes, the tension is way too much for the bridge, probably the top and certainly the neck as well. I have a Risa steel string electric that is a great little Uke, but it's sound is only for certain things- I find I do not play it as much as I thought I would. The steel strings give your hand a sound beating for sure.

iamfroogle
09-04-2011, 08:46 PM
Are there such ukuleles as acoustics but with steel strings? If so, can anyone link me or tell me the names of some.
If not, which electric ukulele support steel strings? (besides the Risa because that cost a lot)

Thanks!

TCK
09-04-2011, 09:22 PM
I have never seen an acoustic Ukulele that had steel strings. As for electrics, there are others out there. I will see what I can find and hope someone who follows them all will post before I find them

kissing
09-04-2011, 11:41 PM
I've heard of steel string ukes, but all I've ever seen are ones with nylon strings. I would like to give a steel string uke a try, but I'm assuming that you couldn't just throw on a set of steel strings onto a nylon strung uke because the neck isn't strong enough. Am I right about this?

You can only put steel strings on a uke specifically made to have steel strings.

In most cases, they are electric ukuleles. Like the electric guitar.
Here's a few vids using my steel string ukes:

With some heavy distortion:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQ_tqZjE108

With a clean tone:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gI068j20-Q

(on a humble Microcube)

I haven't seen many steel-string acoustic ukes...

The closest thing I have to a steel string acoustic uke is my Ozark Tenor guitar tuned DGBE, like a baritone uke.
I use it here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bz9v3MkUGUk
But I guess at this point, it has almost crossed over to being a guitar.

FiL
09-05-2011, 07:22 AM
Here's one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUgLFPdytO8

Also, Southcoast sells specially-fomulated steel string sets for regular tenor and bari ukes. See "G650 Linear String Set w/ classical metals" at:

http://www.southcoastukes.com/stringuide_files/fwound.htm

I would love to hear some sound samples of how the Southcoast string sound.

- FiL

southcoastukes
09-05-2011, 08:05 AM
...Also, Southcoast sells specially-fomulated steel string sets for regular tenor and bari ukes. See "G650 Linear String Set w/ classical metals" at:

http://www.southcoastukes.com/stringuide_files/fwound.htm

I would love to hear some sound samples of how the Southcoast string sound.

- FiL

Well, here you go - see if this works:

http://www.southcoastukes.com/Misc/Ctro-LA-FWCS.mp3

This sample was on the Cuatro model (currently NA). Had the same 23" scale as our Tenor Guitar. On that scale it's being played in key of A - one step up from typical Baritone tuning. It's very nice on a standard Baritone in B flat. On a standard Tenor, you get C.

As you'll hear, smooth, almost squeak free - a bright finish on the 1st string. The set uses ball ends for all strings.

These are designed for any ukulele, although as a practical matter, I wouldn't go below a Tenor. There actually is such a thing as an "acoustic ukulele". They make them by the thousands in Brazil, and they're available up here: the "Cavaquinho".

FiL
09-05-2011, 08:54 AM
Thank you!

-FiL

onetrackmind
09-05-2011, 04:50 PM
Thanks for the reply everyone.

Icelander53
04-20-2015, 07:44 AM
You are very right- yes, the tension is way too much for the bridge, probably the top and certainly the neck as well. I have a Risa steel string electric that is a great little Uke, but it's sound is only for certain things- I find I do not play it as much as I thought I would. The steel strings give your hand a sound beating for sure.

I have that same Risa (mines black) I agree that it's only for a certain style but I play it for everything anyway when practicing. I love it's super low action and I have not had it be a problem on my fingers as it takes a very light touch for clean sounds.

strumsilly
04-20-2015, 01:57 PM
there is the Vorson sold on amazon for a little over $100. I have one of the black on backorder, because, well, they are so cheap. I have a Konablaster soprano for sale here on the marketplace, and will be relisting the Risa bean tenor I just bought here used as my custom baritone steel string is finished. here it is, there is one additional ding, about like the other one. $400
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?105434-Risa-Kidney-Bean-Tenor-Solid-Body-(Chambered)-Electric-Steel-String&highlight=Risa+kidney+bean+steel+string+tenor

flailingfingers
04-20-2015, 02:07 PM
Well, here you go - see if this works:

http://www.southcoastukes.com/Misc/Ctro-LA-FWCS.mp3

This sample was on the Cuatro model (currently NA). Had the same 23" scale as our Tenor Guitar. On that scale it's being played in key of A - one step up from typical Baritone tuning. It's very nice on a standard Baritone in B flat. On a standard Tenor, you get C.

As you'll hear, smooth, almost squeak free - a bright finish on the 1st string. The set uses ball ends for all strings.

These are designed for any ukulele, although as a practical matter, I wouldn't go below a Tenor. There actually is such a thing as an "acoustic ukulele". They make them by the thousands in Brazil, and they're available up here: the "Cavaquinho".

I have them on my KALA tenor. They have a real steel string sound that the quoted sound sample gives very accurately. I like them. They give me the steel sound I was looking for. And as for being hard on the fingers, well I haven't noticed that at all but then I come from playing a 12 string guitar in the past.