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View Full Version : String Recommendation: Spruce Top and Koa Back and Sides



Dan Uke
12-03-2011, 05:36 PM
For the first time, I tried a) spruce top uke and 2) wound strings and I LIKE it!!!

I bought a used I'iwi spruce top & koa back and sides tenor uke with wound low G string. I am not sure what type of strings they were but it sounded so sweet!!! They were really old strings so I replaced them with Worth Brown Low G but there was something special about those strings. The Worth Brown are too loose so I'll probably go to D'addario Pro Arte strings because I like high tension strings.

For those who have experience with spruce top and koa back and sides, what type of strings do you use?

mr moonlight
12-03-2011, 05:56 PM
I have a spruce top with maple back and sides tenor and I use Ko'olau Alohi's with a wound 4th. I've tried the pro arte's, worth clears/browns and aquilas and the Koolau's had Just the right tone.

Dan Uke
12-03-2011, 06:08 PM
maple vs. koa b&s will make the uke sound totally difft but I will look into the Alohi's. Thanks

dkcrown
12-04-2011, 01:06 AM
I have a William King spruce top tenor with claro walnut back and sides. It is tuned reentrant with Savarez Alliance strings. It might sound a little different than your Koa back and sides, but they have great clarity with a nice punch to them. I like them a lot.

Nuprin
12-04-2011, 01:36 AM
I have an MP spruce top koa back & sides...I use D'Addario T2s on mine.

CTurner
12-04-2011, 04:10 AM
Nongdam,
For what it's worth, I experimented a bit with my I'iwi concert (all koa) and ended up with Orcas which I like very much and which enhance the gentler sound quality of the uke. They are softer and a bit less tension than worths, say, but I think they fit the suppleness of the instrument very well.
Congratulations on a tenor I'iwi! Will you have pics up soon? They are wonderfully made and so pretty.

Dan Uke
12-04-2011, 07:01 AM
Nongdam,
For what it's worth, I experimented a bit with my I'iwi concert (all koa) and ended up with Orcas which I like very much and which enhance the gentler sound quality of the uke. They are softer and a bit less tension than worths, say, but I think they fit the suppleness of the instrument very well.
Congratulations on a tenor I'iwi! Will you have pics up soon? They are wonderfully made and so pretty.

Your review was very influential in my purchase. I bought one with mojo where it had a crack and some chips by the soundhole. I took a chance as I wanted to try spruce / koa combo plus it had Fishman Prefix Pro already installed. I took it into a luthier and the crack was easily repairable and he was amazed by the sound.

I am in the process of getting a few more so I'll do a comparison after. Unfortunately, my Koaloha Tenor gets very little play. Anyone wants to buy a Koaloha??? J/K;)

bazmaz
12-04-2011, 11:51 AM
Seriously, experiment. What sounds good to one person may not suit your own ears. You listen to your uke more than anyone else.

You clearly love your uke enough to ask question so I'd suggest you bite bullet and buy one pack of

Martin flouro
Worth tenors (clear and brown)
Aquila
D'Addario
Fremont

Then try them all. Swap them, swap them back and forth, road test them picking, strumming and playing indoors and out. Eventually you will find the ones you like and that's what matters most.

Good luck, and enjoy!

mr moonlight
12-04-2011, 04:18 PM
maple vs. koa b&s will make the uke sound totally difft but I will look into the Alohi's. ThanksThe maple vs. koa back and sides will actually not make that much of a difference in sound quality. It will make some, but if both ukes were made to the exact same specs in every other way it would be slight. The design of the instrument with of course the sound board material will have the biggest effect.

Dan Uke
12-04-2011, 07:49 PM
I just ordered 3 sets of D'addarios T2. I like the pro arte so I'm assuming I'll like them. I didn't like Worth high density strings.