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Hiddencross
01-06-2012, 05:00 PM
I just put a set of linear Southcoast Uke strings on my Big Island mahogany tenor, and they sound and feel great. I'm a relative noobie so it is a bit difficult for me to describe. I previously had low G Aquilas. The Southcoast strings sound mellower and warmer, yet clearer and without any loss of volume. They are also a bit easier to fret and just feel right in my hands.
So, if you are contemplating a string change, I highly recommend trying out some Southcoast Uke strings.
Their website (http://www.southcoastukes.com/stringuide.htm) is full of information about strings and I enjoyed reading the detailed information. However, I felt a bit of information overload, but a quick and helpful email exchange helped me finalize my choice.

TCK
01-06-2012, 09:09 PM
The beauty of Southcoast is that, if you are into it..you can read all kinds of information about how strings should work. If you are not, you can just email Dirk and ask him what he thinks, he sends the strings, and you are pleased. Currently running Southcoast on all my daily players.

Teek
01-06-2012, 09:43 PM
I just put them on a mahogany tenor that sounded great with Worth browns, and while these feel super and have a nice ring, and I have them on a soprano and also a guitalele as the trebles, on this particular uke there is an annoying "snick" kind of sound on the A string when picked. Maybe it's just my own annoying lack of picking and strumming skills, but it is really kinda strange.

Otherwise they are a super string, I'm going to try this set on another uke, maybe a concert, and put Worth clears on the tenor and see how it sounds then. Probably just an off string. I certainly do recommend trying them, I'm sure they will be the only strings for certain ukes (some seem to sound best with one specific brand and tension), and I will be buying more.

strombolimusik
03-10-2012, 08:48 AM
On vintage mahogany instruments, these are wonderful sounding strings. They seem a tad bit louder than Worth clear mediums, and also the tone, projection, and intonation is very even across the fingerboard. One very strange thing, though.... they are shedding off some very fine, hair like strands (sort of like fiberglass). Is this common for Southcoast strings? I've never seen this with flourocarbons before, but I believe these may be a different material? As stated here before, Dirk is great and super helpful. I'll probably give him a call and ask about this shedding thing. Fantastic strings, though.

808boy
03-10-2012, 08:52 AM
Aloha Hiddencross,
I agree with you on Southcoast strings. I put g-650's on my Mele Koa Tenor and love the balance and feel I get from them. Will order more for my other ukes....................................BO........ ....................

Kayak Jim
03-10-2012, 08:59 AM
... they are shedding off some very fine, hair like strands (sort of like fiberglass). Is this common for Southcoast strings? I've never seen this with flourocarbons before, but I believe these may be a different material? As stated here before, Dirk is great and super helpful. I'll probably give him a call and ask about this shedding thing. Fantastic strings, though.

I'd be interested in hearing what he has to say about this. I've bought some Southcoasts (based on this and other threads) but haven't put them on yet.

Jim B

Hiddencross
03-10-2012, 09:35 AM
No shedding from mine. Curious. Getting ready to order some more Southcoast strings today.

strombolimusik
03-10-2012, 10:02 AM
I just want to say again .. these are great strings and I would recommend them to everyone. It could just be me, I play loud and daily ... I might just be wearing them out. I am in contact with Dirk and will let you know what he sez (probably the best customer service I have ever experienced). Go order a set today!

Scott S.
03-10-2012, 10:53 AM
I put a set of the G650 linear flatwounds on my LoPrinzi tenor, and like them a lot. Great string-to-string balance, both tone and tension. I agree that Dirk provides exceptional customer service. He's a merchant that not only replys to email, but actually has something of substance to say.

mr roper
03-10-2012, 11:35 AM
Agree 100%. Great on my Islander solid wood concert. Nice clear tone.

JamieFromOntario
03-10-2012, 12:39 PM
On vintage mahogany instruments, these are wonderful sounding strings. They seem a tad bit louder than Worth clear mediums, and also the tone, projection, and intonation is very even across the fingerboard. One very strange thing, though.... they are shedding off some very fine, hair like strands (sort of like fiberglass). Is this common for Southcoast strings? I've never seen this with flourocarbons before, but I believe these may be a different material? As stated here before, Dirk is great and super helpful. I'll probably give him a call and ask about this shedding thing. Fantastic strings, though.

I've been using Southcoasts almost exclusively for the past year or two. They are awesome.

However, I did once experience the shredding. I think it can be caused by strings from the end of a roll or something like that. Dirk was super helpful and sent me another set right away, no charge. Every other set that I've used (around 5-10 of them) have worked great and have not had the shredding issue.

CTurner
03-10-2012, 12:57 PM
strombolimusik: that light shedding happened once to me quite a while back on a set of strings. A quick contact with Dirk, he was kind enough to replace. This can happen with strings: do give him a call. I am very happy with my Southcoast varieties

Hiddencross
03-10-2012, 01:15 PM
Maybe Dirk can sell the "shredding" strings to electric guitarists. Get it...shredding...:rofl:...(crickets chirping)...uh...ok...I'll just show myself out.

southcoastukes
03-10-2012, 04:09 PM
Well, I saw this thread during breaks today (UU is my favorite breaktime activity), and exhanged some e-mails and PMs with both strombo & Teek.

First, what strombo is referring to is the sign of a bad flourocarbon string. While we mix materials in our sets, the string in question was a flouro.

It can happen when a string is nicked the wrong way. The manufacturer can do it, we could do it during packing, or the customer could do it in any number of ways. It could also, however, be a bad batch from the manufacturer.

The bottom line is that 3 out of 4 of those possibilities are not the customer, so we just replace sets if something like that ever happens. It hardly ever does.

We buy from 10 different sources over 3 continents, and one time a few years ago we actually did have a bad batch of material. It was customer feedback that alerted us then, and feedback is something we treasure.

We could actually have a thread here on UU: "Problems with Southcoast Strings". It wouldn't be a very active thread, but I'd check it all the time. Not only could it alert me to possible problems, but also give insight into ways to improve our string sets.

Teek, for example, mentioned a "nicking" sound on one of her strings. After a couple of messages, I found that the set she was referring to was our Linear Ukulele set - one of our most popular. The sound was coming from the 1st string.

As it happens, this string is a rather unique material - designed to give a soft finish - well suited to the overall feel of the set. In the past, members here at UU alerted me to a "balloon-like" feel on the 1st string of another trial set. Wasn't the same material as on the Linear, but similar density. Thanks to a "test" here at UU, we found another material. Here's the thread:

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?48693-String-Testers-Wanted-for-Southcoast&highlight=Southcoast+Testers


Teek's picking technique may very well be somewhat unique. We've probably sold thousands of those sets, and she's the only one that's mentioned this. I've never heard it, but then I chord more than pick. On the other hand, maybe she's just the only one to say something. Based on what I heard from members in the "Soft Light" post, however, I'll take a look at that set. Maybe the material I changed to on that set will sound as good as what we have now and help Teek out at the same time.

I point this out as an illustration of how feedback works. We think we have very good strings. O.K., I'll admit it, we think our strings are the best out there. Some of that has to do with with our basic concepts and the work we put into our formulations, but a lot of credit also goes to folks like strombo and Teek who alert us to possibilities of improvement.

BTW, the string in question on strombo's set was the 3rd string of our Medium Gauge. This is another set where we sell a ton, and so far he's the only mention of a problem, but if anyone else sees something there, do us a favor and let us know.

Thanks for all the kind words -

Mouthy1
03-10-2012, 05:37 PM
This answer is indicative of the attention to detail at south past. There are other strings out there but I don't care because they don't compare honestly.

CTurner
03-11-2012, 03:31 AM
Mouthy is right: this kind of care and intention to detail on strings make Southcoast so very good.

grendel1972
03-12-2012, 07:59 AM
I agree, not only are the strings outstanding (the G650 linear flatwounds on my Collings Tenor are a revelation) but the customer service is exceptional.

siauke
09-10-2012, 06:17 AM
Thanks, all based on this thread I ordered the combo pack of wound stings for my Pono MT.

wickedwahine11
04-03-2014, 12:18 PM
Count me in as another convert. I bought a few sets of these strings because a friend recommended them highly and I trust his opinion on what sounds good on his ukes. So when they arrived (I got the HML-RW per his recommendation), I didn't put them on my KoAloha as I didn't want to risk high tension strings on that uke. I love my KoAloha dearly but I know I had a problem with a KoAloha in the past that had some issues with the top (they replaced it for me, yay for better than the weather warranty)!

So I put them on my Kamaka. I rarely play my Kamaka anymore but wow, it really brought that uke to life. The tone was crystal clear and the volume and projection was better than any other strings I had ever used on it in the past. I liked it so much I put another set on my Kanilea. It did the same for that uke.

I preferred my KoAloha because it's volume and tone had been better than either of those two ukes (for what it is worth, I don't mean in a blanket sense, I fully realize a given Kamaka or Kanilea can beat a given KoAloha, just among my INDIVIDUAL ukes, the KoAloha always sounded the best). I would love to see how that uke would sound with them, but I still am hesitant to put them on it. So for now, the unwound low g set stays on that uke.

I'm going out of town next week and as a default, my KoAloha was always my travel uke. I'm not sure now which uke to bring. I'll probably take one of the other two because I want more practice on the wound strings.

I'm still getting used to occasional squeaks and finger noise as I'm not usually a wound string fan. But I'll put up with a little string noise for that tone and projection out of these ukes. I'm off to order more sets now. :)

JamieWG
04-03-2014, 01:55 PM
It's such a good resource to hear everybody's reactions to these strings. I definitely have to give them a try. Thank you all for your feedback and comments. I can't use wound strings because they destroy my right hand nails and then I have nothing there to play with, but I assume they make a non-wound set too (for us high G players). I am putting an order on my "To Do" list!

Jamie

greenie44
04-03-2014, 02:05 PM
It can happen when a string is nicked the wrong way. The manufacturer can do it, we could do it during packing, or the customer could do it in any number of ways. It could also, however, be a bad batch from the manufacturer.

The bottom line is that 3 out of 4 of those possibilities are not the customer, so we just replace sets if something like that ever happens. It hardly ever does.

Let me add my voice to the chorus of praise. I recently had an A string in a Southcoast set that just snapped while tuning it up. I emailed Dirk and he just sent me another one - no questions asked. While waiting for the string to arrive, I carefully checked the tuner, and found a tiny burr near the hole for the string. I filed it down, and no more problems. Count in in that one out of four, but Dirk came through any ways.

I have had the pleasure to talk story with Dirk down in Louisiana, and I can tell you he is a great guy, dedicated and passionate about strings and instruments. Just ordered a set of linears for my 6 string tenor.

Dan Uke
04-03-2014, 02:06 PM
That's great news. I've been a big supporter of the HML-RW but just ordered a set of the HML-FW. I'll see if the flat wound (squeakless strings) are similar. Besides the no squeaks, the diameter is slightly larger, which I will like. I personally like the squeaks and rather save a few dollars so this is just for a test.


Count me in as another convert. I bought a few sets of these strings because a friend recommended them highly and I trust his opinion on what sounds good on his ukes. So when they arrived (I got the HML-RW per his recommendation), I didn't put them on my KoAloha as I didn't want to risk high tension strings on that uke. I love my KoAloha dearly but I know I had a problem with a KoAloha in the past that had some issues with the top (they replaced it for me, yay for better than the weather warranty)!

So I put them on my Kamaka. I rarely play my Kamaka anymore but wow, it really brought that uke to life. The tone was crystal clear and the volume and projection was better than any other strings I had ever used on it in the past. I liked it so much I put another set on my Kanilea. It did the same for that uke.

I preferred my KoAloha because it's volume and tone had been better than either of those two ukes (for what it is worth, I don't mean in a blanket sense, I fully realize a given Kamaka or Kanilea can beat a given KoAloha, just among my INDIVIDUAL ukes, the KoAloha always sounded the best). I would love to see how that uke would sound with them, but I still am hesitant to put them on it. So for now, the unwound low g set stays on that uke.

I'm going out of town next week and as a default, my KoAloha was always my travel uke. I'm not sure now which uke to bring. I'll probably take one of the other two because I want more practice on the wound strings.

I'm still getting used to occasional squeaks and finger noise as I'm not usually a wound string fan. But I'll put up with a little string noise for that tone and projection out of these ukes. I'm off to order more sets now. :)

wickedwahine11
04-03-2014, 02:23 PM
That's great news. I've been a big supporter of the HML-RW but just ordered a set of the HML-FW. I'll see if the flat wound (squeakless strings) are similar. Besides the no squeaks, the diameter is slightly larger, which I will like. I personally like the squeaks and rather save a few dollars so this is just for a test.

Ooh, I look forward to your impressions. If I can't hang with the squeaks, those were going to be the next up to try.

sirwhale
04-03-2014, 07:39 PM
I wouldn't want any other strings on my ukuleles. I'm soon going to install them on my lesser played ukes too.

Kimosabe
04-03-2014, 08:37 PM
And let me just add that Southcoast has classical metal strings for ukes. They feel like nylon strings, sound like soft metal strings and don't put tension on your neck. I love them. If you have an electric uke put them on now. They even sound great on my Kanilea.

And, if you have a baritone lying around try the cuatro strings. Low d and low e. Great for rhythm.

Gillian
04-03-2014, 09:26 PM
I've had two sets of the ML-SW on my Compass Rose tenor. I love the smooth wound low-G, but the metal wound C created a strange echo-y harmonic. I've tried two sets with the same result. I just tried to put them on my new Compass Rose...same result! I have no idea what is going on. Same result on different shaped ukes. I have loads of E and A fluorocarbon strings from string set testings. So I end up using only the low-G...kind of pricey for just one string.

I'll have to ask Dirk if he sells single smooth wound low-Gs. I don't see that option on his website.:-(

Hammond
04-03-2014, 09:55 PM
I've had two sets of the ML-SW on my Compass Rose tenor. I love the smooth wound low-G, but the metal wound C created a strange echo-y harmonic. I've tried two sets with the same result. I just tried to put them on my new Compass Rose...same result! I have no idea what is going on. Same result on different shaped ukes. I have loads of E and A fluorocarbon strings from string set testings. So I end up using only the low-G...kind of pricey for just one string.

I'll have to ask Dirk if he sells single smooth wound low-Gs. I don't see that option on his website.:-(
Similar experience with ML-SW 3rd string. Finger pick the open 3rd string, It resonant for a much longer time than the other 3 strings with stand out volume. Two days ago I changed to HML-RW, so far so good.

AndrewKuker
04-04-2014, 01:02 AM
That's great news. I've been a big supporter of the HML-RW.

I just bought 100 sets of these from Dirk for certain Pono Pro Classic customers and anytime someone asked for deep rich guitar like tone with a tenor low g. + just talking with Dirk today about the bigger bari's aka Tenor guitars, gotta love that guy, a real resource of study and experience, and still open toward growth. Mahalo to Dan and Len for preaching HML-RW SC to me.

Flaky
04-04-2014, 03:07 AM
I've had two sets of the ML-SW on my Compass Rose tenor. I love the smooth wound low-G, but the metal wound C created a strange echo-y harmonic. I've tried two sets with the same result. I just tried to put them on my new Compass Rose...same result! I have no idea what is going on. Same result on different shaped ukes. I have loads of E and A fluorocarbon strings from string set testings. So I end up using only the low-G...kind of pricey for just one string.

I'll have to ask Dirk if he sells single smooth wound low-Gs. I don't see that option on his website.:-(

Do you have any special technique for knotting the smooth wound low G for the slotted bridge of the Compass Rose? I tried these strings on my CM, but the knots were never really snug, and then the inner core of the strings started pulling out of the wound jacket. Eventually the c string popped and I had to toss the set of strings after only a week or so. Sounded lovely while they were playable tho. :)

iDavid
04-04-2014, 03:52 AM
I just bought 100 sets of these from Dirk for certain Pono Pro Classic customers and anytime someone asked for deep rich guitar like tone with a tenor low g. + just talking with Dirk today about the bigger bari's aka Tenor guitars, gotta love that guy, a real resource of study and experience, and still open toward growth. Mahalo to Dan and Len for preaching HML-RW SC to me.

Southcoast on the Big Bari would be the way to go. Love to hear it!

Newportlocal
04-04-2014, 04:15 AM
Do you have any special technique for knotting the smooth wound low G for the slotted bridge of the Compass Rose? I tried these strings on my CM, but the knots were never really snug, and then the inner core of the strings started pulling out of the wound jacket. Eventually the c string popped and I had to toss the set of strings after only a week or so. Sounded lovely while they were playable tho. :)

When you are buying another set there is a way to order a spare C string on the site. I just use figure 8 knots where I can and single knots on the ones that won't fit that way. I use ML-SWs exclusively on my CR. Dirk has been very helpful, and I am really really happy with my strings.

Gillian
04-04-2014, 01:19 PM
Do you have any special technique for knotting the smooth wound low G for the slotted bridge of the Compass Rose? I tried these strings on my CM, but the knots were never really snug, and then the inner core of the strings started pulling out of the wound jacket. Eventually the c string popped and I had to toss the set of strings after only a week or so. Sounded lovely while they were playable tho. :)

Superglue to the rescue! After the experience you describe, I put a drop of superglue on each end. Make a knot, leaving space between the superglued end and the knot. Grab the end below the knot with a pliers and pull the knot tight. If one knot is too loose, make two knots, making sure you can pull the double knots out of the slot end without damaging the bridge.

joeguam
04-05-2014, 01:43 AM
Thanks to this thread, I just bought my first set of these strings. I've been using Worth strings for my past 100+ gigs, so I'll be curious to hear how these sound.

southcoastukes
04-06-2014, 06:25 PM
Hello all,

This thread started out a while back, but thanks again for the kind words from those who began it and now to those who revived it as well (wahine!).

We haven't changed our attitude about constant improvement. As Andrew said, we're always open to change. Gillian and Hammond, for example, mentioned an imbalance on the 3rd string of the ML-SW set. I'll definitely look at it - I have an idea where it could be coming from. Just the same, I wouldn't want to rush into a change on that set, as it just might be the single most popular set we sell. They're working for Newportlocal, for example, and based on the sales, he's just one of thousands of happy customers.

Nonetheless, if we can tweak that set so the current customers remain happy and the ones who have had issues are happy as well, we'll do it. As I said two years ago, we really value feedback, and it is one the things that keeps us constantly improving. So - I may be sending some sample sets out to both the happy ML users and those who have heard an imbalance.

It won't happen very soon, however. We've been trying to get out a bunch of new sets for quite some time. We're just now finishing up a new operating system for the office computer, so I think the releases are just around the corner. I know there are some who have been waiting patiently. We'll have 5-string sets, 6 string sets for Baritone, 5ths tuning sets, and a more than a couple of interesting surprises. If you get the newsletter, all will be posted there as well as a series of new "String Tips" letters.

One thing I should clear up. Daniel, I must have had a "brain freeze" when I told you the HML-FWs would be thicker than the RWs. They are really almost the same - the FWs may be just a hair thinner. Sorry!

Finally as to the Pono TG. It is in some ways similar to the Classical Tenor Guitars we were building. As the future of our instrument production is suddenly in limbo, the Pono is the only instrument I know of that fits the descritption of "Parlor Classical-strung 4-string Guitar", or as some have called it here, "Big Baritone". You may have wondered why certain of our sets have a 37" string length. They were intended for just this sort of instrument (and one we made that was even bigger). Our Heavy Gauge Linear set should give "Chicago" (or standard Baritone) tuning on the TG. The HMLs may work as well for a lighter tension (the scale is just a bit different than ours). I haven't played one of these instruments. If I understand correctly, there have only been two so far, and one of the buyers has already contacted us about strings.

These instruments might have a lot of potential. On our "Specialty" page, are two "teasers" of tunings that are aimed for this sort of instrument. We had put them on the back burner, as we were the only people making such a beast, but if Pono is doing one now, take a look at the samples we posted. Until a newsletter on them comes out, I'll leave the details to your imagination - but the sound of both set-ups is very nice.

Thanks again!

p.s: Joe, your strings are over the Pacific!

Hammond
04-07-2014, 03:29 AM
Dirk, always glad to read your posts. I am a little fan, satisfied on several sets.

Hope the new operating system goes well. Looking forward to the surprise.

Cheers