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View Full Version : String Test - Aquila Vs Martin Flurocarbon



joeybug
01-22-2012, 11:05 AM
Hey everyone :D

For Christmas and my birthday, the lovely mm stan gifted me four sets of Martin Fluorocarbons as they are hard to get in the UK - or at least I've not come across them in my searching for "other strings" than Aquilas and Worths.

I recently changed the strings on my KPK to a new set of Worth Brown's and so didn't want to waste those as I know I like the sound of them on her, and although I have seven other Ukuleles, I prefer Aquilas on my laminates, but I did have my Clearwater Vita Soprano which has a solid Spruce top with Mahogany laminate back and sides so thought it was worth a shot to see how they sounded on her.

I made a video playing the "Ukulele For Dummies" version of Brahm's Lullaby which is a mixture of fingerpicking and chords/strumming, I'm not 100% on the song so there are some mistakes, but it does give a good sound sample, then I put them together as one video (very basic, I'm not too good at that stuff!)

Here it is:


http://youtu.be/VsnHD0vwnDc

I had some problems with the A string when re-stringing her and as a result "felt" a buzz when playing the new strings to begin with, I thin it's noticeable, but I know it's there, so it may be a case of having to change them to a brand new set or at least the A string, which seems like such a waste!

Anyway, let me know what you think! I think she sounds a bit brighter, and I'll give them a good go and may even strum my KPK with a set next time I change her over :D

Joey :music:

Plainsong
01-22-2012, 07:06 PM
The Martins sustain more, but the intonation is like they're still settling in. I heard no buzz on the A string though. What went wrong with stringing? I had a knot come out of mine, but I just swore and started again. :)

mm stan
01-22-2012, 07:40 PM
Aloha Joey,
Glad you tried the Martin strings..where is the buzz coming from...is it only when fretted..could be that the martins is thinner than the aquila's and you need to shim the groove with a
piece of paper...Yes I believe the martins take some time to break in....I have them even on my laminates....happy strummings and enjoyed the video..MM Stan

joeybug
01-22-2012, 09:04 PM
The Martins sustain more, but the intonation is like they're still settling in. I heard no buzz on the A string though. What went wrong with stringing? I had a knot come out of mine, but I just swore and started again. :)

Because the A string (and G string) were thinner the knot at the bridge needed to be bigger than I made it and so when I tightened the A string to tune, it pinged off and by that point I'd already trimmed down the string, but I managed to rescue it, but it doesn't seem to buzz now so it's okay!

Plainsong
01-23-2012, 02:59 AM
Yeah, I feel your pain there. What's really bad is when your knot fails so spectacularly that it takes a bit of the bridge with it. I've not had that happen... with any of my present ukes. Luckily the times I did that were repairable.

joeybug
01-23-2012, 03:11 AM
Yeah, I feel your pain there. What's really bad is when your knot fails so spectacularly that it takes a bit of the bridge with it. I've not had that happen... with any of my present ukes. Luckily the times I did that were repairable.

That would piss me right off, so I'm glad that didn't happen!

mm stan
01-23-2012, 03:27 AM
Joey...You could put a tiny bead at the end too....if that would work for you....

Plainsong
01-23-2012, 05:56 AM
Ya know I've never been able to do that? It's gotta be me because I see other people doing it. I can never get the bead to catch and hold the end of the bridge.

janeray1940
01-23-2012, 06:14 AM
Joeybug, the Martins sound really good on your uke!


What's really bad is when your knot fails so spectacularly that it takes a bit of the bridge with it. I've not had that happen... with any of my present ukes. Luckily the times I did that were repairable.

Oh jeez this is the nightmare that plays on repeat in my head every time I do a string change! I didn't actually know it *really* ever happened. Between that and the DANGER! warning on Martin strings, it's a scary business :)

32736

Martin Fluoros are my favorite strings but they do require a lot of knotting to not pop out. Not sure if this would apply to all ukes, but for my Kamakas I've got it down to a system where I know just how many "wraps" a knot needs to not fail:

G - 6 wraps
C - 1 wrap
E - 4 wraps
A - 6 wraps

mm stan
01-23-2012, 06:24 AM
Ya know I've never been able to do that? It's gotta be me because I see other people doing it. I can never get the bead to catch and hold the end of the bridge.

Aloha K,
You just need the right size bead....

RyanMFT
01-23-2012, 06:31 AM
Jane, are you talking about the knot end at the bridge or at the tuners?

If you are talking about at the tuner posts, perhaps it would help to know how to do the "string lock"? Here is a link. I use this and it works like a charm. you don't need any more than one good turn on the post if you do it this way. Here is a link to it being done on a guitar.
http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/Musician/Guitar/Setup/SteelStrings/Stringing/ststringing2.html

Here is a great demonstration by Peter Hurney of Pohaku ukulele on how to tie a great knot for a ukulele bridge.....
http://www.pohakuukulele.com/pages/t_knots.html

janeray1940
01-23-2012, 06:39 AM
Jane, are you talking about the knot end at the bridge or at the tuners?


It's the knot at the end of the bridge that gives me trouble. The holes in the bridge on Kamakas are, I suspect, designed for those awful black Kamaka strings, which are really thick.

I've never even bothered knotting the string at the tuners, but I'm going to try it the next time to see if it makes a difference when it comes to staying in tune. I've never had an issue with that with Martins - they settle in really quickly and stay in tune forever it seems - but this might help with other strings like Aquilas. Thanks!

mm stan
01-23-2012, 06:51 AM
Aloha Joey...
Go to this tab for Brahms Lullaby..page 6 it is an easy and great one...let me know how it works out for you...
http://ukulelehunt.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/solobuch.pdf

Plainsong
01-23-2012, 07:13 AM
Jane, are you talking about the knot end at the bridge or at the tuners?

If you are talking about at the tuner posts, perhaps it would help to know how to do the "string lock"? Here is a link. I use this and it works like a charm. you don't need any more than one good turn on the post if you do it this way. Here is a link to it being done on a guitar.
http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/Musician/Guitar/Setup/SteelStrings/Stringing/ststringing2.html

Here is a great demonstration by Peter Hurney of Pohaku ukulele on how to tie a great knot for a ukulele bridge.....
http://www.pohakuukulele.com/pages/t_knots.html

For my part, I can get the string to lock on the tuner, never been a problem. It's just knots I personally suck at. I've tried Peter's knot, and it comes undone really easily when I do it, like the slightest bit of tension on the string and it unties itself. I guess it'd be fine if I didn't mind lots of string poking out of the bridge. Since I have no access to a hobby store, if the beads I have don't work, then it's just my crappy knots then.

I think proper bead ends on strings is an idea whose time has come in the uke world.

jackwhale
01-23-2012, 07:38 AM
On the figure 8 knot that Peter demonstrated, I pull the knot tight with a pair of pliers so that it won't come untied.

I don't know if any of your ukes have pin bridges. I have pin bridges on most of my ukes. The pins are slotted and I turn the pin around so that the slot faces away from the saddle on #1 and #2 strings. It then works like an unslotted pin. Haven't had a string pull through the bridge since I started turning the pins around.

808boy
01-23-2012, 07:53 AM
Aloha,
For nylons and floros, I heat the string pass the knot with a cig to create a bead to stop it from untying itself...fishermens trick. Careful, not to close to the end though..........................BO................ ..

Plainsong
01-23-2012, 08:29 AM
On the figure 8 knot that Peter demonstrated, I pull the knot tight with a pair of pliers so that it won't come untied.

I don't know if any of your ukes have pin bridges. I have pin bridges on most of my ukes. The pins are slotted and I turn the pin around so that the slot faces away from the saddle on #1 and #2 strings. It then works like an unslotted pin. Haven't had a string pull through the bridge since I started turning the pins around.

Yes, my Kanilea would take 5 minutes to string if I could tie a knot. I tried the southcoast bead end linear strings, but they don't hold. I de-tune and start again quickly if I hear the knot want to slip. No need damaging anything I can't see in there. At least with the channels in the bridge, I can avoid putting an eye out with launching pins. It'll hold without the pin... once I have a knot that works. I do also use pliers to pull the knot home. I just need a nice well-rounded knot, something the figure 8 isn't, like a square knot that I never figured out how to tie.