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View Full Version : strings 8 sets compared and a blind test video sound challange



MGM
02-27-2012, 03:38 PM
Heres a video Andrew and I made to compare different strings on the same ukulele model...do the blind test before watching the end to see the brand name...have fun no cheating lol

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=WjJ1L-QzHCY#!

ryanvt
02-27-2012, 03:51 PM
I had fun watching this today,thanks MGM!

MGM
02-27-2012, 03:57 PM
would love to see if i can make a poll for this thread and you can list which one you picked....

Hiddencross
02-27-2012, 04:03 PM
That was awesome Mike. Number one was my "best favorite." Next time I order strings I'll have to try those (don't want to post any spoilers). Any chance for a low g demo in the future?

JimmyRoberts
02-27-2012, 04:19 PM
I listened to the blind test four times and I'm going with set #1. I have no clue which strings those are...

Edit:
I see. I stopped the video too soon. I'll have to try those out sometime.

mm stan
02-27-2012, 04:52 PM
Aloha Mike,
It's personal preference...some strings for some songs and other for others.. top 3 in no particular order... 8, 6, and 2......
was number 1 the alohi and number 8 the aquila? he he

Scott S.
02-27-2012, 05:36 PM
What a great idea! I'm stoked because #1 sounded best to me, and three sets of Aaron's strings are due to be delivered tomorrow.

Freeda
02-27-2012, 06:06 PM
I laughed so hard at the end I woke my husband up! Looking forward to that recipe!

hapuna
02-27-2012, 07:36 PM
Its funny I liked 4, 7 and 8 and couldn't help but notice that they are among the most often used. What was used to make the sound recording?

caukulele
02-28-2012, 03:09 AM
I picked #8, but then I saw that they were the strings I have...perhaps they sound the best because they are the ones I am used too? Waiting for the stew recipe... :)

cahaya
02-28-2012, 03:13 AM
Its funny I liked 4, 7 and 8 and couldn't help but notice that they are among the most often used. What was used to make the sound recording?

I like those 3 mentioned above too.

garyg
02-28-2012, 03:53 AM
This is exactly why I love this board. Hip hip hooray for MGM.

Bob Bledsoe
02-28-2012, 05:20 AM
That was great. Thanks MGM!
I had a hard time choosing between 6 & 7 - but definitely my new favorite sentence is "Let us know which one you think yours was the best favorite"

apnaples
02-28-2012, 05:55 AM
I liked 4 the best then 8 then 7.

BashfulPuppet
02-28-2012, 07:02 AM
How fun was that? I was only able to identify the brand on one set in the blind test. Really liked the Worth BTs, I'd have to say they're my favorite. That being said I liked most of the sets of strings fine. Only two brands were ones that I could avoid.

Thanks for the demo MGM. It was a education.

BadLands Bart
02-28-2012, 07:07 AM
Me, I liked #4, not too "plinky" in sound.

molokinirum
02-28-2012, 07:10 AM
My choice also went to #4.

grandpoobah
02-28-2012, 07:16 AM
Quick question: I went to grab some Aaron C. Strings on the site, but saw two options- Regular, and Wound 4th. Is "regular" high G? I assume "Wound 4th" is the low G.

thanks

strumsilly
02-28-2012, 07:19 AM
I picked 7, but maybe because it was near the end and my short term memory is... I forgot what I was going to say. anyway thanks.

808boy
02-28-2012, 07:19 AM
Mahalo Mike for that. The one I picked is what I ordered, sounds so good to my old ears. Thanx Aaron...............BO..........

caukulele
02-28-2012, 08:06 AM
I picked 7, but maybe because it was near the end and my short term memory is... I forgot what I was going to say. anyway thanks.
Cute! I can relate to that.....

manapualabs
02-28-2012, 08:36 AM
MGM, this was awesome. I love comparisons and your string comparison was a great concept with fantastic execution. Mahalo nui loa!

asleept
02-28-2012, 08:42 AM
Right in the resonance zone for my laptop's little speaker ..... buzz, buzz, buzz. :rofl:

Teek
02-28-2012, 09:02 AM
I think if they were all put on an all solid wood uke the differences would be more apparent, and then there's the YouTube compression factor plus the camera's audio quality, plus the quality of sound system on the user's end, (for example any laptop speakers are pretty much useless for fine audio definition unless a headset is plugged in, then a nice sound card can sound, well, nice). I have a pair of Bose speakers for my desktop, and listened through a Sennheiser headset. My ears went "Eh" on the Alohi and Kamaka strings, I liked the Freemonts, Worth Browns and Aquilas. What surprised me is I thought the Worth Clears sounded plunky.

Again I still think from experience that while many strings are similar or even identical (except for Aquila), sometimes a particular uke sounds best with a certain type of string. There is also a settling factor, I usually need to wait several days for strings to sound their best to me.

I remember that in the blind uke test, most chose the Kanile'a. I have a Kanile'a because of that test, and it is still my best sounding uke, and it still sounds the best (so far) with Worth Clears, and they sounded eh to me on the Cordoba. I do know from the ones I've played in person I don't like Cordobas. I never really liked Lanikais either, but I have one strung with Aquilas and it's a little muffled but it sounds pretty good overall, if I don't play the Kanile'a first.

I think the most important thing to take away from these tests is that just having an ukulele is a joy and a blessing.

I almost forgot, thank you MGM and HMS for doing this video and test, you guys are awesome! :worship:

Coconut Willie
02-28-2012, 09:28 AM
Me, I liked #4, not too "plinky" in sound.

I agree, I like #4 the best....not too plinky!

Plainsong
02-29-2012, 12:35 AM
Not surprised at all to see I liked 4, and then saw what 4 was. I have 4 on one uke and this reminds me to try them on others. Were they medium or hard gauge?

roxhum
02-29-2012, 03:43 AM
I just spent way too much time on this. I had trouble figuring it out for one. And then remembering what 1 sounded like when you were all the way to 7 or 8. For the most part all but a couple I liked the sound of making me think that what I have heard may be true. Which is the wood and string types are not nearly as important as we all think and it is more about the build of the uke.

imabuddha
02-29-2012, 04:33 AM
I liked #4 best, followed closely by 6 & 7. #5 was one of the ones I didn't like, so I'm happy that Andrew advised me to have them put Fremonts on my new pineapple. ;)

experimentjon
02-29-2012, 10:16 AM
I listened to this through Bose QC15s so I could actually hear the precise tone of each...

1: Sounded like Aquilas.
2: A bit bright to me, but I liked it. Reminded me of worth browns or Fremonts.
3: Classic sounding. Hilos?
4: No idea what this one was. Didn't like it too much though.
5: Loud and sharp, but nice when strummed and good articulation when fingerpicked. Worth CTs?
6: Didn't like this one very much but sounded very much like old Hawaii. Perhaps Hilos?
7: I really liked this one. Don't know why, but I just liked it. Would have bought this uke/string combo.
8: Too bright, not a huge fan either.

Haha, I totally gave up on trying to guess what the strings were by the end...probably all of my guesses are wrong.

But I think 7 was my favorite, and I liked the Hilos with the wound C a lot more than I thought I would.

Thanks for sharing the awesome video, MGM! I look forward to finding out what they were!

Bob Bledsoe
02-29-2012, 11:12 AM
I listened to this through Bose QC15s so I could actually hear the precise tone of each...

1: Sounded like Aquilas.
2: A bit bright to me, but I liked it. Reminded me of worth browns or Fremonts.
3: Classic sounding. Hilos?
4: No idea what this one was. Didn't like it too much though.
5: Loud and sharp, but nice when strummed and good articulation when fingerpicked. Worth CTs?
6: Didn't like this one very much but sounded very much like old Hawaii. Perhaps Hilos?
7: I really liked this one. Don't know why, but I just liked it. Would have bought this uke/string combo.
8: Too bright, not a huge fan either.

Haha, I totally gave up on trying to guess what the strings were by the end...probably all of my guesses are wrong.

But I think 7 was my favorite, and I liked the Hilos with the wound C a lot more than I thought I would.

Thanks for sharing the awesome video, MGM! I look forward to finding out what they were!

You stopped the vid too soon. Check the end for list of strings... Very thorough review. You must have great ears!

Dan Uke
02-29-2012, 01:38 PM
You stopped the vid too soon. Check the end for list of strings... Very thorough review. You must have great ears!

Not great ears but $300 headphones!!

Plainsong
02-29-2012, 01:39 PM
Bose makes awful headphones though. No wonder Aquilas didn't sound like Aquilas. I was just using some M2C earbuds. They' a bit like Yuins PK series, they look like stock buds, but voiced really really well. Have a look at Headfi if you're ready to see there's life after Bose. Really what you can get for that price, it's not even a fair fight.

Said while wearing Beyerdynamic T5Ps, into a Total Bithead, plugged into the USB camera connection kit, plugged into the iPad2. Still not really audiophile, but it sounds pretty much as good as it can do, these cans don't need a more powerful amp/dac and I prefer the neutral side of natural, as opposed to just neutral. But you so don't need these cans to beat the Bose, Koss Portapros will do that handily.

Eyeguy
02-29-2012, 01:48 PM
Well, I'm actually kinda bummed because if I'm being totally honest I really thought they all sounded pretty darned good. Sure, a couple may have sounded a tad bit better than the others, but not by leaps and bounds by any means. I have a new uke - my first - on the way as we speak, and was hoping this comparison test would help me make a definitive choice on what strings to eventually put on it, and I believe it did just the opposite. On the other hand, maybe it's all good in that I may be happy with my ukes tone regardless of what string I choose. As well, coming from a guitar background where individual string preferences and loyalties can be fiercely held, I guess I shouldn't be too surprised that uke string preferences are as varied as well.

kenikas
02-29-2012, 05:37 PM
Well, I'm actually kinda bummed because if I'm being totally honest I really thought they all sounded pretty darned good.

I definately agree, But I also think Mike could make any uke sound good! Thanks Mike, very well done.

hapuna
02-29-2012, 06:30 PM
Well, I'm actually kinda bummed because if I'm being totally honest I really thought they all sounded pretty darned good. Sure, a couple may have sounded a tad bit better than the others, but not by leaps and bounds by any means. I have a new uke - my first - on the way as we speak, and was hoping this comparison test would help me make a definitive choice on what strings to eventually put on it, and I believe it did just the opposite. On the other hand, maybe it's all good in that I may be happy with my ukes tone regardless of what string I choose. As well, coming from a guitar background where individual string preferences and loyalties can be fiercely held, I guess I shouldn't be too surprised that uke string preferences are as varied as well.
I think its true with most things the more you listen and experience stuff the more you can distinguish. If you notice the different techniques Mike used they are very helpful in distinguishing differences. The pick or the strum often shows subtle differences. Go through it again and just compare one part like the picking parts and see if you don't notice stuff. Anyway keep working it.

allanr
03-01-2012, 04:14 PM
That was great. Thanks MGM!
I had a hard time choosing between 6 & 7 - but definitely my new favorite sentence is "Let us know which one you think yours was the best favorite"

Ditto on all counts, although the 2nd time through (still blind) I decided on number 7

allanr
03-01-2012, 04:22 PM
I used to own a Cordoba. Nice uke, and excellent value, solidly constructed ...I.E. a bit heavy. Aquila strings really brought out the best in it.

On this test I made noted for each string set. My favourites in order were 7,6,4

Turns out these are the strings that I use most often, and in a similar order. #7 on less expensive ukes. #6 on top quality lightly built solid wood, and #4 on my banjo and resonator.