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View Full Version : Anyone tried the new Kala Pearl strings???



hapuna
03-19-2012, 05:21 PM
Just saw that they released this higher end string and was wondering if anyone had tried them and what their thoughts are???

http://www.kalaukulele.com/Kala_Pearl_Strings.asp

Jon Moody
03-20-2012, 12:04 AM
Haven't heard of them, but they sound intriguing. I may have to email my contact at Kala and dig up some more information.

UK Paulie
03-20-2012, 01:20 AM
Haven't heard of them, but they sound intriguing. I may have to email my contact at Kala and dig up some more information.

I'd be VERY interested to see what you find out. If you dont mind would you PM me if you get any more info?

Kayak Jim
03-20-2012, 01:37 AM
Or post what you find OBM and we can all be enlightened.

Thanks

PedalFreak
03-20-2012, 03:25 AM
I got the email from Kala, but I don't think they are shipping yet. Should be shipping very soon though :)

Gillian
04-02-2012, 08:30 PM
I was given a concert set to try a week ago.

They settled in quickly. Loud, bright and resonant and easy to depress. They sound fine when strummed. BUT....

when I did some fingerpicking, because of the outer windings, it sounded like I was running my nail along a zipper. The 'finger squeak" these strings are supposed to eliminate has been replaced by the 'zipper rasp".

Kala puts a warning on the package: "Do not trim blue wrapped string ends. Doing so will cause the microwound strings to unravel." Take this warning seriously. These wrapped ends are rigid and about 3/4" in length.

The Kanile'a has a pin bridge so the wrapped ends of the strings are hidden. At the nut end, you have a choice: have these ugly wrapped ends sticking out, or run the risk of the string unravelling if you don't have enough windings around the tuner post. This is what happened to the high-g string. Once it started to unravel, there was no way to stop it.

On ukes with tie or slotted bridges, these rigid wrapped ends might be an aesthetic and/or technical problem.

Here's a picture of the unravelled string showing the fibre core, the outer winding and the wrapped end.

35843

Skitzic
04-03-2012, 02:32 AM
I was also given a set to try, and woooo boy do they feel interesting to do slides on. It was like trying to run my finger along sand paper. The sound was not unpleasant, but the 'zipper rasp' (to borrow a phrase from the previous poster) was very distracting. Combine that with the sandpaper slides and the untrimmed ends is a deal breaker for me.

hmgberg
04-03-2012, 02:58 AM
I tried a set. They sound fine, not extraordinary, but very good. What I don't like about them is covered in the two previous posts of this thread. Striking them with the top of the nail produces an unpleasant sensation and sounds a bit irritating. I'm supposing, however, if you keep your nails clipped, you may have a different experience with these strings.

PoiDog
04-03-2012, 04:36 AM
Well, thanks to the reviewers for their input!

I may end up giving these things a chance at some point, but I think I will be less likely to do so now. I dislike wound fourth strings precisely because of their size, their feel, and the sound they make when moving along them. That squeak is cool on a guitar, but not on a uke. The rasp probably isn't any better.

You gotta give credit to Kala for trying to do something different and try and be innovative in the string area. But like anything else, some experiments work (iPod) and some don't (Newton).

CoLmes
04-03-2012, 04:41 AM
I just got a set to try out too, will be doing a review in a few weeks. Kinda scared to do it now hearing about the whole don't cut here part. I just know how I'll accidentally cut there and screw up the string

Skitzic
04-03-2012, 05:05 AM
I just got a set to try out too, will be doing a review in a few weeks. Kinda scared to do it now hearing about the whole don't cut here part. I just know how I'll accidentally cut there and screw up the string

Just remember not to cut the strings with blue ends.

Blue = bad. Don't cut.

Gillian
04-03-2012, 08:01 AM
Just remember not to cut the strings with blue ends.

Blue = bad. Don't cut.

All the strings have wrapped ends. Don't cut ANY thing!

Like I said, I think they have a nice, loud, rich tone and sound great when strummed. Just not so nice when fingerpicked.

Skitzic
04-03-2012, 08:44 AM
All the strings have wrapped ends. Don't cut ANY thing!

Like I said, I think they have a nice, loud, rich tone and sound great when strummed. Just not so nice when fingerpicked.

That's what I thought...but I wasn't sure if I was having a brain fart. :)

Colin! Don't cut anything!!

strumsilly
04-03-2012, 10:34 AM
Well, thanks to the reviewers for their input!

I may end up giving these things a chance at some point, but I think I will be less likely to do so now. I dislike wound fourth strings precisely because of their size, their feel, and the sound they make when moving along them. That squeak is cool on a guitar, but not on a uke. The rasp probably isn't any better.
(Newton).
I didn't think I liked wound 4th either, until I put a set of T2's with a wound 4th on my MP tenor That log g soundds so good when softly fingerpicked. could just be the combo of wood [cedar] and build with these strings. The MP has a funny body shape[in a good way], and is very lightly built.

Sporin
04-03-2012, 10:37 AM
I've got a couple of sets to demo for the blog but I haven't had a chance to do it yet. I'm looking forward to trying them.

Uke Republic
04-03-2012, 05:59 PM
We got some in but haven't had a chance to try them with our move. Will put some on tomorrow.

keliiyama
04-03-2012, 08:30 PM
Is there a chance that somebody could put up a sound clip of the Pearls? Just so we can here the 'zipper scratch'. Much thanks guys!

AC Baltimore
04-03-2012, 08:34 PM
Offered a set to try. Will report back asap.

Sporin
04-04-2012, 09:46 AM
Got the set on my Kala Concert today. Need to let them stretch a bit before I can come to any serious conclusions. The un-cuttable, hard ends do make for some ugly stringing though.

Hope to do a full write up over the weekend on my blog.

Gillian
04-04-2012, 11:38 AM
Using Pachelbel's Canon. I strummed a few chords, then fingerpicked a few.

I thought about whether fingernail length made a difference, so I trimmed them short, except my index fingernail, which we need to be a bit longer, right?

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/71058131/Kala%20pearl%20test.mp3

I would think that as the string stretches, the spaces between the winding become greater, like stretching a Slinky, making the 'rasp' even more noticeable.

Maybe the solution is to have the outer winding filament even thinner so the string feels practically smooth.

Jon Moody
04-04-2012, 12:58 PM
Where are you all getting these sets? I can't find them anywhere.

Heard back from my buddy at Kala; nothing to report that you guys haven't mentioned yet, although he did say they've been working on these for a little over 3 years.

AC Baltimore
04-04-2012, 04:01 PM
Got mine from ebay

808boy
04-04-2012, 04:47 PM
A uke I bought last year came with Kala Reds. Didn't like the feel and the end unraveled as the person who strung it cut the end off. Maybe the same idea but different color?

hapuna
04-04-2012, 06:07 PM
A uke I bought last year came with Kala Reds. Didn't like the feel and the end unraveled as the person who strung it cut the end off. Maybe the same idea but different color?

No this is a completely different animal!!!!

AC Baltimore
04-07-2012, 01:38 PM
Well mine arrived today. I put them on my Ohana SK 22Z. Having played guitar for more than two decades the wound feel is not an issue to me at all. As far as the ends I just trimmed them where I wanted them then hit them with a lighter and pinch them to keep them from unwinding, seems okay so far.

I realize they have had no time to settle in yet so these are just preliminary thoughts.

The first thing I noticed was the gauges between strings. Usually the C String feels lightest, but on these the C String is extremely high tension compared to the other three. When strumming they do not sound bad, individual string definition is not too bad. But they do to some extent sound a bit muddy and mushed together at times. Fingerpicked they just sound downright awful to me. The tension is goofy and the definition just don't seem to pop and resonate. You all know how when you pull your ukulele tight to your body you lose a lot of resonance, fingerpicked these give me that kind of impression.

Keeping in mind they have not settled in and this is just my impressions from this particular ukulele, but I would give them like 2/5 stars. I won't be buying anymore but I'm glad I got the chance to check them out.

36010

Skitzic
04-23-2012, 02:25 PM
Ok, so I put them on my Loprinzi today...and they are completely different on this uke.

The rasp is still there, but not as pronounced as it was on the soprano I had them on before. They really warmed this uke out, and I really like the way they sound when finger picked. Now I'm torn...I hate the long ends at the tuner but they sound nice.

Hm...I shall have to buy another set or two and try them on other solid instruments.

Rootley
10-20-2016, 05:20 AM
It's been a few years since people posted on this thread, and I'm curious about the Kala Pearls. Have not used them. But in contrast to the complaints seen earlier in this thread, I read in the latest issue of Ukulele magazine (Winter 2016) an article on the great Del Rey. She states she uses Kala Pearl strings on her concert resonator, and plays with fingerpicks. So maybe the Kala Pearls are really best for rigs like Del's (or maybe even banjo ukes)? Anybody out there have some additional reviews to give or comments about these strings? Thank you.

mjohn511
11-17-2016, 12:01 AM
I'm a beginner player and have them on my kala concert and love them. It really made my uke sound better while strummed. Just started finger picking and have liked them so far there as well. Have not got the raspy noise that everyone talks about. Will be putting them on future ukes.