PDA

View Full Version : Looking for something in-between Nylgut and fluorocarbon



fronkonsteen
07-11-2012, 10:26 PM
I like the punch and warmth/fullness of soprano Aquilas on my Mele koa-top concert pineapple, but they're a little boomy, and I would like something with just a bit more complexity and clarity. The soprano/concert Martin fluorocarbons I tried had a nice clear, complex and chimey sound, but the C string sounded dull, lacking punch and sparkle, and I found the overall sound too 'hi-fi' and lacking warmth for my taste. Is there a set of fluorocarbons that have the punch and fullness of Nylgut? Would it be worth it to try a different gauge of Aquilas? Or would a different material (nylon, nyltech, gut) have the sound I'm looking for (punch, warmth & fullness with complexity & clarity)? Before I start randomly trying different strings, can anyone offer any suggestions? Or am I looking for an impossible-to-find holy grail?

Ken Middleton
07-11-2012, 10:46 PM
Is there a set of fluorocarbons that have the punch and fullness of Nylgut?

Would it be worth it to try a different gauge of Aquilas?

Or would a different material (nylon, nyltech, gut) have the sound I'm looking for (punch, warmth & fullness with complexity & clarity)?

... am I looking for an impossible-to-find holy grail?



No, to the first three questions. Yes, to the last. I'm afraid so. Sorry I can't be of more help.

MisterRios
07-11-2012, 11:24 PM
I think you're going to have to start randomly ordering strings.

You might want to go towards the more "obscure" brands that people here talk aboud D'Addarios, Ko'olau (golds, alohi, etc), Fremont Blacklines. Let the strings settle in a bit, maybe a week or two before you make a judgement. I had Worth Browns on my SK-38 and hated them for weeks before changing them to Martins. You might just discover you liked the Fluoros after all.

mimmo
07-11-2012, 11:52 PM
Hi,
thanks for the suggestion.

Right in these months we are are studying different complex polimer- blends ables to cover different performer's necessities.

for example we just realized a full set made with loaded nylgut for those that like to hear extreme brighter performances. Similar to the metal strings but again with a background of plastic string. In one world: clear, bright but not metallic.

The second line of study is a plastic blend that should be a compromise between standard nylgut and nylon in order to produce a more focus perfomances ald less booming that the standard Nylgut that it is ok for strumming and less for plucking.

the third line is to design special magnetic plastic ukulele strings with the goal that they can be used with metal string's pickups.- first tests are interesting; unfortunately the soud power is not enough. But we insist to try different ways-

However while the first option is on the way the second two are just a dream. Nothing is easy here...
Fluocarbon: many asked us if Aquila woulkd like to produce its propriety fluocarbon strings. My answer is 'yes', but for classical guitar only and just to supply some of our important customers like Daddario and Martin Guitars. In any case these fluocarbon strings will be done in different way than those that are available because they are made for different uses that musical strings.

Low G Red Series: I am happy about them. Wound strings were invented in the mid of the 17th century and this is the first time that it is possible to have a valid alternative tho them. However it was an hard job of months. The extruder was like a crazy horse and I borken two screws during the tests...
-------
right now we have the Italian ukulele festival ( Cal˛dogno ukulele meeting) with many and many friend (Ken, see you soon). everyone will be very welcome
Mimmo

fronkonsteen
07-12-2012, 04:15 AM
Thanks for the replies. I researched a lot of strings on the forums before posting my questions, so I'm not entirely surprised by Ken's response (which I greatly appreciate). I'm excited to hear about the research being done at Aquila, and eagerly look forward to trying another 'flavor' of Nylgut. Meanwhile, I think I'll try some of those 'obscure' brands just for fun, and see how my ukulele responds to some other string materials.

RevWill
07-12-2012, 04:20 AM
I found the Fremont Blacklines to be a particularly punchy form of Fluorocarbon. You might like those.

Kanaka916
07-12-2012, 04:34 AM
You may want to look over The Southcoast Guide to Tuning & Strings (http://www.southcoastukes.com/stringuide.htm) and contact Dirk (southcoast@inbox.com) @ Southcoast Ukes, he may be able to assist you. He's been working on uke string combinations for the past 3 years and quite frankly the combos he's assembled has produced outstanding results. There are a number of members who favor them over some of the other brands. I for one like the 6 & 8 string sets.

MisterRios
07-12-2012, 05:40 AM
As a last resort, and if you have the cash, you can also call up Guadalupe Custom strings in LA: http://www.guadalupecustomstrings.com/

People always get custom ukes made, why not custom strings?

luluwrites
07-12-2012, 06:02 AM
Southcoast strings saved my baritone.
I love them.


You may want to look over The Southcoast Guide to Tuning & Strings (http://www.southcoastukes.com/stringuide.htm) and contact Dirk (southcoast@inbox.com) @ Southcoast Ukes, he may be able to assist you. He's been working on uke string combinations for the past 3 years and quite frankly the combos he's assembled has produced outstanding results. There are a number of members who favor them over some of the other brands. I for one like the 6 & 8 string sets.

fronkonsteen
07-12-2012, 08:35 AM
I found the Fremont Blacklines to be a particularly punchy form of Fluorocarbon. You might like those.

Would you recommend light, medium or hard with those?


You may want to look over The Southcoast Guide to Tuning & Strings (http://www.southcoastukes.com/stringuide.htm) and contact Dirk (southcoast@inbox.com) @ Southcoast Ukes, he may be able to assist you. He's been working on uke string combinations for the past 3 years and quite frankly the combos he's assembled has produced outstanding results. There are a number of members who favor them over some of the other brands. I for one like the 6 & 8 string sets.


Southcoast strings saved my baritone.
I love them.

Yes, I thought Southcoast's multi-material approach seemed promising. I sent Dirk an email to see if he thinks he might have what I'm looking for.


As a last resort, and if you have the cash, you can also call up Guadalupe Custom strings in LA: http://www.guadalupecustomstrings.com/

People always get custom ukes made, why not custom strings?

Wow! Thanks for the link. I'm intrigued by their Fiber Core offering: "They produce a brighter sound than the monofilament and are also long lasting... Most comparable to the tone and feel of gut strings."

Mahalo, everyone.

angusdegraosta
07-12-2012, 10:16 AM
I put Nyltech on my mango concert uke yesterday. I'm going to keep them for a while because they're good for singing and strumming. Warmth and fullness sure, maybe some punch, but no where near the harp-like sparkle of fluorocarbon. Nice fat strings, though.

southcoastukes
07-12-2012, 07:29 PM
Is there a set of fluorocarbons that have the punch and fullness of Nylgut?

Would it be worth it to try a different gauge of Aquilas?

Or would a different material (nylon, nyltech, gut) have the sound I'm looking for (punch, warmth & fullness with complexity & clarity)?

...am I looking for an impossible-to-find holy grail?

No to the first question.

Definitely yes on the second question. While the instruments' construction can often be the reason for a boomy sound, a loose tension on the C string will accentuate that note - give it more vibrato, and can also be a cause of a wolf note. Unlike some companies which simply use the same gauge string for every size ukulele, Aquila gauges are different between the Concert & Soprano size. It would definitely be worth your while to give the Concert set a try.

It's a bit difficult to answer the third exactly, as flourocarbon comes in various "flavors" when it comes to tone, and whatever density it is, it's characterstics as far as balance from one string to the next are very different from nylgut. Instead of going further into that, let me just say that there are a couple of nylon sets that would be worth a look.

Nylon now has so many varieties, and can be so far from the original Dupont formula that it's impossible to generalize about it at all. Some of the brighter formulations, however, have a balance and tone that I'd say fall roughly between most flouros & nylgut.

A lot of members here are familiar with the D'Addario Titanium strings. That would be one possibility. Hannabach Flamencos would be another. These sets aren't clear, but have semi-transparent colors - the Titaniums are a light purpulish grey and the Flamencos are a light copperish red.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention ours as well. Our sets are made of mixed materials. It's a lot more work to put together sets this way than just selecting a single material, and then gauges. We often have 4 different materials in a 4-string set. The goal, which I think we acheive pretty well, is to get better balance in diameter (more comfortable playing), tension (ditto), and most importantly, tone. We avoid to a large extent, one of the main problems of sets from a single material: the thin strings being overly bright, or the thick strings lacking clarity.

Trinimon
07-19-2012, 11:07 AM
Hi Dirk, can you disclose what the diameter of the strings are in linear no-wound and heavy gauge reentrant sets? Thanks!

southcoastukes
07-19-2012, 11:55 AM
Hi Dirk, can you disclose what the diameter of the strings are in linear no-wound and heavy gauge reentrant sets? Thanks!

Only if you want to be confused. Sometimes we've given out the thick string diameters to folks worried about their nut, but our diameters wouldn't make a lot of sense.

To tell the truth, diameters don't mean much of anything. Go to a program like StringCalc, and the first thing they do is ask for the material. They have an arbitrary "average" number assigned for density. They even have a function where you can enter your own desnsity if you use a more exotic material formula.

At any rate, just change the materials / density for any given pitch and scale, and watch how the diameters move. Ever wondered why a Worth string is so much thinner than an Aquila at the same pitch and scale? The density of the material.

Since we are unique in that we mix materials in our sets, you don't even get a hint of what's going on. With a single material, you at least see a relationship that makes sense between strings, but with ours, the low strings will seem a bit thin, and the high ones a bit thick. That's one of the things we like about "mixed sets". Better balance in tone, and more consistent diameters for better playability.

Whew! My typing speed's getting better!

Trinimon
07-19-2012, 12:05 PM
LOL, cool. Looks like I'm gonna give them a try.

mm stan
07-19-2012, 04:26 PM
how about T2's or just wound C strings...

khairijamian
07-19-2012, 05:16 PM
...and in between there are The Doors

coolkayaker1
07-19-2012, 06:10 PM
I think KoOlau Golds are the cat's meow.

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
07-19-2012, 06:37 PM
I've also been dissatisfied with fluorocarbon strings and Nylguts on my koa uke (a Kamaka standard). The strings that provided the most "punch, warmth & fullness with complexity & clarity" were the Ko'olau Mahana set. Terrific nylon strings.

webby
07-19-2012, 07:42 PM
you need those new nylocarbons.

:)

spookefoote
07-19-2012, 09:49 PM
Avoid rotosound laguna's like the plague. I put them in the bin the day after I bought them!