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mendel
07-25-2012, 06:12 AM
OK.

I have been playing my Donaldson "Hugs and Kisses" Uke for a while now and I absolutely love it. I want to preface tho discussion by saying that the sound quality issue I am experiencing is attributed solely to the strings I am using right now.

I recently changed the strings from Fremont blacklines (medium) to Fremont Blacklines (Heavy).

The strings I have on now project more and sound louder, but I am experiencing a few issues:

1. The PegHead tuners do not seem to hold tune with these strings very well. As a result, when I play for a while, I have to retune them. I also have to retune every time I pick the uke up day to day.

2. The strings seem to give a more "hollow" sound than I am used to.

3. The instrument sounds tinny, if that makes any sense.

I plan to change back in the near future, but I wanted to know if perhaps I did something wrong, as I have never played heavy strings before.

Any insight or tips are appreciated.

Mendel

OldePhart
07-25-2012, 06:19 AM
Some ukes love heavy strings and some don't, and it's not necessarily a reflection on the quality of the uke. I'll give you an example. Both of my Mainland sopranos sounded good with fluorocarbon strings in the same gages as a Worth "CM" set. However, I don't care for how loose soprano strings feel to me, so I put on strings equivalent to a Worth "CH" set. Both sopranos responded astoundingly to those strings; amazing volume and tone and almost perfect intonation up the neck.

"Wow," I thought, "I need to try these on the KoAloha longneck soprano!"

I couldn't get them off the KoAloha fast enough - they "pinched" the KoAloha sound and made it a pale shadow of how it sounded with the lighter gage fluorocarbon strings.

In short, sometimes too much tension can "pinch" the sound of an instrument. When that happens - take them off! :) (Or, if you're not averse to alternative tunings, try tuning down a full step.)

John

Gmoney
07-25-2012, 06:57 AM
Yo, Mendel, I'd recommend trying the Martin 600's - I've had good "luck" w/these on a variety of ukes. Similar to OldePhart's suggestions, some ukes just really need a new set of strings to wake them up.

Also, on the Pegheds, as you are tightening the tuner, push it in slightly to tighten or pull it out slightly to loosen. It may be that you just need to push in a bit. (this works almost exactly like real ebony violin pegs, which was the original instruments targeted by the inventor)

Mandarb
07-25-2012, 07:00 AM
Strings stretch - sometimes it takes a little bit of time for them to settle in.

WhenDogsSing
07-25-2012, 08:23 AM
Some ukes love heavy strings and some don't, and it's not necessarily a reflection on the quality of the uke. I'll give you an example. Both of my Mainland sopranos sounded good with fluorocarbon strings in the same gages as a Worth "CM" set. However, I don't care for how loose soprano strings feel to me, so I put on strings equivalent to a Worth "CH" set. Both sopranos responded astoundingly to those strings; amazing volume and tone and almost perfect intonation up the neck.

"Wow," I thought, "I need to try these on the KoAloha longneck soprano!"

I couldn't get them off the KoAloha fast enough - they "pinched" the KoAloha sound and made it a pale shadow of how it sounded with the lighter gage fluorocarbon strings.

In short, sometimes too much tension can "pinch" the sound of an instrument. When that happens - take them off! :) (Or, if you're not averse to alternative tunings, try tuning down a full step.)

John

John's right. You can "overdrive" the tops of some ukuleles by going with higher tension strings.

v30
07-25-2012, 09:44 AM
Yo, Mendel, I'd recommend trying the Martin 600's - I've had good "luck" w/these on a variety of ukes. Similar to OldePhart's suggestions, some ukes just really need a new set of strings to wake them up.

Also, on the Pegheds, as you are tightening the tuner, push it in slightly to tighten or pull it out slightly to loosen. It may be that you just need to push in a bit. (this works almost exactly like real ebony violin pegs, which was the original instruments targeted by the inventor)

+1, I really like Martin m600's. They're like Frank's Red Hot sauce, "I put that sh*t on everything". :)

mm stan
07-25-2012, 10:18 AM
Aloha mendel
I think you need to try alohis..they project well and are thicker compound giving a warmer sweeter tone.
As for tension, you can try a lighter guage string of different brands, for either comfort or sweeter tone..
martin m600 offers a better playabilty...or even less tension like worths lights which would be comfortable
but it will sound more thin. Good Luck

Louis0815
07-26-2012, 01:24 AM
What was said above: even after settling down, not all strings fit any uke. Finding the "correct" string is a lot more than getting the correct length for your scale.

You might be interested in The Southcoast Guide to Tuning and Strings (http://www.southcoastukes.com/stringuide.htm) for some more info...

Hippie Dribble
07-26-2012, 02:57 AM
simple answer mendel...GET RID OF THE FREMONTS!!!!!!!!!!! aaarrrrghhhhhh................. :p

worths, southcooasts, martins with a lighter gauge. Much more sympathetic and smooth... heck, pyramids would sound better!!!!

Lanark
07-26-2012, 03:24 AM
simple answer mendel...GET RID OF THE FREMONTS!!!!!!!!!!! aaarrrrghhhhhh................. :p

worths, southcooasts, martins with a lighter gauge. Much more sympathetic and smooth... heck, pyramids would sound better!!!!

Fremonts sound really good on my Kellii. Less good on other ukes. It's a personal aesthetic. Some folks love Aquilas on a Koaloha which to me sounds like a painful shrieking. To each his own.

Really it's a matter of mixing and matching and experimenting until you find the strings that bring out the best for each individual instrument. Some voodoo of gauge, tension and string composition will accentuate certain tonal properties and dampen others. Try a bunch of different ones until you find the right one that matches that sound in your head.

I'll also note that over time I've also found that my ear becomes more discerning, so that what once sounded perfect will seem less satisfying and I have to hunt around again to find that sound again. I think I've settled on which strings work on each ukulele and then suddenly it doesn't right anymore...

Gmoney
07-26-2012, 04:07 AM
+1, I really like Martin m600's. They're like Frank's Red Hot sauce, "I put that sh*t on everything". :)

Love the analogy!