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View Full Version : Here We Go Again - String Recommendation for Martin T1K



delray48209
08-22-2012, 07:01 AM
Greetings!

A few days ago, I purchased a new Martin T1K (solid Koa) Tenor. The tenor came equipped with Martin strings. The strings are thin and of very high tension. After doing a little research on Martin's site, I found out that Martin produces only two sets of strings. One is the M600 series which is designed for soprano/concert ukuleles, the other is the M630 series which is designed for baritone ukes.

Based upon the ultra bright sound and the high tension, it appears that the M600 soprano/concert strings were attached at the factory. I'm hoping by changing the strings, the ultra bright sound and high tension will diminish. As since this is my first solid Koa ukulele, can anyone offer suggestions for a proper string set? Thank you in advance for any contribution(s).

Frank,
St Louis

bazmaz
08-22-2012, 07:32 AM
It's a bright uke as it is, and the strings on it are Flourocarbons - not sure how other FC's will mellow it. Possibly try D'addario pro ArtÚs.

I like the martins on mine personally!

delray48209
08-22-2012, 09:02 AM
It's a bright uke as it is, and the strings on it are Flourocarbons - not sure how other FC's will mellow it. Possibly try D'addario pro ArtÚs.

I like the martins on mine personally!

Thanks for your comment. I realize that Koa wood is brighter in tone to begin with. However, am I wrong to suggest that soprano/concert strings will make it even brighter than using thicker gauge strings designed for the tenor size, regardless if they are flourocarbon or not?

Regards,
Frank

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
08-22-2012, 09:52 AM
If I had your uke, I'd try Hilo strings or Ko'olau (either Mahana or Gold) strings. These sets are nylon with an aluminum wound 3rd string; they'll be thicker than the Martin fluorocarbon set. They should also sound more mellow.

I doubt Martin installed the wrong strings. Tenor scale ukes generally have greater string tension than smaller scale ukes. No clue if you'll get less tension from different strings.

hmgberg
08-22-2012, 09:58 AM
Thanks for your comment. I realize that Koa wood is brighter in tone to begin with. However, am I wrong to suggest that soprano/concert strings will make it even brighter than using thicker gauge strings designed for the tenor size, regardless if they are flourocarbon or not?

Regards,
Frank

You are not wrong. I tried a bunch of different strings on a long-scale (15-3/4") concert, including Worth light gauge for soprano/ concert. The thinner strings produced a very bright, almost metallic sound.

I'm not a tenor player, but I would think that Worth Browns for tenor would be mellower. I also find that Aquila strings on some koa ukuleles sound great.

UkuleleSprinter
08-22-2012, 10:06 AM
I have a Martin 2 Tenor (mahogany) and use M620 Martin Strings designed for a Tenor.

If the M620s weren't available, I probably would string mine with Worth CT strings. I have Worth CT strings on my Kamaka HF-3 Tenor, and find the tension to be perfect for my playing style.

Edit:
You are right, the M620 strings aren't listed on www.martinguitar.com, but you can buy them here: http://elderly.com/accessories/items/M620.htm

bazmaz
08-22-2012, 10:54 AM
Thanks for your comment. I realize that Koa wood is brighter in tone to begin with. However, am I wrong to suggest that soprano/concert strings will make it even brighter than using thicker gauge strings designed for the tenor size, regardless if they are flourocarbon or not?

Regards,
Frank

Frank I wasn't saying your were wrong. I'm just saying its a naturally bright uke, and Martin strings are flouros and they don't differ that much between brands (I find)

Looking at mine though, these are not M600's - I have those on a couple of concerts, and the ones on my Martin are def thicker.
I'd bet they are 620's

http://elderly.com/accessories/items/M620.htm tenor strings! And Martin will have used those.

Also disagree all Koa ukes are bright - my Kanile'a tenor is anything but - really earthy sound.

I think pro ArtÚs may well get you what you are after.

delray48209
08-22-2012, 11:32 AM
Thank you for your replies. I compared the strings on my TK1 Tenor to the strings on my Martin S1 which are the Martin M600s. The string thickness on both feel the same to me. Perhaps, for whatever reason, Martin M600s (soprano/concert) strings were inadvertently put on my TK1 tenor at the factory, thus causing the excessive brightness.

To make things even more interesting, I check Elderly Music regarding their Martin strings. Their website says the following regarding the M620 strings designated for Tenor ukuleles:

"MARTIN M620 TENOR UKULELE STRING SET
Strings are clear fluorocarbon, 0216 0280 0340 0256, intended for C tuning, AECG, 1st to 4th."

Now how confusing is this?

mm stan
08-22-2012, 12:18 PM
Aloha Frank,
I have not played the Martin TK1 Tenor, but I can tell you looking at my tenor with martin 620 fleurocarbon and my soprano with martin M600 .....the tenor stings are thinner..
I believe your problem is that you have a bright uke, not the strings....I would go with a softer compoud thicker strings to tame it down such as Ko"olau Alohi......Good Luck and Happy Strummings..let us know how it turns out.. Yes Your Martin tenor has the right strings I believe on it..

kauaijim
08-22-2012, 01:52 PM
I have three Koa tenor scale ukuleles. Worth clears with low g on Koaloha. Aquila nylguts for the first second and third string with a Fremont "Soloist" low g on the Kamaka. Fremont Blackline low g set on the Kanilea super concert. The Kamaka is rich and mellow, the Koaloha comes from the factory with the Worth's recommended and installed, and the Kanilea is nice and bright. Haven't played a Martin tenor, but I think I'd try the Worth strings, probably the browns, if you think you want it more mellow. That's a nice instrument you've gotten so it's certainly a good reason to experiment with a few of the suggestions. Those Koolau's are also a nice idea. They're making the gold series again, I think, by popular demand.

UkuleleSprinter
08-22-2012, 07:19 PM
"MARTIN M620 TENOR UKULELE STRING SET
Strings are clear fluorocarbon, 0216 0280 0340 0256, intended for C tuning, AECG, 1st to 4th."

Now how confusing is this?
That's the standard tuning for any ukulele that's not a baritone.

delray48209
08-22-2012, 07:27 PM
OK - I get it now. AECG is GCEA backward. Interesting.

mm stan
08-22-2012, 08:45 PM
just printed backwards..Aquilas are printed the same..

BIGDB
08-22-2012, 10:19 PM
here are some martin brand tenor strings


http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Martin+-+Fluorocarbon+Tenor+Ukulele+Strings+-+Clear/1073833.p?id=1218217267954&skuId=1073833&cmp=RMX&ky=2oh0NrwOl4j1qjMx3Oy2gXfVGhMUl0WiJ&ref=25&loc=SHP&srccode=cii_45538312&cpncode=33-74310419-2

bazmaz
08-23-2012, 02:38 AM
Just put some Worth CT strings on mine - definitely toned the brightness down a notch. Martin strings are very chimey IMHO.

delray48209
08-23-2012, 05:40 AM
Just put some Worth CT strings on mine - definitely toned the brightness down a notch. Martin strings are very chimey IMHO.

I'll give them a try. Thanks bazmz.

UkuleleSprinter
08-23-2012, 05:15 PM
I'll give them a try. Thanks bazmz.
Great choice! So far Worth CTs are my favorite strings, but I will be trying out Fremont Blacklines soon.