PDA

View Full Version : What are truly the BEST, darkest, prettiest sounding strings for my Mahalo Sop. Uke??



Chase
11-10-2008, 10:11 AM
Hey everybody!

I've had my Mahalo Soprano Ukulele for a little under 4 months, and I am really tired of the twangy, bright, and OUT OF TUNE sound the strings have!

Do any of you know what the darkest, nicest, roundest, etc... strings are that I could purchase for my instrument???

Anything helps!

nikolo727
11-10-2008, 10:43 AM
try either D'addario concert strings (yes you can use concert size strings on a soprano, and you can buy them here on the UU store), or some Worth browns. I have some D'addario strings myself and i love them because of the mellower sound than other strings i have experimented with. I have heard the Worth browns are pretty mellow sounding but I have no first hand experience with them. I would go with D'addario.

Kekani
11-10-2008, 11:59 AM
I've had my Mahalo Soprano Ukulele for a little under 4 months, and I am really tired of the twangy, bright, and OUT OF TUNE sound the strings have!

I'm sorry, this is too tempting - its not the strings.

thejumpingflea
11-10-2008, 12:07 PM
I'm sorry, this is too tempting - its not the strings.

Sorry, but he is right.

You simply cannot buy $10 and expect a $25 dollar uke to sound good.

You really should upgrade the uke. If that is not an option though, I'd suggest Aquila strings. They seem to make worse ukes sound better. :D

Chase
11-10-2008, 12:31 PM
Sorry, but he is right.

You simply cannot buy $10 and expect a $25 dollar uke to sound good.

You really should upgrade the uke. If that is not an option though, I'd suggest Aquila strings. They seem to make worse ukes sound better. :D


yeah yeah i know.....I bought this beginner ukulele for around $45 in a guitar shop in Florida. It isnt just a piece of crap, but again you guys are right when you say it is most definitely NOT an amazing one. For right now, i cant really afford to whip $100+ out of my pocket for a nice tenor uke (which is what i hope to get in the future).....that will take alot of saving and time...hahahaha

so for now, i just want to upgrade some nicer strings onto the instrument.....i've read some articles that say even that can help out the sound alot

thejumpingflea
11-10-2008, 12:59 PM
yeah yeah i know.....I bought this beginner ukulele for around $45 in a guitar shop in Florida. It isnt just a piece of crap, but again you guys are right when you say it is most definitely NOT an amazing one. For right now, i cant really afford to whip $100+ out of my pocket for a nice tenor uke (which is what i hope to get in the future).....that will take alot of saving and time...hahahaha

so for now, i just want to upgrade some nicer strings onto the instrument.....i've read some articles that say even that can help out the sound alot

The upgrade to Aquila's will be very noticeable. I have a Lanakai LU-21 Soprano that I wouldn't call a great uke, but with the Aquila's on it, it sure sounds better.

If I sounded like I was mean, I didn't mean to be! :D I am just trying to let you know that no matter what kind of strings you put on it, it will still sound like a cheaper end uke.

freedive135
11-10-2008, 01:13 PM
These guys (another Forum) are in love with the Mahalo, after reading this it makes me want to go out and buy one, just so I can join the Yellow Mahalo Club!!!!

http://ukulelecosmos.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=9060&sid=6f328a1b38227ee32ddf4a8c45667828

The store where I get my Uke's has a yellow one and I have even played it a few times, my Uke guy said if I do it to put Aquilla Concert strings on it.

Even a stock Mahalo sounds better than the Rouge Soprano a friend gave me and they cost more!!!

Link
11-10-2008, 02:15 PM
Well that's just because Rogue ANYTHING is completely awful. Very inexpensive, you get what you pay for.

I'd like to try a Mahalo and see what all the stink is about. They have some crazy ones at a local store.. even some shaped like V guitars.

hoosierhiver
11-10-2008, 02:58 PM
kind of like lipstick on a pig isn't it?

russ_buss
11-10-2008, 03:07 PM
kind of like lipstick on a pig isn't it?

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=52&pictureid=315

deach
11-10-2008, 03:09 PM
L m a o !!!!

benmealer
11-10-2008, 03:17 PM
Ha! :rofl:

uluapoundr
11-10-2008, 04:04 PM
Ha, ha, ha! Thanks for the afternoon laughter, you guys are crazy! :rofl:

Chase
11-10-2008, 05:25 PM
The upgrade to Aquila's will be very noticeable. I have a Lanakai LU-21 Soprano that I wouldn't call a great uke, but with the Aquila's on it, it sure sounds better.

If I sounded like I was mean, I didn't mean to be! :D I am just trying to let you know that no matter what kind of strings you put on it, it will still sound like a cheaper end uke.

haha, no no, you werent bein mean at all, i was just trying to build the little uke up a bit cuz i do personally want a better one, but i havent tried a better one yet, so i dont have a real feel for a good one...

the Aquila strings are sounding really tempting, thanks for all the advice!:)

Chase
11-10-2008, 05:32 PM
p.s. are the Aquila strings metal-wound and such? clear nylon? i havent heard a lot about them.....and whether or not they will warp my Mahalo outta shape...hahaha ;)

if they arent over-priced or anything, im definitely interested

seeso
11-10-2008, 08:53 PM
p.s. are the Aquila strings metal-wound and such? clear nylon? i havent heard a lot about them.....and whether or not they will warp my Mahalo outta shape...hahaha ;)

if they arent over-priced or anything, im definitely interested

Just buy a set and find out.

SamWise
11-10-2008, 11:52 PM
The flying V ones are bastards, because there's no sensible way to hold them. The Les Paul and Tele ones are actually pretty reasonable. The real cheapo ones, standard soprano shape, are better than you'd expect. I have a purple one, and it doesn't sound half bad (and yes, I've played a number of good ukes - this one gets nowhere near, but is MUCH better than other cheapies I've tried). I had to file the bridge on mine to get the intonation bearable (still not good though), but I understand they're patchy, and the good ones intonate perfectly. Try before you buy, and try to get one with the geared tuners (which is how they're making them now), because the friction tuners really are the worst you could imagine. I was disappointed with mine, til I took the needle files to it, and put on Ko'olau Gold strings. Now, it seems to me worth the 13 I paid for it, and when I do get a better uke, it can become my car uke. It lives on my desk next to my computer (on top of a big pile of crap!), so when I get bored and want a break, it's right there.

JKoval
11-11-2008, 09:46 AM
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=52&pictureid=315

Mother?

-Jeff

SamWise
11-11-2008, 10:12 AM
p.s. are the Aquila strings metal-wound and such? clear nylon? i havent heard a lot about them.....and whether or not they will warp my Mahalo outta shape...hahaha ;)

if they arent over-priced or anything, im definitely interested

No, they're not metal wound. No soprano strings will bend your soprano out of shape. Don't worry - they're called Nylgut - it's a plastic that's supposed to replicate gut. I've no idea if it does, but they're good.

Chase
11-11-2008, 10:43 AM
No, they're not metal wound. No soprano strings will bend your soprano out of shape. Don't worry - they're called Nylgut - it's a plastic that's supposed to replicate gut. I've no idea if it does, but they're good.

thanks for your help! I'm going with the Aquila Concert NYLGUTs.......i've read several reviews and heard a few samples, and they sound pretty good!

Thanks to everybody for the advice!:D

Chase
11-11-2008, 10:50 AM
Okay, two last questions (sorry, guys):

Is the Low Wound G set better or the Regular Wound G set?
and
Should I buy a set of CONCERT nylgut aquilas or the regular SOPRANO nylgut aquilas? ( i heard that sometimes a set of concert sized strings make a soprano sound alot better)

freedive135
11-11-2008, 01:36 PM
Normaly a Low G is a Wound string, the Low G is an octive Lower than a High g but there are also unwound Low g but I have found those to be loose feeling.
Most normal folks don't do the Low G thing on a Soprano Uke that being said.. Noone has ever called me normal and I have a Low G Soprano, But I have 5 Sopranos 2 of which are the same (one of those is the Low G).

Low G info
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5857

There are Wound C strings that are the same octive as the gcea tuning but it seems that most people don't care for those myself included.

As far a Concert strings on your Soprano
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6939

Chase
11-11-2008, 03:30 PM
Normaly a Low G is a Wound string, the Low G is an octive Lower than a High g but there are also unwound Low g but I have found those to be loose feeling.
Most normal folks don't do the Low G thing on a Soprano Uke that being said.. Noone has ever called me normal and I have a Low G Soprano, But I have 5 Sopranos 2 of which are the same (one of those is the Low G).

Low G info
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5857

There are Wound C strings that are the same octive as the gcea tuning but it seems that most people don't care for those myself included.

As far a Concert strings on your Soprano
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6939

hey, thanks so much for the help man! You sound really experienced, so if I am just going for a darker (more guitar like) sound with my soprano, is the Low wound G a better idea for me? This seems to be the case, with the G being an octave lower, i think it would round out and have a darker tone just with that. Picking might get messed with a bit, but the Low wound G is sounding like a better idea as of now!

thanks for all the help!

seeso
11-11-2008, 06:02 PM
Short answer - buy them both and find out.

freedive135
11-11-2008, 07:11 PM
hey, thanks so much for the help man! You sound really experienced,

That made me :rofl:

I started playin/lessons/trying different uke's in June this year and I read all these posts/watch all the video lessons and ask ALOT of ?????'s.

LoMa
11-12-2008, 06:33 AM
Aquila strings are bright toned, not mellow toned.
But a low G will give your uke some bottom, which can be perceived as darkness to the tone.

I use Aquila's with low G and love 'em because they're very responsive strings.

If you want a mellower tone than the Aquila's, I'd try the Worth Brown's with an Aquila low G string (you can buy single Aquila low G strings from elderly.com).

Also, Aquila's have a kind of texture to them which I like, but others don't like. Worth strings are very smooth and slick.

Aquila's are light gauge strings, meaning the string tension is low when you tune 'em up. You can get Worth Brown strings in a variety of gauges - light, medium, and hard.

Worht strings also come in two kinds - Brown's which are mellow in tone, and Clear's which are bright in tone.

In my experience, Aquila strings also have a very fast atttack - very responsive to your touch. Worth strings have longer sustain though.

I think either Aquila or Worth strings will make a big difference on your uke - try 'em both and see what you like better in real life...

I would not get a set of Worth strings with a low G - instead of using a wound string, Worth uses a real thick regualr string that will not fit in the nut slot of many ukes. If you're going to use low G tuning, I strongly suggest you use a wound string.

You might also want to just get soprano strings rather than concert one for your sop uke - if the action is low, I've found that concert strings can fret buzz on my soprano ukes.

Aquila soprano strings with low G:
http://elderly.com/accessories/items/ANSG.htm

Single Aquila low G string:
http://elderly.com/accessories/items/ASUG.htm

Light gauge Worth Brown's
http://elderly.com/accessories/items/WSBL.htm

Medium gauge Worth Brown's
http://elderly.com/accessories/items/WSBM.htm

Have fun with your uke, mon! I still play my supper super cheapo uke I got in the 1960's!

Chase
11-12-2008, 11:50 AM
Aquila strings are bright toned, not mellow toned.
But a low G will give your uke some bottom, which can be perceived as darkness to the tone.

I use Aquila's with low G and love 'em because they're very responsive strings.

If you want a mellower tone than the Aquila's, I'd try the Worth Brown's with an Aquila low G string (you can buy single Aquila low G strings from elderly.com).

Also, Aquila's have a kind of texture to them which I like, but others don't like. Worth strings are very smooth and slick.

Aquila's are light gauge strings, meaning the string tension is low when you tune 'em up. You can get Worth Brown strings in a variety of gauges - light, medium, and hard.

Worht strings also come in two kinds - Brown's which are mellow in tone, and Clear's which are bright in tone.

In my experience, Aquila strings also have a very fast atttack - very responsive to your touch. Worth strings have longer sustain though.

I think either Aquila or Worth strings will make a big difference on your uke - try 'em both and see what you like better in real life...

I would not get a set of Worth strings with a low G - instead of using a wound string, Worth uses a real thick regualr string that will not fit in the nut slot of many ukes. If you're going to use low G tuning, I strongly suggest you use a wound string.

You might also want to just get soprano strings rather than concert one for your sop uke - if the action is low, I've found that concert strings can fret buzz on my soprano ukes.

Aquila soprano strings with low G:
http://elderly.com/accessories/items/ANSG.htm

Single Aquila low G string:
http://elderly.com/accessories/items/ASUG.htm

Light gauge Worth Brown's
http://elderly.com/accessories/items/WSBL.htm

Medium gauge Worth Brown's
http://elderly.com/accessories/items/WSBM.htm

Have fun with your uke, mon! I still play my supper super cheapo uke I got in the 1960's!


hey, thanks! You said Aquilas are bright, will that make them louder than than the mellower Worth Brown's? I'm really lookin for somethin to fix the out of tune crap, and of course the twangy and unbearable sustain.

LoMa
11-12-2008, 12:28 PM
hey, thanks! You said Aquilas are bright, will that make them louder than than the mellower Worth Brown's? I'm really lookin for somethin to fix the out of tune crap, and of course the twangy and unbearable sustain.

Well, Aquila's are bright, loud, agressive strings. They can sound harsh on some bright toned ukes and/or with some players with a very agressive technique. Aquila's will brighten up a mellow or mid-toned uke, and give it more volume.

Worth Brown strings have good volume too (not quite as loud as Aquila's), but are mellower in tone, so they tone down the brightness of an already bright sounding instrument.

Sometimes though, the ear can fool you - we often perceive bright tones as louder than mellow tones, even if they are at the same decibel level!

Sustain is how long a note will keep on sounding after being played - Worth Brown strings give excellent sustain, meaning lots of it. Aquila's have a faster decay - the sound of the notes dies a little more quickly than with Worth Browns.

I have never played Worth Clear's so I can't comment on them, other than that I know they have a bright tone to them.

Is your uke not holding it's tune because:

1. the strings on it are new? It can take several days of tuning up for the strings to stretch and can hold their tuning. This is true of all uke strings. Or,

2. the tension of the tuning machines on your uke are loose so that the tuning machines are slipping, making the strings go out of tune? If they're friction peg tuners, you can tighten the screw a little on the knob to increase the tension. Or,

3. the instrument has poor intonation, meaning that you can tune your open strings properly, but when you fret the string, the frets are placed slightly incorrectly so that as you go up the scale, your frettd notes are out of tune... I don't know if that makes sense to you, but it's the only way I can think of to explain it.

A number of other things can contribute to poor intonation - a real high action can cause a string to be out of tune on the upper frets (the ones nearer the body). Too low a string tension can cause the string to deflect more easily from a straight angle down when you fret, causing the note to bend or become sharp, unless you are a careful fretter who presses the string straight down.

Inexpensive ukes often have intonation issues, but most folks don;t even notice it unless they have a good ear, or unless the intonation is really bad. Different strings won't help if the uke has lousy intonation...

I am blessed with a lousy ear...

LoMa
11-12-2008, 12:35 PM
By the way, I think Worth Brown strings are "prettier" sounding than Aquila's.

If you're gonna order strings on the internet, I'd get a set of Worth Brown's, Aqila's, and maybe even a set of Worth Clear's and compare 'em to find the sound you're looking for. Be sure to give the strings a few days to stretch so thay can hold their tuning - you should tune your uke up a couple of times a day and strum those strings, and retune it again. Same thing the next day... and porbably the next. Aquila's stretch a LOT, so they take more time to settle in. Worth's don't stretch quite as much as most other strings, so they tend to settle in faster.

Kekani
11-12-2008, 01:34 PM
I'm really lookin for somethin to fix the out of tune crap, and of course the twangy and unbearable sustain.

If you want something to fix an out of tune ukulele, its probably not the strings, but that could be a contributing factor if its not matched.

As for twangy, its your `ukulele. Want less twangy, stay away from strings that are bright and loud. Unfortunately, most new players look for strings that are bright and loud, as a lot of more experienced players do as well. However, there are more than an handful out there that have gone past just loud, and expect more complexity from their instrument. Some change strings and are happy, and some change instruments. The truly happy ones change both (sometimes).

Strange, usually you don't see twangy instruments with sustain, as twangy usually has a fairly quick decay, in my experience anyway. But then again, I don't mess around with Standards, so take my comments with less than a grain of salt.

-Aaron

haolejohn
11-12-2008, 02:09 PM
One thing I noticed about this thread is that I know nothing about strings and bright and all that other technical stuff. I have only played with one brand of strings for 4 years. I want to try other types but i'm happy with my Hilos (low G on my 4 string tenor and low A on my 6 string tenor). Experiment and upgrade that uke as soon as possible. I want to buy a cheap uke that I can take out on the trail with me but i've been spoilt wver sense I bought my solid wood ukes. I don't think I could ever go back to laminate.

Chase
11-12-2008, 02:11 PM
My Mahalo is pretty cheap. So I understand why the instrument may be slightly off in the frets, (LoMa, yeah it's most definitely number three)

I have been playing trumpet for about 7 years and (coincidentally) BOTH my parents are music teachers...hahahaha So I have a pretty good ear for intonation......Which is bad in this case, because the each string is normally out of tune on a certain fret.....so i figured the Better strings would not only improve volume, tone quality, and darkness, but also intonation.

I understand sustain as well.....the thing is, My uke's sustain sucks.....plain and simple, so another reason why i am looking into nice strings.


Thank you so much for all the information, because it really helps alot!
I think what I'm going to do is buy a set of Worth Browns and a single Low Wound G Aquila string. I am tryng to get away from the brighter tone, so these seem to sound the best to me right now according to all the advice.

So, thanks again to everybody, and I really REALLY appreciate all your advice!