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View Full Version : *wound* low G string recos for my Kamaka HF-2 concert?



janeray1940
09-06-2012, 04:59 AM
Aloha all - never thought I'd be asking for recommendations for a *wound* low G set, but then I never thought I'd really get into playing low G that much :)

I've been using Worth CMs and I like them pretty well, but my uke instructor strongly recommended I try a set with a wound low G. Fair enough - only he didn't have any specific recommendations (I think he uses a guitar string for his), so, I figured I'd turn to the collective knowledge here.

So - let's hear it! Any Kamaka players out there with a favorite low G string brand? Thanks in advance!

Trinimon
09-06-2012, 05:54 AM
I had requested low G turning on my Kamaka. It came with the factory wound low G. Wow, was that every BOOMy sounding. I've tried the Aquila wound low G as well on my concert Kala in the past and it was the same ie very boomy (is that a real word?). I now play unwound low G now. I'm liking Ken Middleton's LivingWater low G set on my tenor. I also really like the Fremont Blackline low G strings and Worth Clears but prefer the Fremont tension over Worth. Just a personal preference.

If you want a free Aquila wound low G for your concert, PM me your mailing address. lol

janeray1940
09-06-2012, 06:00 AM
Mahalo Trinimon, PM sent.

I've tried Fremont before and while I liked the sound, I found the strings were kinda... sticky? to the touch - just didn't care for the feel. I know what you mean about the "boomy" sound - that was my first reaction as well, but I've found that for low G-specific arrangements and for bossa nova, I've really warmed up to the low G sound.

What I don't care for is how a low G uke sounds when playing an arrangement written for reentrant - that really just seems wrong to me.

didgeridoo2
09-06-2012, 06:30 AM
I use D'Addario Silverwound NYL026 along with Worth CMs. The tension is in the ballpark and it's not incredibly boomy. This is Gordon at Mya Moes suggestion...

mike hardee
09-06-2012, 06:32 AM
Best sounding wound low G I have tried is a Savarez Corum polished 504 RH. I also use Savarez Alliance KF 541 R, 542 R and 543 R for the trebles. This is the set recommended by Chuck Moore and William King. Singles available at juststrings.

strumsilly
09-06-2012, 06:46 AM
I TRIED DIADORIO [SP?] t-2's ON MY MP. I liked the strings, but couldn't stand the squeaks, so I replaced the
G with one from a Worth low G set. I loved the tone, but if you slide on the G at all it will drive you crazy, at least it did me. I got them from Juststrings too.

Dan Uke
09-06-2012, 07:55 AM
Best sounding wound low G I have tried is a Savarez Corum polished 504 RH. I also use Savarez Alliance KF 541 R, 542 R and 543 R for the trebles. This is the set recommended by Chuck Moore and William King. Singles available at juststrings.

I second that but I don't mind the squeking.

Gmoney
09-06-2012, 08:03 AM
I got to say, try out the Aquila Red's - you can get single strings for the G & C - they are GREAT! Love them, instead of wound strings on a concert.

Is your preference for '*wound*" strings a "must have" or are you you just looking for them because it is the usual route taken for that low g"

janeray1940
09-06-2012, 08:12 AM
Is your preference for '*wound*" strings a "must have" or are you you just looking for them because it is the usual route taken for that low g"

This came up in response to my complaint that all low G strings that I've tried (which have all been unwound, fluoros) sounded kind of mudy or dull to me. My instructor said something like he didn't think it was possible to get a really crisp, clear low G tone out of an unwound string, and that I should try out something wound.

As others have mentioned - the squeak really bothers me! Like, nails-on-a-chalkboard bothers me :) But I'm willing to give it a try - I've never spent a lot of time playing an instrument with a wound low G, so who knows, I may get past the "squeak" issue if the sound is what I'm looking for.

I'm going to try the Aquila Reds too. I've had Aquila Nylguts on this uke before and they sounded pretty good even though generally I tend to prefer fluoros.

Thanks all for the suggestions so far, and please keep them coming!

dkcrown
09-06-2012, 08:30 AM
Best sounding wound low G I have tried is a Savarez Corum polished 504 RH. I also use Savarez Alliance KF 541 R, 542 R and 543 R for the trebles. This is the set recommended by Chuck Moore and William King. Singles available at juststrings.

I "third" this thought. Any polished string will cut down on the squeak factor. I would also talk to Dirk at Southcoast and tell him what you are looking for. I'm sure that he can help you out.

janeray1940
09-06-2012, 08:39 AM
I would also talk to Dirk at Southcoast and tell him what you are looking for. I'm sure that he can help you out.

Hey that's a great idea, thanks. Not sure I can intelligently convey what I am looking for since I'm still figuring it out myself, but I'm going to shoot him a PM right now :)

SailingUke
09-06-2012, 09:17 AM
Try a polished wound low G.
They have a similar feel to unwound (no squeaks)
Nice and clear sound, no thud.

wickedwahine11
09-06-2012, 10:10 AM
Hey there, I should have a couple of extra wound low g strings around somewhere. They might be used but at least you can try them out before you buy. I'll try to remember to bring some to class on Monday.

That being said, I would second the recommendation on the Living Water strings. They are not boomy at all, and maybe are not crisp enough for Steve's liking but I'll bring my KoAloha with them so you can hear that as well if I remember. PhD strings are pretty nice too...

Off to go through my string stash to find some stuff for you to try...I almost definitely have an Aquila and might have a Savarez as well. I'll see what I can find for you, admittedly these are all tenor strings but you can at least try them out to see what brand you prefer.

janeray1940
09-06-2012, 10:13 AM
Hey there, I should have a couple of extra wound low g strings around somewhere. They might be used but at least you can try them out before you buy. I'll try to remember to bring some to class on Monday.

That being said, I would second the recommendation on the Living Water strings. They are not boomy at all, and maybe are not crisp enough for Steve's liking but I'll bring my KoAloha with them so you can hear that as well if I remember. PhD strings are pretty nice too...

Off to go through my string stash to find some stuff for you to try...I almost definitely have an Aquila and might have a Savarez as well. I'll see what I can find for you, admittedly these are all tenor strings but you can at least try them out to see what brand you prefer.

Awesome, thank you so much! And it hadn't occurred to me before but I may actually prefer tenor strings on my concert uke since I like higher tension to begin with. Before I made the switch to fishing line for my sopranos, I often used concert strings on them - similar logic :)

peewee
09-06-2012, 12:55 PM
Wouldn't tenor strings on a concert be lower tension at the same pitch? to get the same note from a shorter scale length you'd have to reduce tension..

janeray1940
09-06-2012, 01:00 PM
Wouldn't tenor strings on a concert be lower tension at the same pitch? to get the same note from a shorter scale length you'd have to reduce tension..

Not sure - I'm terrible at the "science" of all of this! All I know is that concert Aquilas on a soprano uke feel a lot less mushy to me. I figured it was because they have a thicker diameter? So my guess is the same would hold true for tenor strings on a concert uke.

foxfair
09-06-2012, 06:11 PM
+1 for PhD low G string, I have it on my long neck concert and it sounds great.
Also you may wanna try LWS low G too, I have bought one but dont have chance to put it on (yet).

808boy
09-06-2012, 06:23 PM
Aloha janeray,
For squeakless low g string set, try the Southcoast G-650 flatwound's for a well balanced set, no excessive boominess. Heard good things about Living Waters but have'nt tried them yet..........................BO...................

janeray1940
09-06-2012, 06:35 PM
Also you may wanna try LWS low G too, I have bought one but dont have chance to put it on (yet).

I'm not familiar with "LWS" strings and Google doesn't seem to be either :) Got a link by any chance?


Aloha janeray,
For squeakless low g string set, try the Southcoast G-650 flatwound's for a well balanced set, no excessive boominess. Heard good things about Living Waters but have'nt tried them yet..........................BO...................

I've been having an interesting discussion with Dirk re: Southcoast strings. May give them a try, but the fact that they aren't intended for C tuning on a concert uke could prove problematic. Bo, are you using them, and if so, what tuning do you use?

As for Living Water, PhD, and other fluoros - I've been told that there are only a couple of manufacturers worldwide of fluorocarbon, and all fluoro strings come from this/these same factory/ies, and are basically just different combinations of different gauges of fishing line with a different brand name stuck on the package. Can anyone comment on this - is there really that much difference between fluoro brands, or does the loyalty have more to do with whether or not one is a Daniel Ho fan, or a Ken Middleton fan, or a Martin loyalist (or just cheap like myself and likes the $5-ish price point of Martins!) etc? I mean, honestly, I can't really tell much difference between Martin M600s and Worths other than price and ease of availability - in fact, I've played around with mixing the two (Worth CM low G string, Martins for CEA; or alternating Martin and Worth strings; etc) and again didn't notice much difference.

efiscella
09-06-2012, 06:40 PM
Here's something totally different but try this for low-g. I love the sound: D'Addario Pro Art Guitar J4704 $1.45 http://www.stringsbymail.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_41_103_180&products_id=88

janeray1940
09-06-2012, 06:44 PM
Here's something totally different but try this for low-g. I love the sound: J4704 $1.45 http://www.stringsbymail.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_41_103_180&products_id=88

Thanks! Do you have a brand or type preference for the other 3 strings?

foxfair
09-06-2012, 06:45 PM
I'm not familiar with "LWS" strings and Google doesn't seem to be either :) Got a link by any chance?



Hi,

that's living water strings set many people referred in few posts above. I'm just being lazy. I really like PhD low G on my uke though. If you are close to ukulele source, give Smiley a call and grab the PhD string quickly.

janeray1940
09-06-2012, 06:47 PM
Try a polished wound low G.
They have a similar feel to unwound (no squeaks)
Nice and clear sound, no thud.

I saw that Fremont offers these. Any other brands I should check out?

808boy
09-06-2012, 06:50 PM
Aloha janeray,
Sorry, I'm using it on a few of my Tenors. My concerts have Ko'olau Alohi low g's but they are wound and do squeak. I replaced one low g with an Aquila red. Sounds good but the jury is still out with them..................BO............

janeray1940
09-06-2012, 06:53 PM
Aloha janeray,
Sorry, I'm using it on a few of my Tenors. My concerts have Ko'olau Alohi low g's but they are wound and do squeak. I replaced one low g with an Aquila red. Sounds good but the jury is still out with them..................BO............

The Alohis have been recommended to me before - I might try them and see if I can deal with the squeak!

So far I've ordered an Aquila Red and a Fremont polished low G. I'm looking forward to trying others out as well :)

southcoastukes
09-06-2012, 06:56 PM
...As for Living Water, PhD, and other fluoros - I've been told that there are only a couple of manufacturers worldwide of fluorocarbon, and all fluoro strings come from this/these same factory/ies, and are basically just different combinations of different gauges of fishing line with a different brand name stuck on the package. Can anyone comment on this - is there really that much difference between fluoro brands, or does the loyalty have more to do with whether or not one is a Daniel Ho fan, or a Ken Middleton fan, or a Martin loyalist (or just cheap like myself and likes the $5-ish price point of Martins!) etc? I mean, honestly, I can't really tell much difference between Martin M600s and Worths other than price and ease of availability - in fact, I've played around with mixing the two (Worth CM low G string, Martins for CEA; or alternating Martin and Worth strings; etc) and again didn't notice much difference.

I can contribute something on this - there are definitely more than two sources for flouro, and there are scores of formulae. While a lot of what are used for instrument strings have a similar sound, there are some formulations that can be quite a bit "softer" in tone. You can notice, for example, a good bit of difference in tone between the "harder" formula Worths and the Browns ("softer" sound - less dense). We mix materials in our sets, using a variety of flouro and nylon formulae to get a more balanced sound.

What is happening with flouro has happened already with nylon. At first, there was the Dupont formula, and for quite awhile, all nylon strings had a similar sound. Now, instead of scores of formulae, as with flouro, there are probably thousands of "nylon" formulae. A lot of these stretch the definition of nylon, but no one has bothered to coin new terms for some of the borderline formulations.

808 - thanks for the recommendation, but those flat wounds aren't that flexible. As such they have a pretty narrow range and wouldn't translate well down to a concert (unless you wanted to try them in D tuning).

efiscella
09-06-2012, 07:21 PM
Thanks! Do you have a brand or type preference for the other 3 strings?

The strings I recommend are below:

J4704 $1.45 http://www.stringsbymail.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_41_103_180&products_id=88
T4601 $.95 http://www.stringsbymail.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_41_102_185&products_id=2518
T46 Trebles $2.95 http://www.stringsbymail.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_41_102_185&products_id=2512

The T46 Treble set is 3 strings, which is the bottom three on a guitar. Which the A will be T4601, E is T4602 and C is T4603. Now for the High G, you would get a duplicate T4601 string to use. For Low G, J4704 which is a bronze wound string.

wickedwahine11
09-06-2012, 11:38 PM
I rummaged through my stocks and found a wound Aquila and a Savarez Corum for you to try. I also have a PhD set I can give you to try as well. Mind you again, these are tenor so they may not be optimal on your uke, but you can try them out to see anyway. I will bring them Monday.

As for Living Water, I love them. I certainly can't speak to whether they are structurally different from Worths or PhD but they sound different on my Kanilea in particular. The PhD set I like also feels different from Worth or Living Water.

janeray1940
09-07-2012, 06:03 AM
The strings I recommend are below:

J4704 $1.45 http://www.stringsbymail.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_41_103_180&products_id=88
T4601 $.95 http://www.stringsbymail.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_41_102_185&products_id=2518
T46 Trebles $2.95 http://www.stringsbymail.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_41_102_185&products_id=2512

The T46 Treble set is 3 strings, which is the bottom three on a guitar. Which the A will be T4601, E is T4602 and C is T4603. Now for the High G, you would get a duplicate T4601 string to use. For Low G, J4704 which is a bronze wound string.

Thanks so much - I'm really intrigued by the idea of using guitar strings. Have you done this on a concert size uke? I'm a little worried about tension issues and potential damage - planning to research this a bit more. (As mentioned before, I've often used concert strings on a soprano and it's never been a problem though, so not *too* worried!)


I rummaged through my stocks and found a wound Aquila and a Savarez Corum for you to try. I also have a PhD set I can give you to try as well. Mind you again, these are tenor so they may not be optimal on your uke, but you can try them out to see anyway. I will bring them Monday.

As for Living Water, I love them. I certainly can't speak to whether they are structurally different from Worths or PhD but they sound different on my Kanilea in particular. The PhD set I like also feels different from Worth or Living Water.

Thanks again Staci - looking forward to trying these out!

janeray1940
09-07-2012, 06:05 AM
Hi,

that's living water strings set many people referred in few posts above. I'm just being lazy. I really like PhD low G on my uke though. If you are close to ukulele source, give Smiley a call and grab the PhD string quickly.

Ya know, minutes after I posted my question to you it crossed my mind that you might be referring to Living Water :) Both PhD and LWS are on my list to try, but first I'm going to look into some of these wound strings that have been recommended.

janeray1940
09-07-2012, 06:08 AM
I can contribute something on this - there are definitely more than two sources for flouro, and there are scores of formulae. While a lot of what are used for instrument strings have a similar sound, there are some formulations that can be quite a bit "softer" in tone. You can notice, for example, a good bit of difference in tone between the "harder" formula Worths and the Browns ("softer" sound - less dense). We mix materials in our sets, using a variety of flouro and nylon formulae to get a more balanced sound.



808 - thanks for the recommendation, but those flat wounds aren't that flexible. As such they have a pretty narrow range and wouldn't translate well down to a concert (unless you wanted to try them in D tuning).

Hmmm, up for consideration... when I play solo, I switch between C and D tuning sometimes.

janeray1940
09-07-2012, 06:11 AM
I can contribute something on this - there are definitely more than two sources for flouro, and there are scores of formulae. While a lot of what are used for instrument strings have a similar sound, there are some formulations that can be quite a bit "softer" in tone. You can notice, for example, a good bit of difference in tone between the "harder" formula Worths and the Browns ("softer" sound - less dense). We mix materials in our sets, using a variety of flouro and nylon formulae to get a more balanced sound.

Thanks for weighing in on this. I've noticed a big difference both in sound and feel between the clear Worths and the Browns (not a fan of the Browns at all!), but not so much between various brands of clear fluoros. Or between clear fluoros and Fremont Blacklines, for that matter.


808 - thanks for the recommendation, but those flat wounds aren't that flexible. As such they have a pretty narrow range and wouldn't translate well down to a concert (unless you wanted to try them in D tuning).

Hmmmm... up for consideration, since I do switch between C and D tuning when I play solo sometimes.

janeray1940
09-09-2012, 04:26 PM
So I'm trying out my first wound string tonight - a Savarez high tension 524R, which was actually the only guitar D string single that the shop had in stock. So far so good - loving the tension on this one, and pretty sure I'm not going to go back to a non-wound string unless I find one with comparable tension. I'm still planning to try out a few others, but I'm pretty happy with this one so far!

janeray1940
09-11-2012, 09:24 AM
Aaaaaaand yet another update, for those of you still following the ongoing saga of a girl and her strings... I ordered one of these (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=170900503855) Fremont Soloist Squeakless polished strings, and I think I like it better than the guitar string I tried previously.

While not entirely squeakless, it's far less noticeable than the squeak on the guitar string (which was really distracting to me while playing with my uke group last night - even amid the sound of 8 other players, it stood out to me). The tension on the Fremont string isn't quite as high as the guitar string, but still higher than any of the fluoros I've tried. And - at least on a concert or soprano scale uke - the string is juuuuuust long enough that you might get two strings for the price of one.

It's worth mentioning that neither string I've tried so far has had the overpowering "boomy" sound that low G strings sometimes have; both are equally good in that respect.