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View Full Version : Different strings for different ukes!



thejumpingflea
11-17-2008, 02:24 PM
Hey guys,

So I just wanted to get a list of people preferences for their ukes and why they like those strings for whatever particular uke they are on.

This could really help newer players figure out what strings (might) sound best on what ukes and can be a useful thread to remove common string questions.

I'll start off!

Lanakai LU-21 Soprano
- Aquila Nylguts: I use these on this uke because I feel it gives it the loudest and clearest sound. It isn't the greatest uke and I have tried D'Addarios and Martin strings, but Aquilas have given the best effects.

BugsGear Eleuke Tenor
- D'Addarios: I have used these on the EleUke more for the feel then anything else. When I play this uke the distortion is on so the string difference isn't as huge of a deal.

Ko'olau T1 Tenor
- Fremont Fluorocarbon: These are locally made to where I live and I picked them up with the uke at 'Dusty Strings' acoustic music shop. Before these I had the Ko'olau Golds on the uke and couldn't stand them. I really dig the Fremonts, they are a lot like Worth Browns and they give a great, punchy sound to my Ko'olau. EDIT: These strings made my intonation up the neck BADLY. It would go out of tune very quickly up the neck. Very flat. I put on [I]D'addario J71[I] that I got right here at the UU store. I really like them. Smooth feel, and good sustain.

Fluke (Concert) & Tiki Flea (Soprano)
- Aquila Nylguts:
I've tried Hilos, Martins and Aquilas on these ukes. Aquilas, in my mind, give the best sound for these instruments. It really brings out the volume and still has that trademark 'warm' sound you find in Fluke and Flea's.
9/26/09 EDIT: I now have a Fluke Tenor with Worth Clear strings. They really bring out a great tone and I would expect the same with the Fluke and Flea

Amigo Baritone
- Martin DGBE:
I've only used Martins and Aquilas on this uke, but I think the Martins have a softer sound that more suits the uke. The Aquilas try too hard to sound bright it seems, when this uke just wants to have that mellow, classical guitar like sound.

Applause Soprano
- Aquila Nylguts:
These give the uke a unique bark and needed volume. I really like them on this uke. I've used GHS, and D'Addario strings.

Kamaka Concert Deluxe
- Worth Browns:
These are the strings for this uke. :D I have tried D'Addario's, Martins, Hilo's, Aquila's and the Kamaka strings, but the Worths really bring out the dark, warm sound the Kamaka has. The intonation has been MUCH better with the Worths then any other strings I am using.
9/26/09 EDIT: I have started to use Worth Clear strings and they may sound just a tad bit better on the instrument. A little more full.

Mike Periera Custom Soprano
- Worth Browns:
I got this uke fairly recently and haven't changed the strings yet. Mike put on Worths and it sounds wonderful so I probably won't try different things for this one. (It sounds really, REALLY good. :D )
9/26/09 EDIT: Just strung her up with Savarez Alliance strings. Waiting to see how they settle, but so far I think they are a great fit. It gives the uke a real bell like tone.


New additions:

Kanile'a Custom T
- Worth Clear Tenor:
Best strings for this uke. Mango is a mellow tone wood and these strings really give it a great sound. I've tried D'Addario J71's and Worth Browns as well.

Moore Bettah Tenor
- D'Addario J71's:
Not sure what is the best yet on this thing. She's brand new. Came with Aquila strings I wasn't a fan. Switched to D'Addarios and like them more. Will try Worth CT next. See THIS THREAD (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?20066-Moore-Bettah-String-Trials) for the string trials.


So what do you seem to choose?

Waterguy
11-17-2008, 02:50 PM
This is on the surface a great idea. It not only guides new players to the better sounding strings for thier particular uke, but it also ends one of the great ongoing Uke forum arguments. The only real problem with it is that everyone has thier own idea about what sounds best and everyone is right.

What sounds the best to me might not sound all that great to you and the opposite is true. We are both right and we are both wrong.

Buy a uke. If the strings sound good, go with it. If the strings don't work for you, try a different set. For the most part, ignore everything eveyone on this forum says about different strings for different ukes.

One exception to the above rule....All the strings mentioned in the ongoing "which string is best argument" are generaly decent strings.

Have fun experimenting.

thejumpingflea
11-17-2008, 02:56 PM
This is on the surface a great idea. It not only guides new players to the better sounding strings for thier particular uke, but it also ends one of the great ongoing Uke forum arguments. The only real problem with it is that everyone has thier own idea about what sounds best and everyone is right.

What sounds the best to me might not sound all that great to you and the opposite is true. We are both right and we are both wrong.

Buy a uke. If the strings sound good, go with it. If the strings don't work for you, try a different set. For the most part, ignore everything eveyone on this forum says about different strings for different ukes.

One exception to the above rule....All the strings mentioned in the ongoing "which string is best argument" are generaly decent strings.

Have fun experimenting.

I am not trying to make the thread to have a thread to end all threads on what strings are good on what. It is just trying to compile a list of what people think sounds good on what they have. This can at least give people an idea of what could sound great on their uke! :D

hoosierhiver
11-17-2008, 03:01 PM
I actually need to get myself more experienced with different types of strings.I tend to stick to A'quillas because I like them and I know them.

Lanark
11-18-2008, 01:56 AM
I actually need to get myself more experienced with different types of strings.I tend to stick to A'quillas because I like them and I know them.

I highly recommend it.
I went through one of those MGM string samplers with various ukes and each one seems to have its own particular tonal palate to add to the instrument. (Much more so than I ever found with guitar strings) Funny thing is that I still ended up with Aquilla's back on the two concerts, but a better appreciation for what those bring out. There are tones your instrument is capable of you're not aware of

I've got D'Addario's on the Kelii soprano, but those aren't quite doing it for me but I just put Roto-Sound Lagunas on the Waverly St. soprano and think that might work nicely. (as soon as I restring it correctly. Absentmindedly strung it lefty...) I may have to get another couple sets of Lagunas and try them on the Kelii.

Meanwhile I've got two packs of Worth Clear Mediums that ought to be enough for both concerts and two sopranos so I can see what the hot fuss is about Worths and have a direct basis for sound comparisons between the lot. (Going to wait a bit though so I can feel like I got my money's worth out of all the current strings.)

I expect at some point after going through enough combos I'll end up like Jumpingflea with a personal match of strings to each individual uke.

GX9901
11-18-2008, 06:00 AM
Here's what I've currently got on some of my ukes:

-William King long scale tenor: Worth BT. It came strung with these and they're perfect. I probably won't be trying other strings on this uke for quite some time.

-Koa Work tenor: Worth CT. It was strung with Ko'olau Golds when I got it. Frankly it sounds great with either set of strings. I might try other strings down the road.

-KoAloha Pineapple Sunday: Worth BL. These are the strings it comes with. I tried some Worth CTs on it at one point and didn't like it as much. Sounded too "dry" to me. The BLs definitely match the PS very well in my opinion.

-Kepasa Gypsy Rose: Worth CD. It was strung with BMs when I got it. I thought the tension was a tad low so I switched to CDs. Sounds about the same with either set but CDs offer a bit more tension, which I like.

-Honu concert: Worth CD. It came to me with Aquilas and I also tried some Worth BMs. The CDs sound far and away the best for this uke. Of all ukes I own, this one shows the greatest difference between different sets of strings.

-Compass Rose walnut tenor: D'Addario J71. I haven't tried other strings on this uke but the J71s sound very nice on this uke.

-Kala tenor neck spruce top soprano: Worth CT. I should probably try some Aquilas on this one at some point, but the CTs does offer pretty good sound with very long sustain.

-Kanile'a super soprano: Worth CD. It came with Aquilas and I had also tried some Worth BMs on it. Again, the CDs ended up sounding the best to me so that's what it has now. I pretty much use Worth CDs on concert sized ukes by default now.

I guess I'm more or less a Worth guy, as they pretty much sound good to me on any uke. But I agree that some strings does go better with a particular uke. The Pineapple Sunday and Honu concert are the best examples I have.

haole
11-18-2008, 06:41 AM
I've been very pleased with Aquila Nylguts on my Kamaka soprano. I used the stock Kamaka strings for years, and switching to Aquilas made a good uke sound even better.

Still experimenting with my new concert Flea. The stock Hilo strings were dead-sounding, and I threw on a set of cheap Martins. A definite improvement, but I'll keep trying until I get the sound I know the Flea is capable of. ;)

I recently strung my girlfriend's Kamoa soprano with Ko'olau Golds and it sings! It sounds a lot darker, mellower, and more "sophisticated" than any other cheap uke I've played.

Kekani
11-18-2008, 08:12 AM
At first I had my own personal feelings about this thread, because there are so many variables, not only between different instrument makers, but also the instruments of the same makers. Then I took a look at my own stable, so here goes.

For the Concert KoAloha, I had Worths, and will probably switch to Savarez once they come out with it. The Kamaka and KoAloha Standards have either GHS or Hilo - doesn't really matter at this point.
For the Tenors, its D'Addario Pro Arte or Savarez Alliance, depending on who's playing it, and what the woods are and how its braced.
D'Addarios:J45, J46, J49 or J50.
Savarez: 540R or 54J.

Worths don't really match my instruments, Ko'olau's did at one time, and there's one brand I'll not use.

-Aaron

myloshylow
11-18-2008, 11:29 AM
for those who have vintage ukes, which strings do you prefer? i'm trying to figure out which to go for on my martin style 2!

sweets
11-18-2008, 11:35 AM
for those who have vintage ukes, which strings do you prefer? i'm trying to figure out which to go for on my martin style 2!

I have Worth Clear Medium on my 20's 0, and they're good enough that I haven't wanted to experiment.

LoMa
11-18-2008, 12:02 PM
I'm pretty much an Aquila gal. I try all sorts of strngs, but I usually eventually end up back with Aquila's. So here's my line-up:

1. Larrivee spruce and mahog soprano - Aquila soprano strings with low G

2. LoPrinzi spruce and maple soprano - Aquila soprano strings with high G

3. Earnest Instruments (Joel Eckhaus) Stradelele maple and spruce concert - Aquila soprano 1st and low G 4th, Aquila concert 2nd and 3rd strings (I know that's weird, but that;s what sounds best for my flamenco playing...)

4. LoPrinzi cedar and mahog concert - Aquila concert strings with low G

5. Kiwaya KSL-2 long neck soprano - Aquila soprano strings with low G

6. S&H Green Stamps solid mahog soprano from the 1960's - Aquila soprano string weith high G

7. unlabelled Hawaiian koa soprano from the early 1900's - Fremont Blackline flourocarbon strings with high G (scavenged off the Kiwaya - Fremont strings are supplied on Kiwaya's)

I recently had a LoPrinzi mahog concert that was perfectly matched with Worth Brown's...

Otherwise, it's all Aquila except for that little Hawiian soprano...
I really like the supah fast attack of the Aquila's and don;t have a problem with the slightly faster decay as compared with Worth's. I also like the Aquila's relatively low string tension, and their slight texture which helps give me better tone control since I don't use my nails anymore when picking/plucking. And I like bright... Another plus is that I can see the white strings against the black ebony fretboard... I don;t see so good anymore...

I've never tried Worth Clear's...

UkuLeLesReggAe
11-18-2008, 04:12 PM
Aquila Nylguts the brown 1's or da clear ones?

im not sure which 1's are best for my Lu-21T

thejumpingflea
11-18-2008, 04:16 PM
Aquila Nylguts the brown 1's or da clear ones?

im not sure which 1's are best for my Lu-21T

I assume you are speaking of a Lanikai?

Try Aquilas, they work wonders!

thesoobz
11-18-2008, 04:33 PM
nygluts are whhite! =)
and yess just like jumpingflea mentioned they are pretty sweeet. i think they are a bit thicker. well it feels like it

Kekani
11-18-2008, 05:00 PM
nygluts are whhite! =)
and yess just like jumpingflea mentioned they are pretty sweeet.

Actually, Aquila's are not "sweet", they are loud, and can bring volume to an instrument that's lacking it, for a while.

I would imagine players like them because they give the tin pan alley Standard size in your face twangy barky `ukulele sound. Basically, especially high G tuning, it can make some hardwood top Tenors sound like Standards and Concerts, especially when playing upwards of the second position.

Just my $.02 - Aaron

experimentjon
11-18-2008, 05:38 PM
I happen to like aquilas, simply because they can make an inexpensive instrument sound a lot better in terms of volume and projection. And for my more expensive instruments, I think that they give a nice brighter sound to the uke. Here's what I run. It's pretty straightforward.

Kanilea K1 Tenor- Aquila Tenor High G
They came standard, and sounded good, and I do not need to fix what isn't broken.

KoAloha SuperConcert- Worth Browns
I wanted a uke with a different sound than the bright aquila sound, so I have worth strings on this one, which give me almost the same projection and sustain as aquilas, but has a more mellow and round sound.

Applause UAE 148 Tenor- Aquila Tenor, High G
Whatever strings came with it sounded terrible acoustically. I tried Hilos with a wound C which sounded slightly better, but the wound C was digging into the bridge, and was significantly louder than the other strings, so I finally went with Aquilas which gave me the acoustic projection I wanted, with brigthness that makes the uke sound not like a juggernaut.

Kamaka Soprano- D'Addarios from the factory
I haven't switched out the strings on my Kamaka yet. I have a set of Aquilas just waiting, but am a bit too lazy right now. The D'Addarios sound decent, but I think it needs more tension in the strings and a bit more punch.

Tangi Mahogany Soprano: Aquila Soprano, High G
I think that this uke had worth clears on it before I swapped them out for the Aquilas, and it sounded quite nice with the worth clears. The Aquilas did not add much to the sound, but it's nice and bright still. Maybe Aquila concert strings would have been better suited.

Tangi Koa Soprano: GHS strings from the factory
This uke sound rather dead. I don't even know if a set of Aquilas could save it, so I have kept the GHS strings on. I think it's cool though, because the sound it makes is a rather vintage sort of sound, before ukes had all of these fancy finishes and bracing technologies and precision machining, and what not.

Leolani Mahogany Tenor (Gloss Finish)- Aquila Tenor, High G
This is a relatively cheap uke, but I bought it as a beach uke, so it needs all the help it can get sound wise with its thick glue-filled laminate body. Aquilas were the answer, and it sounds okay with them.

Leolani Mahogany Tenor (Matte Finish)- Aquila Tenor, High G
Same with the above uke, it was a cheap uke, but a set of Aquilas were the answer to any problems with lacking sound, and with Aquilas, it sounds rather good for the price that I paid for it.

I just like Aquilas. They're well worth the money because they can make even cheap ukes sound far better, and can add a lot of punch to more expensive ukes. I like their bright sound, although, I also like the sound of worth strings.

UkuLeLesReggAe
11-18-2008, 05:39 PM
I assume you are speaking of a Lanikai?

Try Aquilas, they work wonders!

cant u get 2 different types though?

ahreeka
11-20-2008, 05:22 PM
Hey I'm an ukulele beginner and I was on this website watching the Drop Baby Drop lesson and what got me frustrated was when my "uke" wasn't able to make a sound when Aldrine was sliding to another fret. Like the vibration on the string kept vibrating, producing sound, and mine didn't.

Well, not exactly mine, I borrowed the uke from a friend a couple days ago to practice. He said it wasn't an actual uke, like a really cheap one. When I tried sliding my fingers, the sound would just stop. I don't know what kind of string it is but I know it's cheap. It is clear and looks plastic.

I want to get my own better quality uke with "real" strings that will still make sound when sliding my fingers.

dnewton2
11-20-2008, 05:46 PM
(To the Different Strokes Theme song)

Well the world don't strum
To the strings of just one uke,
What might might be right for you
May not be right for some.

A man is born
He's a man with ukes,
Then along come two
They got nothing but their strings
but it takes Different Strings
It takes Different Strings
To strum the uke
Yes it does
It take different strings to strum the uuuuuuuuke!!!!

:D:D:D

When I read the title to this thead this is what I thought of.

ahreeka
11-20-2008, 05:48 PM
Well the world don't strum
To the strings of just one uke,
What might might be right for you
May not be right for some.

A man is born
He's a man with ukes,
Then along come two
They got nothing but their strings
but it takes Different Strings
It takes Different Strings
To strum the uke
Yes it does
It take different strings to strum the uuuuuuuuke!!!!

:D:D:D

Well shoot I guess I will never be able to play Drop Baby Drop.. :(

dnewton2
11-20-2008, 05:54 PM
Well shoot I guess I will never be able to play Drop Baby Drop.. :(


Yes you will!!

ahreeka
11-20-2008, 06:13 PM
Yes you will!!

Hmm thanks.

For giving clear advice and helping a newbie..

-_-

freedive135
11-21-2008, 06:37 AM
Sorry for the highjack...but it is about strings....

MHS619 It's not that you don't have a "better" uke with "real" strings it's more of a practice thing and tecnique(sp)... put your uke in Aldriene's hands and he could do the samething's he does with his I'm sure....
If I was learning to play a guitar I would be bummed I couldn't play like Eddie Van Halen.. oh wait how long has he been playing??????

My 30.00 Johnson and my 50.00 Kala soprano's will make "sound" when sliding fret to fret and when "Hammering" now that I know what I am doing to make that sound.
I was even doing it on a POS stock strung Mahalo the other day.

That said "Harder/tighter" strings will do a better job of making those "sounds" like the D'Addario Pro Arte's sold in the store here.

keep on trying and one day it will happen and you'll be like "How did I do that"

allinfun
11-21-2008, 08:46 AM
Yep, it takes a bit of fiddling to get the slides and hammer techniques to work, and bless it all, you may have to change just a touch when you change strings and tensions. You can do it, just keep trying. It's taken me a little bit to get it down, as I came from steel string guitars to ukes and it's a whole different feel and pressure for the fingers and brain to adjust to.

Our Uke/String combinations:

Pono Mahogany Tenor (PTO)--> Currently has Ko'olau gold low wound G and C while we are preparing christmas carols. It's my comfort zone while learning to play finger style as it's similar to playing guitar. Tried LaBella strings and they suck for that instrument. Oh did I mention how much I hate LaBellas? What sounds really beautiful on this instrument are the Guadalupe strings, but do not try to swap the string rotation with the Guadalupes. They are a soft tension string already and you will get buzzing. Helpful hints for Guadalupes: Don't cut them, trust the instructions. All 4 are wound nylon so it's a funny thing to get used to.

Pono 8-string Mahogany--> Ko'olau gold from factory no need to change them and they sound fantastic.

Pono Tenor Solid Mango--> EDIT (2/18) Put Hilo's on it for my Mom to play. Not a bad little string for the uke. It balanced out the sound nicely. After one practice we decided it needed punchier strings so we went with Freemont Black Flourocarbons (high G set) then did the string order change up to soften string tensions (1-2-3-4 is now 1-4-2-3) Definitely livened up the sound.

Pono Pikake Koa Concert--> I was ready to send her back and then remembered that strings can make or break an instrument. I put Aquilas on it. WOW now I will not get rid of this instrument for even if you offered to take my psycho outside cat too! (trust me, that's saying a whole bunch) EDIT (2/18) I've gone through Worth clear and now to brown medium tension. I'm impressed at the ring and better intonation up to the 12th fret now.

Pono Baritone Koa- Aquilas are nice on this setup which I use as a travel guitar strummer.

Pono Koa2 Tenor- D'Addario J71's

Pono Ebony/Spruce- Worth Brown Medium tension

Pono Koa 6 string: Koolau for now til we need to change, then try the Kamaka 6-string set we got at PuaPua in Waikiki.

B!rch
12-01-2008, 09:08 PM
Should I perhaps use a metaphor of what wine goes the best with which cut of steak here? I'm new btw but as I'm ingesting all of this it seems everyone will their own personal opinions but there might be certain combos that are slightly favorable to different ukes ?
Just a thought, Robb ;)

gp-ak
12-21-2008, 11:08 AM
Kamoa Concert - Currently D'Addario J92s, my favorite string on this one. Nice smooth sound.

Harmony Baritone - D'Addario J82 - Not entirely happy with these, they sound dead. Anybody have any suggestions?

PS, Does anybody know where to get Guadalupe strings? I'd like to try them.

SailQwest
12-21-2008, 11:33 AM
PS, Does anybody know where to get Guadalupe strings? I'd like to try them.

http://www.guadalupecustomstrings.com

gp-ak
12-21-2008, 11:48 AM
http://www.guadalupecustomstrings.com

I don't see anywhere to buy on the site, do you order by e-mail?

Kanaka916
12-21-2008, 12:34 PM
You're probably gonna have to call (323-981-7055)/email (guadalupecustomstrings@yahoo.com) them to order or you can stop by the shop.


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gp-ak
12-21-2008, 12:38 PM
Thanks SailQwest and Kanaka!

Pippin
12-21-2008, 01:21 PM
I highly recommend it.
I went through one of those MGM string samplers with various ukes and each one seems to have its own particular tonal palate to add to the instrument. (Much more so than I ever found with guitar strings) Funny thing is that I still ended up with Aquilla's back on the two concerts, but a better appreciation for what those bring out. There are tones your instrument is capable of you're not aware of

I've got D'Addario's on the Kelii soprano, but those aren't quite doing it for me but I just put Roto-Sound Lagunas on the Waverly St. soprano and think that might work nicely. (as soon as I restring it correctly. Absentmindedly strung it lefty...) I may have to get another couple sets of Lagunas and try them on the Kelii.

Meanwhile I've got two packs of Worth Clear Mediums that ought to be enough for both concerts and two sopranos so I can see what the hot fuss is about Worths and have a direct basis for sound comparisons between the lot. (Going to wait a bit though so I can feel like I got my money's worth out of all the current strings.)

I expect at some point after going through enough combos I'll end up like Jumpingflea with a personal match of strings to each individual uke.

I have Dave's #35 soprano. I recently changed strings from Nylguts to the GHS soprano, black, the uke does not sound nearly as good. The tone is sweet, but, volume dropped a lot. I think Dave is using Worths Fluorocarbon strings now.

thejumpingflea
01-23-2009, 04:58 PM
BUMP. :D Thought some people should add to this. :)

Lanark
01-26-2009, 08:46 PM
re-bump. Seems like string questions are the new thing again.

Today I did some swapping. Put a fresh set of Fremont high tensions on the Lanikai Lk soprano and took the Worth medium clears that were on it and still fairly playable and put those on the Kelii soprano.

My impression so far is that the Kelii has found its strings. Perfect match. That uke is very bright and loud and these strings totally took the edge off the shriller aspects while still retaining a bit of the sparkle and filling out some of the resonance. It sounded balanced for the first time.

I'll have to see about the Fremonts in a day or so when they've settled a bit. First impression is that they're really similar in sonic character to the Worths with a touch less of the high end. Just an iota less bright. Nice sound, but I wasn't immediately convinced for the Lk.

Oswegan
02-19-2009, 12:57 PM
What strings for a solid mahogany kala tenor? Has aquilas now which are fine but the tension is a little high for my taste and they are pretty squeaky.

Lori
02-20-2009, 06:57 AM
I just got the Kala tenor Mango ukulele, with the stock ghs strings. As a guitar and banjo player, I want to have the ukulele sound like a ukulele... not too much like a guitar or banjo. I notice that the soprano sized ukes naturally sound brighter and more uke-like than the larger sized tenor. I was tempted to go smaller because of the sound, but I thought I would be safer with more finger room, since I am used to larger instruments.

So, I want to emphasize the brighter, plucky ukulele-type tones on this Mango tenor. Should I go with the Aquilas for that? Or is there another string that would fit the bill? I will probably play single notes as well as strumming chords. I probably won't be using a pick (I come from a classical guitar past).

Great thread!
Thanks, Lori

allinfun
02-20-2009, 07:49 AM
I would try a flurocarbon style string with the mango if you want plucky and bright. Like worth clears or freemonts. Then play with the tensions based on your playing style. Just my 2 cents.

haole
02-20-2009, 08:12 AM
I've found the strings for my Kamaka soprano! Worth Browns. No buzzing or unpleasant ringing! That was the problem with the much thicker D'Addarios and especially Aquilas. The Worths are a lot closer in thickness to the stock Kamaka strings, which my uke was set up for, but the sound is more pleasing to my ears. A little warmer and more subdued than the harsh Aquilas, and they just seem to play in tune better. Plus, they look sweet in the light.

Testing out the Pro Arte concert strings on my Flea. Great sound, and since they're classical guitar strings I feel like I'm playing a guitar. The string gauge is a lot heavier than what I'm used to on a uke, but so far, so good.

Lori
02-20-2009, 10:40 AM
I would try a flurocarbon style string with the mango if you want plucky and bright. Like worth clears or freemonts. Then play with the tensions based on your playing style. Just my 2 cents.

Thanks, I will give them a try!

– Lori

CDon
02-20-2009, 11:55 AM
Testing out the Pro Arte concert strings on my Flea. Great sound, and since they're classical guitar strings I feel like I'm playing a guitar. The string gauge is a lot heavier than what I'm used to on a uke, but so far, so good.
I just threw away three sets of Pro Arte J92 strings. They are thick. As in THICK. Like stringing your uke with garden hose. I thought about giving them away, but have no enemies that I know of...

haole
02-20-2009, 12:50 PM
I would've taken them. :B But they are definitely something to get used to; the next size up are probably those pahoehoe strings for bass ukulele. :eek:

Lanark
02-20-2009, 12:58 PM
Thanks, I will give them a try!

– Lori

I'd start with the Worth Clears of the two. They seem to have a little more high end brightness and presence than the Fremonts do in at least as far as the Lanikai Lk goes. They are the right string for the Kelii. I've come to really like that soprano a lot since I put Worth Clears on it.

The Fremonts also have given the Lk a nasty buzz right at the bridge for the C string whenever I hit it on the 3rd and 4th fret. (how often does anybody do that?) I'm going to switch them out, but haven't decided what to yet.

Lori
02-20-2009, 06:23 PM
I'd start with the Worth Clears of the two. They seem to have a little more high end brightness and presence than the Fremonts do in at least as far as the Lanikai Lk goes. They are the right string for the Kelii. I've come to really like that soprano a lot since I put Worth Clears on it.


Thanks for the info. I have ordered the Worth Clears (high G set), in medium tension since I don't know what I want yet. I also have ordered some individual low G fourth strings to play with, also fluorocarbon Worths. There were several different selections at Ukulele World. I am getting the C-LG (does the "C" stand for clear?). All the other codes had a "B" (for brown??) in their names. Not much explanation on the site about the differences between the choices: B-LG, C-LG, B-LGEX, and B-LGHD. Anyway, I wanted to be able to try out both tunings, the standard with the high G, and the low G. Anybody know the details on those choices?
Thanks, Lori

Witters
06-30-2009, 10:54 PM
I jumped on this thread - a bit late - because I have come to the conclusion that there is no conclusion.

But, there is guide lines (and good ones at that) that give an indication as to what strings are “probably” best on a specific type of Uke or wood, and you “probably” might be able to be guided by the majority.
But the overall decision is subjective and not definitive.

This area is probably the most frustrating for any newbie player, and even those that want to try other strings than what their Uke came with.

Then there is a change of mind category (which I’m in right now) who originally didn’t like Hilo strings for example (I didn’t) but now do after playing with them on a Flea for a fair amount of time.

And another discovery where a Soprano strings for example of one manufacturer does not automatically mean their Concert strings are as good, or as good sounding on the same wood and make of an particular Uke.

How on earth an individual whittles this all down in some sort of order is beyond me. And what frustrates me the most, is to find out that after trying all the well known brands on one particular Uke, then putting on cheap, buy anywhere, strings, the Uke sounds much better.

Lastly, comes in the feel. Some say that some strings shred their fingers, while others think the same strings are easy on the fingers.

Bottom line is there is no answer to what feels and sounds right to the individual on any particular manufacturer of Uke’s or different sizes and woods.

All sounds a bit negative doesn’t it?
But in every negative you can find a positive, and the positive here is the individual journey of discovery.

grappler
06-30-2009, 11:27 PM
I have on my main custom
worth clears for G C E strings
My A string has D'Addarios.

My mahalo tenor has Ko'olau strings for GCE but the A has worth Browns

FHS-72
07-01-2009, 06:51 AM
I have Worth clear low-G on my Lanikai CK-T. It gives it a nice mellow sound to it. My Kala KA STE-C has a La Bella 422 D-4th silver plated wound string for the low-G and a friend gave me some fishing line strings for the C-E-A strings and they really sound good together. I was surprised of how bright a sound it has. Some of the other members in our band say that it makes a real nice sound.

micromue
07-01-2009, 08:00 AM
Worth BT on my Koaloha Sopran

Aquila Concert on the Bushman Koa

Aquila Sopran on all Brükos.

Cheapo No name strings on the Flamingo

CTurner
07-01-2009, 08:04 AM
My Kanilea Concert K-1 sounds awfully good with the Aquila strings; it came with Aquilas. I like the volume and the string feel. When I asked Joe about "something maybe a little brighter" he suggested Hilos. I think, though, based on what I've read from other Kanilea owners that I might try a set of Worth Clear Mediums some time to maybe attempt at the brighter range.

My Pono Tenor sounds really great with Worth Clear Low Gs. It came with Koolau Golds and I never really liked the sound. But these really ring nicely.

My Kiwaya soprano has had Aquila, Fremont and Martin and D'Addario, but I now have Worths Clear Medium and like them a lot. I may go back to Fremonts since that is what Kiwaya sells and see if I remember how they sound.

I really appreciate this list.:shaka:

Witters
07-02-2009, 11:56 PM
Well now I’m in a right state.

The whole string world to me revolved around Aquila strings. Then I read one of the threads about another make of string, then another, then another thread introducing to me strings I have never heard of, so on and so forth.

So, I ordered a mixture based on recommendations - Martin, D’addario, Freemont, and Worth Browns from different suppliers.

The Worths came through first off eBay and I strung my Koa Flea with them. All I can say now is they have taken over as my No1 strings.
They sound so good and feel just right. I have no idea what they are made of and was surprised that they were made in Japan - Worth sounds like a western name???

Then I received the Martin Clear Fluorocarbon strings and put these on a Soprano Mahogany. WOW. The Uke opens right up and sounds terrific.

I am still waiting for the D’addario and Freemont strings so have no idea what they will bring to the table.

While I still highly rate Aquila strings because they can make a $40 Uke sound better than what it is, I cant see myself going back to them now.
The only problems I have now is determining the ultimate match between strings and Uke. But so far, I am very pleased that I have discovered a world outside of the Aquila one.

jpgordon
07-03-2009, 05:17 AM
So, I'm having a weirdly hard time finding out what strings and gauges I should put on my Tangi Manini sopranino. Does anyone have any suggestion for gauges so I can put my own set together?

mangouker
07-03-2009, 06:02 AM
what would be the benefits of having the C string be a wound?

byjimini
07-09-2009, 11:10 AM
I've got Aquila on my Greg Bennet and it sounds so clear and loud, with a really twang to it.

Sadly the same strings just don't seem to be cutting it on my LU-21c; they feel too solid and don't flow as well as I'd like. Might try some of these Worth strings that everyone raves on about.

thejumpingflea
09-26-2009, 11:27 AM
Updated the first post. Thought this could use a bump. ;)

buddhuu
09-26-2009, 02:28 PM
Interesting idea!

Kala KA-ASMT solid mahogany tenor - Worth brown BT.
Mellower, more musical sound than Aquilas. Minimal sacrifice of volume. IMO, a perfect match.

Makala dolphin sopranos - Aquila concerts.
Strong enough to deliver good tone and volume from plywood!

Stagg US80 solid mahogany soprano (one of the good ones) - Aquila sopranos.
Good tone and volume, clear definition. This uke is a little muddy with anything else, even Worths..

RevWill
09-26-2009, 03:53 PM
I'm gonna try some Fremonts on my Mainland cedar tenor.

itsme
09-26-2009, 04:41 PM
Kala KA-ASMT solid mahogany tenor - Worth brown BT.
Mellower, more musical sound than Aquilas. Minimal sacrifice of volume. IMO, a perfect match.
I have a solid mahogany tenor (Cordoba) that came with Aquilas. I tought they were harsh on my fingers and just sounded "clunky." The Worth brown BTs really sound sweeter to me and, like you said, just more "musical," not to mention that they are more comfortable under my fingers. Will be trying the Worth clears in the future (already bought some). But since I just put the browns on a couple weeks ago, I'm not in any hurry to do another string change.

mrplatypus70
09-26-2009, 04:52 PM
I put worth light brown strings on my soprano ukuleles, an Epiphone M500 and old Harmony from 1930's (both mahogany)
I have been through all kinds of strings, on the Epiphone; the old Harmony is new. Here is my rundown for the Epiphone....
The black strings that came on it (GHS?) Sucked, they sounded plastic and had no real tone or character to them
D'addario concert black nylon, a little thicker and louder then what came with it but the same basic tone,.....none!
Aquila concert, much better tone but did not like the scratchy cat tongue feel but way way better then the first two. More volume, more tone, more dynamics just that funky feel I did not like.
Worth brown, light tension.. A whole new world, these strings made this ukulele sing, it was louder, had more sustain and there was a tone coming from the wood that none of the other strings brought out. The only thing I was not crazy about was the fact they are so thin it feels strange on the fingers. I just got some Worth brown med and I think that may be the stuff but have not tried them yet.
I also have a Hamono Concert, which came from MGM with Aquila strings, and they sounded real good. When I found out how good the worth brown lights sounded on the Epiphone I tried them on this uke too; loved the loud bright sound but the thinness felt even weirder with a longer scale. Now I have D'addario Pro-Arte strings on the concert and I love the nice round tone for fingerpicking or single note runs but I think strummed chords sound kind of muddy, not enough definition on each note. I think I will try the other 1/2 of the Worth brown med on this uke.
This post has been way to long but what I am trying to say is changing to different strings makes a HUGE difference in the sound of a ukulele, much more so then on a guitar. So I think it is important to try different strings on all your ukuleles and find what works best! For the ukulele, and for your playing style. All my ukuleles are similar in that they are mahogany and I am not done experimenting yet but I am starting to think that Worth brown med might be the best sound for all of them.

clayton56
09-26-2009, 05:54 PM
This is on the surface a great idea. It not only guides new players to the better sounding strings for thier particular uke, but it also ends one of the great ongoing Uke forum arguments. The only real problem with it is that everyone has thier own idea about what sounds best and everyone is right.

What sounds the best to me might not sound all that great to you and the opposite is true. We are both right and we are both wrong.

Buy a uke. If the strings sound good, go with it. If the strings don't work for you, try a different set. For the most part, ignore everything eveyone on this forum says about different strings for different ukes.

One exception to the above rule....All the strings mentioned in the ongoing "which string is best argument" are generaly decent strings.

Have fun experimenting.

I agree, you have to try it yourself.

In general I have found I like nylon strings over flourocarbon or nyglut in most cases. I do have Fremonts on my Pono concert because nylon is too mellow for the bigger body.

Best, most perfect sound so far - Koaloha soprano with Koolau Gold strings. Sweet and pretty.

Reminder, MGM sells string samplers, 4 or 5 different brands, for testing out your new ukulele.

Is there a way we can put up sound samples on this site for people to hear?

paw123los
09-26-2009, 08:41 PM
Makapili Hinoki Top Tenor - Worth Clear Medium. They give a very nice and full sound on that instrument. I will experiment with D'Addarios, but I think those string will be the best for this uke.You can chech that out on my videos

Kala Acacia Tenor - D'Addario strings. With carefully dressed frets and very comfortable fingerboard this uke now is extremely comfortable to play with those strings and give also a very nice and deep sound. You can chech that out on my videos

Pono PKT 1-E - Worth Brown. These are the only strings which give a nice projection on this uke. I tried koolau, d'addario and aquila. Those worth brown strings are the best in my opinion for this uke.

Lanikai CK-TEQ - D'Addario strings. It sounds amazing with those strings, and is really really nice to play. That is a very nice ukulele by the way.

Eleuke Tenor - I think those are Hilo strings. I don't play this uke a lot, so I don't feel any need to change them at the moment. I like the sound they produce.

Lanikai LU21-T - Stock GHS strings. I use this ukulele rare and only for strumming. It is a very loud uke on those strings. I don't change them because GHS seems to have higher tension then aquilas and D'Addario and I expect a lot of fret buzz, because the action is real low.

Kala soprano travel - Aquila strings. They sound nice when you strum. I hate the sound Aquila strings give when you pick with your fingernails.

Dimavery Baritone ukulele - Aquila strings. It is a very cheap chinnesse laminate ukulele, and that is the only way to put some life into that instrument.

eldaddy007
09-26-2009, 08:49 PM
[QUOTE=Lori;98508]Thanks for the info. I have ordered the Worth Clears (high G set), in medium tension since I don't know what I want yet. I also have ordered some individual low G fourth strings to play with, also fluorocarbon Worths. There were several different selections at Ukulele World. I am getting the C-LG (does the "C" stand for clear?). All the other codes had a "B" (for brown??) in their names. Not much explanation on the site about the differences between the choices: B-LG, C-LG, B-LGEX, and B-LGHD. Anyway, I wanted to be able to try out both tunings, the standard with the high G, and the low G. Anybody know the details on those choices?
Thanks, Lori[/QUOTE

There's more info on the Worth website, but it's still confusing. I always thought string tension is determined by string diameter assuming the material is the same. But CD and CM appear to be identical. Anyone understand this?

I also play classical guitar and have tried Aquila, D'Addario Pro Arte and Worth on my Lanikai spruce top concert. I find Worths feel and sound the best to me. Aquilas are very loud, but feel and sound scratchy to me. And Pro Arte, although I use them on my classical guitar, just don't have enough volume or sustain on my uke.

Doctroid
09-27-2009, 03:08 AM
Nice thread, although a problem is that it's a jumble of discussions of strings for spruce top tenors, solid mahogany sopranos, laminate concerts... hard to distill any general trends out.

I'm a newb (new to not only ukes but string instruments generally) with a spruce top lacewood soprano, set up and strung with Aquilas by MGM. I have nothing to complain about, but then I have nothing to compare to. Eventually I suppose I'll go through several brands and types and decide what I like best... but anyone want to suggest what to start with? I should buy something now, I suppose, just in case a string breaks.

thejumpingflea
09-27-2009, 05:01 AM
Nice thread, although a problem is that it's a jumble of discussions of strings for spruce top tenors, solid mahogany sopranos, laminate concerts... hard to distill any general trends out.

I'm a newb (new to not only ukes but string instruments generally) with a spruce top lacewood soprano, set up and strung with Aquilas by MGM. I have nothing to complain about, but then I have nothing to compare to. Eventually I suppose I'll go through several brands and types and decide what I like best... but anyone want to suggest what to start with? I should buy something now, I suppose, just in case a string breaks.

What sort of playing are you going to be doing and what kind of sound do you want?

MGM
09-27-2009, 06:46 PM
Jusr reread my letter from koaloha and the day to change the prices at both ends starts Thursday...Tenors know list at 1000 concerts 780.00 sopranos 550.00 Cost of doing business rising everywhere......

ukecantdothat
09-27-2009, 07:52 PM
I'm an Aquila nut myself. Just like the way they sound and feel. Plus I've yet to break one, and I really abuse them. They make even my son's $30 uke sound great.

RevWill
09-29-2009, 05:09 AM
Just put the Fremont Blacklines on my Mainland tenor and I have to say I'm liking the sound. Every bit as bright as the Aquilas, but with a deeper-toned ring to them; maybe more throaty than nasal or something like that. And I like the look.

cocohonk
09-29-2009, 05:30 AM
Worth clears on my Honu.
Aquilas and a wound low G string from previous owner on my eleuke.
Aquilas on Kala Fruit.

I've also tried some Pro Arte strings recently, but I did not like them at all. They seem so thick and they sound so clunky compared to the Worths. Maybe I'll try them again later and see if I change my mind like I did on Aquilas (I hated the feel of them and the swishy sound I get when I strum at first, but somehow that went away, and I quite like them now) and Worths (because they're so skinny, I found them extremely painful to use at first for my left hand, but now the pain's gone, and I love them now). I've also tried and liked Ko'olau golds when I used them on a previous Pono.

Perhaps I'm just wishy-washy, but I think it takes a while to fully 'get' the feel of any brand of strings. It's always good to try new brands.

retrozombi
09-29-2009, 07:10 AM
The shop I bought my resonator at gave me Aquilas, and so far I quite like them. I ordered a couple of extra sets for some of my other ukes. As long as I was at it, I threw in a low G set and a GDAE (mando/violin) set. I put the mando tuning Aquilas on my Flea last night and broke them in with a little "House of the Rising Sun". It sounds nice! Really big and warm.