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KoaDependent
01-29-2013, 04:52 AM
It's often been remarked here that D tuning sounds better on certain sopranos. I've found that myself with my new Ohana SK-38. I absolutely love the sound of it in D but hate having to transpose everything that I play with others, and I suspect that constantly changing the tuning isn't good for the strings.

Tuning the SK-38 to C really changes the nature of the sound, too - it's like I hear the wood more than the strings, if that makes any sense at all. It sounds like the C string is overwhelming, whereas in D the strings seem to blend better. For reference, I currently have it strung with Martin M600s.

I'm hoping that someone has recommendations on a higher-tension string that could mimic the tone I'm getting in D tuning while remaining in C. I've got a pack of Fremont Hard Tension on the way - any other thoughts?

coolkayaker1
01-29-2013, 04:57 AM
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?73135-High-tension-soprano-strings

I use Fremont Blacklines, Hard (not medium). Heaven, koa! Available through Elderly and (I think) HMS and eBay, lucyukulele.

PS Oh, you have some on the way. Yep.

KoaDependent
01-29-2013, 05:06 AM
Jeez, that thread isn't even that old. My search-fu is weak.

kissing
01-29-2013, 05:23 AM
I even went as far as to put Fremont blackline TENOR strings on one of my soprano for satisfyingly hard tension.

It's only marginally thicker in gauge than their "hard tension for soprano/concert", so it should be ok.
However, try at your own risk - I only have it on my inexpensive soprano which I can easily replace if anything happens.


Martin M600s are the lowest tension strings I have ever used.

OldePhart
01-29-2013, 12:34 PM
Best strings on my Mainland mahogany soprano? "Seaguar CH" (Seaguar fishing leaders in exactly the same gages as a worth CH set.) Absolutely amazing - great intonation, volume, and tone. Same story on a mahogany tenor from the same strings. Also worked very well on my mango soprano but was a little bright so I switched that one to Ko'Olau golds.

John

TheCraftedCow
01-30-2013, 09:00 AM
Guadalupe Strings are incredible! Marc Schoenberger puts them on his Smeck Vita ukuleles. To get that sound from a 15 ounce ukulele must have a lot to do with the strings.

arpie
01-30-2013, 05:01 PM
I have a 60/70s Kamaka Soprano & it never liked being tuned to GCEA but was very happy in D tuning! However, this meant I couldn't play easily with my uke group - so I put geared tuners on (I know - sacrilege!) and also put on Aquila Strings and retuned it to G!! It sounded LOVELY! Totally different, even, from the D tuning - really bright and chirpy.

About a 6 weeks later, I went to take it out to play & the bridge had popped!! :eek: Over Xmas, I sent it to Ukulele Hospital & just got it back on Friday! It is back to sounding brilliant again & I love it!! SO much more expression than before the change of tuners & strings

SO, keep in mind (particularly with older ukes) that putting higher tension strings on, may cause the bridge to pop!!

cheerio

Roberta

southcoastukes
01-30-2013, 05:16 PM
It's often been remarked here that D tuning sounds better on certain sopranos... the C string is overwhelming, whereas in D the strings seem to blend better.

I'm hoping that someone has recommendations on a higher-tension string that could mimic the tone I'm getting in D tuning while remaining in C...

Tension is certainly a big factor in sound, so it is possible a higher tension might help on your instrument.

More than likely, however, is that it's just a matter of acoustics. With a C note, you are playing right at the resonance of a lot of Soprano bodies. That overwhelming sound is an overtone. It's why Sopranos were traditionally tuned in D.

If I were you, I'd just play in D tuning. Use a set with somewhat high tension. Then if you've learned everything in C tuning, just "tune down" the day before you play in your group setting. Optimal sound is seldom a priority in those situations to begin with.

southcoastukes
01-30-2013, 05:20 PM
I have a 60/70s Kamaka Soprano & it never liked being tuned to GCEA but was very happy in D tuning! However, this meant I couldn't play easily with my uke group - so I put geared tuners on (I know - sacrilege!) and also put on Aquila Strings and retuned it to G!! It sounded LOVELY! Totally different, even, from the D tuning - really bright and chirpy.

About a 6 weeks later, I went to take it out to play & the bridge had popped!! :eek: Over Xmas, I sent it to Ukulele Hospital & just got it back on Friday! It is back to sounding brilliant again & I love it!! SO much more expression than before the change of tuners & strings

SO, keep in mind (particularly with older ukes) that putting higher tension strings on, may cause the bridge to pop!!

cheerio

Roberta

Roberta,

G tuning is viable on Sopranos, especially a linear G. Take a look at this thread:

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?75956-Sourthcoast-XXL-Strings-Mainland-Mango-New-Soprano!!

We also make a set to do it in a reentrant tuning. The thing to remember is that with a tuning this high, you use lighter gauges. There's no danger that way. When your tunings go up, your gauges should get smaller (and vice versa).

arpie
01-30-2013, 07:51 PM
Thanks for that info, Dirk - I really wasn't aware that there are SO many different strings that are available these days!!

The lighter guages, the 'higher' you go, sure makes sense!

cheers

Roberta

KoaDependent
01-30-2013, 09:41 PM
Tension is certainly a big factor in sound, so it is possible a higher tension might help on your instrument.

More than likely, however, is that it's just a matter of acoustics. With a C note, you are playing right at the resonance of a lot of Soprano bodies. That overwhelming sound is an overtone. It's why Sopranos were traditionally tuned in D.

That makes a lot of sense. Thanks for your input, Dirk!