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View Full Version : Tenor Strings on a Concert Uke



johninmass
03-14-2013, 09:02 AM
I have purchased a bunch of Tenor strings and decided some of the strings (my less favorites) will never be used. Is it possible to use these strings on a concert sized uke? I have two really good ukes, a tenor and a concert, and two pretty good concert ukes (that I let the kids and friends play)? It is the pretty good ukes that I am thinking of trying the Tenor strings on. Any thoughts?

DaveVisi
03-14-2013, 09:19 AM
It's all a matter of string gauge and tension. Fishing line would work if it's the right thickness.

I'd look up the diameters of what you have and compare them to a comparable set of concerts.

Tenors by their nature are usually higher tension, but rather than use the same gauge, they balance this a bit by tweaking the string gauge. Putting them on a shorter scale instrument would naturally mean they would be at a higher pitch for the same tension, or more importantly to you, lower tension for the same pitch. How low, and if it's within the acceptable range for your instrument is yet to be seen.

mm stan
03-14-2013, 09:30 AM
I'd offer them for sale here and use the proceeds to buy concert strings.

johninmass
03-14-2013, 03:59 PM
I'd offer them for sale here and use the proceeds to buy concert strings.

Actually, I have experimented with strings for my LoPrinzi Tenor and Kamaka Concert Ukes and bought multiple sets of each because they were all bought on-line. When the experimenting was over, I am honing in on which are my favorites for each of these Ukes. But, I am left with 4-6 sets of Tenor strings that I will never use on my Tenor Uke. They are actually good quality strings (Aquila, D'addario, and Martin) just not my favorites, but certainly good enough for the two OK Concerts. That brings me to my question, can I use these Tenor strings on Concert Ukes without any issues? If not, maybe I'll sell them or give them away at my Uke group.

I find myself in the same situation with classical guitar strings. I must have ten sets of high quality classical strings. I haven't played my classical in over a year so I traded it for the Kamaka.

johninmass
03-14-2013, 04:03 PM
It's all a matter of string gauge and tension. Fishing line would work if it's the right thickness.

I'd look up the diameters of what you have and compare them to a comparable set of concerts.

Tenors by their nature are usually higher tension, but rather than use the same gauge, they balance this a bit by tweaking the string gauge. Putting them on a shorter scale instrument would naturally mean they would be at a higher pitch for the same tension, or more importantly to you, lower tension for the same pitch. How low, and if it's within the acceptable range for your instrument is yet to be seen.

This seems to make sense. Any one else want to weigh in?

southcoastukes
03-14-2013, 04:56 PM
It's all a matter of string gauge and tension...
I'd look up the diameters of what you have and compare them to a comparable set of concerts...

I think Dave needs to emphasize strongly, the word "comparable" in that recommendation. So many people get into trouble comparing gauges, and unless they are comparing the exact same material, then at best, they're wasting their time.

Strings have different densities, and with that, one material can have a very different gauge than another when tuned to the same note / same scale. You can see this easily, for example when comparing gauges of Nylgut and flourocarbon.

But don't make the other mistake I see so often, thinking all florocarbon is the same. There are hundreds of formaulae there, all with different densities as well.

The differences will not be so extreme as with comparing nylgut to flouro. They're significant enough, however, that in our mixed material sets, we have one set with the 1st & 4th strings, both of flouro, both of the exact same diameter, that give almost exactly equal tension when tuned a full note apart. That's too much of a difference for any comparison of gauges to be useful to anyone unless you know both materials are in fact, the same.