View Full Version : i am delighted, first string change

chuck in ny
03-23-2013, 11:10 AM
i have ever done, and things turned out wonderfully.
here's the deal. my KPK concert came with worth clears, and they played with good tone, certainly no particular gripe on my end. over a couple of months the low G string got so loose it was flapping and pretty unmusical.
it did occur that perhaps concerts were destined for reentrant tuning. i however love the low G and was willing to try it and needs be crash and burn.
i just put on a set of soprano/concert low G fremont strings and am allowing them to settle in. they sound very very nice on this instrument and are much nicer than the worths. they at once have a presence, or brightness, while allowing the mid range warm overtones of the mahogany body to come through in the sustain. the G string tuned up to good tension and doesn't seem like it is going to become a problem.
i do not have a good vocabulary for describing sound but will not let that stop me. the aquila strings on my mainland have a plinky and banjo like tone that overpowers the (hopefully) warmth of a mahogany instrument, where the fremonts take the deal in a fifty fifty balance. i've been playing it with the aquilas, and can appreciate the sound and where they are going with it although it isn't my preferred sound concept. with any luck putting fremonts on will get a good result.
anyhow i didn't create a disaster changing out strings and will be looking for a couple more go-to brands of strings to keep on the shelf. these fremont strings have a lovely sound, and a very nice feel.

03-23-2013, 11:45 AM
I haven't tried Fremonts, but other than that my experience is similar to yours. I use Worth browns, which are often described as having a similar tone to Fremonts.

Here's what I've figured out (I think.)
To state the obvious, the instrument and the strings have to match. To get a little technical, a note with a lot of lower frequency harmonics sounds "warmer", a a note with a lot of higher frequency harmonics sounds "brighter." The strings create a vibration and the soundboard resonates with that vibration, amplifying and enriching it. Mahogany tends to resonate lower frequencies well, while koa and acacia tend to resonate higher frequencies well. Which is why mahogany ukes usually sound warmer and koa and acacia ukes sound brighter. But if you're using strings that do the opposite of your soundboard, the sound won't be very full - it'll lack depth. For example, Aquila nylguts are very bright, meaning they produce more high harmonics. A mahogany soundboard won't do a very good job resonating those high frequencies, and the low frequencies it does resonate well just aren't there from nylguts. But put those same nylguts on a koa and they'll just sing because the koa resonates those high frequencies very well. And you get exactly the opposite effect with Worth browns or Fremonts on a koa.

I have a Kala mahogany tenor and I love my Worth browns (low G) on them. I also have a cigar box uke that sounds like crap with Worths. I think it's because the soundboard is so small. But it sounds pretty good with reentrant Aqulia nylguts tuned up to D.

03-23-2013, 11:55 AM
I think Fremont Blacklines and Worth Browns both have some kind of magic mojo going on... warm and bright at the same time with beautiful bell tones and great sustain. But i'm no string expert. I just like 'em.

chuck in ny
03-23-2013, 12:47 PM
both of you put this very well and to rights. thanks very much. i'll get some worth browns to keep on the shelf.
warm and bright, beautiful bell tones, great sustain, i'll take the magic mojo. this is so absolutely cool.

03-23-2013, 11:18 PM
I was a dedicated Aqila fan to start,as I had
only very basic starter ukes,laminates of course
and the Aquilas seemed to 'drive' the soundboard
better than any others.
As I progressed on the instrument,and got a few
better quality ukuleles,I experimented and found
that on most of my 'good' ukes, I prefer the sound
of the 'mellower' Worth Browns. So I changed them
out to check and yes,it's the tone and resonance
that I prefer.Nothing against Aquila strings which
are of course excellent, but 'horses for courses'.
One brand of string will please one player on one
particular uke,whilst another player will choose a
different brand.That's what makes life so varied!

03-24-2013, 01:13 AM
Very interesting thread and perfect timing-LOL. I have a Pono MT-PC which I bought in February. It was to be sent out with Worth clears and tuned to low G. Being new to the uke ( old time guitar guy), I noticed the strings were very tight and the chords were difficult to form. As most of the people on this site, one uke isn't enough, soooo I decided to buy a lower price tenor for an everyday player. I bought an Oscar Schmidt OU5T (laminate). It came with Aquila strings. I was amazed at how easy it was to play compared to my Pono. I found I was playing it constantly and ignoring the Pono. I started researching strings and think my Pono came with different strings than I ordered. The G & C are wound and the E & A are nylon.The tension on all the strings is really tight. I called the supplier and spoke with a sales guy and he confirmed that Worth clears don't come with wound strings. So, I'm now considering Worth BT's or CT's. I'm looking for less tension, but a good sound for the mahogany Pono. I've also decided to sell the OS5T to a friend and buy an Islander MST-4 mahogany uke. I'm trying to decide which strings to have them supply. Sorry for the rant, but I need some opinons. Thanks.

03-24-2013, 05:29 AM
You're on the right track. No one can tell you which string composition or set up will sound best on your uke. The combo that sounds best FOR YOUR EARS is the right set up. And, a suggestion - consider your very best instrument as your "everyday player", and take your lower priced uke to the beach party or beer bust.

chuck in ny
03-24-2013, 06:08 AM
well. limited experience of a noob notwithstanding i will recommend fremont blacklines low G. they did a bang up job on my mahogany concert. i would also try the worth browns. then you hear a good bit of people going from the worth browns to clears so that's one more to try.
there is no question that you are going to like the pono once it's making a beautiful sound with the appropriate strings. on a neither here nor there basis, now that this odd occurrence has happened to you, you could take it as a prod and make a good effort to try different strings.