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janeray1940
04-29-2013, 07:33 AM
I'm laughing out loud as I write this, since I thought it would *never* be a question I'd need to ask, but - what are the loudest strings you've tried? On a koa or mahogany soprano, in case that makes a difference.

Suddenly I'm finding myself needing to be heard more loudly in a group - the bigger ukes are drowning me out! I'm not ready to commit to playing amplified at this point and am wondering if a string change might make a difference.

Currently using Martin M600s; thinking I may have to go back to Aquilas...

Dan Uke
04-29-2013, 07:39 AM
I'm laughing out loud as I write this, since I thought it would *never* be a question I'd need to ask, but - what are the loudest strings you've tried? On a koa or mahogany soprano, in case that makes a difference.

Suddenly I'm finding myself needing to be heard more loudly in a group - the bigger ukes are drowning me out! I'm not ready to commit to playing amplified at this point and am wondering if a string change might make a difference.

Currently using Martin M600s; thinking I may have to go back to Aquilas...


If your group plays fingerpicking songs, you have no hope. If you are strumming, then hopefully the higher pitched sound would distinguish your uke from the larger ones. You gotta remember if you are using aquilas, bigger ukes can use aquila too.

You just can't beat physics. Good luck

oldetymey
04-29-2013, 07:40 AM
I think youre going to get alot of folks saying aquilas......as the loudest that is, volume doesnt denote quality, although I prefer aquilas.

janeray1940
04-29-2013, 07:43 AM
If your group plays fingerpicking songs, you have no hope. If you are strumming, then hopefully the higher pitched sound would distinguish your uke from the larger ones. You gotta remember if you are using aquilas, bigger ukes can use aquila too. Good luck

LOL I have no hope :)

Actually I used to use concert Aquilas on my sops, and they seemed really loud to me. So I'm going to give that another go.

(And this is my larger, Monday night McCabe's group I'm talking about. A couple of people were giving me a hard time about playing too quietly recently, which I don't think I do.)

janeray1940
04-29-2013, 07:45 AM
I think youre going to get alot of folks saying aquilas......as the loudest that is, volume doesnt denote quality, although I prefer aquilas.

Thanks, I suspect that's where this is going to go :) And that's fine - I don't dislike Aquilas exactly, I just prefer the feel and availablity of the Martins, but maybe it's time for a change.

SailingUke
04-29-2013, 08:13 AM
M,
If allowed I would consider plugging in a small amp (like a microcube) just to get a boost.
You can keep your strings you like and you won't change your playing style trying to get added volume.
I have seen when folks try to play loud they lose their touch as well.
Plug in, turn it way up so I can here you up the coast in Ventura. :)

fumanshu
04-29-2013, 08:21 AM
I think loudest would be Aquila......but personnaly I just don't like the tone of it.....but for volume, I think it's spot on....


https://soundcloud.com/baouke/star-filante-by-caro-bao

jackwhale
04-29-2013, 08:27 AM
I'd be interested to hear your assessment of a change of strings but I don't think a string change will make that much of a difference.
Brighter strings sometimes cut through other ukes in ensemble playing but I prefer low amplification in our group setting--4 ukes.

I think the answer lies in asking everyone to play more quietly so that the ensemble sound can be heard. In group playing it often is difficult to hear your own uke so instinctively we all play louder. Soon everyone is strumming away at high volume and no one can hear themself playing.

janeray1940
04-29-2013, 08:36 AM
M,
If allowed I would consider plugging in a small amp (like a microcube) just to get a boost.
You can keep your strings you like and you won't change your playing style trying to get added volume.
I have seen when folks try to play loud they lose their touch as well.
Plug in, turn it way up so I can here you up the coast in Ventura. :)

None of my ukes have pickups installed. Tried that once and really hated the sound - I'm convinced that having the pickup inside the uke altered the tone.

janeray1940
04-29-2013, 08:39 AM
I'd be interested to hear your assessment of a change of strings but I don't think a string change will make that much of a difference.
Brighter strings sometimes cut through other ukes in ensemble playing but I prefer low amplification in our group setting--4 ukes.

I think the answer lies in asking everyone to play more quietly so that the ensemble sound can be heard. In group playing it often is difficult to hear your own uke so instinctively we all play louder. Soon everyone is strumming away at high volume and no one can hear themself playing.

This is more of a fingerpicking group than a strumming group. The odd thing is, I sound really loud to myself, but not to others - kind of the opposite of what you are describing.

I'm going to pick up some Aquilas tonight and will report back. I'm looking forward to experimenting!

janeray1940
04-29-2013, 08:41 AM
I think loudest would be Aquila......but personnaly I just don't like the tone of it.....

You know, I think it depends on the uke. I love how they sound on my friend's Kamaka tenor, but on my little Kamaka pineapple I preferred the tone of the Martins. I'm going to try them on my mahogany soprano, which I haven't tried before.

DaveVisi
04-29-2013, 08:41 AM
... I'm looking forward to experimenting!

Besides playing, experimenting is part of the fun!

Doc_J
04-29-2013, 08:43 AM
Time for a sound hole mic. or just a mic close to your uke.

But I would think higher tension strings would drive your soundboard more and be louder. Try higher tension strings (Worth HD,etc, Saverez or other guitar strings.).

janeray1940
04-29-2013, 08:52 AM
Time for a sound hole mic. or just a mic close to your uke.

But I would think higher tension strings would drive your soundboard more and be louder. Try higher tension strings (Worth HD,etc, Saverez or other guitar strings.).

Thanks Doc, hadn't thought of guitar strings. I usually put concert strings on my sopranos and I know this is ok, but do you think I would be risking any damage with the higher tension of guitar strings?

ksiegel
04-29-2013, 09:33 AM
Try the Aquila Red strings. They are a thinner diameter string - but the use of copper in making the string gives some pretty amazing results. (They do feel completely different from Aquila Nyglut strings...)

I've got them on my Kala Cedar Top Tenor, and they stood up fine in a traditional folk music song circle, where I was the only Uke, and there were multiple guitars, banjos, an autoharp, a mandolin, penny whistles, flute, and voices. The only instrument that was drowning me out was a tenor banjo, played with a pick.

Also, while he plays Tenor, rather than soprano, Rick Turner used Savarez Classical Guitar Stringd on his personal ukes.



-Kurt

janeray1940
04-29-2013, 09:40 AM
Try the Aquila Red strings. They are a thinner diameter string - but the use of copper in making the string gives some pretty amazing results. (They do feel completely different from Aquila Nyglut strings...)

I've got them on my Kala Cedar Top Tenor, and they stood up fine in a traditional folk music song circle, where I was the only Uke, and there were multiple guitars, banjos, an autoharp, a mandolin, penny whistles, flute, and voices. The only instrument that was drowning me out was a tenor banjo, played with a pick.

Also, while he plays Tenor, rather than soprano, Rick Turner used Savarez Classical Guitar Stringd on his personal ukes.
]

Thanks Kurt, I didn't know the Aquila Reds came in sets - thought they were just low G. Seem to be hard to come by though!

And, that song circle sounds like a lot of fun :)

Mattyukaholic
04-29-2013, 09:43 AM
I've found D'Addario titaniums do the job for me. They are quite thick but have a nice bright clear tone and much nicer than aquillas. They're quite different though.

Doc_J
04-29-2013, 09:48 AM
Thanks Doc, hadn't thought of guitar strings. I usually put concert strings on my sopranos and I know this is ok, but do you think I would be risking any damage with the higher tension of guitar strings?

Yes, too much tension could be bad news. Check with Mike D about what tensions would be OK on it.

The Aquila Reds suggested by ksiegel are a good idea too. The D'Addario T2 seem similar to Alohi strings (purple monofilament) of a larger diameter, also higher tension.

PereBourik
04-29-2013, 10:52 AM
None of my ukes have pickups installed. Tried that once and really hated the sound - I'm convinced that having the pickup inside the uke altered the tone.

Kremona UK-1 ($70) is a pretty high quality piezo pickup. It's great if you have a tie bridge as it slips under the strings at the bridge. You don't even have to re-string, just loosen the strings to slip it under and re-tune. No permanent commitment and it lets you decide if amped is the way to go. The signal needs some help to get it sounding uku-like. I use a Behringer AD121 ($40) as an outboard preamp. HMS is showing a K&K preamp that clips on your belt.

OldePhart
04-29-2013, 01:59 PM
Loudest strings on most ukes? Fluorocarbon fishing leaders in the same gages as a Worth CH set. Louder even than Aquilas on most ukes. Some really lightly constructed ukes don't handle that much tension well - my KoAloha notably got much, much quieter with the heavy gage strings - they pinched the typical open KoAloha sound right down to miserable. Couldn't get them off fast enough.

But, yeah, on everything that can handle the tension without having the soundboard go too rigid to vibrate well, CH strings are da bomb.

John

OldePhart
04-29-2013, 02:00 PM
@janeray - I just thought of something - you play exclusively finger-picking, right? If so, and you're up against a room full of strummers, there's not much choice, you're going to need to amplify to be heard.

John

Uke Republic
04-29-2013, 02:13 PM
I'm digging the new Aquila reds too. They have a different feel and they look great:drool:

janeray1940
04-29-2013, 02:33 PM
Yes, too much tension could be bad news. Check with Mike D about what tensions would be OK on it.


I will; I should probably just ask him to send me some of his home-brew fishing line strings while I'm at it, because if I remember correctly, those babies were LOUD.


Kremona UK-1 ($70) is a pretty high quality piezo pickup. It's great if you have a tie bridge as it slips under the strings at the bridge. You don't even have to re-string, just loosen the strings to slip it under and re-tune. No permanent commitment and it lets you decide if amped is the way to go. The signal needs some help to get it sounding uku-like. I use a Behringer AD121 ($40) as an outboard preamp. HMS is showing a K&K preamp that clips on your belt.

Unfortunately none of my ukes have a tie bridge, so - probably not an option for me.


Loudest strings on most ukes? Fluorocarbon fishing leaders in the same gages as a Worth CH set. Louder even than Aquilas on most ukes. Some really lightly constructed ukes don't handle that much tension well - my KoAloha notably got much, much quieter with the heavy gage strings - they pinched the typical open KoAloha sound right down to miserable. Couldn't get them off fast enough.

See my comment above re: fishing line :) And I can't imagine a quiet Koaloha - mine was loud! I don't think I've tried Worth CHs - just the lights and mediums, and I liked the Martins better. Adding the CHs to the list for consideration.


@janeray - I just thought of something - you play exclusively finger-picking, right? If so, and you're up against a room full of strummers, there's not much choice, you're going to need to amplify to be heard.


Well, yes and no. I play in two uke ensembles and usually end up playing one of the lead/fingerpicking parts; sometimes just arpeggiated chords. Volume hasn't been an issue in the smaller of the two ensembles, but in the larger one it has as there are a few people who have told me they rely on following my lead, and when they can't hear me - well, there goes that! I was kind of dismissing this as "not my problem" until yesterday while playing with a friend - both fingerpicking, just me and one other uke - and my Kamaka soprano seemed really overpowered by the Kala tenor he was playing, even though I was making a conscious effort to play loudly.

Anyway - thanks, all, for the suggestions so far. I think the only thing I'll be able to pick up at the shop tonight are Nylguts but I'm putting Worth CH and Aquila Reds on the list to mail-order.

Ha, just when I thought I was completely satisfied with all of my uke-related choices (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?79482-Are-We-Ever-Satisfied!&p=1241500#post1241500) :)

PTOEguy
04-29-2013, 03:13 PM
I recently put a set of Southcoast SMU-NW strings on my tenor - they seemed louder than the Aquilas I had on before. In fact, I was playing after the rest of the family was in bed, and my wife came down and asked me if I was playing my Banjolele - so they must be loud.

Not sure what the Southcoast offerings would be like on a soprano, but I've loved them on both my tenor and baritone ukes.

janeray1940
04-29-2013, 03:17 PM
I recently put a set of Southcoast SMU-NW strings on my tenor - they seemed louder than the Aquilas I had on before. In fact, I was playing after the rest of the family was in bed, and my wife came down and asked me if I was playing my Banjolele - so they must be loud.

Not sure what the Southcoast offerings would be like on a soprano, but I've loved them on both my tenor and baritone ukes.

I had a conversation with Southcoast a few months back and IIRC, their soprano and concert sets aren't for standard gCEA tuning - the whole discussion went WAY over my head though so I might be wrong. But, I'm not enough of a musician to start messing around with alternate tunings, so I ruled those out pretty quickly.

Hmmm, banjolele... that reminds me, maybe I should start looking into resonator ukes!

joekulele
04-29-2013, 07:03 PM
It's unfortunate that so many people think louder is better. If everyone would play within their own space so you can hear your own instrument along with everyone else's it sounds so much better! Anyway, have fun experimenting. I look forward to your results.
-joe

igorthebarbarian
04-29-2013, 07:18 PM
Play with a pick or finger-picks maybe?

iDavid
04-29-2013, 07:53 PM
I'm digging the new Aquila reds too. They have a different feel and they look great:drool:

Is the Tenor Red set a high-g set?

Doc_J
04-30-2013, 01:53 AM
Is the Tenor Red set a high-g set?

Low and high g sets are available. Got them on my UT1. Big improvement over the Nylgut on it.

Tootler
04-30-2013, 05:09 AM
M,
If allowed I would consider plugging in a small amp (like a microcube) just to get a boost.
You can keep your strings you like and you won't change your playing style trying to get added volume.
I have seen when folks try to play loud they lose their touch as well.
Plug in, turn it way up so I can here you up the coast in Ventura. :)


None of my ukes have pickups installed. Tried that once and really hated the sound - I'm convinced that having the pickup inside the uke altered the tone.

Get a good quality condenser mic, that should give accurate reproduction of the sound of your uke.

I actually use Microvox pickups. They are a miniature condenser mic which you fix on with a small velcro pad. I find they give pretty accurate reproduction. I've used them on uke, recorder and harmonica and they work fine.

I've just got a Shure PG81 condenser mic which gave excellent results when I tried it with my recorder but I've not tried it with a uke yet. I suspect it will, though. The microvox 'bugs' do give a little more freedom to move around, though.

janeray1940
04-30-2013, 07:50 AM
I probably should mention: my question isn't about using electronics to amplify. That's a whole other... beast... that I'm pretty uninterested in taking on - the last thing I want is more gear to haul around! I appreciate the suggestions, but would prefer to keep the focus on my original question about strings. Thanks.

janeray1940
05-03-2013, 02:57 PM
So... the first experiment failed - attempted to put Nylguts on my custom, but the slots in the bridge are too narrow. I did get the 4th string on and didn't especially care for the sound. I suspect that when the Aquila Reds I ordered arrive, I'll run into the same problem with the bridge... but I'm looking forward to trying them out on my Kamaka pineapple.

Doc_J
05-03-2013, 05:15 PM
So... the first experiment failed - attempted to put Nylguts on my custom, but the slots in the bridge are too narrow. I did get the 4th string on and didn't especially care for the sound. I suspect that when the Aquila Reds I ordered arrive, I'll run into the same problem with the bridge... but I'm looking forward to trying them out on my Kamaka pineapple.

Aquila reds are substantially thinner. You should be fine. I found I had to use a sliver of paper in the C-string slot for use on UT1.

janeray1940
05-04-2013, 02:14 PM
Aquila reds are substantially thinner. You should be fine. I found I had to use a sliver of paper in the C-string slot for use on UT1.

Good to know, Doc - thanks!

Keeping this in mind, I went ahead and put the Nylguts on the Kamaka pineapple and - I think it's a good match! As I had hoped, the Aquilas are a bit louder than the Martin M600s, but what is really noticeable is that they have a bit more depth when playing higher up the neck - more sustain and a lot less "plinky" sounding. Sort of - darker sounding. Really nice when playing in a minor key, which is one of my favorite things to do :)

janeray1940
05-05-2013, 02:16 PM
And even more string experimentation: the Aquila Reds are on my mahogany custom, and they sound amazing. Like bells! The way they feel is going to take some getting used to - they have a bit of resistance to them and sort of make noise, not exactly a squeak but still audible.

I was so pleased with the Aquilas on my koa pineapple that I picked some up for my koa concert as well. I was hesitant at first since all the shop had was "new" Nylgut, but I can't tell the difference, they sound and feel just like the old ones to me. And they balance really well with the guitar D string I use for low G.

Anyway - thanks again to everyone who made suggestions :)

experimentjon
05-05-2013, 02:29 PM
Didn't read through the whole thread, but aside from strings, if you have a few bucks to spend, you might want to consider a Tonerite (guitar model to save money, instead of the ukulele model). I've been using it on all of my instruments, and have definitely heard volume/projection improvements after 72 hours on the device. Since you've got quite a few nice instruments, I think it might be a pretty good investment for you as you split the cost over each instrument.

janeray1940
05-05-2013, 02:38 PM
Didn't read through the whole thread, but aside from strings, if you have a few bucks to spend, you might want to consider a Tonerite (guitar model to save money, instead of the ukulele model). I've been using it on all of my instruments, and have definitely heard volume/projection improvements after 72 hours on the device. Since you've got quite a few nice instruments, I think it might be a pretty good investment for you as you split the cost over each instrument.

I saw your post a while back about the Tonerite and was intrigued - keeping this in mind for future reference. Thanks!

The one thing I question is whether or not it's a worthwhile investment with only 3 "nice" ukes - all 3 get played a lot as it is so I wonder if it would make a difference.

experimentjon
05-05-2013, 04:03 PM
I saw your post a while back about the Tonerite and was intrigued - keeping this in mind for future reference. Thanks!

The one thing I question is whether or not it's a worthwhile investment with only 3 "nice" ukes - all 3 get played a lot as it is so I wonder if it would make a difference.

The good news is that when I bought mine, there was a used unit on eBay that had a handful of bids and the price was close to the price of a new unit on ebay from My Favorite Guitars. (I dislike the uncertainty/frustration of bidding unless the price savings are considerable, so I just bought the new unit.) But the point is that the resale appears to be pretty decent if the device turns out to not have much effect for you. Might lose $30 or so in value and some of your time in listing it if you resell it, but I find that to be a fair gamble if you have 3 nice ukes. (This company should pay me a commission...LOL.)

UkueBass23
05-06-2013, 09:25 AM
The loudest strings I have ever tried are the new Aquila Reds. Those things have punch! Wasn't sure I liked it at first but now they are growing on me.

janeray1940
05-06-2013, 09:49 AM
The loudest strings I have ever tried are the new Aquila Reds. Those things have punch! Wasn't sure I liked it at first but now they are growing on me.

They're growing on me too, I only hope that the breakage problems I've read about in other threads have been resolved.

I'm still debating whether the Reds or the Nylguts are louder - right it seems like the Nylguts, which I am really enjoying a lot. Funny how I was so sure I'd never go back to them! Change is good.

Jon Moody
05-07-2013, 12:10 AM
I'm laughing out loud as I write this, since I thought it would *never* be a question I'd need to ask, but - what are the loudest strings you've tried? On a koa or mahogany soprano, in case that makes a difference.

Suddenly I'm finding myself needing to be heard more loudly in a group - the bigger ukes are drowning me out! I'm not ready to commit to playing amplified at this point and am wondering if a string change might make a difference.

Currently using Martin M600s; thinking I may have to go back to Aquilas...

This is really a matter of tension, as high tension strings put more force on the bridge and neck, effectively squashing the sound and dampening the volume. Just as an experiment, pull off one string and play the uke. It WILL be louder, because one less string = less tension on the top.

I'm currently using a prototype set that is very low tension, but nearly doubled the volume of my uke, compared to my other one that is strung with Aquilas right now.

Ukejungle
05-07-2013, 05:13 PM
Just got Livings Waters Low G tenor. Louder than the Reds on their before. Starting to sound better too after 5 days on my tenor.

blue_knight_usa
05-07-2013, 05:32 PM
I'm laughing out loud as I write this, since I thought it would *never* be a question I'd need to ask, but - what are the loudest strings you've tried? On a koa or mahogany soprano, in case that makes a difference.

Suddenly I'm finding myself needing to be heard more loudly in a group - the bigger ukes are drowning me out! I'm not ready to commit to playing amplified at this point and am wondering if a string change might make a difference.

Currently using Martin M600s; thinking I may have to go back to Aquilas...

My opinon for what little value it provides is that Aquila's are the loudest, but that just means the loudest, not necessarily best sounding, just loud with punch. This is an interesting issue I found and why I don't play in large groups regularly because many people don't understand volume control, crescendo and decrescendo, and so everyone thinks they just should bang away as loud as they can and strum strum strum. If you can educate folks and get more people to play softer, you're a hero ;-)

If you get everyone to back down and play softly, surprisingly everyone will hear each other. I learned this years ago from Uncle Kimo Hussey who never plays loud and when he plays with a group, he tells everyone to play SOFTER and when everyone does it sounds good. Play at full volume and it drowns out everyone. Rather than having to spend money and changing strings, why don't you see if you can get people to play softer. Either that or plug into a portable amp and you never have to worry about loud strings again!

Cheers,

janeray1940
05-07-2013, 06:43 PM
If you get everyone to back down and play softly, surprisingly everyone will hear each other. I learned this years ago from Uncle Kimo Hussey who never plays loud and when he plays with a group, he tells everyone to play SOFTER and when everyone does it sounds good. Play at full volume and it drowns out everyone. Rather than having to spend money and changing strings, why don't you see if you can get people to play softer. Either that or plug into a portable amp and you never have to worry about loud strings again!


Interesting, someone else mentioned this about strumming groups as well. I don't play in strumming groups - my two groups are instrumental ensembles playing melody and countermelody, so it's a little different. But I'm often the sole soprano player, hence the volume issue - the tenors and concerts are always going to be louder. None of my ukes have pickups installed, and I'm not interested in installing them, so - plugging in isn't an option.

The Aquilas seem to have made quite a difference, I have audio from the group I played with last night and I could actually hear myself solo, which was a first. And I actually am really enjoying the sound they produce on my Kamaka pineapple - I don't think I had tried them on that uke before, and while I found them to be harsh-sounding when I had a soprano Kamaka figure-8, on the pineapple they make a really nice full sound that is completely different.

janeray1940
05-07-2013, 06:46 PM
This is really a matter of tension, as high tension strings put more force on the bridge and neck, effectively squashing the sound and dampening the volume. Just as an experiment, pull off one string and play the uke. It WILL be louder, because one less string = less tension on the top.

I'm currently using a prototype set that is very low tension, but nearly doubled the volume of my uke, compared to my other one that is strung with Aquilas right now.

Funny thing is one of the reasons I never much cared for Aquilas was that I find them to be really low-tension - they feel overly floppy or mushy to me, and when I was a less experieced player I felt like this affected my precision. It's been several years since I tried them, though, and now I'm not finding this nearly as problematic - in fact, the lower tension seems to make some things easier (hammer-ons and pull-offs, for instance) so it's a good tradeoff :)

Dan Uke
05-07-2013, 07:24 PM
Just tell everyone else to pluck softer!!

Jon Moody
05-08-2013, 12:24 AM
Funny thing is one of the reasons I never much cared for Aquilas was that I find them to be really low-tension - they feel overly floppy or mushy to me, and when I was a less experieced player I felt like this affected my precision.

I guess it would depend on what you're comparing them to, but compared to these new strings I'm using, the Aquilas are very high tension. And yeah, lower tension strings are actually easier to play and easier on your hands, but there is definitely a learning curve in getting the touch right to make sure your technique stays consistent and good.

Phooto
05-08-2013, 01:57 AM
I rate the Savarez strings - http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?80373-Savarez-Strings-review

janeray1940
05-08-2013, 04:51 AM
I rate the Savarez strings - http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?80373-Savarez-Strings-review

Thanks - I didn't know that Savarez made uke-specific strings! I might have to track some of these down. Like you - I'm not generally a fan of Worths, so your review was helpful.

peewee
05-08-2013, 06:56 AM
I'm hoping to get out to Guadalupe soon, I can pick you up a fiber core all wound set if you want..

janeray1940
05-08-2013, 08:22 AM
I'm hoping to get out to Guadalupe soon, I can pick you up a fiber core all wound set if you want..

Oh yes please! Low G for the concert uke :) And, thanks!

Phooto
05-08-2013, 08:38 AM
Thanks - I didn't know that Savarez made uke-specific strings! I might have to track some of these down. Like you - I'm not generally a fan of Worths, so your review was helpful.
Thanks, just replaced Worth Browns on a uke that was horrible for me to play with Savarez, totally transformed it! Have been doing a few other reviews too (a Bruko and a 6-string uke so far), I'll add a few more soon.

strumsilly
05-08-2013, 09:27 AM
Play with a pick or finger-picks maybe?

that's what I do when I play with a bunch of guitar players, plus I use a tenor 8 string or a banjolele

strumsilly
05-08-2013, 09:29 AM
I'm hoping to get out to Guadalupe soon, I can pick you up a fiber core all wound set if you want..

do they still make those low octive sets? you used to have to order 5. if so, pick me up a set and I'll pay you.

janeray1940
05-08-2013, 04:11 PM
And another update - got some New Nylguts and managed to get them to fit on my mahogany soprano (even the C string, which in the "old" Nylgut wouldn't fit in the slot). And they sound pretty good! I think I like them better than the Reds, which sounded great but just felt too darned weird to me.

One thing I like about the new Nylguts is that they don't feel as mushy as the old ones do - more of a smooth feel like fluorocarbons. Although I think this makes them a bit quieter - the old Nylguts on my koa pineapple have considerably more volume than the new Nylguts on my mahogany soprano.

I'm pretty sure I haven't given this much thought to strings since... ever, really :) It's been fun though!

tonet
05-19-2013, 06:33 AM
Just one question. Are the New Nylgut made of a mix of the old Nylguts and Fluorocarbon? Thanks.

janeray1940
05-19-2013, 07:16 AM
Just one question. Are the New Nylgut made of a mix of the old Nylguts and Fluorocarbon? Thanks.

Hopefully someone here can answer your question - sorry, but I have no idea.

I do have a follow-up on the string experiment - I think I've found even louder strings than Aquilas, that sound and feel a bit nicer! D'Addario Nyltechs, which I put on my mahogany soprano a couple nights ago after seeing a few positive recommendations here and - WOW. Really nice tone and feel, and these things sure project. They have the bell-like sound that I love, but aren't too... bright, I think?

One of the challenges for me as primarily a fingerpicker who also plays with groups from time to time (and who doesn't have a dedicated strumming uke!) is finding a string that sounds equally good for simple strumming as for fingerpicking, and I think the D'Addarios are the best of both worlds.

Ukester Brown
05-19-2013, 08:23 AM
Living Waters strings are the loudest I've played.

mm stan
05-19-2013, 01:51 PM
[QUOTE=janeray1940;1266630]And another update - got some New Nylguts and managed to get them to fit on my mahogany soprano (even the C string, which in the "old" Nylgut wouldn't fit in the slot). And they sound pretty good! I think I like them better than the Reds, which sounded great but just felt too darned weird to me.

One thing I like about the new Nylguts is that they don't feel as mushy as the old ones do - more of a smooth feel like fluorocarbons. Although I think this makes them a bit quieter - the old Nylguts on my koa pineapple have considerably more volume than the new Nylguts on my mahogany soprano.
I think the wood choice and larger pineapple cavity has more to do with your comparison volume...remember volume is good, but with sweetness too.. go to the dark side and get a pickup and amp

janeray1940
05-19-2013, 02:21 PM
go to the dark side and get a pickup and amp

LOL, I suppose the day will come when this will be inevitable. But for now I think I've solved the volume problem on my 'hog sop with the D'Addario Nyltechs - I even ran it past my uke instructor today and he agreed with me that they might be the best strings for that particular uke that I've tried so far.

MGM
05-19-2013, 02:28 PM
I think the question is not quite right...No string will be the loudest on every uke...it all depends on wood, density, moisture content, bracing style, build quality etc. It may be loudest to your ear on one uke but some other uke they will sound horrible. the real question regardless of strings should have been which uke do you have that sounds the loudest regardless of string brand....loud does not also always equal good tonal quality and greatsubtle sound harmonics and overtones

janeray1940
05-19-2013, 02:38 PM
I think the question is not quite right...No string will be the loudest on every uke...it all depends on wood, density, moisture content, bracing style, build quality etc. It may be loudest to your ear on one uke but some other uke they will sound horrible. the real question regardless of strings should have been which uke do you have that sounds the loudest regardless of string brand....loud does not also always equal good tonal quality and greatsubtle sound harmonics and overtones

Thanks Mike. Yeah, I get that - even though I only have three ukes, the same strings sound totally different on each one. New Nylguts are great - and LOUD - on my Kamaka concert, old Nylguts sounded awful on it but sound great on my Kamaka pineapple. Although my question may have been worded in a very un-technical way, that was in part my intention - I just wanted to get some string suggestions beyond the usual Aquilas or Worths or Martins. And although I think it was another thread that led me to discover the D'Addario Nyltechs that I've happily settled on, my question did generate a lot of suggestions - so, it worked! :) I'm aware that loud doesn't always equal good tone. But I was hopeful that I'd be able to get both - and I did!

MGM
05-19-2013, 08:45 PM
Thanks Mike. Yeah, I get that - even though I only have three ukes, the same strings sound totally different on each one. New Nylguts are great - and LOUD - on my Kamaka concert, old Nylguts sounded awful on it but sound great on my Kamaka pineapple. Although my question may have been worded in a very un-technical way, that was in part my intention - I just wanted to get some string suggestions beyond the usual Aquilas or Worths or Martins. And although I think it was another thread that led me to discover the D'Addario Nyltechs that I've happily settled on, my question did generate a lot of suggestions - so, it worked! :) I'm aware that loud doesn't always equal good tone. But I was hopeful that I'd be able to get both - and I did!

Well that's great....Really (me included) we should worry about playing and techniques more that what strings are on the uke....Play for people and the subtle tonal qualities that make a great uke do not impress them as much as the great playing technique you perform...

coolkayaker1
05-20-2013, 01:50 AM
Hi, janeray1940.

I don't think anyone mentioned them, but I just adore Fremont Blacklines on my sopranos and concerts. In particular, they seem to me to be loud and perfect balance of tone. They are my go to strings. They are made in Japan and cn be bought at Elderly or eBay such as Lucy's Ukulele (who is Kiwaya retailer). I use them on my Martin sopranos, for instance, and they are lovely and I think loud.

They come in two tensions:medium or hard. I prefer hard, but can't tell too much volume difference if any when I have used medium. I don't know about the tension difference.

Cheers, my friend.

janeray1940
05-20-2013, 04:22 AM
Well that's great....Really (me included) we should worry about playing and techniques more that what strings are on the uke....Play for people and the subtle tonal qualities that make a great uke do not impress them as much as the great playing technique you perform...

LOL, then really we should *ALL* get the heck off UU, and focus on actually PLAYING our ukes instead, right? :) :) :)

I've got an instructor that I work with for things like that. But I don't play for people to "impress them" with my "great playing technique," and probably never plan to in my lifetime. I play FOR myself, and I play WITH people, simply to have a good time.

It was playing WITH people, who said they couldn't hear me, that made me ask about strings in the first place. Sure, I could have asked about techniques to play louder, but that wasn't my goal here - I'm not seeking to change my playing style. Only to get a little more volume out of my ukes!

janeray1940
05-20-2013, 04:24 AM
Hi, janeray1940.

I don't think anyone mentioned them, but I just adore Fremont Blacklines on my sopranos and concerts. In particular, they seem to me to be loud and perfect balance of tone. They are my go to strings. They are made in Japan and cn be bought at Elderly or eBay such as Lucy's Ukulele (who is Kiwaya retailer). I use them on my Martin sopranos, for instance, and they are lovely and I think loud.

They come in two tensions:medium or hard. I prefer hard, but can't tell too much volume difference if any when I have used medium. I don't know about the tension difference.

Cheers, my friend.

Thanks, I'd forgotten about those - used to use the Hards on a Kamaka figure-8 I had that just never seemed to have enough tension and they were really nice on that uke. I'd probably have to go with the Mediums on my mahogany soprano since that thing has tension for days!