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View Full Version : Mainland Cutaway Slothead Mahogany Tenor + Ko'Olau Alohi Strings



OldePhart
05-23-2013, 03:46 PM
Okay, so I'd pretty much settled on my "Seaguar CH" set on this uke - but tuned down to Bb since it has a weird resonance-related buzz at around F#-G when those heavy strings are tuned up to C.

A week or so ago I decided that this was the uke I wanted to take to UWC (I'm camping this year and it already has a crack in the back so I'm willing to risk it "in the wild" for a week or so). Anyway, I knew I wasn't going to want to be tuned in Bb during UWC (learning new songs by watching someone else's fingering while transposing on the fly from C to Bb tuning is a bit more than my poor ole' gray-haired brain can handle).

Anyway, I liked Ko'Olau Alohi strings on my KoAloha longneck soprano so I ordered some tenor Alohi strings from HMS.

Bottom line...they've stretched in now and I like them very much. Not quite as much as I like the "Seaguar CH" tuned to Bb, but a very close second. They intonate very well up the neck; again, not quite as good as the CH tuned to Bb but quite good. The tone is nice, and sustain decent. They very definitely have that temperature sensitive thing going on. I don't think it's as severe as with the Ko'Olau golds but it's definitely present and I notice it more on the tenor than I do on the longneck soprano. Still, as long as you remember to retune after the first song that's a minor price to pay for good intonation and tone.

BTW, the resonant buzz thing got my curiosity up (typical engineer type, I guess) so I tuned the Alohi strings up to D and, sure enough, I had a resonant buzz but now it was at E-F. Very interesting. I fooled around for half an hour and I think I may have determined that the buzz is actually originating from the hairline crack in the back (second hand uke that hadn't been properly humidified in Mass. in the winter). It seemed like if I pressed on the crack the buzz stopped.

So, second stop today was at a woodcrafter store where I picked up some hide glue and will try a simple repair of that crack...

John

mm stan
05-23-2013, 03:51 PM
Aloha John,
Ahhh you found my all around strings I like too...Ko'olau alohis...much sweeter and nice tone....when I try all the other strings to fix a uke, these never let me down...thicker which
makes them sweeter and dropped tuned to either A#, Bb, or B.....Happy strummings....

Skitzic
05-24-2013, 02:52 AM
I use Alohi strings a lot. They seem to last a long time, which is good because I really don't like changing strings. :D

PhilUSAFRet
05-24-2013, 03:13 AM
I have Alohi's on my Pono mahogany concert and love them. Nice balanced sound, feels good to the fingers.

coolkayaker1
05-24-2013, 02:24 PM
I just squirted some thin viscosity Superglue-type cement in my cracks.

PTOEguy
05-24-2013, 02:53 PM
I just squirted some thin viscosity Superglue-type cement in my cracks.

I just read this out of context and got an entirely wrong mental image

OldePhart
05-25-2013, 05:16 AM
I just read this out of context and got an entirely wrong mental image
:biglaugh:

As for the repair - it went easy-peasy considering it was my first experience with hide glue. I wouldn't call it a "professional" repair but it's good and tight and pretty clean. If it wasn't a gloss finish I'd touch it up with some sandpaper and refinish...nah...I probably wouldn't as that's too much trouble for a player uke.

Unfortunately, fixing the crack didn't have any affect on the resonance. It moves around with pressure on the soundboard but there don't seem to be any loose braces or anything. I thought maybe it was the MiSi wiring but that all seems tied up snugly and not touching any braces or the top or anything. I may have to use the old trick of finding a sweet-spot to glue a coin to change the resonance to a pitch that doesn't matter.

Or, I may just have to change it back to Aquila strings - I never noticed any resonant buzzing with those, just with the high-tension fluorocarbon and the Alohi strings, both of which are higher tension than the Aquilas were.

John

kissing
05-26-2013, 02:18 AM
Koolau Alohi's are my favourite baritone strings now.
I like their heavier tension, their feel and the clear, sweet tone you get.