PDA

View Full Version : Will this string thing never end?



bborzell
05-29-2013, 03:42 AM
Been running Living Water strings on both my Pono ATDC and my MP mango with cedar top. Wonderful balance and warm tone from both instruments. The Pono seems a bit warmer while the MP is a bit more articulate.

Then I read about the new Southcoast ML-SW sets. I had used a set of Southcoast ML-RW strings and liked them but the Living Waters seemed to maybe be a little more balanced from string to string (might have also been my imagination).

So, I ordered a set of the new ML-SWs and put them on the MP last night. Immediately, the cedar top moved to a new level. It seemed like the new strings had energized the soundboard in a way that was different from any string I had tried up to this point.

Still warm and balanced (maybe even more so than the ML-RWs), but the main difference is how the tonal quality that attracted me to a cedar top in the first place has been enhanced. The sound is both full and articulate. Barre chords sound and feel more distinct. The overall effect is that the MP sounds like it has a preamp added to a passive pickup (even though it has no pickup, in the first place). These strings seem to really like cedar tops.

But, here's the hard part. I don't necessarily prefer these strings over the Living Waters in much the same way that I don't prefer the Living Waters over the Southcoast ML-SWs. They sound different, but not "better" than the other. I very much like both sounds. The Southcoasts also seem to have a bit more tension which adds to my fingerpicking style. But, even that distinction is slight.

For now, the hot setup seems to be LWs on the Pono all acacia tenor and Southcoasts on the cedar top/mango back and sides MP. I would like to think that I can now stop swapping out strings (until further notice).:)

Kanaka916
05-29-2013, 04:22 AM
I think as your playing develops/progresses, you'll be more apt to try different strings to extract that sound. For the time being, you seem satisfied using what you have and till something new comes along, I'd just stay with what sounds good to you. String sets will continue to evolve with folks like Dirk who are constantly trying different materials and combinations.

Sporin
05-29-2013, 04:31 AM
I'm going to have to try one of these linear sets at some point, I assume you play the chords the same way? It's not a different tuning?

bborzell
05-29-2013, 04:44 AM
I'm going to have to try one of these linear sets at some point, I assume you play the chords the same way? It's not a different tuning?

Yep, standard low g.

Kanaka916
05-29-2013, 04:48 AM
The Linear sets are commonly referred to as we know them, low g. Maybe this page will explain it better . . . http://www.southcoastukes.com/string%20sets.htm

Rodney.
05-29-2013, 04:58 AM
Been running Living Water strings on both my Pono ATDC and my MP mango with cedar top. Wonderful balance and warm tone from both instruments. The Pono seems a bit warmer while the MP is a bit more articulate.

Then I read about the new Southcoast ML-SW sets.

Stop reading.

Sporin
05-29-2013, 07:39 AM
Thanks guys, that's what I thought. I play low-g and it sounded like that was what "linear" meant. :) :)

Dan Uke
05-29-2013, 08:57 AM
Yeah, string choice is personal so I would stop experimenting once you find a set you like. I liked the RW but had no choice once they were discontinued...Dirk did a good job.

bborzell
05-29-2013, 10:56 AM
Stop reading.

If I did I'd have to burn my autographed copy of "Fahrenheit 451"

Marvelle
05-29-2013, 01:19 PM
If I did I'd have to burn my autographed copy of "Fahrenheit 451"

Good line! May have to steal that one.

hawaii 50
05-29-2013, 03:24 PM
Haha,,when I was a golfer I always used to buy new golf clubs..
strings are like golf clubs..it is the player not the strings that make your ukulele sound good..keep on practicing not shopping..haha

only my 2 cents

Dan Uke
05-29-2013, 03:54 PM
Haha,,when I was a golfer I always used to buy new golf clubs..
strings are like golf clubs..it is the player not the strings that make your ukulele sound good..keep on practicing not shopping..haha

only my 2 cents

Yes, I always blame my clubs!! Just like ukes, you sell some that you regret. LOL

bborzell
05-30-2013, 06:44 AM
If you want to change direction away from focussing on the strings and equipment, find a CD you like so much that you wear it out and can sing the songs by heart. Learn how to play the songs in an arrangement you like, not necessarily the same as the CD.
Or if you have not done it before, get hold of a book like "The Jazz Theory Book" by MarK Levine and keep reading it again and again, also finding all the tunes he references, until you start to "get" it and can play some tunes on a ukulele in your own style (this might take a few years).
Or just get a book like "The idiots guide to music" which has a CD to accompany it and just spend six months working through the theory, applying it to your uke.
What I am getting at is that there is an amazing world of music that can be way more interesting and less expensive than simply messing around with strings and posting on bulletin boards and talking about the 30 issues in the first few pages of "Ukuleles for Dummies" (an excellent book by the way, but it is like the gateway to other things).
Or you could start a band and work up to chasing gigs, even if it is made up of not very experienced players at the start. Many rock bands in the 1960s seem to have started from people who learned to play as the band grew.
Less talk more music, maybe?
Please note that I believe the world of music is very wide and is more than just playing tunes or being in a band, getting into strings and instruments is definitely part of the challenge or enjoyment, but it is not all of the challenge and enjoyment. When you get a bit jaded with one area, look for another, over say 20 years work on a nice balance of challenges and enjoyment.

The title of my post was tongue in cheek. The body of the post was more of a comment on how the different strings I have tried have made significant differences in tone with the same instruments. I come from a guitar/mandolin world where different strings don't offer the same wide range of tonal quality that come with uke strings.

And, for what it is worth, if I compare the numbers of hours I have spent learning and playing my ukes versus changing strings, the latter is an infantessimal blip in my uke history. It was a joke; I was not really looking for self help advice, but thanks for the gesture.

And, before I bought a new set this past Fall, I had used the same set of golf clubs for 15 years. I did seem to change balls rather frequently, though.

NewKid
05-30-2013, 03:29 PM
Hey Bill, I still appreciated your thoughtful post even if the OP got a little defensive in his response. He did put the little smiley icon at the end of his post and I read that to mean he wasn't serious about his title. I don't think he intended to offend anyone with his original post.

Anyway, Bill, I'm going to seriously cut down my UU time to maybe once a month from this point on and dedicate more time to playing as you suggest. I made a joke on another recent thread that backfired exactly as you described and that tells me I need to take a break from here.

Your post is the last I'm going to read for a while so I leave here with excellent advice. Thank you!

Mahalo,

Don

gyosh
05-30-2013, 04:30 PM
Haha,,when I was a golfer I always used to buy new golf clubs..
strings are like golf clubs..it is the player not the strings that make your ukulele sound good..keep on practicing not shopping..haha

only my 2 cents


Wait.

What?!!

You can't buy talent??????

bborzell
05-30-2013, 09:55 PM
It was only a joke, amazing. So do you actually own the ukes you mention, or is that part of the joke? Maybe all the people who actually enjoy messing with strings and talking about them in an excited way would be offended by you making fun of them by posting this form of satire?
BTW it is a great advertisement for the strings you talk about, you could get a job as a ukulele string sales person.
Only joking of course.
A big mistake is to assume anything posted is only a joke, that is rarely the case. The person nearly always would get really offended if everyone replied with a response that they think is funny, but is actually culturally inappropriate.

What's not much of a joke is your condescending manner. Your first response set the tone followed by your upping the ante the second time around. I can only imagine that you will go for the trifecta next. Not surprising that you missed the smiley face in my original post. Understanding the lightness of my comment might not have fit with your desire to preach. It is clear that knowing my original intent hasn't informed your attitude. You might notice that there is no smiley face this time.

Welcome to my ignore list. Feel free to add me to yours.