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View Full Version : Wound C on concert Uke? Lots of ?'s



Edgeguy
09-05-2013, 04:19 AM
Coming from playing guitar (bluegrass) all my life then trying the uke the difference in strings is big. Ukuleles are mainly nylon whereas acoustic guitar is wound metal. My question is how would a wound C sound on a concert uke? I see southcoast offers this option do other makers also? Will the wound C bring more tension and warp the neck? How will it feel playing one wound and three nylon? I would imagine that it would have more sustain and volume, and thus would this sound out of place with the other strings? The volume interests me since I play in jams and do bring out my uke on occasion.

I do not want to go to a low g. I played one when starting and did not like it.

Thanks Lane

UkerDanno
09-05-2013, 04:38 AM
I only have one question...why???

Edgeguy
09-05-2013, 04:46 AM
Just because. Its a question that came to me, and I thought why not ask. Thats what forums are for. Besides the possible increase in volume interests me.

Barbablanca
09-05-2013, 05:18 AM
I have a Tenor Uke in Low G using a wound G and a Baritone in Low D that uses a nylon D. The tenor is surprisingly balanced and I don't notice the difference when strumming and barely when fingerpicking. However, when playing single note melodies there is a noticeable switch in tone that isn't there with the Baritone.

I don't know how noticeable it would be if I had high G (or D on the Baritone) and a wound C or G Baritone). In short, give it a go and let us know. :)

peewee
09-05-2013, 05:54 AM
Edgeguy,
You'll find lots of anti-wound string sentiment in the uke world. I have had re-entrant sets with a wound C (Aquila I think) on a tenor, and like the extra oomph very much. It might or might not work on a concert, it might or might not be to your taste. Personally I like wound strings. You might look into Guadalupe who makes an all nylon all wound set.

davidrboy
09-05-2013, 05:59 AM
I play one of my concerts with a wound C, and I know I am not alone. Lately it has been the Southcoast MU-W3 set.

I find the volume more balanced across the strings - on the particular uke that gets the wound C treatment - the unwound C always sounded tone-dead as compared to the brightness of the higher strings. The wound C evens out the lower end response. Night and day with the switch. The uke I use it on is rather mellow and jazzy.

It has the opposite effect on my Koaloha, in which the wound C sticks out like a sore thumb - just booms the low end and drowns out the higher strings.

So I think it is a matter of right strings for the tone and balance you want out of a particular instrument. Try a set. In fact, get a set of Southcoast mediums and an extra wound C to go with it, and give try it out with each C. Let us know what you hear...

mm stan
09-05-2013, 06:05 AM
Depends on the strings and the uke...only way to know is try them...choose the right brand strings though..LOL

cdkrugjr
09-05-2013, 06:50 AM
Well, Southcoast makes a set for 13", reentrant C tuning here:

http://www.southcoastukes.com/ukulele.htm

Look at HUM-W3, but read his site. He knows more about strings than most of us have forgotten
:)

misterpk
09-05-2013, 07:11 AM
Well, Southcoast makes a set for 13", reentrant C tuning here:

http://www.southcoastukes.com/ukulele.htm

Look at HUM-W3, but read his site. He knows more about strings than most of us have forgotten
:)

Doesn't Troy Fernandez play a Sonny D super concert? If so, he uses GHS strings with a wound C and he sounds great. I don't think you have to worry about a wound C string warping the neck either.

WhenDogsSing
09-05-2013, 07:44 AM
He knows more about strings than most of us have forgotten


Didn't you mean to say "He's forgotten more about strings than most of us have learned" ?

Shastastan
09-05-2013, 09:15 AM
I had a wound low g on my tenor and changed to PHD strings--all nylon. I like the nylon feel better. No, I don't know why.

Skitzic
09-05-2013, 10:00 AM
Wound strings seem to wear out faster then nylon.

At least they do for me. I don't change strings until they need it.

blue_knight_usa
09-05-2013, 02:39 PM
Agree with this as well. Of the concert ukes I have played that are strung with unwound C strings, many had notes that are not alive, rather dull sounding on the C string and that string tends to be thicker so it also becomes more prominent especially on a reentrant tuned uke. That C can sound "thuddy". I'm actually in the process of doing video that demonstrates the before and after of an unwound string on my Collings UC3K and then changing to a new set of strings with a wound C (which will be the Southcoast's).

I did have a wound C on my Collings for a long time which really rang, then after a year switched to all unwound and experienced the difference. The resonating frequency of each size of uke also responds to certain vibrations and in speaking to Dirk at Southcoast (he is an encyclopedia of knowledge by the way....if you ever want to learn about strings just read their website and all the information) that C on concerts especially without a wound definitely suffers many times with that thuddy sound. With the wound C, in many cases you don't get that thuddy sound any longer. Not all but it's more prominent I believe in concert scale instruments. Thus the strings do make a big difference, especially that C string. I can't wait to see the before and after results once I get the video finished.

Experimentation is bliss! (and an education).



I play one of my concerts with a wound C, and I know I am not alone. Lately it has been the Southcoast MU-W3 set.

I find the volume more balanced across the strings - on the particular uke that gets the wound C treatment - the unwound C always sounded tone-dead as compared to the brightness of the higher strings. The wound C evens out the lower end response. Night and day with the switch. The uke I use it on is rather mellow and jazzy.

It has the opposite effect on my Koaloha, in which the wound C sticks out like a sore thumb - just booms the low end and drowns out the higher strings.

So I think it is a matter of right strings for the tone and balance you want out of a particular instrument. Try a set. In fact, get a set of Southcoast mediums and an extra wound C to go with it, and give try it out with each C. Let us know what you hear...

Edgeguy
09-06-2013, 03:13 AM
Thanks for all the responces. Really look forward to your study Blue Knight. I have a new uke on order and will give the wound C a try.