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View Full Version : Steel String Acoustic Kanilea K1 Deluxe - Yep!



blue_knight_usa
09-28-2013, 08:44 PM
Hi there, in my quest to try all the strings out there for ukes, I was talking to various folks about the issue of finding the right tension set of strings for a tenor uke that would not damage the bridge or saddle.

In my discussions with Dirk at Southcoast (Dirk you are the string professor!) he suggested a set that should work fine without risk of damaging the uke. (safe tension)

I ordered a set and decided to convert my Kanilea K1 Deluxe Tenor. I am not sure how to measure the exact tension but that will be my next step. So, here are the results of my "older" newly refreshed steel string acoustic Kanilea.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrTr2qsQcuo

I was really surprised at how well it works...I mean REALLY surprised. The tension on the fingers to me is not that noticeable compared to other strings. I did not have to press any harder to get a nice tone on the strings and the ability to bend on these are fantastic! If you like playing blues, these will let you bend like nobody's business.

Cheers!

tangimango
09-28-2013, 09:42 PM
wow thanks for sharing. could you send me links to where I can get the same set so I can try. thanks

Sairil
09-28-2013, 09:56 PM
Thats interesting.
Yes that would be nice to know what strings and diameters you are using.
Not sure I would be brave enough to try it on a K1 first! ;)

Are you sure you don't get more tension than regular strings?
Are they made specifically for ukulele?

Thanks

iDavid
09-28-2013, 11:31 PM
I would love to try these out. Where are they listed on the site?

PhilUSAFRet
09-29-2013, 01:15 AM
Thanks for sharing. If Dirk says they're safe, they're safe.......he's the string tension wizard. This also means you could put a magnetic pickup on a solid body uke. I want to try a set on my solid mahogany Kala tenor, my surrogate "blues guitar"

Wicked
09-29-2013, 01:53 AM
Very interesting...

Surprisingly, the sound doesn't lose any of its "ukeness". It does, however, gain some shimmer. I like it a lot.

hammer40
09-29-2013, 02:51 AM
I have been wanting to use steel strings on my ukes for a while now, but the general wisdom is the tension is just to much for them. I saw these, the former name was G650 linear with classical metals, at Southcoast but didn't want Low g (linear). While I think these do sound good, and its great to finally hear a set on a uke, I wish there was a re-entrant set of metal strings available.

wolfmanchuck
09-29-2013, 03:21 AM
Very cool. Now I have to try a set.
Thanks for sharing :)

blue_knight_usa
09-29-2013, 04:43 AM
Thats interesting.
Yes that would be nice to know what strings and diameters you are using.
Not sure I would be brave enough to try it on a K1 first! ;)

Are you sure you don't get more tension than regular strings?
Are they made specifically for ukulele?

Thanks

Yes. They are for uke. I am going to find someone to test the tension but I did not have to wind then very much to get them to tune up. Yeah the K1 made me think twice to test but it had the deep rich sound I figured would balance nicely with the steel.

blue_knight_usa
09-29-2013, 04:50 AM
I have been wanting to use steel strings on my ukes for a while now, but the general wisdom is the tension is just to much for them. I saw these, the former name was G650 linear with classical metals, at Southcoast but didn't want Low g (linear). While I think these do sound good, and its great to finally hear a set on a uke, I wish there was a re-entrant set of metal strings available.

Correct. Low G. I have never heard a uke with them and have been wondering about it for years hearing everyone say you can't or shouldn't do it. They are right if you just pick out any old set of metals. I think a re-entrant might be too overpowering with both a high G and A but if you like that sound it would probably work well with the correct tension string. I was skeptical about it sounding too over the top but I am really loving the sound. I hope Dirk checks out the before and after. I am very happy with the outcome.

blue_knight_usa
09-29-2013, 04:52 AM
Thanks for sharing. If Dirk says they're safe, they're safe.......he's the string tension wizard. This also means you could put a magnetic pickup on a solid body uke. I want to try a set on my solid mahogany Kala tenor, my surrogate "blues guitar"

Absolutely. That is why I got them. I trust The String Professor (my name for him) :-)

blue_knight_usa
09-29-2013, 05:00 AM
Very interesting...

Surprisingly, the sound doesn't lose any of its "ukeness". It does, however, gain some shimmer. I like it a lot.

Exactly! This adds that sparkle and ring to the upper mid and high end and pulls up the lows so they have more clarity. I really like the result,

southcoastukes
09-29-2013, 05:39 AM
Good morning all -

I woke this morning to a number of e-mails on this subject, and then found Jay's video here. As usual, Jay has done a very cool video and his sound work really nails the difference between our set (ML-CMs) and a more traditional set-up. This set is very different from anything else we have, and as Jay also noted, there tends to be very little middle ground on the sound. Some will absolutely not like it at all, while others find it gives exactly what they've been looking for all along.

There is one confusing point, however, and I wouldn't want anyone to ruin their instrument. The term "steel" is not entirely correct. The term "metal", which Jay also uses, is accurate. There is indeed one true steel string in this set - the 1st. It is thin enough to where there is no danger. The other three (heavier) strings, however, are not steel. On our Materials page we go into all the differences, but I saw in this thread that some were wondering about what "steel string gauges" would work on their ukuleles.

The answer is almost none of them. I'd like to emphasize that - the old adage of not putting steel strings on an Ukulele is absolutely true. Any string needs to be brought to a certain tension to sound good, and with a true steel string, that tension, coupled with an almost total lack of flexibility, is a good recipe for deforming your soundboard. We can do it with the 1st string only because it is such a thin gauge.

As to a reentrant set, we could consider that. It would have two of those thin steel strings on the outsides, with the Classical Metals in the middle. As the 1st string is the brightest of the linear set, a reentrant set like this would end up very bright. Still, we're working on a number of new introductions at the moment - we'll throw this into the test mix and see if we feel it is too much of a good thing.

Thanks again to Jay for another fine presentation!

blue_knight_usa
09-29-2013, 05:47 AM
Thanks Dirk for clarifying! I am glad you enjoyed the video. As always I appreciate all your info and education! What a great treat being able to use "metal" strings. ;-)

Cheers!

Kanaka916
09-29-2013, 05:52 AM
Good to hear from you, Dirk . . . how's the ukulele side goin?

sonomajazz
09-29-2013, 06:07 AM
Thanks Dirk for clarifying! I am glad you enjoyed the video. As always I appreciate all your info and education! What a great treat being able to use "metal" strings. ;-)

Cheers!

Just sent you a text...can you bring the K with you tomorrow?? Love to hear it in person...

southcoastukes
09-29-2013, 06:19 AM
Good to hear from you, Dirk . . . how's the ukulele side goin?

Hey, Hey - Special K!

It's been keeping me way too busy. We sold out of the initial offerings of the small sizes before we even got the website done or decent photographs up.

We're now pretty much finished with the writing portion of the website and got our detail photos (the Features page) up just a few days ago. We've got Tenor Largos coming out in October. then Lyric Baritones in November. We won't make the same mistake as before and let them leave before we get some web-worthy pics.

Kanaka916
09-29-2013, 07:00 AM
I can just imagine. Looking forward to seeing the updated pages and other future offerings.

Paul December
09-29-2013, 07:40 AM
Overall I prefer the sound of the non-metal set...
...but, the low G on the metal set sounds less boomy, and better balanced to the others.

Teek
09-29-2013, 02:52 PM
I got all excited because you used the words "steel strings"! ;) Thanks for the demo and also to Dirk for clarifying, I need these strings!!!

I have a Lanikai baritone second from Butler Music that I sacrificed to steel strings in extra extra light tension. I posted on it awhile back about using a string tension calculator as an experiment and just got the usual "don't do it", though I included the links to others that have done this before me and how. I was not recommending it just commenting on it. Yes it has deformed the top which is showing some bellying in standard bari tuning, but it's about the same amount as my white label Kamaka concert which is wearing Worth Brown Lights. There also seems to be a few hairs more relief in the neck when leaving it strung up under tension. It's a mediocre quality uke, the frets need to be leveled and the action is way too high, even though I have reduced it by half (it is still too high for steel), yet for $69 out the door plus another $15 for several batches of strings I got a steel string bari to experiment with, and I love the sound and it's a kick.

I can't stretch to a 23" scale on a tenor guitar without hurting my arthritic joints, I tried one and had to sell it. So I am all for the strings, and am also saving up for someone to build me a steel string tenor uke, or a 19" scale bari. Even 20" is a little bit too much for me but it makes for a great sound. But no I would not string up my Kanile'a with these real steel strings, so again appreciate the clarification..

Dirk, ever think about adding a shorter scale steel string acoustic to your line?

southcoastukes
09-29-2013, 03:54 PM
... I am all for the strings, and am also saving up for someone to build me a steel string tenor uke, or a 19" scale bari. Even 20" is a little bit too much for me but it makes for a great sound. But no I would not string up my Kanile'a with these real steel strings, so again appreciate the clarification..
Dirk, ever think about adding a shorter scale steel string acoustic to your line?

Hello Teek!

The nice thing about these strings is that their sound is very similar to a true steel set, but without the tension worries. Also they have no squeak at all! Again, check our Materials page if you want the details on how this works.

In other words, you put these strings on any Ukulele. I would qualify that slightly by saying I would not choose them for a delicate antique instrument - one where you would use a light tension out of an abundance of caution to begin with.

On a Baritone, tune to a linear B flat - capo up to C when and if you need or want to. There are lots of Baritone Ukuleles that still have a 19" scale. These strings will be fine @ 19" or 20". Naturally, on the 20" you'll get a bit more tension.

On a 17" Tenor, tune to linear C.

tangimango
09-29-2013, 06:19 PM
thanks for clarifying. so the 1st string is steel the rest wound strings? and a High G is possible yes? can you send me a price or if they are even available to buy, would like to try these metal string set.


Good morning all -

I woke this morning to a number of e-mails on this subject, and then found Jay's video here. As usual, Jay has done a very cool video and his sound work really ils the difference between our set (ML-CMs) and a more traditional set-up. This set is very different from anything else we have, and as Jay also noted, there tends to be very little middle ground on the sound. Some will absolutely not like it at all, while others find it gives exactly what they've been looking for all along.

There is one confusing point, however, and I wouldn't want anyone to ruin their instrument. The term "steel" is not entirely correct. The term "metal", which Jay also uses, is accurate. There is indeed one true steel string in this set - the 1st. It is thin enough to where there is no danger. The other three (heavier) strings, however, are not steel. On our Materials page we go into all the differences, but I saw in this thread that some were wondering about what "steel string gauges" would work on their ukuleles.

The answer is almost none of them. I'd like to emphasize that - the old adage of not putting steel strings on an Ukulele is absolutely true. Any string needs to be brought to a certain tension to sound good, and with a true steel string, that tension, coupled with an almost total lack of flexibility, is a good recipe for deforming your soundboard. We can do it with the 1st string only because it is such a thin gauge.

As to a reentrant set, we could consider that. It would have two of those thin steel strings on the outsides, with the Classical Metals in the middle. As the 1st string is the brightest of the linear set, a reentrant set like this would end up very bright. Still, we're working on a number of new introductions at the moment - we'll throw this into the test mix and see if we feel it is too much of a good thing.

Thanks again to Jay for another fine presentation!

Hammond
09-29-2013, 06:34 PM
Wow. I am happy with the SC linear smooth wound set, and thought I could settle for a little while. But now I am going to try this. Thank you for the sharing. Great video!:D

southcoastukes
09-29-2013, 06:42 PM
thanks for clarifying. so the 1st string is steel the rest wound strings? and a High G is possible yes? can you send me a price or if they are even available to buy, would like to try these metal string set.

The other three strings are not what you would normally think of as "wound strings". There's a complete explanation on our Materials page. Scroll down to the bottom and look for the heading: "Southcoast Flat Wound Strings".

In the description of the set itself, it is strongly suggested that anyone considering a purchase read the full Materials page description to become familiar with what these unique strings are, how they work, how they are installed, etc.

As to a reentrant set, yes, it's possible, but we don't ever release a set based on guesswork - in other words, without testing it first. We'll need to decide exactly what diameter the 4th string should have - then decide if we even like it. This will take some time, and there are some other sets we need to finalize first. We'll get there.

Thanks for asking, tangi -

Hammond
09-29-2013, 08:15 PM
I have read those great information and placed order. Thank you for giving these good string choices.:)

The other three strings are not what you would normally think of as "wound strings". There's a complete explanation on our Materials page. Scroll down to the bottom and look for the heading: "Southcoast Flat Wound Strings".

In the description of the set itself, it is strongly suggested that anyone considering a purchase read the full Materials page description to become familiar with what these unique strings are, how they work, how they are installed, etc.

As to a reentrant set, yes, it's possible, but we don't ever release a set based on guesswork - in other words, without testing it first. We'll need to decide exactly what diameter the 4th string should have - then decide if we even like it. This will take some time, and there are some other sets we need to finalize first. We'll get there.

Thanks for asking, tangi -

Teek
09-29-2013, 09:39 PM
Hi Dirk!

I happen to have a 19" bari stuffed in my uke closet, an old Giannini that has been kicked around but sounds really sweet. I'll be ordering strings for that and likely my Kanile'a.. :D

tangimango
09-29-2013, 10:07 PM
found them. its the ML-CM set that is used in the video? will it work for concert or just tenor?

FiL
09-30-2013, 03:31 AM
I put these strings on my Kala Tenor Resonator and really love the sound when fingerpicked. I did a few videos a while back. Here's one:


http://youtu.be/XRxF5boMi_s

- FiL

southcoastukes
09-30-2013, 05:08 AM
Ham - Thanks for the kind words!

Teek - A great choice! I've had a couple of those Giannini Baritones - they're wonderful.

Tangi - Yes, the ML-CMs. They wouldn't be the greatest fit on a Concert. Because they aren't as flexible as normal strings you don't have a lot of play in the tuning. These would be Key of D on a concert, but even at the higher tuning, your 4th string is a bit low for a Concert body. Still, it might be worth a try.

The other option is a Light Gauge set in E flat, which sounds wonderful, the no metal stings for that.

Fil - great sound! This set is generally a great match for a resonator.

Sairil
10-23-2013, 05:50 AM
Hi guys and thank Dirk for the nice strings !

I've just installed them on my Pono mahogany tenor and really like the sound and feel.

Here is a small audio sample recorded with a zoom H1 and no any treatment, a (red house-ish) blues + spanish impro tuned in A#. I will stretch it to C soon. Sound really nice already :)

https://soundcloud.com/sairil/sets/test-southcoast-metal-strings

Cheers
Sairil

iamesperambient
10-23-2013, 07:54 AM
Hi there, in my quest to try all the strings out there for ukes, I was talking to various folks about the issue of finding the right tension set of strings for a tenor uke that would not damage the bridge or saddle.

In my discussions with Dirk at Southcoast (Dirk you are the string professor!) he suggested a set that should work fine without risk of damaging the uke. (safe tension)

I ordered a set and decided to convert my Kanilea K1 Deluxe Tenor. I am not sure how to measure the exact tension but that will be my next step. So, here are the results of my "older" newly refreshed steel string acoustic Kanilea.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrTr2qsQcuo

I was really surprised at how well it works...I mean REALLY surprised. The tension on the fingers to me is not that noticeable compared to other strings. I did not have to press any harder to get a nice tone on the strings and the ability to bend on these are fantastic! If you like playing blues, these will let you bend like nobody's business.

Cheers!


I never thought steel strings would sound good on an acoustic /non electric uke but they actually sound very nice and have a bright sound good work !

FiL
10-23-2013, 08:32 AM
I never thought steel strings would sound good on an acoustic /non electric uke but they actually sound very nice and have a bright sound good work !

Just to reiterate what was said earlier in this thread, so nobody goes and breaks their uke, these are NOT traditional steel strings. Only the first string is steel, and it is very thin. The other three strings are metal, but they are not steel. They have all been formulated to be similar to standard ukulele string tensions. Do NOT put standard steel strings on your uke!

I wish someone would change the subject line of this thread to say "Metal String" instead of "Steel String".

- FiL

Kimosabe
10-23-2013, 10:05 AM
I put them on my Kanilea a couple of years ago and have loved them ever since. I'm thinking of putting them on my Teton. Dirk's a great guy. I told him about my success with them. The high A has a ring to it that I call the Roger McGuinn effect. Try some of his Cuatro strings on one of your baritones.

Brian W
10-23-2013, 10:06 AM
Wow what a nice sounding uke. I really love Kanilea's, and these strings really give it a nice and clear tone! With that said, you sir are a brave soul, as I never would have the intestinal fortitude to try this on my ukulele, for fear of damaging it; especially one as nice as yours. I do hate what steel strings do to the frets on my guitars over time, so I will be sticking with nylon, but thank you for taking the time to upload a sound clip.