View Full Version : Ko'olau gold tenor strings

11-10-2013, 07:16 AM
Hi guys,

I am thinking in to try these strings for my solid mahagony tenor ukulele. I play mainly rumba, flamenco and folk styles. Do you think that it will be a good choice for these styles and instrument?

Many thanks

11-10-2013, 07:25 AM
Hi guys,

I am thinking in to try these strings for my solid mahagony tenor ukulele. I play mainly rumba, flamenco and folk styles. Do you think that it will be a good choice for these styles and instrument?

Many thanks

I've never actually played a tenor sized uke before (at least not for an extended period of time...im dying to add that size to my collection though). But i have used this brand strings many times years ago with my samick concert uke (my first ever uke) and these strings really brought it to life in fact before i ever heard of aquila these concert gold strings where what the aquila red series are to me now (the best strings that bring my instrument to life). I would recommend them and they look pretty too :)

11-10-2013, 07:50 AM
Could be the gap between the Pro artes and the T2?

11-10-2013, 07:59 AM
It's all preference, of course, but Ko'olau golds did not do it for me, at all.

The tone was balanced, but not as well balanced as Worths. The note separation was good, but not as good as Southcoasts.

To my ear the golds were neither here nor there.

11-10-2013, 08:28 AM
I use the Golds on my mango tenor and soprano. They are very, very good on those ukes because they do a great job of taming the tendency of both of them to be a little bright. They give a lot of depth to a uke that is otherwise a bit too jangly. That said, I have not found any other uke that I am particularly fond of the Ko'Olau Gold strings on.

Also, be advised that these strings are temperature sensitive. They actually go a little sharp as they warm up as you play. It's not a big deal as long as you are prepared for it. If you tune and then play one or two songs you will find yourself about ten cents or so sharp across all strings. I warm up, tune, and then if I am waiting my turn at an open mic or something I will rub my hands over the strings and fretboard to keep them at the in-tune temperature.

A better string for the mahogany uke might be the Ko'Olau Alohi - these are brighter than the Gold but not so bright as the Worth clear and I quite like them. They are very slightly temperature sensitive, but not so much as the Gold. I believe these are the same material as the T2 strings - but in different gages and I definitely like them much better than T2. I have Alohi tenor strings on my KoAloha longneck soprano and they intonate better on that uke than anything else I've tried, including several different "formulas" of mixed strings and fishing line.


11-10-2013, 08:30 AM
It sounds good, Oldephart. What about the comfort, sustain, trebles, deepness, intonation and warmth? I tried once T2 and they are a bit too bright for my style. I prefer something warmer.

11-10-2013, 08:39 AM
I don't even think of comfort when evaluating strings - I play everything from bass to uke and play steel-string guitar so "comfort" of any soft string is pretty much irrelevant. In fact, I usually use "over gage" strings (tenors on concerts, etc.) because uke strings feel so soft, like I'm going to tangle my fingers in them.

The Golds intonate as well as any other strings - meaning on some ukes they'll be great and on others less great. You can't consider strings in isolation. Every uke I own has had at least a half-dozen different kinds of strings tried on it, some more than that. When I find a string set (sometimes by mixing strings) that intonates well and sounds good, that's what goes on that uke thereafter. Currently I have ukes with Ko'Olau Gold, Ko'Olau Alohi, various mixes of fluorocarbon fishing leader, Aquila Nylgut, various classical guitar strings, and Worth clears. Whatever a particular uke needs, it (eventually) gets. LOL

As for tone and sustain - the Golds are quite good on ukes that need a subtle string - they can be downright muddy on a uke that needs brightening. Again, strings and uke must work together, and there aren't any magic bullets.

Oh, on intonation - I have found that usually strings that are higher in tension intonate better up the neck. This is another reason I use "over gage" strings.


11-10-2013, 08:56 AM
These are what originally came on my Pono mahogany concert, and I was a little horrified until I realized it was probably the strings, not the instrument. To my ear, they were terribly quiet, to the point of sounding almost muted and with poor sustain. I put Aquillas on it and got the volume, presence and sustain I was looking for. So if you're looking for super mellow, they might be worth a try, but be careful what you ask for.

11-10-2013, 09:08 AM
Is the sound a bit brigther than Pro artes? In this comparation seems to have some brightness.


11-10-2013, 10:56 AM
I would say to just go ahead and buy a set and try them. Strings are very subjective, and you will get opinions pro and con on all brands. I happen to love the golds, but as you can see many don't. If I remember correctly, the golds are actually a Flamenco string made for Pono by some company out of Argentina. At least that's what I read on the Pono website.

11-10-2013, 12:56 PM
I think they are less bright than the Pro Artes - but it's been a long time since I've used the latter so I'm kind of going off memory of memory. :)

The nice thing about strings is that they are relatively cheap (at least compared to decent instruments) so I would take @hammer40's advice and try a variety until you find the ones that are the right mix for that uke.


11-10-2013, 02:51 PM
Golds are quite warm, I don't think they'd be suitable for those styles you listed. Atleast when I tried them, it didn't sound like it as compared to ko'olau alohis which I've switched to.

Kayak Jim
11-10-2013, 03:38 PM
I'm not thrilled with the Golds on my mahogany concert (Mainland) and much preferred the Southcoast Mediums. They took weeks to settle in and the temp sensitivity is a bit annoying too. I give the strings a bit of a rub down before tuning. All this said, they haven't been so bad that I've pulled them off.

mm stan
11-10-2013, 04:24 PM
Some Flamenco style players like the Labella strings... spelt wrong... here is this gal who is amazing..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73knXQafKMc

11-10-2013, 05:43 PM
Pepe strings his with LaBella but I had switched one out with Golds and there was tons more volume and sustaining overtones and the latin styles were excellent in attack and articulation. However it was a higher tension than the Labella and I questioned it as a long term choice on this "flamenco" style lighter build. But sound was just right IMO- First half is Gold w 3& 4 and then it's all plain gold for the second half


It really just depends on the instrument and player technique and opinion.

11-10-2013, 09:30 PM
I will give them a try. Thanks a lot for your help.