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Concertina
03-15-2014, 03:38 AM
So, I'm relatively new to this... Just over a year of playing... And I've read some threads about different brands of strings. So, I come to you all to ask, based on my little uke family in my signature:

1) what kind of strings would you suggest
2) where is the best place to get them

The music shops around me all only sell Aquilas. Until now, I thought they were the standard so I just kept buying them. But I would love to have my ukes sound the best they could.

pixiepurls
03-15-2014, 04:11 AM
So, I'm relatively new to this... Just over a year of playing... And I've read some threads about different brands of strings. So, I come to you all to ask, based on my little uke family in my signature:

1) what kind of strings would you suggest
2) where is the best place to get them

The music shops around me all only sell Aquilas. Until now, I thought they were the standard so I just kept buying them. But I would love to have my ukes sound the best they could.


I read a lot online and some people LOVE aquila's in particular on cheaper Ukes and some people are like BLEH no no no! Its very much personal PREFERENCE! So you should try a few different sets. I personally have 3 ukes with aquilas on all, 2 of the ukes are cheap kid ukes and I will keep aquila's on them, but for my kala solid mahogany I will eventually try something else, but I want something soft on my fingers to make learning easier! My local music shop had no aquila strings at all actually, the local ukulele shop does in the city though, they had lots of different brands but I think thats because they carry more then 1 ukulele, they have 2 walls full!

I see Elderly recommended on here a lot:
http://www.elderly.com/brand/STUK_worth.html for those Brown Worths or Clear Worths.

Shar Music is very reliable also and they have some uke stuff, they focus on stringed instruments and I use them for all our violin supplies but I only see aquila on there:
http://www.sharmusic.com

I got my Aquila's on amazon and shop there first and if its not available (to be shipped via amazon) then I go to the other sites I see mentioned a lot (the ones above).

Then there is Hawaiian Music Supply who seems to have everything but check shipping costs...
http://www.theukulelesite.com/accessories/strings.html

Those are the sites I would personally trust to order from...

UKEonomics
03-15-2014, 04:27 AM
There's really no standard great sounding strings across the entire ukulele spectrum. My experience has been that you have to try out different types on each of your ukes and find the ones that sound best for each specific ukulele. That being said, you might try some Martin M600's (these can sound really excellent on vintage ukes), Worth Browns, Living Water Strings, or some of the new Oasis strings. If you're interested in the later, here's an Oasis string review (http://ukeonomics.blogspot.com/2013/04/oasis-ukulele-strings-full-review.html) that I wrote awhile back on my blog.

Good luck! Remember, the best thing you can do is try a lot of different strings and go with the ones that sound best to you!

OldePhart
03-15-2014, 04:28 AM
On many of the ukes in your signatures Aquilas are not a bad choice at all. Aquilas are good strings...they just have a powerful "signature" sound that tends to override the finer nuances of some ukes. However, they have an advantage that they often give good volume and some character to a uke that might be quiet and "tinkly" with other strings.

Martin strings tend to be widely available in most places so you might want to look for some Martin M6xx strings in your local shops.

John

Doug W
03-15-2014, 04:29 AM
Personally I don't think that Aquilas are the strings for cheap ukes only. The Aquila Nylguts on my wife's Mainland Mahogany Concert sound fantastic and she has no desire to mess with that sound.

I am trying out a Savarez set on my Mainland Mahogany Tenor and l like the sound. I also like the sound of Aquila Nyguts on this tenor. I switch back and forth.

One uke seems to sound better with Worth Browns.

I buy strings from Elderly (already posted above) and
www.juststrings.com

Ukejenny
03-15-2014, 05:43 AM
I have purchased from http://www.stringsbymail.com and have been happy with the selection they offer. I also love Elderly Music, but have never bought strings from them. They are good folks.

I don't necessarily like the way Aquillas feel, but I can see why you'd play them for the sound.

I love the feel and sound of Worth Clears. I really like the feel and sound of D'Addario Clear Nylon strings and want to try their Nyltech strings.

I have also tried a set of Jim Dunlop strings and I liked them a lot, really helped the sound of an inexpensive ukulele I have.

I want to try some Martin 600's and also would like to try Living Water strings.

Condor
03-15-2014, 06:47 AM
I haven't played for long, but I do think string choice is very much a personal preference in most instances. I suppose there is such a thing as String Snobbery as well as Uke Snobbery �� and that Aquila Nylguts are sneered at by those who feel they are only for cheap ukes........ My little family of ukes are by no means expensive high end ukes - best I have is a Pono PTES-CECM- but those that have Aquila nylguts certainly sound good, as does my all-wood Aria Concert with its Saverez strings. And the Mahalo U250G which is really not held in any regard at all by many, is actually a nice, well-finished little uke that sounds superb with Aquilas instead of the horrid black nylon rubbish it came with.

I have ordered some Ko 'olau Golds to try on the Pono as I have no idea what it is strung with at present, having bought it used, and have Worth Browns on my Bruko soprano. I thought Living Waters might be a good idea to try next and I have also ordered an Aquila low G for my Kala KA-TE.

Experiment, use what sounds good to you. And don't get caught up in String Snob Syndome! ����

sukie
03-15-2014, 06:54 AM
It's so much personal preference. I used DAddario T2s for 3 years on my ukulele. There were things I didn't like about them so I tried some Savarez strings. I really liked them as far as string diameter -- thinner than T2s. But I was having a really hard time with bending and tremolos. Plus the Savarez strings kept getting some weird mark right at the A string 4th fret. For fun I put T2s back on. I'm sold on them.....for now. But it's all so personal. Personally I'm not a fan of Aquilas, but I love Worth clears. Just not on my Moore Bettah. They don't sound good on it. But they sounded terrific on my KoAloha when I had it.

JamieWG
03-15-2014, 07:11 AM
So, I'm relatively new to this... Just over a year of playing... And I've read some threads about different brands of strings. So, I come to you all to ask, based on my little uke family in my signature:

1) what kind of strings would you suggest
2) where is the best place to get them

The music shops around me all only sell Aquilas. Until now, I thought they were the standard so I just kept buying them. But I would love to have my ukes sound the best they could.

I have different strings on different ukes, and you are welcome to try them anytime.... I get strings from stringsbymail.com. They have quick service and good prices, and occasional great specials. (They recently had a special on Oasis strings and I bought some, but wish I'd bought MORE!) I also have assorted sets that I've tried on my ukes for a few days and removed, but didn't toss; I'd be happy to pass some of those along to you.

Jamie

Icelander53
03-15-2014, 07:29 AM
There's really no standard great sounding strings across the entire ukulele spectrum. My experience has been that you have to try out different types on each of your ukes and find the ones that sound best for each specific ukulele. That being said, you might try some Martin M600's (these can sound really excellent on vintage ukes), Worth Browns, Living Water Strings, or some of the new Oasis strings. If you're interested in the later, here's an Oasis string review (http://ukeonomics.blogspot.com/2013/04/oasis-ukulele-strings-full-review.html) that I wrote awhile back on my blog.

Good luck! Remember, the best thing you can do is try a lot of different strings and go with the ones that sound best to you!

Your review convinced me and I just ordered some about an hour ago. Both High and low G.

Concertina
03-15-2014, 01:44 PM
Awesome...I'm going to try out StringsbyMail...

I like the Aquilas but I'm looking for a warmer sound. On my Kala, they are kind of tinny.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions.

Concertina
03-15-2014, 05:02 PM
$45 later...

OldePhart
03-16-2014, 08:09 AM
$45 later...

You got off cheap...my last stringsbymail order was almost $100...and it was just wound singles for my baris and low-G tenor...and now, wound thirds...

:)

John

Booli
03-17-2014, 02:40 PM
@ Concertina, pixipurls, Condor

You might find some useful info in this thread (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?93141-It-s-like-UAS-only-worse-SCO) from last month regarding strings.

I have personally tested over a dozen different brands and types of strings on 7 different instruments now, and while for the most part, the wisdom of the crowd here on UU (all over the forum) is valid, but I have also found some exceptions.

The main point is if you have a certain sound you want from the instrument, you will be testing many many many different strings, however if you dont care too much about it, or are easily satisfied with 'whatever' strings, then you are lucky and will have more money in your pocket.

My last 2 string orders were $75 and $150 and the next one will probably be close to $75, and by that time I will have tested literally every brand and style of strings that I can find, on MY SPECIFIC instruments.

If you have different instruments, with the SAME strings, they will in fact sound DIFFERENT with the caveat that there are certain very subtle qualities that are common across certain woods used for instruments, as well as certain characteristics for the strings regardless of instrument.

Not everyone has an ear that is trained enough to look for, and/or hear the differences, and this can only come over time, and if you are actively listening for it.

In the beginning I thought the Aquila Nylguts were great. But later, after trying some D'Addario J82 nylon strings, realized that the Aquila's were completely overpowering, muddy and totally lacking in note clarity on my Kala tenor.

The D'Addarios had much better clarity, note definition, but a but less sustain, and a totally different feeling to the fingertips.

Similar differences were found when I switched to Worth Browns. The Browns had almost double the sustain, even better note clarity and a sweet, fat round sound with great overtones, but without being muddy at all.

Worth Clears on the other hand, all on the same instrument just sounded and felt 'wrong', like they were emphasizing the odd-harmonics, and also had a dull thud-like tone to me. Like a rubber band sound.

The point is, like many things, Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV).

Concertina
03-17-2014, 03:04 PM
Thanks Booli... I read through most of it but I'll go through. I think the only kind I didn't get was Living Water, because I couldn't find them.

Booli
03-17-2014, 03:27 PM
Thanks Booli... I read through most of it but I'll go through. I think the only kind I didn't get was Living Water, because I couldn't find them.

You are most welcome!

I am pretty sure the only place to buy Living Water strings is directly from Ken Middleton's web site.

go here:http://www.kenmiddleton.co.uk/Pages/LWS.aspx

I have not tried these yet, and Living Water are in my next batch to buy, along with Southcoast, Oasis, Fremont (full set), PhD (full set), Savarez, Orcas, Kala pearls, Aquila BioNylon, Aquila RED (full set), Galli, and a few other's that start with 'K'...

The ONLY strings that I tried that I would say are 'horrible' are the GHS 'Hawaiian' black nylon. Better sound could probably be had if I used waxed dental floss. The set only cost me $1.99 so I am not gonna cry about it, but with all the other strings I've tested, I can see that they will find a home on the right instrument, and all have at least some redeeming qualities.

It's just the testing process that's taking a while, and despite having seen and heard all the strings that I've tested, while I have some favorites on certain ukes, I am not final yet in all my choices.

I like longer sustain, crisp attack and note clarity with a sweet, bell-like tone. More towards a classical guitar sound than a plinky or banjo-uke sound. So far it's a toss up and for each instrument, there are different strings that I favor.

I've not yet invested in a banjo uke, but that will probably happen at some point in the future as well, and then the whole process of strings testing on THAT new instrument will begin... :)

sam13
03-19-2014, 02:32 PM
So, I'm relatively new to this... Just over a year of playing... And I've read some threads about different brands of strings. So, I come to you all to ask, based on my little uke family in my signature:

1) what kind of strings would you suggest
2) where is the best place to get them

The music shops around me all only sell Aquilas. Until now, I thought they were the standard so I just kept buying them. But I would love to have my ukes sound the best they could.

I found this video tremendously helpful ... it compares 9 sets of strings with a blind test at the end ... watch it until the end ... I found it interesting that I liked what I thought I would like.

http://www.theukulelesite.com/cordoba-guilele-electric-529.html

Concertina
03-19-2014, 03:31 PM
Awesome Sam! Thanks...gonna check it out now!

Ramart
03-19-2014, 03:41 PM
I switched from Aquila Nylguts to Worth Clears (w/low G) on an Oscar Schmidt OU6 tenor, and loved the improved volume and sustain. The best price I could find for the Worths was from StringsAndBeyond.com, which has shipped all my orders promptly. But after a while the Worth strings seemed somewhat floppy and buzzed a bit with hard strumming; my preferred low action on that OS uke was OK with the Aquilas but was too low with the Worths. (However, Worth Clears w/low G sound and play fine on my other OS uke, the cutaway electric OU6LCE.)

So I switched the OU6 again to Aquila Red Series (also low G), and I really, really like the full, woody sound those copper-infused strings produce. However, the 1mm-wide G string snapped at the nut after a week (almost predictably and as feared, based on the Reds' notoriety). But rather than scrap the whole set of Reds, I ordered a single Fremont Soloist low G string from HMS (theukesite.com), which mailed cheaply and relatively quickly (from Hawaii to SoCal is pretty direct).

As reviewed and recommended on UU, the flat-metal-wound, "squeakless" Fremont Soloist sounds great and blends well with the three surviving Reds. I may just string up the OU6LCE with the same Soloist/Red hybrid setup. Although the OU6LCE plays well with Worth Clears (unlike the OU6), the fluorocarbon A strings (and, to a lesser extent, the E strings) tend to fray rather quickly, which affects intonation; but Worths are 2fers (each string is long enough for two stringings) so I've just been swapping out with the spare A and E strings as needed.

I also have a Kala concert-size uke that's strung with Aquila Nylguts, though I never much liked its sound and don't play it since I became a tenor convert.

pixiepurls
03-19-2014, 04:35 PM
@ Concertina, pixipurls, Condor

You might find some useful info in this thread (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?93141-It-s-like-UAS-only-worse-SCO) from last month regarding strings.

I have personally tested over a dozen different brands and types of strings on 7 different instruments now, and while for the most part, the wisdom of the crowd here on UU (all over the forum) is valid, but I have also found some exceptions.

The main point is if you have a certain sound you want from the instrument, you will be testing many many many different strings, however if you dont care too much about it, or are easily satisfied with 'whatever' strings, then you are lucky and will have more money in your pocket.

My last 2 string orders were $75 and $150 and the next one will probably be close to $75, and by that time I will have tested literally every brand and style of strings that I can find, on MY SPECIFIC instruments.

If you have different instruments, with the SAME strings, they will in fact sound DIFFERENT with the caveat that there are certain very subtle qualities that are common across certain woods used for instruments, as well as certain characteristics for the strings regardless of instrument.

Not everyone has an ear that is trained enough to look for, and/or hear the differences, and this can only come over time, and if you are actively listening for it.

In the beginning I thought the Aquila Nylguts were great. But later, after trying some D'Addario J82 nylon strings, realized that the Aquila's were completely overpowering, muddy and totally lacking in note clarity on my Kala tenor.

The D'Addarios had much better clarity, note definition, but a but less sustain, and a totally different feeling to the fingertips.

Similar differences were found when I switched to Worth Browns. The Browns had almost double the sustain, even better note clarity and a sweet, fat round sound with great overtones, but without being muddy at all.

Worth Clears on the other hand, all on the same instrument just sounded and felt 'wrong', like they were emphasizing the odd-harmonics, and also had a dull thud-like tone to me. Like a rubber band sound.

The point is, like many things, Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV).

I bought some worth browns after reading this thread but I am waiting before I put them on. I also got to hear some martin strings and I am pretty sure I don't like them! I like warm and mellow.

ohmless
03-20-2014, 02:54 PM
I have been using the new oasis strings for about 12 days now and am impressed. They come in a two pack too!


There's really no standard great sounding strings across the entire ukulele spectrum. My experience has been that you have to try out different types on each of your ukes and find the ones that sound best for each specific ukulele. That being said, you might try some Martin M600's (these can sound really excellent on vintage ukes), Worth Browns, Living Water Strings, or some of the new Oasis strings. If you're interested in the later, here's an Oasis string review (http://ukeonomics.blogspot.com/2013/04/oasis-ukulele-strings-full-review.html) that I wrote awhile back on my blog.

Good luck! Remember, the best thing you can do is try a lot of different strings and go with the ones that sound best to you!

Concertina
03-20-2014, 03:40 PM
I did get some of those. I can't wait to try them!

sirwhale
03-22-2014, 11:45 PM
I've been through aquilas, aquila red, living water, worths, had the fremont bronze low g, the guadalupe set and then came to my own conclusion that I needed a wound C. I know play low g, or 5 string and would play 8 string if I had the money (like the extra fulls ound it makes) and I've found that my favourites are southcoast strings.

Icelander53
03-23-2014, 12:07 AM
Your review convinced me and I just ordered some about an hour ago. Both High and low G.

Just strung the Oasis in low G on my old Lanikai with two year old strings. I had no idea how much improvement I would see. It's never sounded better that's for sure. Thanks UKEonomics for that great tip. I've just become an Oasis fan. I really love the sound of that low G string over the La Bella low G I have on my Fluke. I may just switch that one out too.

UKEonomics
03-23-2014, 06:56 AM
Awesome! I'm glad that the review on those Oasis helped a few people out.

I'm also a big fan of them coming in a pack that's enough for two sets!

UKEonomics
03-23-2014, 06:59 AM
I'm also wondering which ones that you all are liking better...the "bright" or the "warm" set?

I'm thinking about carrying them in my online store.

Icelander53
03-23-2014, 02:21 PM
I bought the low G in bright and the high g set in warm. I've only used the low g so far but now I'm excited to hear what the others sound like.

I strung them yesterday and they stayed basically in tune for a hour of practice today. I think that's pretty good.

itsme
03-23-2014, 02:41 PM
I happen to like flurocarbons, a holdover from my classical guitar days where I also preferred fluros.

Worths, Oasis and Martin make fluros for uke.

JamieWG
03-24-2014, 02:35 AM
I'm also wondering which ones that you all are liking better...the "bright" or the "warm" set?

I'm thinking about carrying them in my online store.

I love them both. I have the Oasis Bright on my cedar/rosewood soprano, and the Oasis Warm on my mahogany concert. Next time I might reverse it just to see how each uke sounds with the other type, but as of now, I have to say I love Oasis strings in both formulations! And I can't wait to hear them on my tenors!