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uke4ia
07-03-2014, 03:03 PM
I got a new tenor Fluke that arrived today. The design is called Trigon. I got the rosewood fretboard so I can use a low G without wearing the frets out. I also got a pickup, which happens to come with an onboard tuner (runs on 2032 batteries). And eat your heart out, Spinal Tap, the volume level goes to twelve! I got a Fluke instead of an all-wood uke because I was looking for something that would give me all of the following:

1. Something that would be a better quality backup to my primary uke

2. A second tenor

3. A durable travel uke that fits my usual playing style (tenor and low G), so I can practice better on trips than I can with my concert high G Fluke

I've got a string question for you folks: The Fluke came strung with a high G Nylgut. I wanted to put a low G Aquila Red on it, but it was a tight fit for the notch in the nut. The string was rubbing against both sides of the notch. Does this in fact hurt the lifespan of a string? Or is the string okay this way as long as I don't have to compress the string to fit it in the notch? For now, I've put on a D'addario wound classical guitar string for my low G. But if it's okay to stuff the Aquila Red in there, I'll try just using a whole set of Aquila Reds next time I change strings.

My college-age daughter will get my 2006 concert Fluke, so my count will remain at 6 ukes and a tiple. I tried the old and new Flukes one after the other, and the new Fluke does not sound as resonant and loud as the old one. This may be because of the portion of the plastic bowl thats filled with the pickup assembly.

6850568506

steel rider
07-03-2014, 03:29 PM
I have the tenor with poly fretboard for pretty much the same reasons as you. Sounds great with Reds but I've had the A and G snap. Currently the 1-3 strings have been on about a month so I'm leaving them alone. The low g snapped last week. I did have to widen the slot at the bridge and the nut with a blade to fit the low g. Then I sanded it just a little.
The low g snapped at the nut which is common. I'm putting a new one one tonight. Someone suggested putting a little Vaseline in the nut slot so I'm trying that. Makes sense to allow the strong to slide at that high friction pint a little easier. I put a dab on all 4 strings.
Good luck to you and wish me luck!

Ukejenny
07-03-2014, 03:34 PM
How cool! Exactly. Two louder.

SteveZ
07-03-2014, 03:43 PM
I've got a string question for you folks: The Fluke came strung with a high G Nylgut. I wanted to put a low G Aquila Red on it, but it was a tight fit for the notch in the nut. The string was rubbing against both sides of the notch. Does this in fact hurt the lifespan of a string? Or is the string okay this way as long as I don't have to compress the string to fit it in the notch? For now, I've put on a D'addario wound classical guitar string for my low G. But if it's okay to stuff the Aquila Red in there, I'll try just using a whole set of Aquila Reds next time I change strings.

First of all, congrats on the Fluke.

Second, it's important for strings to fit "comfortably" within the string slot in the nut, glide smoothly during tuning and not bind. If the string is snug within the slot, tuning will be erratic, the string can get nicked on the edges as the tuner pulls it tighter, and the list goes on and on of problems.

So, if you use the wound G which is the same (or darned close) diameter of the replaced string, all is well. If you want to use the unwound low G, then the string slot within the nut will have to be re-channeled (meaning, filed out with a round file of the correct size) to accommodate the wider-diameter unwound low G. When/if that re-channelling is done, it's permanent and the slot will be too large to properly use a wound low G or the original high G string. That means a new nut would have to be installed if you want to return to the original string arrangement.

One last point - if you want to re-channel the nut slot, have it done by someone who knows what they are doing. The potential of screwing it all up by going too deep is there, and that would mean a new nut would have to be installed to fix the error.

Does that help?

uke4ia
07-03-2014, 03:47 PM
I have the tenor with poly fretboard for pretty much the same reasons as you. Sounds great with Reds but I've had the A and G snap. Currently the 1-3 strings have been on about a month so I'm leaving them alone. The low g snapped last week. I did have to widen the slot at the bridge and the nut with a blade to fit the low g. Then I sanded it just a little.
The low g snapped at the nut which is common. I'm putting a new one one tonight. Someone suggested putting a little Vaseline in the nut slot so I'm trying that. Makes sense to allow the strong to slide at that high friction pint a little easier. I put a dab on all 4 strings.
Good luck to you and wish me luck!
That's an interesting idea about the Vaseline. If I still remember it when the time comes to change strings, I'll try that on the G.

I put a set of high G Reds on the concert Fluke a few months ago, and I haven't had any problems with them so far. I love the sound. Probably because until then, I'd always been using Hilo blacks like the ones the Fluke originally came with.

coolkayaker1
07-03-2014, 03:52 PM
Jim, congratulations. I look for more of your powerful covers and originals on your new instrument. I enjoy them, particularly the ones from the 1970s-1980s. There's a Sirius XM channel called Deep Cuts that explores seldom heard, uncommon tunes hidden on popular albums.

Your ukulele videos are my personal Deep Cuts.

uke4ia
07-03-2014, 03:56 PM
One last point - if you want to re-channel the nut slot, have it done by someone who knows what they are doing. The potential of screwing it all up by going too deep is there, and that would mean a new nut would have to be installed to fix the error.


I tried that in the past. I brought a Kiwaya K-Wave to an expert professional to have the nut G slot widened for a low G, and he did a crap job. I'm not doing that again. If worse comes to worse, I've been using the D'addario wound classical guitar strings for probably 15 years, and have had great success with them. I've liked Aquila Reds on my concert Fluke, but I'd be okay with using them for A, E, C, and a D'addario for G.

uke4ia
07-03-2014, 03:58 PM
Jim, congratulations. I look for more of your powerful covers and originals on your new instrument. I enjoy them, particularly the ones from the 1970s-1980s. There's a Sirius XM channel called Deep Cuts that explores seldom heard, uncommon tunes hidden on popular albums.

Your ukulele videos are my personal Deep Cuts.

:rofl:

Thanks. I'm still looking forward to your cover of "Up, Up, Up".

Icelander53
07-03-2014, 04:16 PM
Nice body choice. Low G sounds very good on Flukes.

I have the Fluke tenor with wood fretboard in solid black body and strung with a La Bella low G squeekless string. It sounds really beautiful to my ear and is very pretty to look at.

peaceweaver3
07-03-2014, 04:16 PM
Congrats Jim!

Just curious, are you stuck on the Aquilas, reds or others, or open to other strings? I've used a wound classical guitar string too, but had to get the 'xpensive one because I hate the usual squeak. Anyway, I have liked various fluorocarbon strings on Flukes and Fleas, and the Fremont and La Bella polished wound low G. I didn't modify the nut slot, even for nonwound low G's. However, the ones I tried fit well and didn't get stuck or bind anywhere. Personally I'd try something other than Reds, but that's just me. I hope you find something that works well for you!

And I agree about the pickup taking away some acoustic resonance. I recently passed on a Flea with the B-Band pickup because the tradeoff wasn't worth it to me. Yes, it's a great pickup! But I wanted that big acoustic sound back.

Nickie
07-03-2014, 04:20 PM
Congratulations! Very wild! Looks totally fun! We went to Compass Music today, and I only saw 3 ukes that I wanted....two Kalas and an Ohana...Tammy rushed me right out the door....

uke4ia
07-03-2014, 05:04 PM
Congrats Jim!
Just curious, are you stuck on the Aquilas, reds or others, or open to other strings? I've used a wound classical guitar string too, but had to get the 'xpensive one because I hate the usual squeak. Anyway, I have liked various fluorocarbon strings on Flukes and Fleas, and the Fremont and La Bella polished wound low G. I didn't modify the nut slot, even for nonwound low G's. However, the ones I tried fit well and didn't get stuck or bind anywhere. Personally I'd try something other than Reds, but that's just me. I hope you find something that works well for you!


I'm not committed to the Reds. I'd planned to try them because I liked how the high G Reds sounded on the concert Fluke. I don't care for the Aquila Nylguts that came on the Fluke, especially the A, so I'll probably change them out soon. I often play in a loud, percussive style, and I need an A string that's bright enough to be heard through that.

I use classical guitar strings on my other tenor, Savarez Alliance for the A, E, C, and D'addario wound for the low G. I get 6-8 of each at a time as single strings on JustStrings.com. I put one of the D'addarios on the Fluke as a low G. So I may just buy more of the guitar strings and use them on both tenors. But I'll probably try Reds for the A, E, C at least once.

And yeah, the pickup I got is the B-Band. So that's probably why the tenor Fluke isn't as loud as the concert Fluke with no pickup.

Booli
07-03-2014, 05:21 PM
Congrats on the new Fluke! :)

My Koa tenor Fluke (wooden fretboard and pegheds, but no pickup) is strung w/an Aquila RED low G and then Worth Browns BT (TENOR) strings for the rest. The sound/feel/tension is great this way to me. Clear, crisp, bell-like, yet dulcet and complex, with endless sustain.


Someone suggested putting a little Vaseline in the nut slot so I'm trying that. Makes sense to allow the strong to slide at that high friction pint a little easier. I put a dab on all 4 strings.
Good luck to you and wish me luck!

That might/could have been me, via my post in this thread a few days ago:

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?97766-Aquila-Red-thread&p=1545176#post1545176

Since doing this on 3 ukes, with no mods to the nut slot, I have not had any Aquila REDS break by the nut, however they have snapped at the bridge, and that is why I do not cut mine, and have extra at the peg to extend the string and tie some new knots, without having a ruined set that was cut too short.

Seems like a figure-8 knot and then a standard knot on top of that, NOT pulled too tight prior to installation is the trick so far.

This ^^ knot is now holding the longest without snapping at 3 weeks so far.

It seems that if you use pliers or hemostat to hold the tail-end and then pull it 'mo-fo tight' to cinch the knot down with the Aquila REDS, it puts a kink in the string that weakens it too much.

I have found that Martin and Worths (both clear and brown) fluorocarbon strings are more forgiving in this regard.

-Booli

Booli
07-03-2014, 05:41 PM
...it's important for strings to fit "comfortably" within the string slot in the nut, glide smoothly during tuning and not bind. If the string is snug within the slot, tuning will be erratic, the string can get nicked on the edges as the tuner pulls it tighter, and the list goes on and on of problems.

So, if you use the wound G which is the same (or darned close) diameter of the replaced string, all is well. If you want to use the unwound low G, then the string slot within the nut will have to be re-channeled (meaning, filed out with a round file of the correct size) to accommodate the wider-diameter unwound low G. When/if that re-channelling is done, it's permanent and the slot will be too large to properly use a wound low G or the original high G string. That means a new nut would have to be installed if you want to return to the original string arrangement.

One last point - if you want to re-channel the nut slot, have it done by someone who knows what they are doing. The potential of screwing it all up by going too deep is there, and that would mean a new nut would have to be installed to fix the error

Remember that on the Fleas and Flukes, whether polycarbonate or wooden fretboard, they all use a 'zero-fret' so this is not as critical an issue for going 'too deep' as a standard nut [since the zero-fret fixes the bottom depth of the string height]. the issue here is more of going too WIDE and then you get string wiggle and buzz in the nut slot (which can be corrected with a TINY [and I mean TINY] drop of superglue or nail polish in the affect too-wide slot).

Nota Bene: You really need to wait at LEAST 8 hours for the nail polish to fully cure so it does not fix the the string if you go this route. Super glue, I'd wait at least an hour for it to fully harden. I have used both methods myself, but would prefer not to have had to.

OTOH:

The FREMONT Soloist 'squeakless' wound/polished Low G string is 0.027" and fits the 4th (G) string nut slot on most ukes without any modifications required and seems to balance really well volume and tone-wise with most fluorocarbons, although I have not tried them with Aquila REDS, I would think that this string would blend really well.

It seems to me that most high-G re-entrant string sets seem to have the G string between 0.0260 to 0.0291, so the FREMONT Soloist is inside that range, and should not get bound or pinched by the nut slot.

HMS, Elderly and Uke Republic sell the FREMONT SOLOIST as a single string.

Another thing to remember is that if your Flea/Fluke has a polycarbonate fretboard, you DO NOT want to use ANY wound strings, to quote OldePhart (John):

"with regard to metal vs plastic, metal always wins"

and your polycarbonate fretboard will get chewed up pretty quickly.

-Booli

Andy Chen
07-03-2014, 06:17 PM
Don't the Flukes come shipped with D'Addarion Nyltech, which is of course developed in collaboration with Aquila?

My Walnut Fluke tenor was strung with Nyltech.

uke4ia
07-03-2014, 06:45 PM
Don't the Flukes come shipped with D'Addarion Nyltech, which is of course developed in collaboration with Aquila?

My Walnut Fluke tenor was strung with Nyltech.

The web site says they come with Nyltech strings. But the Fluke arrived with a tag for Aquila Nylguts wrapped around one of the tuning pegs, so I'm assuming they're Nylguts.

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
07-03-2014, 11:11 PM
Cool polygons, Jim. Congrats and enjoy!

Andy Chen
07-03-2014, 11:27 PM
The web site says they come with Nyltech strings. But the Fluke arrived with a tag for Aquila Nylguts wrapped around one of the tuning pegs, so I'm assuming they're Nylguts.

Thanks for the clarification. In any case, I didn't like the Nyltechs. The D'Addario T2s I have on them sound so much better.

Ukuleleblues
07-04-2014, 03:26 PM
Looks great, congrats...!