Neutral Strings for Soprano/Concert ?

merlin666

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Well the question was raised before and I don't think that there is a "neutral" sound of the uke but rather the style and the skill of the player and the issue then which strings suit that skill and style best to make the player sound as good as possible. However, historically ukuleles were strung with gut strings and I suggest that a gut string will make a uke sound most natural or neutral. The best synthetic equivalent is then up for discussion.
 
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kaimuki

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I think that this is a tricky question to answer and certainly no string maker that I know of describes their stings as bland or neutral (which is just what you’re looking for). It struck me that D'Addario do rate their string range for brightness and mellowness so if you chose something in the middle of their range then you’d likely be getting something that was towards neutral. As I read their website clear n ylon seems to be their middle ground and IIRC you’ve already tried the similar Ernie Ball clear nylon strings ... I’m wondering what you thought of them ‘cause I’m considering trying them out on my CK35.

Someone mentioned Aquila, I like their Super Nylgut strings but don’t much like New Nylgut (to my ears they are subtly different). You might find that New Nylgut is near neutral and reasonably loud.

Edit. As in the comment below mine - and I believe that there is some validity in the belief - some folk say that Nylgut strung Ukes sound all the same, that the string dominates the Uke. However, IIRC, Ken Timms used to string his Martin replicas with Nylguts and his Ukes still sounded great so string domination doesn’t always happen.
I didn't care for the Ernie Ball Clear Nylon at all on the CK35 .
 

kaimuki

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Replying to comments to one of his You Tube videos demoing strings Alex of SUS stated :

... "Cedar top because to me it colours ukuleles in the least. Koa and mango both sweeten and Mahogany often darkens. "
and
" I find Mahogany can either be quite warm and honky or quite clear and wooly. For a warm, honky sound try a good fluorocarbon set... maybe Worth BM or Anuenue as-bwsc. For a brighter clearer wooly sound try the Martin M600 strings. All of these strings sound good... just slightly different."
 

John Colter

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"Alex of SUS stated - colours;sweeten;darken;warm;honky;clear;wooly;brighten"

This illustrates the difficulty of giving a verbal description of sound. It is all extremely subjective.

Alex is trying to sell ukuleles and strings. Of course he will attempt to impart his wisdom in order to stimulate discussion and interest. I'm sure Alex is a decent, trustworthy person but, when somebody is trying to sell something, I make sure my BS filters are firmly in place.

In my opinion (humble or otherwise) there can be no such thing as neutral strings.
 

badhabits

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I seem to recall him (Alex) saying that the differences are subtle, could be wrong though. I've also heard "sounds like a ukulele" in reviews here, lol.
 

bilbo56

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It often sounds like folks are describing wine when the talk about strings.
 

Tin Ear

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Strings and Ukes = Different Horses for Different Courses

The trick is likely figuring out what kind of Horse your Uke is.
 

UkeStuff

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This is all just personal opinion!

I find that clear fluorocarbon string bring out the brightness of a ukulele (to my ears), so when I have a ukulele that just doesn't sparkle on the top end, I use fluorocarbons...usually Martin M600 (I generally play concert) because they are affordable and easy to find, but I will also use others such as Worth Clears, Oasis Brights, Living Water, or UkeLogic (I still need to try D'Addario's Fluorocarbons). I could also spend some time with Fremont strings.

If I have an instrument that is pretty responsive across the whole range of sound, or something that is already naturally bright (e.g. many spruce tops), I like to use Worth Browns, which seem to favor both of these kind of instruments.
 

EDW

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Strings and Ukes = Different Horses for Different Courses

The trick is likely figuring out what kind of Horse your Uke is.
......and what kind of player you are and what sound/feel you are looking for. There is no one answer or right answer. If you like it, it is good!