String mass and wood selection?

JackLuis

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I got a new Ebony and Rosewood Concert yesterday and it is extreamly weak voiced? It is a laminate and the strings are very thin. I generally play tenor or bartitone ukes and this Ebony is just limp when it comes to volume.

I'm thinking now that the strings just don't have enough mass to drive the top. My cheap Zebrawood concert is a lot louder and sweeter with Fremont Black lines on it. So I ordered a set of Fremont Low G's last night. Read on one review that the low G string was too big and had very low tension on a concert.I checked out my Zwood one an yes the G string is lower tensioned than the others but hey, that's the way it goes, right?

Am I one the right path?
 

merlin666

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Exotic wood like ebony or zebrawood is used for decoration of the laminate only and it has absolutely NO effect on the volume of the uke. But yes, changing to higher tension strings may help.
 

Kenn2018

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A wound G-string might help. I find that they generally tend to dominate the other strings. Ditto a wound C.
 

roastbeast

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Unfortunately there isn't a one size fits all solution for strings on a uke. I've been experimenting for the past couple months on various string sets. Where before I had stuck to Martin Fluorocarbons for all my solid woods and Aquila nylguts on my lams, I've now switched up considerably.

Using a wound low G will probably give you higher tension if you find the right string, and hopefully more volume. However, volume will depend more on the construction of your uke, such as internal bracing. If the bracing is too thick, your soundboard will vibrate a lot less and strings will only do so much to increase volume.

I use Fremont Blackline unwound as a low G alternative because I'm trying to find an alternative to wound low Gs as I do not prefer the metallic twang at the end of notes. They tend to be lower tension than other string sets I pair them with but they still have ok volume on my ukes. The thickness of the string will help give the sound more body in lieu of tension. Also, maybe try an unwound Aquila Red low G.

In my testing, I've also found that Martin Premium Polyguts and Aquila Lavas have good volume as strings in general. Wish you the best on your quest.
 

merlin666

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I am not sure if adding a low G to a laminate concert will bring more useful volume. I would expect this to sound like a little thump in a situation where you likely wish for more high frequencies.
 

merlin666

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As I mentioned earlier the idea of greater tension is probably a good approach. In this situation I would select the thickest fluorocarbon strings I could find. For example one can put a custom set of gone Fishin strings together that get sold individually by thickness, and just pick the thickest ones possible among them. Much easier than changing strings is to just tune up. Try a half note first and if that helps a bit go for another half note.
 

JackLuis

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I may have to resort to using my contact mic and my Honeytone amp to get good volume from this Uke.
If so then I will have found a good use for my Honeytone.:D