- Sep 2, 2011
Just yesterday I decided to change the original Aquila strings on my tenor Gretsch G9121 A.C.E. because I was not getting much sustain or projection. I had a set of GHS black nylon with a wound C aluminum. They're heavier than the Aquilas, but still don't have sustain and presence. So far I've liked the sound of fluorocarbon Worth CT clears I put on a couple of my other ukes.
Here is where a tension chart falls a bit short. Tension is the amount of force that a string puts on the instrument when tuned to a specific pitch, but that's basically it. It doesn't accurately tell you how stiff a string is going to feel, how much sustain that string will have, and whether or not your uke will like it.
The GHS black nylon - and ALL black nylon strings, really - are not the same as the Aquila, due to the compounds. So while the GHS on paper may look to have more tension, it's going to feel a lot looser than the Aquilas. It's the same as CJay's comment about the D'Addario T2 strings; they felt very stiff but the tension values were less than Aquilas; that is due more to the titanium that is put in the nylon compound for the T2 strings over the tension value on the paper.
Tension charts are great and a good resource, but they're not the gospel. Other factors will come into play that can and can't be accurately measured.