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Thread: Is there a difference between concert and tenor strings?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Is there a difference between concert and tenor strings?

    I was wondering what the difference between a concert and tenor string set is, if the diameters are very close, almost identical? I know the length of the string is shorter for the concert, but is that it?
    Tenor Ukes
    KoAloha KTM-00
    Pono MTD-(All Mahogany)
    Big Island BI-MO-TR-(All Spalted Mango)
    Compass Rose Style B Tenor-(All Claro Walnut)
    Boat Paddle ML style Tenor-(Red Spruce/Cocobolo)

    Baritone Uke
    Pono MHBSSC-(Spruce/Mahogany)


    Tenor Guitar
    Ibanez AVT1-N-(Spruce/Mahogany)

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default

    Interesting. Here are some numbers from Elderly Instruments string descriptions

    Worth CT Tenor
    .0224"(.57mm), .0260"(.66mm), .0291"(.74m m) .0244"(.62mm)

    Worth CM Soprano/concert
    .0205"(.52mm), .0260"(.66mm), .0291"(.74mm) .0224"(.57mm)

    Martin M600 Soprano/Concert
    0191 0256 0340 0216

    Martin M620 Tenor
    0216 0280 0340 0256

    D'ADDARIO EJ87C CONCERT UKE SET
    025 033 040 029
    D'ADDARIO EJ88C
    024 031 037 026



    D'ADDARIO EJ87T TENOR UKE SET
    029 033 041 029
    D'ADDARIO EJ88T
    026 032 038 028
    Let's have a laugh after we cry. Let's hope we live before we die. Loudon Wainwright III
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    Ray



  3. #3
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    Default

    Here is how I understand it. The tenor string is larger in diameter than a concert string. Because of the longer scale length, 17" vs 15" the tenor length string is under higher tension to achieve the same pitch as the shorter length concert. The string is made larger in diameter to allows for this higher tension.A larger diameter string will have a slightly warmer sound, this is how Dirk from South Coast strings explains how he achieves the warmer sound in his soft series of medium gauge strings. He increases the diameter but uses a different compound to achieve the same tension.

    Theoretically if you strung a tenor with concert gauge strings you would get a higher or brighter pitch because of the smaller diameter. Tenor strings on a concert would create a warmer sound because of the larger diameter.

    A friend has a Pono pro classic cedar /rosewood tenor, I have the same model in cedar/ macassar ebony. He has SC medium gauge strings, I have SC medium heavy gauge strings. He feels his instrument is a little brighter than mine. The instruments are almost identical and just the string gauges are different. Take that for what it is worth, probably not much
    Last edited by DownUpDave; 11-23-2014 at 01:59 AM.
    Currently enjoying these ukuleles : *LdfM tenor, *LfdM 19" super tenor. *LfdM baritone, *I'iwi tenor , *Koolau tenor, *Webber tenor, *Kimo tenor, *Kimo super concert, *Mya Moe baritone, *Kamaka baritone, *Gianinni baritone, *Fred Shields super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Enya Nova *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

  4. #4
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    Queanbeyan, NSW Australia.
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    Default

    I think you covered it but it begs the question. What other differences were you expecting? Changing the string gauge slightly will effect the intonation slightly, and string tension of course. String gauges generally get thicker at longer scale lengths. This keeps the string tension more constant (nominally a longer string at the same pitch will have less tension) and keep the intonation predictable.

    You can play around with different string gauges if you wan't but keep track of the intonation as this will change. On solid body electric guitars you have the ability to compensate the saddle position for different string gauges but this saddle adjustability is not easy on most acoustic instruments.

    Anthony

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyg View Post
    I think you covered it but it begs the question. What other differences were you expecting?
    I wasn't really expecting anything. I was going to try a set of concert strings on my tenor. A brand I use was out of stock and I noticed the concert version was almost identical. Two strings the same and the 1st and 4th strings are only .001 difference in diameter. Figured a very slightly brighter sound. Just wanted to be sure nothing was different about them.
    Tenor Ukes
    KoAloha KTM-00
    Pono MTD-(All Mahogany)
    Big Island BI-MO-TR-(All Spalted Mango)
    Compass Rose Style B Tenor-(All Claro Walnut)
    Boat Paddle ML style Tenor-(Red Spruce/Cocobolo)

    Baritone Uke
    Pono MHBSSC-(Spruce/Mahogany)


    Tenor Guitar
    Ibanez AVT1-N-(Spruce/Mahogany)

  6. #6
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    Jul 2009
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
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    2,695

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    Unfortunately for mental convenience, string gauge does not tell "the story" when dealing with what I'll generically call "plastic" strings because different plastics have different density, and "linear density" is supremely important in designing strings. Tension at "scale length pitch" would be a more important number if you wanted to make comparisons that way. But also understand that different plastics inherently have different harmonic responses, too.

    It gets complicated...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Turner View Post
    Unfortunately for mental convenience, string gauge does not tell "the story" when dealing with what I'll generically call "plastic" strings because different plastics have different density, and "linear density" is supremely important in designing strings. Tension at "scale length pitch" would be a more important number if you wanted to make comparisons that way. But also understand that different plastics inherently have different harmonic responses, too.

    It gets complicated...
    I'm in over my head here...lol

    I'll just wait for my strings to come in.
    Tenor Ukes
    KoAloha KTM-00
    Pono MTD-(All Mahogany)
    Big Island BI-MO-TR-(All Spalted Mango)
    Compass Rose Style B Tenor-(All Claro Walnut)
    Boat Paddle ML style Tenor-(Red Spruce/Cocobolo)

    Baritone Uke
    Pono MHBSSC-(Spruce/Mahogany)


    Tenor Guitar
    Ibanez AVT1-N-(Spruce/Mahogany)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Oop North in England
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    Default

    Why not try the concert set? By the sound of things, you won't do any harm and strings are not that expensive if you don't like the result.
    Geoff Walker

    I have several ukuleles in various sizes and am not planning on getting any more...

    at least, not yet.

    I also play some blowy things and a squeezy thing

    Internet:
    You Tube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/TootlinGeoff
    Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/tootlingeoff

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