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Thread: Bad tone = double wound string?

  1. #1
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    Default Bad tone = double wound string?

    I'm a beginner. I'm looking for an upgrade to the cheapo tenor I started on. Problem is...every uku I've tried in the stores have one (or more) 'dead strings". At least to MY ears. A friend of mine (guitar person) said strings that are trimmed too long and doubled onto themselves on the tuning pegs can cause the tone issues I keep hearing. Fact or Fiction? tia

  2. #2
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    I first though you meant wound strings like in guitar 3 bass strings or a low G string in uke.

    But about the tuner pegs way of tying them, what ever way you do and if it holds the tuning, it should be ok. New strings of course always creep, no matter which way they are tied up.
    What you friend maybe was talking about is: If you change tuning, bad tie job can maybe prolong until the strings are settled or some stupid jumps in tuning experienced

    C string is so thick compared to its length, that it usually causes problems. That and also the fundamental frequences of the box combined.
    I don't like thick strings in general and recommend fluorocarbons over the seemingly popular Aquila nylguts. Thinner strings are also much more friendlier to fingertips.

    When changing new strings to your current ones, try not leave the slack too much, so when tightened up you can make the last winding be the most bottom one on a tuning peg. If you start with too much slack, then what you told can happen.
    I'm too lazy to get a picture, but you search one of changing strings

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarmo_S View Post
    I first though you meant wound strings like in guitar 3 bass strings or a low G string in uke.

    But about the tuner pegs way of tying them, what ever way you do and if it holds the tuning, it should be ok. New strings of course always creep, no matter which way they are tied up.
    What you friend maybe was talking about is: If you change tuning, bad tie job can maybe prolong until the strings are settled or some stupid jumps in tuning experienced

    C string is so thick compared to its length, that it usually causes problems. That and also the fundamental frequences of the box combined.
    I don't like thick strings in general and recommend fluorocarbons over the seemingly popular Aquila nylguts. Thinner strings are also much more friendlier to fingertips.

    When changing new strings to your current ones, try not leave the slack too much, so when tightened up you can make the last winding be the most bottom one on a tuning peg. If you start with too much slack, then what you told can happen.
    I'm too lazy to get a picture, but you search one of changing strings
    Thanks. Your last paragraph is EXACTLY what i was referring to. Too much slack makes the strings wind on top of themselves and that effects the tone?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffnboise View Post
    Thanks. Your last paragraph is EXACTLY what i was referring to. Too much slack makes the strings wind on top of themselves and that effects the tone?
    Not in my experience, but it can affect the accuracy of re-tuning as the string is being wound over an uneven surface.

    To suggest that the method used to attach the string to the tuning pegs could affect the tone of the instrument is, in my mind, displaying a complete ignorance of the acoustic physics of the instrument!

    ... and yes, I do play Nylguts and I don't have a problem with thick strings
    There are those who will wax lyrical about the ability to play a double shuffle with a split fan and a tight G-string ...
    it just makes me walk funny!

  5. #5
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    Depends of your uke. Normal ones it should not affect any as there is enough angle on headstock to keep open strings sounding ok.
    Just a cosmetic thing most likely.

    But test if open sounds buzzing compared to what you get on 1st or 2nd fret.

    An uke is not like say a guitar with a tremolo bar. If you had that then a bad tie job would be not so good. I dont think you have none to worry about

  6. #6
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    Uke sizes are based on the scale length which is distance from nut to saddle. This is because nut and saddle stop the vibration of the strings.

    If you run a finger over the strings between nut and post there is very little sound. Not enough to be heard compared to the rest of the sound.

    As already said, the problem of overlapping a string at the post is that it isn’t stable and can effect tuning if the string shifts but has nothing to do with tone.

  7. #7
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    If you have an old wife, (or just know one) ask her. I think she'll know what this theory is all about.
    That being said, if you listen very carefully, you will notice that most ukuleles have notes or even strings you might easily describe as dead. Try more carefully designed and built instruments and you will notice this issue can be tempered. Almost anything can be addressed with the right investment.
    If everybody wanted peace instead of another TV, then there would be peace.
    -John Lennon-

  8. #8
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    Interesting story in Dan Erlewine's Guitar Player's Repair guide. Dan evaluated several blues guitar players' setups. He showed how BB King didn't trim his strings but wrapped the entire string length on his tuner posts. The rationale was that if he broke a string mid performance he could unwrap some of the string from the post, tie it off, and retune. He had worked it out so he could perform this maneuver very quickly and continue with the number he was playing. I've never heard anyone speak of BB's dead sounding strings.

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