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Thread: New strings

  1. #1

    Default New strings

    After making a new purchase how long do you wait before changing the strings?

    I purchased a Kamaka HF-3 and have read poor reviews on the string quality, and it seems almost universal that people agree to change the strings immediately.

    As someone with little experience, and not exactly a discerning ear, how would I know? I think it sounds pleasant, but the strings are definitely different from my previous Ukulele which used fluorocarbon strings.

    Also, which strings would you recommend?
    Do I need to buy a special type from Kamaka direct?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada
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    326

    Default

    Do you know what type of strings are on your uku? I like to have a spare set or two on hand in case a string breaks. If possible buy locally.

    I usually only replace strings if one breaks, or they are really ancient.
    LACole
    Laurie Ann Cole

    Northern UK20 Concert Mahogany GCEA Aquila Lava
    2018
    Beaver Creek BCUKEFM-T Tenor Maple Flame gCEA D’addario Pro Arte
    Eddy Finn EF-Moon Concert Mahogany gCEA Aquila SuperNylgut
    Beaver Creek BCUKE-S Soprano Mahogany gCEA D’addario Black Nylon
    2019
    Ohana PKC-25G Concert Mahogany Pineapple gCEA Aquila
    Donner DUC-3 Concert Spruce/Mahogany gCEA Donner

    CPM CT-Q2 chromatic clip on tuner
    Snark SN-4 tuner
    Donner tuner

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
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    3,293

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    Easy enough to just take those ones off, and try another set. If you liked FC in the past, I'd just try a set of Martin 620 or Worth Clears. You can always reinstall the stock strings if you want, or continue experimenting with Aquilas, Worth Browns, Oasis, etc, until you find the best sounding set for that particular uke. Just don't clip them too short at the ends, so you can reinstall, if desired.
    John

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Canada Prairies, brrr ....
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    768

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    If the uke sounds good to you with the original strings then keep them. Using harder strings like those installed on the Kamakas may improve your fretting and playing accuracy skills too. Replace them when they start to wear out or one of them breaks. Kamaka strings can be ordered or bought from a variety of sources, use Google to find one with low shipping costs. It may be a good idea to buy a set as backup, so when one of your strings break you don't have to scramble for replacement (rarely happens but better to be prepared).
    Last edited by merlin666; 05-16-2019 at 07:13 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    the wild west, Canada
    Posts
    570

    Default

    If you like the strings, keep them. Change them after 6 months (or even a year if it's not getting a lot of play time) and you'll feel like you got a new ukulele.
    Glenn

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    656

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    We are so lucky to have the plain plastic strings. They will last forever, almost. Whereas guitar players players get their metal strings corroded etc loosing their shine in a few days when our strings have just creeped properly in playing condition. Applies also to classical guitarists, but less than metal strings.

    This post no help what if any to put on your Kamaka as a change

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Boulder, CO!
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    391

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by QuakerOatmeal View Post
    After making a new purchase how long do you wait before changing the strings?

    I purchased a Kamaka HF-3 and have read poor reviews on the string quality, and it seems almost universal that people agree to change the strings immediately.

    As someone with little experience, and not exactly a discerning ear, how would I know? I think it sounds pleasant, but the strings are definitely different from my previous Ukulele which used fluorocarbon strings.

    Also, which strings would you recommend?
    Do I need to buy a special type from Kamaka direct?
    For me it's a feel thing. I picked up my own HF-3 less than a month ago and I've settled on a low g set of worth brown strings after trying some worth clears and the stock Kamaka strings. I'm the type that likes to set it and forget it though and I hated the feel of the Kamaka strings, regardless of the sound, so I just went through a couple of sets in a few weeks in order to find and settle on the sound I like.

    Now that they're on I'll keep them on for a while! I highly recommend the worth browns but to each their own.
    -Ben

    KoAloha Pineapple Sunday 6 String
    Kamaka HF-3 Tenor
    1928 Harmony Johnny Marvin
    Ohana TK-39
    c. 1970's Hikare Baritone
    Gretsch G9100
    Outdoor Ukulele Soprano #43


    Videos

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Honoka'a, HI
    Posts
    1,651

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    With stock strings there are usually at least a handful of months on them just from sitting around a warehouse - if not years. "How long" until you change them might not make much of a difference on the age of the string.

    I'd change them.
    Brad Bordessa

    My guide to fretting and fingering (NEW): Left Hand Technique for 'Ukulele

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    369

    Default

    I have two HF-3 Kamaka tenors. Wonderful instruments. I have one set up as High G (or re-entrant tuning) using Martin Premium Strings. They sound nice and have a nice feel to my fingers - they seem lower tension than the fluro carbon and are softer.

    On the other I have set up as Low G, I have PhD strings or Oasis Warms and a Fremont Soloist Low G. You could use any fluorocarbon set with the Fremont Soloist.

    The Kamaka nylon strings that are on there feel nice on your fingers, but the sound is a little more muted and not as bell-like.

    Good luck! If you need help changing strings, there are a lot of videos out there. I thought this video was the most helpful. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyv7uOiXsbM

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lacole View Post
    Do you know what type of strings are on your uku? I like to have a spare set or two on hand in case a string breaks. If possible buy locally.

    I usually only replace strings if one breaks, or they are really ancient.
    Based on some forum searching, I think they use D’addario Pro Atre J71’s dyed black. The Kamaka sets high G is .0285 instead of .0290.

    Even though that reads like Chinese for me :3

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