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Thread: Further adventures in Stringland...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Byron Bay, Australia
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    Default Further adventures in Stringland...

    I have a wonderful Ko'olau tenor that sounds great with the standard Savarez tenor set (high g), but...
    With the A and G strings being the same guage (0.0224) I always found that the A string tension was a bit too much. So I sent for a 0.0216 and a 0.0205 from Strings by mail; it ended up costing close to $20 Australian for 2 strings (postage plus poor exchange rate) but I needed to know,
    Well, the 216 was better, but the 205 hit the sweet spot: nice ringing tone and the "right" feel.
    I guess it depends on your playing style, but I often find myself lifting the A string to pluck it and it has to be on par with the G string.
    I think I recall seeing reference to earlier Savarez tenor sets with a 0.0205 for the A string instead of the 0.0224. Anyone else remember that?
    I much prefer the A string to be a little thinner than the G.
    Any thoughts/experience on re-entrant string sets with same guage A and G strings?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    U.K.
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    Default

    I’ve recently been working on a cheap Soprano and as it had some old nylon strings on it that sounded sort of OK I thought I’d try some new ones. It’s a rough instrument and low budget investigation was my objective. For nylon Soprano strings it’s not uncommon for the g and the a to be the same diameter and a pack of those was what I ended up with.

    When fitted the strings worked fine enough towards the nut end of the fretboard but the top a on the a string sounded a bit dead rather than ringing, as the same diameter g string on top g did ring better and I concluded that the a string was over tensioned causing it to be muffled. I then wondered about tension on the other strings and whether tuning them up a tone or down a tone would impact on the way that they rang out, it did. I then considered whether I wanted the a string to sound equally loud to the g or whether I wanted it to ring out a bit more; I’m inclined to think ring out a bit more (so thinner than the g for equality and then maybe a bit thinner again for the extra ring).

    To state the obvious string diameter matters and vendors don’t always supply an optimum diameter for the users purposes.

    Summary. To work best the a string needs to be thinner than the g.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 08-02-2019 at 10:17 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Byron Bay, Australia
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    Default

    I agree. In fact if I was a string company and had access to different guage strings, it would seem logical to make the A string slightly thinner than the G to account for evenness of tension.
    So why do some string companies not do that? Maybe they think that the A string should have more tension. Dirk of Southcoast string fame wouldnt have agreed, he was a big one for mixing and matching strings to form sets with even string tension as an important goal.
    Even tension is important to me - but maybe not to many others.
    I was just noodling on my Ko'olau with it's - now - balanced strings and I'm in My Blue Heaven.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Pickering, ON, Canada
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    Default

    I measure all my string sets with calipers, just so I know the diameters. Oasis, Worth, PhD, Fremont, Living Water and others all have the G string larger then the A string. Savarez is the only company I am aware that have the G&A strings the same diameter. Weird.
    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, *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Finland
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    Default

    I would like to know Savarez point of view on this. Particularly for fingerpicking I would prefer an even tension. Liked to see they give string tensions for some scale length, if as a compromise A is a bit higher and G a bit lower than the rest.
    Then again I am interested because it is ukulele in question and the way we strum down and up, if there truly is some advantage then for uneven tension.

    Probably they just cut from 3 different size fishing line reels I suspect and won't be buying from that string brand after reading this lol.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Byron Bay, Australia
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    Default

    Savarez is a large, well respected company - and certainly has the ability to include a thinner A string in it's tenor set. That's why I think it might be intentional (or is that intension-al? Ha!). And - I can't prove it, but I have a vague memory of their tenor set having a 0.0205 A string in the past.
    Anyway - having done my expensive research and confirmed that the thinner string does feel and sound great, I ordered some individual strings from Strings By Mail. 4 individual 1 metre strings are about the same price as a set; and you could order 2 metre singles that should give you 3 tenor uke lengths and make it cheaper (although the 0.0272 E string from their set is not available at SBM in 2 metre length).
    I'm happy with that.
    Last edited by Strumdaddy; 08-03-2019 at 02:10 PM.

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