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Thread: Do fluorocarbon strings start to sound more like nylons after a while?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1 View Post
    You can use technique to make nylon sound like fluorocarbon and vice versa, or get very close. So many ukulele players don't seem to understand that you can use different techniques for every song if you want to, you do not have to stay in a rut of doing the same technique over and over for 20 years and using string changes to get the different sounds. This is even more applicable if you play through an amplifier, you can use the amp and pedals to get what ever sound you like.
    Maybe you should tell the string manufacturers that technique will make their strings sound alike. I spoke to a fluorocarbon manufacturer who also happens to be an amazing and well renowned ukulele artist who insists that fluorocarbon strings sound different than nylon strings. Taking into account that all techniques can be used on both strings, what do you know that this ukulele artist and string manufacturer doesn't that would get nylon and fluorocarbon strings to sound like each other?

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by kissing View Post
    In my books, that would be an improvement.

    Me: Uses nylon exclusively. Dislikes most fluorocarbon strings.
    That’s interesting. Whilst I normally use m600 fluorocarbon strings (because over the years I’ve found that they work better than anything else for me on my particular Ukes) I am open to the idea of using nylon and recently experimented with some. I’d be glad to hear something about the best practice(s) in selecting appropriate nylon strings, etc. Please share your knowledge and direct ‘us’ towards more.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1 View Post
    D'addario EJ series - black nylon. warm dark tone. From Farmingdale (on Long Island) NY USA. These strings need a day or so to settle. I just squeezed two sets out of one packet with a concert set. I think they might have been selling these strings last century.

    If you ask a well known fluorocarbon string packager (most companies just re-package monofilament from a factory), it would be a surprise if they did not say that their products sounded best. The same applies to those who have a vested interest in selling a type or brand of strings. Most sellers are going to say their product is the best.
    Just to get an idea of the noises nylon strings make, look up an article "10 Essential Non-Classical Guitar Albums" published by Acoustic Guitar magazine. Willie Nelson, Jerry Reed, Hose Feliciano, Leonard Cohen and others. You may get a pleasant surprise. Also look up some amazing classical guitar players and hear what they can get nylon strings to do. Herb Ohta Senior did a good job with nylon as well.
    However, fluorocarbon strings are very useful not just for the sound. The fluorocarbon monofilament material is denser than nylon, which means you can have the same string mass in thinner strings. This is very useful for ukuleles, it allows thinner strings so we can feasibly have a plastic low G string and the high strings are thinner which may help with intonation. I use Worth browns on fragile ukes because they have a nice low tension.
    Also as stated before, if you regularly plug in your uke to an amp the sound of the strings can be changed easily by twiddling knobs on the amp. If you work at it you can get your uke to sound like an electric guitar with steel strings being played up the neck.
    I find the best way to evaluate strings is to buy a packet and try them out yourself. You can spend some time trying various fretting pressures and locations for picking and so on to see what they can do. Often it is surprising how much you can get the sound to vary just by moving your fretting fingers a small amount.
    Once you find a set that you like for a uke, its sometimes cheaper to buy 3 - 5 sets to save on postage and sometimes get a bulk discount.
    Thanks Bill, some good info there that I copy for reference. To me the EJ88C seems to be what you’re referring to and I’m guessing that you used them on a Soprano.

    I’m hoping that Kissing will reply as well.

    Nylons do seem to be popular with guitar players and they, for what ever reason / difference do not seem to use fluorocarbon strings.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 08-15-2019 at 01:28 AM.

  4. #14
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    The differences between nylon and fluorocarbon sound can be also because of if you have a low action ukulele like mine.

    And the tension I had with my cheap Thomann nylon uke strings, just was not enough. I was ok with Aquila nylguts, but not with the intonation/sustain upper the neck, especially with C string, because it was so thick. Martin m600 strings work fine for me.

    My next project is to sandpaper a winter saddle bone for me that is somewhat higher. And maybe then I can evaluate better the nylon strings, just their thickness bothers me. Or I can just keep a humidifier in my living room where my uke is too, to have a higher action in it. And my skin also feel better.

  5. #15
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    I think nylon strings on guitar are fine, as are steel strings, but when you come down to the uke, the length of the scale is more suited to finer strings, such as the fluorocarbons, which allow for more/better vibrations, over that of nylon.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  6. #16
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    BILL 1 -
    "If you ask a well known fluorocarbon string packager (most companies just re-package monofilament from a factory), it would be a surprise if they did not say that their products sounded best. The same applies to those who have a vested interest in selling a type or brand of strings. Most sellers are going to say their product is the best."

    A: Well renowned ukulele player, not well known manufacturer.
    B: Claimed FLUOROCARBON , NOT HIS Fluorocarbon strings sounded DIFFERENT.
    C : Varying the sound by varying how you pluck or strum is not the same as getting one type of string to sound like another.
    Last edited by AQUATOPAZ; 08-15-2019 at 02:14 AM.

  7. #17
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    I found with my older vintage mahogany ukes; nylon seems to bring out a deeper more mellow sound. Especially my Favilla,

  8. #18
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    Interesting responses. I guess my (possibly incorrect) thought was that as carbons age, they start to sound less bright and less loud, and I was referring to that as sounding more like nylon.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Croaky Keith View Post
    I think nylon strings on guitar are fine, as are steel strings, but when you come down to the uke, the length of the scale is more suited to finer strings, such as the fluorocarbons, which allow for more/better vibrations, over that of nylon.
    That is a worthy point of view Keith. Classical guitar players, they prefer nylon strings. Just with short scale instruments like ukulele, the thickness of strings matters and to me the thinner the string, better I can feel it when fretting. Also friendlier for my fingertips.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarmo_S View Post
    That is a worthy point of view Keith. Classical guitar players, they prefer nylon strings. Just with short scale instruments like ukulele, the thickness of strings matters and to me the thinner the string, better I can feel it when fretting. Also friendlier for my fingertips.
    A lot of classical guitarists have switched to composite or fluorocarbon strings in the past few years, albeit nylons are probably still the most popular, especially with beginners buying whatever strings the store has in stock. I switched to composites in the late 1980s and now use fluorocarbons on most of my classical guitars. The only negative I've experienced is fluorocarbons are less responsive to vibrato, so I had to change my vibrato technique (wider, stronger left hand movement). If you use the right fluorocarbons, the timbre is nearly as sweet as nylon but longer sustaining. I can't say fluorocarbons are more fingertip friendly. For me, they bite into my fingertips more due to the increased tension and smaller diameter but it's worth it for the increased sustain, overtones and longevity.

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