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Thread: Warm, Full Soprano

  1. #21
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    A bit late to the party but I wanted to chime in. I just got my Kiwaya KTS-7 yesterday. It came with the stock Fremont Black Line strings which I thought sounded way too warm and mellow for a soprano, and the loose tension is definitely not for me either. I quickly switched to Living Water strings and immediately thought they sounded way better and more jangly as a soprano should imo. No doubt Worth strings will sound good as well. I want to try regular Martin fluorocarbons on it some time but for now I really dig the Living Waters. Shame she wasn't a fan of the soprano as Kiwaya seems to be a really good quality manufacturer, but hopefully you can take it off her hands.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kibes37 View Post
    At the current time, what are opinions on options for strings that add warmth and body to a Soprano? A friend of mine has a new Kiwaya KTS-4. Amazing little guy. She currently has living water strings strung up and the Uke is a week old. She is complaining they sound too flat and bright. I told her give it time.

    I wouldn’t mind current suggestions, though.

    Thanks.
    I wonder what strings it came fitted with from the factory? I had forgotten the link but I suspect Fremonts might have been fitted ... I like them for their mellower sound (plenty of mid range) and firm drive of the sound board. Would the stock strings, Fremonts as supplied, be one of the better choices to revert to?

    Some people like their Sopranos to be punchy, but to my mind that deviates away from their original purpose which was something to accompany a singing voice, or maybe a couple of voices. For me a mellow Soprano that’s loud enough to be heard but doesn’t overpower or detract from vocals is the ideal Ukulele. Tastes vary a lot and perhaps mine is uncommon.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 09-17-2019 at 01:44 AM.

  3. #23
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    When I got my KTS-4 it had the strings from the factory on it and I thought it sounded terrible. I wasn't happy at all.
    I changed over to Martin M600's and now it sounds great .
    " Anything larger than a soprano is cheating "
    " I'm no luthier but ,........"

  4. #24
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    I ordered my Kiwaya from Southern Ukulele Store, who said in the item description that Kiwaya have switched from the Fremont Black Line strings to clear fluorocarbon strings, but mine definitely arrived with the black ones. Maybe they've switched them only to even newer batches of ukes, but who knows. But if they have, they seem to agree with me about clear fluoros being the way to go.

  5. #25
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    I am the proud new owner of the KTS-4. I like the living waters so far. The blacklines sound interesting. It’s such a cool little Uke. I know it’s a replica of old martins, but I want the farthest from the classic “jangle” as possible myself. I plan to fingerpick a lot with it. Here is a quick sample...


    https://vimeo.com/360633351
    Kiwaya KTS-4 - High G - Living Water
    Moon Bird UC200 - High G - Black Water
    Blackbird Clara Sunburst - Low G - Fremont
    Kanilea K-2 Premium Concert - High G - Living Water
    KoAloha KCO-10 Acacia - High G - Stock
    Flea Concert - High G - Living Water
    Aiersi OU-31M - High G - Worth

    If you Uke easy, life will be hard. If you Uke hard, life will be easy.

  6. #26
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    If you prefer a warmer sound rather than the typical soprano jangle then I would suggest steering clear of clear fluorocarbons (pun intended). The Fremont Black Lines definitely sounded warmer. Maybe try something like the Martin Premium Polygut strings. Even Aquilas (New or Super Nylgut, or Lava) might be worth a try.

    Oh, and congrats on owning the Kiwaya! I bet it's a beaut.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kibes37 View Post
    I am the proud new owner of the KTS-4. I like the living waters so far. The blacklines sound interesting. It’s such a cool little Uke. I know it’s a replica of old martins, but I want the farthest from the classic “jangle” as possible myself. I plan to fingerpick a lot with it.
    Congratulations on the purchase and thank you for sharing your playing, enjoyed listening to it.

    String selection is a difficulty ‘cause until you’ve played them on your Uke you can’t be 100% sure of what they’re going to sound like (to some greater or lesser extent the produced sound is always a mix of the strings and the Uke’s characteristics). Having said that you might find this string comparison video by the Southern Ukulele Store helpful. A KoAloha Concert (?) is used (so a top quality & solid wood instrument) as the demonstrator for Worth BM, Fremont Black Medium, Martin M600 and three others: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5OlM-k3Cwx8

    I’m not sure how those three popular string sets would sound relative to each other on one of my Soprano laminates (‘cause my laminates have different characteristics), but in the demonstration I preferred them in the order that I have listed then in above (even though I’m a M600 fan). The other string sets were DR Moonbeams and Ernie Ball Nylon in Black and in Clear, none of them grabbed me at the time but it was interesting to hear what they sounded like on a top end Uke. Unless you’re as ‘tight’ as me (the Worth’s are $20 a packet here in the U.K.) the Worth BM’s seem to be the obvious choice, but YMMV.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 09-18-2019 at 12:33 AM.

  8. #28
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    To me, if you want a warm & full sound, Worth BM strings will do that nicely. They have toned down many a trebly soprano for me. Good luck!
    John

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