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Thread: Strings with highest tension

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rllink View Post
    I don't have experience in alternate tuning. I've always just gone with the standard re-entrant tuning and have found no benefit in doing otherwise. I have tuned one of the strings to something that sounds good and then tuned the rest off of that string, but when it gets right down to it I see no advantage to doing that either. But my question is, when you go to these alternate tunings, doesn't that screw you up when you play with someone else who is not tuned the same? My thought would be that if there is a standard and everyone sticks to it, then everyone can play together. As soon as you leave the standard you've eliminated yourself from the game. If you like playing with yourself that is fine, but if you want to play with others, don't you need to either stick with the standard tuning or learn different chord shapes? I'm just asking.
    Hi RL, your observations are indeed applicable to folks like me, who most often do solo outings. In my case, with just me and my soprano uke, I'm at liberty to move my tuning up that full step to "a D F# B" (re-entrant) with no concerns about being the odd-man-out, as might be the case if I were playing in a group situation (in which case I'd just crank it back down to "gCEA" for the session). Everyone's different, of course, but the benefit of the "full step higher" aDF#B tuning for me is that it gives my strings a little "tighter" feel, it improves the intonation, and it makes the uke "sing" a little more sweetly (both in terms of volume and tone). I have found aDF#B to be desirable for soprano and sopranino ukes, whereas I stick with gCEA for longneck sopranos, concerts, and tenors (although tenors can sound really elegant tuned DOWN a full step, to "f Bb D G"...). To clarify, I don't really view aDF#B as an "alternate" tuning in the sense that I normally think of that term, but rather just as a "two-frets-higher-and-a-little-tighter" version of gCEA. It's all good, as the saying goes!

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    Finland
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    Of the strings I've tried, I think the basic Martin M600 fluorocarbons have the highest tension. Aquilas and other nylgut style strings certainly can be a little slack. The Worth strings mentioned earlier might also be worth a try (pun very much intended).

    But as others have suggested, tuning one full tone above the standard C tuning is a valid option as well if you want to play with your favourite set of strings with higher tension. There's no reason to be afraid of different tunings. All the chord shapes will be the same. Only the chords and notes themselves will be a full tone above the standard tuning.

  3. #13
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    Thanks, Dohle! And a quick additional thought... this morning I put the Aquila "33U" set (optimized specifically for aDF#B tuning) on another soprano, and they are quite nice. The only thing I would observe, however, is that although they crank up to aDF#B quite handily, the tension feels more like it's still in gCEA. So if you want to be in aDF#B tuning but with a gentler feel, the Aquila 33U's may be for you. I kinda prefer just using Martin M-600's and tuning them up to aDF#B; that results in a more rigid feel, which is fine with me, as I like my strings to have a little more fight.

  4. #14
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    In order to keep (low)GCEA tuning on a sopranino & sopranissimo, I've experimented w/ fluorocarbon fishing line w/ pretty good results. I may someday go back & optimize it. There's also a video review of an Ohana SK-21A where the guy mentions using GHS fluoros.
    keeping an eye out for a very special concert....

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wukulele View Post
    In order to keep (low)GCEA tuning on a sopranino & sopranissimo, I've experimented w/ fluorocarbon fishing line w/ pretty good results. I may someday go back & optimize it. There's also a video review of an Ohana SK-21A where the guy mentions using GHS fluoros.
    Thanks, Wukulele, and I think your post and the others on this thread exemplify how a big part of the fun of our hobby is the "process" involved, as we continue on the journey!

  6. #16
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    Apr 2019
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    Hi, robinfowler! I do not know how long your sopranino is, hence I tried it on 12 inch scale. Classical guitar string might work on your sopranino (see the table below). Try String Tension Pro! I think tension should not be stronger than average soprano tension.

    Conditions Name average tension (kg)
    soprano strings on soprano 2.5
    soprano strings on sopranino sacle (12 inch) 2.2
    normal classical guitar strings (1-4th) on sopranino 2.5
    high tension strings on spranino 2.7

  7. #17
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    Jul 2018
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    Melbourne Australia
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    Thanks for everyones responses - No offence with tuning suggestions. I am new to music so happy to learn along the way. I have ordered a couple of the string suggestions and will see how they go.

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