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Thread: Unsure what to do about Kanile’a tenor strings

  1. #1

    Default Unsure what to do about Kanile’a tenor strings

    I recently posted about the Aquila Super Nylgut strings that come on Kanie’a ukes. I am not sure I worded my question correctly.
    Do any of you folks like the Aquila strings and think they are best and leave them on? Also, do you have any problems with the Kanile’a setup when you change strings? By that I mean the nut and compensated saddle. I would assume that Kanile’a optimizes their build for theses strings. Worrying about theses issues have kept me from trying something else. That and wondering if something else would be better. You insight is appreciated. Thanks

  2. #2
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    I don't have a K'anilea but I'm not much of a fan of Aquila personally. Strings are cheap. If you're curious about other options, just do it! If you end up not liking them, it'll cost you $5 or so to go back to the Aquilas.

    But I predict that if you try some good fluorocarbons (Living Water, PhD, Oasis, Romero, etc.) you'll never go back.
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  3. #3
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    I always found it interesting that Joe from Kanilea insists that Aquilas sound best on his ukes. If you are curious, by all means, try something else, strings are cheap! I'd try flouros like Martin M620, Worth CT, Oasis or Living Water. They will probably sound different, and certainly have a different feel/texture. Only you can decide if you like them better. There should be no issue with the nut or saddle, if anything, the flouros will be skinnier than the Aquilas. However, I'd change them one at a time, so the saddle doesn't shift, or fall out/get lost (don't ask me how I know)
    John

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by RLM3121 View Post
    I recently posted about the Aquila Super Nylgut strings that come on Kanie’a ukes. I am not sure I worded my question correctly.
    Do any of you folks like the Aquila strings and think they are best and leave them on? Also, do you have any problems with the Kanile’a setup when you change strings? By that I mean the nut and compensated saddle. I would assume that Kanile’a optimizes their build for theses strings. Worrying about theses issues have kept me from trying something else. That and wondering if something else would be better. You insight is appreciated. Thanks
    Why not stick with the Aquila strings for a while, you may grow to like them. There are many options in regards to string choice & there are a few minor pitfalls that come with these options. Research some of the string threads here at UU, there is a wealth of information regarding string selection & the results that members have experienced
    Happy just to be a Newbie +, Penny

  5. #5
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    It's my impression that the OP is not as concerned about how other strings will sound in terms of tone as he is about whether the compensated saddle on Kanile'a ukuleles is maximized for Aquila strings (i.e., it may be possible that using other strings would mess with intonation up the neck) or will work just as effectively with other strings. (I could be wrong about this, of course.) I don't have a Kanile'a and I don't know much about the interplay of compensated saddles and intonation, so I can't answer this question, but I don't think anyone else has addressed it either.

    On the question of which strings to use, independent of compensated saddle issues (if any), I much prefer fluorocarbon strings on well-built ukuleles. I've been told by more than one luthier that the reason nylgut strings sound good on less expensive production ukes (i.e., ukes built in southeast Asia, for example) is that those ukes tend to have thicker soundboards that tend to mute the sound of fluorocarbon strings but not nylgut strings. My experience with nylguts on more expensive ukes (i.e., Kamakas, Compass Rose, etc.) is that they tend to sound brash and that the soundboards are thin and responsive enough that one gets a warmer sound from fluorocarbons. My own experience listening to other people's Kanile'as is that they sound sweeter to my ear with fluorocarbons than they do with nylguts.

    I wonder if Kanile'a uses Aquilla nylguts so that its ukes sound louder in stores so they can compete for volume with loud, less expensive ukes. For what it's worth, a luthier who shall remain anonymous once told me that he put Aquilas on his ukes because he believed that 90 percent of the people who bought his instruments were going to swap out the strings anyway, no matter what he used, and Aquillas were inexpensive.

  6. #6
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    I swapped out the nylgut for Oasis fluorocarbons and have perfect intonation up the neck to the 12th fret. I prefer the Oasis brights to the warm because the sustain is longer.

  7. #7

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    Kanile’a uses Aquila Super Nylgut.

  8. #8
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    The only Aquila strings I like are the Super Nylgut. I find they settle in quickly, produce consistent intonation on the ukes I've tried them on, and I like the sound. I also like the smoother feel. I like the D'addario Nyltech too, which seems similar.
    I also like some fluoros like the Martins and D'addario.
    So long as you don't stray too far in diameter from the strings it is setup with you should be okay. Of course varying tension can change things like intonation too.

  9. #9
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    I don’t have a Kanile’a but played some before. Even with the Super nylgut which is known to drive the soundboard, they sounded quieter than the other 2 Ks with their respective stock strings. But I do like the mellow tone and warmest and sustain of Kanile’a with the Super nylgut.

    About the compensated saddle, I would think it’s okay to swap to any string. I have a couple of ukes with compensated saddle and I swap different strings on them like crazy. I can’t tell that the intonation is off although I must admit I don’t have the sharpest ears. Kala uses the Super nylgut but they don’t use a compensated saddle either.

    And the nut, I love a “out of factory” wide nut slot. Nylgut is like one of the fattest strings. If you can fit a nylgut, you can fit anything.

    Overall, I would just swap out the strings if I were you. It’s pretty interesting to hear the vast differences new strings can make on the uke. Maybe you done this ten thousands times, but if you never remove pins from the pin type bridge, I would suggest to use a dedicated tool to pry the pins. I have some deep scratches on my acoustic guitar’s bridge cos of my cheapness and stupidity to use a fork to pull up a pin.
    Last edited by AustinHing; 10-08-2019 at 04:34 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mds725 View Post
    ......I've been told by more than one luthier that the reason nylgut strings sound good on less expensive production ukes (i.e., ukes built in southeast Asia, for example) is that those ukes tend to have thicker soundboards that tend to mute the sound of fluorocarbon strings but not nylgut strings. My experience with nylguts on more expensive ukes (i.e., Kamakas, Compass Rose, etc.) is that they tend to sound brash and that the soundboards are thin and responsive enough that one gets a warmer sound from fluorocarbons.....
    Interesting take on why Aquilas are provided on so many less expensive ukes.
    John

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