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Thread: String choice on the ukes you make

  1. #1

    Default String choice on the ukes you make

    How do you choose which strings to use on your creations? Do you have a favorite go-to that you use on everything? Do you choose based on wood types or other factors? Experiment with different ones until you find a good match for each instrument?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    USA
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    Good topic. I always find it interesting, seems like everything from fishing line to Aquilas gets chosen.
    John

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Cairns, Australia
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    I've tried pretty much every brand over the years. Some really outstanding players that I've built for put me onto Worth Browns and found that they work best for the majority of players for almost all my ukes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    central CA
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    I've been putting on PHD strings I get from Jason Arimoto at U-Space in Los Angeles. Fairly high tension strings and sound great
    My Real name is Terry Harris

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Little River, California
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    I've gone back and forth over the years never really deciding. But I finally realized if I want an uke to sound its best for a customer I went with Aquila nylagut whites over flurocarbon even though I hate the look.

    Of course it comes down to a question of taste, but if you want an uke to stand up and sparkle Aquila is the way to go in my opinion. Good A -B test below:


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Australia.
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    I am more than happy to leave string choice to the player.
    There are too many factors that go into matching a particular string to a particular instrument ...and the one that can never be anticipated, or underestimated, is the ear of the adjudicator.
    In the world of classical guitar, noted musicians have tried a 'selection by panel' process, where a jury of 'sophisticated ears' gets to vote in a blind test. Apparently, that is not as successful as the method may imply … sceptical commentators joke that the panel members must have been deaf as well as blind, ... with rarely a clear winner.
    For ukulele ( having a narrower voicing), it seems that most discerning people can decide on a common preference, sophisticated ears or not. The most contentious issues seem to arise between those who like 'bright' and and those who like 'mellow'.
    Builders, seemingly, to try to match the characteristics of the strings to the characteristics of their creations, only be be puzzled when the prospective owner says something like, “It'll sound better when I put some XYZ strings on it”.
    The answer for me is to put 'generic' strings on, and let the player experiment with as many others as she/he has the enthusiasm, resolve and funding for.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    UK
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    758

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    I usually put on Aquila Nylguts because those are the strings I like to play, so I can test out the uke's playability properly. Generally my ukes like Nylguts, probably because I build them the way I like my ukes to play and sound.

    That said, I recently made one which I tested with Aquilas and then fitted fluorocarbons before handing it over to its new owner. I thought they suited it better, and would also suit his playing style better.

    I think all one can do is make the uke sound good to one's own ears before handing it over. The new owner can then experiment to see if they can find a nicer sound for them.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Mangawhai NZ
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    Over here in Godzone, Aquila has the market saturated so that's the easy option.
    However, prefer Worth Browns on my tenors but also really like Living Water Strings from Ken Middleton in the UK
    Miguel

  9. #9

    Default

    I've got fluorocarbon in all the gauges I could find (fishing leader, yes) and Worth Brown's which are highly regarded are in fact, fluorocarbon. I did like Nylgut strings, too, when I once had them on a uke.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Durham, UK
    Posts
    277

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    Like Brett S I also invested in reels of fluorocarbon fishing line. I still have a Worth Clear Low G leftover set, and free string sets that came with various instruments and which will probably never get used. I just have them in the gig bags in case I need them and I'm not at home and can't get to my fishing line.

    Some instruments I've had came with Aquila nylgut or super nylgut and I didn't mind the sound so much, so I left them on. However, I don't like how they feel. I am not a fan of d'Addario nylon and titanium strings that came with other instruments, either.

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