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Thread: Fluorocarbon or Nylgut strings for my cheap uke?

  1. #1
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    Default Fluorocarbon or Nylgut strings for my cheap uke?

    I have a cheap $30-40 mitchell mu40 ukulele, I believe it came with nylon strings which donít sound the best so Iím looking to replace them. Should I go with aquila nylgut strings or martin m600s, or any other recommendations.
    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    An instrument like that is never going to sound great. Either Aquilla or Martin strings can sound adequate. Aquilla is a thicker heavier string that a lot of people don't like because of the feel rather than the sound quality. On the other hand, Martin is higher tension that can bother sensitive fingertips.

  3. #3
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    I've found that Aquila Nylguts will often bring out the best tone/volume from a cheap uke, more so than flourocarbons. Maybe why they're shipped on most every new cheap uke out there.
    John

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ukecaster View Post
    I've found that Aquila Nylguts will often bring out the best tone/volume from a cheap uke, more so than flourocarbons. Maybe why they're shipped on most every new cheap uke out there.
    I think of them as the Great Equalizer: they can make a cheap uke sound good, but they can also make a great uke sound good (rather than great.)

    I love Aquila as a company and their different lines of strings, but there are very few of my own instruments on which I use the nylguts. The ones where I do use them do benefit greatly, however.
    Mainly a concert player.

    Beansprout alto (myrtle) | Martin Konter | Kala Elite Soprano
    KoAloha Silver concert | Blackbird Clara | Kamaka HF-2A | KoAloha Opio KCO-10 (acacia) | KoAloha Opio KCO-10S (spruce top)
    Anuenue UC200 Moonbird Concert | UkeSA Pineapple Sunday concert (acacia) | Pop's Pineapple Sunday (koa)

  5. #5
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    Alex from the Southern Ukulele Store has a really good explanation of strings (below). His description of Super Nylguts made a lot of sense. He said something along the lines that they can make a cheap ukulele sound better, but are not always the best string for a solid wood instrument. Of course, it comes down to personal preference. I had super nylguts on my first ukulele and I liked them. Then, after a few years I changed them out to fluorocarbon and it was like I got a new ukulele.

    The super nylguts should make your uke sound better than nylons (my opinion, YRMV) and then, a year or two from now, when you're ready for another change, try fluorocarbon. I'd say go in that order, but that's my own personal bias and you'll get a lot of contradictory opinions on strings as everyone has their own idea of what they should sound like and feel like.


    Glenn

  6. #6

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    I'll just add that there is good nylon and bad nylon.
    Stock nylon on cheap ukes is often pretty crappy.

    My preferred nylon strings on pretty much all ukes is to buy D'addario Pro-Arte (clear or black nylon) classical guitar set and using the DGBE strings for low-G tuning.

  7. #7
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    The perceived difference in sound can also come from the different thicknesses of these materials and the same person tends to play different with thick or thin strings. If you have a firm grip and can play bar chords without difficulty on the nylons then go for the nylguts as they have the thickness and hardness needed for precise play that many professional players prefer. If you have weaker hands and difficulty with some chords then the thinner FC strings may be more suitable.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by kissing View Post
    I'll just add that there is good nylon and bad nylon.
    Stock nylon on cheap ukes is often pretty crappy.

    My preferred nylon strings on pretty much all ukes is to buy D'addario Pro-Arte (clear or black nylon) classical guitar set and using the DGBE strings for low-G tuning.
    Interesting solution. Are they long enough to make 2 sets on a tenor scale uke?

  9. #9

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    Not 100% sure on tenor, but definitely enough for soprano and concert if you cut the strings conservatively

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