Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Thread: Good Strings to Drive a Heavier Soundboard?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    110

    Default Good Strings to Drive a Heavier Soundboard?

    I was just reading the post on fluoros vs. nylon and I have another twist on the question.

    What strings do you use to drive heavier topped instruments?

    In my case, I'm thinking about how to get the best sound I can from a cigar box uke. This might also apply to homemade ukes or other ukes with thicker (less resonant) soundboards.

    Strings that come to mind are:
    -- Aquila Super Nylguts
    -- Aquila Reds
    -- Martin Fluoros
    -- Savarez Fluoros
    -- D'Addario Nyltechs
    -- Aquila Sugars (fingers-crossed on Mimmo's new formula)

    Any thoughts?
    Adam

    Martin C1K | Martin S1 | Kremona Coco Concert | Taconic Cigar Box Ukulele "Bolivar" | Kala Solid Spruce / Pau Ferro / Mango Tenor (Low G)
    Outdoor Blue Nickel Soprano | Kala Waterman

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    384

    Default

    Adam, I don't have any experience with cigar-box ukes. I have an Ohana baritone that's all mahogany, that sounded pretty dull, with the stock strings that came with it, and also with the Worth Browns that I subsequently put on it. It really sounded pretty dead. Then I put the Martin M600 series strings on it, and it's very lively. Those strings really ring out. I'm glad I tried them (having read good reviews of them here on UU). Whether the same would apply to your situation, I don't know, but I thought I would mention it just in case.
    Kala KA-TE tenor uke (currently tuned F-Bb-D-G w/Worth Browns)
    Kala APB-CTG baritone uke (currently tuned D-G-B-E w/Martin 22 Baritone strings)
    Ohana BK-35CG baritone uke (tuned A-D-F#-B w/Savarez classical guitar strings)
    Various guitars, banjos, and basses

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Canada Prairies, brrr ....
    Posts
    884

    Default

    I have a friend who built cigar box ukes years ago. I vaguely remember that they all had steel strings ...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1,806

    Default

    I have no scientific basis, but I would try some of the Nylgut varieties, Aquila sugar or perhaps a heavier fluorocarbon, such as tenor strings.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    1,017

    Default

    For mine, I use Slinky strings.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    110

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ripock View Post
    For mine, I use Slinky strings.
    Hadn't heard of them 'til now. Google search and looking at Ernie Ball site tells me Slinky strings are electric guitar strings, but I see so many slinky types (regular, extra, cobalt, etc.). What works for you?

    Then, the translation question: Do you just use the smallest four strings? What if you want reentrant, do you just rearrange them? Looking at the Regular Slinky gauges, that would be .010 for A, .013 for High G, .017 for E, and .026 for C.
    Adam

    Martin C1K | Martin S1 | Kremona Coco Concert | Taconic Cigar Box Ukulele "Bolivar" | Kala Solid Spruce / Pau Ferro / Mango Tenor (Low G)
    Outdoor Blue Nickel Soprano | Kala Waterman

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Mission Viejo, CA
    Posts
    1,772

    Default

    I have messed around with steel strings on one ukulele. You should google a string tension calculator to see where you will end up. I used the lightest phosphor bronze strings, I forget which ones, and tuned down to G (baritone). It has a distinct metallic sound.

    If you tune to C, the problem with steel strings may not be the top, but the neck. I have my doubts the an unreinforced (no truss rod) neck will hold up at standard tuning. But youíll need to wait for an answer to your question above.

    Barring that, Iím in the Aquila Nylgut camp for suggestions.

    John

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    110

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
    If you tune to C, the problem with steel strings may not be the top, but the neck. I have my doubts the an unreinforced (no truss rod) neck will hold up at standard tuning. But you’ll need to wait for an answer to your question above.

    Barring that, I’m in the Aquila Nylgut camp for suggestions.

    John
    Great point. Yes, I'm interested in Riprock's experience.

    I think I'm leaning toward Super Nylguts or Savarez Tenors (Alliance KF 150R), but in my case I'll also be interested in what the builder chooses.
    Adam

    Martin C1K | Martin S1 | Kremona Coco Concert | Taconic Cigar Box Ukulele "Bolivar" | Kala Solid Spruce / Pau Ferro / Mango Tenor (Low G)
    Outdoor Blue Nickel Soprano | Kala Waterman

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    1,017

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Swiftsailor98 View Post
    Great point. Yes, I'm interested in Riprock's experience.

    I think I'm leaning toward Super Nylguts or Savarez Tenors (Alliance KF 150R), but in my case I'll also be interested in what the builder chooses.
    Sorry to keep you hanging, but I am still privileged to be working and working over 12 hours a day. Anyway, I looked at what I have on my cigar box and right now I have Ernie Ball Earthwood strung up...for no particular reason. I probably just got them because they were on sale. Obviously I am not an adept at electronic stuff. I do have a Blackstar 75 watt amp and a fuzz pedals but I never really give it much thought. I have used, as someone mentioned, Ernie Ball Cobalt and, I believe, Elite strings.

    As for what I do: I throw away the two base strings and use the four treble strings. 90% the time, I am in open D tuning and use either a ceramic or brass slide. On those occasions when I want to use my fingers, I tune it DGBE but I play it as if it were GCEA (I never bothered to learn baritone shapes). As far as a re-entrant tuning is concerned, I am one of those people who have absolutely no place in my life for the gCEA tuning (but let's not re-kindle that controversy; let us just agree to disagree).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    110

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ripock View Post
    As for what I do: I throw away the two base strings and use the four treble strings. 90% the time, I am in open D tuning and use either a ceramic or brass slide. On those occasions when I want to use my fingers, I tune it DGBE but I play it as if it were GCEA (I never bothered to learn baritone shapes). As far as a re-entrant tuning is concerned, I am one of those people who have absolutely no place in my life for the gCEA tuning (but let's not re-kindle that controversy; let us just agree to disagree).
    Riprock - glad work still continues for you! I'm working from my dining room table, when I'm not getting distracted by UU forums.

    Thanks for the explanation. It presents some options that I can explore.

    I think our styles diverge, so I'll let sleeping dogs lie on gCEA--I have both low and high G ukes.
    Adam

    Martin C1K | Martin S1 | Kremona Coco Concert | Taconic Cigar Box Ukulele "Bolivar" | Kala Solid Spruce / Pau Ferro / Mango Tenor (Low G)
    Outdoor Blue Nickel Soprano | Kala Waterman

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •