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Thread: The Brightest, Clearest Strings with the Most Sustain?

  1. #1
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    Default The Brightest, Clearest Strings with the Most Sustain?

    I'm looking to brighten and give more clarity to a warm mahogany soprano ukulele with Aquila Supernylgut strings and perhaps add a bit to the sustain, if possible.

    Does this mean I'll be heading into higher tension territory? I sometimes have had issues with tendon pain, but perhaps it won't be too much of a difference on my hands...

    Recommendations?
    Thank you in advance!

  2. #2
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    I have the super Nylgut on my (chinese) mahogany tenor and think it is a great combination. If you are used to fluorocarbon you will find the tension very similar but the nylguts are much thicker. This will take some getting used to but in the end you will enjoy fewer sharp tones and possibly better intonation. If you are used to nylon then the playing experience will be similar but there may be more brightness and sustain.

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    I've had surgery on both elbows for torn tendons, have a damaged nerve in my right shoulder, and have moderate carpel tunnel syndrome in my right arm (the left hasn't been tested). I'm a big fan of Worth, both clear and brown. I believe both are available with lower tension.

    GHS makes strings endorsed by Chee/Maisel, and they have a nice sound. Check with Uke Republic for Living Water String suggestions. Most music shops should have Martin 600 Fluorocarbons.

    That's a start, anyway. Good Luck!

    -Kurt
    Banjo Ukes: Southern Cross, Firefly, Stella
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  4. #4
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    I generally don't like Aquila, and prefer fluorocarbon, but I really like the Martin Premium Polygut strings which I understand are re-branded Aquilas, so you might try those. The tension and feel will be about the same, but those are great strings!
    Everyone I know who is into the ukulele is 'crackers' so get yourself a few and enjoy yourselves - George Harrison

    Some of my faves right now: *Kamaka HF-3D2I *Kamaka HF-3D Anniversary *Kamaka HB-2D *Sumi Kobo Spruce/Maple Tenor *Blackbird Farallon Sunburst *Blackbird Clara *KoAloha KTM-00 *Concert Flea

  5. #5
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    Also consider Fremont Blackline mediums. Excellent, resonant fluorocarbon strings.
    The site truncates my signature so I can't tell you

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farkvam View Post
    I'm looking to brighten and give more clarity to a warm mahogany soprano ukulele with Aquila Supernylgut strings and perhaps add a bit to the sustain, if possible.

    Does this mean I'll be heading into higher tension territory? I sometimes have had issues with tendon pain, but perhaps it won't be too much of a difference on my hands...

    Recommendations?
    Thank you in advance!
    In the past I’ve had mixed experience with Aquila New Nylgut but I recently tried and now like Aquila Super Nylgut; IMHO there’s not a great difference between the two materials but what difference there is matters to me (the sound change is subtle but makes the difference for me). I’ll be trying the SNG’s on more Ukes and am a convert from automatically using Martins.

    For a few years Martin M600’s have been my preferred string and I think that they will be a good step in your desired direction, as a bonus the Martins are widely available and competitively priced. I think that you’ll find the Martins a bit harder on the fretting fingers: slightly more pressure seems to be needed and being thinner they cut into your fingers more (give them a couple of weeks and you’ll doubtless be fine).

    Obviously a well set-up Uke needs less finger pressure than something fresh from the factory with overly high (above the frets) Strings. Less obviously the sound output of a Uke is a function of both that particular Uke and the strings fitted to it, so the same strings will typically sound slightly different on different instruments. The degree to which string selection influences sound is also variable; IMHO the significantly expensive instruments typically seem to be less subject to string influence than the cheaper ones, and vice versa is true too (on a cheap Uke replacing nylon with nylgut virtually always transforms the sound output for the better).

    You might find this string comparison video helpful: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pbfSnoNHLUg
    Be aware that it’s indicative and that the sound recorded is not necessarily the one heard by the viewer (similar but altered by the recording, reproduction and electronic transmission processes).

    I hope that the above is helpful to somebody.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 04-11-2021 at 10:47 PM.

  7. #7
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    Thank you everyone for the suggestions! I have ordered some of the good ol' Martin 600s to try first. I'm looking forward to it actually. My uke is a $200, so not rock bottom but still in the range where I think choice of strings can make a noticeable improvement.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksiegel View Post
    I've had surgery on both elbows for torn tendons, have a damaged nerve in my right shoulder, and have moderate carpel tunnel syndrome in my right arm (the left hasn't been tested).

    -Kurt
    Yikes, I hope all is well, especially for playability! I can relate.

  9. #9
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    I really like Oasis strings. Worth Clears are a safe bet too.
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farkvam View Post
    Thank you everyone for the suggestions! I have ordered some of the good ol' Martin 600s to try first. I'm looking forward to it actually. My uke is a $200, so not rock bottom but still in the range where I think choice of strings can make a noticeable improvement.
    The Martins are a sound choice. Doubtless there’ll be better strings for you in the future but you can - indeed many people do - go round and round in circles hunting for the perfect strings. Two hundred US dollars isn’t expensive for a Uke but it certainly is enough to buy a Soprano that you could both enjoy for the rest of your days and never grow out of. This guy - who I believe is member here but under a different name - has had some expensive Sopranos but ‘digs’ the Ohana sk35’s fitted with M600’s (a circa 200 USD Uke).
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fd2lvyKW3d4

    Here’s another video from George too, makes you think, and I do wonder how much better the cheap one would sound with some better strings on it (rather than the original nylon ones). Talent, there’s nothing like it.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0nf4BiossT8
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 04-12-2021 at 11:03 PM.

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