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Thread: String gauges?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Brampton, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    506

    Default String gauges?

    I am a long time guitar player now ukulele convert with my first tenor uke (Kala archtop electric). It came strung with Aquillas. It sounds fine, maybe a touch quieter than I imagined but I think that's due more to archtop and F holes instead of a center sound hole. I have several guitars and buy my strings for them in bulk because I change them all every month or so (a lot of work LOL). Most guitar players I know seem to prefer light gauge strings but I find them too tinny. I use medium gauge on all my axes - even the solid body electrics. I've noticed a few threads about uke string on here that say the strings don't really need to be changed until they break or get pitted from the frets. There is also a lot of talk about brands and which is the best for your uke. What I'm curious about is - Do uke strings come in gauges? Can you buy a thicker set or a louder set or do you do that by buying a different brand? None of the sets are marked "light, medium, ultra light, heavy etc. are they?
    My News is Blues!
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    Kala KA-JTE/2TS Jazz archtop electric tenor
    Kala KA-PSS pineapple soprano
    Several custom made tenors and a baritone

    I get my large circumference from too much pi.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NorCal 916
    Posts
    7,830

    Default

    To the best of my knowledge, I believe Worth provides that info on their website. Other manufacturers like Aquila don't (?). D 'Addario Pro Arte (J71 & J92) provides you string diameters and tensions. These are assembled from the J46/J44 set and J45 guitar sets. There are quite a few members here who use Savarez Alliance strings (Red/Blue) and D'Addario T-2 Titaniums (T-45/T46). These can be purchased as singles through Just Strings or Strings by Mail. Hope this helps a little.

    Nana ka maka; ho`olohe ka pepeiao;
    pa`a ka waha.

    Observe with the eyes; listen with the ears; shut the mouth.
    Thus one learns.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Brampton, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    506

    Default

    Thanks for the info. I have one other question about changing the strings. With guitar I was always taught to change the strings one at a time. Don't remove all the strings at once to replace them because of the tension on the neck. Removing them all at once may change the set up on the neck. I'm guessing it's likely not as serious on a uke since there is less tension. I also assume there are only tie on strings available for ukes. When I played classical guitar I found they had "ball-end" nylon strings with a little metal pellet crimped on the end of the string. I hated the tedious task of tying those little beggars on.
    My News is Blues!
    www.dtfbmusic.com
    www.youtube.com/DTFBMusic
    http://musicandjewelry.com

    Kala KA-JTE/2TS Jazz archtop electric tenor
    Kala KA-PSS pineapple soprano
    Several custom made tenors and a baritone

    I get my large circumference from too much pi.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NorCal 916
    Posts
    7,830

    Default

    My routine is to change one string at a time. From time to time, I have removed all 4 without any problems. I'll install all four strings and adjust/tune each one equally. As far your 2nd question about tie on strings, there was an article about 14-18 months ago about using glass beads as an alternative to tying. I think the problem with the ball ends is the diameter of that segment and it may not feed through the bridge. Personally, I'm so used to tying them, it just second nature.

    Nana ka maka; ho`olohe ka pepeiao;
    pa`a ka waha.

    Observe with the eyes; listen with the ears; shut the mouth.
    Thus one learns.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    562

    Default

    Check out Elderly Music for a huge selection of strings, all different gauges. I also like the heavier strings on uke and other instruments.

    One drawback to tying strings is sometimes too much is left on at the bridge and the ends stick your hand. And sometimes the string will slip through a single tie and pull through the knot. Now I tie a knot in the string at the end before I start, and usually this is big enough so I don't have to tie it to the bridge, I just feed it through the hole and the knot stops it.

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