Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15

Thread: Seeking new strings for my Kamaka tenor

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    San Francisco CA USA
    Posts
    11,445

    Default Seeking new strings for my Kamaka tenor

    It's time for me to swap out the strings on my Kamaka tenor. It still has the Kamaka stock strings it came with, but they've started to lose their zing, and that's affecting the way the ukulele sounds. Unlike most people, I actually liked the stock strings, but I'm willing to try something that's a little different but not too different. For what it's worth, I have a low-g Kamaka that has Worth clears (I wanted an unwound low g), and I like the sound of those a lot, although I'm not crazy about the way they feel. So perhaps I'm looking for strings that sound aomewhat like Worths but feel somewhat like the Kamaka stock strings I'm using now.

    So my question to Kamaka tenor owners, past and present, is: what strings are you using (or did you use, if you don't have one anymore) on your Kamaka tenor, and what did you like most and least about them? Has any one tried the string sets Aaron is selling at Hawaiian Music Supply? Any and all suggestions are most welcome. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    5,210

    Default

    I actually liked the stock strings on my Kamaka as well. I use the D'Addario J71s and I love them. They are the same diameter as the stock strings which makes sense because the stock ones are supposed to be made by D'Addario as well. I like the J71s because the provide a nice "warm" tone which is what I prefer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    80

    Default

    I've tried a few types on my HF-3. None of them are bad, it's just a matter of taste. Here are my (entirely subjective) opinions on them.

    Original strings (whatever they were): I thought they were OK, but a bit non-descript.

    Worth Browns (low g): Not to my taste. Good for strumming, but I thought the sound was too soft in picking. Glissandos (slides) come out nice and crisp however.

    I have more Worth sets still (including clears), so I might give them another go.

    Aquila Nylgut (low g): Best I've found so far, but they have their faults. The volume and tone across the strings is not even, and having a single wound string is not ideal. They can be 'plunky' if you're not careful when picking. I have about 5 more sets of these in stock and a bunch of single low g's (they wear out much faster), so they'll be with me for a while more.

    Next I want to try out the new Savarez strings. And the D'Addario's as well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    San Pedro, CA
    Posts
    3,933

    Default

    On my Kamaka, for high g, I always liked the Savarez Alliance setup using the classical guitar strings (541r, etc.). I haven't played that uke in a while, but for low g I liked the Fremont Blackline or Worth CHLGHD strings. I don't recall the feel of the stock strings so I can't really compare the feel of them to these options.
    Moore Bettah Kauai Dreams undersea inlay tenor "Hui Nani"
    Moore Bettah slothead offset soundhole tenor "Kula Leo"
    KoAloha KTMS-00 "Lokomaika'i"

    Building and Owning a Bettah Ukulele: The story of Moore Bettah Ukuleles
    Listen With Your Heart: The KoAloha Ukulele Story
    Listen With Your Heart: The KoAloha Ukulele Story e-book edition

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NorCal 916
    Posts
    7,820

    Default

    Try Southcoast Mediums (reentrant) or G650 (linear). Very good playabillity, sustain and a balanced sound.
    Savarez 540 HT Classic Series using 540R treble strings. Add another 541R for reentrant or a D'Addario 4304 for linear.
    The thing to remember when trying different string sets, what may sound good to one may not necessarily sound good to another. It's your ears that will make the final choice.

    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.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    44,156

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kanaka916 View Post
    Try Southcoast Mediums (reentrant) or G650 (linear). Very good playabillity, sustain and a balanced sound.
    Savarez 540 HT Classic Series using 540R treble strings. Add another 541R for reentrant or a D'Addario 4304 for linear.
    The thing to remember when trying different string sets, what may sound good to one may not necessarily sound good to another. It's your ears that will make the final choice.
    My ears are in tune with Danny's. That's EXACTLY what my suggestion would be. One more possibility are the Ukulele Creations PhD strings. I have the re-entrants on my Kamaka right now and I like them. And I've also used the PhD low g too. Good strings. As a reference, I haven't really loved any of the Worth's and I've tried almost all of them. The CHLGHD's were the best of them, but I still prefer the PhD's over the Worth's. They have better balance from string to string, much like the Southcoast strings.
    9:23448

    Passionately Untalented

    Compass Rose (Custom Tenor) Kamaka HF-3 Kamoa SM-P Kala KA-STg Tenor Pineapple (Rick Turner Build Class)

    Gary Yoshida (added for Mim)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    San Pedro, CA
    Posts
    3,933

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gyosh View Post
    My ears are in tune with Danny's. That's EXACTLY what my suggestion would be. One more possibility are the Ukulele Creations PhD strings. I have the re-entrants on my Kamaka right now and I like them. And I've also used the PhD low g too. Good strings. As a reference, I haven't really loved any of the Worth's and I've tried almost all of them. The CHLGHD's were the best of them, but I still prefer the PhD's over the Worth's. They have better balance from string to string, much like the Southcoast strings.
    The PhD are great, I have the low g on both my KoAloha and Kamoa tenors, and they sound great on the KoAloha in particular. I don't like them on my Kanilea though...weird. I haven't tried them on my Kamaka, but I do vouch for them on the other two ukes for sure.
    Moore Bettah Kauai Dreams undersea inlay tenor "Hui Nani"
    Moore Bettah slothead offset soundhole tenor "Kula Leo"
    KoAloha KTMS-00 "Lokomaika'i"

    Building and Owning a Bettah Ukulele: The story of Moore Bettah Ukuleles
    Listen With Your Heart: The KoAloha Ukulele Story
    Listen With Your Heart: The KoAloha Ukulele Story e-book edition

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    San Francisco CA USA
    Posts
    11,445

    Default

    Thanks for all the suggestions! Please keep them coming.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    12

    Default A different suggestion

    I do not have a Kamaka but, in other threads, I have discussed the new Aquila Red unwound low G. Even since my initial postings of roughly 1 1/2 weeks ago I have tweaked these (on an inexpensive concert and a tenor) and they just keep getting more and more fantastic, playable and a perfect sonic compliment to the 1st through 3rd strings of Aquila Nylgut and/or some Martin fluorocarbons I've just installed. For $2.20 plus $1.75 shipping (I happened to get this price from Dr. Cluck) you may be delighted with the result. As the website for Aquila points out, they do not seem to need any thing done to alter the saddle or nut to accommodate the Red's size so it certainly, at least, may be something you want to research since you have been using a low G. Good Luck from a newbie!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawaii 5min away from waikiki
    Posts
    28,162

    Default

    I'd go with southcoast too for sweet sound....and maybe if you like the the stock strings, hilo's work well on my white labels.. If you want Volume, Aquila

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
  •