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Thread: Strings - wound or un-wound low G; & brand preference, PhD, Living Water, Fremont etc

  1. #11
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    I play almost exclusively low g, and have tried Worth, PhD, Living Water, Fremont, Savarez, and Aquila.

    I didn't like the wound strings because I could never manage to avoid the squeak, so now I only get nonwound.

    It depends on the uke for me. I liked the Worth CHLGHD best on my Kamaka, the PhD on the KoAloha and the Living Water on the Kanilea. Each if them are pretty well balanced and don't seem too be boomy. If I had to pick just one, it would be the Living Water for sound and feel.
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  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    San Jose, CA
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    Here's my two cents. I don't like the big (to my ear) drop off in tone from the low G to the C so I went through about a dozen sets trying to find a "balanced" sound.

    Here's my take. The Southcoast linear G650 (it's my understanding they've changed the name) wound G, wound C are hands down the most balanced sounding strings I tried. They also increased the volume/projection of my ukes. I exchanged emails with Dirk many times and he suggested this set when I could finally articulate what I was after. The man knows his strings!

    If you don't like wound strings, then the PhD strings are what you are looking for. PhD's are easily the most balanced of the non-wound strings. They also feel great. I thought the Worth's G felt floppy. Even the "hard" strings they carry.

    Newportlocal mentioned the Sauvarez strings. They're good, but the Southcoast are better.

    Hope my experience with strings saves you some time and money.


    *EDIT: The two main ukes I experimented with are a Kala mahogany b/s with a solid spruce top and a Kamaka HF-3. I have a custom Compass Rose on the way that will come strung with Southcoast Strings (I sent them to Rick Turner otherwise he sends them out with Aquilas).
    Last edited by gyosh; 03-25-2013 at 09:11 AM. Reason: types of ukes
    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)

  3. #13
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    Mar 2012
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    Oahu
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    I just got a test set of Oasis fluorocarbon strings..with a wound LowG..which I put on a Kanile'a concert..i wanted to get a clear sound without losing the low tones of the uke..

    I like how the strings feel and so far there is a cleaner/clear sound on the highs..i think I will keep the strings on this uke..I had aquillas on it before..

    for a squeakless LowG I like the new Fremont Soloist flat wound string..i like the wound strings see nothing wrong with them

    my 2 cents
    Last edited by hawaii 50; 03-24-2013 at 09:16 PM.

  4. #14
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    Aug 2012
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    Orange county,calif.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gyosh View Post
    Here's my two cents. I don't like the big (to my ear) drop off in tone from the low G to the C so I went through about a dozen sets trying to find a "balanced" sound.

    Here's my take. The Southcoast linear G650 (it's my understanding they've changed the name) wound G, wound C are hands down the most balanced sounding strings I tried. They also increased the volume/projection of my ukes. I exchanged emails with Dirk many times and he suggested this set when I could finally articulate what I was after. The man knows his strings!

    If you don't like wound strings, then the PhD strings are what you are looking for. PhD's are easily the most balanced of the non-wound strings. They also feel great. I thought the Worth's G felt floppy. Even the "hard" strings they carry.

    Newportlocal mentioned the Sauvarez strings. They're good, but the Southcoast are better.

    Hope my experience with strings saves you some time and money.
    In PM I told him my current favorites are PhD, and the Southcoast G650 now L5-RW were on my list to try on my custom when I get it. I only added the Savarez thread link due to his mentioning it.

  5. #15
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    Mar 2013
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    Tri-Valley (East SF Bay Area) / Lahaina, HI
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    WOW! What an incredible array of relevent information & great opinions you folks have shared in this thread! Mahalo again to everyone for their input!

    One thing I have definitely determined, is that I am fairly pissed off at several of my touring musician pals that have full-time guitar techs to: switch, swap, file, adjust & do just about anything Mr. "Demanding Rock Star" wishes on a whim, in order to make his short time on stage as peachy as can be!

    In all seriousness, I can see how the UAS can REALLY become almost a necessity - heck, we gotta have: WOUND & Un-wound low-G tenors (for the shredding ; perhaps a standard concert for the banjo rolls, a travel Uke we don't need to insure, maybe something small when we're simply lazy.. & so on.. I guess being in possession of multiple instruments comes in handy to do direct comparisons with strings -- well, assuming you don't have the stellar pro-tools set-up in your in home music room! I know I've done that a few times with new guitar strings that have come out. No shortage of 6-strings around the crib, that's for sure!

    I suppose I better simply make peace with the fact that I'm going to be winding more than a few extra tuning heads in the near future..

    Gary (gyosh)- I saw you mention Ukulele Source previously somewhere, so I guess you're acquainted with Smiley, eh?! My daughter's close to SJSU campus, so I try to roll by his shop when I visit her. Great to have a resource like Smiley's shop so close to home!

    Hope to see you NorCal folks (& any others making the journey..) at the Uke Fest in a few weeks!

    Malama Pono,
    Sean

  6. #16
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    Feb 2010
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    Honolulu, Hawaii 5min away from waikiki
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    I prefer Hi G most of th times....however when I go LOW G....I prefer unwound as to me it is a much more balanced tone......

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Boston Area
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    I prefer low G, and have tried aquila, worth, freemont and southcoast. I found the unwound low g to be either too floppy or just too booming. When I first tried the wound low G, I hated the string squeak. I've settled on the southcoast flatwounds, which have 2 flatwound strings (3rd and 4th). The balance among the four strings is excellent, and the winding of the flatwounds is such that I don't notice any string squeak when I'm playing. They are a bit delicate compared to non-wound, but one just has to be careful when installing. I've not had any issues with longevity, although I have heard that complaint about wound strings (generally, not specific to southcoast), so YMMV.

  8. #18
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    Jan 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoKaOi View Post
    . . .snip . . .
    Gary (gyosh)- I saw you mention Ukulele Source previously somewhere, so I guess you're acquainted with Smiley, eh?! My daughter's close to SJSU campus, so I try to roll by his shop when I visit her. Great to have a resource like Smiley's shop so close to home!

    Hope to see you NorCal folks (& any others making the journey..) at the Uke Fest in a few weeks!

    Malama Pono,
    Sean
    Hey Sean,

    I live about 1/2 a mile from Ukulele Source You should come down and visit your daughter on Saturdays when Smiley starts up the Kanikapilas again. Roy's Station Coffee & Tea hosts the events and Rodney Takahashi, an instructor located in Japan Town usually MC's. Get on Smiley's email list or I can let you know when they start again. See you in Hayward!

    -Gary
    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)

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Oak Park, Illinois
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    2,927

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    I, at first, didn't like a wound string because of the zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz sound when moving about the fret board. But, after listening to some of the very best classical guitar players in the world (thank's youtube), I understand that this is the nature of the beast and perfectly acceptable in their realm. It is now acceptable to me. In my limited experience with non-wound low G strings, they seem noticably dull (thud) in comparison.
    This is my opinion, but I'm quite sure I will continue to experiment.
    If everybody wanted peace instead of another TV, then there would be peace.
    -John Lennon-

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Apollo, PA
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    I've tried a number of Low-G strings and settled on Fremont Blacklines with a non-wound Low-G. I prefer non-wound Low-G strings for sound and feel. I have them on my Lanikai Spalted Mango Tenor. I've tried some other brands on my Mainland Mahogany Concert and found I liked Worth BM with a non-wound Low-G the best. Just haven't found a brand/set with a wound Low-G that I prefer although my Lanikai O-8 *-String Tenor came with a set of Nylguts with a wound Low-G. Still getting used to the feel of the 8 strings but it sounds OK with the Nylguts.
    My 4-String Family:
    Kamoa E3 Pineapple Soprano
    Martin S-O (given to my brother for Christmas with the stipulation he learns to play it)
    Early-70s Kamaka Soprano
    KPK Acacia Concert (given to a friend for his birthday because he wanted to learn to play ukulele)
    KPK Deluxe Long Neck Acacia Pineapple Soprano
    Gretsch Concert Resonator
    Lanikai O-8 Spruce/Ovangkol 8 String Tenor
    and various guitars

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