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Thread: It's like UAS only worse...SCO

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Default It's like UAS only worse...SCO

    I can't imagine I'm the first to recognize this, but I have a problem. While my UAS is tempered by necessity due to financial constraints, my String Changing Obsession or SCO knows no bounds. I keep trying different strings, swapping them back and forth. I'm intrigued by the difference in sounds the same uke can make with different strings, as well as the different feel of string types.

    Anyone else suffer this? Is this a common affliction among newbies and/or when one gets a new uke?
    More an appreciator of the ukulele than a true player. My motto is: "Don't matter how good it ring if it ain't got some bling."

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  2. #2

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    I've never gotten over it and change strings constantly. I have a big drawer full of string set. It's not just when I get a new uke and I'm not a newbie. Restraining myself from changing strings on a constant basis is difficult. At least when you change strings a lot it gets easy.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Memphis, Tennessee
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    56

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    I had no problem with SCO...until I got a Mainland cedar soprano, and then went berserk looking for exactly the right strings to show off how beautiful her tone is. Southcoast, Worths, Martins, Ko'olau--I tried one set after another. I liked Oasis alot, but in the end have stuck with Fremont Blacklines, tuned up one semitone.

    Now I have a box full of nice strings hoping for their own uke.

    CF Martin Style 0 solid mahogany soprano, circa 1942 (Worth Clears)
    KoAloha Special Issue solid curly koa soprano
    Kanile'a Islander MSS-4 solid mahogany soprano (Worth Clears)
    Mainland solid rosewood & red cedar soprano (Fremont Blacklines)
    Kala KA-KCG-CT koa cedartop concert (Worth Browns)
    Makala Dolphin soprano (Aquila Nylguts)


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  4. #4

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    Ha Ha - I have this problem real bad.

    Since Sept 2013 alone I have spent over $150 in order to buy and test over a dozen different brands and as many or more different sets of strings.

    I am still not perfectly happy on my 5 different ukes, but so far I like Worth Browns on many and Martins on a few others...and really starting to cringe whenever I hear Aquila strings, on any instrument....

    Playing guitar for 35 yrs, I just bought whatever was the cheapest strings they had at the local store, but with Ukulele strings I am ordering strings from all over the globe. It's just insane. I feel there is no help for me and I am on a slippery slope. I wish I could stop, but I dont know how!!!
    Guinea proverb: "A cow that has no tail should not try to chase away flies."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    5,632

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    Oh, I get it. I just last week cleaned out my "string drawer" by passing on every last set of unused/unloved/unwanted strings to other uke players! I've been experimenting for YEARS with different strings on my three ukes, but I seem to always keep coming back to the same conclusion: Martin, Martin, and Martin

    Nothing wrong with String Changing Obsession - in the grand scheme of things, it's pretty easy on the wallet and if you're anything like me, each string change leads to a good chunk of quality time playing "that particular uke" with "those particular strings." And that can only be a good thing!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Florida Space Coast
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    Hmmm, I recognize the value of "the right strings" but I may be too big a cheapskate to get SAS (string acquisition syndrome)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Southern Oregon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Booli View Post
    Ha Ha - I have this problem real bad.

    Since Sept 2013 alone I have spent over $150 in order to buy and test over a dozen different brands and as many or more different sets of strings.

    I am still not perfectly happy on my 5 different ukes, but so far I like Worth Browns on many and Martins on a few others...and really starting to cringe whenever I hear Aquila strings, on any instrument....

    Playing guitar for 35 yrs, I just bought whatever was the cheapest strings they had at the local store, but with Ukulele strings I am ordering strings from all over the globe. It's just insane. I feel there is no help for me and I am on a slippery slope. I wish I could stop, but I dont know how!!!
    What's wrong with Aquila strings? I like em just fine.

  8. #8

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    For me it's not ONLY "that particular uke" with "those particular strings", but ALSO trying to find an unwound low-g for a concert scale that has high enough tension where it does not feel floppy like a rubber band to me, and so far, out of 8 different contenders, none has been 'just right'.

    The closest were the Aquila RED low-g for tenor, and the Worth Clear 0.04358 from the CH 'HARD' set that is also sold as a single string (from elderly and others).

    The other issue I have is string noise on the wound low-g, and the closest to solving this problem is the Fremont 'polished' wound low-g which I found on sale at HMS for $7 each. OldePhart (John) has recommended the Thomastik-Infeld flatwound classical guitar strings, but at $32 for a set, I have not made the jump yet.

    I have found that the Worth Brown 'FAT' low-g, BF-LG set is just like butter on my 1950's Harmony Baritone.

    The Worth Brown 'MEDIUM' low-g BM-LG is perfect on my Kala KA-T tenor, and ALSO on my Koa tenor Fluke.

    The Worth Brown 'LIGHT' high-G BL set is also perfect on my Mahalo U-30 soprano, they are in fact VERY LOW tension and since I file the nut slots to fix intonation issues (Thanks John!), with these strings it requires almost no energy at all to fret notes, and barre chords are a breeze.

    On my concert scale Epiphone Les Paul I have the Martin M620 TENOR strings, with the Fremont low-g mentioned above, and it's almost there.

    On My concert Aileen solid-body (like the Eleuke but 1/3 the price) I have the D'Addario Titanium T2 concert high-g set, and they are ok, but almost a but more tension than I would like, but I will be leaving them on for now.

    On my Yamaha guitalele GL-1 I have the D'Addario EJ27N which are fine.

    On my Antonio Hermosa AH-50 solid-body classical guitar and on my Yamaha CG-120 classical guitars I have the D'Addario EJ27H which are great.

    For the Gibson Les Paul, Epiphone Les Paul, and Epiphone Casino electric guitars I have the Ernie Ball SUPER SLINKY 0.09 strings which come in the hot-pink package.

    I also have these same Ernie Ball strings on my acoustic dreadnought as an experiment and they actually sound and play very nice on an acoustic.

    It's been over 10 yrs since I put new strings on my bass guitar (I think they are DR strings), but I really want to get hold of and try a set of the Rotosound 88 black tapewound strings to try and get an upright bass sound from it and remove the string noise....

    I know I am not done yet, there are at the very least a dozen or so more strings I need to hear and feel.

    I did not like the Worth Clears at all (tried 3 different types in sets), since it felt as if the surface profile of the string was not round, but more like it was extruded with a hexagonal profile like weed-eater line, and was quite abrasive to my picking hand and cut hard lines into the fingertips of my fretting hand, despite having a major layer of calluses.

    I feel like I have not only developed OCD for strings, but now I also have an official 'process' for string changing, as I've done it over 100 times in the past 5 months.

    Like katysax said previous it gets lots easier, and you also develop a better sense of patience for the strings to settle in, the trick is not to change all your ukes at once, otherwise they ALL will need constant retuning for about 10 days...
    Last edited by Booli; 02-17-2014 at 02:19 PM.

  9. #9
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    Los Angeles
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    Quote Originally Posted by katysax View Post
    I've never gotten over it and change strings constantly. I have a big drawer full of string set. It's not just when I get a new uke and I'm not a newbie. Restraining myself from changing strings on a constant basis is difficult. At least when you change strings a lot it gets easy.
    I'll extend an open invitation to you to come over to my place anytime and change strings to your heart's content. I've got ten ukes and I *hate* changing strings.

    Well, maybe hate is too strong a word. Let's just say I don't really enjoy it, even though I usually appreciate the sound of new strings after they've had a day or two to settle.

    I lost the "string shelf" on my desk hutch recently when I got a new PC and decided to put it up top instead of under the desk. Then I found this cool little wooden box that was originally from a National Geographic CD-ROM set ($4 at the Pasadena City College flea market -- box only, no discs). It fits two rows of string packages just perfectly. Between all my uke, guitar and mandolin strings, it's mostly full. It's like a perfect little filing cabinet for strings.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Complete-Set...item2ec47474fe

  10. #10
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    Yep, I have had it bad for years. I finally narrowed down my favorite string choice for my two favorite ukuleles but every time I get a uke I spend weeks constantly trying out every set of strings I have ever used on it (Living Water, PhD, Worth, Fremont, etc.) I have some Oasis set aside to add those to the string trials for the next uke I ever get.

    Quote Originally Posted by Booli View Post
    For me it's not ONLY "that particular uke" with "those particular strings", but ALSO trying to find an unwound low-g for a concert scale that has high enough tension where it does not feel floppy like a rubber band to me, and so far, out of 8 different contenders, none has been 'just right'.
    Have you ever tried Living Water or PhD unwound low g? I'm a fan of both as I can never make wound strings sound good -- they are too squeaky for me.
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