Review: Martin M600 Soprano/Concert fluorocarbon strings

ohmless

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Hello.

I have been using Aquila re-entrant nylgut strings for most of my time playing(one year now!) and decided it was time to branch out and experiment with some new strings. Buying Martin strings is as close as I ever will be to owning a real Martin uke so why not? Testing done on my hundred dollar laminate uke.

Previous experiment was with Oasis brand low g fluorocarbons but too low sounding for my tastes and was detrimental some to my depression for a while(my instrument wasn't happy so I wasn't either). They were competent strings that I will use again on my uke after I get my next uke as I want one with a low g and the new one to be re-entrant. I also liked that the strings were doubly long so you get two sets of strings for the price of one.

Now to the Martins. The strings were a bit slippy when trying to wind on the headstock but held a knot well at the bridge. It took about an hour after the string change for the strings to begin to be reliable through a song. I expect it to continue a slow stretch now like the Aquilas. The Strings feel like thinner than Aquilas and with my problem string were an improvement over the Aquilas. One thing I can say about these strings over the Aquilas is the feel on the fingertips is softer(less tension?)

The string I have been having intonation issues is my E string at the first fret being sharp and taking plenty of force to be able to depress it to contact the fret wire. I know the action is high but is otherwise acceptable to me so I don't want to alter the instrument if I don't have to. With the string being thinner, the action on that string is lower barely and I don't have to depress as hard to get the proper note to sound. I thought initially I was having the same problem with the Martin string but figured out a solution. I can tune the string to the lower end of being in tune for an open E and then the first fret will not be sharp.

Tone? Has a warm sound with plenty of resonance. Tough to say since I can't test side by side with identical ukes, but would guess that the volume of the instrument is roughly the same.

So definitely check out these strings if you find your current set uncomfortable, or just if you need a quality set of strings. These will not disappoint even if you don't think they are the finest you can get.
 
I have Martin M600s on two very different sopranos, one laminate and one solid koa. I think they're great, with a very traditional sound. And once stretched out, they hold their tune very well. I agree that they produce a lot of volume and resonance, but still have a good "punch" to them.

They're also easy to get, and very inexpensive. I don't think they're going to stay on my koa uke forever and ever, but I just got it and they're the first strings I put on. I think I may go for something more mellow next.
 
Martin's are some of my favorite strings. Cheap and easy to find anywhere. One trick I learned to help strings stretch and settle a bit faster is to tune them up a half or whole step when you're done playing. Whenever I restring a uke I try to play or at least just tune it twice a day for a couple of days.
 
I'm a big fan of the M600s and have used them almost exclusively for 5 years or so. My last string change, I had an interesting experience: my A string was flat the further I went up the neck - fine when open, but the higher I fretted it, the flatter it got. Changed it out and it was fine. So I guess every now and then a bum string gets past quality control, but considering the countless string changes I've done over the years, one isn't a bad track record.

In my experience the M600s settle MUCH faster than Aquilas do. And if you do go low G at some point, keep in mind that since Martin doesn't sell a low G set, if you use them, you'll end up with some extra reentrant G strings. Keep them, they may come in handy - these are close enough in diameter that you can use them if you ever need an extra A string as well... as I learned in the aforementioned string change :)
 
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I put some of them on a Mele solid mahogany soprano I once had. Nothing good to say about them, but on the other hand, I don't think that uke was typical of most Mele's and other than it's looks (a sweet "looking" little sucker) I don't have much good to say about the uke either....a great disappointment. I traded it shortly after. Thanks for sharing your review. Eventually, I'll have to try them again.
 
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