Your Favorite Strings

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    OK, it would not be a ukulele forum if someone did not bring up the string topic. So I have given up on the Aquila strings, though the Lava series are uber cool. I have been using Fluorocarbon on both my ukes, A Noah Solid Mahogany tenor and a laminate Lanikai concert. I have tried Fremont, Worth clear, D’Addario and Living Water. By far the Living Water have been my favorite. I do have a set of Martins but have not tried them yet. Any opinions? Something else I should try?


    Why did you give up on Aquila? They are my favorite strings. I didn’t care for Martin, they lost their tone too fast… you know that “dull” sound. I don’t get that with Aquila.


    They just never gave me the tone I was looking for. I like both tone and volume I get out of fluorocarbon. Strings are always a personal opinion. I would recommend everyone to experiment with strings. It made a huge difference on my tenor uke.


    I certainly find the aquilla nylgut easier on the fingertips, I think they play quite loud too. I found them a bit too loud on my soprano ohana. The living water strings are my favourites too, though they do have a harsher feel on the fingers. My newest uke came fitted with worth brown strings and these are lovely, similar to living water, aesthetically they look nice too.


    Aquila were the first strings I ever had on a uke and I like them. They are LOUD, super responsive (not necessarily the best choice for a beginning player on a low quality instrument). I tried Worth Clear and they seemed a little toned down, clear in tone but not as overwhelming as Aquila. Worth seem expensive but you get enough string in one pack to string up two ukes.

    There is a company called South coast that makes a low tension metal uke string. They sound wonderful! But you can’t tune them GCEA so that can be a bummer.

    One of the best things about Worth is the lack of wound strings, of which I have a love/hate relationship. I hate the extraneous noise when fretting and sliding, but I love the smaller diameter. However, with Worth the thicker strings may be too thick!

    Ultimately I think different ukes and different people like different strings, it’s a very personal choice.


    Different strings complement different Ukes. I have fluorocarbon on my mahogany Ohana SK-30M.

    I LOVE this uke with these strings, but when I first got the Ohana, I was really shocked by the sound which wasn’t what I had imagined. The Aquila strings gave it a twang that was so unsettlingly, comically banjo-ish and WAAAY to bright for me. It was very different from my other super mellow mahogany ukuleles – like drinking a glass of milk and then deciding to drink the most tart lemonade different. I was worried to say the least…

    But as time went on and I kept playing it, I came to kind of crave that crispy, twangy sound. I also changed the Aquila strings to Fluorocarbon strings, which made a HUGE difference in sound quality and mellowed it out. Yes, Aquila are awesome, but it’s amazing how different strings make the instrument sound, plus fluorocarbon are a little thinner then Aquila.

    Drawback: they don’t last as long or hold their tune as well (IN MY OPINION), but I love them on my LN soprano. Funny thing is, I don’t like them on my mellow concert. They just sound flat and dull compared to the Aquila on that uke. However, I do love the big G fluorocarbon on my tenor, since its a little thinner and nicer on the fingers. It also isn’t wound and doesn’t make that SKREH noise as you drag your fingers over the strings.


    Once again I am in complete agreement with Andrew. So far I have not found a string I like as much as the regular Aquila nylgut. I use them on both a solid Koa and a solid w/ spruce top. They just sound fuller to me. Like Andrew has said they last a long time before the intonation starts to slowly go. The low G does need to be replaced more often, but I move the low G down toward the saddle a tiny bit after a few months to get a little more out of them. The only thing I would say about the Aquila nylgut is that they are fairly high tension and you might need to get the action at nut and saddle pretty low on a tenor so that they play easily. I do my own setup own setup adjustments now very carefully with sandpaper and magnifying glass. I probably will check out fluorocarbon clears again some time, but last time I took them off pretty quickly as they didn’t seem to sound as good to my ears.


    I have a tenor Oscar Schmidt and the sound was crap. It was my least favorite to play. The sound was quiet and dull. Zero resonance. It was new with Aquila strings, so I assumed it was because it’s heavy gloss and a generally heavy instrument. This weekend I switched to a set of Living Water fluorocarbon strings with a low G, in order to work on Bourrée for February.

    Guess what…

    I found the right strings for my tenor. It sounds wonderful (aside from the musician) and I will never go back.

    I have Aquila on all my other ukes (up to 9 now and I’ve only played for 8 months) and I’ve tried reds and lavas to mix it up. My other ukes sound good too, so no issue with Aquila, but my tenor just needed something different I guess. I’m so glad it sounds good now, because it’s a gorgeous instrument.


    Glad you found your strings, sprint! I’m a huge fan of fluorcarbon too. I tried them on a Uke in a store and had to have them. The low g is so much better than what I got from aquila – just a normal string, not an overpowering what-do-I-do-with-this sort of thing.

    That said, my kala super soprano came with fluorcarbon, don’t know what brand, and I don’t think they’re the right strings for him. I wish there was more variety to choose from around here. I’ll switch him up soon and see what I get.

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