Bass ukulele string options

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by MrWalker, Mar 3, 2017.

  1. MrWalker


    Apr 3, 2002
    Hello, guys!
    I've got a cheap electric bass ukulele waiting for me at home at the post office tonight. I'm sure it will be equipped with some sort of rubber strings. I know the normal string choice would be the Aquilina (maybe I got the name wrong there) or the Kala silicone strings, but I was wondering if anyone have tried metal strings on these basses?
    Does it sound and feel good?
    Recommendations and experience appreciated! :)
  2. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    I haven't had anything but the stock Pahoehoes on my Kala Ubass, but make sure yours has a truss rod before trying metal strings. The ones that are designed for poly-only strings can't be adjusted for metal.
  3. MrWalker


    Apr 3, 2002
    Very sound advice, thanks! Will check that afterwards, I just unwrapped it. I did check that it works! :-D
    I think there was a truss rod cover on the headstock. Really pretty blue transparent finish, too. :)
  4. katysax


    Nov 5, 2012
    Kala offers a metal wound nylon string. Feels like a steel string. If you must use metal,use those. I prefer the black Pahoeoe strings.
    HaphAsSard likes this.
  5. HaphAsSard


    Dec 1, 2013
    ^ This.
    "Metal" strings, in the case of Pyramid and Kala roundwounds, only means "metal-wrapped": they're made like the low strings of a classical guitar set, silver-plated copper wound on a nylon core. From what I gathered they're about as tight as, or slightly more so (for more realism replace "tight" and "more" with "loose" and "less") than, synthetic strings and while this may or may not impact on string action I think they intonate just as well, or badly, as as plastic strings do, with the bridge saddle set where it is.

    Metal-core, metal-wound strings for teeny basses can be found but those pretty much demand neck and bridge adjustment. And rounds wouldn't feel or sound that much different from the above-mentioned big classical strings.
    Pyramid has made a black nylon tapewound (thus normal rounds taped in nylon) set which failed to make waves because pioneering adopters reported it intonates poorly when simply slapped on a uke bass without repositioning the bridge.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
    Jon Moody and MrWalker like this.
  6. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
  7. I've tried several different strings on my Kala Ubass, and my favorites are the stock black Paehoehoes from Kala and Roadtoad and the Aquilla Thunderreds. I can't stand any of the others I've tried which includes Aquilla Thunderguts which are the white rubberlike strings, Silver rumblers, and also Pyramids.
  8. MrWalker


    Apr 3, 2002
    Thanks for your suggestions and insight, guys! I appreciate it!
    The bass has a trussrod, and the bass works fine actually.
    Will try the two different sets from Kala, with and without metal wrapping.
  9. MrWalker


    Apr 3, 2002
    A small update, in case anyone is interested.
    The strings that came with the uke that I bought were offwhite, but I don't really know which brand they were. They were rubber/silicon, and they had a very deep sound in them. Rubber strings.
    I ordere two sets from Kala, a set of U-Bass Silver plated round wound sets, and a set of Pahoehoe black strings. I put the silver plated strings on first (and they are still on). They give a much brighter sound, more like a "normal" electric bass. By rolling off the treble a little, a nice and full tone was achieved. I think I will leave these on, I like the feel of them, and I definitely like the sound the produce. For me, this is a winner, at least compared to the original strings.

    The sacrifice was the uprightish sound. The bass is more like deep classical guitar now (logically enough). The string to string output balance was also a little poorer with these strings. However, the feel is better (for me). So I'm happy so far :)
    HaphAsSard likes this.
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