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Bass ukulele strings


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#1 casapete

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Posted 26 December 2016 - 09:58 AM

So I've got a Countryman bass uke which is great. Had it nearly a year now, and was wondering when
is it time to change the strings? They still seem okay to me, but have noticed the undersides feeling a bit rough, where they make contact with the frets.

It came fitted with cream coloured Aquilar strings, so would be looking for the same replacements I guess?

Anyone restrung their bass uke, and could maybe recommend any strings please?
Also any tips on how to best do it as it looks like it might be a devil of a job, and I'm useless with
tying knots etc, which I think you have to do underneath the bridge. Cheers.

#2 StephenYork

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 07:54 PM

I have just replaced the strings on my new u-bass. I used the Aquilar Thundergut strings, got mine on Amazon. They feel like the supplied strings and sound pretty good, though mine is a fretless so will be a bit different.
The bridge end of these strings are pre-tied. However the headstock end is a pain, spent the last two days trying to get the E string to stay in the tuner.
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#3 yorks5stringer

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 11:41 PM

View Postcasapete, on 26 December 2016 - 09:58 AM, said:

So I've got a Countryman bass uke which is great. Had it nearly a year now, and was wondering when
is it time to change the strings? They still seem okay to me, but have noticed the undersides feeling a bit rough, where they make contact with the frets.

It came fitted with cream coloured Aquilar strings, so would be looking for the same replacements I guess?

Anyone restrung their bass uke, and could maybe recommend any strings please?
Also any tips on how to best do it as it looks like it might be a devil of a job, and I'm useless with
tying knots etc, which I think you have to do underneath the bridge. Cheers.

I'd be asking myself do they really need changing? They will not corrode and at that tension, even if a bit rough underneath are not going to snap mid gig. They are never going to sound bright like new metal strings anyway so why give yourself a world of potential pain? Sleeping dogs and all that....!

Caveat: I have been known to be horribly wrong about all sorts of things however.

Edited by yorks5stringer, 03 January 2017 - 11:42 PM.


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#4 casapete

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 08:43 AM

View Postyorks5stringer, on 03 January 2017 - 11:41 PM, said:



I'd be asking myself do they really need changing? They will not corrode and at that tension, even if a bit rough underneath are not going to snap mid gig. They are never going to sound bright like new metal strings anyway so why give yourself a world of potential pain? Sleeping dogs and all that....!

Caveat: I have been known to be horribly wrong about all sorts of things however.

My thoughts exactly. They are starting to feel a touch rough underneath, so was just concerned about longevity etc.
Had the uke just over a year, and play it on a gig once a week. It's still holding it's tune too.
Think I'll persevere with them a bit longer until I pluck up courage to have a go with replacements.
Thanks for your comments.

#5 yorks5stringer

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 01:00 PM

Nice one...'pluck up courage'!

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#6 Ghost_Bass

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 04:28 PM

What are those black strings that come with the Kala u-bass? My uke came with the "regular" white-ish strings but i find them a bit sticky. I remember noodling with a friend's Kala and the strings felt way nicer.

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#7 Jean-Luc Pickguard

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 10:41 PM

I used to own a pair of ashborys - I tried a set of Road Toad Pahoehoe black polyurethane strings (as used on the Kala U-Bass) on one of them which didn't have as much of a double-bass tone as the standard Ashbory silicone strings, but they did seem to stay in tune a lot better. I also had a harley benton uke bass (actually went thought three of them due to QC issues) and didn't like the thundergut strings as they stretched and went out of tune all the time like the ashborys.
I have some basses amps & fx, but can't be bothered to list them.

#8 Ghost_Bass

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 12:14 PM

View PostJean-Luc Pickguard, on 15 February 2017 - 10:41 PM, said:

I used to own a pair of ashborys - I tried a set of Road Toad Pahoehoe black polyurethane strings (as used on the Kala U-Bass) on one of them which didn't have as much of a double-bass tone as the standard Ashbory silicone strings, but they did seem to stay in tune a lot better. I also had a harley benton uke bass (actually went thought three of them due to QC issues) and didn't like the thundergut strings as they stretched and went out of tune all the time like the ashborys.

Thanks ;)

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#9 casapete

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 02:48 PM

FWIW the first few weeks of having the Countryman it was a bug*er to keep in tune, needing constant
attention to maintain pitch. Then it settled down to where it is now, just needing an occasional tweak
to remain in concert pitch for weekly gigs.

#10 Jean-Luc Pickguard

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 07:02 AM

Iíve recently acquired a secondhand kala ubass which still has its original black pahoehoe strings - it is totally different to the crappy harley benton cheapo as it records beautifully and it is difficult to get a bad tone out of it whereas I struggled to get the HB to sound good. This is probably at least partly due to the u-bassís shadow pickup/preamp rather than just the strings though. Iíd like to try the aquila red strings as the red low G I use on a tenor uke is much better than a standard wound low G, but Iím wary of spending £40 to discover that i still prefer the stock pahoehoe set.
I have some basses amps & fx, but can't be bothered to list them.

#11 alyctes

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 12:12 AM

Avoid the silicone Fender Ashbory strings, they snap if you think about beer (or cheese, or elephants) within fifty feet of the thing.

I haven't tried the Thunderguts on a fretted ubass (they are on my Ashbory though). I have tried Pahoehoe polyurethanes; they are quite acceptable, at least to me. They do take a little while to settle down, but after that they last for years.

Edited by alyctes, 08 October 2017 - 12:13 AM.


#12 Jean-Luc Pickguard

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Posted 15 October 2017 - 07:27 PM

When I had my Ashborys (a black one & a blue one both Korean-made with 'Ashbory' logo) the only strings that snapped were the Gs - once I opened the gigbag to find one of the strings had snapped for no good reason at all. I did aquire a set of Pahoehoes at the time to replace the stock strings on the black one & it was a massive improvement once they'd settled in. Wouldn't entertain the idea of trying fender ashbory silicone strings on my U-bass.

It is interesting that the Bass centre has reerrected the ashbory name for their own-brand u-bass copies which appear to use aquila thunderguts: http://www.basscentr...hbory-bass.html
I have some basses amps & fx, but can't be bothered to list them.

#13 Marc S

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 11:13 AM

I had an Ashbory with those white Aguilar Thundergut strings on. They were definitely quite brittle feeling at the nut end (you could snap the end of the strings by bending them)
I really disliked the strings anyway - they were very "sticky" - I found my left hand wouldn't move freely enough, as there was far too much "drag". Ashbory basses come with a sort of talcum powder when new. This helped.... a little. But I just didn't get on with it. I sold it and bought myself a Kala Ukebass. With its' black, rubbery strings it's far more comfortable to play - despite the strings feeling very low tension

I'd definitely try the black strings from a Kala - though as others have said, they will take a long time to stretch & settle....

EDIT: I have heard other Ukebass owners rave about Aguliar "Thunder Reds" - though I've not tried them myself. They are apparently higher tension than the black strings. They certainly look to be a lighter gauge.... Make sure you get the versions for the Kala though - as they come in different lengths, for other instruments....

Edited by Marc S, 16 October 2017 - 11:17 AM.






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