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String Types

Gut Strings: Italian Gut strings were already produced in Padoa, Verona, Venice, Treviso and Vicenza since the beginning of the 17th century. Documents of the time show that such production lasted uninterruptedly well into the 20th century.

The ukulele came into being about 1879, and All early ukuleles had gut strings. Gut strings continued to dominate the ukulele market until at advent of DuPont's nylon during World War II.

Aquila Gut Strings are wholly produced in house in Vicenza (60 Km far from Venice), to individual requirements, beginning from fresh gut, respecting and reviving the old tradition.

Changes in humidy and temperature will drive you nuts with old old gut strings in keeping your ukulele in tune. Modern gut ukulele string are better sealed and are more stable.

I still like the warmth and melodic tone of genuine gut strings.

Nylon Strings:When nylon arrived.... the entire ukulele world switched to them.... the strings had more uniform diameters and properties.... they sounded pretty good.... and they were CHEAP to produce.

Most ukulele strings today are made from nylon polymers... but do not think all nylon is the same. Different companys use different nylon polymer grades.... so they are not all the same.

Very cheap nylon strings are made from the same nylon strands that they make scrub brush bristles from.

Nylon strings take a little while to settle down and take a set. Even then you have to tweak you uke up to pitch after it has been setting a while without playing.

NYLGUT Strings: These strings are a patented product of Aquila. These strings have a fuller sound than the monofiliment strings which I like better. The strings tend to be a little more cut sensitive so don't have the durability of monofilament strings.

Fluoro Carbon Strings: These are brand new to the ukulele world. Fluoro Carbon is a totally different and heavy polymer.... 1.6 sg compared to 1.3 sp for nylon. The polymer is tough so the strings are smaller diameter. The sound is loud, lively, bright, and chrisp.... which makes many "little ukuleles" really become assertive.

Fluoro Carbon is more expensive than nylon, so the cost of the strings is more. Generally these strings are sold in "double" sets.

Wound Metal Strings:Strings are wound with metal to give the string more weight and still be very flexible. Generally these metal windings are over a nylon floss core (like dental floss). If wound strings were not used on the lower notes on a ukulele, a thick polymer string would be very dead sounding.

Some people dislike wound string because they can "hiss" at you when your drag your finger tips on the windings of the strings. There are very finely wound strings called "studio" quality that minimize this hiss.

Wound Nylon Strings: Several makers are now making a new overwripped wound polymer string. These are very flexible, sound good, and do a good job.

BUT you cannot cut the string off or the winding will unwind ruining the string.

Steel Strings: Here come one of my pet hates..... people wanting to put steel strings on a wooden ukulele. Yes, guitars have metal strings, so do mandolins, and banjos.... but a uke sounds terrible to me with steel strings. Worst of all it is easy to overtighten the strings and damage the instrument.

The exception to this are the baby "electric guitar" ukuleles that were made for metal strings only.