Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote on the ukulele strings poll - a massive 482 of you!
When I set up the poll, I kind of knew which way the results would go, and the intention was to then comment on those and give you my views. Firstly, lets look at the voting.
Aquila - 58%
Worth - 12%
Martin - 2%
Ko'olau - 1%
D'addario - 3%
Pyramid - <1%
GHS - 2%
Other - 2%
Depends On The Uke - 15%
So what are my thoughts? Well, considering this blog is aimed primarily at beginners, I am not surprised at the fact that Aquila ran away with the vote. You will read so much about what they can do for cheap beginner instruments all over the net, and increasingly the better end of the beginner instruments are starting to come with them fitted. However, I am a little disappointed...
Don't get me wrong, I like Aquila strings, and presently have them on my Makala Dolphin, and think that to my ears they are the best strings for that uke. But here is the thing. I made that decision having tried lots of other strings on that ukulele also.
I also have a range of other ukuleles and none of them are in the super expensive category. On every other uke I have tried a range of strings, including Aquilas, but on no other uke do I think they work very well to my ears.
Have you noticed how I keep using the phrase "to my ears". That is the point. There is no hard and fast rule as to what the best strings are on any particular instrument, and the only way to find out what YOU like is to try a range of strings on your uke and make a decision. You may find that you discover a pack of strings that wows you more than the Aquilas!
I admit, the question asked in the poll was what was YOUR favourite string - and I am sure those that chose Aquila are absolutely correct in their choice. As I say, great strings. I did however put an option up called "Depends on the Uke", which would have been the answer I would have gone for!
This was an interesting exercise, and if it has done nothing more than alert the beginner to the fact that there are many string manufacturers out there, then I am pleased. Even better, if the poll and this post have made you think about trying a string change than that would be perfect. Get a selection of strings, and spend an afternoon playing with them. Listen carefully to the sound of your uke with new strings. Do they feel different? Do they chime more? Are they louder or quieter? The answer will be personal to you, but DO give it a try - you may be surprised!
For info - my current range of ukes are strung as follows
Makala Dolphin - Aquila
Flea - Worth BM's
Fluke - Worth CM's
Mainland Concert Mahogany - Martin Flourocarbon
Good luck! Sorry this post sounds moany - it isnt!! Well done to Aquila - a worthy winner in most cases - but dont be afraid to experiment!