D'addario - Great strings with overcomplicated names
This entry was posted on February 20, 2015.
Daddario make too many good strings. As of February 2015, they make Nyltechs, Titaniums, Carbons, Rectified, Extrudeds and a whole host of other strings under the Pro Arte name. If you were to restring your ukulele with a different type of Daddario string every six months it would take you 1250 years to have sampled all of them (maybe a slight exageration but I'm known for them).
Which ones are good? Which ones are just a fancy word for nylon? I hope this post will help you weed out the poor options and like my other posts, hopefully save you a bit of money. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me at the shop on 01202 430820 or comment on this blog. We have had an overwhelming response to the last two blogs about strings but the post has no comments. If you comment we will endeavour to respond to your query as quickly as possible.
Nyltech (Nylon Gut Technology)
The first Daddario string with a fancy word is the 'Nylgut technology' series. The packet has the Aquila logo on it and the gist of the information available on this string concludes that Aquila have licensed the Nylgut technology to Daddario who are making the same string in the USA instead of Italy with a few tweaks.
The Nyltech string is excellent on beginner/intermediate ukuleles because much like Aquila strings they improve the volume, tone and intonation of many instruments found lacking with nylon strings fitted.
The shops contact at Daddario UK recently commented that these strings are the most popular Daddario ukulele string currently in production and I am not surprised because for £2 less than an Aquila string, Daddario have cultivated a much superior string. My only criticism is that these strings seem to suit the smaller sizes (Soprano/Concert) ukuleles more than the bigger sizes. To summarise, buy these strings for your first ukulele if you want to be sure you are getting the best out of it.
The Titanium series aside from having a butch name, is Daddarios most unique string. They make it with a unique recipe that gives nods to a lot of smooth nylon style strings whilst including Titanium in some part along the way. They have a unique purple tinge to them that is subtle enough not to have ever put anyone off. Truth be told, these strings are pretty cool and diverse.
Whenever we have a ukulele on the work bench that rattles, buzzes, hums or is just generally a bit of a head scratcher - The Titaniums have more often than not been the difference maker. I have regular returning customers with Pono's, Big Island's, Eddy Finn's, Kala's and everything in between that only use these strings because they solve an issue with the ukulele in some way.
They have a rich sound and I personally think they sound great on Tenor's and Baritones when you want some dark, fruity bass end on your ukulele.
I would avoid these strings if you like a brighter sound that cuts through. The Titaniums are very clear and have a modern sound but they aren't the loudest strings available. In this sense, I actually agree and disagree with Daddario's own chart explaining how the strings they manufacture differ. On the Daddario string packet they say that the Titaniums lean toward the brighter sound. I would say these are the loudest mellow strings you can buy. If that even makes sense?
Daddario's newly released Ukulele Carbon series strings are a unique twist on existing Daddario products and an excellent addition to the ukulele string market.
I tried a set of these on an all solid Mahogany concert ukulele and found them to be very similar to the Worth Clear Soprano strings. They sound bright and clear but not distorted when strummed with a lot of attack, they manage to be a resistant, useable light gauge too for a rhythm player.
The thing that may prove to be a problem for players of Soprano ukuleles is that the Sop/Con strings can create buzzes and squeaks due to how thin the strings and are definitely more suited to Concert ukes.
I am not sure it is entirely necessary to go into all of the other obscure Daddario ukulele strings for several reasons but first and foremost is popularity. Many of the old obscure codes are now being consolodated into improved recipe strings. The 'Pro Arte Rectified' strings are Daddario's Americanised way of writing 'very mellow bluesy black nylon strings' and the 'Custom Extruded' strings are Daddarios way of saying 'Clear and loud nylon strings'. I would be confident in saying that although these strings are good, they do not differ greatly from the rest of the strings on the market under £6 a set. Certainly not in the same way the Nyltech, Titaniums and the Carbon's do.
As always, if you have any queries or feedback comment below or give us a call on 01202 430820.
until next time.