Southcoast String Set HML-RW

This review is not on an ukulele but a specific string set I have been using. If you play tenor and are open to a low G, or linear tuning, then this one could be the sound you have been looking for. The G and C string are a thin phosphor bronze wrap and the E and A strings are a thin high density fluorocarbon.

The first video shows this Compass Rose with the stock Aquila low G set that they come with. I think Aquila strings work great on some ukes and on others they don’t quite hit the potential tone. It doesn’t really have to do with the quality of the uke but more of the way it was built.

Compass Rose Tenor w Aquila Low G set

This video shows the Southcoast set that we are reviewing here. These videos were shot a day apart. The camera angle and lighting is different but the audio was recorded with the same mic placement and using unedited wave files.

Compass Rose Tenor w/ Southcoast HML-RW

So this wa the Compass Rose with two different low G sets. This next comparison is less of a fair playing field because the first video is a Hilo high G set and the second of course the Southcoast Low G set that we are reviewing. And Corey is not playing the same thing. And on top of that the mic placement is slightly different. Still, you can still hear the overall tonality being very different. In my opinion the Southcoast set can activate a sweet and “woody” quality in certain instruments like this one.

Maui Music Spruce Maple Tenor w/ Hilo Strings High G
Maui Music Spruce Maple Tenor w/ Southcoast HML-RW

All of our sound sample have no reverb, compression, or mastering. Listen on good headphones or speakers to hear true tone. We have these strings in bulk and they are available to be set up on your ukulele. They are not our recommendation for every ukulele so inquire with us if you are not sure. I love them on Pono tenors, Kamaka tenors and many other high quality tenors.

In my opinion the SC string set can “open up” the natural voice of certain tenors. When fingerpicking you get a rich yet articulate sound, and when strumming your get a sweet jangle similar almost to a steel string guitar.

So what do you hear in these comparisons? Share your thoughts/ questions/ & opinions in the comments below. Aloha~

Comments 10

  1. What I find interesting is that it has made me open up to more brands as these are the best CR & MM I’ve heard. Could strings make that much of a difference? Andrew, have you ever asked certain makers why they use a particular set? I believe people will be more impressed with a certain brand with the “right” set of strings. Great review as always!

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      Hey Daniel, First off, thank you for turning many of us on to this set from Southcoast. I think it makes a big difference as well, even more in person. I don’t think this is the right set for every uke, but on many tenors it takes them up a notch IMO. I think makers are often too busy to try a lot of strings and figure players will all have different opinions anyway. In the end it is one of the ways that we, as players, can improve on what we have, by finding the best set of strings to match our instrument and our taste. Mahalo for your input.

  2. Let me preface this by saying I am not a liner tuned ukulele player:
    However, after 5 years like you said I finally found out the reentrant Southcoast Non Wound Medium’s(MU-NW) for lighter braced ukes and the Southcoast Non Wound Heavy-Medium’s(HMU-NW) for heavier braced ones(or those with a truss rod) is that sound I’m looking for. HMU-NW’s on a reentrant C-tuned Blackbird ukulele = heavenly 🙂

  3. Hi, I enjoyed the sound of these strings. May I ask the song that Corey is playing in the Compass Rose Uke vids? Pretty song. Thanks!

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      It’s White Sandy Beach and you can get the tabs for it here under the sheet music tab under lessons.

  4. I have tried low g strings a couple of times and didn’t really care for them. Probably a combination of the uke and strings I was trying them out on, but they always were just to “boomy” and seemed to have a narrow use to me.

    I tried these based on this review, that and I have a Compass Rose as well. Oddly enough, I didn’t even put them on the CR but on a Boat Paddle ML Tenor instead. Glad I did, because they really made quite a difference. The ML Boat Paddle has a slightly larger body and seems to be taylor made for linear tuning. As mentioned, they are very articulate, the trebles are not overly bright or thin, with the base strings having a deep resonate tone and gobs of sustain. I found them to be very responsive while being played softly or with some vigor. Overall, a wonderfully balanced string set.

    Thanks Andrew for posting this review!

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  5. I could really tell the difference on the “Maui Music Tenor”. It doesn’t sound like the same ukelele. Kinda meh with the original strings, beautiful and full with the Southcoast. Impressive.

  6. I have a Pono ETSH5-PC (Ebony/Cedar) and have not found the ‘right’ strings yet. Would you recommend the Southcoast strings for it? If so, or if not, would you please explain why?

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