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Thread: Did Aquila Reds change recently?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Question Did Aquila Reds change recently?

    I just put a set of Aquila Reds (88U) on my tenor, and the strings feel different. The manufacturing month was 11/2016. The strings no longer have the initially very noticeable rough/sandpaper-y texture, and generally seem more elastic. The wound string also strikes me as a bit thinner and more elastic.

    They also stretch more. A lot. This is the first time ever that strings (reds included) started to go for a second round around the tuning posts, all three unwounds. Not that fond of that happening, but I suspect it won't affect anything negatively.

    Can't comment much on the tone yet as they are settling still, but the few seconds the uke was in tune, the strings sounded phenomenal as always. Definitely my favorite strings still. I suspect something may have changed at some point late last year, though. I have sets from 4/2016 for both tenor and concert that have the old texture (that eventually smoothed out) and that aren't as stretchy.

    Have the regular Red fans among you noticed any change with newer sets?

    (Sadly, the A string in one of the packs was noticeably dented/scratched as if a sharp edge had slid along the length of a centimeter, so I took the A string from a second pack. Also not happy with that, but at least they are relatively inexpensive strings.)

    P.S. and edit:
    See further down for some experiences with the concert version of the reds, made from the latest formula in March 2017. Interestingly, these weren't stretchy at all and settled in at at amazing speed. So the production date really matters. The sound is always the same, at least to me, but the feel and "behavior" is not.
    Last edited by Mivo; 04-25-2017 at 06:11 AM.
    Current main players: Moon Bird concert and Barron River tenor. My other ukes are listed on my profile page.

  2. #2
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    I didn't notice a difference on my last set of reds a couple of months ago, but the carbonblacks were really stretchy. It was the g string on an e tuning set for the mini. But they are still in the testing phase and the g string is often an issue.

    Strange, I don't think of the reds as really stretchy compared to some of the other strings that I have used.

    Adam

  3. #3
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    The previous Reds I used, with manufacturing dates in 2015 and early 2016 weren't overly stretchy either, but this 12/2016 set really is. I love these strings, so I'm willing to deal with the occasional issue.
    Current main players: Moon Bird concert and Barron River tenor. My other ukes are listed on my profile page.

  4. #4
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    If I'm not wrong, Mimmo said that he changed something in the Red's formula to make them less prone to breaking, and smoother, few months before 2017.
    Try searching in the topics talking about reds

  5. #5
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    Still in the stretchy stage, but I just put a new set of Reds on my Ohana Vita and they're wonderful. The Vita had Lavas. I replaced them because they were a bit muddy -- it's a problem on this uke, which just plain booms. Now it's a much more precise and sweet-sounding instrument.

    I also have three Reds on my Fluke (the C is a D'Addario Black Nylon because the Red C snapped). Great sound.

    The new formulation is much less sticky/scratchy than earlier versions. I like them a lot. Each new tweak Mimmo does on the Reds improves them.
    KoAlana KCA- 0010 mahogany concert <VBG> Ohana PCK-25G pineapple mahogany concert Ohana CK-50WG concert (solid cedar top, willow back/sides Ohana Vita concert Martin 0XK soprano <yowza> *Ohana SK-35G solid mahogany gloss finish soprano Fluke natural concert <BG> Firefly maple concert banjolele <yee-haw!> Islander MAT-4 spalted maple tenor Makala MK-CE concert

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  6. #6
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    Yes I thought I noticed this too, but then thought I was being paranoid. I much preferred the unique texture and feel of the sandpaper-type strings.
    "If a lot of people play the ukulele, the world would be a better place to live."

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by hendulele View Post
    Still in the stretchy stage, but I just put a new set of Reds on my Ohana Vita and they're wonderful. The Vita had Lavas. I replaced them because they were a bit muddy -- it's a problem on this uke, which just plain booms. Now it's a much more precise and sweet-sounding instrument.

    I also have three Reds on my Fluke (the C is a D'Addario Black Nylon because the Red C snapped). Great sound.

    The new formulation is much less sticky/scratchy than earlier versions. I like them a lot. Each new tweak Mimmo does on the Reds improves them.
    I recently bought a secondhand Vita, Rick, and it came with "red" strings, which, I am assuming must be the same as yours (I don't know how many companies produce red strings). Anyway, they sound fine.
    Walnut Flea Soprano, Eleuke Peanut, Rob Collins Soprano, Motu, Ukubidon, Gretsch Camp Ukulele, Tenor "Style Manouche", Hora mahogany Baritone, Roger Terry baritone, Sylvain Enjoubaut concert, Outdoor Ukulele (tenor), Ohana Vita, Ohana KA-6 (6-string tenor), DoudsandJo electro-acoustic tenor.

  8. #8
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    hi, Mimmo is there
    yes, we have done some improvements. At present we have donee a srtongest and smoother version of the Reds. I haa very sorry if somebody can be confused by all these improvements. Unfortunaterly no one had done this job before so I have no documentations or experiences of others that can help me to find out the final version.
    however, i am pretty sure that I have no further chances to do better of so. they very last version was done around october 2017 (smoother and more robust strings)
    Actually I am thinking to stop with the red series sets and go ahead with the carbonblack strings. Why? tyhe sound is more or less the same while the surfacerof the Carbonblack is ever smoother. make not sense at all to have two version of strings whose sound is very similar.
    I will take my time to think twice
    Ciao
    Mimmo

    Ps: the colour of the reds cannot be same on all the strings because the copper powder has different concentrations.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimmo View Post
    Actually I am thinking to stop with the red series sets and go ahead with the carbonblack strings. Why? tyhe sound is more or less the same while the surfacerof the Carbonblack is ever smoother. make not sense at all to have two version of strings whose sound is very similar.
    I really love the sound of the Red Series. In spite of some issues, I find them to be far, far more to my liking than fluorocarbon, nylon or the traditional Nylgut strings. The Reds ruined me for all other strings, so unless the Carbonblacks are REALLY very similar (I only have a high-G tenor set, not a low-G tenor set or a high-G concert set, so I have no direct experience with them), I hope you'll keep making the Reds. No other strings make me as happy as these.
    Current main players: Moon Bird concert and Barron River tenor. My other ukes are listed on my profile page.

  10. #10
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    Jan 2009
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    Mimmo, please keep the reds. By the way I liked the gritty feel of the original Reds.

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