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View Full Version : Aquila red series...I should have known better.



hammer40
08-31-2015, 11:03 AM
I have been experimenting with strings for a little while now and figured I would give the Aquila red series, 87U, a try. I know they changed their formula to try to alleviate the breakage issue, so I thought it might be a good time to try them out.

I have heard good things about the sound of these strings, and all the audio I have heard of them sounded real good as well. They big complaint is the breakage issue, well, they have not solved it. At least for the two sets I tried.

I followed the video that demonstrates how to string them up properly. I made sure my ukes nut and saddle were in good order as well. All to no avail, the A string snapped after about 5 hours, and I wasn't playing it at the time.

It's to bad, I loved the sound they produced, bright but not thin or tinny, lots of sustain, articulate and clear, picking or strumming. I love the deep red color as well. They are more dense string so they have a firm feel under your finger, which I like a lot.

If Aquila can ever solve the brittle nature of these strings, they really have a winner in my book. Unfortunetly, I won't be trying them again until it is 100 percent solved with a money back gaurantee to back it up.

ralphk
08-31-2015, 11:24 AM
I did not have any problems with the baritone set, two wound, two red

Rllink
08-31-2015, 11:27 AM
Nice to know, as the Nylgut strings on my Mainland are starting to get worn, and I was thinking about changing to the Reds. But it was mostly because I thought red strings would look cool on my uke.

Doc_J
08-31-2015, 11:31 AM
Are you sure the Aquila Red you had was the latest? Some places have old stock.

The maker, mimmo , is a member here and might be able to check if the strings age.

A couple years ago I had an Aquila red set (wound low g) on a Collings UT1 that sounded great. It lasted months and months, never broke.

the.ronin
08-31-2015, 11:35 AM
I'd have to say I had absolutely zero issues with the one concert set I tried. I knew about the breakage, even came across the video, but forgot about it when I installed them and just strung it up like I do normally and no issues at all. I remember even tugging at them like I always do with fresh strings to break them in faster.

They didn't stay long on the uke not because I didn't like the sound but because they felt so different, it was weird going back and forth between ukes.

hammer40
08-31-2015, 11:36 AM
Are you sure the Aquila Red you had was the latest? Some places have old stock.

The maker, mimmo , is a member here and might be able to check if the strings age.

The batch number on the package was dated 06/2015, so I think they are the recent version. Again, I really liked these strings, but they both had the 1st string snap on me.

hammer40
08-31-2015, 11:39 AM
They didn't stay long on the uke not because I didn't like the sound but because they felt so different, it was weird going back and forth between ukes.

They do have a different feel to them. Feel just like rectified strings do, to me anyway. Which does not bother me at all.

actadh
08-31-2015, 11:43 AM
My Aquila reds are over a year old on my Silvertone soprano. Still sound great.

kypfer
08-31-2015, 12:06 PM
I've got "low_G" reds on a pineapple soprano and a Kala concert. The soprano strings are over a year old and currently on their third body (yes, I bought a second pineapple specifically to use these strings when the first pineapple was changed to 5th's tuning!) so they've been fitted and re-fitted several times ... no problems yet. The concert strings are only a few months old and actually haven't had much use, but they've not snapped either :)

pritch
08-31-2015, 12:10 PM
I've had reds on three ukes with no breakage problems but the batch dates were Oct/Nov '14.

One ukulele is currently strung with Fremont Blackline but that's not due to any problems with the Aquila products, just the ongoing effort to learn how different strings effect that particular instrument.

hammer40
08-31-2015, 12:12 PM
Okay, several folks now have had reported no issues. I can find no rough spots on my Compass Rose anywhere. They snapped somewhere on the saddle area as far as I can tell.

Hippie Dribble
08-31-2015, 12:52 PM
I sympathise Hammer. My experience is right in the middle. On the first two sets I tried, the 'A' snapped. I didn't like their feel either...sort of a grainy/sandpaper type thing. The last time - about a month ago - I bought a single Low G concert red. It sounds amazing, feels smother and still going strong after a lot of use in that time. Hmmm...Guess the jury is still out eh.

Captain Simian
08-31-2015, 01:11 PM
I've had Reds on my Flea soprano and concert for over a year with no issue. However, every single Low G Red I've had has broken on me within a couple of days. Most recently I bought a set of Aquila's for a 6 string Lanikai and it came with a Red for the low A. Sure enough 2 days later it also broke. Luckily I had a replacement. I may still buy Reds for ukes I string up re-entrant but I'll never, ever, waste my money again on a Red Low G.

ksiegel
08-31-2015, 02:12 PM
I got a set of Aquila Reds to demo and report on (oddly enough, my most highly viewed YouTube video to date!) - I installed them on my Kala Cedar Top Tenor over two years ago.

Still have them, haven't had a lick of trouble with them, and they still sound just fine.

Is it something to do with the style of playing? The material of the nut? Humidity? The nut behind the uke? Any and/or all of these? Karma?

I can't tell - but it does reinforce the axiom "Your Mileage May Vary".

Some of us love the reds, and have had no issues. Others, not so much. The same goes for la Bella, Hilo, Fremont Black Line, Worth (Clear and brown), Southcoast, and every string with the name "Aquila" attached.

So, should you have known better? I hardly think so. You never know which strings are the ones for you until your try them.


-Kurt

Inksplosive AL
08-31-2015, 02:43 PM
Reentrant sets on both my KA-SEM and my Risa Sopano stick over a year old and still great.

Ukulele Eddie
08-31-2015, 04:28 PM
@Hammer40, sorry to hear about your string break. I keep reading about these issues and I've tried them on probably 10 different ukes without ever breaking a string that I recall. So I've probably used 15+ packs of strings across soprano, concert and tenor. Hard to believe I've been lucky all this time, but maybe...Anyway, Reds and Southcoast Medium Lights tend to be my two go-to strings.

Nickie
08-31-2015, 05:09 PM
My Aquila red A string also broke, near the nut. They were hardly played, and it broke in the case. I think Mimmo may have been wanting to reproduce the way old fashioned gut strings looked and felt. Seems like he was pretty close. Pretty close to the way they broke too....
I loved em, but I don't wanna go through that again.

hammer40
08-31-2015, 07:35 PM
I got a set of Aquila Reds to demo and report on (oddly enough, my most highly viewed YouTube video to date!) - I installed them on my Kala Cedar Top Tenor over two years ago.

Still have them, haven't had a lick of trouble with them, and they still sound just fine.

Is it something to do with the style of playing? The material of the nut? Humidity? The nut behind the uke? Any and/or all of these? Karma?

I can't tell - but it does reinforce the axiom "Your Mileage May Vary".

Some of us love the reds, and have had no issues. Others, not so much. The same goes for la Bella, Hilo, Fremont Black Line, Worth (Clear and brown), Southcoast, and every string with the name "Aquila" attached.

So, should you have known better? I hardly think so. You never know which strings are the ones for you until your try them.


-Kurt

"Should have known better," referring to the fact that these strings have had a known breakage issue. The websites that sell them even have large disclaimers about the brittle nature of them, and state that there are no returns or warranties because of it.

I took a chance, and thought maybe it was corrected but it just seems to be hit or miss with them. I'm well aware of the subjective nature of strings, this has nothing to do with that. Again, I said I liked them...a lot. As for playing style, I never got to play them. They snapped within hours after stringing them up and were still stretching.

"Karma," really? I guess my karma is good enough for every string manufacturer including Aquila, just not for the Aquila Red series.

It's all good, I'm out ten bucks, but there sure are a lot of good strings out there to enjoy.

mimmo
09-01-2015, 12:01 AM
Hello Guys
I can relate, this why the red series ( I mean here NOT the low G red sigle) had some changes.
Rigth now the surfece is totally pilished smooth against the raf surface of the first ones. The colour isa a bit less red.
But they are indeed a lot strongest. The soud rensponse is the same.
Unfortunately I have not the control over the worldwhide distribuition so it is possible that there are many of the first barch still in the market.
generelly speacking we started to produce this new version form June 2015 more or less.

here I am speacking of the red series sets high G tuning.
what about the single low G reds?
at present they sare still raf in the surface; I tried to improve these also in the same way of the high g sets but It was not ok.
however the Low G version of the red series sets has red wound strings: thi decision dateback 2 months ago.
it was done because the tonal balance with the upper strings was too much.
Ciao
Mimmo

Luke El U
09-01-2015, 12:38 AM
Hello Guys
I can relate,
Ciao
Mimmo

You, Sir, are the producer who has profited from this merchandise. We are the consumers who have lost money on your faulty product.

How is it then that you can relate?

Please forgive my bluntness. I'm a fan of Aquila and want your company to succeed. I've loved your Red series and was a diehard fan. But the tenor low G red string has a very high rate of failure. You knew it, and that is why you have changed it.

Is it too much for us consumers to ask for fair compensation? For example, could your company at least replace our old broken Gs for your new wound low G?

billten
09-01-2015, 05:15 AM
Mimmo, you said 'we started to produce this new version form June 2015 more or less', can you please give us a specific date of manufacture or lot number that is printed on the packet on any of the Aquila reds that we can look for to ensure we are buying the 'new' reds? I loved the reds and like many gave up, if they have a new formulation i'd be happy to give them another go but i'm not wasting my money if i can't be sure if i am buying a new set.
Bill


Hello Guys
I can relate, this why the red series ( I mean here NOT the low G red sigle) had some changes.
Rigth now the surfece is totally pilished smooth against the raf surface of the first ones. The colour isa a bit less red.
But they are indeed a lot strongest. The soud rensponse is the same.
Unfortunately I have not the control over the worldwhide distribuition so it is possible that there are many of the first barch still in the market.
generelly speacking we started to produce this new version form June 2015 more or less.

here I am speacking of the red series sets high G tuning.
what about the single low G reds?
at present they sare still raf in the surface; I tried to improve these also in the same way of the high g sets but It was not ok.
however the Low G version of the red series sets has red wound strings: thi decision dateback 2 months ago.
it was done because the tonal balance with the upper strings was too much.
Ciao
Mimmo

hammer40
09-01-2015, 05:45 AM
Mimmo, you said 'we started to produce this new version form June 2015 more or less', can you please give us a specific date of manufacture or lot number that is printed on the packet on any of the Aquila reds that we can look for to ensure we are buying the 'new' reds? I loved the reds and like many gave up, if they have a new formulation i'd be happy to give them another go but i'm not wasting my money if i can't be sure if i am buying a new set.
Bill

It is pretty easy to tell the newer version from the older version by looking at the strings while in the package. The original were almost a bright, brick red color and more textured, while the latest version is a deep red almost maroon color and smoother. I would describe it as similar to a rectified string, smooth looking but slight texture under your fingers. They do have batch labels on the package (month/year) as well, so if he gives you an exact date that will be best, especially if ordering online sight unseen. Mine were dated 06/2015, so they are the latest version.

Highmiles
09-01-2015, 07:13 AM
Not to over simplify, but what I am hearing, is that that the high G sets have been successfully redone, but the low G sets were not suitable for the new formula. That also seems to be borne out by the people's experience. At this point, I would only consider purchasing the high G set, but would have full confidence in them.

billten
09-01-2015, 07:26 AM
Unfortunately i buy my strings online so i was hoping to get a number or date to ask the vendor to check since i can't get my hands on the strings before they are shipped to me but since you had this experience with what sounds like the newest version, i'll stick to my worth browns. Thanks for the heads up that the new ones are breaking too Hammer, you saved me a lot of stress i think...


It is pretty easy to tell the newer version from the older version by looking at the strings while in the package. The original were almost a bright, brick red color and more textured, while the latest version is a deep red almost maroon color and smoother. I would describe it as similar to a rectified string, smooth looking but slight texture under your fingers. They do have batch labels on the package (month/year) as well, so if he gives you an exact date that will be best, especially if ordering online sight unseen. Mine were dated 06/2015, so they are the latest version.

hammer40
09-01-2015, 07:31 AM
Not to over simplify, but what I am hearing, is that that the high G sets have been successfully redone, but the low G sets were not suitable for the new formula. That also seems to be borne out by the people's experience. At this point, I would only consider purchasing the high G set, but would have full confidence in them.

Apparently not, at least for me. I have the latest version, high G, and the A string snapped twice. Coincidence, I don't know but if I don't know if or when they will break, it is hard to want to keep trying them without a guarantee of some kind.

And again, I really like them so I hope it can be, or is really fixed for good.

hammer40
09-01-2015, 07:48 AM
Unfortunately i buy my strings online so i was hoping to get a number or date to ask the vendor to check since i can't get my hands on the strings before they are shipped to me but since you had this experience with what sounds like the newest version, i'll stick to my worth browns. Thanks for the heads up that the new ones are breaking too Hammer, you saved me a lot of stress i think...

Sounds like it was May 2015, I think that is what he said earlier in the thread. I also don't want to say he, Mimmo, has not worked things out, I can only relate that mine snapped. I have experimented with a lot of strings this last year, so I think I can say I know my ukes and there conditions. I did not find any nicks, burrs, rough spots, and most have all had a pro set up done on them originally.

I think they are nice strings though, and inexpensive now at just over 5 bucks online at SBM or S&B. Why not give one set a try, maybe Aquila has got the formula corrected now. If they are still failing, Aquila needs to know.

70sSanO
09-01-2015, 08:33 AM
Strength is relative.

I have used the reds on a couple of concerts without any issues. Not so with my tenor, but... it has an 18 inch scale so the tension is a little bit higher and the A string did fail. If the scale was 17 inch, there may not have been an issue.

John

bennyhana22
09-01-2015, 09:14 AM
I've had several sets of re-entrant soprano Aquila Reds over the past couple of years and had no problem with any of them.

They are without question my favourite string of all those I have ever used. I almost can't imagine not using them as the sound they produce is so exactly 'right' for me. I also love the slightly rough feel and am a little sad that mimmo suggests this roughness is being polished out of the new production runs. When the set is new, that slightly coarse surface produces a fabulous little squeak when playing finger style, gradually fading in intensity as your playing smoothes out that area of the strings.

Of course I sympathise with anyone who has had problems, especially if there is any question of a violently snapping string damaging their instrument/themselves. But for me they remain an unparalleled No.1 and I can't wait to get my new archtop/back soprano later this month, lovingly strung with...Aquila Reds!

Oh, and the red strings do[/I] look phenomenally cool on the uke too...

:)

Ben

mimmo
09-01-2015, 11:12 AM
Well,
Hammer 40 I sent you a private message. Do you received it?
The new red series are indeed a lot stronger and also smooth. No any significative texture here
The sound is same as before.
Low g set : we done an extensive check with our distributors
All they suggested to introduce a wound string instead of a red series unwound G because the set is more balanced and no bresckage at all.
In fact Make not sense to have a very very bright three upper strings and a warm single string in the bottom.
Please note that the wound G string is NOT white. It is deep red so the whole set has an even red color like before.
The sound also is more balanced

The new red series were introduced from June 05 of this year.
Yes the color is not very red but a bit brown

For those that have to complain: People here already know which is my feel: if you have spent money on bad strings you deserve replaces or compensation.
Just ask to who sold you the strings and if the seller do not answer you or if he refuse to help you please contact me directly or Aquila in Italy .
Honesty is the first place in my mentality, it is not the first time I cancel a seller because was not honest with people,
Ciao from warm Italy

Doc_J
09-01-2015, 11:15 AM
Mimmo, can you name a seller or more that has the new Red series in stock?

I see a lot of the old stock around.

Thanks.

Luke El U
09-01-2015, 02:12 PM
Low g set : we done an extensive check with our distributors
All they suggested to introduce a wound string instead of a red series unwound G because the set is more balanced and no bresckage at all.
For those that have to complain: People here already know which is my feel: if you have spent money on bad strings you deserve replaces or compensation.
Just ask to who sold you the strings and if the seller do not answer you or if he refuse to help you please contact me directly or Aquila in Italy .
Honesty is the first place in my mentality, it is not the first time I cancel a seller because was not honest with people,
Ciao from warm Italy

Thank you, Sir, for your offer. I regret not seeing it in previous posts. Your honesty is appreciated. I very much look forward to trying the new wound low g in your Red series.

mimmo
09-01-2015, 09:48 PM
It is hard to answer Doc-J
I can just tell you that Kala & Cordoba are the main distributors in USA; Warwich in Europe
Do you live in USA?
Maybe you can try to Elderly.com or Juststrings.com
Cheers
Mimmo

Ps: see a picture of the wound low G string for the red series set that replace the red unwound one. It is red, not white. so the look is still even like before :)

83001

hammer40
09-02-2015, 03:13 AM
Mimmo, can you name a seller or more that has the new Red series in stock?

I see a lot of the old stock around.

Thanks.

Strings by mail has the latest version, that's where I got mine and they were BA 06/2015.

https://www.stringsbymail.com/aquila-red-tenor-ukulele-strings-regular-high-g-tuning-87u-12435.html

70sSanO
09-14-2015, 12:11 PM
It is hard to answer Doc-J
I can just tell you that Kala & Cordoba are the main distributors in USA; Warwich in Europe
Do you live in USA?
Maybe you can try to Elderly.com or Juststrings.com
Cheers
Mimmo

Ps: see a picture of the wound low G string for the red series set that replace the red unwound one. It is red, not white. so the look is still even like before :)

83001

So I guess this means that the 72U (unwound low G) will not be available anymore.

John

mimmo
09-14-2015, 07:48 PM
Hi John, the unwound low G single strings are always awailable in single envelopes. No problem for your 72U
Mimmo

70sSanO
09-15-2015, 05:20 AM
Mimmo,

Glad to hear the 72U strings will be available. Thanks for the info.

John