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View Full Version : Aquila Red series...Take two.



hammer40
09-08-2015, 10:04 AM
I recently posted about my trial of the Aquila Red series string set. It very quickly ended with a snapped A string, similar to what I have heard and read about them previously.

Well, Mimmo from Aquila contacted me and offered to replace the string sets that broke on me. A generous offer I thought. Since I did really like the sound of the string set, I thought I would try again.

This time I thought I would try them out on my Boat Paddle, last time I tried them on my Compass Rose. The boat has that nifty pin bridge, so no nut slots to possibly cause an issue. Not that they broke at the nut on the CR anyway. They snapped somewhere at or past the saddle on the CR.

Well, so far so good, no issues! I have to say they do sound great on the BP as well. I really am liking these strings a lot. The copper infused Nylgut seems to embody the bright, clearer tone of carbon strings, nice volume and sustain as well. Yet they still have the sweet, warm, and rounder characteristics of nylon strings. Not to mention, the deep red color goes great with the Cocobolo back and sides.

They only thing I can think of that possibly caused an issue on the CR is the slotted bridge that they use. You just knot the string and slide it through the slot. Not that it should matter, no other strings have ever snapped on it. I checked the slot and it appears to be very smooth. I might try and slide a small file or sandpaper through it just to be sure though.

Anyway, I just wanted to give an update on my experience with these strings. I hope they really have corrected there issues, I would like to continue using them.

spookelele
09-08-2015, 10:20 AM
Did it break right at the knot? In the middle, or right where it turns the 90 degree coming out of the slot at the saddle?

I wonder if it's breaking because of a crushing force in the knot. If so, you might get around it by using a different kind of knot than a regular overhand, or possibly a bead.

Spectra/dyneema had that problem. Very strong tensile strength, but if you knot it, the crushing of the knot would weaken and break there.

I've never broken an Aquila red, but all my bridges are tie.

I wonder if something like a figure 8 loop knot would help. It puts 2 layers of string in the cinch, so there's less crushing.

83211

hammer40
09-08-2015, 11:00 AM
Did it break right at the knot? In the middle, or right where it turns the 90 degree coming out of the slot at the saddle?

I wonder if it's breaking because of a crushing force in the knot. If so, you might get around it by using a different kind of knot than a regular overhand, or possibly a bead.

Spectra/dyneema had that problem. Very strong tensile strength, but if you knot it, the crushing of the knot would weaken and break there.

I've never broken an Aquila red, but all my bridges are tie.

I wonder if something like a figure 8 loop knot would help. It puts 2 layers of string in the cinch, so there's less crushing.

83211

I can't say for sure where it broke, but it appeared to be before the knot. Like I mentioned though, I never had a string snap on the CR, so I'm inclined to think the bridge is not causing it, but then you never know. I can certainly try another knot the next time I try them on that uke. That may eliminate one thing anyway.

DownUpDave
09-08-2015, 11:56 AM
Thanks for the update. That was soooo like Mimmo of Aquila to do that. He is a quality individual and loves stringed instruments. Makes me want to give the reds a try. Glad things are working out for you so far.

Ukulele Eddie
09-08-2015, 05:03 PM
As a fan of the Red strings, I appreciate you giving them a second chance and sharing your experience.

Mivo
09-08-2015, 06:43 PM
Very cool of Aquila to provide you with a replacement set!

Inksplosive AL
09-09-2015, 05:39 AM
Sing praise for these reds and get nothing for the two low G's that snapped on a risa stick. But if you talk bad about them you get a free set.

Bitter me not at all I expect nothing different just getting it off my chest.

I hope you enjoy them I know I like them very much. Would have loved that low G on my Risa stick but without a mod it isn't going to happen. After blowing two I wasn't going to try the third I bought.

If nothing else they should have a warning that the low G may not work with a risa stick. The reentrant sets are fine.

hammer40
09-09-2015, 07:31 AM
Sing praise for these reds and get nothing for the two low G's that snapped on a risa stick. But if you talk bad about them you get a free set.

Bitter me not at all I expect nothing different just getting it off my chest.

I hope you enjoy them I know I like them very much. Would have loved that low G on my Risa stick but without a mod it isn't going to happen. After blowing two I wasn't going to try the third I bought.

If nothing else they should have a warning that the low G may not work with a risa stick. The reentrant sets are fine.

I don't believe I spoke "bad" about them. In fact, I believe I said that I liked them a lot, it was just that they snapped. I was just relaying my expierence with them and that there still seemed to be an issue with them breaking. I would imagine if you contacted him, he would replace your strings.

librainian
09-09-2015, 02:45 PM
I wouldn't speak to the "breakiness" of these strings. I haven't tried them.

Figuring out where exactly the break occurred can be a little tough because the string was stretched under tension when it broke. when the string tension is released as it breaks, you're going to have a long side and a short side. Each will contract differently because of the different lengths of string that were under tension on each side of the break. you can't just pull it back together and say it happened where they meet up. You can get a ballpark I suppose but it could be a fret width + / - to either side or more depending on the string. Maybe outer strings snag on a small fret edge. I slip the string over the fret ends myself on occasion. OR it might look close to the knot but it was actually over the saddle.

I think I would need a larger sample size of string set in question before forming a definite opinion about them. Trying them on other instruments is a good call.

70sSanO
09-12-2015, 10:40 AM
I am trying low G on one of my ukes and have decided to try a low G Aquila Red along with Worth CH for the other strings. I like it a lot more than a wound string. No boominess and it blends in quite nicely.

I attach the strings on this uke using a classical string knot. But I think it is important to minimize sharp edges, even when using a bead or a pin, for those bridges. I had an issue with a Worth A string breaking on one of my pinned ukes. I ended up smoothing out edges, even the pin edges, and so far so good.

John

SailorUke!
09-12-2015, 12:38 PM
I am trying a set of these now and really like the feel but they did change the sound a bit of my Uke (an OS6W Oscar Schmidt) especially on the low G. Now up the around the 12th fret it sounds muted and kinda dead with little sustain. The standard G from Aquilla rang out nicely and had some sustain. Truthfully, as a beginner I wouldn't have noticed but I am doing some of the UU improvements and spending more time up the neck.

As a note on the breaking thing, I went though all the recommended processes that Aquilla suggests and still the C string popped during dinner (making the whole family jump, then laugh) the night after being installed. It popped right near the nut so I suspect some sanding may be in order. That did provide a chance to put the old C back on and the sustain came back dramatically interestingly. I wasn't "sure" of my ears but there wasn't any way to doubt it afterwards.

I love how the reds feel on your fingers though and they seem to make the "tone" of the instrument more woody than it was with the nyguts. My wife absolutely loves the reds compared to anything else. As a question, does it make sense that these would affect different instruments different ways in sound quality? IE: Help sustain on one, while harming it on another? I hear really differing opinions on strings that at times seem to be opposites. Many reviews of reds seem to fall into this category.

70sSanO
09-12-2015, 01:51 PM
...Yes.

Tried them on 4 ukes. One was much better with them. One terrible. The other 2 were temporary. But, I do like using a low C and now low G in conjunction with other strings.

John

Xtradust
09-13-2015, 05:25 AM
I really like the Reds, but not on every uke. I usually put them on a uke that is too bright with the regular super nylguts. To warm it up. I use Worth browns the same way. But, I love that all Aquila strings set up so fast. Worth's seem to stretch a lot and for a long time. But, I have snapped a Red just recently and I don't think a nylgut string would have snapped in the same situation.

I think addressing each string is interesting. But I don't do it currently. If I could find a place that sold individual strings reasonably, I might buy a different brand or type string for G C E & A, to fix problems and improve the sound.

Luke El U
09-13-2015, 05:57 PM
I don't believe I spoke "bad" about them. In fact, I believe I said that I liked them a lot, it was just that they snapped. I was just relaying my expierence with them and that there still seemed to be an issue with them breaking. I would imagine if you contacted him, he would replace your strings.

Same here. Mimmo has stuck by his word. I'm now looking forward to trying the new Red wound low Gs I received today on my tenors. Thank you, Mimmo, for listening!

mimmo
09-13-2015, 09:42 PM
This is part of my job.
If i am the first to complain if I receive a bad service or a broken stuff from somebody, how I can deserve a different treatment to our customers?
The only problem, unfortunately,. is that I cannot have the control over all complaints.
ciao
Mimmo

SailorUke!
09-14-2015, 07:12 AM
...Yes.

Tried them on 4 ukes. One was much better with them. One terrible. The other 2 were temporary. But, I do like using a low C and now low G in conjunction with other strings.

John

Very interesting! I love the depths of this instrument that can be explored. Lots to happen with these 4 strings.

hammer40
09-14-2015, 08:21 AM
I really like the Reds, but not on every uke. I usually put them on a uke that is too bright with the regular super nylguts. To warm it up.

Interesting that you use the red series to warm up the sound of a bright uke. I find that they seem to brighten up the ukes I have put them on so far.

gvelasco
06-07-2016, 11:36 AM
I have a slotted bridge. Fender Koa Nohea Tenor. Red Aquilas always break at the knot inside the slot.

Down Up Dick
06-07-2016, 12:04 PM
I got tired of the red string breakage. I don't use them any more. I have one low A that I got for my sixer, but I don't have it any more.

:old:

M3Ukulele
06-08-2016, 01:04 PM
Mimmo did same for me. Replaced a set with new formula. I love Reds, they sound great. If you follow the stringing instruction and pre stretch and don't let the string ride the nut slot when bringing to pitch you can avoid a lot of issues. I think sometime a sharp nut edge or a shape edge on the tuner causes breaks. At any rate, great strings and excellent service from Aquila.

Also, like their Lava Series which are pretty tough strings, very high tension but sound very musical. Not for every ukulele but they are nice.

SoloRule
06-08-2016, 01:22 PM
RED is the either you love it or you hate it strings.
I have had my share of breaking the RED in low-G and A but I keep going back because it is the best sounding strings to my ears. Yes it feels like plastic but it holds the note like no other. I have the RED on my Fluke for the last months or so . It holds the tune well and no snapping strings yet . A UU member told me that's because the Fluke is plastic, it has no sharp edge.
I would love to use them on the high end ukes but I do have this fear of them breaking . If someone change the strings for me, I would have dressed all my ukes in RED.

Domiuke
06-08-2016, 08:32 PM
Yes me to I love the sound of those strings but definitely stopped to use them because of their fragility. Especially low G and A string.

pritch
06-12-2016, 04:00 PM
I've never broken an Aquila red, but all my bridges are tie.


I have reds on two tenors, one each high and low G and have had them on others. My experience and bridges are similar to yours.

OhioBelle
06-12-2016, 05:39 PM
I have a set of Reds on my pineapple (mostly because they look so great with the cocobolo wood.). I was extremely careful with them, having read reviews of their fragility. I tuned up slowly over several days, and always lifted the string up gently from the nut while tuning. Still snapped my G string!

I like their sound, but I won't buy them again.

ESP001
06-13-2016, 08:13 PM
Love the Reds. I have them on my Kamaka and, I just put them on a thrift store Lanikai. Brightens up inexpensive ukuleles. Cranks up my Kamaka like no others. They also look greaat. No breakage so far. I keep an extra set just in case, along with a regular Aquila set.

b00geyman
08-03-2016, 06:56 PM
I picked a pack of soprano reds from the post today. You guys got me worried now...

BearMakingNoises
08-04-2016, 12:32 AM
I've had a set on my Kamaka soprano for a few weeks now with no issues. By far the best sounding string for it I have found.

stevejfc
08-04-2016, 02:13 AM
I have the red low g on my boat paddle.............took forever to stay in tune, but has a lot of punch.

Mivo
08-04-2016, 02:23 AM
I currently have the Red Series strings on a Pono baritone, a KoAloha Opio concert, a KoAloha LN pineapple soprano, and a Barron River tenor. No snapped strings on any of them, great sound. I think on the Soprano I liked the Worth CMs better, but on the other three the Aquila Red Series strings gives me by far the best sound (I also like how they feel).

Osprey
08-04-2016, 03:49 AM
I put the Reds on my solid acacia tenor a few weeks ago I have had no problems so far and they sound great.

sillyrib
08-12-2016, 11:18 PM
I had reds on my martin tenor for a couple of months. I thought they looked very cool. I don't like the rough texture on them though, Kind of a sensory tactile issue. feels wrong. The sound on the mahogany tenor probably wasn't the right fit. The reds didn't have much brightness or highs. They may sound better on a koa instrument. I put martin strings on the tenor which helped balance the highs and lows better for me and also made it much louder.

ewe2
08-14-2016, 03:08 AM
I put a reentrant set of Reds on my little Kala soprano and then got a low unwound soprano G and swapped out the reentrant G for it. It's like a different uke now, huge resonance and body to the sound. Thinking of doing the same for my Kala concert now.

TjW
08-14-2016, 05:02 AM
I have a set of reentrant Reds on my concert. Didn't do anything special to put them on, and I can't claim any particular expertise.
They haven't broken.
I think they sound better than the Martin strings they replaced, but I'm unlikely to go into paroxisms of delight over string changes.

Nickie
08-14-2016, 12:59 PM
I hadn't been playing my Kala (solid mahogany) since I got my Cocobolo. So last night I put on a red lo G. I didn't break it (yet), and it's still stretching, of course, but it sounds very thuddy, almost dead sounding. It buzzes very easily, and this uke never buzzed before.
Will this improve as it settles in?

Mivo
08-14-2016, 02:08 PM
It probably buzzes because it's not set up for a thick low-g. Try a wound red low-G. :)

Nickie
08-14-2016, 02:09 PM
It probably buzzes because it's not set up for a thick low-g. Try a wound red low-G. :)

hmmm, the C string is thicker, and it doesn't buzz (Aquila)

Mivo
08-14-2016, 04:59 PM
The C string is always thicker, though. It's about how the saddle/nut is set up.

Nickie
08-14-2016, 05:14 PM
Okay, thanks Mivo. I'll take a closer look at it. My luthier is outta town.