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M3Ukulele
01-04-2017, 04:41 PM
Just found these strings on Aquila's website. They are Aquila's answer to flurocarbon strings. The Website does not say they are flurocarbon just Aquila's take on Fluor string. Brighter, fuller, etc. Anybody seen them for sale yet? Or anyone have chance to play them they. They look to be pretty New because this is the first I have seen about the rumoured new flurocarbon strings. I'm definitely going to give some a try.

Choirguy
01-04-2017, 04:56 PM
Didn't Kala recently announce some black strings as well? Hmmm....

Booli
01-04-2017, 10:11 PM
Just found these strings on Aquila's website. They are Aquila's answer to flurocarbon strings. The Website does not say they are flurocarbon just Aquila's take on Fluor string. Brighter, fuller, etc. Anybody seen them for sale yet? Or anyone have chance to play them they. They look to be pretty New because this is the first I have seen about the rumoured new flurocarbon strings. I'm definitely going to give some a try.

FTFY: link missing - http://aquilacorde.com/modern-instrument-sets/6628/carbonblack/?lang=en

Booli
01-04-2017, 10:17 PM
Didn't Kala recently announce some black strings as well? Hmmm....

Black package on these? https://kalabrand.com/collections/ukulele-strings/products/kala-fluorocarbon-ukulele-strings

Like NO info there, just FLUOROCARBON, might as well tell me it's 'chicken stuffings'

Color? NOPE. Gauges? NOPE. Tension? NOPE.

Makes me friggin' insane when no specs are published, both KALA and Aquila ask for money but with ZERO info other than price. Why do companies have to be SHAMED into giving details about their products?!?!?!?

What if I buy them (buying them blind, so yes, bad on me) and dont like them, do I get a refund? NOPE. and they get to KEEP my money.

It's FRAUD I tell you! DISHONESTY and FRAUD!!!!

/sarcasm (but with an element of truth)/ :confused:

Croaky Keith
01-04-2017, 11:14 PM
Color? NOPE. Gauges? NOPE. Tension? NOPE.

Makes me friggin' insane when no specs are published,...... Why do companies have to be SHAMED into giving details about their products?!?!?!?

What if I buy them (buying them blind, so yes, bad on me) and dont like them, do I get a refund? NOPE. and they get to KEEP my money.

It's FRAUD I tell you! DISHONESTY and FRAUD!!!!

/sarcasm (but with an element of truth)/ :confused:

Don't be in such a hurry - wait for someone else to buy/try them first! :p;)

Booli
01-04-2017, 11:16 PM
Don't be in such a hurry - wait for someone else to buy/try them first! :p;)

Aye yes, thanks Keith. My post was an attempt at 'mock outrage'. :)

Choirguy
01-05-2017, 12:44 AM
Well, when Booli gets his free K model, he can afford to buy all the strings (belong to us) and test/measure them all! :)

Booli
01-05-2017, 12:53 AM
Well, when Booli gets his free K model, he can afford to buy all the strings (belong to us) and test/measure them all! :)

LOL - Maybe I should setup a gofundme page and beg for donations? :bowdown:

Croaky Keith
01-05-2017, 01:01 AM
Hmm..........Just how many different sets of strings are there........ :rolleyes:

Booli
01-05-2017, 01:32 AM
Hmm..........Just how many different sets of strings are there........ :rolleyes:

There are about a dozen different mainstream string-making/string-packaging companies worldwide, and each might offer strings made from all kinds of different material (polymer, differential or homogenous) compositions:

For example -
1. nylon
2. recified nylon
3. bionylon
4. nylgut
5. nylgut blends
6. actual old-school cattle intestine (cat-gut)
7. fluorocarbon
8. fluorocarbon blends
9. silver-plated copper
10. aluminum-plated copper
11. chrome flatwound or steel flatwound
12. brass-plated copper

[and all of these wound strings can have any of 8 different types of cores and strands, ranging from silk threads, nylon, fluoro, and other composites] and the list goes on, etc..., with wound and unwound sets for ukulele, so you are possibly looking at a permutation of (12 x 12 x 2) different string sets available (or something like that - too early before coffee for me to do math).

Many folks cannot tell the difference (either the feel under the fingers or lack of hearing perception) or just dont care, and play whatever is:

a) cheapest
b) easily available
c) the set all their friends like
d) whatever set (Jake, James Hill, Kimo Hussey) [insert famous uke player here] plays or endorses

Some folks like me, enjoy the choice and variety and are looking for a specific sound, feel, amount of sustain or tension that is NOT the same as what everyone else plays.

To each his own, and YMMV.

String choice is very subjective. We can all be 'correct' in our preferences, but what you like, may be different from what I like, especially on different instruments.

Personally, I find that string tension varies greatly across even the same brand but even with different materials, and the tension and diameter (linear density) greatly effect the tone, sustain as well as intonation.

But like I said, for many folks they don't pay attention to these things for whatever, personal reasons.

I do not judge anyone, but I enjoy the choices available to me at this time. :)

PereBourik
01-05-2017, 02:56 AM
13. Brass wound over nylon strand
14. Aluminum wound over nylon strand
15. Nylon wound over nylon strings

As the saying goes, "One may debate anything but taste."

mimmo
01-05-2017, 05:04 AM
well, These carbonblack strings are very new. we had no time to write more in the website. The first informations were done just a week or so on before Christmas Then it was the Christmas time and all factory went closed for holiday. At present they are still not in distribuition. I can say just a few things: this is a blend of plastics with increased density. I cannot tell you more. they are a bit smoother than the red series; the gauges are a bit fuller than these ones just to reach the fluorocarbon traditional higher tensions,
The colour is a very very dark metallic grey that seem to be black but actually is a deep dark grey.
Bolli, would you to be the first in to try them ( no cost of course) ?
if you agree please send me a PM.
If you will be happy with the sample I will take you a lot of money in your next order... ah ah
take care
geetings from a VERY could Italy. Ah guys, this is NOT the son's Country...
Mimmo

Osprey
01-05-2017, 05:14 AM
Looking forward to trying these strings when they get into distribution.

Croaky Keith
01-05-2017, 05:25 AM
Bolli, would you to be the first in to try them ( no cost of course) ?
if you agree please send me a PM.
Now there's an offer you can't refuse. :)

Booli
01-05-2017, 06:00 AM
well, These carbonblack strings are very new. we had no time to write more in the website. The first informations were done just a week or so on before Christmas Then it was the Christmas time and all factory went closed for holiday. At present they are still not in distribuition. I can say just a few things: this is a blend of plastics with increased density. I cannot tell you more. they are a bit smoother than the red series; the gauges are a bit fuller than these ones just to reach the fluorocarbon traditional higher tensions,
The colour is a very very dark metallic grey that seem to be black but actually is a deep dark grey.
Bolli, would you to be the first in to try them ( no cost of course) ?
if you agree please send me a PM.
If you will be happy with the sample I will take you a lot of money in your next order... ah ah
take care
geetings from a VERY could Italy. Ah guys, this is NOT the son's Country...
Mimmo


Hi Mimmo,

Thank you for kind and generous offer. I have sent you a PM.

Mahalo,

Booli

Booli
01-05-2017, 06:00 AM
Now there's an offer you can't refuse. :)

Aye. Mimmo really does care about us here on UU. :)

mimmo
01-05-2017, 06:50 AM
great dude
ah. is still holiday here. no one want go to job. ah ah
well mondayu i will send you these strings
take care
mahalo
Mimmo

Booli
01-05-2017, 07:08 AM
great dude
ah. is still holiday here. no one want go to job. ah ah
well mondayu i will send you these strings
take care
mahalo
Mimmo

No worries. You are very generous and kind. Please check your PM.

Ciao - Booli

Booli
01-05-2017, 02:50 PM
I have received an email reply from Mimmo and sent him my address.

Mimmo has said he will send me a set of CarbonBlack strings for both tenor and concert scales.

I am eager to try them and very grateful for his kindness, which I never expected.

I will post a full review, with video and audio sound sample(s) recorded with some nice microphones.

I am a practitioner and believer in 'paying-it-forward', so hopefully my hands-on can benefit others and help them to decide if they too would like to try these CarbonBlack strings once available.

Kudos and huge mahalos to M3Ukulele for the eagle eye on Aquila's web site, and for making this thread, without which we'd all just be guessing and waiting (for some privileged dealers to get the strings for sale in the USA), yet my test results will be shared for the benefit of all great folks here on UU.

Stay Tuned! :)

M3Ukulele
01-05-2017, 03:16 PM
Booli, looking forward to your review. Mimmo has always been a great supporter iof the ukulele, this forum and his product.

plastuku
01-05-2017, 03:39 PM
Is there any word on an unwound low G for tenor?

bonesoup
01-05-2017, 11:14 PM
Very cool, Mimmo. :D Looking forward to your sound sample and first impressions, Booli.

hendulele
01-06-2017, 06:14 AM
Thank you, Mimmo. And Booli. And UU Universe.

I've been pleasantly surprised with how much I've enjoyed the Lava strings on my Fluke and my Vita (since I'm mainly a fluorocarbon guy), so these sound exciting!

jollyboy
01-06-2017, 06:18 AM
I'm really intrigued by these - and I'm really looking forward to Booli's review :)

ksiegel
01-06-2017, 06:18 PM
Aye. Mimmo really does care about us here on UU. :)

He really does. I tested the Aquila Reds quite a while ago, and liked them, even as some people were complaining about them, and how they were breaking - I still have that same set on my Kala Cedar Top Tenor, and I think it has been over 2 years.



-Kurt

Booli
01-13-2017, 09:10 AM
Hey folks,

Mimmo is definitely a man of his word.

He has sent me a concert set of the new CarbonBlack strings via 1-day UPS from Italy.

Overnight mail, from Mimmo, across the Atlantic Ocean. I feel special now :cool:.

They arrived today, and actually hand-delivered by UPS which was a surprise since they usually just leave parcels at the front door.

I literally just installed them on my concert Flea.

First impressions are very good.

I will be jamming on them and breaking them in over the next few days. Once broken in I will put up a video and sound sample sometime next week.

I wont comment on the details just yet, as it usually takes at least 10 hrs of cumulative string vibration for me to feel and hear that the string has finally settled 'home' and relaxed enough.

I will make a new thread for the write-up and video and link it here in a new post so everyone does not miss it.

Thanks again and Ciao to Mimmo of Aquila for his continued support and kindness to the ukulele community here on UU and elsewhere...

:) :rock: :music:

mimmo
01-13-2017, 09:22 PM
what the heck, so damn fast expedition dude
ah, if I sent something from my town, that is close to Venice, to Milan it take three days, even more
ah ah enjoy
mimmo

Booli
01-14-2017, 04:07 AM
what the heck, so damn fast expedition dude
ah, if I sent something from my town, that is close to Venice, to Milan it take three days, even more
ah ah enjoy
mimmo

Well, if Aquila in Italian = Eagle in English, maybe the strings had some help to 'fly' here? :)

Grazie Mille Mimmo :bowdown:

JackLuis
01-14-2017, 09:15 AM
I'm looking forward to the review Boolie. I just ordered a new Ohana Ceder top tenor and might just try these on it after a while, as I'm pretty sure I'll pull the Super Nylguts off it as soon as they get broken in. I really want to like Aquilas but I found fluorocarbons to be better sounding to me. Maybe the ceder will mellow them out?

I really like the Reds but haven't had any luck keeping them for more that a couple of weeks.

Booli
01-14-2017, 09:33 AM
I'm looking forward to the review Boolie. I just ordered a new Ohana Ceder top tenor and might just try these on it after a while, as I'm pretty sure I'll pull the Super Nylguts off it as soon as they get broken in. I really want to like Aquilas but I found fluorocarbons to be better sounding to me. Maybe the ceder will mellow them out?

I really like the Reds but haven't had any luck keeping them for more that a couple of weeks.

Thanks Jack.

Once I make a recording on the concert Flea, I plan to remove them and install them on the concert Fluke, which sounds quite different form the Flea in it's tone, and make a recording with the Fluke as well, and time-permitting and if the string ends by the tuners are not too worn, also install them on my all-solid mahogany concert Mainland ukulele, and record that as well. I will record playing the same songs on each instrument.

I am planning to also have a short talking part of the video, rather than a 1,000-word forum post, that way everything is together.

I am using my Flea and Fluke ukes because 'out-of-the-box' they each have near-perfect intonation and this will establish a good baseline without worry about intonation issues, whereas the Mainland has very good intonation, but varies somewhat with string gauge and string tension, but the Mainland being all-solid wood will hopefully satisfy the ears of the folks that dislike the tone of Flea and Fluke ukulele, as well as satisfy the purists that think anything other than all-solid wood is junk.

So this way it covers all bases. I do not own, nor have an other laminate concert uke to test with, since that niche is filled by the concert Fluke and concert Flea for me...

The recordings will be with a stereo A/B matched pair of studio condenser microphones, so the audio should be good enough for even the most eclectic listeners and render very high audio fidelity. :)

[edited to add] I love the FEEL of the SuperNylgut strings under the fingers, and just wish they had more sustain, and shorter than tenor, the C string seems a little too low tension and I often replace it with a Thomastik-Infeld CF27 chrome flatwound classical guitar string, which has almost zero string squeak and the tone balances very well with the SuperNylgut strings without being louder or too boomy. However, the TONE of the SuperNylgut strings is very sweet and full, with great note clarity to my ear.

JackLuis
01-14-2017, 09:40 AM
Cool!

I did a review of dGBE strings for Tenors recently but my mic is pretty cheap and may not have done the job. It sounded pretty good to me but I can't hear all that well, even with my new hearing aids.

OhioBelle
01-14-2017, 12:45 PM
Looking forward to this review, Booli!

Love the look and sound of Lavas on my Pono mango tenor, but may also like the look and sound of Aquila carbon blacks, as fluorocarbons are starting to emerge as a preference in both sound and feel.

So nice of Mimmo to send them to you so we can all hear!

M3Ukulele
01-14-2017, 12:49 PM
Strings by Mail replied to my email and they said they will stock the new strings as soon as shipment start.

Booli
01-17-2017, 01:10 PM
Strings by Mail replied to my email and they said they will stock the new strings as soon as shipment start.

That's good to know. I think these are going to become very popular and likely a bestseller.

I've had them on the concert Flea 4 days now and the tone has really sweetened from when first installed, like with most strings.

Due to a shipping mishap only the concert strings were sent initially, but as per email from Mimmo, I should receive also the soprano and tenor sets tomorrow. All of which will get a thorough testing that I will document with sound samples and my impressions in the video...

I don't want to spoil the video with details here, but I will say that I am very pleased with these new CarbonBlack strings.

Stay Tuned! :)

JackLuis
01-17-2017, 01:36 PM
I wonder if the Tenor set will be low G? My new Ohana Tk-50G is going to need a new set of strings soon. I'd be interested to hear how the new blacks will compare with Fremont Blacklines.

Booli
01-17-2017, 02:58 PM
I wonder if the Tenor set will be low G? My new Ohana Tk-50G is going to need a new set of strings soon. I'd be interested to hear how the new blacks will compare with Fremont Blacklines.

Not sure which Mimmo has sent yet as UPS has delivery scheduled for tomorrow.

This is just a guess, but if they follow the pattern with nearly ALL other Aquila strings, a low-G set is either going to have a wound string (like a classical guitar string) or a REDS string for the low-G as the Nylgut material is likely not dense enough and/or would have to be about 0.048-0.052" thick to get even close to enough tension in order to get useful intonation and that is a MASSIVELY thick string for an ukulele, which likely would require modification to most nut and saddle slots.

I've not had good luck with Fremont Blacklines on tenors as they always end up frayed, and eventually broken one or more strings in the set no matter which uke I've tried them on, so even though they can be nice, but for me they don't last, so I've given up on them and there are PLENTY of other choices of strings to take their place.

KommammoK
02-06-2017, 03:00 AM
I found this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2On9pgMX_o

M3Ukulele
02-06-2017, 04:52 AM
Good find. I like the clear crisp sound of each note finger picked. I also like the strummed sound and I'm a tenor guy. Fellow UU memeber Booli has been sent a set fro Mimmo and should be posting soprano, concert and tenor demos soon. I will buy three sets of tenor strings as soon as they start shipping. Booli any luck with technical difficulties.

Mxyzptik
02-06-2017, 03:51 PM
So are these the ones called the Aquila Lava series ? If so I just put a baritone GCEA set on my new Deering tenor banjo with a D'Addario wound guitar string for the low g. I'm liking them so far.

Booli
02-06-2017, 03:57 PM
So are these the ones called the Aquila Lava series ? If so I just put a baritone GCEA set on my new Deering tenor banjo with a D'Addario wound guitar string for the low g. I'm liking them so far.

No, the LAVA strings are a different series, these CarbonBlack are all new for 2017.

Sorry my demo is so late. I am working on it.

Mxyzptik
02-06-2017, 04:35 PM
Thanks Booli.

kafkapenguin
02-06-2017, 04:49 PM
Looking forward to this review as I am experimenting with strings.

M3Ukulele
02-11-2017, 02:12 PM
Booli, any luck with your thoughts on the new Aquila carbon black strings. I understand you have had technical issues and lots going on at home. How about your opinion on how they sound on a tenor after a week or too of setting in. Inquiring minds want to know. Ha ha. I will buy them as soon as String by Mail get them but always interested in an opinion from fellow UU member. Cheers

Booli
02-11-2017, 02:31 PM
Booli, any luck with your thoughts on the new Aquila carbon black strings. I understand you have had technical issues and lots going on at home. How about your opinion on how they sound on a tenor after a week or too of setting in. Inquiring minds want to know. Ha ha. I will buy them as soon as String by Mail get them but always interested in an opinion from fellow UU member. Cheers

Thanks for checking in brother. I am hoping to make some headway with the video tomorrow, if all goes well.

Just for now, I will say that I am VERY pleased with the tenor and concert sets. I too will likely be buying a whole batch of these strings when they are available. The sound and feel under the fingers are both very satisfying, and they seem to accentuate the best qualities of each instrument without taking anything away, so it's all upside.

On soprano, I have them installed on my Martin 0XK, which has a strange saddle compensation from the factory, and seems to be specific to the odd gauges of the Martin M600 strings. However, once I make the recording with the 0XK, I plan to move this set to another soprano and try them there and make a recording with that uke as well, for comparison.

Of course, nearly any soprano set has much lower string tension than the other scale lengths, and because of that, and my playing tenor most of the time, when playing the soprano one needs a slightly different and softer technique, so I need to be mindful of that for these videos....

However on the other soprano I plan to use, I currently have the Oasis Warm set on there and there is plenty of tension for a tenor player despite the shorter soprano scale, and I can really dig in and strum hard without the dynamic range sounding limited...

If I say any more right now I will spoil the video, but I think these strings will be very popular and manifest all the best attributes from both the Aquila RED and Aquila LAVA strings, and are like a combination of the best parts of those two string types, but blended into creating the CarbonBlack strings....

I will be working on the videos again tomorrow and will have something soon, and I'm truly sorry it's taken me so long to produce something worth sharing, so please just bear with me another few days...:)

M3Ukulele
02-11-2017, 05:25 PM
Thanks for the reply. As I like both Lava and Red and on my Opio tenor used to combine them, I am very excited and looking forward to you video review. Thanks form putting in the effort while we all wait with anticipation.

Recovering Bassist
02-12-2017, 03:25 AM
I will be working on the videos again tomorrow and will have something soon, and I'm truly sorry it's taken me so long to produce something worth sharing, so please just bear with me another few days...


You sir, are the master.....

97767

mimmo
02-12-2017, 03:31 AM
Thank you very much Booli. I too was with flu since 1 week ago. Concerning the Soprano set: do you think that the tension is too low? Maybe you can try to install the Concert one on the soprano uke and see if things woks better.
I know that fluorocarbon sets on almost all the brands has high tensions. The only exception i Martin, I think.
take care my brother
Mimmo

hendulele
02-12-2017, 04:43 AM
Booli, thanks for the heads-up on the sopranos. I've been using Seaguar fishing line for my 0XK and my Ohana (which has an identical bridge), so I may steer clear of these if the gauge is too large. I look forward to trying Carbonblacks on my other ukes, however. The Lavas and Super Nylguts have changed my mind about Aquilas vs M-series flurorocarbons (which the Seaguars are almost identical to). Thanks again!

Booli
02-12-2017, 05:25 AM
Booli, thanks for the heads-up on the sopranos. I've been using Seaguar fishing line for my 0XK and my Ohana (which has an identical bridge), so I may steer clear of these if the gauge is too large. I look forward to trying Carbonblacks on my other ukes, however. The Lavas and Super Nylguts have changed my mind about Aquilas vs M-series flurorocarbons (which the Seaguars are almost identical to). Thanks again!

TO BE PERFECTLY CLEAR: The gauges of the CarbonBlack strings compared to nearly ALL FLUORO strings are very close, i.e., they are VERY THIN compared to the Nylgut and SuperNylgut and ALL nylon strings, and as I said in comparison to the LAVA and REDs, the diameter of the CarbonBlack is sort of in-between these.

Having said that, string tension is determined by a factor of linear density (which manifests to us layman as how fat or thin the string is) and SCALE LENGTH, both of which proportionally determine tension AND intonation accuracy.

Aquila has found a special way to make the strings DENSER without being THICKER as evident so far in the REDS and in the new CarbonBlack, with a proprietary blend of composites known only to Mimmo and folks that work at AquilaCorde.

My reference to the Oasis Warms having MORE tension on a soprano is proportionally related to them being closer in density and gauges to the Worth and Living Water TENOR strings, and some old-fashioned-thinking folks have a death grip on the paradigm that says you cannot put 'tenor' strings on a soprano, or vice-versa, and after testing over 100 different sets of strings in my own hands on more than a dozen ukes, I can tell you that this thinking is obsolete dogma.

Such 'labels are more-or-less an oversimplification for the unwashed masses, so they know what strings to buy from looking at the packaging, rather than being FORCED to learn about the physics of string tension and how it related to sound and playability.

Most people don't care about such things as string tension or intonation, and just want to give the $5 for a new string pack and go on with their life, and this is fine for the majority of folks, but I enjoy geeking out on strings and it allows me to customize my ukulele experience far beyond the average joe, and these are things that make me happy - to have knowledge how to customize my experience to my own preferences.

Also, Seaguars has nearly 33 different gauges of fluoro fishing leader, in 3 different product lines, and if you only match the gauges to Worths or another known brand, you are just buying in bulk.

UU brothers OldePhart, BazMaz and Wolfwithane have tested and published comparative 'string sets' for the Seaguars many times here on UU as wel as their own blogs.

For me, the FUN of using something like Seaguars is to use NON-standard string gauges to CUSTOMIZE the sets, and NOT to just duplicate what is already sold in neat little packs with the words UKULELE on them.

Recently, I think it was UU brother JollyBoy that discovered you can buy singles of 3 meter fluoro classical strings made by Savarez from stringsbymail for a few dollars each, and by doing so, you can test out some custom gauges without committing to ~$200 on Amazon to buy 25 yd spools of every gauges of Seaguars from 0.016" up to 0.080" - which for me would also cover fifths tunings up to E5 and down to C2 on scale lengths from 25" down to 13" across a half-dozen instruments.

Going the Savarez route, you could test more than a dozen gauges of fluorocarbon strings, for about $65 an then once you find your favorites, go ahead and buy the 25 yd spools. I am not a fisherman and have no intentions of becoming one so buying the 25 yd spools for the initial testings would be a complete waste for me and I'm not rich, so I have to prioritize.

I've already spent a small fortune testing these 100 different sets of strings and that's all going to be put on the back burner for a while.

So enough typing here for me now -- I've got to get back to making the videos for all of you to see...:)

Booli
02-12-2017, 05:28 AM
Thank you very much Booli. I too was with flu since 1 week ago. Concerning the Soprano set: do you think that the tension is too low? Maybe you can try to install the Concert one on the soprano uke and see if things woks better.
I know that fluorocarbon sets on almost all the brands has high tensions. The only exception i Martin, I think.
take care my brother
Mimmo

No worries brother Mimmo-

I will also try concert set on soprano to confirm as requested and include this in the videos.

Hope you are feeling better too from the flu.

Sorry it's taking me so long to make the video now. Please do not give up hope.

Grazie mille,

Booli

Booli
02-12-2017, 05:44 AM
You sir, are the master.....

97767

LOL. Thanks for your patience and understanding. I can only apologize so many times before it becomes an echo chamber.

I too am distressed from things left incomplete, but too often life is chaotic and has specific plans to interfere with my best intentions, thus navigating these challenges is an ongoing lesson in persistence, tolerance and lots of deep breaths for me as well.

Likely nothing I can say will quell your angst, but please hang in there brother. :music:

gilles T
03-12-2017, 10:28 AM
Hello all,

Well I'm new to the forum and started up the low-g uke only a few months ago.
Out of curiosity, I ordered directly from Aquila a set of Carbon Black. I must say I am very impressed with these strings : my modest Kmise sounds twice louder and brighter than before (hard tension savarez alliance for guitar). Above all, they have a "singing" tone which lets you play with more dynamic contrasts, and sound good at any volume, be it low or high. You can strum quite hard without any bad buzzing or clicking, and react very well to vibrato and ornaments when played fingerstyle.
Just as a caveat : I tune my tenor a minor third below standard pitch (so the 1sr Sring is F#, instead of A). I prefer this low-sounding pitch and the hard tension of the carbon black is perfect for that.
Anyway, they are well worth testing.

Cheers,
Gilles

Surly-Mac
04-23-2017, 06:05 AM
No worries brother Mimmo-

I will also try concert set on soprano to confirm as requested and include this in the videos.

Hope you are feeling better too from the flu.

Sorry it's taking me so long to make the video now. Please do not give up hope.

Grazie mille,

Booli

I followed this thread with great interest.... is there a demo/review of the new strings⁉️

PhilUSAFRet
04-29-2017, 12:54 PM
and this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAQGaFTNtNo Love the sound from these clips. Considering them for the Ohana solid mahogany taropatch. Think I should go low g as well? Aquila Blacks or Fremont Squeekless/LaBella Pro low g Booli?


I found this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2On9pgMX_o

librainian
06-12-2017, 10:44 AM
Just and FYI that I bought 6 sets of the baritone 144u set from Strings and Beyond for a great price and I notice that the other sets are priced aggressively too from $3.89 to $4.49 per set. I haven't installed mine yet so I can't render an opinion but I thought I would stock up at that price.

http://www.stringsandbeyond.com/aquila-strings.html

They arrived promptly and I got good order updates. I will use them again.

M3Ukulele
06-14-2017, 09:11 AM
I finally got an order in ....after starting this thread and reading , listening to all the comments. I will post my comments after I get them which should be close to Fathers Day. I got my at Strings By Mail but thanks for the heads up about GREAT P{ricing on String and Beyond. If I like them, I'm going to buy at bunch,. That pricing is too good to pass up. I paid more but........

WCBarnes
06-15-2017, 02:48 PM
Thanks for the tip librainian! I just ordered several sets, including the new Aquila AGxAQs, for at least 1/2 the price I have seen them elsewhere.

Steve in Kent
06-15-2017, 08:29 PM
Just and FYI that I bought 6 sets of the baritone 144u set from Strings and Beyond for a great price and I notice that the other sets are priced aggressively too from $3.89 to $4.49 per set. I haven't installed mine yet so I can't render an opinion but I thought I would stock up at that price.

http://www.stringsandbeyond.com/aquila-strings.html

They arrived promptly and I got good order updates. I will use them again.

Wow, great prices, ordered 4 sets of the Tenor, total price 18.75, price per set in UK is around 10. So a saving of 21.25, thank you...

Geeky666
06-17-2017, 08:02 AM
Shucks, no 8-string sets yet.

M3Ukulele
06-18-2017, 12:39 PM
Finally got two sets in, happened to be Father's Day. On both sets the "A" string broke after pre stretch and wind on tuners. I was very careful with pressure points - nut, saddle and tuner holes. Strings broke between the nut and saddle.

Also had "C" string break in same manner. Could have been some wear across net but tried to not let it ride in the slot but rather across the bare nut.

Disappointed........sorry can't report sound sample. My bad luck?

I do have lots of experience using REDs so know procedure for proper stringing on Aquila Red? I was really looking forward to giving the Carbon Black a try.

dhbailey
06-20-2017, 12:15 AM
I had no problem installing the carbon blacks on my Kala tenor uke. I don't do a pre-stretch, preferring to let the strings stretch on their own once installed. I found that the carbon blacks settled in quickly, unlike the original fluorocarbons which came on the instrument and needed retuning every few minutes. I just wanted to reassure Campbell that MeUkulele's experience wasn't mine, and may well not be yours.

M3Ukulele
06-20-2017, 04:05 AM
Very true, however, I will say I'm not that happy to get two sets and have three strings break. Aquila had same issue with REDs in the beginning and I know how to install them successfully. Let us know your finding. I want to like them, the carbon black, and I fully support what Mimmo is doing pushing for new materials and strings. Maybe I just had back luck. Back to flurocarbon for now for me.

spookelele
06-20-2017, 06:33 AM
I wonder if carbon blacks are the same as red, but he's using black iron oxide instead of red iron oxide.

mimmo
06-20-2017, 08:12 AM
Hi guys,
there is a little difference between theb reds and these carbonblaks.
yes, the iron powder is different.

take care about the installation: see my video.
if they are installed on the peg hole too tight then there are a few turns around the peg and so the hole work like a knife and can cut the string (the hole has sharp edges). Permit to the string to have 5-6 turns almost so the tension spread over a whide surfice of the peg. M3Ukuleles can you send me an UU?? for replaces I mean. An uke player cannot stay unhappy.
ja
Mimmo

librainian
06-21-2017, 08:26 PM
I installed one baritone set so far with no breakage issues. I've been playing it quite a bit in the last week and found them very balanced with a smooth transition from the wounds to the trebles. I think I still prefer the Southcoast set I replaced but these compared favorably. The wounds are not as smooth and quiet. I have found them quite stable so far. They settled in quickly and are holding tune very well even with temperature swings we are getting this week in Portland.

Steve in Kent
06-21-2017, 11:55 PM
Put them on my KoAloha tenor with no breakage problem either, also I do not pre stretch and they stabilised very quickly indeed.

So far I am really liking them and have ordered some spare sets.

Steve in Kent
07-08-2017, 10:09 PM
Put them on my KoAloha tenor with no breakage problem either, also I do not pre stretch and they stabilised very quickly indeed.

So far I am really liking them and have ordered some spare sets.

Spoke too soon, just had the A string break at the nut, after about 3 months of use.

Never had a string break before.

Still really like them though, glad I had spares.

M3Ukulele
07-12-2017, 06:28 PM
Received string replacement from Aquila for the carbon black strings that broke. Just put a set on my custom tenor with zero fret. Strings went on great. Non prestretch needed. Kept winds around post to 3-4. String settled in fast. Hold tuning well in a couple of days but playable immediately with tuning adjustment after a song or two. They sound very good strummed or finger picked. Clear and articulate. Not too bright but nice tone. String tension is less than Lava which I liked. I like CB better. I think I like CB better than REDs. Definitely worth a try on some of your favourite ukuleles. Aquila are stand up people and Mimmo is great. I would recommend trying. I will buy more sets. Now my favourite Aquila product. I have a set Aldrine's Aquila strings next to try!

LowG
07-12-2017, 07:13 PM
I just bought some a couple days ago to replace my D'Addario fluorocarbon strings which had started to fray. I play a Kala KA-T tenor and use a low G string, as you might expect. I mostly use my ukulele like a miniature classical guitar, plucking the strings with my nails. I have nearly 20 years experience playing music, and I play my ukulele several hours a day, although I have only been playing the ukulele for a year. I only have experience with Aquila Nylgut and fluorocarbon strings. I stretched out the CarbonBlacks, and they stay in tune. I don't have a lot of knowledge with regard to strings, but I'll post a non-technical review here.

The strings had some interesting properties, but overall, I was very disappointed.

First I'll give a general description, then I'll summarize with a brief list of pros and cons

Aquila says the strings are their answer to fluorocarbon. I am not sure what that means; they feel different and play completely differently from fluorocarbon strings, although the CarbonBlacks do have good sustain like fluorocarbon. Most of my playing has been with fluorocarbon, and I'll focus on comparing these strings with fluorocarbon.

The strings have a soft, somewhat rubbery feel underneath my fingertips, and the low G string is wound. This is neither good nor bad, but the feeling is quite different from the hard plastic feel of fluorocarbon. I think most people would describe the tone as "warm." The pitch warbles more immediately after the strings are plucked, which is kind of nice, more guitar-like. The strings have a much lower tension than fluorocarbon strings, and feel denser. I think this is part of the reason why the CarbonBlacks allow me to play with a more even volume across the entire fretboard, which is a good thing. It is also easier to bend notes. However, it seems that the range in volume is less, and, more important, it is nearly impossible for me to play in tune, because if I apply any more than the slightest pressure to the strings, the pitch goes sharp. This is especially true higher up on the fretboard. The difference between a light touch and a heavy touch can be as much as a semitone. It sounds horrible. No guitar-family instrument will ever be completely in tune along the entire fretboard as long as the frets are straight, but for reasons I'm a bit too lazy to expound upon, compensating by bending, etc. is very difficult with these strings.

The expressiveness that is gained from evenness of volume across the fretboard and the ability to bend notes is obviated by the fact that in order to play notes at high volumes, it is necessary to press down harder on the strings to prevent the string from slipping out from under your fingers when plucking hard, which, as I noted above, throws the note off pitch.

A separate set of issues relates to the wound G string. I have the same problem with controlling the pitch as I mentioned above. The other problems I suppose aren't unique to this set of strings. The timbre and volume of the G string are different enough from the other strings that chords are dominated by the sound of the low G string. Plus, the harsh sound of my fingernail scraping against the winding is not nice.

Pros:
-Even tone across the fretboard
-Easy to bend notes
-Good sustain

Cons:

-Very unforgiving of changes in finger pressure
-Strings have inherently less range in volume
-Even if they did have greater range,
it is nearly impossible to play in tune at higher volumes
-scraping sound on the wound G string
-chords dominated by the sound of the G string

Neutral:

-Soft feel on the fingers
-Warm tone
-Low tension

I have tried to emphasize the good and bad points equally, but for me, the difficulty of controlling the pitch really overwhelms any of the other benefits of these strings, at least on my ukulele. I am sure that a more experienced player could keep their finger pressure at just the right amount to keep all the notes in tune, but he would still have to deal with the wound G string, and it is very difficult to control the pitch when fretting.

I ordered a new set of D'Addario fluorocarbons the day after the CarbonBlacks arrived.

mswiggins
07-13-2017, 03:34 AM
I am starting to see the same intonation issues with some Aquila Reds on a concert uke.
They sounded great at first, but now after a couple of months, the intonation is suffering if you dont apply just the right amount of pressue on the string.

Ziret
07-14-2017, 06:30 AM
I am starting to see the same intonation issues with some Aquila Reds on a concert uke.
They sounded great at first, but now after a couple of months, the intonation is suffering if you dont apply just the right amount of pressue on the string.

It's my understanding that a couple of months is about the lifetime of most strings if you play daily for any length of time. If they were OK before, you may just need new strings. If they don't last as long as other strings, and that's a problem for you, that's a different issue (durability and cost).

bighatbulls
07-19-2017, 11:19 AM
I am glad I found this thread. I just replaced my Aquila Nylgut strings on my Kala SMC with Carbon Blacks. I now have a rattle that wasn't was't there before. Due to the fact that the Carbon blacks are smaller gauge than the regular Nylgut, I imagine my strings are vibrating about in the nut. Is this my problem?

The Kala was purchased from Hawaiian Music Supply and had the HMS set up before it was shipped out. Its kept in a case with a humidifier, since I basically live in an irrigated desert.

M3Ukulele
07-19-2017, 11:31 AM
Carbon Black are definitely thinner strings. They have a nice feel and tension. I ran my set on Tenor for a week. Found a few issues ( on this particular tenor) with intonation at the 10-12 fret. I attribute it to gauge of strings. I had a set of the NEW AG x AQ Aldrine set of strings. They were much better on this particular tenor and now I'm really liking the AG x AQ set. They play great, feel good and have some warmth for strumming yet clarify when finger picked. I lay a finger pick, strum type of style. I like them. After trying, I looked for reviews and there is a nice Review that BAZ did. Strings are personal but I'd recommend to everyone if you haven't tried Carbon Black or AG x AQ then do so. I like AG x AQ better than the carbon black on my customer Moodyville tenor. Prior to this all I ever out on my Moodyville was fluorocarbon strings. Try these AG x AQ. YMMV

Ukulele Eddie
07-31-2017, 04:47 AM
I ordered some of these strings after hearing a sound sample on a uke with these that I thought was pretty special sounding. I put them on a TODA tenor tuned re-entrant Bb. They replaced Southcoast ML, which have been a go-to string set for me. And while they've only been on three days as I write this, I think they are very promising. Intonation is excellent and I love their tone. Tension and thickness are very suitable for my tastes as I have not yet liked higher tension or thicker strings.

Doug W
09-24-2017, 12:58 PM
My wife just picked up her Kamaka soprano and said "Wow, this uke sounds better than it used to!" I put on the Carbon Blacks a couple months ago and she is just getting around to playing it.

I know there has been breakage issues but the tone on this uke is great with the Carbon Blacks.

Ukulele Eddie
09-24-2017, 01:27 PM
I ordered some of these strings after hearing a sound sample on a uke with these that I thought was pretty special sounding. I put them on a TODA tenor tuned re-entrant Bb. They replaced Southcoast ML, which have been a go-to string set for me. And while they've only been on three days as I write this, I think they are very promising. Intonation is excellent and I love their tone. Tension and thickness are very suitable for my tastes as I have not yet liked higher tension or thicker strings.

I've now put these Carbonblacks on the TODA (re-entrant Bb), Collings UT3MSB (re-entrant Bb) and Blackbird Farallon (linear Bb). They all sound fantastic. I really, really like these strings. And as an added benefit, they settle pretty quickly vs. fluorocarbons.

librainian
09-25-2017, 05:47 PM
I'm still going strong with the bari set I put on my cordoba in July. I've been playing it quite a bit at backyard parties and rehearsals with no issues. These are still very stable and resistant to temperature fluctuations, which was a welcome surprise during our hot weather in August. If you play much baritone you know this can be a problem.

I haven't noticed any intonation problems at all and I tend to fret pretty hard when I get going. Maybe this is more noticeable with short scale and lower tension? The wounds are a bit noisier than Southcoast polished wounds tend to be but nowhere near as bad a D'Addario titaniums. I haven't tried a tenor set but for the price I have found them a good value and will stay on this uke for now. I still prefer worths or southcoast on my Mya Moe bari. Perhaps it is the different tone woods?

BearMakingNoises
10-08-2017, 08:48 PM
I have had these on my main Kamaka soprano for about two weeks now. It’s the first time I have been disappointed by Aquila. I find them to be very dull sounding and intonation is a mess. Also, my C string sounds like a dead thud with these strings... after 2 weeks:/ The other strings aren’t faring much better. I will swith back to Reds. Maybe they just need time to work out the issues with the Carbon Blacks but for now they are defintely a no go for me.

Mivo
10-09-2017, 01:48 AM
I have had these on my main Kamaka soprano for about two weeks now. It’s the first time I have been disappointed by Aquila. I find them to be very dull sounding and intonation is a mess. Also, my C string sounds like a dead thud with these strings... after 2 weeks:/ The other strings aren’t faring much better. I will swith back to Reds. Maybe they just need time to work out the issues with the Carbon Blacks but for now they are defintely a no go for me.

Mimo wrote that the Blacks and Reds are essentially the same strings, just in a different color. I have a pack of Blacks, but still string my ukes with Reds because I haven't felt the need to experiment. The Reds work great for me, on all my ukes (except the D tuned vintage soprano).

Ukulele Eddie
10-09-2017, 07:25 AM
Mimo wrote that the Blacks and Reds are essentially the same strings, just in a different color. I have a pack of Blacks, but still string my ukes with Reds because I haven't felt the need to experiment. The Reds work great for me, on all my ukes (except the D tuned vintage soprano).

I'm really surprised to read this. I have used Reds often but moved away from them because the formulation seems to be ever-changing. Nevertheless, the Carbonblacks, which I now have on three ukes feel very different, not only in texture but also diameter. Regardless, I have liked the Carbonblacks on 3 of the 4 instruments I tried them on. On the one I did not like them on (spruce/ebony), they dulled the higher register notes.

BearMakingNoises
10-09-2017, 01:25 PM
To me the tension feels very different, the string size is also a little different (Reds feel thicker), and the tactile feel of the strings are different. Also, I never had any trouble with the Reds (my absolute favorite strings) but these Blacks are a different beast. The knly similarity I really found was that they both have that papery feel... the Reds much more so that the Blacks.

mimmo
10-09-2017, 08:11 PM
Hi,
the Carbonblacks are made exactly like the reds of the last version (since 1 year almost). The only change concerne the colour.
The carbonblacks has its natural color gived by the iron powder while the reds has the red color added (in good percentage).
Gauges are the same.
I wonder what can cause a such diference; I think the red color change some behaviours. Hard to understand totally.
---
The Reds are the very first to use iron and so they had three 'generations' before to find out the final version. The first version has raf surface and a very red colour (hence the name); the second generation was a bit smoother and witha colour redish/brown but with some evident breackages. The third and last version are brown but less redish, stronger and smoother. The gauges and the iron quantity is exactly same on all the three generations.
Ciao
Mimmo

Sabantien
12-10-2017, 11:59 PM
Hi,
the Carbonblacks are made exactly like the reds of the last version (since 1 year almost). The only change concerne the colour.
The carbonblacks has its natural color gived by the iron powder while the reds has the red color added (in good percentage).
Gauges are the same.
I wonder what can cause a such diference; I think the red color change some behaviours. Hard to understand totally.
---
The Reds are the very first to use iron and so they had three 'generations' before to find out the final version. The first version has raf surface and a very red colour (hence the name); the second generation was a bit smoother and witha colour redish/brown but with some evident breackages. The third and last version are brown but less redish, stronger and smoother. The gauges and the iron quantity is exactly same on all the three generations.
Ciao
Mimmo


This answers a lot of questions!

I had the original reds on a ukulele for a long time. I liked the roughness, and I thought they sounded great. Well, as great as anything was going to sound on my $30 cheapie.

I need new strings on my Gretsch, and was considering the reds, but unlikely i'd end up with the original reds I liked (and I admit, I rather liked the colour on my black uke!) so these carbon blacks seem the ones to try.

Just ordered a set. Looking forward to trying them.

dsummers
12-11-2017, 01:19 AM
I liked the the original Reds also- loved the sound and the gritty feel.

mimmo
12-11-2017, 02:46 AM
guys,
guess why we switched to the smooth, polished ones?
almost 99% of guys hate to have raf surfaces.
So we were obliged to change.
Now, I am glad that some of you like the raf ones. Lol
Take care
Mimmo

Alytw
12-11-2017, 02:52 AM
I really liked the sound of the original reds as well- not so much the roughness, but they sounded great. The newer reds, then the blacks didn’t sound right on my ukes.

Mimmo, just curious why you changed the formulation? Was it because of the breakage? (I never had a problem with the original reds, but saw a lot of people did).

Adam

mimmo
12-11-2017, 04:56 AM
I have changed the formula just a little.
You see: the string breackage was the problem.
Mimmo

Inksplosive AL
12-11-2017, 06:03 AM
Great so the awesome papery feel of the reds I have used on my soprano for three years now are not the same as any new reds sold?

I had bought three low G strings at the time and snapped two on my Risa stick although the reentrant set is fine. I finally just put the third on my Kala SEM soprano my first low G acoustic and wow I'm in love.

Sad I waited so long now.

Alytw
12-11-2017, 06:39 AM
I have changed the formula just a little.
You see: the string breackage was the problem.
Mimmo

Thanks Mimmo, this makes sense. The new ones are really stretchy to me. They stretch more than the room on the tuning post for me.

Sabantien
12-14-2017, 09:36 PM
My carbon blacks arrived today. I like the colour, probably suits my uke better than the red would have.

I feel they still have a texture, but not like the original reds, they're quite smooth, but when I run my finger down a string it has the same whispy sound.

There's a nice sustain on my uke, and it feels perhaps a little louder and clearer than the strings I had on before, but they were also well due a change.

One thing I found when stringing up was they are super stretchy. I feel like I could have not left any slack when pulling through the tuners and with a stretch or two there'd have been plenty to wrap around. I anticipate it's going to be a while before they hold tune for any length of time.

But at this point, I'm quite happy with the purchase. Prefer to the nylgut I normally use.

Schroeder
05-20-2018, 09:56 PM
Well, I've had them on my ukulele for about a week, I love the sound, best strings ever, but opened the case this morning to find the C string broken about half and inch below the tuning gear, so no more carbon blacks for me.

Croaky Keith
05-21-2018, 01:25 AM
I had that trouble with one of the 2 sets of Red that I had - I heard it go whilst it was sitting in it's case. :(

Jerryc41
05-21-2018, 01:44 AM
FTFY: link missing - http://aquilacorde.com/modern-instrument-sets/6628/carbonblack/?lang=en

Thanks! Scientists have been looking for the missing link for years. :D

twokatmew
05-21-2018, 02:40 AM
Thanks! Scientists have been looking for the missing link for years. :D

Did you actually get that link to work? I got destination "Not Found."

Jerryc41
05-21-2018, 03:46 AM
Did you actually get that link to work? I got destination "Not Found."

Nope! I guess Aquila is working on it.

bariukish
05-21-2018, 04:20 AM
Finally got two sets in, happened to be Father's Day. On both sets the "A" string broke after pre stretch and wind on tuners. I was very careful with pressure points - nut, saddle and tuner holes. Strings broke between the nut and saddle.

Also had "C" string break in same manner. Could have been some wear across net but tried to not let it ride in the slot but rather across the bare nut.

Disappointed........sorry can't report sound sample. My bad luck?

I do have lots of experience using REDs so know procedure for proper stringing on Aquila Red? I was really looking forward to giving the Carbon Black a try.

My experience with the carbon blacks is similar. While tuning up the first set, the e string broke. I replaced it with one from the other set that I bought. The set sounded great for 2 days until the c string broke. I sent the company an e-mail suggesting they might want to check this out but I never received a reply. Over the years I've used several other brands on my tenor without any breakage and I am very careful when I change strings. It's a shame the carbon blacks were not more robust for me. I really liked the sound.

mimmo
05-21-2018, 07:21 PM
[QUOTE=bariukish;2066771]My experience with the carbon blacks is similar. While tuning up the first set, the e string broke. I replaced it with one from the other set that I bought. The set sounded great for 2 days until the c string broke. I sent the company an e-mail suggesting they might want to check this out but I never received a reply.

Hi guys, I have seen right now these further comments.
the carbon blaks are not in the market since January 2018 (Martin taken the place there) . I am sorry to hear that you has a such problems. Bariukish, you told that sent us a mail a no one answered you? I trust totally you however it sound strange: my collaborators MUST answer to people that place complains. And this take the first position over money, over orders. Maybe the mail went in the spam? who knows.... Please mail me there: aquila@aquilacorde.com. I will do my job. Mille grazie.

Doc_J
05-22-2018, 01:09 AM
Hi guys, I have seen right now these further comments.
the carbon blaks are not in the market since January 2018 (Martin taken the place there) . I am sorry to hear that you has a such problems. Bariukish, you told that sent us a mail a no one answered you? I trust totally you however it sound strange: my collaborators MUST answer to people that place complains. And this take the first position over money, over orders. Maybe the mail went in the spam? who knows.... Please mail me there: aquila@aquilacorde.com. I will do my job. Mille grazie.


So the Martin Ukulele Premium Strings are the same as the Aquila Carbon Black Strings, which are no longer sold.
https://www.martinguitar.com/strings/ukulele-premium/

I also had early (2 weeks) string failure from Aquila Carbon Blacks. Hope the Martin version is more robust.

mimmo
05-22-2018, 03:06 AM
martyn same of carbon blaks? no.
basically it is the same process but with a lot of improvements. I cannot tell there which they are.
facts speack louder that words: at present no complaints about breackages.
Ciao
Mimmo

mmfitzsimons
05-22-2018, 12:53 PM
Makes me friggin' insane when no specs are published, both KALA and Aquila ask for money but with ZERO info other than price.... What if I buy them (buying them blind, so yes, bad on me) and dont like them, do I get a refund? NOPE. and they get to KEEP my money.

Goodness, so much outrage over uke strings, lol... A cheeseburger costs just as much, and if you don't like the bun, you won't get your money back for that either. :)

In my case, I don't know how to divine from specs how a given set of strings will sound on a particular instrument anyway, especially when strings that sound great on one of my tenors sound lousy on another.

I think there's less science to it than alchemy; I've only figured out one way to determine how strings will sound on an uke. The trial and error and try again is what makes it fun for me. :)