PDA

View Full Version : Anyone tried the Aquila Sugar Strings?



Lapyang
02-22-2018, 04:24 AM
I am wondering about the Aquila Sugar Strings. Has any UU member tried it and can give a first hand experience?

Pirate Jim
02-22-2018, 06:37 AM
I've tried the soprano ones. Got a lovely sound to them - flourocarbon style but certainly held good sustain up the fretboard. My main bugbear was that they squeaked terribly on my picking fingers if I used pads rather than nails. This effect did lessen over time but didn't go away completely. I'm not planning to buy any more of them because of that - it was pretty noticeable. Bazmaz reviewed them and didn't mention this at all so it's clearly something weird about my skin!

mimmo
02-22-2018, 06:43 AM
put a bit of hand-cream on your fingers and it stop to disturb you
Take care
Mimmo

Pirate Jim
02-22-2018, 07:22 AM
put a bit of hand-cream on your fingers and it stop to disturb you
Take care
Mimmo

Cheers Mimmo, will give that a try!

vcs700s
02-22-2018, 08:41 AM
I have ordered 3 sets of Soprano strings which are in the mail right now.

I'll let you know what my opinion is. They should arrive tomorrow.

hendulele
02-25-2018, 03:56 PM
I just received a set of soprano and concert Aquila Sugar Strings from Stings By Mail (great service, as always!).

I'm not impressed. No reflection on Mimmo and his ever-innovative approach, but they don't work for me. Also, I'm partial to fluorocarbons. They work best for me, though they may not for you. It's all personal preference.

Back story: I bought a Kala Ebony soprano. It was equipped with Super Nylguts, which I generally dislike on most but not all of my ukes (more on that later). The G string was boomy and buzzy, as usual, and the entire set was muddy-sounding. So I tried a quieter set: D'Addario clear nylons. They were quieter, but also too thin-sounding. Not much dynamic range.

So I ordered and installed the Sugars. The range is better, no doubt. It's a better string for a resonant instrument than the nylons or the Super Nylguts. But the squeakiness of the strings was annoying. Simply sliding your finger up and down the neck produced an audible squeak, almost as loud as a steel string. And I didn't like the texture, either.

So I swapped them for fluorocarbons: Seaguar fishing line, to be precise. g 30#, C 60#, E 50#, A 40#. They're my go-to strings for soprano or concert, and work as well for me as Martins. The Kala immediately sounded crisper with better attack and NO boomy, buzzy sound.

I haven't installed the concerts on anything yet. I have a Makala concert and a Firefly concert, both with Super Nylguts, and those strings sound GREAT on those ukes. When it's time for a change (IOW, when I wear the current set out on the first uke), I'll give the Sugars another go. If I'm still not happy, I'll go back to Super Nylguts.

I'm not bashing these strings. I've learned that different ukes play better FOR ME with different strings. It's just that the Sugars didn't work for me on a relatively new uke. And I had high hopes. Oh well. YMMV.

And I still tip my cap to Mimmo for trying new things. I can tell you, fishing line would be awful on my Firefly.

EDW
02-25-2018, 04:56 PM
I guess it is a case of every instrument and person is different. I just installed a soprano set and my impression is VERY favorable so far. The sugar strings have a nice clarity like many fluorocarbon strings, but it seems that they are warmer and have more depth. The sound is nice and full and well balanced with good ring. As Baz noted in his review, the tone is full and rings pretty consistently up and down the fretboard. I did note some texture to the strings and found that from time to time they would have a bit of squeak, but not consistently. The very slight texture did not really bother me, although perhaps it may be preferable for some if the texture was more like the feel of the super nylgut. I’ll see how it goes after they have been on for a time, but my initial impression is that these are quite good and a nice addition to the many strings available today.

NoyBoy98
02-25-2018, 10:12 PM
I put these strings on my Kala KA-STG Tenor today, and did not like them.

They weren't as bright or punchy like the Nylgut strings I've been using, but worst of all, the SQUEAK. I wanted to love these strings because of the couple of favorable reviews I've seen on YouTube, but I couldn't get over the squeak. It sounds like crickets chirping when I run my fingers up and down the length of the string. Not really impressed with mimmo's solution to put hand cream on my fingers because I don't think strings should require them to be playable.

They were also a bit on the stiff side, and while they might be the same size, the gauges felt a little bigger than the Nylguts I normally use. Needless to say, I slapped the Nylguts back on. Will maybe give them a try another day and try the hand cream solution.

BigJackBrass
02-25-2018, 10:28 PM
Not really impressed with mimmo's solution to put hand cream on my fingers because I don't think strings should require them to be playable.
Think of it as a Tiny Tim tribute.

vcs700s
02-26-2018, 07:05 AM
I received three sets of the sugar strings last Friday. I decided to put a set on one of my new ukes, a Kala KA-FMSG. I purchased it from HMS. It has a solid spruce top, laminated spalted maple back and sides and is a soprano. It came with the Aquila Nylgut strings.

It sounded and played good out of the case and I had already been at a jam with it a couple days before the strings arrived. I had a jam scheduled for yesterday so I was interested to see how the Sugar's would compare.

Let it me said that for the most part I have Martin M600's and Living Water strings on my ukes. I was interested in the Sugar's because as I understand it they are somewhat of a mixture between the Nylgut and a fluorocarbon string. I can't remember what the percentage is of sugar they contain but I purchased them with an open mind.

Upon opening they look similar to a clear fluorocarbon string. They don't feel as thick as the Nylgut. The big difference I initially noticed after installing is that they don't stretch like the Nylgut. They were playing in tune by the end of Friday night. That would never happen with the Nylgut strings.

I am playing mostly soprano ukes now which are not known for their sustain. This was one of the reasons I wanted to try the Sugar strings as they were supposed to produce more sustain.

Having said all of this what is the verdict? They are SWEET! Sorry, I couldn't resist.

In all seriousness they sound fantastic! The sustain is better and the instruments, more on that later, all sound fuller, better volume, tone and sustain.

I had ordered three sets of strings so I put the other two on my other new ukes: a Kiwaya KTS-7 and Koaloha soprano pikake.

First the Kiwaya. I bought it used but it is like new. It came with Worth clears and sounded okay. I immediately put on Oasis brights which sounded better but not fantastic. After putting on the Sugar's all I have to say is, WOW! Awesome volume, tone and sustain coming from that uke.

Second the Koaloha. Koaloha sopranos send to be little cannons but after removing the stock strings and putting on the Sugar's this things is unbelievable. It has even more volume, tone and sustain. Excellent!

Honestly, the first time I noticed the squeak was not when playing but when running my fingers up and down the strings to stretch them. When, I play and slide, which I do a lot of, they don't squeak at all. Shouldn't that be expected though? They do have sugar in them and sugar tends to be a little tacky, if you know what I mean. For me, all it does is confirm they do indeed have sugar as part of their makeup.

All in all, I love these strings. I have ordered six more sets form Strings By Mail and will be converting my other ukes immediately.

I feel like they are a winner and a great value at only a few dollars per set. I highly recommend them.

Jim Hanks
02-26-2018, 07:29 AM
I had ordered three sets of strings so I put the other two on my other new ukes: a Kiwaya KTS-7 and Koaloha soprano pikake.
Sounds like it is time for a comparison video! :)

I find this discussion fascinating. Love 'em or hate 'em. Not much in-between. Guess I'm gonna have to try for myself. :rolleyes:

Ragtop232
02-26-2018, 07:44 AM
Great review Vic. I would also like to invite you to try the new Martin/Aquila collaboration, the Soprano M605, Concert M610 or M625 Tenor. I have found on my concerts these (M610) are truly a mix between fluorocarbon and nylgut strings. I've had them on now about 5 days and really like the sound. I will have to try the Aquila Sugar strings as well.

NoyBoy98
02-26-2018, 08:00 AM
Maybe I throw the sugars back on today and give them another chance.

Ukulele Eddie
02-26-2018, 08:11 AM
I tried a set of the new "Low G" Sugar strings on a new tenor and my initial reaction is they will be coming off quickly. Very quickly.

By way of comparison, my favorite strings of late are Oasis Brights, Southcoast Light Mediums (or whatever the latest name is) and Aquila Carbonblacks.

My thoughts on the new Sugar strings:

- The strings are hard and remind me by feel of D'Addario's which I do not like
- The non-wound strings squeak loudly in certain conditions
- They seem to respond better to a harder "attack"
- On a positive note, they settle pretty quickly

This tenor came with Carbonblacks. I am traveling a lot this week but will try to do a quick sound sample before I remove the Sugars so that I can compare them to Oasis Brights, which I plan to try next.

hendulele
02-26-2018, 08:32 AM
Nice review, Vic. As I said, they're probably not for me, but everyone's different. That's why it's wonderful to have so many choices out there.

EDW
02-26-2018, 09:05 AM
Maybe I throw the sugars back on today and give them another chance.

Eat some fried chicken before installing and I don't think you'll have any issue with your fingers squeaking. :drool:

NoyBoy98
02-26-2018, 10:57 AM
Eat some fried chicken before installing and I don't think you'll have any issue with your fingers squeaking. :drool:

LMAO! I would if I ate chicken, but that’s another topic lol.

So I put the strings back on and put a little lotion on, and the strings don’t squeak nearly as much. The squeak is still there, but not as prominent and low enough to let me enjoy the strings.

So I’ve been playing for the past two hours, and I’m starting to fall for these strings. Definitely a more “bell-like” tone, and they sustain very nicely. I’m practicing Zelda’s Lullaby and there’s a peak note on the 17th feet of the A string, and that note comes out a lot more clearly than with the Nylguts.

The strings have fallen into tune already but a little stiff for my liking. I’ll keep these strings on until I get my Fremont Blacklines in and try to make a comparison.

I hope Aquila is hearing this, but if you guys can make a thinner gauge sugar string and eliminate some of the squeak...$$$$$

mimmo
02-26-2018, 07:58 PM
yeah, I am there is silence ah ah
ok, thinnner gauges (just a bit, I image). I will do the job.
Squeak? well, I have tried a lot of solution, no way. The issue is in the polymer itshelf. However I have some other things to try.
what I can say is that the problem is on those that has dry fingers or washed them with soap and then they became dry. After a bit of playing the problem is much more less.
At present the only option is to use hand- cream on the fingers and/or on the strings. It work for a few days till the issue, with the use, became less. What to say... unfortunately nobody is perfect.. i am doing my best...... give to the strings one day to stabilize: the sound quality improve a lot after a day or so on. I think that, till other solution, it worth to use a bit of hand -cream because the sound is maarvelous. And not because they are aquila, because i feel that they are so. Mimmo

NoyBoy98
02-26-2018, 08:19 PM
yeah, I am there is silence ah ah
ok, thioner gauges (just a bit. I image). I will do the job.
Squeak? well, I have tried a lot of solution, no way. The issue is in the polymer itshelf. However I haave some other things to try.
what I can say is that the problem is on those that has dry fingers or has was them with soap and then dry. After a bit of playing the problem is much more less.
At present the only optiopn is to use hand cream on the fiongers and/or on the strinngs. It work for a few days till the problem, with the use, became less. What to say... unfortunately nobody is perfect.. i am doing my best...... give to the strinbgs one day to stabilize because the sound quality improve a lot after a day or so on. I think that, till other solution, it worth to use a bit of hand cream because the sound is maarvelous. And not because they are aquila, because i feel that they are so. Mimmo

That's understandable about the squeak. If it's in the polymer, then nothing you can do about it. I'll just moisturize lol. I do agree that the sound gets a lot better after some time. It's something magical really. I'll admit, I didn't give these strings a fair shot just because they were so different feeling. For those that are about to try the strings for the first time, give them some time. They tune up really fast and sound wonderful after broken in.

Mimmo, please let me know when those thinner gauge strings come out :)

mimmo
02-26-2018, 09:07 PM
yes, the next batch. maybe around summer.... this squeak is not moisture unfortunately. There are some ingredients such as some synthetic wax that, added in the recipe in very small quantity can fix the problem. I use them on the recent bass ukulele strings. Nothing is easy there!
Ciao
Mimmo

hammer40
02-27-2018, 02:56 AM
yeah, I am there is silence ah ah
ok, thinnner gauges (just a bit, I image). I will do the job.
Squeak? well, I have tried a lot of solution, no way. The issue is in the polymer itshelf. However I have some other things to try.
what I can say is that the problem is on those that has dry fingers or washed them with soap and then they became dry. After a bit of playing the problem is much more less.
At present the only option is to use hand- cream on the fingers and/or on the strings. It work for a few days till the issue, with the use, became less. What to say... unfortunately nobody is perfect.. i am doing my best...... give to the strings one day to stabilize: the sound quality improve a lot after a day or so on. I think that, till other solution, it worth to use a bit of hand -cream because the sound is maarvelous. And not because they are aquila, because i feel that they are so. Mimmo


I hope Aquila is hearing this, but if you guys can make a thinner gauge sugar string and eliminate some of the squeak...$$$$$

Wait, one person isn't happy with the string gauge and you're going to change it? What about those who bought these strings and are happy with them? If I have to wonder if everytime I buy your strings they may be different because somebody didn't like something...well, you can count me out as a customer. Changing the diameters will affect the tension and the sound. I expect consistency from a manufacturer, I can't be wondering what I will get each time I need a string change.

Why not just do what Savarez, D'Addario, Pyramid, to name a few, do then and offer a variety of individual string gauges? Then they can be tailored to your own individual wants or needs without compromising other customers. This is commonplace in the classical guitar world.

EDW
02-27-2018, 03:04 AM
yeah, I am there is silence ah ah
ok, thinnner gauges (just a bit, I image). I will do the job.
Squeak? well, I have tried a lot of solution, no way. The issue is in the polymer itshelf. However I have some other things to try.
what I can say is that the problem is on those that has dry fingers or washed them with soap and then they became dry. After a bit of playing the problem is much more less.
At present the only option is to use hand- cream on the fingers and/or on the strings. It work for a few days till the issue, with the use, became less. What to say... unfortunately nobody is perfect.. i am doing my best...... give to the strings one day to stabilize: the sound quality improve a lot after a day or so on. I think that, till other solution, it worth to use a bit of hand -cream because the sound is maarvelous. And not because they are aquila, because i feel that they are so. Mimmo

Great job on these strings. I think you are really onto something here and applaud your creativity in creating new products.

I think you are right about the squeak, as I initially did not have any issue, but then noticed it later in the day when I went back to play, which was right after I washed some dishes!

mimmo
02-27-2018, 03:11 AM
well, there is an explanation why we must do a bit thinner gauges. At present they have the same diameters of nylgut. But nylgut stretch a lot more than Sugar so there is a compensation to do because what is important is that, under tension they has the same gauges (density is same on both materials) I have already seen the problem before this post. So this change is necessary-
To speack polite, I have never seen a similar rude reaction agaist me before. I have not apreciate it: there are different ways to say the same thing, man.
mimmo

Jarmo_S
02-27-2018, 03:46 AM
Let me put my words somewhat. I will be interested to try these strings whose valuations only now come into our knowledge. Mimmo has been posting a really long time about these, but well they have not been available before a few days, except to only selected by mimmo's friends I guess.

For me it is I seldom change strings, so if the above somewhat sissy burst was to hammer40' reply, I sort of agree with hammer40?
As I seldom change my strings, certainly not to test something new, I sort of want to know that the strings then stay consistent. It has not maybe been told us clear enough that the strings are in evolutional phase where their thickness can be changed from patch to patch?

hammer40
02-27-2018, 04:22 AM
well, there is an explanation why we must do a bit thinner gauges. At present they have the same diameters of nylgut. But nylgut stretch a lot more than Sugar so there is a compensation to do because what is important is that, under tension they has the same gauges (density is same on both materials) I have already seen the problem before this post. So this change is necessary-
To speack polite, I have never seen a similar rude reaction agaist me before. I have not apreciate it: there are different ways to say the same thing, man.
mimmo

If this is directed toward me, then let me respond. I see nothing that can be characterised as rude. I was, as a customer, questioning your response to the singular mention of string gauges being to large. Your response was that you would change it in the next batch. You made no mention of intonation issues as the reason for the change. That would have been valuable information to have, and I would absolutely agree it is beneficial to correct a known issue (to you) with your product. As far as I know, these strings are still not a "beta" product but a production product, so I would expect consistency, that was my only point.

I was part of the demo process on these strings, and posted a very nice review of them...I liked them and still do...squeak and all. I also applaud your attempts at innovation and sharing it all with us here. So, no worries on my end Mimmo.

mimmo
02-27-2018, 04:27 AM
Well, In the far past I have done almost 4 changes on the nylgut strings gauges till to reach the final product in late 2011. Very few recognized these changes. We can do the job and reach out the best balance because we run the extruder plants and thus we can do everything in matter of gauges. The other factory are obviously more consistent than us because they have not the extruders: they buy the strings in bulks directly from the plastic monofilament producer. The plastic monofilament producer make the gauges that they have in the price list. Not possible to ask for different sizes. Hence the consistence of the product.
Instead we can do our best. These Sugar are itshelf the final version despite the fact that the gauges, in the future, will be done a bit thinner just to compensate the difference in elongation/stretchly that exist between nylgut and Sugar plastic. The goal is to reach out the same working tension.
Hammer 40 if you want I will send you a set with the new gauges and you will tell me your fell. Do you agree? Fells you free to acept o refuse
Mimmo

hammer40
02-27-2018, 04:35 AM
Well, i have done almost 4 changes on the nylgut strings gauges till to reach the final product in late 2011. Very few recognized these changes. We can do the job and reach out the best balance because we run the extruder plants and thus we can do everything in matter of gauges. The other factory are obviously more consistent than us because they have not the extruders: they buy the strings in bulks directly from the plastic monofilament producer. The plastic monofilament producer make the gauges that they have in the price list. Not possible to ask for different sizes. Hence the consistence of the product.
Instead we can do our best. These Sugar are itshelf the final version despite the fact that the gauges, in the future, will be done a bit thinner just to compensate the difference in elongation/stretchly that exist between nylgut and Sugar plastic. The goal is to reach out the same working tension.
Hammer 40 if you want I will send you a set with the new gauges and you will tell me your fell. Do you agree? felle you free to acept o refuse
Mimmo

Sure, I would be happy to help out again. I will send you a pm.

mimmo
02-27-2018, 04:48 AM
well done
thanks
M

NoyBoy98
02-27-2018, 04:51 AM
Mimmo, feel free to send a pack my way if you need an extra opinion ;)

EDW
02-27-2018, 05:38 AM
I will also be happy to offer input if needed. As I mentioned earlier, I think that these strings are really nice and offer something that is different than the other strings on the market.

mimmo
02-27-2018, 06:08 AM
well, so please both EDW and Hammer 40: please can you send me a mail with complete adress plus a phone? Hammer 40 I have lost your mail.
here:
mperuffo@aquilacorde.com
and please the instrument (soprano, concert, tenor)+
it is time to do the good job guys.
take care
Mimmo

NoyBoy98
02-27-2018, 10:04 AM
Dang, feeling like the kid who brought the ball to the game but didnít get picked on a team haha. All good!

EDW
02-27-2018, 02:33 PM
Drop Mimmo a line. He is a good guy and very interested in making/improving his product!

NoyBoy98
02-27-2018, 02:54 PM
I did right before your post lol. I do plan on getting a YouTube channel up to document my ukulele journey, so maybe I will then.

Ukulele Eddie
02-27-2018, 06:22 PM
I did a quick sound sample before swapping out the Sugar strings. Especially on the second song (Still Can't Say Goodbye), you can hear the finger squeaking. As I shared earlier in this thread, I did not care for these strings. I find them too hard for my liking, too noisy and felt the A string in particular responded best to a much harder attack than I typically use.

Let me add, I really appreciate Mimmo working hard to give us a lot of choices. I do like the Carbonblacks and have them on several instruments.

Sugar - Linear C
https://soundcloud.com/ukulele-eddie/yoshida-sugar-linear-c

After I removed the strings, I put on Oasis Brights. I let them settle for an hour or so and then recorded this quick sample:

Oasis Brights - Linear C
https://soundcloud.com/ukulele-eddie/joji-yoshida-oasis-brights

Both were recorded the same night, using an Apogee iMic straight into Garageband on my iPhone.

NoyBoy98
02-27-2018, 06:44 PM
I did a quick sound sample before swapping out the Sugar strings. Especially on the second song (Still Can't Say Goodbye), you can hear the finger squeaking. As I shared earlier in this thread, I did not care for these strings. I find them too hard for my liking, too noisy and felt the A string in particular responded best to a much harder attack than I typically use.

Let me add, I really appreciate Mimmo working hard to give us a lot of choices. I do like the Carbonblacks and have them on several instruments.

Sugar - Linear C
https://soundcloud.com/ukulele-eddie/yoshida-sugar-linear-c

After I removed the strings, I put on Oasis Brights. I let them settle for an hour or so and then recorded this quick sample:

Oasis Brights - Linear C
https://soundcloud.com/ukulele-eddie/joji-yoshida-oasis-brights

Both were recorded the same night, using an Apogee iMic straight into Garageband on my iPhone.

Thanks for the samples! I do prefer the sound of the Sugars over the Oasis Brights, but like you, am currently just having to deal with the squeak and hardness of the strings. I just got a pack of Fremont Blacks in today and will try to post a sound sample/comparison as well.

Jim Hanks
02-27-2018, 06:49 PM
Good comparison Eddie. Personally I like the tone of the sugars better than the brights, and I am using just about exclusively fluorocarbons. But I agree the squeaks are distracting in this sample.

Graham Greenbag
02-28-2018, 12:14 AM
well, there is an explanation why we must do a bit thinner gauges. At present they have the same diameters of nylgut. But nylgut stretch a lot more than Sugar so there is a compensation to do because what is important is that, under tension they has the same gauges (density is same on both materials) I have already seen the problem before this post. So this change is necessary-
To speack polite, I have never seen a similar rude reaction agaist me before. I have not apreciate it: there are different ways to say the same thing, man.
mimmo

Mimmo, this is my first comment on this thread and it is ment to be a help to you. I’ve read through the whole thread and nothing within it is ment in any nasty way, in fact people really appreaciate what you do and are trying to give you honest feedback in a reasonable way.

When translating things between languages - English/American and Italian in this case - there will always be some errors and some misunderstandings. Sometimes I struggle to fully understand what you write, but I’m pleased that you do write. Do you sometimes struggle to understand written English/American?

People here like you and they like your products, but language translation can be a problem. I hope that I have made my point in a nice and kind way, and I hope that it will help you.

mimmo
02-28-2018, 01:05 AM
Ciao Graham,
I have realized that, however thanks. I have invited him to test the samples and he is very happy to do the job. We are already in contact by mail so everything is ok.
I am curious what happen using a but thinner gauges. One more thing about tension: all the carbon strings, except those of Martin, has very high tension, surely higher than the Sugar strings. But one thing is the tension in Kg and another thing is the feel of tension under the fingers. So maybe the Sugar give the impression by feel to have a lot of tension...
many thanks!
Mimmo

Jarmo_S
02-28-2018, 01:12 AM
Mimmo, while I have not used those from sugar cane based strings, I would expect the sound be totally different with thinner strings and thus less tension. That is why I posted my reply in this thread.
While some people may prefer thinner strings, they maybe don't prefer the changed sound if you do that with Aquila?

mimmo
02-28-2018, 01:50 AM
well Jarmo, it is 20 years that I make and calculate strings so I have a bit of experience: dropping with the gauges (just a bit, not too much) do not change things how one can espect or suppose aconcerning the performances. You can recognize that the sound became a bit brighter and that the sustain became a bit longer but with less energy; generally speacking you can have a easier playing. With a thicker strings the sound is fuller, less sustain and more energy; 'generally speaking' is the rule here: some instrument want thicker strings, som other lighter gauges. So we give a try and see what happen there. In practice, if our sugar soprano 1st has .62 mm gauge and the concerto .65 I will do, for the concert a 63. Do your test: tune your ukulele a quarter of tone down so you can apreciate what happen about the tension.
Mimmo

Jarmo_S
02-28-2018, 02:10 AM
Thank you mimmo, liked your knowledgeable reply.
Except about the last suggestion to try lol.
My nylguts are stable and keep their tone, but it is the same as with nylons. Once you change to a different tension, the what is left in the tuner parts start acting against. And then a lots of more tuning for a few days. So I never experiment with lowering or raising my tuning.

I was really much surprised with Ukulele Eddie's post #35 in this thread, telling been put some Oasis Brights on, leaving for a few hours and able to produce his recording. Maybe fluorocarbons are different in this I don't know.

Edited the post number.

NoyBoy98
02-28-2018, 03:11 PM
https://youtu.be/u_cT3A7g0C0

Here's my comparison of Fremont Blackline vs Aquila Sugar. Please don't mind my playing. I've only been at this a few weeks, but I like to be helpful. Let me know what you think!

Jim Hanks
02-28-2018, 04:20 PM
Interesting. I can definitely hear the difference. I think I prefer the sugars here too. The Blacklines aren't bad but the sugars have more "character"

vcs700s
02-28-2018, 04:49 PM
Interesting. I can definitely hear the difference. I think I prefer the sugars here too. The Blacklines aren't bad but the sugars have more "character"

More clarity with the Sugar Strings. I like them!

Osprey
03-01-2018, 04:22 AM
I also think the Sugars sounded better. Hmm, might have to try a Baritone set.

WCBarnes
03-01-2018, 06:23 AM
I put these strings on a couple days ago and wasn't sure at first, but they are really growing on me. For the most part, the "squeak" has gone away. It was so bad at first that I almost took them straight off. They have also become more pliable/less stiff with play. I love the clarity and sustain. I have them on a concert, but am thinking these would be great to put on a soprano to get some extra sustain.

I love what Mimmo/Aquila are doing with strings. I think that these can be really great and am excited to hear that he already has plans for improvement.

EDW
03-08-2018, 12:17 PM
More clarity with the Sugar Strings. I like them!

The more I play these, the more I think they are like fluorocarbons on steroids. Lovely ring and clarity, plenty of definition and volume.

mikelz777
03-08-2018, 01:14 PM
Are the sugar strings noticeably harder than fluorocarbon strings?

NoyBoy98
03-08-2018, 01:58 PM
Are the sugar strings noticeably harder than fluorocarbon strings?

For me, yes, they feel harder and slightly thicker than the strings I’ve tried (Martin, D’addario, Fremont Black, Oasis).

EDW
03-08-2018, 02:29 PM
Are the sugar strings noticeably harder than fluorocarbon strings?

Hard to say. If they are it is certainly not bad. I find them very comfortable to play. I am using them on a soprano, so any effect may not be as noticeable as it might be on a larger instrument.

Ukulele Eddie
03-08-2018, 04:59 PM
Are the sugar strings noticeably harder than fluorocarbon strings?

Absolutely. They are harder. Personally, I donít like harder strings but some people prefer them.

NoyBoy98
03-08-2018, 05:43 PM
Absolutely. They are harder. Personally, I don’t like harder strings but some people prefer them.

Just curious, what strings do you find comfortable on a tenor? Right now I’m using Oasis warm, but while I love the tone, they’re still a little hard for me. Thinking of switching back to D’Addario. Experimented with concert strings but didn’t like the sound much.

Jim Hanks
03-08-2018, 06:56 PM
Just curious, what strings do you find comfortable on a tenor? Right now I’m using Oasis warm, but while I love the tone, they’re still a little hard for me. Thinking of switching back to D’Addario. Experimented with concert strings but didn’t like the sound much.
Try the Southcoast "soft" formula, SLMU-NW or SMU-NW depending on your tension and tuning preference. http://southcoastukes.com/uku-nw.htm

Ukulele Eddie
03-08-2018, 07:05 PM
Just curious, what strings do you find comfortable on a tenor? Right now Iím using Oasis warm, but while I love the tone, theyíre still a little hard for me. Thinking of switching back to DíAddario. Experimented with concert strings but didnít like the sound much.

The following are my current go-toís:

Oasis Brights
Southcoast Light Mediums or Mediums
Aquila Carbonblacks

Choirguy
03-10-2018, 11:38 AM
Strings by Mail got back to me today (I had e-mailed in January) as they just put the Sugar Strings in their system. I placed an order for Soprano, Concert, and Tenor strings today. A couple are back ordered, but that’s okay. I’m not in a hurry.

Mimmo, if you read this, is there a way to make a non-wound low set of Sugar strings? I might be weird about this, but I’m just not a fan of a wound string on a ukulele (I have a KoAloha with unwound Low G string from the factory, and Living Waters with a unwound low D on my cheap Lanikai Baritone—and yes, it was cheap—$35).

mimmo
03-11-2018, 09:49 PM
Ah! This is a great problem, man.
if I will do the unwound Sugar Low G a lot of people will be upset with me. I have done a certain production of single, spair sugar red low G that one, if want, can buy directly.
The Sugar Low G ar present uses wound strings.
I am very happy about these Sugar red low g: pratically all the 'haters' of the unwound low G that gived me an huge help testing the sample gave me a very positive rensponse. They work even for them
Mimmo

Choirguy
03-12-2018, 01:48 AM
Mimmo,

Is that red sugar unwound G available for purchase on the Aquila website?

mimmo
03-12-2018, 02:27 AM
yes,
they are available
send a mail because we have some troubles in the on line shop
Mimmo

mimmo
03-13-2018, 07:15 AM
Hey guys, good news
I have done the job for those that mailed me as tester for Sugar sets with less tension.
I will do the expedition tonmorrow morning our local italian time.
I am curious to hear by the tester what they think switching to lighter gauges.
despite that I would like to remember two things:

1) it is a mistake to think that the standard Sugar has more tension than the fluorocarbon strings. All the fluorocarbon strings, except the Martin ones, has much more tension. Please do not confond a feel of tension than the real tension in Kg: it is a very diffeerent concept. Fluorocarbon strings are thinner so they can give the feel that they has less tension but it is not true at all.
2) The density of the sugar plastic is same of nylgut so the standard gauges hare exactly the same and produce the same tension of our common supernylgut/new nylgut sets

well waiting your tests guys
Mimmo

hendulele
03-16-2018, 03:43 PM
OK, I gave these another shot, on a different uke, and I like them!

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?132047-Aquila-Sugar-Strings-A-reassessment&p=2049991#post2049991

NoyBoy98
03-16-2018, 05:51 PM
Got a set of the thinner guage strings from Mimmo today. Will put them on and compare to the current version.

Choirguy
03-17-2018, 01:04 PM
Just installed the tenor versions (Finally in stock at Strings By Mail) and installed them about an hour ago. They’re still settling, so I can’t say a whole lot. The squeak IS there, but I know that will disappear soon. I compared the thickness of each string to the Martin 620s I normally use, and these are definitely thicker...even visibly so...although we’re talking a fraction of a millimeter (I pulled out the digital caliper and the difference is .15mm to .20mm on each string)

That all said, they don’t feel “harder” than the Martins, and the pricing is close enough. I’m not sure I would want them any thinner. While I LOVE using the KIDS strings in my school, I’m not a fan of the feel of Super Nylgut (to each his/her/their own)...and it makes me happy to have a product that feels like the “smooth” fluorocarbon that I prefer.

I like supporting companies that support the community as well...I love the fact that Mimmo posts, reacts to suggestions, and provides insight into the business side of the process. This also goes for the other companies that interact with the community...including The Ukulele Site, Mim’s Ukes, and Mainland. Maybe that’s just “good business” in 2018...but it sure seems to go above and beyond the call of duty.

I still need to order a low G or two (unwound Sugar) and try them with Tenor Sugar strings on my Opio Sapele Tenor.

aremick
03-22-2018, 05:14 AM
How do they compare to the new Martin Premiums?

emarcano
04-01-2018, 04:41 PM
just another opinion:
I like the sound of Aquila sugar strings, bright and great sustain (Koa Pili Koko acacia long neck soprano) but I can't stand the squeakiness. It's very loud when I play classical/finger picking style. Unlike Aquila reds and carbonblacks, which are mostly just a feeling in the fingers, these actually feel smooth but squeak like crazy. It might not be a problem if you use only nails.

I'm not bothered by the squeaks of wound strings (long time guitar player), but it's counter intuitive to have squeakiness in clear strings. I've been playing them daily over a week, and the squeakiness won't go away.

Just expressing my disappointment. I hope Aquila will improve the formula in the future.

Eugenio

Lapyang
04-01-2018, 07:24 PM
just another opinion:
I like the sound of Aquila sugar strings, bright and great sustain (Koa Pili Koko acacia long neck soprano) but I can't stand the squeakiness. It's very loud when I play classical/finger picking style. Unlike Aquila reds and carbonblacks, which are mostly just a feeling in the fingers, these actually feel smooth but squeak like crazy. It might not be a problem if you use only nails.

I'm not bothered by the squeaks of wound strings (long time guitar player), but it's counter intuitive to have squeakiness in clear strings. I've been playing them daily over a week, and the squeakiness won't go away.

Just expressing my disappointment. I hope Aquila will improve the formula in the future.

Eugenio

Put a bit of hand lotion on your fingers and the squeak will disappear.

emarcano
04-03-2018, 08:31 AM
Put a bit of hand lotion on your fingers and the squeak will disappear.

Yes, I've done it. It's just an extra inconvenience. Thanks, anyway.

bazmaz
04-04-2018, 12:58 AM
I like them a lot. Take a look at...

http://www.gotaukulele.com/2017/11/aquila-sugar-ukulele-strings-test.html

OhioBelle
04-08-2018, 12:01 PM
Put them on my Larrivee concert this morning and I really like them! In fact, once they've finished settling, I think I will LOVE them.

This concert was new old stock, so the Titaniums that came on it may well have been on it since 2014! Not sure what Titaniums sound like brand new (I bought a pack but haven't installed). I wanted more sustain. These Sugars have it.

Right now I'm obsessed with Daniel Ward's Arpeggio Meditations. These Sugars seem perfect for the sound I'm seeking. Bright yet nuanced, with a bell-like sustain providing a continuum of sound from note to note. Today I am practicing Music Box Medley. That's what these strings evoke, a music box. I can close my eyes and see the little ballerina turning on her toes...

I've got some other strings to try on this uke - Carbonblacks, Martin 610s and Worth BM. I'm so happy with the Sugars, it may be a while before I do. :)

joakiml
06-21-2018, 05:55 AM
I have tried aquila sugar on two sopranos, one with a cheaper ABS plastic nut and one with a bone nut. I really like them and they are now my goto strings for sopranos, previously my favourite strings were worth clear. The sugars have a very lively sound all over the fretboard and a lot of sustain.

As others have mentioned, they squeak quite bad before they are broken in, especially if you have dry hands/fingers. However, the squeak seems to be less once the strings are broken in.

Withers my uk with a plastic nut, the strings seem to create a lot of friction in the nut which is evident when tuning. The string seems to get "stuck" in the nut and over tighten or under tighten a bit making it difficult to tune. I have not experienced this with the duke using a bone nut though.

Cheers,
Kimmy

calde
06-21-2018, 06:04 AM
Hi Yes,

The squeak goes away after a few weeks. Still not as good as pure fluorocarbon. I think

EDW
06-21-2018, 06:36 AM
Hi Yes,

The squeak goes away after a few weeks. Still not as good as pure fluorocarbon. I think

Hard to say, as everyone has different tastes and some instruments seem to do better with different strings. I have had a set of the sugar strings on for a few months. The sound has a lot of ring and nice crispness and clarity, but is possibly a little fatter or has a little more depth than some fluorocarbons that I have tried. While I would be interested in comparing them to a set of fluorocarbons, at the moment they are working pretty well and I am too lazy to restring.

Uke Don
06-21-2018, 07:57 AM
Now that this thread has been revived, I am wondering if Mimmo has fixed the squeak issue. He mentioned adding some kind of wax to the mixture. Maybe he will chime in here. I like the strings, but the squeaking drives me nuts.

Lapyang
06-21-2018, 10:03 AM
Since I started this post, I have put 4 sets on my ukes. It gives a lot of volume and clarity. I mostly use it on my uke that has lower volume, the sugar string really boost it up. However, I found the volume range tends to stay up there and it takes a lot more finesse to play it soft.
As for the squeakiness, it decreases over time. Putting lotions on the fingers solves the problem.

maxmax
06-21-2018, 01:28 PM
Lol, you guys werenít kidding about the squeakiness! Just tried a set for the first time and itís crazy! Trying to hear past the squeaks, I think they are pretty nice. A little on the floppy side for a soprano, but Iíve been playing the Nyltechs for a while, so I might just need an adjustment period.

EDW
06-21-2018, 01:37 PM
I found initially as some mentioned that if my fingers were dry in the winter or if I had just washed my hands it was more prominent. That seems to have diminished as now they really no longer squeak for me.

Choirguy
06-21-2018, 01:44 PM
I like the Sugar Strings, and I wish that companies would ship with them versus the Super Nylgut.

Mivo
06-21-2018, 04:16 PM
For those who use the DGBE baritone version of the Sugar strings, is the B string thicker than the B string in the Reds set? Or in the Martin set? It's hard to find information on gauges to make comparisons easier without buying blindly. (I only found one source for Sugar strings in Germany, and they don't have the baritone version yet.)

neo1022
07-13-2018, 07:10 AM
Just got a set of Sugars through Elderly, and slapped them on my Farallon (which is both very responsive to string changes, and quite picky). After playing them a lot over the past three days, I think they're the best strings I've used to date — at least for this instrument.

I'd describe the sound as a nice, clear, chimney tone with excellent sustain. And like the Carbon Blacks, a distinct "plunkiness" to the initial attack, which I quite like. Most important for my purposes, the unwound C eliminates the boominess typical of that sting, and balances it nicely with the rest of the strings. Sounds great strummed, but really excels with delicate fingerstyle playing. No detectable squeak on the set I'm using, but it could be my fingers...

My only complaint is the thickness and harness of the strings. The C and E are noticeably thicker than most anything I've used before, but they fit in the nut (although the C seems to bind up a bit, making tuning a bit of a hassle). Had to lube the slot, which helped. Although I can't be sure, they seem thicker, denser, and harder than the Carbon Blacks, which has been a bit of a trial for the fingers. Also pleased to report that they haven't broken yet -- a problem I often have with the Carbon Blacks. Although I loved the CBs, the constant breakage was a deal breaker, pun intended.

So, overall very pleased. Aquila has won me back with these. Best tone yet on my Farallon, for my style of playing and desired sound profile. Would definitely like to try the new smaller gauge sugars when they become available...

Kenn2018
07-13-2018, 02:53 PM
Disclaimer: I am not a big fan of nylon or wound strings. It's a personal thing. The, for want of a better word, brittle "whang" of them bugs me. Bothers my ears. And I find the thickness and hardness bothers my fingers after playing for a while. My favorite strings for my tenors are Living Waters Low-G fluorocarbon and Worth Low-G Browns. (Not the hard ones.)

That being said, I recently bought an inexpensive tenor resonator ($220 USD) and an inexpensive tenor banjolele ($240). They both came with thick white nylon strings. That I thought sounded a little dead. I replaced them with the sugar strings and voila! They responded very well. Clearer, more resonant and a pretty nice tone. To me they sound like a combination nylon/fluorocarbon. The sugar seems to damp down the annoying sharp harshness of nylons and mixes it with a somewhat softer brightness of fluoros to achieve a nicer, yet still crisp attack and overall sound. Quite loud as well. Louder than the strings that the ukes came with.

There is a pronounced squeak when I slide my fingers up and down the strings. Hand lotion helped a small amount. I can feel a texture on the string that is like a fine striation left by a very fine sandpaper or steel wool on a metal surface. It's smooth, but present.

Now, these aren't high-end instruments, and there is an element of metal resonator and synthetic Remo head to consider, but I think the sugars are just what these instruments needed. Bright, responsive and sound much better at low volumes as well as when played hard. I am quite interested in a Low-G non-wound version. I'll stick with the high-g for now.

I'm not giving up my Living Waters or Worths anytime soon on my other ukuleles. But these are great on the resonator & banjolele.

EDW
07-13-2018, 03:25 PM
........I'm not giving up my Living Waters or Worths anytime soon on my other ukuleles. But these are great on the resonator & banjolele.

Nice review. FWIW- when it is time to change strings, you might try a set of Sugar strings on one of your regular ukes, just in the name of science!

Xtradust
07-15-2018, 09:50 AM
I LOVE Worth strings. Browns on a loud uke to mellow it out and Clears on a quiet uke to help it project.

I have the new sugar strings on a Koaloha concert and I have another with Worth Clears. I've been playing everyday for 5 years.

But, if I close my eyes and switch between them, I cannot tell the difference in sound. Which I feel is a pretty big deal. I do believe that the sugar strings could be a tiny bit thicker.

If I put the white Aquila strings on one of the two, I would definitely be able to tell the difference.

Just my 2 cents. :)

Kenn2018
07-18-2018, 07:41 PM
EDW, I put Sugars on my Ohana TK-50 GS Rosewood/Cedar Tenor. A definate improvement over the Aquila Nylgut & D'Adarrio Nylon strings. Very much an amalgam of Nylgut & Fluorocarbon sound. I like them, but still prefer the Browns and Living Waters. I'll leave them on for a while. I don't play the Ohana very often. But when I do, I'll work them and see if they grow on me.

mineymole
07-24-2018, 04:41 AM
I just tried these on a couple of my ukes and, honestly, I couldn't stand them because of the squeaking.

I've been trying lots of different strings... love the Martins, love the Worth Clear and Browns and the Living Waters are nice on some. But these Sugar ones... so thick, so squeaky.... what am i missing?

Choirguy
07-24-2018, 06:13 AM
I just tried these on a couple of my ukes and, honestly, I couldn't stand them because of the squeaking.

I've been trying lots of different strings... love the Martins, love the Worth Clear and Browns and the Living Waters are nice on some. But these Sugar ones... so thick, so squeaky.... what am i missing?

The squeaking lessens with time and if you use some hand lotion; but what you are missing is a good compromise for people that like the dimensions of Super Nylgut but the sound of fluorocarbon. Most people say they are bright and loud, and I would personally rather see these on ukuleles as stock strings versus the Nylgut, by that’s just me.

EDW
07-24-2018, 09:42 AM
I just tried these on a couple of my ukes and, honestly, I couldn't stand them because of the squeaking.

I've been trying lots of different strings... love the Martins, love the Worth Clear and Browns and the Living Waters are nice on some. But these Sugar ones... so thick, so squeaky.... what am i missing?

I have played them for a while and at this point mine do not squeak. Where some fluorocarbon strings are crisp but can sound a little thin, I find that these produce a rich, warm and balanced sound, but still have a lot of sparkle and brilliance. Who knows, down the road I may switch them out, but right now they seem to be a good mix.

strat4me
11-24-2018, 11:54 PM
My Pono Pro Classic got no love for over a year. Why? I hated the tinny sound. Today I switched over from the Fremont Blacklines I had on it to Aquila Sugars and man oh man - WHAT A DIFFERENCE! Loud, chimey bell like tone, shimmers, vibrato and slides are loud, harmonics. Just a whole new uke - and I didn't have to buy a new ukelele.

A shout-out to Mimmo for all he does for us. For me, on this ukulele, they are FANTASTIC.

113768

Lapyang
11-25-2018, 04:11 AM
My Pono Pro Classic got no love for over a year. Why? I hated the tinny sound. Today I switched over from the Fremont Blacklines I had on it to Aquila Sugars and man oh man - WHAT A DIFFERENCE! Loud, chimey bell like tone, shimmers, vibrato and slides are loud, harmonics. Just a whole new uke - and I didn't have to buy a new ukelele.

A shout-out to Mimmo for all he does for us. For me, on this ukulele, they are FANTASTIC.

113768

I agree. Aquila Sugar has saved a few of my Ukes from being sold.

Photodan
12-28-2018, 10:12 AM
I've had a set on my Martin tenor for a few weeks now. I don't have any squeak anymore but had a bit initially. I really like them, nice full sound and loud. They do feel thicker than the Martin's I'm used to but they are very nice. If you try them, keep them on for a week or two at least to give them a fair shot.

jkib
12-29-2018, 04:45 PM
I've had a set on my tenor a few weeks now. I like them quite a bit with one exception...the C string is a bit boomy for my liking. I may try a Thomastik-Infeld CF27 to see if that tones the C string down some.

glennerd
02-19-2019, 08:36 PM
I had ordered some a few months ago and decided to put them on my new Ohana SK-38 immediately - the nylguts are a bad match with that uke. The squeaking was super annoying at first but just a little hand cream and the squeak pretty much vanished right away. I’m a big fan of fluorocarbon and probably would have got some Martin M600s otherwise. I haven’t quite figured out what’s unique about the sound yet, but it seems a little more complex or richer than fluoro. So far I’m liking it.

jkib
02-20-2019, 06:25 AM
put a bit of hand-cream on your fingers and it stop to disturb you
Take care
Mimmo

I never noticed the squeak that everyone was complaining about until I played one evening when my hands were very dry. It was quite noticeable. So I agree with Mimmo, keep the hands moisturized and the sugars are a nice set of strings.

Sharpshin
02-20-2019, 05:46 PM
I tried the sugar strings on a Timms soprano Love the idea of them and they are much better than nylgut to my ear. The squeak didn't really bother me, and the strings feel good. They would be great as stock strings. But I find I prefer the sound and timber of fluorocarbon. Worth Browns, Clears and Martin 600s for me. I have not tried a LOT of strings, so likely missing some good ones, but I hate stringing and stretching for weeks and am loathe to change all that often.

bellgamin
02-20-2019, 07:06 PM
I put sugars on my oversized Pono baritone, & tuned it to A (E A C# F#). GRRREAT!!! The wound #3 & #4 tend to be very slightly louder than the trebles so I give the amp a teeny treble boost when playing electronically. Another benefit -- if these strings ever need replacement, I plan to use the old ones to sweeten my coffee.

Strumdaddy
04-04-2019, 11:42 PM
Can anyone tell me if these strings actually taste sweet.
Have a lick and let me know.

Lapyang
04-05-2019, 12:29 PM
Can anyone tell me if these strings actually taste sweet.
Have a lick and let me know.

I am ashamed to admit: I did put the extra cut off part into my mouth and chewed them. Unfortunately, no taste to it.

Ukecaster
04-05-2019, 12:49 PM
I am ashamed to admit: I did put the extra cut off part into my mouth and chewed them. Unfortunately, no taste to it.

...but it left you really strung out...:rolleyes:

Strumdaddy
04-05-2019, 02:32 PM
I am ashamed to admit: I did put the extra cut off part into my mouth and chewed them. Unfortunately, no taste to it.

No shame there - it's the first thing I would do.
Thanks for the confession - I was curious.