View Full Version : Aquila Strings?

02-22-2010, 06:41 PM
I'm changing strings and I'm seeing more ukes with Aquila's. What's the deal? Do they sound better?...play easier?....feel better?...have better intonation?...that they are made of Nylgut?...

Thanks for your thoughts.

Ronnie Aloha
02-22-2010, 07:27 PM
Very generally speaking they are brighter than other strings. This is the reason you see them on many laminate ukes since they help bring out more volume from those ukes. However, some high end uke makers also like them (Kanile'a and Moore Bettah.) They do tend to cut and fray easier so are less durable than fluorocarbons or nylon. They also, to me, feel a bit rougher. Bottom line, you gotta try them out to see how YOUR uke plays with them and how YOU like the sound.

02-22-2010, 07:31 PM
Bottom line, you gotta try them out to see how YOUR uke plays with them and how YOU like the sound.

What he said.

02-22-2010, 07:48 PM
Well, I haven't changed my Aquilla strings for about a littleover a year now (:p). Like thejumpingflea mentioned in his videos, they do make a weird fingernail sound. Its like a little scrapping noise. It's really bothers the overall sound of your strums, and I think maybe because the strings are drying out. Just wating until it breaks! ;)

I had a friend who had a cheap Lanikai with new Aquilla strings, which made it sound AMAZING. For a 30 dollar ukulele, the strings really had a great bright volume to it.

Just try it on your uke and see. I can't speak for everyone.

02-22-2010, 07:53 PM
all my of current ukes have aquilas - what are some other string types that are as high quality, but provide an interesting, different sound?

02-22-2010, 07:55 PM
all my of current ukes have aquilas - what are some other string types that are as high quality, but provide an interesting, different sound?

Try Worth CM/BM's, D'addario's, or Savarez strings. GHS are 99% junk, trust me.

02-22-2010, 10:31 PM
I'm digging Aquilla at the moment. My cheap Soprano just came with... well cheap nylon strings, the type were the the middle two and top and bottom strings are the same gauge. Well I managed to get hold of a trial set of Bushman's new strings that they're develpoing and they were really good, really changed the sound of the uke... That was until I got my Kala Concert which came with Aquillas and my oh my, they are the best strings I've played in my limited experience and I can see me sticking to them! I hear Worths are up there with Aquillas too so I want to give them a go at some point but I would definately say give Aquilla's a try. Some people do say that they feel strange, like slightly rougher or grittier but I've never felt that personally but then I play guitar so I've got pretty rough fingers so maybe I don't feel it? It all comes down to personal preference I think but you can't rule anything out until you've tried it!

Wow, long winded answer or what!? But let us know how you get on!...

Ahnko Honu
02-22-2010, 10:47 PM
I put Aquilas on several of my laminates and they really make the cheaper 'ukuleles sing. MY Mainland pineapple came with Aquilas and I'm happy with the sound so I'll leave them on. I even have a set on my Kamaka pineapple and I like the loudness since I tend to sing loud. 8-) I personally like the feel of Aquilas. I also use KALA Reds, and several types of Worth strings. SOund is subjective so try a variety and stick with what you like. You may outgrow the sound and move on to other strings too. A whole nother type of fun trying different strings.

02-23-2010, 12:11 AM
They're very nice strings.
Some people swear by them. Others reckon they're overrated.

Try putting some on and see if you like.
I personally like them.

In the end, they're just another unique selection of strings, like any other. They just happen to be a bit more popular nowadays.

02-23-2010, 12:30 AM
Yeah, what most everyone has already said. Aquilas can make a cheaper laminate sound a lot better. They're clear loud and bright. When I first started playing I was much enamored of them and used them almost exclusively on every uke I got my hands on. They seemed to make every instrument sound its best.
Lately though I'd have to say my preferences and playing have changed over the last couple of years and with some experimentation with different string brands. My default string has become Worth Clears. I just pulled Aquilas off of a Mainland Red Cedar concert because I thought it made it sound kind of harsh and strident. YMMV.

My personal suggestion is to try a few different strings over time and see what works best for your ear and uke. Aquilas are a pretty good place to start since they have a rather distinctive tone. (with perhaps Ko'olau Golds on the other end with a very mellow tone) Strings will have a big impact on the sound of your instrument and are relatively inexpensive. It's worth it to experiment.

02-23-2010, 12:30 AM
I tried the Aquila Strings on my sprucetop concert ukulele and they didnt do a thing for me. I changed all of my strings to D'Addarios. You just have to try them out and see how you like them.

02-23-2010, 03:43 AM
I think for me, they are a bit thick, and if you want to do a low g tuning, they have the wound string, which I really don't like at all. I initially tried them out, but for me they don't feel right. On the other hand, my ukulele instructor has them on his Kamaka and he sounds great. I do think it depends on the instrument. None of my ukes use the same strings, and I have a particular type for each ukulele. (Kanile'a strung with Worth clear low g, Kamaka with Fremont Flourocarbon Blackline, and KoAloha with Worth Brown Light). After spending oodles of money, and gathering a shoebox sized container filled with ununsed strings in my trials, I ended up choosing those three. But ultimately, different strokes for different folks, and I hate to tell you, but you just have to keep trying until you find the right string for YOU.

02-23-2010, 03:51 AM
My 2 cents worth:

1st ly:
If on E-bay MGM offers ukes strung with Aquillas, that says a lot to me, in that he sees and handles a lot of ukes on a daily basis, and it would be in a customer's and his interest to NOT ship out a crappy sounding instrument. That sort of experience counts for a lot to me.
2nd ly:
Changing strings, allowing them to settle in, is quite hard (slow process) in that you also have to remember how the strings sounded that you have removed, against the new strings you have put on the instrument you are testing with.
3rd ly:
I have both Worth and Aquillas, and prefer Aquillas, but in the end it is you, and you are free to choose/try anything!

02-23-2010, 04:18 AM
i bought some d'addario pro arte tenor strings, thanks for the recs guys! i'll put them on my tenor when the aquilas wear out...

02-23-2010, 05:25 AM
As many have said the "best" string is purely subjective. I personally like the Aquila sound. I had used Ko'Lau Golds and thought they were great. Recently I played a uke with the Ko'Lau and the feel was off. The sound was great, but it just felt weird. So there is more to strings than sound.
Feel and looks are also important factors to how you feel about strings. Just like ukuleles and wood choices if we all liked the same thing there would be a real shortage.
The Aquilas seems to have the tension and feel I like. I tried some of the flouro-carbon strings and again while the sound was clear and sweet. My strumming hand was getting sore from the stiffer string.
Aguila's tend to be a little heavier guage which is where some of the increased volume comes from. They also s t r e a c h like crazy, being more resilient contributes to there sound as well. I have also been very happy with their life.

Juan Sapatos
02-23-2010, 08:17 AM
I have a fluke and a flea. I strung them both with Ko'Olau golds. They were a big improvement on the flea but on the fluke they seemed very high tension to me (although still an improvement on what seemed like maybe black Hilo strings they both came with). Big improvement on the sound of both ukes. I have now restrung the Fluke (tenor) with aquillas. They seem like a lower tension. Not sure if they've changed the sound appreciably. They do stretch a ton. The lower tension is important to me because of old wrist injuries. Overall I like them better. I have some Worth Browns to experiment with next.