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View Full Version : Not using Aquilas? Solid Mohogany Uke



MichaelAngelo
03-06-2010, 11:21 AM
Hello once more guys!

Every once and a while I've noticed people that don't like the stereotypical gold-standard Aquila strings. I was wondering a) why and b) what strings should I use on my new in-transit LSM-T solid mohogany?

You guys are great thanks for all the help so far!

Michael

Melissa82
03-06-2010, 11:40 AM
I use Worths Clears. I like them because they are thin and soft. They don't require a lot of effort to fret. I tried the pro artes and the problem with them was that they were a high tension strings. They were just too thick and required too much effort on my part to fret with my little hands. I find that Worths Clears have a brightness of aquillas but not as thick and much softer.

pdxuke
03-06-2010, 12:14 PM
Aquilas also tend to bring out the "brightness" of an instrument. Sometimes that's good. I have a Jenny that is "too bright" for my ears, and has Aquilas. I'm going to try and "mellow" it out with Worths (browns?)

I find it fascinating how much difference a set of strings can be. Around here GHS strings are $4 and Aquilas $8 (for example), but what a difference those four bucks make!

raecarter
03-06-2010, 12:37 PM
for me there is only one option. worth browns! they give a wonderful mellow sound. feel nice and look good with mahogany ukes

Banjo
03-06-2010, 12:38 PM
My solid mahogany concert uke came from MGM with Aquila strings. I use Aquilas on my other laminate mahogany uke and like them. However, they sounded pretty bad to my ear on the solid mahogany. They had a good punchy sound on the C & E strings which I like, but the A string was very weak. It felt to me like the Aquilas were just too low tension to get the sound I wanted out of that A string. I recently got some Worth clear high tension strings and I now love the sound of my uke. The A string is louder and the overall sound sound has improved as well.The higher tension strings seemed to cause the soundboard to vibrate much more and has also increased sustain.

It seems like people with solid mahogany ukes are more likely to favor strings other than the aquilas, but maybe I'm just seeeing what I want to believe.

pdxuke
03-06-2010, 12:44 PM
My solid mahogany concert uke came from MGM with Aquila strings. I use Aquilas on my other laminate mahogany uke and like them. However, they sounded pretty bad to my ear on the solid mahogany. They had a good punchy sound on the C & E strings which I like, but the A string was very weak. It felt to me like the Aquilas were just too low tension to get the sound I wanted out of that A string. I recently got some Worth clear high tension strings and I now love the sound of my uke. The A string is louder and the overall sound sound has improved as well.The higher tension strings seemed to cause the soundboard to vibrate much more and has also increased sustain.

It seems like people with solid mahogany ukes are more likely to favor strings other than the aquilas, but maybe I'm just seeeing what I want to believe.

Banjo:

Did you have the aquilas tuned to D or C?

Banjo
03-06-2010, 12:56 PM
Banjo:

Did you have the aquilas tuned to D or C?

It was tuned to C. I still havent tried D.

hawaiianmusiclover06
03-06-2010, 12:57 PM
I use the D'Addario's Porte Arte high tension strings on my Pono All Solid Mahogany 'ukulele. I like how they sound and how they tend to virbrate more and it can sustain the notes better.

mokai
03-06-2010, 01:04 PM
I would only use Aquilas on a laminate instrument

even then , I would likely avoid them

On a solid-wood instrument, they seem overbearing and louder than the tones of the wood.
Also, being into finger-picking, the rough texture doesn't do it for me.

pdxuke
03-06-2010, 03:47 PM
I would only use Aquilas on a laminate instrument

even then , I would likely avoid them

On a solid-wood instrument, they seem overbearing and louder than the tones of the wood.
Also, being into finger-picking, the rough texture doesn't do it for me.

Soo... what strings do you use? :-)

Teek
03-06-2010, 03:53 PM
I pretty much ONLY like them on my CBU, which is a deep box made of cedar. It's a concert size and there they work great, though I am currently reworking the uke and will try new strings on it, probably Worth Clears. I have clears on my one tenor and brown mediums and lights on all my other ukes, sopranos and concerts. The lights are nice for all the delicate vintage ukes.

I do have a new little Ohana Vita soprano that came from MGM with Aquilas and they are ok but they squeak! They also don't feel as kind to my fingers as the Worths. And on some of my ukes that have had them on in the past, it seems they went dead fairly quickly. The thing I like most about Aquilas is the color more than the sound, they look great with a white binding or as contrast on a dark uke.

Just my personal experience.

SweetWaterBlue
03-06-2010, 03:55 PM
The Aquilas make all my ukes more punchy, but they are also kind of rough and make a raspy noise when they are plucked sometimes. Right now I am into punchy, so I put up with the rasp.

Tigeralum2001
03-06-2010, 04:22 PM
I just bought my Martin tenor and it had the original 50 year old strings. I replaced them with Aquilla and it sounds great. All I have is Aquilla strings, though. I will begin experimenting with others as I can. It will be a slow process as I don't just want to throw money away, so I'll change the strings as they need it.

itsme
03-06-2010, 04:46 PM
I have a solid mahogany tenor that came with Aquilas. I prefer Worths, as the Aquilas seem thick, hard and clunky under my fingers in comparison. Worths just feel more fluid and easier to press down on, and the sound seems sweeter to me.

I'm leaning towards the Worth Browns. I wanted Clears but MGM didn't have them at the time so I got Browns. I don't normally like dark colored strings on say, a spruce-topped classical guitar, but the Browns blend in beautifully on a mahogany uke. I've since tried some Clears and then switched back to the Browns and think I prefer the Browns.

But strings are always a personal choice. What sounds great on one uke may not sound so great on another.

EDW
03-06-2010, 04:50 PM
I like the Worth strings, as they have a nice bell like ring and a very well balanced set of overtones that give a very nice richness. They also have a great sustain. I find them to have a very nice singing quality.

Sambient
03-06-2010, 06:08 PM
Ko'oalu Golds are worth checking out.

mik55
03-06-2010, 11:33 PM
I recently changed from Aquilas to Fremont Clear on my KTS-4 after two years. The uke sounds a bit less louder with the Flourocarbons but more "elegant" & subtile. I like the Aquilas with their "barky" sound on it, but it seems that the Flourocarbons are - at least for my ears - the better choice for a solid mahogany instrument.

iDavid
03-07-2010, 01:13 AM
I just put Kala Reds on my Mainland Mahogany and they are just OK. At first I thought they sounded really plastic and now the just seem bright. I can't really recommend them. I'll try the Worth browns next.

I was planning to put them on tonight, but I am having one of those days where everything I touch breaks. The light-bulb blew-out, printer cart ran out, cat's water fountain took a short vacation, and the iPod playing into the TV freaked out.

I think it best to wait till tomorrow ;)

mokai
03-07-2010, 02:21 AM
Soo... what strings do you use? :-)

I have had great luck with worth browns on quite a few ukuleles, but I don't think they would suit the LSM-T as nice as others.
The LSM-T has thick mahogany top/back/sides and a fairly thick gloss finish. I am guessing it will have a nice mellow tone but will lack volume with certain strings

Worth Clears, as mentioned by Melissa may be a good choice because they are said to be 'brighter' than browns

MichaelAngelo... Seeing that the LSM-T is a tenor, I think you should try a set of Savarez Alliance strings ( you have to order the strings individually )
I have not tried them myself, but I have read great things

Also, you may want to wait a few days and try out the new Ko'olau strings
They are not out yet, but MGM said they're purplish, bright, and pro-arte-like.
They may be worth a try.

EDW
03-07-2010, 02:25 AM
Worth also makes some others that I believe are higher tension and might work better for some of the other instruments out there.

Ahnko Honu
03-07-2010, 07:29 AM
Three of UU's most highly regarded individuals Chuck Moore (Moore Bettah 'Ukuleles), Mike A. (MGM), and Mike H. (Mainland 'Ukuleles) string their instruments with Aquila strings, something to think about. Sound is subjective, and because of this so are strings. Someone's mellow can be another mans dull, someone's bright can be another man's brash. We all hear sounds differently, and we all have different tastes in sound just as we do in foods. Take in all you read here with a grain of salt, use as a guide not as gospel, experiment and enjoy. I have no brand loyalties and my various instruments have a variety of strings, Aquila, Worth, Kala (LaBella), D'adarrio, even the much despised, cursed, bastard child, leper GHS strings which sounds fine on a couple of my instruments. Each instrument is an individual and sounds best with a certain string set in my experience. I have Aquilas on a Kamaka pineapple which many here would consider a sin, a sacrilege but I like the way it sounds and that's the bottom line, pick what sounds best to your ears not what you think it should sound like according to others.

the52blues
03-07-2010, 07:37 AM
I ordered my first uke (don't laugh - a Fender Pa'ini solid mahogany w/pu). Since I don't have it yet and it's my first uke I really can't say what I like. I see it comes with D'Addario strings on it. I own several different instruments (guitars, banjo, bass, mandolin) and after much experimentation I ended up using (and buying in bulk) D'Addario strings (mostly phosphorus bronze) and have been happy with the sound and longevity so I was happy to hear my uke is coming with them on it. Playing it will tell the story so I look forward to getting it soon.

MichaelAngelo
03-07-2010, 08:11 AM
Hey everyone! Thanks so much for the input, I ordered a set of Worth hard clears and a "sampler pack" including Aquilas from MGM. I'll experiment over the months and see for myself =D but I think I'll start with the Worth clears.

clayton56
03-07-2010, 09:42 AM
Ko'oalu Golds are worth checking out.

+1, after trying them all, most of my ukes have KG's

iDavid
03-08-2010, 12:01 AM
Anyone else try the Kala Reds? I'm having mixed feelings about them. At first they sounded like plastic and then just bright. Tonight I went to change them and stopped myself, cuz they are sounding pretty good!

scottie
03-08-2010, 12:19 AM
My Collings came strung with Aquilas. I like the bright sound, gives a good bark with the lightly built mahogany. I'll likely try a sample pack from MGM or something just to see what different strings sound like but for now the Aquilas are fine. . . they record well too. . . and I so totally want some purple strings.

nohandles
03-08-2010, 01:08 AM
I use a mixture of strings on my ukuleles. Aquila's sound the best on my Kanile'a -long neck concert and soprano. On my resophonic Ukulele the Worth are the only ones I've found that have good sound quality.

micromue
03-08-2010, 02:16 AM
Some time ago, Rigk (RISA) made up a rule on the german forums:

ukes with dark topwood (e.g. mahogany): Aquilas
ukes with lighter topwood (e.g. spruce): Fluorcarbon

I stick to this rule of thumb and I like it.:D



Except Koalohas. Koalohas MUST be stringed with worth brown medium tenors. By any means!

buddhuu
03-08-2010, 03:40 AM
Worths or Aquilas are great.

Personally, I don't like D'Addario or Ko'oalu strings on any uke I've tried them on.

blueswithafeeling
03-08-2010, 06:46 AM
I use Aquilas on my Kala thinline - they seemed louder than the pro-arte. Though the real reason was because they hurt less than the pro-arte since the pro-arte were high tension. But now that my calluses have come back from the guitar, I guess I can try the pro-arte again. But I've internalized the sound of the Aquilas now as being the sound of my uke, so this one will stay with Aquilas.

RevWill
03-08-2010, 08:01 AM
I really like Aquilas on my Fluke and Flea, but I prefer fluorocarbon on my Mainland (red cedar). I'm particularly fond of Fremont Blacklines, but Worth Browns sound awesome on there as well. Haven't tried clears.

bazmaz
03-08-2010, 10:13 AM
i've tried many many strings on my ukes/

i do love aquilas - very stable and loud - and in my view are perfect on cheaper laminate instruments (or on my Flea)

I stripped the aquilas from my Mainland though, as I found them overbearing. Have since tried worths (clear and brown - both very nice), and then Ko'aloha golds (wasnt impressed - far to intolerant to heat changes - playing, the warmth from hands would throw them off)

But what I have on now really surprised me - Martin flourocarbons - lovely light strings - chime like a bell - good volume and spot on tuning. These are staying on (for now!!)

GrumpyCoyote
03-08-2010, 10:41 AM
I use Worth's, Fremonts, Aquilla's, and Ddarrios... Keep in mind that strings are very subjective.

I prefer the feel and sound of the Aquillas on almost everything I own. They work really well on my cheaper laminates. I nearly threw my K-Wave tenor in the lake because it just sounded SO bad… but the Aquillas saved it. It’s not only playable now, but very satisfying (the pick-up still sucks, but I can fix that). The exception is the Aquilla wound strings for low G - Horrible strings. I'll use the Ddarrio wounds or the Fremont/Worth unwound low G and toss the Aquilla wound in the trash.

On a side note - I hate the Ddarrio Pro Arte nylons for anything except my guitalele and my requinto. They sound dead and inconsistent on all of my other ukes. I have no idea why they are so popular. Thick, unresponsive, and I've found about 50% to be flawed not intonate well at all. They seem to fare better on my longer scaled instruments - it's unclear why.

The Worths are ok - but lack the attack and consistency of the Aquillas. I use them sporadically - except the afore mentioned un-wound low G, which is great.

The Fremonts are a little low tension for me - I got used to it, but the volume suffers a bit. Nice strings, but not satisfying.

I’ve tried GHS, Hilo, Kala and a stack of others and found them to be not worth the paper to pack them in. Proving not only that strings are totally subjective, but I really think some manufactures don’t bother to play with their own brand.

Honestly, I think the only way to find the strings you need is to buy and try as many as you can. No advice will work for everyone or for every instrument.

eleuke
03-08-2010, 05:42 PM
I'm with Grumpy. Strings are so subjective. Its' what YOU like, in sound, in feel, in budget, etc. I play Hilos. They're cheap, available, and they last a long time. I've talked with others who can't stand Hilos. I can't stand Ko'aloha golds but others swear by them. Each instrument is unique and you're just not going to know what works on them until you get them in your hands. I tried Aquillas on my Pono Mohagany Tenor and I loved them for the first week, but after that, they wouldn't hold a tune. I was constantly retuning. Never did figure that one out, but threw a set of Hilos on and all was ight with the world again... Try em all and eventually you'll find the ones that will be perfect for your new uke... Good luck!

nikolo727
03-08-2010, 06:38 PM
imo aquilas sound great on a koa or maple top uke. but the thicker wood ukes (ie: mahogany) do not sound well with aquilas because they have a deeper mellower sound because of the thickness and density of the wood. I use pro artes on both of my ukes that i play regularly. use worth browns or pro artes for a mahogany uke. the aquilas will just make it clash with sound. the mahogany needs mellow sounding strings becuase it is a mellow sounding wood, so aquilas are not the way to go for that uke.