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Paul December
03-19-2010, 03:57 PM
Generally speaking, how do Hilos compare to Aquilas?
Is one noticeably louder than the other? How about tone - warmer/brighter?

fahrner
03-19-2010, 05:50 PM
Paul, just put Hilo's on my Pono a few days back and have to say it was a very positive change from Worth Clears. Before the Worth Clears had Aquila's on it. While they were loud I thought they were thin sounding.
So, from this I would say that the Aquila's are the loudest and brightest. The Hilo's are not as loud. On the Pono at least, the Hilo's seem rounder or warmer sounding.
This is the Hilo low G set. What I really love about them is the wound 3rd and 4th. Finally makes my Pono sing. The Pono is a heavy built instrument.
All I can really say is try them. It depends a lot on what instrument you put them on.
I just put Fremont Blacks on my Mainland tenor. Warmer and rounder than the Aquila's that were on it and still good volume.
Does that help?

Paul December
03-19-2010, 06:14 PM
Paul, just put Hilo's on my Pono a few days back and have to say it was a very positive change from Worth Clears. Before the Worth Clears had Aquila's on it. While they were loud I thought they were thin sounding.
So, from this I would say that the Aquila's are the loudest and brightest. The Hilo's are not as loud. On the Pono at least, the Hilo's seem rounder or warmer sounding.
This is the Hilo low G set. What I really love about them is the wound 3rd and 4th. Finally makes my Pono sing. The Pono is a heavy built instrument.
All I can really say is try them. It depends a lot on what instrument you put them on.
I just put Fremont Blacks on my Mainland tenor. Warmer and rounder than the Aquila's that were on it and still good volume.
Does that help?

I want to put it on a Lanikai 6 string with Spruce top. The Aquilas on it sound kind of shrill...but...
it too is "heavy built" so I'm concerned with the Hilos being too quiet.

UkuLeLesReggAe
03-20-2010, 03:09 AM
I love aquilas.... Makes it sound a lot brighter to me... :S

Paul December
03-20-2010, 05:13 AM
I love aquilas.... Makes it sound a lot brighter to me... :S

I do to... but not on this uke.

fahrner
03-20-2010, 07:46 AM
I want to put it on a Lanikai 6 string with Spruce top. The Aquilas on it sound kind of shrill...but...
it too is "heavy built" so I'm concerned with the Hilos being too quiet.

Then I would go with the Hilo's.
And they do have 6 string sets at Elderly's.

GrumpyCoyote
03-20-2010, 09:25 AM
Strings are pretty subjective. That said, the only thing I'd put Hilo's on is a fishing pole. Even then I'd be reluctant.

They are simply the worst quality (inconsistent intonation), feel (thick and dead feeling), and tone (sounded like rubber-bands) of any string I've ever tried - and that includes fishing line.

Your milage may vary of course, but I can't tolerate them.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
03-20-2010, 09:33 AM
Hilo Strings are good strings and some of the most consistent that you'll find. Unlike some strings that are simply extruded, Hilo's are extruded then drawn though a die for a more consistent diameter.
Hilo Strings have also been the preferred choice of James Hill.

Paul December
03-20-2010, 09:46 AM
Strings are pretty subjective. That said, the only thing I'd put Hilo's on is a fishing pole. Even then I'd be reluctant.

They are simply the worst quality (inconsistent intonation), feel (thick and dead feeling), and tone (sounded like rubber-bands) of any string I've ever tried - and that includes fishing line.

Your milage may vary of course, but I can't tolerate them.

:confused: So are you saying you don't like them? :D

GrumpyCoyote
03-20-2010, 10:45 AM
Just my opinion of course...

And I should note that with Chuck's enlightenment above, even I'm willing to give them another try. Perhaps it was a bad batch.

That's what great about strings - they are so inexpensive and easy to install that you can't go wrong trying everything. If you are curious about a brand, just slap 'em on there. String feel and sound is so subjective and instrument specific that you should never be married to doing things just one way - and never listen to another player's opinion as if it were just as true for you. You'll have to find what works for you and your particular style and instrument. One man's "shrill" is another man's "bright".

Try everything.

Ronnie Aloha
03-20-2010, 10:51 AM
Just my opinion of course...

easy to install



"Easy to install?"

Not looking forward to changing my Kanilea strings... : )

phanzo
03-20-2010, 11:32 AM
I tend to agree with Grumps on most matters, bc he is a very enlightened player but it's hard to do that when Chuck pipes in and says that they're a good string. I'd take Grumps' 2nd advice and say, give them a shot. I have ukes in which I LOVE the sound of Worth Clears and I have ukes that I have LOATHED the sound of them. Everything changes from uke to uke and player to player.

I tend to like strings that feel better on a strum. When they sound better with fingerpicking, I tend to strum less and pick more, which bothers me bc I suck at picking. With that being said, I have tried various strings on all of my ukes. I have certain ones that I've determined are my favorites and I leave them. I also have ukes where I havent found the perfect string for yet and am still on the prowl. I havent tried the Hilos though, and with Chuck's input, I just may have to give them a shot.

Strings are awesome bc it really is, "to each his own" and you never know what you're gonna like. Have fun with it. Try a bunch of different strings. You never know. What someone HATES, you could LOVE. Like, I read people talking about how much they love Worth Browns, so I got a set and thought they were just the worst thing possible. Get some strings, have so fun, and dont settle until you're in love!!

SuperSecretBETA
03-20-2010, 11:47 AM
I see a few negative perceptions about Hilo strings, but I think most of it has to do with how cheap (price-wise) they are. I enjoyed my experience with the soprano set I had. They didn't last long but only because I played hours at a time.

Paul December
03-20-2010, 11:54 AM
I really like Hilo's wound Low G's ... much longer sustain than Aquilas, and less boomy.
I ordered half a dozen of them to stock up. The Hilo Low G with Aquila C, E, A makes a nice match.

GrumpyCoyote
03-20-2010, 11:58 AM
I really like Hilo's wound Low G's ... much longer sustain than Aquilas, and less boomy.
I ordered half a dozen of them to stock up. The Hilo Low G with Aquila C, E, A makes a nice match.

Now that is something I hadn't considered... I'll have to try the wounds. Finding a decent low G wound is sort of the holy grail of strings. If Hilo has dialed that in for me, that would be pretty huge.

Paul December
03-20-2010, 12:06 PM
Now that is something I hadn't considered... I'll have to try the wounds. Finding a decent low G wound is sort of the holy grail of strings. If Hilo has dialed that in for me, that would be pretty huge.

I stumble across them accidentally: String Surprise (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?28211-String-Surprise&highlight=string+surprise)
I was able to order the Low G's alone through Hilo directly.

bobby b
09-27-2010, 05:40 AM
Started playing the uke this summer and so far I have acquired 2 ukes since July!
One is a Kelii Koa Tenor and the second is a Northern Concert JCD-4 ( solid spruce top ). The Kelii came strung with a Hilo 'high G' set with a wound C. It sounds sooooo sweet, warm and mellow, and has great volume for its size, I love it.
The Northern had some 30 year old strings on it ( in the pics )so I replaced 'em with Aquila's. I did not like the sound of them at all, just too 'plinky' sounding compared to the Kelii/Hilo's.
I then swapped the Aquila's on to the Kelii, same thing, I did not like the sound, to plinky and gone was the nice sweet, warm, round, 'woody' tones that the Hilo's produced.
So I'm sticking with the Hilo's on the Kelii.
I have ordered some Hilo's for the Northern, a non-wound C set though as I did not want to string it with any wound strings. The strings 'route' through the headstock and I dont want to damage it, I have seen other Northern headstocks where wound strings have cut into the wood.
I'll let you know how it sounds when I put some Hilo's on it.

Here's a few pics of each..

cletus
09-27-2010, 05:56 AM
Nice pics and good info. Thanks!

mm stan
09-27-2010, 07:01 AM
I too prefer hilo's on some ukes, they give some ukes a clear warmer more balanced tone....while it may not be for all my ukuleles, certain ones do
sound much better. Other strings you may not hear the individual notes and may become muddled or sound too bright....I understand that
everyone has their own preference on strings and that may be on the first perception of trying them. I'd say try them on different ukes before
giving up on them....Have Fun and enjoy the journey!!! "Keep strumming them strings" MM Stan...

SailingUke
09-27-2010, 08:04 AM
As many have said strings are very subjective. IMHO the only way to evaluate a string is to actually try them on your ukulele.
The same strings will sound different from uke to uke.
I recently sat in on a workshop by Goron Mayer (Mya-Moe Ukulele) where he discussed string material and tensions.
String guage and tension are big components in the sound & feel factors.
My experience is that sometimes I go back to a string I did not previously like and find it is a sound I like.
I think our ears change and changing strings can be like getting a new ukulele and most of the time much cheaper.
Aquilla's were always my first and only choice, now I am using Worth Browns and some Blacklines as well.

As far as strings go "Try'em you may like them"