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View Full Version : Anticipating Aquila's



KevinV
04-25-2010, 05:32 AM
I ordered some Aquila strings last week as I couldn't find any locally. I was hoping they'd be here for the weekend but no such luck. Should be here tomorrow though.

I've read a lot of good about these strings and can't wait to see what they do for my Makala and Flea. The Makala strings are stock and should be GHS from what I've gathered online, and I don't know what are on the Flea but they're black as well so they're not Aquila.

The Flea has very good intonation but the Makala's a bit lacking. I hope the string change helps out with that.

Should I expect a whole new world of tonality, or is the difference subtle?

dkcrown
04-25-2010, 06:16 AM
The black strings on the flea are probably Hilo, thats what they come with standard unless you upgrade to the rosewood fretboard. The aquillas should be a big improvement IMO.

Dane
04-25-2010, 06:40 AM
I think anything would work better than the GHS strings haha. But yes, the aquillas should boost your sound quite a bit from what you're used to.

Jason Paul
04-25-2010, 07:52 AM
I agree that they should help. I assume they will on the Makala, since I'm guessing it's a laminate.

I know from experience it will help on the Flea. I have a concert Flea with Aquilas and a friend has a soprano Flea with the stock Hilos. Mine was noticeably louder and brighter when I compared them, and I doubt it had much to do with the scale since the body is the same.

Jason

wxtornado
04-25-2010, 08:50 AM
When I first got my Flea, I played it for about 15 minutes, cut the Hilos off, and put Aquilas on. Makes a world of difference - you will see!

phanzo
04-25-2010, 09:45 AM
Yea I remember when I first learned of Aquilas and put them on the Oscar Schmidt that I had. They make a HUGE difference, especially on low-end laminate ukes. Not saying that a Flea is a low-end uke by any means, but they will certainly make a massive change. There are many other strings out there that are of the same quality, but I can't say what works best on Fleas bc I dont have one. Aquilas are a great starting point and they are always my reference point when I get a new uke. Have fun and enjoy your Flea, that's what matters most!!

KevinV
04-25-2010, 11:00 AM
Thanks, folks. Sounds like I should be pleasantly surprised by the change. I really enjoy the sound of the Flea so if it gets better that's just a bonus. The Makala sounds a bit thin right now so that's the one I'm really looking to improve.

uke552
04-25-2010, 12:47 PM
You will hear a big difference with the Aquilas. I put them on my Flea and the difference was amazing (wish I still had that uke!). I didn't care for Aquilas at first but grew to like them and have them on my Kala ukes now.

mailman
04-25-2010, 12:52 PM
I love my Aquila strings! You should expect them to take some time to stretch and settle in....maybe as much as a week, depending on how much you play. They'll be a challenge to keep tuned until they settle, but the wait will be worth it....

Chris Tarman
04-25-2010, 01:58 PM
Absolutely they will improve the Makala a LOT. When my niece was here in December she bought a little $40 Hilo. She had been playing my Kala all weekend and wouldn't put it down. I decided then that I would get her a Mainland for her 18th birthday in April (which I did, and which she loved). Anyway, the little Hilo had black strings that felt more like that vinyl lacing stuff for crafts. I swear they didn't feel ROUND! I had a set of Aquilas, so I put them on for her and that little $40 uke sang for joy. It still had rough fret work and pretty lousy intonation above the 7th fret or so, but it sure sounded LOADS better!

KevinV
04-26-2010, 02:22 PM
You guys weren't kidding these make a difference! The first thing I noticed was feel. As Chris said about the Hilo, the strings that came on the Makala feel awful in comparison, like craft material when compared to the Aquila's. I've also noticed a huge improvement in intonation. The tone is crisper, but I wouldn't say it made much if any difference in volume.

I do keep having to re-tune and expect to for the next while, but I'm already happy with the difference. Once they settle in on the Makala I'll change strings on the Flea.

Dane
04-26-2010, 08:23 PM
You guys weren't kidding these make a difference! The first thing I noticed was feel. As Chris said about the Hilo, the strings that came on the Makala feel awful in comparison, like craft material when compared to the Aquila's. I've also noticed a huge improvement in intonation. The tone is crisper, but I wouldn't say it made much if any difference in volume.

I do keep having to re-tune and expect to for the next while, but I'm already happy with the difference. Once they settle in on the Makala I'll change strings on the Flea.

You can help em stretch quite a bit by just placing one hand on the nut, and grab the string in the middle and stretch it up a bit, then retune it, stretch, retune, stretch. And after a while you'll notice it doesn't fall out of tune as much when you stretch it. Just don't stretch hard, just a lil firm stretch.