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AC Baltimore
05-26-2010, 05:37 PM
Maybe it is just me, but has anyone else noticed they can be prone to fret buzz? I have seen it happen on a few ukes now. Most recently when I took my concert from pro arte's to aquila's. I dressed the nut and saddle for them, but they just seem to be easy buzzers.

luvdat
05-26-2010, 07:06 PM
AC:
There was a thread very recently about Kala concerts and buzz. This is not a scientific study but just a limited experience but the ukes with most fret buzz that I try out in stores are usually concerts. Specific to concert strings and Aquilas, they're thicker anyway? And that C can be at goofy levels of thickness with concert Aquilas? If the action was previously lowered on the ukes you tried Aquilas I can see how this could really happen. I think with Aquilas it's also easier to encounter irregularities, which with lower action you'd notice more often.

Check out some of this thread for a start as well as one of buddhu's sticky threads:

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?26861-New-Kala-Buzz-Rattle

AC Baltimore
05-26-2010, 08:58 PM
Thanx for the link. I think I am going to do a fret level and crown, if that does not work then back to pro arte's.

luvdat
05-27-2010, 12:17 AM
Dude, that might be the simplest solution and believe me, at this stage in my own life, that's what I go for. Good luck. In my own case I avoid some of this keeping things medium-slightly higher action (on a quest for "tone" like Eric Johnson, LOL).

You're sure it's frets and not coming from somewhere else like the bridge?

iDavid
05-27-2010, 12:24 AM
Try Worth Clears, very thin and sweet

IMO

hoosierhiver
05-27-2010, 02:41 AM
I know that Aquilla recently bought some new equipment, hopefully that means better strings are coming. Sometimes Aquillas can stretch out unevenly and this can cause flat spots and buzzes.

luvdat
05-27-2010, 02:45 AM
Another factor: changes in string tension...

pulelehua
05-27-2010, 03:58 AM
Not to hijack, but another Aquila observation:

I've been doing some recording, and I've noticed a LOT of fingernail noise. Upon closer inspection, I've noticed that the strings themselves have become quite coarse where they've been played heavily. I suspect under a magnifying glass, it would look jagged. I can feel the roughness with my fingernail running up the length of the string.

I'm strongly thinking of changing brands just to see if I can get back to a smoother sound.

Anyone else encountered this? I don't remember ever running into this with classical guitar nylon strings.

luvdat
05-27-2010, 04:11 AM
Not to hijack, but another Aquila observation:

I've been doing some recording, and I've noticed a LOT of fingernail noise. Upon closer inspection, I've noticed that the strings themselves have become quite coarse where they've been played heavily. I suspect under a magnifying glass, it would look jagged. I can feel the roughness with my fingernail running up the length of the string.

I'm strongly thinking of changing brands just to see if I can get back to a smoother sound.

Anyone else encountered this? I don't remember ever running into this with classical guitar nylon strings.

You're right about that one. That sound is particularly revealed with strums, less so with fingerstyle melodic stuff, but eventually et tu ponderous fingerstyle melodic stuff...I also think it becomes more of a dealbreaker on more subdued or middy sounding ukes.

AC Baltimore
05-27-2010, 08:18 AM
I agree with the comments. Nail noise is an issue. I love aquila's but these are kinda deal breakers on some ukes.

UkeNukem
05-27-2010, 08:33 AM
The rough texture and thick feel were real turn-offs for me on the Aquillas but they sounded great. The feel of them was distracting however.

pulelehua
05-27-2010, 08:36 AM
I'm having one of those "I'm not alone, I'm not crazy" moments. I'd love to try some Ko'olau Mahanas, but they don't seem to be sold this side of the Atlantic.

AC Baltimore
05-27-2010, 09:39 AM
I'm having one of those "I'm not alone, I'm not crazy" moments. I'd love to try some Ko'olau Mahanas, but they don't seem to be sold this side of the Atlantic.

No it's not just you lol.

AC Baltimore
05-27-2010, 09:50 AM
By the way... as far as the gritty/chalky feel of aquila's, this will nearly solve that. http://accessories.musiciansfriend.com/product/Fingerease-Guitar-String-Lubricant?sku=420450

pulelehua
05-27-2010, 10:40 AM
By the way... as far as the gritty/chalky feel of aquila's, this will nearly solve that. http://accessories.musiciansfriend.com/product/Fingerease-Guitar-String-Lubricant?sku=420450

Thanks. Always wondered about that product. Seemed like there should be ads, with geeky kids in glasses playing really slowly, adding some guitarease to their guitar, and turning into long haired shred gods. But of course obscure guitar accessory products don't tend to advertise on TV. Ah well...

luvdat
05-27-2010, 10:48 AM
I'll be working on formulation called "Aquila Lube."

AC Baltimore
05-27-2010, 12:06 PM
Thanks. Always wondered about that product. Seemed like there should be ads, with geeky kids in glasses playing really slowly, adding some guitarease to their guitar, and turning into long haired shred gods. But of course obscure guitar accessory products don't tend to advertise on TV. Ah well...

lol. It is really good stuff. It almost feels more powdery than greasy. It makes aquila's feel more like a standard clear. I actually take it with me when I am going to shoot pool, it is a great stick lube.

luvdat
06-11-2010, 11:16 PM
The rough texture and thick feel were real turn-offs for me on the Aquillas but they sounded great. The feel of them was distracting however.

I've come to the conclusion that what really distracts me with Aquilas is how they sound pretty good fingerstyle but really not so hot when strummed. Invariably they give me the sense I'm playing 2 different ukuleles, one slightly "better" than the other.

Hands down the most overrated, overprescribed string on the planet...and one that has shifted tonal preferences not far from the trash can...where what matters the most is the decibel count.

The 2 ukes they sound the best on: the Flea and the Makala Dolphin. I give the credit to the plastic and not the Nylgut.

casarole45
06-11-2010, 11:33 PM
By the way... as far as the gritty/chalky feel of aquila's, this will nearly solve that. http://accessories.musiciansfriend.com/product/Fingerease-Guitar-String-Lubricant?sku=420450

DON'T use furnisher polish, I accidently (or was it =D ) sprayed my strings on a guitar and wow, there was so much squeeking I thought I had a group of Seagulls backing me.


I've come to the conclusion that what really distracts me with Aquilas is how they sound pretty good fingerstyle but really not so hot when strummed. Invariably they give me the sense I'm playing 2 different ukuleles, one slightly "better" than the other.

Hands down the most overrated string on the planet...and one that has shifted tonal preferences not far from the trash can...where what matters the most is the decibel count.

The 2 ukes they sound the best on: the Flea and the Makala Dolphin. I give the credit to the plastic and not the Nylgut.

Yarp, I like them on my Mahog concert as its a mellow uke, but tried them on my koa soprano, bright body + bright strings = ear ache, now it has Pro Artes which gives a really nice full balanced tone. I'm about to take them off my spruce top also for the same reason, the body is already very bright and projects really well, it needs strings that balance and compliment the body, maybe some pro artes again or worth browns.

luvdat
06-12-2010, 12:31 AM
Hopefully putting on some Hilo tenor plain 3rds today...on BOTH my inexpensive tenors....

Sambient
06-12-2010, 12:52 AM
Hands down the most overrated, overprescribed string on the planet...
Hear, hear. Which is a shame because with the increased popularity it means I'm more likely to have to change strings on a brand new uke.


and one that has shifted tonal preferences not far from the trash can...where what matters the most is the decibel count.
I think of it like this. I love Ella Fitzgerald's singing, voice, abilities, versatility. I want that sweetness out of my instruments.
Dame Shirley Bassey has some voice on her too. But it's very loud and brassy. Nuance isn't one of the strong points when songs are belted out.

I like it better when my cats purr than when they growl. And when they're very happy, that purr can carry some surprising volume too.



The 2 ukes they sound the best on: the Flea and the Makala Dolphin. I give the credit to the plastic and not the Nylgut.

Meanwhile I never disliked a uke sound as strongly as when I put Aquilas on my Flea. I think it was the combination with the plastic fretboard because I also didn't like Aquilas on my CBU which has a vintage Kay neck with plastic fretboard. Maybe the rosewood fretboards on Fleas do well with Aquilas. And I've never heard anything else on Dolphins yet. Maybe I should go pull one off the wall at Sam Ash just to hear what the original strings sound like.

Sambient
06-12-2010, 12:55 AM
Want to add that I'm thoroughly glad that I'm not the only person who doesn't think that Aquilas are the be-all-end-all.

luvdat
06-12-2010, 01:08 AM
Want to add that I'm thoroughly glad that I'm not the only person who doesn't think that Aquilas are the be-all-end-all.

Let me refine my view with the Flea: Aquilas sound great fingerstyle on the Flea. To be frank I have mixed feelings about the Flea (outside of playability and fingerstyle) and my answer was kind of sarcastic (and unfair to options that do work for other people).

Related to the Dolphin and other less expensive ukes: I think it's fair to say that something like Hilos, for example, aren't for a lot of people something to even consider on a lot of uke forums. This is IMO more a statement about volume requirements and shifts in tonal preferences more than the "quality" of Hilo strings. In the big picture there are "expectations" from a ukulele where something like "strumming" and rhythmic play is considered for "beginners." Yeah the decibels sell cheaper ukes. It can get packaged by some as "Hilos kind of suck" when really IMO it's a previous very trad black string warmer tonal preference that's been devalued in favor of in your face virtuosity-may-be-right-around-the-corner louder uke experience in GCEA tuning. In some ways, Aquilas represent an attempt at a GCEA answer to a previous D tuning (on sops esp) solution. Previously with sops wasn't it all about D tuning (and still that way in Canada and Europe?). In the short term, Aquilas can make that seem more believable to more people on even cheaper ukuleles. And this is not to say that Aquilas don't sound fine on the right instrument.

Harold O.
06-12-2010, 07:14 PM
Nickel and a quarter:

I put Aquilas on my ukes. The arsenal includes: Vineyard soprano, Vineyard Concert, Fender (whatever the mid-level tenor version is), Ohana TK35G, Kala tenor cutaway.

What I've noticed as much as anything is that the familiarity with the feel of the strings is as important as the sound. Aquilas have such a consistent feel that when I pick up a uke with different strings, it bothers me.

Think of this and argue all you want. Each instrument can and should sound unique to some degree. If there are too many variables presented to the player (YOU) then the playing will be overly affected by the instrument at hand. With a standard string (in this case, Aquilas), the player does what he does and the instrument sings with whatever voice it has.

I recently acquired a KoAloha Concert with Worth clears. The playing feel is very different from my other ukes. But I will never change the KoAloha's strings to anything other the "stock". It's a different game altogether. None of my ukes sound bad. Some of them are different. I could spend forever trying to get them all the same. Why bother?

Think of it, all those old girlfriends had a hand in making you who you are. THAT's the person your wife decided was worth a darn.

Run what you brung, big fella.

mm stan
06-12-2010, 07:52 PM
Aloha AC Baltimore,
Just had thought, you know strings come in different guages(thickness)You buzz could be coming from not fitting well in your nut. Try putting
in the same thickness strings as before. It could be something as simple as that, hopefully. Good Luck!!!Let me know how it turns out!!!
"Keep those strings vibrating" Uke On!!!... MM Stan...

LoMa
06-12-2010, 10:04 PM
I like Aquilas... a LOT.

But on some ukes, they're a little too strident or their sound decays too quickly for my ear, and for my rather poor technique...

But I love the sound and the feel of Aquilas on most ukes, although in some cases I'll substitute a string of another kind:

- on my Larrivee soprano, a dark toned spruce & mahogany, I use a La Bella 2001 Series Flamenco Heavy Tension D, 2004F-H for the low G for its higher tension, sustain, and better balance - the Aquila low G is kind of thunky on this uke. The rest of the strings are Aquilas.

- on my Ohana spruce top soprano, I went with an Aquila low G and Worth Browns for the rest of the strings to tone down the brightness of this great uke..

- I only use Aquilas on my Kelii koa soprano nad koa Larrivee soprano strung re-entrant - they give these ukes a very pretty ringing tone with lots of depth and overtones.

luvdat
06-13-2010, 12:13 AM
I think overall that it finally does come down to what folks like, what they're used to, and to a certain extent (large?) what they've been told. More importantly especially for those new to the ukulele is availability IMO and exposure. But yeah, some not a few even early on start to look at other options. I do think also that in certain periods of time people's tonal tastes get calibrated. The simplest example I can think of is with guitars: Martins vs. Taylors, Gibsons vs. Fenders...and NOT trying to start that discussion here but will say that I do think such contrasts are real.

What I find interesting is that the "strident" component is more tolerated (it seems) than the alleged "muddy" component by a lot of ukulele players. IMO, there is also a certain "blurriness" (sounds almost buzzy to my ears) here and there with Aquilas also...

But frankly just yesterday after swapping out my Aquilas for the often looked down upon Hilos I felt more than simply relieved but happy. I realized that the tonally "straining" quality I used to pick up above the 5th fret on a lot of tenors I'd played that had on Aquilas was gone as well as that sense of "skating on the surface." Also, there was not on the spruce top I was a playing some disappointing loss of volume. Instead it sounded and felt solid...with midtones I had to get previously with low g tuning, now available in high g. There was this sense that the body of my uke was being used for the first time (since I'd tried out Aquilas with a wound low g) esp with strumming. But the one note that settled it was playing a G# on the 4th string during an instrumental (my take on Santana's "Europa"). Present for the first time.

A big BTW, the 3rd string C on Aquilas...it's diameter...I now ask myself "What was that all about?"

mm stan
06-13-2010, 01:40 AM
Aloha AC Baltimore,
Just another thought, I'm not here to criticize ukuleles or strings...just wanna say, it boils down to personal taste...What may seem cool to you
may not for others and the other way around. Opinions just goes to a certain extent, after that it's up to you. Try and experience them for yourself, that way you know personally what you want, it's that way...it's all subjective..your individual tastes and dislikes...realative speaking....
I hope this helps you and good luck on you quest for your perfect instrument...."Keep on Vibrating them strings" Uke On!!! MM Stan.....
PS, But its nice to hear everyone experiences here and make a short list......Also what Luvdatuke said, in time your taste may change too,
due to exper. etc. Btw-Luvdatuke, as you know, the third string is the thickest string..and aquilla strings are on the smaller guage(thinner)
so it might be leaving a gap in the nut creating the buzz.(it could be he had thicker strings on before)

luvdat
06-13-2010, 10:15 PM
My point about the Aquilas C is that it's visually proportionately thicker than the C string in other string set options (compared to sets of Hilos or even say Martins...).

But I think your point is spot on about buzz going from thicker to thinner overall. I think the buzz with stock Aquilas that I've noted on Kala concerts (aside from bridge/saddle issue) could be simply related to tough times at the nut with inbetween specs...

mm stan
06-13-2010, 11:37 PM
Aloha Luvdatuke,
thanks, I'm just going to what he said on his original thread, that the problem arose after he changed strings, Hopefully for
him it's that simple a fix. I wish him some good luck on this one. Keep them Strings Vibrating.....Uke On!!! MM Stan....
P.S. I'm not sure how thick Pro Artes strings are???? are you familiar with them????

luvdat
06-14-2010, 12:49 AM
Pro Artes? Used once on a tenor. Aside from overall thickness (4th and 1st appeared thicker) again the 3rd string seemed more proportionate, similar...

As an aside: I think BTW one of the complaints about black strings like GHS (and maybe Hilo, LOL) is that the diameters seem too much the same...and I think AC made that observation (and he's right BTW, not criticizing, agreeing) for me that's a plus, LOL. For me that was a plus about the clear nylon Pro Artes. I think any almost any string alternative to Aquilas would give you that first impression. Yeah, they're thicker overall but that C string seems proportionately thicker (to the rest of the set) and when comparing to other options.

thisnthat
06-14-2010, 03:24 AM
I think it really does depend on the instrument and your playing style. I don't necessarily think that they are best for all plastic ukes as this forum had led me to believe.
My other half bought himself the Les Paul style Mahalo and I changed the strings to Aquilas but they were far too brash and loud. (and that was before he plugged it into the amp. (>_<) )
Partly because of his current playing style I'm sure but I ended up swapping them out for Worth Browns and the difference was obvious. Even to his untrained ear he said he thought it sounded better.

I'm not sure of the correct term (tone perhaps?) but there is definitely a nicer quality to the sound with the Worths. But different ukes, different players, different results.

70sSanO
06-14-2010, 04:37 AM
Over on FMM, Mimmo posted that an improved Nylgut is coming out:

Hi to all friends,

there is a new: Nylgut is improved.

the new Nylgut:

1) stretch less than the first version. In practise now it stretch like the common nylon strings

2) it is stonger ans less able to breack under tension.

3) the surface is perfectly polished and smooth, I mean that it is the same of the nylon strings now.

4) the colour is a bit less milked

this new version will be soon in the market. I suppose with the next seller's orders.
Ciao!

Mimmo (Aquila Owner & founder)

John

fromthee2me
06-14-2010, 05:16 AM
Quote AC Baltimore wrote: Most recently when I took my concert from pro arte's to aquila's. I dressed the nut and saddle for them, but they just seem to be easy buzzers. I think you should have tested before you started dressing .......................To deal with the buzz: Maybe you want to try a little shim under your bridge to increase the height a little ? Or an old guitar bridge can easily be sanded down and replace the present bridge? In terms of the characteristics of the string materials used, there are many variables that can lead to the buzz. The amplitude (distance from rest position to the widest part as the string swings out ) of the string will differ from make to make, and from thickness to thickness of the stringmaterial used, and ofcourse how hard you pick or strum the string. The sound of the strings is completely personal per player.I hope it helps

pulelehua
06-14-2010, 09:05 AM
Over on FMM, Mimmo posted that an improved Nylgut is coming out:

Hi to all friends,

there is a new: Nylgut is improved.

the new Nylgut:

1) stretch less than the first version. In practise now it stretch like the common nylon strings

2) it is stonger ans less able to breack under tension.

3) the surface is perfectly polished and smooth, I mean that it is the same of the nylon strings now.

4) the colour is a bit less milked

this new version will be soon in the market. I suppose with the next seller's orders.
Ciao!

Mimmo (Aquila Owner & founder)

John

This is potentially exciting. A more consistent, smooth texture might be the thing to bring me back. But I'd wait until hearing from someone who'd had them on for a while.

AC Baltimore
06-20-2010, 08:32 PM
Could be that years of playing electric guitars has messed with my hearing, but I swear I have come to flat out despise Aquilas. To my ears they are buzz prone, thin sounding, sticky feeling and just yuck. I mean NO offense to those who love them, these are just my opinions and I have no doubt they are high-quality strings. I yanked them off of my Kala KA-TEM tonight, put on some D' Addario Hawaiians and I LOVE the new warm and beefy tone.

luvdat
06-20-2010, 10:57 PM
I think it really does comes down to preferring like I also do now a warmer, fatter tone.

lambchop
06-21-2010, 03:06 AM
I agree with the comments. Nail noise is an issue. I love aquila's but these are kinda deal breakers on some ukes.

So funny this would come up. I replaced the worth clears on my tenor with a low G set of Aquila, except I have bnot yet changed out my E so I am doing a very good comaprison (best would be string to string). Now I know the G is thicker, as its a wouind low, but I'd assume the other two I have put on, the C and the A, are the same. In my opinion, in terms of sustain, lack of finger noise, and just all around playability, I like the Worth clears. Expensive at first, but you get enough string for two sets in each pack, so it's really around the same as any other set of strings. Mike

AC Baltimore
09-11-2011, 03:47 PM
It has been a year since I started this thread. I took some time away from music while I dealt with personal issues. I am currently still using "new improved" Aquilas on my ukes but that C string continues to be buzzed prone. I may just give up the ghost and go all DA Hawaiians or worth.

buddhuu
09-12-2011, 01:19 AM
I still like Aquilas on most laminate ukes, but for my solid mahogany ukes I much prefer Worth browns.