View Full Version : Which Aquilas: Nylgut or Bionylon?

Ken Middleton
07-20-2010, 10:00 AM
Which do you like best?

Aquila Nylgut or Aquila Bionylon? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4ILpHArVKw)

07-20-2010, 10:13 AM
Hi Ken

I will pick the one without tuner. Slightly more mellow and pleasant to my ears.

07-20-2010, 11:10 AM
Ken I just listened to the comparison of the two sets, and i think I actually like the set on the tuner Ohana a little better. It seems a little fuller in sound and a little mellower. It almost seems to me we are comparing Aquilas to Worth browns. not quite as strong a distinction, but similar. They both sound wonderful, but my hat tips a bit to the tuner Uke Lozark I guess I should mention I have super sharp hearing in my right ear but 90% loss in the left ear, so guess it depends on which way I have my head turned! :)

07-20-2010, 11:47 AM
I preferred the sound of the uke with the tuner, myself...

07-20-2010, 02:36 PM
Have to the conclusion (even after some strong statements) that I can't decide. For one thing I don't know the level of string tension/action which might contribute to a perceived "strident" quality. Plus the strumming in both is equally forceful?

I think with Aquilas (or any string) there's such a thing as finding the sweet spot with respect to an optimum level of string tension for playing.

Without tuner: yes mellower but less balanced as revealed in both strumming and fingetstyle? With tuner: "in your face" quality...but beginning to think that's as good as it gets for certain ukes...

07-20-2010, 02:48 PM
I prefer the Aquilas string sound on the uke with the tuner, but I cannot tell which string is which: nylgut or bionlyon.... sigh! Thanks for the demonstration; I look forward to the answer. :)

mm stan
07-20-2010, 05:52 PM
Aloha Ken,
For me, I chose with the tuner as it sounds much fuller and clearer in sound...I assume it's the Nylguts...am I correct....
MM Stan..

07-20-2010, 06:29 PM
This really shows how dramatically strings can change your tone!

First is bright and loud.

Second, warm and softer

Which I like best would depend on my mood

07-20-2010, 06:46 PM
Huge difference between the two sets - the set on the uke w/tuner were very bright and as someone said, maybe a bit like a banjo. I would vote for the set on the uke without the tuner for that reason. BUT - there is certainly a place for both types!

07-20-2010, 07:18 PM
I think the one with the tuner is the Nylgut. It's loud and clangy.

Obviously i haven't tried bionylons myself, but I'm going to assume that it'll be a bit mellower than the Nylguts, as nylon strings generally are.

07-21-2010, 02:22 AM
The uke with the tuner seems to me to have a sharper "bite" and maybe a little more volume. The one without the tuner seems a little warmer and more mellow. As to which I would prefer, it would depend on the mood I was in at the moment. Just as a guess I would say that the uke withe the tuner has the nylguts and the one without the tuner has the bionylons.

Parlor Picker
07-22-2010, 12:38 AM
I thought the 'tuner' uke strings sounded clearer and more precise. They also seemed to have more tone and volume.

07-22-2010, 01:24 AM
I think everyone pretty much hit the mark as far as the tonality of the strings. As far as preference I'm not sure. If I really want the ukulele to stand out then the tuner strings would get the nod. If the ukulele was more for accompaniment then the without tuner. For fingerpicking with tuner, for strumming without. What I might try is tuner strings on a soprano and no tuner strings on a tenor. Bottom line is I would have to hear those strings on my ukuleles that I am playing to really decide. Thanks Ken, this was a lot of fun.

Ken Middleton
07-29-2010, 04:26 AM
OK, here are the results of the comparison. This was very tricky and time-consuming to collate.

I took the data from the YT comments, from the thread on UU and from the thread on Cosmos.

The strings on the instrument with the tuner were regular Nylgut strings. The set on the other uke were Bionylons. 77% of people who made a guess were correct. 23% of people got them the wrong way round. However, only about half of those that made a comment tried to guess which was which.

Only about 12 preferred the Bionylon strings (9.5%)
At least 72 preferred the Nylgut strings (56.5%)
At least 43 either did not express a preference or like both e.g. one for strumnming, one for picking (34%)

Comments about the Bionylons (numbers in brackets indicate if more than one person commented in a similar way)

Mellower (9), Warmer (6), Muted (5), Dull (2), Dead (2), Softer (2), Less attack(2)

Other comments: Fuller, More Percussive, Clearer, More Vintage, Cleaner, Fat, Jazz Tone, Sweeter, Drier, Nice, Louder, Plinky, Less Tight, Subtle, Muddy, Muddled.

Comments about the Nylguts (numbers in brackets indicate if more than one person commented in a similar way)

Brighter (19), Louder (19), Fuller tone (13), Richer (7), Warmer (6), Cleaner (5), Mellower (5), Deeper (4), Lively (2), Punchy (2), Crisper (2), Brash (2), Clearer (2), More Sustain (2)

Other comments: Responsive, Punchier, Clangier, Fatter, Better Note Separation, Better Attack, Grittier, Spikier, Harsher, Brash, Forward

Please make comments and observations. Isn't it interesting that both types of string are considered mellower and warmer?

Ronnie Aloha
07-30-2010, 03:34 PM
Thanks Ken. I listened to your youtube test and preferred the tuner uke. I came here to check the results. Thanks for all your work.

07-31-2010, 01:51 AM
At the end of the tunnel of my own back and forth...I too prefer the Aquila Nylguts.

Ahnko Honu
07-31-2010, 08:22 AM
I too preferred the tuner 'ukulele string sound. Were your Nylguts the new smooth finish Nylguts I have been hearing about or the old stock?

08-03-2010, 07:51 AM
Thanks for the data Ken. Very interesting indeed. Just goes to show that judging tone is a very subjective thing. From time to time I will spend hours adjusting an amp and effects searching for that perfect tone only to come back a day or so later and wonder just what I was thinking (or hearing).
It would be interesting to know what your evaluation of the two are. Can you say? Also wonder what Aquila is thinking. Are the Bios suppose to sound better in some way?
Thanks again Ken for the test and results.

08-03-2010, 12:48 PM
I too preferred the tuner 'ukulele string sound. Were your Nylguts the new smooth finish Nylguts I have been hearing about or the old stock?

I think overall that not just for lams but less expensive solid woods (especially soprano size) Nylguts are still one of the top options...