View Full Version : Have Aquilas changed.

03-18-2011, 10:31 AM
I know everyone gets sick of string questions. Hope this has some interest.

When my playing partner bought our ukes (both tenors), they had Aquilas on them - mine used, his new.
We are incredibly slack about changing strings but when the strings on my Lanikai started to feel like sandpaper, I finally got my act together to change. It just happened that Terry changed his strings about the same time.
The thing is those crappy old strings didn't sound too bad. Of course, the new strings sounded like new strings should.
BUT - they've been on maybe a month or two and are now sounding very dull.
Given that the previous set of Aquilas sounded pretty good even when they had been played into submission, I wonder if anyone knows - have Aquila changed their formula or something. Both these ukes probably only get played two or three times a week for a couple of hours. It HAS been hot here.
I like those Aquilas but if anyone has a suggestion for a similiar sounding string with more robust qualities I'd be interested. (and, yes, I know I should change my strings more often).

03-18-2011, 11:37 AM
Has it been humid as well as hot? I discovered a few weeks ago that Aquila strings sound really dull when exposed to high humidity and for a few days thereafter. Took my Kiwaya to Louisiana for one night - the weather was still cool but very humid - when I got home that uke sounded terribly dull and lifeless for two or three days. It improved some after that and I left those strings on until I replaced the tuners last night.


Papa Tom
03-18-2011, 12:25 PM
I asked the same question about a year ago when I replaced all my Aquila strings. 'Wish I could find the thread for you. I got a few explanations that were a little too technical for me, but the impression I got was that the formula for the strings HAD changed since my previous sets. Or maybe they hadn't.

Regardless of what anybody says, I swear the Aquilas I use now don't sound or feel as good as the ones I had on my ukes a couple of years ago. I'm really curious to see what you find out...

03-18-2011, 12:35 PM
check if they are nylagut. http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?39969-FYI-Uke-Strings says Aquila has a new forumulation so there are nylaguts, guts I guess and this other bionylon

Papa Tom
03-18-2011, 03:13 PM
Hmmm...that's interesting. The article doesn't really say anything about how to tell if you have nylguts or bionylon, but I just noticed that my last sets of Aquilas do not say "nylgut" on them anywhere. I guess I just assumed that, because I ordered nylguts, I got nylguts. But maybe the vendor didn't know there was an alternate formula floating around?

In any event, I haven't been happy with any of the recent Aquila string sets I've purchased.

03-18-2011, 04:42 PM
The AquilaUSA site doesn't have info on the new Bionylons. This is from the Just Strings site . . .


Aquila has introduced an alternative to the very popular Nylgut for which they are known. Bionylon®, is the world's first eco-friendly synthetic string.

Made of rounded, smooth Bionylon® monofilaments these Ukulele strings possess excellent acoustic and mechanical properties. Bionylon® is primarily derived from castor oil which allows a reduction of 50% of carbon dioxide emissions during the polymer synthesis as compared with other common Nylons used for Ukulele strings.


03-18-2011, 04:57 PM
I was going to say they might be Bionylons too- I tried those and threw them away right after they broke in. Couldn't stand them

03-18-2011, 05:16 PM
well - that ,may be it. I chucked out the packet but I'll be sure to get nylgut next time.
COULD be the humidity but I don't think the levels we get here come close to Louisiana, John. I remember Tim Robbins describing the weather NyOrlins "New Orleans rain smelled of sulfur and hibiscus, trumpet metal, thunder, and sweat. "
...and getting off the plane when the air hits you like - a giant, damp dog jumping up and licking you all over...."down, boy, down".

03-18-2011, 10:09 PM
Not to threadjack but that sounds a lot like when I last got off a plane at 10pm in May in San Antonio.. didn't think I was going to make it the 100 feet to the air conditioned terminal... and I was a lot younger then.

03-19-2011, 03:05 PM
There are the new bionylons, but Aquila also changed the nylgut formula sometime in the last year--I remember the owner posting about it. So it could be that you got some of the new nylguts. When I got a set of the bionylons, they came in the regular packaging but with "bionylon" handwritten on the front--so maybe if they're not marked as bionylons, you can assume they're nylgut?

03-19-2011, 05:20 PM
I was going to say they might be Bionylons too- I tried those and threw them away right after they broke in. Couldn't stand them

Me too. I tried to like the Bionylon Aquila strings, but they were just too dead and muted, compared to the Nylgut.
I wonder on what uke they sound good. Every string has to sound good on something....right?

03-19-2011, 05:35 PM
Here is what I posted in April 2010...

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.

Mimmo (Aquila Owner & founder)

I sent Mimmo an email, also in April 2010, and asked if the tension had changed over the past few years. I first tried Nylguts in 2007 and the tension was too high for me, but the ones I tried again in 2010 seemed to have a lower tension and were a lot better, at least for me.

Mimmo replied...

yes, I dropped the tenor gauges time ago.
Now they are a bit lighter.

I hope this helps!


03-20-2011, 11:53 AM
Thanks all. Yup - that helps.