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View Full Version : I dont like Aquila strings...looking for alternatives/suggestions...



sbpark
07-18-2011, 03:39 AM
Like the title states, i'm not a fan of Aquila strings. Not into the sound and think they sound uneven to me (both on my current uke, and on other ukues that i have heard, and also they are a bit harsh to my ear) and they have a very 'mushy' and 'soft' feel to me. Been reading and searching around a bit looking for a stiffer string and something that sounds better (obviously the sound part is subjective, but if i list what i don't like about the Aquilas the experts here may be able to help point me in the right direction at least!). I've also had a couple bad sets of Aquilas where i got a bum A string and for some reason it was fine in open tuning but as you played up the neck the intonation would get worse and worse! the previous A string was an Aquila and was fine, and i replaced the bum A another Aquila A string and it was fine and wasnt the uke. Also had a wound low G string that just blew apart on me for no reason. Never had this happen with any guitar strings in my many years of playing guitar, so to me the Aquilas are junk.

Just ordered a few sets of Ko'Olau Mahanas after watching a couple of demos on Youtube from Hawaii Music Supply and the player commented on how they have a stiffer feel, which is what i'm looking for, and they sounded really nice.

So what other strings out there dont have as soft of a feel as the Aquilas? Currently I have an Ohana CK-35, and (keeping my fingers crossed) will be picking up a KoAloha Concert today as well. I know a lot of people also like the worth strings, but not sure how they are feel/tension wise. Have also read/heard that the Kamaka strings are very stiff, but maybe too stiff. looking for something in the middle i guess!

Any advice/help is always greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Hippie Dribble
07-18-2011, 03:46 AM
for me I just love the worth strings. Tonally they are a better sound than the aquilas. Totally agreed with everything you just said about them. They can be really harsh and abrasive, and can be a bit 'boomy' sounding for me. I like the worth clears for a brighter tone and the browns for a mellower sound. Both are certainly stiffer feel than the aquilas but a little less so than the fremonts or hilos for example. But in the end I guess it's a matter of personal preference and what works for a specific uke or tonewood.

Kanaka916
07-18-2011, 03:56 AM
You may wanna try Savarez (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?9117-Savarez-String-Review) which may be a bit bright but a stiffer feel. D'Addario Pro Arte J92 may also work for you. Another option would be Southcoast Strings (http://www.southcoastukes.com/stringuide.htm). Also see the FYI - Uke Strings (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?39969-FYI-Uke-Strings) thread for additional info on strings - no recommendations.

hmgberg
07-18-2011, 04:01 AM
I have a love/hate relationship with Aquilas. I love them on "guitar-wood" ukuleles - spruce or cedar. I hate them on mahogany or koa for the reasons you cite. I use fluorocarbon strings on these ukuleles, either Worth CM or Martins-bright and "ukey," not at all brash. They also feel tighter, less mushy as you say, compared to Aquilas. I think you'd like them. I've also used Ko'olau Alohis. These are very bright, but also very stiff. If you want very stiff, they may be the strings for you.

sbpark
07-18-2011, 04:05 AM
thanks for the heads up on the uke strings thread. i've always been a d'addario guy when it comes to guitar strings, so i'll give them a try!

janeray1940
07-18-2011, 04:17 AM
I've moved on from Aquilas to Martin M600 fluorocarbons, not because of the sound but because of the "mushy" feel of Aquilas. You might also check out Fremont Black Hardlines too. I prefer the feel of both Martins and Fremonts to Worth.

Uk3player78
07-18-2011, 04:50 AM
Funnily enough i was talking to my fave uke shop today about strings and intonation. Apparently if you have intonation problems with Aquilas just change to worths and you'll be fine. Although Aquila have released a new set to combat the problem.

RichM
07-18-2011, 04:51 AM
I have Ko'olau strings on my Ko'olau (big shock, eh?), and they they definitely have a stiffer, harder feel than Aquilas. BTW, not sure if you're anywhere near the Bay Area, but when I was at Gryphon Strings a few weeks back, they had a great big bin of Ko'olau strings that they were closing out for half-price.

PoiDog
07-18-2011, 05:27 AM
I've got a soft spot for the Ko'olau Alohis - they're softer than Aquilas but still have a nice brightness and pop. But at the moment I'm a bit infatuated with the Orcas fluoros ... they bring an almost preternaturally stereotypical "ukulele" sound with them. Oh, and and Worth Browns are pretty nice as well.

After giving those Mahanas a run, go ahead and slap some of the Alohis on there too.

EDW
07-18-2011, 05:38 AM
Worth are terrific. I also like Southcoast.

kissing
07-18-2011, 05:54 AM
thanks for the heads up on the uke strings thread. i've always been a d'addario guy when it comes to guitar strings, so i'll give them a try!

Yeah, but just be careful which D'addario uke strings you go for, they have several different types.

Personally, I stick with their "Pro-Arte" range. They are thicker than typical uke strings, and have a very rich, warm tone.
Jake Shimabukuro uses these strings too.

70sSanO
07-18-2011, 06:37 AM
I would recommend Southcoast strings. They are available is different sizes so you can fit them to your preference.

John

OldePhart
07-18-2011, 07:30 AM
The KoAloha concert will love Worth CM strings. :)

Bill Mc
07-18-2011, 08:02 AM
Try Savarez New Cristal. Two 501 CR's for first and fourth strings, one 502 CR for the second string, and one 502 CR for the third string. They will meet your criterion of a stiffer string than Aquilas. They have a great sound and tune up quickly without days of extreme stretching out. They can be ordered individually at www.juststrings.com.

Bill Mc
07-18-2011, 08:11 AM
Try Savarez New Cristal. Two 501 CR's for first and fourth strings, one 502 CR for the second string, and one 502 CR for the third string. They will meet your criterion of a stiffer string than Aquilas. They have a great sound and tune up quickly without days of extreme stretching out. They can be ordered individually at www.juststrings.com.

Make that a 503 CR for the third string !

pulelehua
07-18-2011, 08:25 AM
If you've played guitar and Aquilas on your ukulele, you will likely find that flourocarbon strings feel VERY thin. Some people love this, but some love the thickness of nylon-style strings. I'm personally a big fan of thin strings. As some people have mentioned, Fremonts might be what you're looking for. They are THIN.

I use Worth Clear Hards, and really like them.

Pippin
07-18-2011, 09:00 AM
Aquila's new Nylguts are better than the old. I love the Martin fluorocarbon strings and put them on some of my favorite ukes.

Scott Stahlecker
07-18-2011, 09:21 AM
I've been using Hilo strings for all my tenors and have really been quite satisfied with their performance. They are distributed by http://www.pegasusguitars.com/ , but I buy them the Mele Uke shop on Maui. http://meleukulele.com/