View Full Version : Aquila vs South Coast for a tenor?

11-10-2011, 10:58 AM
I live in South Africa and ordered a few sets of Aquila high G and low G strings from a reputable US store. They are having a problem on their side so the stings ain't coming!

I see posts on South Coast strings. Are these better than Aquila? I would love to purchase some for my fender tenor ukulele's (Nohea and Pa'ina). Can anyone recommend which ones? Heavy/medium/light guage? Linear? Wound flat/round?

I want one tenor high G and one low G.

Many thanks!

11-10-2011, 11:13 AM
As you've no doubt seen from the other posts, I am a big proponent of South Coast strings.

I'd say that they are much more balanced (even highs and lows) than aquilas. They are also made to give a slightly lower tension, which I prefer, though it is totally a matter of taste.
It seems that many like aquila on laminate instruments as they are quite loud. Many players prefer flurocarbon strings (like South Coasts) on solid wood instruments.

If I were you, I would order a variety of different SC strings. Dirk (who runs the company, and who may chime in on this thread) sells strings in variety packs so that you can try out several different gages (light/medium/heavy). All of these are re-entrent tuning, I believe. Make sure you take a look at the southcoast site about what key you should tune to for best results.

For you low g instrument, I've used the non-wound linear set and quite liked it. Some unwound low g strings sound kind of weak, but not the southcoast.

I'll leave it there for now, and let some others share their opinions.

btw, SouthCoast strings can only be bought from SouthCoast - they stand behind their product too

11-10-2011, 11:17 AM
I ACTUALLY LIKE THEM BOTH, it really depends on the instrument. I'd also add Worth, which I really like on my mahogany concert.

11-10-2011, 11:18 AM
I'll ditto what Jamie said.

Aquilas are nice strings, but sometimes they can be a bit much, and the Southcoasts have a more balanced, full sound to them. I'd recommend strongly that you give them a try. Others to consider are Worths (both Clear and Browns), Fremont Blacklines, Orcas, and Ko'olau Alohi or Golds. All of those are outstanding strings as well.

Remember, a big part of the fun of the uke is trying different strings to see which sound best. Have fun!

11-10-2011, 11:33 AM
Love the southcoast strings! We have a set of the light gauge high rentrants on a Kala laminate tenor. They sound beautiful! The Uke sounded good with aquilas, but great with the Southcoast strings.

11-10-2011, 12:12 PM
I switched from Aquila's to Southcoast low wound "g", wound "c" on a Kala solid spruce top and they're equally bright, lower tension and have a much "clearer" ring to them. At first I didn't like the low tension, but after short adjustment I think they're great!!! I'm going to put a set on the ukulele I built in the Rick Turner class after I decide how I'm going to finish the wood.

I emailed Dirk and told him what I was looking for in sound and he made a couple of suggestions. I'm definitely using these strings as per Dirk's suggestions, in my other ukes when it comes time to change them out.

11-10-2011, 12:31 PM
Dirk has done a lot of research and listened to what folks wanted before putting these sets together. I know for Dirk, it's been a long road with a lot of time, sweat and love regarding these string sets. The feedback and reviews have been positive from the testers as well as the consumer. There are a lot of options available and if you're not sure, drop an email to Dirk for a recommendation. For me, it was worth the wait . . . Much Mahalos Dirk!

11-10-2011, 01:29 PM
Gee, guys!

Thanks a bunch for all the comments.

Matt, I'd be more than happy to give you some recommendations. I'm at:


11-10-2011, 01:58 PM
i'm a happy, new, southcoast user.
read the info on the webpage and try to identify which gauge will suit you best.
i don't like high tension so i put the medium gauge on my tenor. perfect !!!
check the video i posted today....

11-10-2011, 02:21 PM
I think the Southcoast strings are more balanced, feel better and a lot clearer and complex. I would be money you wouldn't be disappointed.

11-10-2011, 05:05 PM
I don't want to speak for Dirk, but when I string up my instruments with his strings, I feel like he has put the same love into making them I am going to put into playing them. They are simply fantastic strings.
I have a lot of ukes and many of them have different brands- I certainly have my favorites...including Aquila on some of my instruments, but would say that if you are trying to find what sounds best for you on your instruments, leaving Southcoast strings out of the test field would be ludicrous.
I would also suggest Gaudalupe- I have been really happy with them on some of my laminated ukes. I also really like Fremont Blacklines.