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View Full Version : Why No Love for Aquila?



BigMamaJ40
02-02-2013, 03:57 AM
Many uke ads boast the uke comes with Aquila strings. Conversely, many posters here say the first thing they will do to their new ukulele is remove the Aquila strings!

Does this distaste have to do with the sound, feel or quality of the Aquilas? Or is it a song-style issue? Or???

I am ready to restring my Pono MC. I have a pack of Living Waters and a pack of Aquilas. Which to choose? I am new to the uke, and am learning 20's style songs right now.

Freeda
02-02-2013, 04:00 AM
It goes in waves, like most things. When I started here it was all about Aquila. Now Living Water is the darling. Next it will be something else...


String it up and see what happens. The only opinion that matters is your own.

we tigers
02-02-2013, 04:02 AM
Put on the Living Waters.

My opinion: good Fluor carbons like Worth or Living Water let you hear your instrument, Aquila lets you hear the strings. I'm no fan of Aquila but on some ukes they can sound good.

paw123los
02-02-2013, 04:14 AM
I play with fingernails, and Aquilas have a very strange feel & sound when you play with fingernails.
It also depends on the instrument ... I use Savarez strings (custom set) and D'Addario strings on all my tenors.
I use Aquila strings on my banjoleles and soprano - they work great there.

When I buy a new instrument I always try different sets of strings to find the ones I like the most. I encourage you to try both sets ... and pick the one you like better.

SweetWaterBlue
02-02-2013, 04:20 AM
When I first stared playing about 3 years ago, as others have said Aquilas were all the rage. You could put them on a cheap instrument and they would make it a lot louder. I also found them a bit harsh. When flouro-carbons (Martin, Living Waters, Diadorio, etc.) became widely available for ukes a few years ago, I switched to them and like the sound much better.

coolkayaker1
02-02-2013, 04:34 AM
My Collings UT-1 tenors came from Bill Collings with Aquilas. They were ideal for that uke.

PhilUSAFRet
02-02-2013, 04:39 AM
I have Ko'olau Alohi's on my Pono concert....love'em, Southcoasts on my Pono 6 string tenor. Aquilas now come on many ukes that sound a little too bright, or brash with them. They are rarely the best string for an all mahogany instrument. Odd how they make some ukes sound muted....counterintuitive, but usually they make most sound brighter. For the Pono, I'd go with the Living Waters or other high quality flourocarbon. I have Aquilas on my KPK and they sound awesome, but I have an ebony nut and saddle and wonder if they tame the strings a bit. They also occasionally sound awesome on some Martin O's If you want that Pono to have a bright bark, try the Aquilas.

barefootgypsy
02-02-2013, 05:06 AM
I have Aquilas on my cheapie Mahalo soprano and they transformed it. I don't like them on my banjo-ukes, I like nylon - inexpensive nylon strings sound great on those. And on my better wooden ukes I like Living Waters. My used Kiwaya KTS 4 came strung with Aquilas - not good - too brash....horses for courses......

pdxuke
02-02-2013, 05:15 AM
Strings are a matter of taste. Aquilas are fine strings. They are a whole lot better as standard, on your uke strings than the old G*S strings were.

But I like the feel of and sound of fluro carbon strings. Martin 600s on my Mahogany ukes are exceptional. I just put the 620s on my Martin tenor. Amazing difference in sound and feel. Not being an engineer, I don't know why.

I still have Aquilas on my dolphins, and it makes them punchy little colorful bundles of joy.

I'd like to try those reds, and the low g red. Heard good things about them.

OldePhart
02-02-2013, 05:24 AM
I love Aquilas on many inexpensive ukes. If a uke doesn't have much "voice" of its own Aquilas can definitely bring some volume and "brash" to the table. I think that is one reason they are popular with manufacturers, especially of inexpensive to mid-range ukes; any uke, unless it is complete crap, will sound at least "ok" with Aquilas on. The problem is that I want more than just "ok."

However, when you have a uke that has decent volume and a nice, complex voice, that same "brash" characteristic of Aquilas tends to bury the finer nuances of such a uke. I heard a KoAloha with Aquilas on once - when I first heard it the guy who was playing it had his back turned to me and he was talking about his new-to-him KoAloha as he played - I innocently asked him if he'd brought it too, not realizing that he was playing it! KoAloha sopranos have about the most distinctive, wide-open, sound imaginable but it was pretty much completely disguised by the Aquila strings!

There are two other things I don't like about the Aquilas - high humidity can make them kind of dull and lifeless and they sometimes take days to recover from that, and I play with my nails a lot so they simply don't last very long for me before the coating starts flaking whereas fluorocarbon strings last almost forever.

However, with all that said, if someone brings me a uke that seems lifeless or dull the first thing I'll try to perk it up is throw a pack of Aquilas on it. I have Aquilas on all of the grandkids laminated ukes, etc.

John

kauaijim
02-02-2013, 05:34 AM
The above post is right on...Aqulia's are good for the low end laminates. Your Pono (I have two) will like the Living Water strings more. However, I prefer Southcoast strings on my non-koa ukes. Southcoast and mahogany sound best to me. Again, opinions will differ.

Doug W
02-02-2013, 06:53 AM
I had Aquilas on my Mainland mahogany tenor when I received it. I switched to Worth Browns for a while but then I heard my wife playing her Mainland mahogany concert with Aquilas, I thought they sounded great and I switched back and that is all I use on this uke now.

I also really enjoyed Bosko and Honey's Ukulele Safari tour of the Aquila factory in Italy. It seems like a business I want to support.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_Cwe_pz0Uo

mm stan
02-02-2013, 06:55 AM
Nothing Wrong with Aquilas.... every brand string works well on certain ukes....best way to know is to try them....slap them on your uke...
not sure I would have used that post heading though....

Plainsong
02-02-2013, 07:08 AM
Aquilas simulate gut strings very well IMO. So if you want a sound authentic to the old school, that's simply the only choice. People forget that. They think aquila are for cheap ukes and that's wrong. Aquilas are for authentic sound. Of course, sound preference has changed, and even though I root for them and think of them as one of only a handful of uke string companies researching and innovating...I don't currently have them in rotation. But generally koa + Aquila = earthy and authentic.

Gillian
02-02-2013, 07:17 AM
First, I want to say I admire Mimmo Peruffo's commitment to the art of string making.

I just had to change the Worth Clears on my Kamaka longneck concert because they developed sharp edges underneath where the string hits the fret and looked like they were all ready to snap. The only strings I had on hand were some Aquila Nylguts and they sound great on this uke. I'm now liking the Aquilas better than the Worths...on this uke, anyway.

String/ukulele combinations are so subjective to what an individual thinks sounds good. I asked Troy Fernandez when he was playing on Kalakaua Blvd. what strings he uses on his Sonny D and he said GHS!

wendellfiddler
02-02-2013, 08:11 AM
Aquilas are low tension strings. I like the feel of them for jazz chording and I like the softness of them for finger picking - I use them on my Collings. But my Mya Moe Beansprout has Worth CT's and on that instrument the higher tension is great - I can use a flat pick on them sometimes and the higher tension is balanced with very low action. I think it depends on the setup and the function of the instrument. Each has there place. This is also true in the violin and banjo world where a balance between string tension, action and style make all the difference - one shoe just doesn't fit all.

Duk

BigMamaJ40
02-02-2013, 08:15 AM
Thank you for your comments! I am a guitar player, and I hate changing my guitar strings, so I was looking for the easy way out. Also, I read a bit about how long it could take for strings to settle in, so I want to make at least an educated choice. The difference in perceived value of Aquilas between the sellers and the users just struck me as odd, is all.

I honestly didn't mean to ruffle any feathers:). I know what I like when when I hear it, but I don't know much about ukes, so your insight is truly helpful. I am hoping the ukulele will be kinder to my left-hand arthritis than my guitars, and I look forward to being a contributing member to this forum. Or at least not annoying.

The strings on the Pono MC now (Martin 600 or something) are nice, but I think it is necessary to change the strings to make the instrument "mine".

I am going to try the Aquilas first, because they are a different material than the Flourocarbon strings I have on now. Wish me luck!

Nicko
02-02-2013, 08:54 AM
Aquilas simulate gut strings very well IMO. So if you want a sound authentic to the old school, that's simply the only choice. People forget that. They think aquila are for cheap ukes and that's wrong. Aquilas are for authentic sound. Of course, sound preference has changed, and even though I root for them and think of them as one of only a handful of uke string companies researching and innovating...I don't currently have them in rotation. But generally koa + Aquila = earthy and authentic.

FedEx man delivered my new old Kumalae B today. Koa w Aquilas...sounds GREAT! In time I'll try out some flouros on it, too. But it does, as you say, sound "earthy and authentic" -- not that I was around 80 or 85 years ago to judge authenticity today, nor have I heard gut strung ukes except in recordings.

Aquilas certainly are good strings and there's good reason that they are preferred by many people. Horses for courses as someone said above.

I try to remember, too, that we're playing music, not equipment. Great music can be played on binding twine...well, you know what I mean. Smoke 'em if ya got 'em.

Youkalaylee
02-02-2013, 09:11 AM
I don't like them because they don't feel as gentle on my fingers as fluorocarbon strings do.

Tootler
02-02-2013, 09:35 AM
As others have said, it's horses for courses. I started with Aquilas on most of my ukes. They made a huge difference to nondescript cheapie I started out with and most of the ukes I have bought since came with them as standard. I have gradually changed most to fluorocarbon strings (A mixture of Worth and Living Water) because I find them make the uke less "in your face". I have left them on one laminate soprano because they just seem to suit that uke. I initially left them on my only concert uke until I tuned it down to Bb tuning. I liked the overall sound of the uke with the lower tuning but I thought the "C" string sounded dead at the lower pitch, so I changed them for a set of Living Water and it made a difference and brought the uke back to life at the lower pitch. So even the tuning can have an impact on the choice of strings.

Lalz
02-02-2013, 10:51 AM
There's nothing wrong with Aquilas. They're probably the best on most laminate ukes and are great on some solid tops, but imo not so great on other solid tops or all-solids. Depends on the instrument and the sound and feel you want to get. I had them on my two spruce-tops and my first Mahalo, they sounded very good. They're still on the Mahalo and are perfect for it (this uke now belongs to a friend), but I just like fluocarbonates better on the other two. More balanced, higher tension, less like gut-strings (like Plainsong said, Aquilas sound very like gut strings, which is the whole point with them), and a bit smoother to the touch (oh yeah I forgot, had them on my banjo uke too, I could hear my fingers touching them because of the head's amplification, so they weren't optimal in my ears in terms of smoothness). Still they were very good.

I do however think that South Coast strings are far superior in quality, and the reason more people are inclined to recommend these or Living Waters is probably because a lot of more senior forum members have progressed to more high-end instruments now and get high-end strings to match them. But it doesn't mean Aquilas aren't good. They're great. Just not the bestest of the high-end bestest.

The red low-G string is fantastic btw, love it.

Plainsong
02-02-2013, 11:57 AM
I try to remember, too, that we're playing music, not equipment. Great music can be played on binding twine...well, you know what I mean. Smoke 'em if ya got 'em.

True dat! And remember folks, UU isn't the entire uke-playing world. There's a reason these are so popular. This thread is reminding me to try some nyltech strings at some point.

Edit to add: Yeah can hardly NOT recommend Southcoast or Living Water! Also great string sets, and Dirk is a obsessed with strings so that we don't have to be. :) And let's not forget D'addario awesomeness, Saverez awesomeness, PHD awesomeness... lots of options.

TG&Y
02-02-2013, 02:36 PM
I try to remember, too, that we're playing music, not equipment.

I like that line. Made me think of Gus and Fin.

keliiyama
02-02-2013, 02:38 PM
Great posts everyone:) I actually have a mix on my ukulele. I got a pack of Aquila's new red series strings. Aquila (new) high G red, Living Water for C and E string, and normal Aquila for A. It sound great on my custom high end. They are both great strings. It will all come down to personal preference. Mahalo Mimmo and Ken!

wendellfiddler
02-02-2013, 03:32 PM
I don't like them because they don't feel as gentle on my fingers as fluorocarbon strings do.

Wow, that's interesting, because I would say exactly the opposite. Lower tension, easier on the fingers - of both hands. Stroke and folks and all that.

anthonyg
02-02-2013, 07:46 PM
I'm a fan of Aquila strings. They can be temperamental beasts at times but I LOVE their harmonic rich sound. They help a ukulele to sound MUCH bigger than you would expect. Flurocarbon strings are strong on the fundamental tone but don't have a lot of harmonics. The Aquila's, strong on harmonics as they are aren't as strong on the fundamental tone as fluorocarbon strings are.

I'm a picker and I'm happy with the feel of them however when it gets really humid they can be a bit grippy but I haven't compared how they perform in humid conditions to too many other strings.

Something to note. I usually detune my TENOR ukulele's anywhere from 1 semitone to 3 semitones below standard. I usually play concerts in standard tuning, GCEA and baritones in standard baritone tuning, DGBE.

Anthony

Skrik
02-02-2013, 08:20 PM
I have Aquilas on my cheapo-crappy ukes, and on one with too thick a solid top. The strings make these ukes sound acceptable to my ear. I also have them on my Vita. That baby is the very definition of loudness, and it sounds great for Vaudeville tunes.

I have other brands of strings on other ukuleles.

Strings are a matter of taste; please don't rope me into some claim that I'm just following fashion.

TheCraftedCow
02-02-2013, 08:31 PM
Have any of you been selected as one of the ten sets of ALL RED AQUILA GCEA strings for the tenor? The diameter of all of the strings is more uniform than any other string set ever used. When the Uke'aholics played it last Thursday night, there were those who thought it was too bright of a sound, and some thought it would be a good sound which would not get buried in a group. Playing with the pad of the finger softened the tone, so it was more versatile than the whites. They liked the texture and the more even diameter so all four seemed to be balanced in volume and tone. Near Salem,OR ? stop in and give 'em a test run and your opinion so I can give it to Mimmo.

anthonyg
02-02-2013, 09:52 PM
I'm going to take exception to the notion that is being repeated here that Aquila's are only good on cheap ukulele's.

A few times I've played a Scott Wise Tenor Soloist with Aquila's on it. Superb handmade ukulele which was a bargain at $1250. ABSOLUTELY superb with Aquila low G strings on it. It was so alive and expressive. I so want to buy it.

Anthony

docryf
02-03-2013, 12:54 AM
I have Worth brown mediums on my Ohana Tenor but I put Aquila's on my OS OU2 Concert when I got it because I want to learn blues on it. That works for me. Different strings have different qualities so I'm happy to experiment to get the sound I like.

Sporin
02-03-2013, 03:16 AM
As others have said, it depends on your ear and your uke.

I think one of the fun things about the uke is trying different sets of strings. It's relatively cheap and quick to do a string change and I have found much enjoyment (and education) in trying different sets on my different ukes.

I have found that I generally prefer a clear fluorocarbon string but am really liking the test-Aquila Red set on my tenor right now (http://ukemafia.com/sound-sample-aquila-red-ukulele-string-set/), and plan to combine the C,E,A of that set with a Red Low G next.

I have D'addario strings on 2 ukes right now but am planning on putting a set of "regular" white Aquila's on my Dolphin for my trip to Florida because I want to add some punch to my little travel/beach uke.

hoosierhiver
02-03-2013, 03:47 AM
I think over the past 5-6 years Aquila has become the strings that other brands are compared to, regardless of whether they are your favorite or not.

BigMamaJ40
02-03-2013, 04:51 AM
Last night, I strung my Pono MC with the Aquilas. Even accounting for that wonderful new string freshness, I can tell there is a difference from the FC (please don't make me spell it out!) strings. No opinion either way as of yet, but it sounds just fine.

Thanks to YouTube, the restringing process was painless (not something I can usually claim with my slot head guitar). It was sort of soothing tying the knots -- it reminded me of fishing. No harsh sounds of pliers clipping or metal string ends flying about.

I tuned her up, played and retuned and played and retuned and...did I mention the retuning?

Dougf
02-03-2013, 07:57 AM
Anybody have sound samples of the same uke with Aquilas vs fluorocarbon? I put Living Water strings on my latest homemade build, maybe I'll record something and them swap them out for Aquilas and see if I can really tell the difference.

haole
02-03-2013, 08:10 AM
Aquilas are good strings and I like them on most inexpensive ukes. Remember a few years ago when most ukes came with GHS or awful no-name strings? I like that Aquilas are now the stock strings for a lot of entry-level brands. They're not the best choice for every single instrument, but they're easy to recommend in most cases. I prefer fluorocarbons on my solid koa ukes, but Aquilas work great on some expensive instruments too. Heck, Collings and Moore Bettah use 'em!

Big fan of the red low Gs lately. I have one on my Flea from the first batch and it still hasn't broken yet.

DaleR
02-03-2013, 08:22 AM
I just restrung my Melokia with Nyguts. The sound and action was greatly improved. I hope I have the same good fortune when I have to restring my U Bass some far off day!

pdxuke
02-03-2013, 08:32 AM
I think over the past 5-6 years Aquila has become the strings that other brands are compared to, regardless of whether they are your favorite or not.

You're right, Mike! And they have become the standard come-with-the-uke string. Used to be GHS. I can remember a few years ago, many sellers like MGM were advertising that part of the appeal of buying from them is they changed the strings to Aquila at no extra cost.

Sporin
02-03-2013, 08:38 AM
True dat! And remember folks, UU isn't the entire uke-playing world. There's a reason these are so popular.

So true! Every music store that carries ukulele strings has Aquilas (and many carry ONLY Aquilas) and they are the string I hear most recommended out in the "real world."

When I went to my local music shop and said I needed a spare set of strings for my uke the guy handed me Aquila's and said "here is what you need." I don't even think they carried a different brand of strings back then.

This forum (like any hobby-specific forum) is obviously going to have far more in-depth knowledge and a variance of opinions and options. Most folks I meet at uke clubs play a long time on their stock strings and don't ever realize how many different brands and materials there are out there.

tonet
02-05-2013, 09:34 AM
Is Aquila trying to copy Fluorocarbons (less gauge) with the new Red series (less gauge)?

OldePhart
02-05-2013, 12:16 PM
I don't know that "copy" is good terminology. After all, there are many different brands of fluorocarbon strings and many different "formulas" of fluorocarbon. I think that in this day and age any company that doesn't at least consider offering a fluorocarbon line is probably not going to be around for the long haul. There are enough people that love them that you just really can't afford to ignore that segment of the market. That doesn't mean you're "copying" anything by introducing your own fluorocarbon line...

John

Dougf
02-07-2013, 06:10 AM
Here are a couple of video sound sample clips, one with fluorocarbon strings, and one with Aquilas, both on the same uke. See if you can tell which is which by just listening -- watching the videos would probably give it away. Both clips are just a little over two minutes long.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUuubcyhzrk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjeFZBFEEmo

ChaosToo
02-07-2013, 08:18 AM
All I can tell you is that 'sound test 2' sounds nicer to me.......

I'm going to say the Aquilas are 'sound test 1' as they sound a little more brash.

But I'm probably wrong......

bazmaz
02-07-2013, 09:02 AM
As I always say with strings - it is totally personal opinion. Depends on the uke, the player, their style, their ear. As such no matter what someone says, it doesn't mean it should be the same for everyone else.

For me though, no, don't like Aquila, and never have. On ultra cheap, thick top ukes like dolphins, Mahalos etc they do seem to have a great ability to boost tone and volume. I don't like the feel on the fingers, but will go with them and recommend them on ukes like this.

On solid woods though I find they boom, overpower and muddy up any sort of tone subtlety you might wish for and always go Flouro.

They do a fantastic marketing job - I mean, they come on Kanile'as now.... That I can't understand. But as i said, perhaps just me.

soupking
02-07-2013, 09:29 AM
There seems, to me at least, to be a bit of a herd mentality with certain reoccurring topics on UU, with the recent disdain for Aquila strings being one such instance. A few years ago, right here on UU, there was only praise for Aquila strings; they made *every* instrument sound better it would've seemed. Kanile'a used them for stock strings, and often one would see videos with Kamakas and KoAlohas wearing Aquilas. Recently, as has been mentioned numerous times in this thread, they're only good enough to brighten up a crappy uke. I just don't believe everyone actually believes this, as much as they *think* they believe it; relying on what they've read here on UU instead of offering up their own opinions. The same can be said, in my opinion, about the recent preference shift from K-brand ukuleles to custom ukuleles; in that, a couple years ago everything was "K-brand, K-brand, K-brand," but now they're not good enough anymore. We need custom ukes.

I don't think this is true of every single person- obviously, I'm sure, some people actually just do not care for a certain product- but to have such a seismic shift in opinions from one side to another is questionable. Of course, there *are* way more options on the market now regarding string choices, but I'm still skeptical.

I still have the Aquila strings on my Compass Rose and Collings. I see no reason to try any other strings on either, because they both sound marvelous. I love Aquilas. I don't really care if other people like them one way or another, just offering up my two cents...

Hippie Dribble
02-07-2013, 09:35 AM
I generally am not a fan, but like Matt just said, each uke has it's perfect string match and sometimes, aquilas are it. I rarely use them, but somehow find a set currently on my (expensive) baritone because they sound better than most all other sets I've tried.

I think the ideal situation is to have a number of strings sets on hand so you can really play around with many options with your instruments, and find the best voice for them. It may be a surprise! For example, i have a Black bear soprano and I've ended up using a set of fremont blacklines on it, which I'd avoided like the plague til now...you just never know. :)

Nicko
02-07-2013, 09:45 AM
A few years ago, right here on UU, there was only praise for Aquila strings; they made *every* instrument sound better it would've seemed. ... Recently, as has been mentioned numerous times in this thread, they're only good enough to brighten up a crappy uke.

Ukulele players...at least lots of us here...seem to be a fairly acquisitive bunch (understatement). And we acquisitive types have rich people's problems. Can't buy what we've already bought. So fashion enters the picture.

Nobody NEEDS a uke. It's a luxury item -- some more luxurious than others, of course. If we're acquiring things we don't need, may as well develop strong and changing opinions about the strings, too. It's another buying opportunity.

bnolsen
02-07-2013, 10:06 AM
All I can tell you is that 'sound test 2' sounds nicer to me.......

I'm going to say the Aquilas are 'sound test 1' as they sound a little more brash.

But I'm probably wrong......

1 are the fluorocarbons, 2 are the acquilas.

It's a different sound from each. I personally prefer the feel of fluorocarbons, they're not as thick and are easier on my fingers.

Skrik
02-07-2013, 10:28 AM
Nobody NEEDS a uke.

Speak for yourself.

ChaosToo
02-07-2013, 10:34 AM
1 are the fluorocarbons, 2 are the acquilas.

It's a different sound from each. I personally prefer the feel of fluorocarbons, they're not as thick and are easier on my fingers.

Wow - I am suprised! I actually think the Aquilas on my soprano (OK, it's only a Mahalo) sound a bit brash - so to hear your sound clip and see that (to my ears) the flourocarbons sound even more brash has made me rethink on new strings for my ukes!

I wanted something a bit more mellow - but I have to say I'm now a bit stuck....... LWs? Worths?

bazmaz
02-07-2013, 11:23 AM
There seems, to me at least, to be a bit of a herd mentality with certain reoccurring topics on UU, with the recent disdain for Aquila strings being one such instance. A few years ago, right here on UU, there was only praise for Aquila strings; they made *every* instrument sound better it would've seemed. Kanile'a used them for stock strings, and often one would see videos with Kamakas and KoAlohas wearing Aquilas. Recently, as has been mentioned numerous times in this thread, they're only good enough to brighten up a crappy uke. I just don't believe everyone actually believes this, as much as they *think* they believe it; relying on what they've read here on UU instead of offering up their own opinions. The same can be said, in my opinion, about the recent preference shift from K-brand ukuleles to custom ukuleles; in that, a couple years ago everything was "K-brand, K-brand, K-brand," but now they're not good enough anymore. We need custom ukes.

I don't think this is true of every single person- obviously, I'm sure, some people actually just do not care for a certain product- but to have such a seismic shift in opinions from one side to another is questionable. Of course, there *are* way more options on the market now regarding string choices, but I'm still skeptical.

I still have the Aquila strings on my Compass Rose and Collings. I see no reason to try any other strings on either, because they both sound marvelous. I love Aquilas. I don't really care if other people like them one way or another, just offering up my two cents...

Can assure you, my opinions are not based on views on UU. I've always seen merits of Aquilas on laminate cheap ukes, I've always found I have more joy from Flouros on higher end ukes than Aquilas, and I've always said that my views mean jack - string choice is personal.

If someone finds a uke plays nice to them with any string brand, then that is good for me!

26tiki
02-07-2013, 11:31 AM
My Ohana CK-35 was strung with Aquila's. Played it, loved it. Put some Worth Browns on and while I did like the mellow sound, I found the softer string didn't give me the hard playability or bounce I like for thrashing different strums (I wore through them in two weeks). Put some Aquila's back on & it was like I'd found my uke again!! Super stoked. In saying that though, I do prefer the worths on the CK-10, it just works better.
My two cents..... ;)

soupking
02-07-2013, 11:47 AM
Can assure you, my opinions are not based on views on UU. I've always seen merits of Aquilas on laminate cheap ukes, I've always found I have more joy from Flouros on higher end ukes than Aquilas, and I've always said that my views mean jack - string choice is personal.

If someone finds a uke plays nice to them with any string brand, then that is good for me!

Yeah, nah Baz, I honestly wasn't singling you out or anything, it was just coincidental that my post ended up after yours. I'd actually started writing it before yours was even there- I was at work and had to keep stopping and starting off and on. Surely, you and OldePhart have been stating your opinions for some time now on the matter, and both you guys, I'd say, have a wealth of knowledge to disperse whereby we all benefit I think. I just think it's strange how a whole chorus of people start changing their tunes to where it becomes almost the complete opposite. Out with the old, in with the new I guess. Haha

OldePhart
02-07-2013, 12:28 PM
There seems, to me at least, to be a bit of a herd mentality with certain reoccurring topics on UU, with the recent disdain for Aquila strings being one such instance. A few years ago, right here on UU, there was only praise for Aquila strings; they made *every* instrument sound better it would've seemed. ...

I think at least some of the shift is probably due to the increasing availability of the varioius brands of fluorocarbon strings - everybody and their brother has them out now, where a few years ago they were less common. Compared to most nylon strings I will take Aquila on almost any uke (really bright ukes, like some mangos, are an exception - I kind of like the KoOlau gold nylon strings on those). Still, for me, Aquila usually win out if the only other choice is ordinary nylon strings, it's only when you let fluorocarbons into the game that the Aquila strings begin to lose some ground.

And, again, with the exception of some wound baritone strings that I really disliked it's not that Aquilas sound bad to me, they just tend to make all my ukes sound more alike than different. That's not a bad thing if that is the sound you are looking for...

John

PeteyHoudini
02-07-2013, 12:40 PM
I've learned a lot on this thread. 8-) I, personally have never liked the Aquila string feel or sound so much, but it's interesting to hear how they level the playing field soundwise for low end ukes and others. Very interesting. I like Martin fluorocarbons and Worth strings (brown or clear) cause my ears like their sound and texture. However, they don't sound good on all ukes. Actually, I didn't mind the KoOlau gold strings either. It's all a personal choice based on the uke one plays. Most of us have *many* ukes so there's bound to be some variation in that.

Petey

Dougf
02-07-2013, 12:58 PM
All I can tell you is that 'sound test 2' sounds nicer to me.......

I'm going to say the Aquilas are 'sound test 1' as they sound a little more brash.

But I'm probably wrong......

I agree that 'sound test 1' sounds a bit more brash, but those were the fluorocarbons. For this particular uke (homemade cypress and manzanita), I think I prefer the Aquilas.

ChaosToo
02-07-2013, 01:23 PM
I agree that 'sound test 1' sounds a bit more brash, but those were the fluorocarbons. For this particular uke (homemade cypress and manzanita), I think I prefer the Aquilas.

Definitely.......

bbycrts
02-07-2013, 01:47 PM
This thread has had me really smiling.

Someone said Aquilas are definitely not good on solid mahogany instruments. In my experience that has been where they sound the best.

Someone else said how much they loved Martin 600 fluoros. Those were the worst sounding strings on my solid mahogany soprano where the Aquilas really shine.

I think that's just a small example of how we each hear what sounds best our own way. There is NOTHING wrong with what the other guys are saying, and I would never say they're wrong - just that in my experience and to my ear, I have found the opposite of their experience to be true.

Strings don't cost that much. Try them out and find the best match for your uke!

PeteyHoudini
02-07-2013, 01:59 PM
Strings don't cost that much. Try them out and find the best match for your uke!
Now that's some proper advice! 8-)

Petey

bazmaz
02-07-2013, 08:52 PM
This thread has had me really smiling.

Someone said Aquilas are definitely not good on solid mahogany instruments. In my experience that has been where they sound the best.

Someone else said how much they loved Martin 600 fluoros. Those were the worst sounding strings on my solid mahogany soprano where the Aquilas really shine.

I think that's just a small example of how we each hear what sounds best our own way. There is NOTHING wrong with what the other guys are saying, and I would never say they're wrong - just that in my experience and to my ear, I have found the opposite of their experience to be true.

Strings don't cost that much. Try them out and find the best match for your uke!
And that sums it up perfectly.

Don't take advice from others as being gospel, only as opinion. There is no best string. And no string will make you a better player either.

But it's fun to test and experiment. I try several brands on each new uke I get. Sometimes my usual favourites work, sometimes I get surprised and end up with something different being my favourite on a particular uke.

molokinirum
02-08-2013, 04:18 AM
It goes in waves, like most things. When I started here it was all about Aquila. Now Living Water is the darling. Next it will be something else...


String it up and see what happens. The only opinion that matters is your own.

Freeda hit the nail on the head!! Go with what produces the sound and feel that you like!!

Nicko
02-08-2013, 04:26 AM
Go with what produces the sound and feel that you like!!

"In every life we have some trouble
When you worry you make it double
Don't worry, be happy......"

13down
04-23-2013, 06:24 AM
Great point from those who said that Aquilas level the playing field... never thought of it that way but it's true. They don't exactly make all ukes sound the same, but, to my ears, a uke with Aquilas will always sound like a uke with Aquilas. Especially when it comes to baritone wound Aquilas.

-Emma-
04-23-2013, 02:09 PM
I have Aquila strings on my Fender uke and I like the sound of them on there.

On the weekend I changed the stock strings on my Kamaka to Aquila, and I prefer the sound of the Aquila strings. I wasn't happy with the stock Kamaka strings. But I still want to try some other strings on my Kamaka...I ordered some worth fluorocarbon (clear) to try on my banjolele, so I might try them on my Kamaka too if I like them.

UkeKiddinMe
04-23-2013, 03:00 PM
Lots of love for Aquila here.

Shastastan
05-02-2013, 07:18 AM
We live in a time when we are spoilt for choice of strings, don't waste the opportunity by being too loyal to a brand name. Try several brands in the first year or so of owning an instrument to find the best fit for you. Make sure you get at least 70 - 100 hours of playing out of the strings before changing them so you get some value for your money and really get to learn what they sound like.

I think that's what I have to do. I changed from Aquilas to Living Waters on my Flea and I think I liked the Aquilas better. The Living Waters feel thin but I don't know if they are. I have southcoast on my baritone and they also feel thin. Maybe what I really want is thicker strings but I don't even know if that makes sense. Seems that I read something once about "black" strings, but I have no clue if they would work for me. There sure are a lot of choices. I hope that I don't go on a string buying safari. I've already done that with trumpet mouthpieces and it can get pretty expensive. I have aquilas on my 2 Mainland mahogany ukes and I don't notice any tone deadening. In fact those ukes seem to resonate a lot better than other ukes that I've heard in our uke group.

fumanshu
05-02-2013, 07:22 AM
I never try the new red version that they release but for the white ones...I foind they loud and confortable to ply with but I think they just don't let the tonewood express.....the tone of the strings are just taking too much places so finally what you only hear is the strings from uke to uke....


https://soundcloud.com/baouke/star-filante-by-caro-bao

haolejohn
05-02-2013, 07:34 AM
Many uke ads boast the uke comes with Aquila strings. Conversely, many posters here say the first thing they will do to their new ukulele is remove the Aquila strings!

Does this distaste have to do with the sound, feel or quality of the Aquilas? Or is it a song-style issue? Or???

I am ready to restring my Pono MC. I have a pack of Living Waters and a pack of Aquilas. Which to choose? I am new to the uke, and am learning 20's style songs right now.

a few years ago Aquila was the rave. Now it seems that Aquila strings are best for cheap ukes. I personally don't like them on my ukes, but I do like them on my student ukes.

The main thing is if you like them, that is all that matters.

Tiki.time
05-02-2013, 03:38 PM
I think our ears respond to current fashion. ymmv.

dav_9
05-02-2013, 03:46 PM
I would love to hear more reviews with the new Aquila Reds complete set. The videos on YouTube are a bit sparse.