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View Full Version : The Aquila Red's, Risa stick adventure begins. (Low G)



Inksplosive AL
08-07-2014, 10:44 AM
After shielding the jack compartment on my used Risa soprano and stopping the dreaded 60 cycle buzz that was terrible I find I'm wanting a low G string.

I think the main reason is I'm having fun pitch shifting down two octaves with the RP360 and playing bass on it and find I really want that low G for this purpose.

I've done the reading and find the maker suggests a non-wound string for this instrument Aquila reds were mentioned so that's what I'm after. I found them on stringsbymail (https://www.stringsbymail.com/) and thinking ahead I bought a few sets in high G and three single low G strings.

I will say I'm anxious to get them but a bit nervous as I have read about the problems with stringing the stick and the problems with the particular string itself.

I would like to hear any current comments, thoughts, or feelings on the Aquila red strings, stringsbymail.com, the use of a low G on a stick and or anything related to this instrument and other brands of strings.

~peace~

Nickie
08-07-2014, 10:52 AM
I am using the Aquila Reds with a Lo G right now, but on an acoustic electric uke. I'm getting used to them. I think they feel and sound great, the G is real bass-y. (Is that a word?) I can't wait till I have time to hook it up and play it through my amp....I bet it takes the putty right off the windows...
I thought about taking them up to D tuning, but I don't think I wanna try that with a uke that doens't have a truss rod. Any thoughts?

Jools1050
08-07-2014, 11:18 AM
I have four Ukes ( at present !!!! ) , two with high G and two low . I can't say enough about the Aquila Red low G. It's like a bomb going off when you pluck it. Can't say I've sampled loads of strings but what I can say is, I'll never use any other make of G string. It takes some getting used to regarding volume, but when you master it you will love it. It's a bit raspy too, I believe they put copper filings into it and you can certainly feel a " texture " when playing. It gives a lovely mellow " thunk " too that seems to warm its way thru the whole instrument.

SteveZ
08-07-2014, 11:48 AM
I'm using Reds (low-G) on a Flea Soprano and love them. The longer they are on the instrument, the better they sound.

Am using a wound low-G on a RISA soprano and it sounds fine, especially amplified.

rustysmith3
08-08-2014, 04:52 AM
My main two ukes are a Mya-Moe and a Collings, both tenors. While traveling last year I picked up a Kala thinline travel uke. Asked for a low G and they put on an Aquila red. I liked the sound and the feel. Ordered a set and some low G's. Some months later the low G popped. Put on another per the Aquila instructions. Lots of stretching with the string out of the nut slot. A pain but I liked the sound. Some weeks later it broke even after very careful installation. Some Online stores have a no warranty disclaimer on these strings. Even with good sound I need dependable strings not randomly breaking without warning. So that rules them out for me. Never put on the full set. These strings will be going to a friend. YMMV. I just put a custom set of Savarez (C3) by 'strings by mail'. on the Kala and Collings. Good tone and a good feel. The Mya-Moe is a resonator and I use their reso strings with low G. Finding the right strings is fairly inexpensive and fun to do. My acoustic guitars have different brands for different guitars to get the tone i want.

KoaDependent
08-08-2014, 05:21 AM
The Reds did have serious breakage problems when they first came out last year. They've been reformulated now and while they still do break from time to time, they're way better. I've got a Red low-G that I've been playing daily since April without incident.

Osprey
08-08-2014, 07:44 AM
I am a believer in the Reds. They sound great on my laminate Kala tenor with Low G. Have not tried it with my new spruce top yet.
Cliff

Inksplosive AL
08-08-2014, 09:52 AM
I've only heard of the low G breaking with the Aquila reds and I'm not into the waxed paper Teflon tape workaround. I have been thinking the different strings sound on a stick brand to brand shouldn't make much difference but then again this is my first solid instrument with a piezo pickup. From reading I think the string gets stuck on the round bar it has to circle over, I'm a modder and like to make things my own. I have been thinking of having all the chrome parts cerakoted in black. Cerakote is a high tech coating used by many automotive and firearm enthusiasts.

Ive read somewhere here the Risa sticks maker recommended not to use a wound low G. I lose myself researching things I lost an hour ordering the strings I went to strings by mail for. I forget which brand but I looked at another and I think they were sold odd like there wasn't a soprano string clearly marked.

I have heard they have some texture and I'm looking forward to this. When switching once from D'Addario titanium series to Aquila's the first thing I noticed other than the Aquila's were thinner was the texture. I'll hold back on my thoughts on tuning up with a low G until I actually see one. Otherwise I look at it like this, I currently have Kala red concert strings on my Kala KA-SEM and they are tight but damn do they make it sing. You only live for so long when you're gone everything you cherished will go on to another or the dump. I live for today not to leave my things to others so if it were something I wanted to do I might just try it. Of course if its a $500+ instrument that would weigh much on any choices I made.

Strings should be here Monday!

~peace~

chuck in ny
08-08-2014, 10:44 AM
i am using the red concert low G string. i would be the first to complain with just about anything,, but the aquila low G plays with good balance to the other strings, proper tension, nice feel, and very good sound. as with steve z i feel it gets better with age. it did feel and play differently the first days and couple of weeks as it settled in, and the sound kept getting better. i installed it with zero slack after giving it a very mild stretch. give this string adequate break in time before you pass final judgment.

rustysmith3
08-08-2014, 02:42 PM
The Reds did have serious breakage problems when they first came out last year. They've been reformulated now and while they still do break from time to time, they're way better. I've got a Red low-G that I've been playing daily since April without incident.

I heard that also. The one put on by the dealer was done in Feb. but I don't know how old it was. The strings I ordered were new stock and that was only a few months ago. Others may have had better luck but I don't want to be the the experimental lab for Aquila and have to pay for the experience. There is a reason online dealers still have disclaimers on their websites for these strings. YMMV

KoaDependent
08-08-2014, 03:19 PM
One thing I forgot to mention was that after breaking the first one quickly, and a second one after about a week and noticing they both snapped at the nut, I filed down the slot a little to accommodate the wider diameter of the string.

SteveZ
08-08-2014, 03:29 PM
One thing I forgot to mention was that after breaking the first one quickly, and a second one after about a week and noticing they both snapped at the nut, I filed down the slot a little to accommodate the wider diameter of the string.

Once a nylon string gets gouged, it loses its strength at that point. The easiest place for that to happen is at the nut slot. If the size is off, not round at the bottom and angled wrong, the string pays for it. The photo is of the nut on my Flea Soprano with Reds including low-G. If the nut slots are sized right, the strings are "happy."

69886

kissing
08-08-2014, 04:11 PM
I actually asked Rick Sauer the owner of Risa ukulele company about using Aquila reds as a low G on a stick.
He didnt think it was a great idea as he had found they would easily snap in the way the Risa sticks are configured.

Risa have their own brand unwound low-G in fluorocarbon.
Personally they are too hard tension for my liking.

I would give Fremont blackline fluorocarbon unwound low G set a try.
You can find them cheaply in ebay from Lucy's Ukulele store.

SteveZ
08-09-2014, 02:44 AM
I actually asked Rick Sauer the owner of Risa ukulele company about using Aquila reds as a low G on a stick. He didnt think it was a great idea as he had found they would easily snap in the way the Risa sticks are configured.

Interesting. i wonder where the snap point would be? Other than that, the RISA stick really isn't an acoustic instrument but an electric one, and the softer-than-others Reds are definitely acoustic-centric strings. It would seem that the "harder" the string, the better it would perform on the RISA stick.

kissing
08-09-2014, 04:25 AM
Interesting. i wonder where the snap point would be? Other than that, the RISA stick really isn't an acoustic instrument but an electric one, and the softer-than-others Reds are definitely acoustic-centric strings. It would seem that the "harder" the string, the better it would perform on the RISA stick.

I see it the other way around - harder tension strings generally give off better acoustic volume and tone.

An electric can do better with softer tension strings, as the tone is produced via the pickups and may give an effect of more sustain.
Hence electric guitars use softer tension strings than acoustic.

SteveZ
08-09-2014, 04:48 AM
I see it the other way around - harder tension strings generally give off better acoustic volume and tone.

An electric can do better with softer tension strings, as the tone is produced via the pickups and may give an effect of more sustain.
Hence electric guitars use softer tension strings than acoustic.

The joy of stringed instruments! My electrics (mandolin and ukulele) sounded "thuddy" with soft stuff. In the case of acoustic/electrics I agree that I want the reproduction from the amp to mirror the instrument's natural acoustic quality, so what the a/e instrument sounds like unamplified is what I want, just louder. On a straight "e" instrument, then I want the note to be clean and crisp, and then let the preamp/amp controls manipulate it to the desired output. I've had bad luck with softer strings on pure "e" instruments and would like to chat more about this one-on-one (private messages) to share experiences and information.

Inksplosive AL
08-11-2014, 03:59 PM
Well I snapped the first low G I put on the Risa right as I was thinking what is everyone on about these snapping and *POP*!

I can see where the design of the Risa grabs the string where it goes over he round bar and creates high tension between that bar and the tuner. Mine snapped right there. You cant pull them out of the nut to tune as its the bar that's creating the pinch. Easy enough to see the notch going around this bar can be machined slightly larger and beveled a bit more for the low G much like fitting a nut.

I've put the second one on and I'm letting it stretch very slowly loosening it and moving it around the bar before tuning up. Ive also allowed this one to wind down the peg to keep the string more inline with the string slot.

I grabbed my KA-SEM to install a set of these on that but strummed it and the Kala red concerts have really settled in now and sing so loud and clear I couldn't take them off.

~AL~

Inksplosive AL
08-13-2014, 02:01 AM
First I forgot to mention all three low G's say born on Feb 2014 on the package.

The snap point seems to be in the middle of the tuner and grooved bar it travels over at the back of the instrument. Nothing is touching the string at this point but air.

My research only brought up an old post where the maker of the Risa had recommended them. I should email Aquila as well two strings in two days I feel like maybe they should have a no Risa stick warning on them.

Sucks they have a odd papery texture that I was having a lot of fun making breathing and other noises with.

My turn to email the maker I guess with my questions. The groves cut in the bar where the strings ride do not look highly polished like I would expect them too and the groove for the G string appears sharper than the others. Even so both strings snapped because the string wrapping over the bar didn't slide freely around the groove. Likely caused by being thinner than the others, less beveled and as mentioned not highly polished.

Time to tinker, these strings really ring out amplified. Well there is the texture noise much different but still reminiscent of guitar string noise most noticeable on the low G. I want that back!

~AL~