Aquila Red

Jerryc41

Active member
Joined
Jul 4, 2015
Messages
8,274
Points
38
When Aquila introduced its Red strings, there were reports of them breaking. Someone in my group bought them and had one break. How are they now? I have two sets, but I think I bought them shortly after they were introduced.
 

Lapyang

Active member
Joined
Oct 2, 2017
Messages
1,658
Points
38
I have used them in the last 2 years on a few of my ukes. Soprano, concert and tenor. No breakages so far. I am aware of the reports of breakages so I am very careful to SLOWLY tune up the strings.
 

Jerryc41

Active member
Joined
Jul 4, 2015
Messages
8,274
Points
38
I have used them in the last 2 years on a few of my ukes. Soprano, concert and tenor. No breakages so far. I am aware of the reports of breakages so I am very careful to SLOWLY tune up the strings.

Thanks. I'll keep them in their envelopes for a while.
 

Booksniffer

Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2012
Messages
236
Points
16
I have them on 3 of my ukes (the most used ones!), no breakages so far - I've been using them for years without any issues.
 

Kenn2018

UU VIP
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
3,510
Points
48
My Enya Nova U Pro Black tenor arrived yesterday. It had a red Low-G string on it. It broke as I was bringing it up to tune for the 6th time. At about the 2nd fret. I'm not sure what the original strings were. (Totally different than the spare Enya strings that came with it.)

Addendum: [Went back to reread Baz' review on gotaukulele.com, he states that the original strings are D'Addario Titanium strings.]

I am assuming that it was an Aquila Red, but that is probably wrong. I am looking for a plain Low-G that will fit the bridge slot. But haven't found one. Except I think the Aquila Red will. (Not one of my favorites.)
 
Last edited:

emarcano

Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2017
Messages
101
Points
16
Thanks. I'll keep them in their envelopes for a while.

That's a good way to make them last ;-)

Seriously now, you should just go ahead and just try them, they're good. I haven't had any breakage either. It might be a matter of luck.

Eugenio
 

SailingUke

Uke legend in my own mind
Joined
Jul 15, 2008
Messages
2,751
Points
38
I had several break during the night while the Uke was just sitting idle.
Tenor scale seemed to be the problem, the longer scale has more tension.
 

bazmonkey

New member
Joined
Jun 28, 2021
Messages
2
Points
0
I’ve got them on a concert and tenor right now. No breakages.

At first I really babied them and lifted them when tuning so they weren’t rubbing over the nut slot and all that, but with these last sets I just treated them like strings and they’ve been fine.
 

Jerryc41

Active member
Joined
Jul 4, 2015
Messages
8,274
Points
38
I had several break during the night while the Uke was just sitting idle.
Tenor scale seemed to be the problem, the longer scale has more tension.

I had a bridge pop off while a uke was sitting in its case.
 
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
975
Points
18
I think I have an older set on mine that's been great for me. Put a wound low g on that burned through in no time. May buy an unwound red to see how it sounds. The Fremont Black line I replaced it with sounds awful with the other red strings
 

actadh

Active member
Joined
Jan 12, 2014
Messages
2,022
Points
38
I have them on a mahogany soprano and they have been great for the past year. Getting ready to put a low g set on a bamboo soprano.

From what I gather, the nut makes the most difference on the strings. If the slot is too thin, has burrs etc. that is a factor on breakage.
 

Graham Greenbag

Active member
Joined
Apr 15, 2017
Messages
1,391
Points
38
When Aquila introduced its Red strings, there were reports of them breaking. Someone in my group bought them and had one break. How are they now? I have two sets, but I think I bought them shortly after they were introduced.

IIRC there was a problem with the early reds that Aquila later sorted out. As best I can understand the situation Aquila add dense finely ground filler (I believe it’s some form of ‘powdered’ copper) to a base material to make the strings heavier. If the resultant mix isn’t sufficiently homogeneous then small parts (cross sections) of the base material in the string can take excessive tensile load, a tear develops and then the strings fail early.

Strings that are kept in their packet in case they break have less value than actually broken strings (because space is wasted storing them). If it were me then I’d use the stored Reds to see both whether I liked them and to how long they lasted for. Not everyone experienced broken strings: it seemed to be a random issue with a big percentage of folk not having any problems - folk on UU are demanding customers who can really test a product to extremes. Make sure that your saddle is nicely rounded, IIRC they didn’t tolerate sharp corners well.

Edit. My thanks to Mimmo below for his explanation.
 
Last edited:

M3Ukulele

Active member
Joined
Jun 20, 2013
Messages
1,423
Points
38
Original formula did have some issues but that was fixed. With proper stretching as shown on Aquila site, it should not be a problem. Be very careful of sharp edges on the tuners, nets or saddles. I have found that to make REDS break. A file or some sandpaper can usually fix the sharp edge issue. I personally really like RED. I haven’t used the, for awhile so next order I will add some.
 

mimmo

Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
348
Points
18
hello guys, a few indications:

1) the reds were made in three different versions (sorry for that, no one in this planet has done something of similar so improvements happens):

-the first version: strings were not perfectly smooth polished and they were very red color and a bit rough: It was employed copper powder. This version was the most fragile.

-the second version: the color is not so red while the surface is better: smoother and polished. The breakages is a lot less than the fist version; it was employed iron powder.

-the third and final version (since 1 year or a bit more): there is a mix between sugar and nylgut plastics and then charged with iron powder. This is the smoother, stronger string with a brighter sound.

here is the deal: when one install the 1st string (the most fragile), especially on tenors, the best way is to put the string in a side of the nut OUT of the slot till to reach the final note. Then stretch the string by hands, re-tune and when it is stable with the final note (A note) put it into the slot.

Why this procedure? Because most of the slots has sharp edges (mass Chinese production); these reds performs fantastic but at the same time they are damn cut sensitive; more than nylon or fluorocarbon.

Unwound low G red: the 'secret' is that one do not put the string into the peg hole in condition that already with the fist turn the string goes under tension: in this condition the hole of the peg act like a shears (cutter)on the bent G string: leave space in order to grant around peg 3 turns almost before to be tense so that there is not the 'cutter effect' from the peg hole and the tension spread on the whole surface of the peg.

Last thing: it is important to check which version do you have: some stores still sell the 1st and 2nd versions.
However following these indications is is very uncommon that the reds breaks.
If you thinks that the unwound low G is too rough employ a bit of thin sandpaper or employ steel- wool and it will become perfectly smooth.
Ciao
Mimmo

Ps: and remember: when strings breaks we replace them because you spent your money...
 
Last edited:

Jerryc41

Active member
Joined
Jul 4, 2015
Messages
8,274
Points
38
Original formula did have some issues but that was fixed. With proper stretching as shown on Aquila site, it should not be a problem.

I suspect the problem was fixed after I bought mine,
 

hendulele

Check your fleas
Joined
Jan 9, 2014
Messages
2,416
Points
38
I bought early versions that broke during initial tuning.

I wonder if you detuned (reduced tension) after a playing session it would make them more or less resilient? No idea, just throwing it out there.
 

merlin666

Active member
Joined
Jul 7, 2015
Messages
1,697
Points
38
I have a low G installed for at least 5 years and I love it, I assume that is first generation. I don't really understand the winding instruction for the new ones. Does this mean we should do three wraps to start with? I recall that they stretch a lot so it is quite easy to get to 5 or more wraps even with the smallest amount of slack. It would really help to have a diagram that shows this and also how much slack to leave before inserting it into the tuner hole. Also I have friction tuners on one of my tenors which makes it easy to turn too much
 

Wiggy

Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2011
Messages
222
Points
18
I have only used the low G Red, but I found that when first tensioning them it helped to occasionally lift the string slightly out of the nut to relieve any pinching in the slot. Yes, I had to loosen, pull out the slack, and rewind them 3 or 4 times in the first 3 or 4 days. After that, they became very stable at tuned pitch.

For minor adjustment after they settle in, another hint is to press down between the nut and the tuner. That will help pull the red through the nut slot.

Hope this helps.

Mimmo noted above that Reds do not like sharp edges. The break angle of the nut slot, which is the edge facing the 1st fret should be very slightly smoothed (ramped down) so there is no sharp edge.

-W
 
Last edited: