Did Aquila Reds change recently?

Mivo

Active member
Joined
Feb 25, 2013
Messages
2,502
Points
38
I just put a set of Aquila Reds (88U) on my tenor, and the strings feel different. The manufacturing month was 11/2016. The strings no longer have the initially very noticeable rough/sandpaper-y texture, and generally seem more elastic. The wound string also strikes me as a bit thinner and more elastic.

They also stretch more. A lot. This is the first time ever that strings (reds included) started to go for a second round around the tuning posts, all three unwounds. Not that fond of that happening, but I suspect it won't affect anything negatively.

Can't comment much on the tone yet as they are settling still, but the few seconds the uke was in tune, the strings sounded phenomenal as always. Definitely my favorite strings still. I suspect something may have changed at some point late last year, though. I have sets from 4/2016 for both tenor and concert that have the old texture (that eventually smoothed out) and that aren't as stretchy.

Have the regular Red fans among you noticed any change with newer sets?

(Sadly, the A string in one of the packs was noticeably dented/scratched as if a sharp edge had slid along the length of a centimeter, so I took the A string from a second pack. Also not happy with that, but at least they are relatively inexpensive strings.)

P.S. and edit:
See further down for some experiences with the concert version of the reds, made from the latest formula in March 2017. Interestingly, these weren't stretchy at all and settled in at at amazing speed. So the production date really matters. The sound is always the same, at least to me, but the feel and "behavior" is not.
 
Last edited:

Alytw

New member
Joined
Jan 19, 2016
Messages
200
Points
0
I didn't notice a difference on my last set of reds a couple of months ago, but the carbonblacks were really stretchy. It was the g string on an e tuning set for the mini. But they are still in the testing phase and the g string is often an issue.

Strange, I don't think of the reds as really stretchy compared to some of the other strings that I have used.

Adam
 

Mivo

Active member
Joined
Feb 25, 2013
Messages
2,502
Points
38
The previous Reds I used, with manufacturing dates in 2015 and early 2016 weren't overly stretchy either, but this 12/2016 set really is. I love these strings, so I'm willing to deal with the occasional issue. :)
 

Pier

New member
Joined
Feb 12, 2016
Messages
115
Points
0
If I'm not wrong, Mimmo said that he changed something in the Red's formula to make them less prone to breaking, and smoother, few months before 2017.
Try searching in the topics talking about reds
 

hendulele

Check your fleas
UU VIP
Joined
Jan 9, 2014
Messages
2,465
Points
48
Still in the stretchy stage, but I just put a new set of Reds on my Ohana Vita and they're wonderful. The Vita had Lavas. I replaced them because they were a bit muddy -- it's a problem on this uke, which just plain booms. Now it's a much more precise and sweet-sounding instrument.

I also have three Reds on my Fluke (the C is a D'Addario Black Nylon because the Red C snapped). Great sound.

The new formulation is much less sticky/scratchy than earlier versions. I like them a lot. Each new tweak Mimmo does on the Reds improves them.
 

igorthebarbarian

New member
Joined
Feb 17, 2012
Messages
2,270
Points
0
Yes I thought I noticed this too, but then thought I was being paranoid. I much preferred the unique texture and feel of the sandpaper-type strings.
 

LimousinLil

UU VIP
UU VIP
Joined
Oct 2, 2012
Messages
2,447
Points
48
Still in the stretchy stage, but I just put a new set of Reds on my Ohana Vita and they're wonderful. The Vita had Lavas. I replaced them because they were a bit muddy -- it's a problem on this uke, which just plain booms. Now it's a much more precise and sweet-sounding instrument.

I also have three Reds on my Fluke (the C is a D'Addario Black Nylon because the Red C snapped). Great sound.

The new formulation is much less sticky/scratchy than earlier versions. I like them a lot. Each new tweak Mimmo does on the Reds improves them.

I recently bought a secondhand Vita, Rick, and it came with "red" strings, which, I am assuming must be the same as yours (I don't know how many companies produce red strings). Anyway, they sound fine.
 

mimmo

Active member
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
351
Points
28
hi, Mimmo is there
yes, we have done some improvements. At present we have donee a srtongest and smoother version of the Reds. I haa very sorry if somebody can be confused by all these improvements. Unfortunaterly no one had done this job before so I have no documentations or experiences of others that can help me to find out the final version.
however, i am pretty sure that I have no further chances to do better of so. they very last version was done around october 2017 (smoother and more robust strings)
Actually I am thinking to stop with the red series sets and go ahead with the carbonblack strings. Why? tyhe sound is more or less the same while the surfacerof the Carbonblack is ever smoother. make not sense at all to have two version of strings whose sound is very similar.
I will take my time to think twice
Ciao
Mimmo

Ps: the colour of the reds cannot be same on all the strings because the copper powder has different concentrations.
 

Mivo

Active member
Joined
Feb 25, 2013
Messages
2,502
Points
38
Actually I am thinking to stop with the red series sets and go ahead with the carbonblack strings. Why? tyhe sound is more or less the same while the surfacerof the Carbonblack is ever smoother. make not sense at all to have two version of strings whose sound is very similar.

I really love the sound of the Red Series. In spite of some issues, I find them to be far, far more to my liking than fluorocarbon, nylon or the traditional Nylgut strings. The Reds ruined me for all other strings, so unless the Carbonblacks are REALLY very similar (I only have a high-G tenor set, not a low-G tenor set or a high-G concert set, so I have no direct experience with them), I hope you'll keep making the Reds. No other strings make me as happy as these.
 

dsummers

New member
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
257
Points
0
Mimmo, please keep the reds. By the way I liked the gritty feel of the original Reds.
 

mimmo

Active member
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
351
Points
28
heck guys,
I see but... how I can justify to the customers the fact that these Reds and the Carbonblacks are very similar in the sound?
I have an idea: Dsummers and Milvo: are you available to tell me if you hear some difference in the sound between the reds and the C.? if you agree to do this test please send me a PM and tell me please which is the instrument and the complete adress plus a phone. Ah, i send you one carbonbalck set and one Reds of course.
What do you think, guys?
Mimmo
 
Last edited:

Mivo

Active member
Joined
Feb 25, 2013
Messages
2,502
Points
38
I just put the new red set on my concert that you sent me! :) I'll shoot you an email.
 
Last edited:

mimmo

Active member
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
351
Points
28
Ah, sorry Mivo.
I have forgotten that you are the guy were I sent the strings.
 
Last edited:

mimmo

Active member
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
351
Points
28
Ciao Mivo, thanks for the mail but, can you share here what you think about these reds? it is the last version
Thanks
Mimmo
 

Mivo

Active member
Joined
Feb 25, 2013
Messages
2,502
Points
38
Sure!

A bit of background: There was a previous version of the Red Series where the C string broke for me, and Mimmo kindly offered to send me replacement sets from the newest batch that is based on the latest formula. I always loved the Red Series for their vibrant, lively and loud (but beautiful) sound, so when the breakage happened, I was a bit sad because for me these are the best strings by far and what I want to use.

The new version: The latest version of the Red Series (manufacturing date of 3/2017) still sounds as wonderful as ever, but their texture is a bit different: they are smoother, more "normal" feeling. The older versions had a sandpaper-y, rougher feel in the first few days, with a bit of string noise when sliding the fingers against them, though they always smoothed out after just a few days of playing. The new version is smooth right from the start as if they had been pre-polished. :) They feel a bit softer to me also, though that may just be perception because of their smoothness. The concert set (85U) settled in very fast, much faster than I remembered, and faster than fluorocarbon strings, which surprised me. This was different from the stretchy tenor set I had. To minimize the risk of breaking, I used Mimmo's way of tying the strings to the tuner posts (he made a video here), which worked well for me. No string breaking and the sound is great. Clear and loud. (I like bright, responsive and reactive strings, with a bit more "character" than fluorocarbon.) I use these on the Moon Bird concert, which has a solid spruce top with solid rosewood back and sides. It's a lightly built, already loud instrument, so I had wondered if the Reds may overdrive it, but they didn't. The Reds sound incredible on it. The newest version of the tenor set will go on my tenor also, just with a low-G here.

So, yes, I'm a fan, and I know I'm gushing about these strings. But yes, I genuinely love the sound they produce. So I'm curious if the Carbonblacks will sound the same. It's a high standard to meet, I feel!
 

mimmo

Active member
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
351
Points
28
Thanks Mivo.
how we know these strings has the best sound after a certain time. I do not know why (!)
Anyway, I am very curious if the Carbonblck performer in the same way of the reds.
if it is so, make not senser to have just two different colours.
Grazie mille Mivo
Mimmo
 

frigiliana

New member
Joined
Nov 15, 2011
Messages
193
Points
0
My votes going with the new Carbonblacks , mimmo kindly sent me a replacement C after it broke re-strung it using mimmos video and touch wood alls well and sound great strummed and picked.