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Thread: Anyone tried the Aquila Sugar Strings?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
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    Morgantown, WV
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    Default Anyone tried the Aquila Sugar Strings?

    I am wondering about the Aquila Sugar Strings. Has any UU member tried it and can give a first hand experience?
    Tenor: Kinnard, Mya Moe 2052, Mya Moe Resonator 1581
    Concert: Hoffmann ML, Oceana Slothead Cutaway, LoPrinzi Nova MS-C, Kanile'a KPA C, Kiwaya KMC-K, Pono RC-C-PC, KoAloha Mango, Waterman KA CWB
    Soprano: Lanikai LU-21(Starter uke!), Kamaka Pineapple 100th Anniversary, Maui Music SK-41 "Pre-Fire", Romero Creations XS, Ohana SK 50G, Zimnicki #20, Makayla Dolphin Light Blue Burst, Fred Shields Oval, KoAloha KSM-02 (Long Neck), Barron River
    Mini: iUke Piccolo, Fred Shields Pocket

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    London, UK
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    Default

    I've tried the soprano ones. Got a lovely sound to them - flourocarbon style but certainly held good sustain up the fretboard. My main bugbear was that they squeaked terribly on my picking fingers if I used pads rather than nails. This effect did lessen over time but didn't go away completely. I'm not planning to buy any more of them because of that - it was pretty noticeable. Bazmaz reviewed them and didn't mention this at all so it's clearly something weird about my skin!

  3. #3
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    Default

    put a bit of hand-cream on your fingers and it stop to disturb you
    Take care
    Mimmo

  4. #4
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    Jul 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimmo View Post
    put a bit of hand-cream on your fingers and it stop to disturb you
    Take care
    Mimmo
    Cheers Mimmo, will give that a try!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    Stephenson, VA
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    Default

    I have ordered 3 sets of Soprano strings which are in the mail right now.

    I'll let you know what my opinion is. They should arrive tomorrow.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    I just received a set of soprano and concert Aquila Sugar Strings from Stings By Mail (great service, as always!).

    I'm not impressed. No reflection on Mimmo and his ever-innovative approach, but they don't work for me. Also, I'm partial to fluorocarbons. They work best for me, though they may not for you. It's all personal preference.

    Back story: I bought a Kala Ebony soprano. It was equipped with Super Nylguts, which I generally dislike on most but not all of my ukes (more on that later). The G string was boomy and buzzy, as usual, and the entire set was muddy-sounding. So I tried a quieter set: D'Addario clear nylons. They were quieter, but also too thin-sounding. Not much dynamic range.

    So I ordered and installed the Sugars. The range is better, no doubt. It's a better string for a resonant instrument than the nylons or the Super Nylguts. But the squeakiness of the strings was annoying. Simply sliding your finger up and down the neck produced an audible squeak, almost as loud as a steel string. And I didn't like the texture, either.

    So I swapped them for fluorocarbons: Seaguar fishing line, to be precise. g 30#, C 60#, E 50#, A 40#. They're my go-to strings for soprano or concert, and work as well for me as Martins. The Kala immediately sounded crisper with better attack and NO boomy, buzzy sound.

    I haven't installed the concerts on anything yet. I have a Makala concert and a Firefly concert, both with Super Nylguts, and those strings sound GREAT on those ukes. When it's time for a change (IOW, when I wear the current set out on the first uke), I'll give the Sugars another go. If I'm still not happy, I'll go back to Super Nylguts.

    I'm not bashing these strings. I've learned that different ukes play better FOR ME with different strings. It's just that the Sugars didn't work for me on a relatively new uke. And I had high hopes. Oh well. YMMV.

    And I still tip my cap to Mimmo for trying new things. I can tell you, fishing line would be awful on my Firefly.
    Last edited by hendulele; 02-25-2018 at 03:00 PM.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    984

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    I guess it is a case of every instrument and person is different. I just installed a soprano set and my impression is VERY favorable so far. The sugar strings have a nice clarity like many fluorocarbon strings, but it seems that they are warmer and have more depth. The sound is nice and full and well balanced with good ring. As Baz noted in his review, the tone is full and rings pretty consistently up and down the fretboard. I did note some texture to the strings and found that from time to time they would have a bit of squeak, but not consistently. The very slight texture did not really bother me, although perhaps it may be preferable for some if the texture was more like the feel of the super nylgut. I’ll see how it goes after they have been on for a time, but my initial impression is that these are quite good and a nice addition to the many strings available today.

  8. #8

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    I put these strings on my Kala KA-STG Tenor today, and did not like them.

    They weren't as bright or punchy like the Nylgut strings I've been using, but worst of all, the SQUEAK. I wanted to love these strings because of the couple of favorable reviews I've seen on YouTube, but I couldn't get over the squeak. It sounds like crickets chirping when I run my fingers up and down the length of the string. Not really impressed with mimmo's solution to put hand cream on my fingers because I don't think strings should require them to be playable.

    They were also a bit on the stiff side, and while they might be the same size, the gauges felt a little bigger than the Nylguts I normally use. Needless to say, I slapped the Nylguts back on. Will maybe give them a try another day and try the hand cream solution.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoyBoy98 View Post
    Not really impressed with mimmo's solution to put hand cream on my fingers because I don't think strings should require them to be playable.
    Think of it as a Tiny Tim tribute.
    ‘If a man does not make new acquaintance as he advances through life, he will soon find himself left alone. A man, Sir, should keep his friendship in constant repair.’ - Samuel Johnson

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    Stephenson, VA
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    I received three sets of the sugar strings last Friday. I decided to put a set on one of my new ukes, a Kala KA-FMSG. I purchased it from HMS. It has a solid spruce top, laminated spalted maple back and sides and is a soprano. It came with the Aquila Nylgut strings.

    It sounded and played good out of the case and I had already been at a jam with it a couple days before the strings arrived. I had a jam scheduled for yesterday so I was interested to see how the Sugar's would compare.

    Let it me said that for the most part I have Martin M600's and Living Water strings on my ukes. I was interested in the Sugar's because as I understand it they are somewhat of a mixture between the Nylgut and a fluorocarbon string. I can't remember what the percentage is of sugar they contain but I purchased them with an open mind.

    Upon opening they look similar to a clear fluorocarbon string. They don't feel as thick as the Nylgut. The big difference I initially noticed after installing is that they don't stretch like the Nylgut. They were playing in tune by the end of Friday night. That would never happen with the Nylgut strings.

    I am playing mostly soprano ukes now which are not known for their sustain. This was one of the reasons I wanted to try the Sugar strings as they were supposed to produce more sustain.

    Having said all of this what is the verdict? They are SWEET! Sorry, I couldn't resist.

    In all seriousness they sound fantastic! The sustain is better and the instruments, more on that later, all sound fuller, better volume, tone and sustain.

    I had ordered three sets of strings so I put the other two on my other new ukes: a Kiwaya KTS-7 and Koaloha soprano pikake.

    First the Kiwaya. I bought it used but it is like new. It came with Worth clears and sounded okay. I immediately put on Oasis brights which sounded better but not fantastic. After putting on the Sugar's all I have to say is, WOW! Awesome volume, tone and sustain coming from that uke.

    Second the Koaloha. Koaloha sopranos send to be little cannons but after removing the stock strings and putting on the Sugar's this things is unbelievable. It has even more volume, tone and sustain. Excellent!

    Honestly, the first time I noticed the squeak was not when playing but when running my fingers up and down the strings to stretch them. When, I play and slide, which I do a lot of, they don't squeak at all. Shouldn't that be expected though? They do have sugar in them and sugar tends to be a little tacky, if you know what I mean. For me, all it does is confirm they do indeed have sugar as part of their makeup.

    All in all, I love these strings. I have ordered six more sets form Strings By Mail and will be converting my other ukes immediately.

    I feel like they are a winner and a great value at only a few dollars per set. I highly recommend them.

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