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Thread: Want to find sound of old Aquila Nylgut for Charango

  1. #1
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    Jun 2018
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    Default Want to find sound of old Aquila Nylgut for Charango

    UPDATE: Go to the next page to read my solution - Seaguar Premier fishing leader in various gauges.

    __________

    Sorry this isn't about the uke specifically but it's probably something people here can help with.

    So two and a half years ago I bought a bunch of Aquila 1CH Charango String sets for my 39.4 cm scale charango. I didn't realize how much I loved the sound until I replaced them with the new version of them. The ones I was using must have either been extremely old or they changed the formula completely in the last 2 years or so. These new 1CH are nothing like the old ones at all. Actually the 2CH for Charango they make now is more similar to what were clearly labeled "1CH" previously.

    The old strings were even thinner than the new 2CH (even though they were clearly labeled 1CH) and they were yellowish in color and totally opaque. They were really bright to the point where I needed to change my mic setup but in the end it was that brightness that made it sound so special! The new nylgut 2CH have a bright plastic attack and less bright sustain, they feel heavier, and the notes become much more dead up the neck. So the old strings were bright in sustain not just attack - they were almost a bit metallic but still had that warm nylgut attack.

    If anyone has any of these old 1CH yellowish strings I'd love to buy them off you because I can't find them anywhere online. All the vendors seem to be selling the new ones. Or probably more productively I need to find a replacement. I haven't tried the fluorocarbon inspired Sugar strings by Aquila so it's possible that would be a better fit... but certainly that is not my guess since the old strings were clearly "NYLGUT"...

    I attached a photo of the new ones versus the old yellow ones I prefer.

    I have tried medina artigas rectified nylon and the attack of the string is even worse than these new Nylgut ones and the sustain isn't that bright either.They just sound plucky then dull. I guess this instrument requires very thin strings.

    So what I've done is ordered Savarez Alliance KF .30mm - KF .69mm in hopes that fluorocarbon will be thin and dense enough to get that sound again and hopefully without the plastic attack of these newer nylgut.

    Has anyone had a similar experience with Aquila / Nylgut? What did you do? What are other brands I should check out that have something similar but with very thin diameters?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by pinkmoon; 06-30-2021 at 05:32 AM. Reason: adding photos

  2. #2
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    Mivo, the guy that runs Aquila, is a member here and if you send him a private message then he might eventually pick it up and respond. (Edit. Should be Mimmo and my thanks to EDW below for pointing that out).

    IIRC the original Nylgut Strings (which I’ve heard of but don’t recall seeing) were clear-ish and were copied by various people and sold as Aquila. To make that copying more difficult Aquila added pigment to their strings and New Nylgut was born and is still sold today. Later Super Nylgut became available and I quite like it, the slight difference (to New Nylgut) makes all the difference to me.

    I hope that this gives you a start on getting back to the original strings that you liked. Remember too that fake Aquilas are being sold to unsuspecting customers - I’ve been caught that way myself.

    https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com...t=Fake+Aquilas
    https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com...t=Fake+Aquilas
    https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com...t=Fake+Aquilas
    https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com...Aquila-strings
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 06-03-2021 at 11:22 AM.

  3. #3
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    You are not alone. A lot of banjo people complain about the variations in Aquila over time.

  4. #4
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    I bought the 2CH sets from Strings and Beyond which Aquila said is a trusted reseller. I have purchased them from like 5 different vendors at this point and they are all like this.

    I will message Mivo and also try fluorocarbon.
    Last edited by pinkmoon; 06-24-2021 at 10:27 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Greenbag View Post
    Mivo, the guy that runs Aquila, is a member here and if you send him a private message then he might eventually pick it up and respond.
    FYI- Mimmo

  6. #6
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    I would really appreciate hearing anyone else who has noticed this difference and likes it or not so much. Not a lot of people to talk to charango strings about haha.
    Last edited by pinkmoon; 06-24-2021 at 10:27 AM.

  7. #7
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    Enrico Imbalzano from Aquila Corde says "I have been researching the history of the Charango strings with our production team, and I have learned that unfortunately there’s no stock of the very old Charango strings and they cannot be reproduced because since then the raw materials have been changed by the supplier."

    I don't know why they changed them. The old strings just look like NNG but I guess they are not NNG.

    He says: "Considering you need to use them on modern instruments, to have slightly more stiff and resistant strings, you could also consider NGH strings, used on harps and based on the same material of NNG."

    To complicate things, someone from Aquila Strings USA suggested:
    "I believe that the history is that the charango sets were originally NG, then they switched to SuperNylgut, which is probably the one you liked, then they switched back to NNG, which is about the same thing as the old NG with minor formula changes."

    My sets had no dates on them and may have been really old. This is what the old set package looked like: super_nylgut_package_back.jpg
    What is most odd is that these 1CH sets are actually as thin if not thinner than the new 2CH sets.
    This is what the strings looked like compared to new ones again: (yellow is old one) new_vs_old_1CH.jpg
    Last edited by pinkmoon; 06-08-2021 at 11:00 AM.

  8. #8
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    If you have not done it already then I suggest that you supply the photo of the string packet to Aquila. The bar code on the envelope may well give unique details and enable them to check their records for string gauge sizes.

    Material availability will change from time to time and Aquila will (understandably) reserve the right to improve and change their product. Such changes can frustrate customers, me included, but ‘that’s life’. Sometimes changes are we’ll documented and sometimes details are lost as products evolve, well that’s my experience of development work.

    I think that you’ve done very well with the support that you have received from Aquila to date.

  9. #9
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    Yeah that's a good call to send a photo of the original package that I liked the sound of.
    And you are right! I've been frustrated but Enrico and others have been super nice to try to help. I just never had a product like this change so suddenly.

  10. #10
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    Yes, it’s Mimmo, not me! Okay, now I understand the context of the PM, too.

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