Review: Aquila Red Series Strings

A bit back I tried out the original "loaded" red Aquila strings meant to replace low G strings and the wound strings on baritone ukes. They were springy, oddly soft, took forever to tune up, but did sound good and got the job done.

Since then, Aquila came out with these new "red series" strings where all strings (regardless of wound or unwound in a comparable set of regular strings) use the same formula. I've been meaning to try them out and finally got around to it over the weekend.

I've gotta say, they hit the nail right on the head with these. They're thin, have the texture really close to that of real gut, and have that dry percussive swish that I associate with real gut strings. I thought regular nylgut was really good -- and this is even better. Still, this stuff has the same "settling in" time that nylgut does -- the thicker the gauge the longer you have to wait around for this to stay pitch-stable. After 3 days my C & E strings are now staying in tune for the length of time that I'm playing, at least!

And best of all? They're a deep red color... Oona (our toddler) loves them and now has a set on her own uke! They also only cost about a quarter more than a regular nylgut set.

1 comment:

Josh said...

I've been trying them on several different instruments, with fascinatingly different results. On my very lightweight DaSilva tenor, which I usually keep strung with fluorocarbon, they were awful; they had a thudly sound. I tried them on my National reso uke, and they sounded slappy and weird. But then I tried them on my "Compass Rose" tenor -- a really good instrument I was a bit bored with -- and they turned it into an entirely new and wonderful instrument with a lightness that was lacking with Aquilas. So now I find myself using at least three different types of strings on my pile of ukes.