NEW formulation Aquila Red Series Strings!

Hey everyone, I’m really excited to finally be able to reveal something I’ve been working on for the last few weeks. As readers of my blog know, I was a big fan of the sound of the new Aquila Red Series strings, but had broken 2 very quickly. Much discussion on the Ukulele Underground Forums revealed that I wasn’t alone and I began a correspondence with Mimmo Peruffo at Aquila in the hopes sharing what I had learned about this new product. Mimmo was great and replaced my broken strings and listened to my concerns.

Surprise!

Then about 2 weeks ago I got a new email from Mimmo asking if I’d be interesting in trying out their new formulation for the Red Strings. Of course I said yes! Two days later I had them in my hands.

Indeed they are “harder” with far less stretch, much more the physical elasticity of a nylon string. They were just slightly darker red, and significantly more “wiry” in feel, though still retaining that papery softness unlike a true nylon or flouro string.

I strung up my Islander immediately.

Wow!

That great sound that I loved from the original Reds was still there but the string itself had gone to boot camp and toughened up. It needed nothing more then the normal stretch and settled into its note very quickly. I’ve spent the last 2 weeks playing a LOT of ukulele, multiple jams and ukulele club—I’ve really wailed on it and it haven’t let me down. Once it got through the initial settling-in, it’s held note almost perfectly, requiring almost zero adjustment when I play.

I’m extremely impressed with the string and am once again confident in recommending them to others.

I’m going to record a video review soon, but I couldn’t wait to break this news. :)

The Nitty-Gritty

Aquila has destroyed the old stock of original Red Strings. Orders from now on will be this new formulation. These will have a small, white label to distinguish them initially while old stock makes it’s way off the shelves.

I highly encourage you to get yourself one of the new strings and try it out. Aquila has taken the feedback from the launch strings and made the adjustments necessary to really improve their product. They’ve also managed the difficult task of not messing up the excellent sound qualities in the process. I think you’ll be very happy with them.

30 thoughts on “NEW formulation Aquila Red Series Strings!

  1. Which white label are you referring to in or der to tell the old batch from the new? My sets have a white label which says BA 8/20/2012. Are those old or new?

      1. Should all the new formulation red series strings have the code BA 8/2012
        The 2 G strings I have tried have both broken and they were in the red packet with no white label

        1. I’ve got some marked with that BA 08/2012 label and they are SUPER stretchy. I had to stretch it almost into tune to get them to work. That’s why I’m wondering when the cutoff date for the new strings is. Judging by the sate on this entry, I don’t think it was August… :-( So confused…

          1. Hi Kren
            Actually I have serious doubts about all that has been said by Aquila concerning the problem. These strings were fragile and stretchy two years ago and they still are.

            I must admit that since my last post I haven’t broken one red G-string, but when I tune it , I lift it from the nut, then turn the tuner and lower it back into the string slot. Everybody will agree this is not the normal way to tune a string. Obviously the string breaks as a result of the friction against the nut but a string should be made to put up with that. (I own about 15 stringed instrument and have never seen this before)
            I won’t buy them again, that’s for sure. But if you really like the sound, then try to avoid friction by lifting up the string like I described.

            And yes, this is confusing. Aquila tries hard to keep it’s customers by sending them strings for free (I wonder why, since there’s nothing wrong with them…), but it seems they won’t face the real problem, which is : make them less “breakable”, they just deny the issue.

      2. Mimmo, I think the answer we are looking for is which date did you begin packaging the NEW formula? If I have a string that says it was packaged 08/2012, are those old or new strings? Thank you.

    1. I think I what cud be the problem.
      They are breaking because the sting slot on the nut of your ukulele needs to be widened to hold the low g string. This must be done by somebody who works on instruments. This is a slow process and must be done by somebody who has done it before. If this is not done, then your strings will continue to break. You can also go to the Aquila website for helpful tips. Hope this helps.

  2. I bought the single low “g” for tenor, strung and it snapped before it was close to being in tune. Put old string back on. A few days later I put the set of reds on. They do sound really nice but I encountered a buzz on the low g and c string. Didn’t matter much because the low g broke again about a week later. I had a set of brown Worth strings with low g so I put those on. No issues for three weeks and no buzzing either.

  3. I forgot to mention a few things. I don’t believe it was my equipment or installation, never had problems before. I have the Martin TK1 tenor, I checked the tuners, nut and saddle for sharp edges and there weren’t any. The place I bought these said they had never heard of the breakage problem but they did send me two new low g strings, thanks Elderly!

  4. Hi
    I just found your article about the revised red Aquila strings. I won’t tell you my story, it’s identical to all the other ones. The strings that broke have the white label and it says B 9/2012. Are these the new ones??? I see some comments above have been written in 2013, has the issue been solved or not? Do your ‘revised’ red strings last as long as the others?

  5. I was excited about these strings, but they are not dependable. Every time I try to bring the A string to pitch on my tenor it breaks. The vendor sent me a new one and the same thing happened. They sound great, but that doesn’t matter if you can’t depend on them.

  6. This weekend I received 12 new strings from Aquila. We wrote some mails back and forth with Gianluca Dal Bianco some weeks ago and in the beginning he denied denied any issue with breaking strings. But he came back to me and told that indeed there had been problems with the 1st string produced between April and June this years.
    This time I followed closely their way of installing the strings. While turning the peg you pull the string up with a finger to avoid the string touching the nut. When the tension is about OK, you put it in place on the nut and tune it. This does mean that these strings are fragile, since they need a “special” handling.
    I’ll come back to you to tell how it worked out. I simply love the tone of these strings, I’d be happy if it did work out!

    1. My 2nd low g from packaged set labeled BA 3/2013 just broke after 4 weeks or so. I also contacted Aquila and was informed that there are no problems and that it was due to installation. Passed the buck to the distributor of strings for refund or replacement. After my shocked reply, he came back and offered me a new set if I could be at a show in Atlanta, GA. I live in Northwest Arkansas and thought that was a little far to drive for a replacement string. If I thought the new formula was the fix, I would be delighted, but the date on my tag (see above) is not exactly an old date. Not sure what to think at this point.

      1. In their final mail to me in which they offered to send me new strings they said that some strings made between April and June 2013 did have some issues and that they were glad to bla bla… Actually I bought mine several months before that. In December I read in posts on other forums that they solved the issue on the new series with a new formula after September 2013. So this is a little bit odd since the problem still occurs.
        For the moment my low G is still doing fine, so that’s good news ! ;-)

        1. Thanks for this info, Marielene! Hoping for both of us and no doubt, others, that what we now have will work out better! I did have a little filing done to the nut as well to be sure I was covering all my bases! So far after 5 weeks I’m good!

  7. Apparently I’ve got several bad low G strings from a bad batch (my label says BA 6/2013). I can’t even get up to G – they all snap somewhere a few cents past F#. The last one I tried to tune over the course of a week, tightening a bit each day. Really stretchy. Today I made it to a hair under G, gently strummed three cords (sounded great BTW), then SNAP. Aquila is really having some quality issues with these strings, which is a shame since they sound so good! I’ve been one of the many waiting impatiently for their UBass version of the Red series (Thunder-Reds), but given my experience with these low G’s I’m happy to wait until they get the formula right…

  8. I have just tried these for the first time today, beautiful sound, 2 broke within a couple of hours (BA 5/2013). I have been playing for a number of years and have never broken a string I’m really disappointed big waste of £8.50 plus postage. These are not fit for purpose and should be recalled.

    1. I just bought 3 low G’s for my Boulder Creek Riptide tenor (3 because I’d heard about the breakage issue). I got them the other day and all 3 have broken. I’ve watched the video (which I don’t find that helpful because he doesn’t actually explain what he’s doing and why). I get that you’re supposed to keep the string out of the nut slot before it’s very close to pitch and all, but I don’t really understand how he’s tying the string to the tuning peg.

      Anyway, all my strings have broken somewhere right between the nut and tuning peg.

      For the last one, I brought it up to pitch just once last night, and then waited until today to bring it up again. I even lifted it out of the nut slot every time I tuned it. Still it popped while I wasn’t even playing.

      Very annoying, because I like the way they sound and feel! I even like the way they look when you just have the one red low G.

      Alas, back to the wound G until something changes or someone can explain what I’m doing wrong.

  9. I give up on these as well. I’ve been cheated by Aquila and I don’t appreciate it.

    Can anyone suggest an alternative low G tenor string that does not cost a fortune. Preferably not would.

  10. I think I found the problem!

    They are breaking because the sting slot on the nut of your ukulele needs to be widened to hold the low g string. This must be done by somebody who works on instruments. This is a slow process and must be done by somebody who has done it before. If this is not done, then your strings will continue to break. You can also go to the Aquila website for helpful tips. Hope this helps.

  11. Never broken a string on my concert, but then got a baritone tuned GCEA with low G, Aquila red supplied for the low G. Broke 2 G strings despite paying close attention to the nut. Uke life is too short for this. Baritone players in my group suggested a set of Living Water strings and they work fine: no breakages in 3 months’ playing. They got a weird feel as they’re fluorocarbon but you get used to it.

  12. Never broken a string on my concert, but then got a baritone tuned GCEA with low G, Aquila red supplied for the low G. Broke 2 G strings despite paying close attention to the nut. Uke life is too short for this. Baritone players in my group suggested a set of Living Water strings and they work fine: no breakages in 3 months’ playing. They got a weird feel as they’re fluorocarbon but you get used to it.

  13. I too have gone through 2 Aquila Red Series strings in a matter of days. The first one that popped was on my Tenor Lanikai for less than 3 weeks with fairly light playing when it popped between the tuning peg and the nut. I looked online at Mimmo’s installation video and found other hints on using a fine needle file to widen the slot in the nut.

    I bought a brand new set yesterday (both sets were manufactured in 2014; code BE 2/2014) and the G spontaneously snapped again while it was not even being played less than 24 hours after installation. I feel quite disappointed with these, but not sure what other good alternatives exist. Any suggestions?

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