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AndresK

Posts: 52
Joined: Jan. 4 2019
 

Aquila most durable set? 

Hello to all. I have been using luthier popular supreme 20 on my blanca for some time because I like them and they are, as everyone knows, very good strings. They have that perfect balance of body and brilliance and ease of left hand fretting that I am looking for in my guitar.

But no one knows if luthier company will still be around making strings for sure so I thought it would be a good idea to check some other brands other than the ones I have already played in my guitar life (La Bella 820, D'Addario EJ45, Savarez New cristal).

I recently tried Aquila because I was intrigued by the whole company profile and innovations. I skipped the flamenco oriented strings they have (Granato and Sugar extra high tension, as they do not have such good reviews) and bought the Sugar normal tension strings.

They sounded very different than nylon as expected. Very clear and vibrant and lively strings. Perfect intonation, note separation and balance though all the strings. Tremolo never sounded more clear. No squeaking for me at all! Really. Maybe it was the stretching or the never dry hands I have (sweating most of the time).

Downs: Buzzing on the second string that I have never experienced with any other brand set on this guitar. The first string broke overnight (after a week) while the guitar was sitting quietly in its case. Never had a string break for 20 years using D'addario, savarez, La bella and Luthier brands. (Well once I used stag strings because I could not find anything else and broke in 2 hours)

Does anyone know which set of Aquila has the less breakage issues? I really like the profile of Aquila company with all the innovations and the differentiation on the sound, but I really need a workhorse string that lasts. I couldn't stand a broken string after I open my guitar case before a concert, that would be unacceptable and I would never play with those strings again.

Any suggestions on an Aquila set that is more durable?

Maybe Alchemia, Alabastros or something anyone here tried?

P.S. Please include tension (normal, superior etc.)

Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this post. It is very much appreciated.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 11 2020 22:29:18
 
hannabach

 

Posts: 50
Joined: Feb. 11 2008
 

RE: Aquila most durable set? (in reply to AndresK

Strings, like guitars, we search for the holly grail to improve our sound and ease of playability... and why not...Saverez 540R Normal tension seems to be my favorite with D'Addario EJ45's as my second choice for best value and consistency...I used to use Hannabach Black flamenco strings exclusively, bought 25 sets and every d string broke within a few months...I have many guitars, some set where installed and never played.
Are there better stings out there, most likely, just have not had the time to try all flavors.

Be well James
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 11 2020 23:09:59
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11777
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Aquila most durable set? (in reply to hannabach

quote:

ORIGINAL: hannabach

Strings, like guitars, we search for the holly grail to improve our sound and ease of playability... and why not...Saverez 540R Normal tension seems to be my favorite with D'Addario EJ45's as my second choice for best value and consistency...I used to use Hannabach Black flamenco strings exclusively, bought 25 sets and every d string broke within a few months...I have many guitars, some set where installed and never played.
Are there better stings out there, most likely, just have not had the time to try all flavors.

Be well James


Time to change your profile name then?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 12 2020 17:01:22
 
hannabach

 

Posts: 50
Joined: Feb. 11 2008
 

RE: Aquila most durable set? (in reply to Ricardo

It is indeed time to change my profile name, and more strings...it was the reason why I chose it so very long ago...be well amigo enjoy your Sunday. minus 21 here in B.C.'s chilly Cariboo.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 12 2020 17:39:00
 
JasonM

Posts: 1275
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: Aquila most durable set? (in reply to AndresK

quote:

But no one knows if luthier company will still be around making strings for sure s


You mean rhetorically or are they actually going out of business? Strings by mail has been sold out of popular supremes.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 12 2020 20:49:29
 
kitarist

Posts: 858
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: Aquila most durable set? (in reply to JasonM

quote:

Strings by mail has been sold out of popular supremes.


It seems you can buy them directly from Luthier Music: https://luthiermusic.com/product-category/luthier-products/luthier-strings/

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 12 2020 21:00:24
 
AndresK

Posts: 52
Joined: Jan. 4 2019
 

RE: Aquila most durable set? (in reply to JasonM

Well, after Mr. Tony Acosta passed away not even strings by mail know if the company will continue. Every time I ask they say they are not sure if they are getting another batch. This has been going for many months now and still no one is sure. A couple (or maybe three?) of months ago they told me they were getting maybe the last shipment from luthier strings.

Hope someone will rise to keep the company running.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 13 2020 6:50:15
 
beno

Posts: 876
Joined: Nov. 3 2006
From: Hungary

RE: Aquila most durable set? (in reply to AndresK

I've tried so far the rubino, the granato, the alchemia, and the alabastro. Alabastro was the most durable, and the one I prefer the most. At least one of the trebles of granato and rubino set popped immediately on stringing.
The Alabastro set has one of the best trebles I've tried so far, but leave alone the basses of any Aquila set, others have much more power, volume and durability.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 13 2020 11:22:05
 
JasonM

Posts: 1275
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: Aquila most durable set? (in reply to AndresK

Oh man that really sucks! I was starting to worry a bit with them being out of stock for a while. I did see that you can by them directly from Luthier at a significant price increase over strings by mail. Well, the search is on for a bright, non florocarbon replacement that doesn’t break.

Maybe Solera Flamenca will buy Luthiers machines and get into the string business since they use nothing but Luthiers

I see that the Aquila Sugar basses are red. Strange, but they do sound interesting. What is meant by squeaking? As in from the fret hand fingers?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 13 2020 15:20:25
 
bbfifas

 

Posts: 27
Joined: Sep. 29 2016
From: Vero Beach, FL

RE: Aquila most durable set? (in reply to AndresK

Ahh man your right, string by mail sold out of Luthier 20s. I just put on a set as I slowly work through different sets on my Cordoba F7 and I really really like the 20's. Easy to play and nice sound. I have a set 30 I still need to try out but I was all excited that I found 'my' string and they are cheap...
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 13 2020 20:28:11
 
kitarist

Posts: 858
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: Aquila most durable set? (in reply to AndresK

BTW, my offer still stands:

http://www.foroflamenco.com/tm.asp?m=318044&appid=&p=&mpage=1&key=kitarist%2Cluthier&tmode=&smode=&s=#318380



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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 13 2020 20:49:21
 
AndresK

Posts: 52
Joined: Jan. 4 2019
 

RE: Aquila most durable set? (in reply to JasonM

The red basses are fine, I will show you a pic of the set before I put it on last week. The first string broke within a week though. Squeaking occurs because there is friction, during the first week at least, in the trebles, on the right hand.

If you rub the sugar trebles there is friction that produces the sound that you usually get when you put a cleaning liquid on the basses and rub them afterwards with some cloth to wipe the excessive liquid. Just like fast fret, if you ever used something like that. That is the sound and it comes from the right hand for most of the players, that is why Aquila suggests you should use some kind of hand lotion on you right hand for the first week before you start playing. I personally never experienced that kind of squeaking but I generally do not have dry hands. Quite the contrary, they sweat most of the times. Maybe that helped.

The red basses are cool but it is true what beno said that they are a bit weak on low end frequencies. They match the trebles well though creating a good balance overall. I wouldn't suggest the normal sugar set personally, because I had the breakage and buzzing on the second string. Another thing is that when you put a capo, let's say on the third fret, the normal sugar trebles start to cause pain on the left hand fingers, on the touching point, almost like metal strings.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 14 2020 6:48:00
 
AndresK

Posts: 52
Joined: Jan. 4 2019
 

RE: Aquila most durable set? (in reply to beno

Thank you very much for your insights. Very much appreciated!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 14 2020 6:49:51
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 478
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

RE: Aquila most durable set? (in reply to AndresK

What about Pepe Romero Strings? I haven't tried them yet. Still waiting for my real flamenco guitar.

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Say No to Fuera de Compás!!!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 14 2020 13:20:32
 
JasonM

Posts: 1275
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: Aquila most durable set? (in reply to AndresK

Thanks for the info Andreas. Ok, The red basses do look kind of cool. I’ve never experienced this squeaking problem before.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 14 2020 16:08:31
 
mt1007

Posts: 102
Joined: Jan. 19 2011
 

RE: Aquila most durable set? (in reply to AndresK

Tried these a while ago. The reds suck. They squeak like crazy. These strings are a no go for me. If they take a week to break in or cure, that's unacceptable. I gig a lot so this issue does not work for me, I took them off right before a show due to the squeak.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 14 2020 16:32:43
 
kitarist

Posts: 858
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: Aquila most durable set? (in reply to mt1007

quote:

ORIGINAL: mt1007

Tried these a while ago. The reds suck. They squeak like crazy. These strings are a no go for me. If they take a week to break in or cure, that's unacceptable. I gig a lot so this issue does not work for me, I took them off right before a show due to the squeak.


Mimmo (owner of Aquila) has been actively experimenting these past months and I think has a potential solution which is coming out to market soon.

EDIT: Not even an hour after my posting this, Mimmo of Aquila has a youtube demo video: comparing 1st string original Sugar with 1st string modified Sugar (which is mounted for the experiment in place of where the 2nd string would normally go):



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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 14 2020 17:10:45
 
Schieper

 

Posts: 102
Joined: Mar. 29 2017
 

RE: Aquila most durable set? (in reply to JasonM

I can confirm the squeaking and trebles (E) braking on stringing. Otherwise they are quite okay. The E broke 3 times (at the bridge) so I could restring it. Only to break again shortly before reaching E. Even after I let it set for a while on D# so restrung with an old E of another set. The squeaking on the e's does not fade away and is quite annoying. Though I think your audience will hardly notice it.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 16 2020 23:35:55
 
AndresK

Posts: 52
Joined: Jan. 4 2019
 

RE: Aquila most durable set? (in reply to kitarist

Amazing difference! Mr. Mimmo is surely on the right track and never stops searching and innovating.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 17 2020 5:31:51
 
AndresK

Posts: 52
Joined: Jan. 4 2019
 

RE: Aquila most durable set? (in reply to Schieper

I feel that the breaking problem with the Sugars had much to do with the friction. I am sure you have noticed they are a bit sticky when you rub gently your fingers on them. Maybe that stickiness makes them break as they cannot slip freely on the friction points of each guitar, and maybe now that Mimmo has improved that will be better for the breaking too.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 17 2020 5:34:19
 
AndresK

Posts: 52
Joined: Jan. 4 2019
 

RE: Aquila most durable set? (in reply to AndresK

Dear all,

Just for a follow up on Aquila strings and for future reference for people searching info on Aquila strings based in players opinions.

I am using Alabastro normal tension for some days now (more than 10). They feel a lot more durable than the Sugars. They are very easy to fret on the left hand with very clear and precise sound. More sound "body" than the sugars.Very sweet sounding but at the same time very crisp if you want them to. Tension wise they feel easier that the Luthier 20 and a bit faster. I have noticed that D' Addario Ej25 and Ej45 are also fast but with less body (in sound) from the guitar. Savarez corum new cristal, hard and normal sets always get me a bit slower (on the feel and on the actual speed on the metronome). Harmonics (natural, like on 12th, 7th and 5th fret, and artificial, only produced with the right hand while the left is fretting) also sound louder that D' Addario and Luthier 20's. This harmonics thing is the one thing that I really liked about Savarez New Cristal, but the Aquila Alabastro has it too, even though the Alabastro is lighter in tension.

I am very impressed with the Aquila Alabastro but I will keep on searching in Aquila for a bit, maybe to find something more suitable to my taste of sound.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 23 2020 7:42:24
 
AndresK

Posts: 52
Joined: Jan. 4 2019
 

RE: Aquila most durable set? (in reply to AndresK

And another update for anyone who wants to have a better view on Aquila strings.

I also used Cristallo superior tension for some time. They have the same tension feel as the luthier 20's (a bit easier in my opinion at some point), not as full sounding though. The Cristallos sounded clearer though, giving a very nice tone that is much better than many nylons I have played before.

I also put on the sugars normal tension that broke some time ago (when I first started the post). At that time the first sugar string broke at the saddle one week after installation and then broke again at the same point when I tried to restring it (I never cut the string excess over the tuners, but make a loop on themselves in case I use them on a different guitar another time, so I had enough string left despite the breakages).

This time, before stringing the sugars back on, I used the 3M 500 grit sandpaper on the saddle to smoothen it of any possible friction points. There were some slightly rough spots there that vanished with the sandpaper. And the Sugars are not breaking now, even if they are not new, and broke at that time, are just fine now.

So please check the friction points before using some Aquila strings, it would be a same to miss the chance to try them properly.

I will try harder tension Sugars after that because I feel Aquila are very easy to play strings and very fast too, like D'Addario but with more interesting sound (for my taste). That is because I get more buzzing than I normally get from my guitar with the sugars that are more elastic and not enough body. I will let you know here for more on Aquila.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 18 2020 0:10:49
 
AndresK

Posts: 52
Joined: Jan. 4 2019
 

RE: Aquila most durable set? (in reply to AndresK

Hello again. I trust you are all well.

I am writing to update this Aquila thread. I tried the Alchemia Superior tension. The reason I got superior is that I wanted to go someway close to the luthier 20 and the normal Aquilas are lighter in the trebles that the 20's.

Well the overall impression is positive. Strong and precise sound with again an interesting timbre. Clear sounding and immediate response. Not really sure if they are suitable for flamenco though, the 6th of the superior is way too heavy making it difficult to have the flamenco buzz. The tension is not extreme but not for my taste. People who play with hard strings might like it.

From now on I will also post a sound comparison with better known strings so you can hear the differences and appreciate the sound better.

So here is my first comparison EJ45 VS Aquila Alchemia (details on time of the pieces are in the details of the youtube video):


Hope it might be helpful to some. I will do also maybe EJ45 vs Aquila Alabastro normal and later maybe Cristallo. See you around the forum.

Edit: Because the original thread started with durability let me say Alchemia are very durable. I now put them on a different guitar (as I usually do when I take off a set from my primary guitar) and are holding very well.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 2 2020 7:54:43
 
flyeogh

Posts: 724
Joined: Oct. 13 2004
 

RE: Aquila most durable set? (in reply to AndresK

quote:

So here is my first comparison EJ45 VS Aquila Alchemia:


Thanks for that Andres. I've just started using a set of EJ45s Normal and I quite like them. Prefer them to the EJ25B flamenco string.

Haven't tried Aquila but I see the price is reasonable so might in the future give them a go.

But try or not, I found the video interesting

Be great to see something similar for hard/medium/soft but I know such tests take a great deal of effort.

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nigel (el raton de Watford - now Puerto de Santa Maria, Cadiz)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 2 2020 10:02:11
 
AndresK

Posts: 52
Joined: Jan. 4 2019
 

RE: Aquila most durable set? (in reply to flyeogh

Hello. Glad you liked it. I also prefer EJ45 to any of the 25's, B or C. I will make one with the Alabastro normal. The Alabastro is a nice set but does miss a little punch. EJ45 is hard to beat. So is Luthier popular 20!! Jose Maria Bandera uses knobloch QZ medium tension but they are quite pricey.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 2 2020 14:46:04
 
AndresK

Posts: 52
Joined: Jan. 4 2019
 

RE: Aquila most durable set? (in reply to AndresK

Hello again. Here is the EJ45 VS Aquila Alabastro sound comparison. More details in the details of Youtube. Hope it helps.



I would not recommend the Alabastro normal for flamenco. To my guitar it misses a lot of punch. It has also less volume than the EJ45. As always Aquila makes very clear and precise sounding sets, if that is what you want.

Edit:Overall it would be fearer if I compared the EJ45 with Alabastro Superior.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 4 2020 8:09:26
 
AndresK

Posts: 52
Joined: Jan. 4 2019
 

RE: Aquila most durable set? (in reply to AndresK

Hello again. Aquila rubino this time. It was the first Aquila I wanted to try but the warming in strings by mail site about breaking issues with them put me off at that time.

But having tried sugar, Alchemia, Alabastro and Cristallo with not getting exactly what I was looking for I thought why not give rubino a chance. Without expecting much as it is as Alabastro with metal powder added. It seemed weird but...

What an absolutely pleasant surprise! These strings are clear, bright, not carbonish at all, have a lot of punch and are perfectly in tune from the first day (first hour actually). Perfect intonation too and feel going very fast with these.

As with the Alabastro they might need some time for the left hand finger tips to feel comfortable. One other thing to be prepared is the color. I will attach a picture. I am ok with the colour.

A comparison video with Ej45 is coming soon.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 12 2020 15:37:58
 
Deniz

Posts: 38
Joined: Feb. 16 2020
 

RE: Aquila most durable set? (in reply to kitarist

I've been playing the "Perla" Medium Tension Set for a few weeks now and so far they feel quite durable and consistent!

My cheap blanca (Duke Flamenco) is rather bright and the milky-colored Bionylon trebles have a certain taming quality to that, which makes the guitar sound more well rounded.
Yet, I'm somewhat torn if I really like them or not - some days I do and love them, but other days they feel average. Well, I'll play them a bit more!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 14 2020 9:03:21
 
orsonw

Posts: 1444
Joined: Jul. 4 2009
From: London

RE: Aquila most durable set? (in reply to AndresK

quote:

Well, after Mr. Tony Acosta passed away not even strings by mail know if the company will continue. Every time I ask they say they are not sure if they are getting another batch. This has been going for many months now and still no one is sure. A couple (or maybe three?) of months ago they told me they were getting maybe the last shipment from luthier strings. Hope someone will rise to keep the company running.


Today Strings by mail replied to my email regarding Luthier strings. Seems there might still be hope.

"We will have them back in stock with in 2-3 months."
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 14 2020 21:13:36
 
AndresK

Posts: 52
Joined: Jan. 4 2019
 

RE: Aquila most durable set? (in reply to orsonw

That is excellent news! Thank you for letting me know!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 15 2020 6:00:39
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