Aquila Red Series Installation Guide
Aquila Red Series strings are a complex composition of Nylgut combined with copper powder designed to increase the density of the string to around twice that of standard Nylgut.
In doing so, a string of higher density can be produced without having to increase the string gauge, resulting in a brighter, more powerful sound with greatly improved response across the full range of the fretboard.
Aquila Red Series strings are un-comparable to any other string in their construction and care must be taken when fitting Red Series strings to your ukulele, banjo or banjolele as incorrect installation can lead to problems with string snapping.
To help our customers appreciate the excellent sound properties of Aquila Red Series, please watch the video below as Mimmo Peruffo shows the correct way to fit Aquila Red Series strings to a ukulele and how best to avoid problems.
Important Steps to Take When Fitting Aquila Red Series Strings
Ensure Perfectly Smooth Nut Grooves & Saddle
The grooves or slots on the nut of the ukulele often have sharp edges or can be a little too narrow. This may not have affected your old, less responsive strings, but the complex make up of Aquila Red Series means they must be treated with care and should not be passed through imperfect grooves, causing rubbing against the nut.
Most uke players assume their ukulele’s nut grooves and saddle are perfect as they may not be able to see or feel any issues, however general wear and tear, string snaps and normal daily use can easily cause microscopic burs and imperfections that will affect Red Series strings, even if they may not affect other types of string.
For this reason, nut grooves and edges should be sanded with fine grit or emery paper (600 grade or above) to ensure they are completely smooth and the slots should be wide enough not to place excess strain on the string. Please ensure a very light sanding, just a couple of passes back and forth so as to perfectly smooth the groove and not widen or deepen it. One should also do the same on the saddle where the string comes into contact with the instrument.
Keep Strings Away From The Nut When Tuning
While tuning the ukulele up to correct pitch, the string must be held just above the nut, keeping it away from the grooves while it is brought up to tension.
This ensures the string does not catch in the groove and is stretched evenly across it’s length.
Only drop the string back into the nut slot when the string is near correct tuning pitch.
Important : Please be careful not to rest the string on the nut while tuning up as the friction may create scratches or marks on the nut as the string passes over it.
Ensure Tuning to the Correct Pitch
Many players are used to seeing the thicker wound strings on their ukuleles and so when viewing a Red Series ‘un-wound’ string for the first time (such as a Low G) the fact they are so thin means buyers often tune them up too far assuming they are for a higher octave, i.e high G.
In the same manner, some beginners also tune their ukuleles too low.
Make sure you have a tuner available and that you know which frequency or octave you are tuning to. There are lots of videos on You Tube that show the correct pitch of many different types of ukulele tuning. You can use these as references to help tune your own uke.
The standard and most common tuning on a ukulele is ‘High G’ where the 4th string is very thin and tuned only two semitones lower than the 1st string. This is also known as re-entrant tuning.
Most ukuleles come pre-strung from the factory and are tuned to High G – The 4th string being a G4 at 393 Hz.
Low G tuning is where the 4th string is a tuned one octave lower than standard. The 4th string now being tuned to G3 at 196 Hz. This results in the 4th string being at a lower pitch than the 3rd C string.
Please click the link below for some examples.
Once the strings have been installed on your instrument, they must be stretched very gently by pulling them away from the fretboard in a gentle manner.
Many musicians like to pull hard on strings while stretching them in to achieve faster stability and quicker tuning. Please do not do this.
Please be aware that Red Series strings are a complex product and should not be treated in the same way as other strings.
The angle through which the string enters the tuning peg hole is quite sharp and as the peg rotates, the tension at that point can act like a knife against the string. Ensure you allow the string enough slack to make a few turns of the peg (as Mimmo shows in the video above) so as to avoid concentrating all the tension in one spot.
Play with Care
As with all strings including Red Series, players should always be mindful of the amount of force used when strumming. Nice, even strokes should be used and focusing on playing lightly and with good technique will rapidly improve one’s skills. Avoid heavy handed playing.
Follow the tips above to enjoy the full benefits of Aquila Red Series and never snap a string again.
Click the Eagle below to view our wide range of Aquila Strings