Aquila - AGxAQ Tenor Ukulele Strings - Aldrine Guerrero Signature

1 Mar 2017

Aquila - AGxAQ Tenor Ukulele Strings - Aldrine Guerrero Signature

Rather excited to receive a pack of these recently, hot of the press (or hot off the string machine). Ukulele strings that are a collaboration between Aldrine Guerrero and Aquila. Their AGxAQ tenor strings.

Aquila AGxAQ ukulele strings


Now regular readers of Got A Ukulele will know that I tend to shy away from doing what others would really call 'reviews' of ukulele strings. I used to do it, and then kind of stopped. The reason for that is because string choices are so personal they are subjective. Your own instrument, your playing style and your own tastes for sound all come into play. For that reason, there are some strings people don't like but others do - yet they are both right! However, it's always interesting to tinker with a new string set just out of interest, so this serves as a heads up and a suggestion that you might want to have a tinker too! Not really a review, more an introduction to them for you.

Everyone knows the Aquila string brand really - makers of such things as their world famous Nylgut strings, which are incredibly popular and used by an enormous number of players. So, take a very well known string brand and throw a very well known and respected musician into the mix. Do that and you get something like these AGxAQ strings.

It's something of a complex name, but really (and obviously) a combination of the work of Aldrine (AG) and Aquila (AQ) in working this set up.  In fact, reading Aldrine's comments on these, it's a set he has been working on with Aquila, testing and re-testing for quite some time. In fact, his aim was to meet his high standards. And when you see his playing, you can see what high standards those are!

The AGxAQ sets come in an attractive pearlescent paper card pack, similar in style to regular Aquila strings, but extremely sparkly and, I am told, eco friendly too. They are also labelled as 'nylon' strings, so whether that is a 'first' for Aquila (ie a departure from their synthetic gut) I don't know.

Aquila AGxAQ ukulele strings pack


Opening up the pack, you are immediately struck by the colour. These strings are a really attractive aquatic pale green colour which I really like. Now, of course, string colour shouldn't matter a jot to sound and playability, but they are so attractive, I had to mention it! They look great on my instrument!

Aquila AGxAQ ukulele strings colour


As usual with Aquila sets, they come in individually labelled wrappers and also with a gauge chart which tells you the following

String 1 (A) - 0.28 inch 6.2kg tension
String 2 (E) - 0.32 inch 4.7kg tension
String 3 (C) - 0.41 inch 4.7kg tension
String 4 (G) - 0.29 inch 5.3kg tension

That will tell you that these are a high G set, and I don't believe there is a low G offering. The other thing to bear in mind is that these are gauged and designed for tenor ukuleles only.

So, those are the specs, on to testing them. I re-strung my reliable Kanile'a K1 Koa Tenor ukulele with these. Well, it seemed suitable as Aldrine himself plays Kanile'a and I can only assume he had them in mind when he was working this set up with Aquila. Bear in mind what I say above though - this is not a review as such, more just my views - with ANY string - what I feel and hear may not necessarily concur with your own experiences!

On the fingers they feel very nice to me. In fact, both visually and in feel they remind me of the fluorocarbon strings I normally use, perhaps a bit harder on the fingers and something a little more like the D'Addario Titaniums. Strangely though, I never really got on with Titaniums and felt they were a bit hard and harsh for my tastes (sound wise) - these though are mellower to my ears than those. They are also one of the first Aquila brand strings that I actually like the feel of. That's just me, and I know many people like the feel of Aquila, I just didn't so much.

Sound wise they have a nice punch and ring to them, and good sustain. I had tried regular Aquilas on my Kanile'a before and never liked them much as I found the sound a little too muddy. In fact it's why I moved to clear fluorocarbon with it. On this ukulele at least, I could happily get along with these  and I'm not finding anything I am disliking. They really are rather nice!

Aquila AGxAQ ukulele strings on kanile'a

As I say though - you really need to try them YOURSELF to make a judgement call. You can't argue with the knowledge of the brand and the artist who has given his name to these though can you? I believe these are available to order direct from Aquila now, and will be in good ukulele stores very soon. Thanks to Sutherland Trading for the early release pack to take a look at!

Worth a try!

http://www.aquilacorde.com/modern-instrument-sets/6650/agxaq/?lang=en

SOUND CLIP





2 comments :

  1. Thank you. I agree with your comments about the subjective nature of the sounds. I do think reviews are most useful when the reviewer tells us how the product is different than things we might know. So you comments on the feel of the strings was perfect. The aquila site tells we they worked hard on the sound, but didn't tell me how that sound is different. So hearing them is useful. Comparing yourexperience with other strings and talking about mellowness or brightness helps. Your opinion on the attack and decay of the string compared to other well known sets of strings can also provide valuable information. I do agree that you liking or not liking a set is not as useful unless I understand your tastes and have enough info from your to gauge if I will agree or not.
    Thanks for this "review"

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  2. Great review.I have just tried these on my aNueNue tenor and they really play well giving (to my ears) a more interesting sound. Like you Baz I have not really been a fan of Aquila strings but I have aso just tried some of their new Carbon Black strings on my Kiwaya KTC-1 Concert and my Kiwaya KTS-5 soprano. Totally stunning - especially on the concert model - like a warmer version of fluorocarbon and with a deeper resonance. I am a bit of string nerd and have tried a range of strings on both these ukes ranging from Fremont Blackline, D'Addario (two kinds) Worth Browns and even some good old Aquila Nylgut. The Carbon Black's are to my ears a revelation and a coupled with the AG-AQ tenor strings mark an interesting step forward for Aquila.

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