Aquila Alabastro any fans?

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
MessyTendon
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Aquila Alabastro any fans?

Post by MessyTendon » Sat Aug 08, 2015 5:52 am

I bought four sets on impulse because they were on sale and also because I wanted to try nylgut. I suppose I should have mixed my order up with more variety. I am now stuck with trying this strings out for a duration of time.

I do think having multiple sets is a good idea to test consistency. I have been using Svarez,luthier and D' Addario...

I hope these strings work out for the best.

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RobMacKillop
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Re: Aquila Alabastro any fans?

Post by RobMacKillop » Sat Aug 08, 2015 7:04 am

There's a thread about them here: viewtopic.php?t=46148

I've used Aquila Ambra, which I like.

What colour are your treble strings? If white, they are old nylgut, and will take forever to settle in tune. If yellowish, they are new super nylgut, which should settle much more quickly. They only make the latter these days, but some packs of the former are still around.

dentalbook
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Re: Aquila Alabastro any fans?

Post by dentalbook » Sat Aug 08, 2015 12:06 pm

Hey. Oh Yea. I've used Aquila alabastro stings. It should also be known I've used aquila perla strings too. Let me tell you Aquila alabastro basses as well as perla basses are made with nylgut multifilaments. I swear I only use aquila basses now. They are louder and sharper and sound good. The alabastro sets have nylgut trebles, but the perla sets have bionylon trebles. I've tried the bionylon and it does have resonance and sustain and are sure worth trying. The nylgut trebles I haven't tried on my new guitar yet. I have played them before and they soul. They are bright, I believe and romantic. I hope you enjoy playing them. The aquila basses alone are so awesome. I have a bionylon treble set available if you want to trade a treble set? Just saying.
2012 Paco Castillo Model 202 Spruce/Sapele

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Tonyyyyy
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Re: Aquila Alabastro any fans?

Post by Tonyyyyy » Sat Aug 08, 2015 1:27 pm

I have tried both Alabastro and Alchimia in the past - both nice, bright and sensitive. No breakage problems. Not sure of the difference - one was significantlyore expensive than the other, but my ears didnt notice much difference.

MessyTendon
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Re: Aquila Alabastro any fans?

Post by MessyTendon » Sat Aug 08, 2015 5:46 pm

That's really my only concern that I might be getting an older set...I did order them from a reputable string vendor, but I wonder if they were on sale because they were old stock.

How is the tension compared to Ej45 strings? I bought the mixed tension set, I figure learning the rest stroke will be a bit easier with a little more tension, and if the tension of the trebles is slightly higher than the EJ45 i'll be happy.

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RobMacKillop
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Re: Aquila Alabastro any fans?

Post by RobMacKillop » Sat Aug 08, 2015 6:22 pm

The old nylgut is fine - I still use it, but it just takes an age to settle.

Scot Tremblay
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Re: Aquila Alabastro any fans?

Post by Scot Tremblay » Sat Aug 08, 2015 7:28 pm

Apparently, as I recently was sternly informed, the New Nylgut is not a real big hit with the lute crowd. The new stuff is polished so it does't have that rough "gut" feel to it making it less desirable for the nail-less players. Anyone have input they care to share on that?
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"One picture is worth a thousand words. So, for me, one good note put where it should be put, will say what it will take some people many notes to say. ~B.B. King, 1986

MessyTendon
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Re: Aquila Alabastro any fans?

Post by MessyTendon » Sat Aug 08, 2015 7:48 pm

I'll let you know if I get the old version or the new version. I hope it is the new version, because I don't want to have a string set that I like which is no longer produced.

Shouldn't the lute players be using real gut anyway?

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RobMacKillop
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Re: Aquila Alabastro any fans?

Post by RobMacKillop » Sat Aug 08, 2015 8:15 pm

I bought three sets of the new nylgut version (Ambra, not Alabaster) and am annoyed strings are so smooth. That's good for nail players, but I play without them.

hesson11
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Re: Aquila Alabastro any fans?

Post by hesson11 » Sun Aug 09, 2015 1:44 am

I love Alabastro on my cedar-topped guitars. Do NOT judge them until they've been on the guitar for a few days. In my experience, they start out rather dark and quiet sounding. But after a day or two, they come into their own. To my ear, they offer remarkable volume and projection. Their tonal balance is brighter than nylon and some carbons, but (and this is difficult to describe) they have a certain earthiness and robustness that tempers the brightness to produce what I find to be a very soulful, rich sound. I'm surprised to read some comments about their taking a while to settle in to proper tuning. In my experience, they are much quicker to settle than any other string I've ever used. And once in tune, they stay that way more consistently than any other string I've used. I think they are an absolutely wonderful string and just about perfect for my needs and preferences.
-Bob

MessyTendon
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Re: Aquila Alabastro any fans?

Post by MessyTendon » Wed Aug 12, 2015 11:49 pm

I just got them strung up. They appear to be yellowish, kind of bone white, not white like the Svarez rectified white color. So far so good. I think these are good strings. They are settling quickly. The basses have a percussive warmth, almost like a flatwound bass guitar string. The Ej45 basses have a warm brighter tone. I would describe them as lacking immediate brilliance, but having a distinct warmth. In audiophile terms I'd say the EJ45 are solid state and Alabastro are tube.

Here is a demonstration by a competent guitar player...using them...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BL-mkJnjbzs

When I heard the video, I got a feeling that these strings do indeed sound different.

Scot Tremblay
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Re: Aquila Alabastro any fans?

Post by Scot Tremblay » Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:43 am

You will find that the Aquila strings will change tone over a few days as they settle in. Brilliance should come...
Scot Tremblay Guitars

"One picture is worth a thousand words. So, for me, one good note put where it should be put, will say what it will take some people many notes to say. ~B.B. King, 1986

MessyTendon
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Re: Aquila Alabastro any fans?

Post by MessyTendon » Thu Aug 13, 2015 2:01 am

Thanks for the encouraging words Mr. Tremblay...but I don't think I will become a more brilliant player :)

That being said, I like the feel and tension of these strings a lot. I sifted the the internet reviews high and low. I found inconclusive testimony. After personal investigation, I can conclude that these are very good strings. Those who want a different textural feel will get that. People who feel brightness is too forward might enjoy these strings.

I currently have no nails and don't find the strings to be a problem. They are responsive. However I do not have any experience with real gut strings. The trebles are indeed very smooth. Perhaps the lute crowd is having the expectation of real gut in a synthetic product?

For those wishing to try a different guitar string that does not sound like conventional nylon, these might be something to consider.

Scot Tremblay
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Re: Aquila Alabastro any fans?

Post by Scot Tremblay » Thu Aug 13, 2015 2:18 am

MessyTendon wrote:Thanks for the encouraging words Mr. Tremblay...but I don't think I will become a more brilliant player :)...
On Aguilas' site they advise waiting a week or so before passing judgement on the tone. In my experience with their Ambra, Alabastro and Perla strings it takes less than that for the true tone to develop but I guess they are covering their...bases.

None of the Aquila strings really replicate the sound of gut but they are certainly closer than nylon to the sound. They have their own sound really. The only ones that feel somewhat like real gut is the old nylgut which has/had a fuzzy feel. Somewhere I recently read that if you want that gut feel with the New Nylgut, to gently rub them with 400 - 600 grit sandpaper to scuff them up...seems a but iffy to me but might be worth a try.

Then what you can do is polish them up again by playing lots and by the time they are all shiny smooth you will be a more brilliant player :wink:
Scot Tremblay Guitars

"One picture is worth a thousand words. So, for me, one good note put where it should be put, will say what it will take some people many notes to say. ~B.B. King, 1986

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RobMacKillop
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Re: Aquila Alabastro any fans?

Post by RobMacKillop » Thu Aug 13, 2015 6:10 am

Haha. I've never yet got out the sandpaper, but might try it someday. I got three gut trebles yesterday from Damian Dlugolecki of damianstrings. I haven't put them on yet, but am looking forward to it.

I've also got Savarez white card, low tension strings to try out.

MessyTendon - I'm pleased you like the strings, and very pleased you play without nails!

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