Aquila Alabastro any fans?

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
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mike.janel
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Re: Aquila Alabastro any fans?

Post by mike.janel » Sun Apr 10, 2016 7:55 am

The subjective tension depends on the real tension, string stiffness and texture.
The "normal" Alabastros have high tension in the 1st and 2ed compared to other strings, but they are easy to play and dont feel tight at all.
Michael
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2013 Amalio Burguet 3M (Cedar)
1989 Yamaha CG 110 (Spruce)
1982 Yamaha G 255S (Spruce)

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jhapgood
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Re: Aquila Alabastro any fans?

Post by jhapgood » Wed Apr 20, 2016 5:00 pm

I recently have tried both the Alabastro and the Perla, and love both sets very much. After playing much lower tension strings previously, I was also pleasantly surprised at how they "felt" to play... not really feeling that much like "high tension" strings, or causing any issues for me with ease of play.

For someone wanting a slightly brighter treble, the Alabastro is excellent. And for my personal taste with my guitar and technique, I have settled in on the Perla, which gives me a slightly fuller, rounder tone. Both are very high quality, "complete" sets that have their own merits, and I enjoy both.

Like others have mentioned in previous posts (previous threads also) I did have one incident with a high E string that did not intonate properly. It was six cents flat at the 12th fret. I let SBM know about it and they sent me a new set. I have not had any issues other than that one string. Every other string/set has been spot on with pitch.

Like others on the Forum who seem to collect random strings from around the world, now I must figure out what to do with that giant pile of other strings in the corner of my music room! :roll:

Kind Regards,
Joe
2008 Jose Ramirez 2NE
"So Much Music, So Little Time."

mrvegas
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Re: Aquila Alabastro any fans?

Post by mrvegas » Sun May 15, 2016 9:40 pm

I finally went ahead and tried the Alabastro low tension. Although definitely not low tension, they are not too hard to play, and they are very clear and crisp sounding. The quality seems good to me -- no obvious intonation problems. They are thinner than most normal nylon strings, a quality which I like, but that might not be to everyone's taste. They are on a spruce top now (old Yamaha) and I might try them on my Cordoba C5 next. I think they might be better suited for cedar, but I like them on the Yamaha too. I think these are very good quality strings with a bright, highly defined character. I have listened to Maximilian Mangold's recording of Mertz's Bardenklange on a vintage guitar, and the sound reminds of that -- except somehow brought up to date. So -- modernized gut (which I guess was the purpose) might not be a bad description.

Overall -- a different sound and a very positive impression. (I double looped the basses and triple looped the trebles after reading about some of the issues other had -- no problems with slippage here.)
Life is too short to be perfectly in tune.

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petermc61
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Re: Aquila Alabastro any fans?

Post by petermc61 » Wed May 18, 2016 7:37 am

Well, I'm a fan. As most of you know I tried an earlier iteration of the nylgut Alabastro and loved their sound, but had a few intonation problems. I described their sound as simultaneously bright but rich - very, very pure and tonally dense. Lovely to play.

I have just tried a recent production set of the light tension Alabastro (97C). The recent production as a translucent, milky white colour (compared to previous versions which were a creamy, slightly yellow tint). The strings feel much the same but may sound a touch brighter (if so, not much). The set tuned up well and sounded really great from about an hour. I think they settled down probably over the first six hours or so and sound very coherent.

Many of you know that other than the G string I rarely if ever use carbon strings. Typically this is because I find them too bright and generally lacking weight and body. For those cases where you need more brightness than a good nylon string can give and/or wish to keep a warm and romantic but banish the tubiness, I can strongly recommend these new Alabastro trebles.

I am sure I will be asked, so I will tell you up front. The strings sounded perfectly intonated but I measured anyway - all three strings were within 2c at the 12th fret vs the open string.

Peter

hesson11
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Re: Aquila Alabastro any fans?

Post by hesson11 » Wed May 18, 2016 11:20 pm

petermc61 wrote:The set tuned up well and sounded really great from about an hour. I think they settled down probably over the first six hours or so and sound very coherent.
I know what you mean, Peter. These strings seem to settle in quicker and stay in tune longer than ANY strings I've ever tried. My only complaint is that, on my guitars, the strings tend to sound a bit dull and dark for about the first day. After that, they just bloom beautifully.

-Bob

Jack Douglas
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Re: Aquila Alabastro any fans?

Post by Jack Douglas » Sat Aug 27, 2016 2:52 pm

I succumbed to the Aquila alabastro praise and installed a set this morning. As many have commented about there seems to be quite a bit of stretching. However, if my first impression is accurate, these strings are first class. The treble G string is particularly nice. I also like that they are quite focused and evenly toned. I'm a big fan of Augustines and I find so far that the Alabastro are less sweet, but have a romantic brightness.
Oh, I chose superior tension for my first try, but will likely install normal tension for the next set.
New strings go very well on a Saturday!
Update! I just sat down for my practice after installing the new strings this morning. They are sounding fantastic this afternoon and holding tune fairly well. These are keepers!! Very nice!
Hauser III 2014!

MessyTendon
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Re: Aquila Alabastro any fans?

Post by MessyTendon » Sat Aug 27, 2016 5:29 pm

Yes they hold tune greatly. I usually only have to move my tuners a little bit to get back to pitch after sitting in the case. Sometimes they hold completely.

What I enjoy most is that they stay in tune and to pitch quicker than any other string I've tried. If you don't want the "dupont" sound, go for some nylgut...or I like to call pretty sounding plastic.

Jack Douglas
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Re: Aquila Alabastro any fans?

Post by Jack Douglas » Sat Aug 27, 2016 8:19 pm

MessyTendon wrote:Yes they hold tune greatly. I usually only have to move my tuners a little bit to get back to pitch after sitting in the case. Sometimes they hold completely.

What I enjoy most is that they stay in tune and to pitch quicker than any other string I've tried. If you don't want the "dupont" sound, go for some nylgut...or I like to call pretty sounding plastic.
Hi Messytendon,

If these are what you call 'pretty sounding plastic' I'm all over them. I haven't been as excited over a string in quite some time. Please explain what 'DuPont' sound is,,carbon?

Can't wait for my evening practice!

Jack
:merci:
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MessyTendon
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Re: Aquila Alabastro any fans?

Post by MessyTendon » Sat Aug 27, 2016 10:04 pm

Dupont sound is clear nylon based trebles or Tynex type materials. I think it's a fair generalization to say that if you are accustomed to clear nylon trebles, then you might not like the Alabastro strings.

Some have described the strings as dull. I think warm and full bodied is more appropriate.

Hey Peter...why don't you be a sport and string up the Alabastro basses....They give the Pyramid a run for the money...I mean if you can live with a little copper showing...the nylgut basses are really sweet.

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petermc61
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Re: Aquila Alabastro any fans?

Post by petermc61 » Sun Aug 28, 2016 2:28 am

Hi Messy

I have used the Alabastro basses. A nice, organic, rich sounding set with a really nice feel under the left hand. Recommended!

They don't quite have the power of the Pyramid Sterling Silver to my ears or last as long. They are, however, cheaper and represent good value.

Regards
Peter

powderedtoastman
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Re: Aquila Alabastro any fans?

Post by powderedtoastman » Sun Aug 28, 2016 2:57 am

I actually just bought a couple sets of Alabastro and put them on my beater guitar and my #1 guitar. I think I am liking them quite well. I tried them on the beater guitar and was like, "hey, an improvement!"
Then today I put them on the good guitar and was really quite impressed at the sound once I got it to stay in tune relatively well. I will keep using them for a while I think. I'm also hoping to get a romantic guitar replica of some sort down the road so I'm sure these will be a starting point for that, if I'm not feeling saucy about making the plunge to gut strings.

Seems like on first wind-up they take forever to get to pitch because they keep slipping as you go, but once you get them in tune and then let them sit for a few hours they hold tune pretty nicely!

Jack Douglas
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Re: Aquila Alabastro any fans?

Post by Jack Douglas » Sun Aug 28, 2016 10:57 am

Quote by Messy:'Dupont sound is clear nylon based trebles or Tynex type materials. I think it's a fair generalization to say that if you are accustomed to clear nylon trebles, then you might not like the Alabastro strings.

Some have described the strings as dull. I think warm and full bodied is more appropriate.'

I've been a nylon fan for a long time and have tried mixing and matching a variety string types such as, Savarez alliance, Knobloch Active X Carbon G and a variety of basses, my favorite being Pyramid Sterling silver. Trying the nylgut was based on the positive comments by folks on Delcamp. I can say that I'm delighted with my first set of the Aquila Alabastro. I replaced a set of Augustine Regals that were lovely. To my ear the Regals had what might be described as an amped up sweetness, with a bit of an overtone on my Connor. The Alabastro trebles are more warm toned, full, have zero overtones and the opaque white color is actually easier for my visual perception (I have some left eye degradation). The slightly smaller diameter of the Alabastro feels great to my fingers. I'm also liking that my notes are clear and without any muddiness. The Alabastro basses are quite good, especially at the price, but Pyramid sterling silver, a more expensive alternative is impossible to beat.
The long and short of my experience with Aquila Alabastro is absolutely positive and I thank you and others on Delcamp for cheerleading this great string.
:merci:
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waitswatcher
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Re: Aquila Alabastro any fans?

Post by waitswatcher » Mon Aug 29, 2016 4:42 pm

I love the Alabastros on my flamenco guitar and also on my old Panhuyzen Cedar.
That given I was quite sure they would be great for my new small bodied Arias copy.
However, the sound was quite thin & harsh, much to my surprise.
String brands & guitars, difficult topic ...

lifewithasong
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Re: Aquila Alabastro any fans?

Post by lifewithasong » Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:25 am

hesson11 wrote: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
This is encouraging, Bob. I just put on a medium tension set this afternoon, and, as I've stated elsewhere, I always give at least a few days to a week before I make any decisions. Thus far, though, I'm feeling hopeful given what they're sounding like even after a few hours.

Greg
Esse quam videri

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petermc61
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Re: Aquila Alabastro any fans?

Post by petermc61 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:50 am

Greg

The sound will settle down pretty well after 24 hours under tension. I don't find they change too much after that.

Regards
Peter

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