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Author: Subject: Advice for String Manufacturers other than Pyramid or La Bella?
Johnnyboy
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[*] posted on 10-22-2019 at 12:25 PM
Advice for String Manufacturers other than Pyramid or La Bella?


I have tried the Pyramid Arabic Aoud strings (Orange label, 650/11) and the Pyramid Super Aoud strings (665/11), using the tuning FADGCf, but the A and D strings buzz a lot on my Maurice Shehata Ud, mainly when playing C on the A string and E or F on the D string.
The fingerboard has just been sanded by my luthier and I have tried making the action higher. The nut is clean and the strings are not crossing each other in the pegbox nor can I hear any brace buzzing when knocking on the wood.

The length from the nut up to the center of the bridge is 62cm (it does NOT have a floating bridge).

I am wondering if there are any other string manufacturers that offer great sound quality other than Pyramid and La Bella? I have heard about Aquila but they're designed for shorter (57-60cm) floating bridge uds as mentioned here

I would appreciate any help regarding this.
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Brian Prunka
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[*] posted on 10-22-2019 at 05:19 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Johnnyboy  
I have tried the Pyramid Arabic Aoud strings (Orange label, 650/11) and the Pyramid Super Aoud strings (665/11), using the tuning FADGCf, but the A and D strings buzz a lot on my Maurice Shehata Ud, mainly when playing C on the A string and E or F on the D string.
The fingerboard has just been sanded by my luthier and I have tried making the action higher. The nut is clean and the strings are not crossing each other in the pegbox nor can I hear any brace buzzing when knocking on the wood.

The length from the nut up to the center of the bridge is 62cm (it does NOT have a floating bridge).

I am wondering if there are any other string manufacturers that offer great sound quality other than Pyramid and La Bella? I have heard about Aquila but they're designed for shorter (57-60cm) floating bridge uds as mentioned here

I would appreciate any help regarding this.


The 61o set would probably be OK on your oud, actually. The newest incarnation of that set seems to have quite light tension and should actually work on a longer oud (the description is for the previous version of the set, which needs to be updated for the current version with red trebles).

The Pyramid 650/11 and 665/11 sets are for CFAdgc' tuning, not for high f' tuning, so I'm not sure exactly how you're using that set. The LaBella OU80A set is for the high f' tuning, and could work. The tension might be a bit high at 62cm though, but that's true of any set.

It's strange that you are having this buzzing difficulty. Perhaps you can post a video demonstrating the problem. Many people are using these strings on their ouds without issue.

For a long oud like this, often the Pyramid lute strings work very well, but without knowing why the buzzing is occurring I would be hesitant to suggest particularly expensive strings.

You could use LaBella for the wound strings but get a custom set.
Aquila lute strings are another possibility for high quality custom strings. Not quite as expensive as Pyramid but still on the pricier side.







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Johnnyboy
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[*] posted on 10-24-2019 at 07:56 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Brian Prunka  
Quote: Originally posted by Johnnyboy  
I have tried the Pyramid Arabic Aoud strings (Orange label, 650/11) and the Pyramid Super Aoud strings (665/11), using the tuning FADGCf, but the A and D strings buzz a lot on my Maurice Shehata Ud, mainly when playing C on the A string and E or F on the D string.
The fingerboard has just been sanded by my luthier and I have tried making the action higher. The nut is clean and the strings are not crossing each other in the pegbox nor can I hear any brace buzzing when knocking on the wood.

The length from the nut up to the center of the bridge is 62cm (it does NOT have a floating bridge).

I am wondering if there are any other string manufacturers that offer great sound quality other than Pyramid and La Bella? I have heard about Aquila but they're designed for shorter (57-60cm) floating bridge uds as mentioned here

I would appreciate any help regarding this.


The 61o set would probably be OK on your oud, actually. The newest incarnation of that set seems to have quite light tension and should actually work on a longer oud (the description is for the previous version of the set, which needs to be updated for the current version with red trebles).

The Pyramid 650/11 and 665/11 sets are for CFAdgc' tuning, not for high f' tuning, so I'm not sure exactly how you're using that set. The LaBella OU80A set is for the high f' tuning, and could work. The tension might be a bit high at 62cm though, but that's true of any set.

It's strange that you are having this buzzing difficulty. Perhaps you can post a video demonstrating the problem. Many people are using these strings on their ouds without issue.

For a long oud like this, often the Pyramid lute strings work very well, but without knowing why the buzzing is occurring I would be hesitant to suggest particularly expensive strings.

You could use LaBella for the wound strings but get a custom set.
Aquila lute strings are another possibility for high quality custom strings. Not quite as expensive as Pyramid but still on the pricier side.





Thank you very much for the advice. Apologies I wasn't clear. For the Pyramid I used their FAdgc' strings for my FAdgc tuning. For the high f' I ordered a separate Pyramid f' stringset.

Does Aquila's newest incarnation have a Sugar string for the 3rd course which has a color other than red as shown here?
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MoH
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[*] posted on 10-25-2019 at 09:08 PM


I have those Aquila strings with the brownish red 3rd course and I gotta say I don't like them. Whenever I play tremolo on the 3rd course dd strings, there's this really annoying plasticky sound which I guess comes from the strings being so thick and not as flexible as the usual wound strings. I thought it might've been the strings knocking against each other, but I don't think that's it since I can hear it when it's a single string. I like Aquila strings, but I would go with the set that isn't all red, and instead has white nylon 1st and 2nd course, and wound 3rd course. Although, I'm sure Brian would do a better job at recommending strings,
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Brian Prunka
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[*] posted on 10-26-2019 at 06:59 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Johnnyboy  

Thank you very much for the advice. Apologies I wasn't clear. For the Pyramid I used their FAdgc' strings for my FAdgc tuning. For the high f' I ordered a separate Pyramid f' stringset.

Does Aquila's newest incarnation have a Sugar string for the 3rd course which has a color other than red as shown here?


I see, thanks for the clarification.
The set in that picture is the newest version. I'd still say that the third is red, just a different shade than the trebles or the wound strings; it's more dull brownish-red.

Moh's observation is interesting. I don't have a strong opinion about the new plain d course—in my experience something like that will work very differently from one oud to another. I will note that if the string holes in the bridge are sized and spaced for a wound string, they may not be ideal for a thicker plain string (not unique to this string, it would be true of nylon or PVF as well).

The older 13o set with the wound third is no longer available—Aquila stopped making it when they introduced the new set (against my advice to them, I might add). I may have some old stock in that style of the 61o set, which if you wanted to use low C tuning you could use that set and buy a separate low C.





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MoH
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[*] posted on 10-26-2019 at 09:25 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Brian Prunka  


The older 13o set with the wound third is no longer available—Aquila stopped making it when they introduced the new set (against my advice to them, I might add). I may have some old stock in that style of the 61o set, which if you wanted to use low C tuning you could use that set and buy a separate low C.



Brian, do you have any of the old 13o set, or do you know where I could get them? Or alternatively, do you know of any other light tension sets that preferably have the highest nylon strings with more of a matte finish? I know this is a weird preference to have, but I hate how the shiny glossy finish on the Pyramid set's nylons feels.

EDIT: Also, Brian, is there any difference (besides color) between the old and new plain Aquila treble strings (cc and gg courses)?
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[*] posted on 10-29-2019 at 08:54 AM


Quote: Originally posted by MoH  
I have those Aquila strings with the brownish red 3rd course and I gotta say I don't like them. Whenever I play tremolo on the 3rd course dd strings, there's this really annoying plasticky sound which I guess comes from the strings being so thick and not as flexible as the usual wound strings. I thought it might've been the strings knocking against each other, but I don't think that's it since I can hear it when it's a single string.


I received the Aquila strings with the brownish 3rd course. I get what you mean but I think it's something that one can get used to over time.
Have you tried other risha's? I noticed other risha types may give a less pronounced plasticky sound. I am using this one. It's pricy but I am satisfied with it.

Also, the fact that it's so easy to fingerslide over it and that it does not wear the fingerboard (at least not to the extent of the wound one) heavily outweighs the sound difference in my opinion.

Here's a video that gives me the impression that it also has a brighter sound compared to the wound one.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eylvRIoOlFg
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[*] posted on 10-30-2019 at 08:24 AM


What about Alice Chinese oud strings? I mean I know they would never be in the same class as well established Western brands but what about their "professional" series? Again, I don't expect any miracles like "Wow, grossly underestimated!" but would they do the job?
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[*] posted on 10-31-2019 at 03:03 AM


With my experience with buzzing issues, I tried Mari and has really bad tension causing too much buzzing issue. The two that worked best is d’dario and Sukkar strings. The d’dario I got had C-c tuning and the Sukkar had F-f with the right tension. But I would consider Brian recommendation as he has the experience with different strings.
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Johnnyboy
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[*] posted on 11-6-2019 at 09:02 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Brian Prunka  
Quote: Originally posted by Johnnyboy  

Thank you very much for the advice. Apologies I wasn't clear. For the Pyramid I used their FAdgc' strings for my FAdgc tuning. For the high f' I ordered a separate Pyramid f' stringset.

Does Aquila's newest incarnation have a Sugar string for the 3rd course which has a color other than red as shown here?


I see, thanks for the clarification.
The set in that picture is the newest version. I'd still say that the third is red, just a different shade than the trebles or the wound strings; it's more dull brownish-red.

Moh's observation is interesting. I don't have a strong opinion about the new plain d course—in my experience something like that will work very differently from one oud to another. I will note that if the string holes in the bridge are sized and spaced for a wound string, they may not be ideal for a thicker plain string (not unique to this string, it would be true of nylon or PVF as well).

The older 13o set with the wound third is no longer available—Aquila stopped making it when they introduced the new set (against my advice to them, I might add). I may have some old stock in that style of the 61o set, which if you wanted to use low C tuning you could use that set and buy a separate low C.



Does anyone have any info regarding the technical info of the newest Aquila 61O Iraqi string set, particularly the gauge and density of the low F string?
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Johnnyboy
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[*] posted on 11-14-2019 at 02:39 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Brian Prunka  
Quote: Originally posted by Johnnyboy  
I have tried the Pyramid Arabic Aoud strings (Orange label, 650/11) and the Pyramid Super Aoud strings (665/11), using the tuning FADGCf, but the A and D strings buzz a lot on my Maurice Shehata Ud, mainly when playing C on the A string and E or F on the D string.
The fingerboard has just been sanded by my luthier and I have tried making the action higher. The nut is clean and the strings are not crossing each other in the pegbox nor can I hear any brace buzzing when knocking on the wood.

The length from the nut up to the center of the bridge is 62cm (it does NOT have a floating bridge).

I am wondering if there are any other string manufacturers that offer great sound quality other than Pyramid and La Bella? I have heard about Aquila but they're designed for shorter (57-60cm) floating bridge uds as mentioned here

I would appreciate any help regarding this.


The 61o set would probably be OK on your oud, actually. The newest incarnation of that set seems to have quite light tension and should actually work on a longer oud (the description is for the previous version of the set, which needs to be updated for the current version with red trebles).

The Pyramid 650/11 and 665/11 sets are for CFAdgc' tuning, not for high f' tuning, so I'm not sure exactly how you're using that set. The LaBella OU80A set is for the high f' tuning, and could work. The tension might be a bit high at 62cm though, but that's true of any set.

It's strange that you are having this buzzing difficulty. Perhaps you can post a video demonstrating the problem. Many people are using these strings on their ouds without issue.

For a long oud like this, often the Pyramid lute strings work very well, but without knowing why the buzzing is occurring I would be hesitant to suggest particularly expensive strings.

You could use LaBella for the wound strings but get a custom set.
Aquila lute strings are another possibility for high quality custom strings. Not quite as expensive as Pyramid but still on the pricier side.


Hello,

So I have put my new Aquila strings on my Ud and there is a different werid type of annoying buzzing other than what I previously had.

The buzzing occurs when pressing any note on the open A or c string, and it gets more pronounced when pressing notes the more you approach the neck of the Ud. The weird part is that the buzzing is mainly caused by only one of the two courses, for example; one of the two A strings buzzes and one of the two c strings buzzes (both being the 2nd course).

There are no grooves whatsoever. Lifting up the strings at the bridge and swapping the 2 strings didn't fix the problem.

What might be the cause here? Is possible that new strings buzzes in the beginning after which it gets resolved by itself?
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