If you’re looking for an alternative to the stock Pahoehoe strings for your uBass, you might want to take a look at the Thundergut strings manufactured and marketed by Aquila Corde Armoniche Srl.
These strings are a synthetic gut formula developed by Aquila–well known for supplying the stock strings on many Ukuleles, including Kala’s. The company says that its Thundergut strings offer stable intonation and do not stick to your fingers.
According to the company:
Thundergut® is a special very elastic and dense material developed by us in our headquarter that assure superior performances over the common polyurethane and silicon rubber bass strings available in the market. Thundergut® assure fast and stable intonation; no sweet finger’s slip on the strings.
The company also notes that unlike the Pahoehoe strings the Kala uBass comes with, the
Thundegut strings don’t need to be stretched and “settle” in a couple of hours, not days like the polyurethane strings that come stock on the uBass.
Thundergut strings can be purchased from Aquila in Italy for 29.04 Euros (that’s about $38.00), from Aquila in the U.S. for $21.50, or from some music retailers in various states and the online string retailer JustStrings.com.
Here’s a Video (in Italian) that compares the Thunderguts to the Pahoehoe strings. Right away you can hear that the Thunderguts are louder than the Pahoehoes–both acoustically and plugged in. The Thunderguts seem to be a tad brighter than the Pahoehoe strings as well.
And Here’s a Video (also in Italian) that shows you how to string a uBass with Thunderguts. It certainly seems easy enough.
I haven’t tried the Thunderguts yet, but would like to. The more choice in uBass strings the better. Though I don’t have a problem with the Pahoehoe strings (I think they sound great and sticking is not a problem with them–that’s more a problem with the strings used on an Ashbory bass) I’d welcome an alternative set of strings that offers a different sound.
The only thing for me that would take getting used to is the color of the Thunderguts. They only come in white. Personally I think they look hideous on the acoustic uBasses. They may look better on the Solidbodies, however. If only Aquila would make them in different colors.
UPDATE 1/05/12: Aquila added a new video to its YouTube page today that shows how to quickly install Thunderguts on a uBass. Check it out Here.