String Review of the Aquila Thunder Reds

Thunder Reds on UBass
Thunder Reds about to get stringed on my fretless spruce Kala UBass


It’s time for another string review. This time we will check out the quite new string, the Thunder Reds.

Aquila Corde Armoniche Srl is an Italian string manufacturer that has made strings since 1983. They make gut strings and strings to mimic the sound and feel of gut strings for ukulele, guitar and early music instruments like the lute. Mimmo Peruffo is the founder of the company and the inventor of the nylongut strings. Read more about him here.
Around 2012 they started making strings for the Ubass called Thundergut. I have used them on my acoustic/electric UBass from about that time. I did a previous test/review of these strings compared to the stock, black, pahoehoe strings.
Besides the Thundergut they also make the Silver Rumblers that comes stock on the Rumbler Ubass.
The newest string from the company is the Thunder Reds. These strings do have a new feel to them compared to previous Ubass strings on the market. In the Kala UBass ”String Store” you can find most of the different string choices on the market.

The string gauges are a bit different compared to the Thunderguts. See gallery.

I feel it’s the E-string that really stands out the most. It is significally thinner and sounds and feels really focused, with a nice tone. The added copper powder in the blend really makes a difference and this is extra pronounced in the E-string. I believe the copper also takes away a lot of the sticky feeling compared to other strings on the market.

How playable different strings are is mostly in the mind of the player. I remember the first time I played a UBass, I thought it would take a long time getting used to the new feeling but it didn’t and all the strings I have played so far has only taken me a minimal time getting used to.

Please check out this stringing guide for one way of putting a set of Thunder Reds (or other ubass strings) on your UBass.

Check out the YouTube video below to hear them compared to the Thunderguts. I really think the Thunder Reds are a serious string to consider trying out on your UBass!


8 reaktioner till “String Review of the Aquila Thunder Reds

  1. Hi,
    Aquila says that a new custom nut is required when using Red Thunders on the U bass. Does Kala or anyone else sell these nuts, or is the only solution to start with a blank nut and make new slots?
    Or perhaps fill the slots in the original black nut with epoxy mixed with graphite powder and file new slots?
    A video tutorial about this would be nice….😀

    1. Hi!
      To get the nut to fit the Thunder Reds perfectly I think you could start with a fresh nut or with the suggestion you made (epoxy/graphite powder)
      I haven’t done any of the above, although making the nut fit these new gauges would be optimal.
      I just put on the new strings and started to play 🙂
      For me it works really fine this way!
      However if I decide to always use the Thunder reds on that particular ubass I will probably do something about the nut!

  2. Having bought a set of Thunder Reds my concern is the minor difference in diameter between the two thicker strings, 3 and 4.
    String 3 measures 3.6 mm an string 4 measures 4.0 mm. Is this normal, or did I get two identical strings?
    Apart from that there is a slight difference i colour, no 4 is a bit darker. Perhaps there is a different amount of copper powder in this one?

    1. Hi,
      I think you’re alright! I will include a link to a pic I just took. As you can see the difference in thickness is not big between the A and E string. There is also a difference in color where as in your set the E string is a bit darker. And I think you’re right. There is probably more copper in the E string. My guess is so it can be thinner!

      Good luck! I really like these strings on my fretless acoustic/electric!

  3. How often do you change your strings? I’m using the thunder reds myself. It feels like the strings loose their tension after some playing. Specially if you play in the summer and have hot tempratures.

    Hard to say if they have lost any tone, but they feel streched out.

    Have you experienced any of this?

    1. Hi Nick,
      The set I sting my Ubass with in the video is the same one used now. I’ve had it on for more then two years. I haven’t really felt the need to change them yet and I have used them in different climates too. Brought that Ubass on a trip to Brazil last year and as I live in Sweden there are quite big changes in temperature and humidity throughout the year.
      If you feel they have stretch out and lost some of their tension it might be wise to change them or at least have a backup set!
      Good luck!


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