String Review of the Aquila Thunderblack

Aquila Thunderblack

There are now quite a few options for Ubassists when it comes to choose the right string for your preferred sound and playing style. Owen Holt invented the Road Toad Pahoehoe strings (made from polyurethane) to make the super short scale length of the ubass work. These are of course still the original ukulele bass string reference that many use and love.

The Italian string company Aquila Corde now offers three different ukulele bass strings.
Besides the Thundergut string that has been around since 2012 and the Thunder Reds since 2014 they also offer the Thunderblack.

The Thunderblack string has, in my opinion, more similarities to the original Thundergut than the Thunder Reds. I think they feel a bit less sticky then the original Thunderguts but the sound is pretty similar.

If you prefer the look of black strings but want a sound and feel similar to the Thundergut there’s now an alternative available.

In the video below I decided to record some of the same musical exemples used in the Thunder Reds review. This makes it easier to compare the different strings.

Past Reviews
Pahoehoe vs. Aquila Thundergut Part 1 | Part 2
Aquila Thunder Reds Review

Tech specs
Aquila Thunderblack strings
Kala spruce top fretless (2010)
RMI Basswitch IQ/DI in the 10 mOhm setting
Aguilar Tone hammer 500
Aguilar SL-112 cab
AKG C-414 mic
Universal Audio Apollo (upgraded with Thunderbolt card)
iMac with Logic X

 

NEWS FLASH! Official release of ”Jag vet att vi ses snart igen/Manhã De Carnaval” on YouTube and digital outlets!

Single cover ”Lago Norte, Brasilia, Brasil” Photo: M. Sjöquist

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Hi,

I’m very exited to finally be able to share this song! I have worked on my album project on and off since 2012 and this tune especially has been very important to me. It has seen its ups and downs, I have had copyright issues and other problems that have delayed the release but now it’s ready to share with you!

First a bit of the back story…

My love for Brazilian music started in the early 90’s. I studied music at different music schools in Sweden and was turned on to the lovely and colorful music of Brazil. The melodies, rhythms and harmony, everything fits together so nicely and makes a music so complete and wonderful to my ears and heart.

In 2010 I got to know Nelson Faria and his family when he first came to Sweden to be a guest professor at the Orebro University. I got to play and study with him and more amazing musicians/teachers from Brazil.

I was the recording engineer of the first Tavares – Faria Duo record ”Na Esquina De Mestre Mignone” that can be found on cdbaby.com. During the recording sessions we had some time left and did a quick recording of one of my favorite Brazilian songs, Dindi. I overdubbed a bass part with my fretless spruce Kala Ubass

 

I started to record songs in 2012 for my first album featuring my first Kala UBass.
I decided to have jazz and Brazil music as a focus and ”Jag vet att vi ses snart igen/Manhã De Carnaval” is one of the songs I have recorded. I have already pre-released a few other songs from this project on bandcamp.com please go there and have a listen if you haven’t already.

I think the version of ”Jag vet att vi ses snart igen/Manhã De Carnaval” is really special because of the bi-lingual duet I perform with the amazing Brazilian vocalist Ilessi. Please check out her music on Facebook. I met her when she was in Sweden as a part of an exchange program between one of the Universitys in Rio de Janeiro (UniRio) and the University of Orebro here in Sweden. I studied at this University back in the 90’s and have also worked there as a teacher.

Carlos Fuchs and Ilessi during the recording session of the Portuguese vocal parts at Estúdio Tenda da Raposa in Rio de Janeiro.

Illessi recorded her vocal part at Estúdio Tenda da Raposa in Rio de Janeiro engineered by Carlos Fuchs. The rest of the song is recorded here in Sweden by me. Both in my studio and at a friends house. I’m very happy and proud of my fellow musicians in this recording. They have all contributed in such a great and musical way.

Big, big thanks to Ilessi, Tommy, Daniel and Lasse!

I really hope you will love our version and that you can feel the all the love put into this project. I’m so glad it can finally see the light of day!

Please have a look at the video that features this song and feel free to share it around!

The song can be bought at several digital outlets as (Apple iTunes, cdbaby.com, Google Play…) and can also be streamed (Spotify, Tidal, Google Play, Pandora, YouTube Music). Some of these services might not be available in your country but someone of the hopefully will!

Personel on the recording of ”Jag vet att vi ses snart igen/Manhã De Carnaval”

Ilessi, vocals
Magnus Sjöquist, vocals and kala ubass
Tommy Nilsson, accordion
Daniel Björnmo, acoustic guitar
Lasse Fhager, percussion

Buy (or stream) the song from any of these services:

iTunes

CDBaby

Spotify

Tidal

Amazon.com

Amazon.de

…and 24 more services 🙂

Musik är livet! / A música é vida! / Music is life!
/Magnus

Esperanza! Solid body Ubass in a soul setting

Magnus, Josefin and Peter after the gig.
Magnus, Josefin and Peter after the gig

Hi,

This is just a very short snippet from a rehearsal for a Summer concert I did with keyboardist Peter Burell and singer Josefin Larsson a couple of weeks ago.

We covered a lot of different music on that concert including a great song by Kala UBass Artist, Esperanza Spalding. The song is called Precious, from the 2008 CD ”Esperanza”. We did the song without drums so it’s really easy to hear the Ubass. The Bakithi Kumalo signature fretless solid body fits that song like hand in glove.

Esperanza is primarily a upright and fretless player so it felt natural to play the song on that Ubass.

Don’t know if she has played that song on a Ubass. If not she should! 🙂

Esperanza links
http://www.esperanzaspalding.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esperanza_Spalding
http://www.allmusic.com/artist/esperanza-spalding-mn0000394325