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Steel strings swapped for nylon

Townes 22 Feb 02 - 12:14 AM
Gary T 22 Feb 02 - 12:31 AM
Steve-o 22 Feb 02 - 02:17 PM
Allan S 22 Feb 02 - 02:56 PM
Lonesome EJ 22 Feb 02 - 03:19 PM
death by whisky 22 Feb 02 - 03:58 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Feb 02 - 08:11 PM
Uncle_DaveO 22 Feb 02 - 08:12 PM
C-flat 23 Feb 02 - 12:32 AM
Gloredhel 23 Feb 02 - 04:02 PM
Grab 23 Feb 02 - 06:18 PM
Murray MacLeod 23 Feb 02 - 06:45 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Feb 02 - 07:07 PM
Murray MacLeod 23 Feb 02 - 07:15 PM
Ned Ludd 24 Feb 02 - 06:09 AM
Townes 24 Feb 02 - 05:27 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Feb 02 - 06:16 PM
GUEST,windondowndaroad 26 Aug 13 - 10:47 AM
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Subject: Steel strings swapped for nylon
From: Townes
Date: 22 Feb 02 - 12:14 AM

My mate wants to set up a steel string guitar with nylon strings.Apparently he doesn't like the width of the fretboard on a nylon string prefering the steel string shape. He asked me what I thought about the idea. The only comment I could think of at the time was that the guitars are made in a different way for the different types of strings. for the cost of a set of strings why don't you do it and see what happens. Any thoughts on this idea catters. Can it be done successfully, will it work as intended or will it end in disaster

Regards Townes


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Subject: RE: Steel strings swapped for nylon
From: Gary T
Date: 22 Feb 02 - 12:31 AM

I see no harm in trying it. It won't hurt the guitar. But there may be more involved in doing the idea justice than simply changing strings.

I believe that nylon strings will exert less pull between the bridge and head of the guitar, and this can affect the relief of the neck. This might result in some buzzing if the relief is not adjusted for those strings.

If I'm not mistaken, the nylon strings will be thicker than the steel ones, and thus it might be a little harder to avoid fouling a string. Furthermore, the strings might not set properly in the nut slots.

To really get an idea of how the guitar would sound and play compared to having steel strings on it, "all other things being equal," would require making all other things equal--having the instrument set up for those particular strings. Going back to steels would then require setting it up for them. This would cost substantially more than a set of strings. Not doing it would probably give rather unsatisfactory results, but it wouldn't be a fair test of the concept of nylon strings on the guitar in question.


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Subject: RE: Steel strings swapped for nylon
From: Steve-o
Date: 22 Feb 02 - 02:17 PM

Naah....bad idea. Just have him buy some version of what's known as "silk and steel" strings. That should do what he wants to do without requiring any modifications to the steel-string instrument.


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Subject: RE: Steel strings swapped for nylon
From: Allan S
Date: 22 Feb 02 - 02:56 PM

This is something I have always wondered about. I replaced the strings on my Martin 0018 w/ nylon and it plays fine. I just made the slots on the bridge and neck a little wider. I never heard of Setting up the guitar back then and w/ the old 00 18 there is no way to adjust the neck. Has any one else replaced the steel w/ nylon??I am also curious ... Allan


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Subject: RE: Steel strings swapped for nylon
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 22 Feb 02 - 03:19 PM

Seems that you would have a muted resonance, since I would think the woods and construction are mated to the heavier vibration and greater volume of the steel strings.


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Subject: RE: Steel strings swapped for nylon
From: death by whisky
Date: 22 Feb 02 - 03:58 PM

I suggested to one of my younger pupils to swap steel for nylon,as sore finger is sometimes given as a reason for stopping,or not prcticing.Anyway,she hasn't been back since due to illness,but I,ll let you know how it goes.


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Subject: RE: Steel strings swapped for nylon
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Feb 02 - 08:11 PM

I did it with an old guitar where the neck was starting to bend a bit, to reduce the tension. Worked fine. A mellow sound that made a nice change.

Might be more problems doing it the other way round, since the steel strings exert a good bit more pull. But I can't think how switching to nylon could in any way hurt the guitar. If there's a truss rod in the neck it would be easy enough to compensate if the neck relaxes a bit and gives him a bit of a buzz. But I'd think unless the action was set really low in the first place he'd probably have no problems, even if there's no truss rod.


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Subject: RE: Steel strings swapped for nylon
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 22 Feb 02 - 08:12 PM

I did this swap, way back, in the late Pleistocene era, and was not pleased with the result. The guitar was built much too heavily for the nylon strings.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Steel strings swapped for nylon
From: C-flat
Date: 23 Feb 02 - 12:32 AM

I do know that you can't do the reverse,i.e.steel strings to a classical, as they extra steel tension would pull the neck to hell but I can't see a problem other than basic set-up to doing it the other way. There are a number of nylon stringers that have a slimmer neck.I own a Yamaha APX6N which was not expensive and it's neck is not too much different to the steel string versions.


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Subject: RE: Steel strings swapped for nylon
From: Gloredhel
Date: 23 Feb 02 - 04:02 PM

My dad had the guy at the guitar store put nylon strings on my new Martin. I don't think he did anything extra to it (but then, I wasn't there) and it works just fine, no buzzes or anything.


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Subject: RE: Steel strings swapped for nylon
From: Grab
Date: 23 Feb 02 - 06:18 PM

You won't get the same volume or tone, replacing steel strings with nylon. But the only cost of the experiment will be the cost of a set of strings, so why not.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Steel strings swapped for nylon
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 23 Feb 02 - 06:45 PM

Why doesn't he buy a classical guitar, router off the fingerboard and neck down to to his preferred width (with the frets removed first) reshape the neck, refret,install a fresh nut, and plug and redrill the string holes in the bridge ?

That's what I would do. For a couple of hours work you have a custom guitar.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Steel strings swapped for nylon
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Feb 02 - 07:07 PM

You must work pretty fast Murray. I think you'd have had to do this kind of thing a few times before you got it down to a couple of hours.


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Subject: RE: Steel strings swapped for nylon
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 23 Feb 02 - 07:15 PM

It really wouldn't be such a tricky job, as long as you set your router guide and plunge depth accurately. Mind you, refinishing the instrument would take a lot longer ...

Murray


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Subject: RE: Steel strings swapped for nylon
From: Ned Ludd
Date: 24 Feb 02 - 06:09 AM

No harm in it. The main thing would be getting the slots at the nut right, then it would depend on how heavily built was the guitar. Seems a waste though. Classical guitars are wider for a reason and it is better to adapt to them.


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Subject: RE: Steel strings swapped for nylon
From: Townes
Date: 24 Feb 02 - 05:27 PM

Thanks for you thoughts and suggestions Catters Seems like it can be done with a fair chance of a good result. Printing all the suggestions and my mate can then make his decision based on the advice contained within.

As always "If you need to know this is the place to go"

Regards Townes


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Subject: RE: Steel strings swapped for nylon
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Feb 02 - 06:16 PM

Bottom line is, all that's being risked is a set of strings. And not even that, because they can always be used again anyway.


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Subject: RE: Steel strings swapped for nylon
From: GUEST,windondowndaroad
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 10:47 AM

Stopped by tanks to Google search because I had the same idea as checker but it was in fact no help because there's so many tone snobs. While it may be important to you guys, there's no harm in trying no matter how offended you all seem to be by the idea. The player may need to adjust his playing to the action and the volume may not quite be right, but if it saves this old piece of junk from being deemed worthless and tossed out I say go for it and screw the guys that turn up their nose to the idea.


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