Have a Vega Little Wonder and want to place nylgut strings on it.Can suggestions be made as to the best tailpiece that would suit the banjo to take nylgut strings on the Vega.Any other adjustments to the banjo to take nylgut strings? What gauge would suit?
Edited by - Tani on 11/15/2019 15:00:15
Any tailpiece can take steel, gut and nylon strings. Vega banjos from the gut string era used No-Knot and Kershner tailpieces.
If you purchase a new tailpiece, look it over very carefully. Any burrs or sharp edges will cut into your nylgut strings, causing them to break quickly. This problem can be fixed with a set of needle files: the finer the cut the better. On a new No-Knot or Kershner, the slots in the pins will need attention. Holes and slots in the top of the Kershner can have sharp edges as well, especially if it's an inexpensive reproduction.
The best tailpiece possible for these strings would be an old cammed No-Knot. These are a little pricey, but perfect for the job. Bob Smakula is a good source for them.
You will probably have to widen the nut and bridge slots to accept the somewhat larger Nylguts. Also, make sure there are no burrs in the tuner hols or on any tailpiece that you decide to use. (Imported No-knots are notorious for burrs.)
Thank you to everyone for all your wonderful feedback.Bob Smakula is sending me a cammed no-knot tailpiece shortly, so will have the nylgut strings on my banjo but what brand of strings and gauges would be best for `Old Time Music and fiddle tunes` on the Vega banjo??? ( especially for a Banjo with GCGCD tuning)....or GDGBD.
Tani(a.k.a. Koala Bear)
Edited by - Tani on 11/16/2019 15:36:30
'When I was a Cowboy' 3 hrs
'For what it's worth.' 4 hrs