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Nov 16, 2019 - 8:14:01 PM
195 posts since 6/27/2017

Hi pluckers and frailers,
need your wisdom for the better type of strings to play `Old time music and fiddle tunes` with nylgut strings on my Vega.Should one be looking for light,medium or heavy gauge strings.Or would medium light GHS be the way to go.Can someone suggest a proper set (brand and gauges)for me, or two or three to try, that would suit the music that appeals.

Tani Frailer, once Tani Plucker....lol

p.s Can someone also suggest the best device for measuring string gauge and where to purchase on.

Many Thanks K.B.

Nov 17, 2019 - 7:06 AM

6351 posts since 8/28/2013

The best way to measure string gauge is with digital calipers or a micrometer. You can probably find either on ebay.

Most string sets are marked as to sizes of the individual strings.

GHS medium lights are steel strings; they are not Nylgut.

Nov 17, 2019 - 7:42:42 AM

3724 posts since 10/13/2005

I have nylgut strings on 4 banjos – except the one I use for jamming. Why? At jams you tune your banjo for different keys and Nylgut doesn't like/hold frequent tunings/change of string tension. If you are playing alone and like Nylguts, medium gage will do the trick but if you're playing old time fiddle tunes with people I recommend the steel GHS. banjered

Nov 18, 2019 - 1:20:41 AM

195 posts since 6/27/2017

Tom and friends,

Have an e-mail from Bart Reiter and he recommends nylon strings rather than gut .He says that the Ist and 5th string of nylgut continually brake when on banjo so he DOES NOT recommend these.How is your experience with the nylgut in overcoming breakages that most of these strings are prone to when on your banjo.What precautions do you take to ensure that strings don't brake.Special string gauge?What string gauge or brand do you use? Can one eradicate the problem of breakage ? How? Looking forward for interesting feedback.

Tani

Dec 4, 2019 - 7:34:45 PM

Tembeck

Germany

1 posts since 11/5/2015

I have been playing nylgut on most of my banjos for about 5 years or so. Yes, they break when installing rather often. In my experience if they last past the first week, they will last forever. I always buy two sets at a time to off set the risk. They are not a consistent product, their sizing and labeling system is all but useless, they have changed their product so often that you never really know what you are going to get. However I still use them because to me they sound better than anything else.   quote:
Originally posted by Tani

Tom and friends,

Have an e-mail from Bart Reiter and he recommends nylon strings rather than gut .He says that the Ist and 5th string of nylgut continually brake when on banjo so he DOES NOT recommend these.How is your experience with the nylgut in overcoming breakages that most of these strings are prone to when on your banjo.What precautions do you take to ensure that strings don't brake.Special string gauge?What string gauge or brand do you use? Can one eradicate the problem of breakage ? How? Looking forward for interesting feedback.

Tani


Edited by - Tembeck on 12/04/2019 19:35:35

Dec 5, 2019 - 6:13:38 AM

929 posts since 1/26/2012

I never have trouble with Nylgut strings breaking. I retune them daily and they don't break. The key is to make sure there are no sharp edges on your tuners or tailpiece. The reds are more likely to break, but the new Super Nylguts are especially durable. Try the lights and the mediums and see what sounds best on your instrument. I have one banjo that sounds best with lights, another that's best with mediums.

Edited by - ClayTech on 12/05/2019 06:15:29

Dec 8, 2019 - 11:12:12 AM

902 posts since 8/7/2017

Tani, I may be misreading your posts, but you are possibly confusing 3 or 4 different kinds of strings:
Gut = made of animal intestines, old style (Mediaeval & earlier), not used much on banjos due to expense and short life.
Nylon = comes in various brands, eg. LaBella and Nylgut. Both are brands I see often on BHO. Both are made of nylon. Nylon simulates gut, but less hassle.
Fishline = various polyesters. Walmart and fishing stores for source. I've used them, but replaced them with LaBella after a couple years. Cheapest strings if you can find small reels of line at fishing store in the various diameters.
Steel = just about every thing else (that I know about).

Carbon = very modern, I know nothing about them.

I use LaBella brand #17 set of strings. They are not as sensitive to operator & banjo as Nylgut brand, from what I read on BHO. I like the tone and the ease of use of LaBella#17 (on my mountain banjo).

Nylgut brand is fiercely loved by those who love them, and disliked by the rest. If you try them, understand there is a learning curve, and you will break strings thru ignorance and un-recognized sharp edges on your instrument. The struggle is well worth it to those who love them, so just prepare yourself for some frustration initially if you go that route. This critique of Nylgut is all from my BHO reading, I was happy with the simpler to use LaBella, so never spent the time/$/frustration of learning the skillset for Nylgut.

Most everyone who bothers to write on BHO about nylon strings likes them better than steel for some purposes (authentic sound/tone/volume, easy on the hands and fingertips, etc.). You will have fun :-)

Hope this helps.

Edited by - BrooksMT on 12/08/2019 11:18:27

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