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Jun 22, 2021 - 3:08:47 AM
1314 posts since 10/11/2012

Just wondering if anyone else has had problems getting the Red Nylgut 5th string up to pitch (g on Open G gDGBD).

I get the string to about f or f# and it just snaps.

I have ruined three sets so far and I am considering giving up.

Any advice?

PS I have noticed that these strings stretch way more than other nylon strings.

Jun 22, 2021 - 3:15:48 AM

2141 posts since 2/12/2009

I gave up on Nylgut several years ago, never enjoyed the feel,sound, durabillity or anything about them, I use exclusively Clifford Essex nylon sets and have never experienced any problems at all with them.

Jun 22, 2021 - 5:31:33 AM
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4147 posts since 10/13/2005

Does anyone remember the tone of the older, softer nylguts? It seems to me they had a better tone than the red series. Aquila keeps changing/refining their nylguts and while the newer ones are stiffer and have a less spaghetti feel, they seem to have lost the "gut" tone. Or is that just my deteriorating ears or something else? I recently took off a set of nylguts on a banjo and put on steel strings and at least for now I prefer that tone on that banjo. As far as breakage I put on the nylguts and tune them up to a pitch two or three steps below standard and let them stretch overnight and then tune them up. It still takes a day or two after that before they stabilize enough to play a few tunes without retuning. banjered

Jun 22, 2021 - 5:48:39 AM

lapsteel

Canada

568 posts since 8/13/2015

Try the classic AQ-1B set.

Jun 22, 2021 - 6:15:56 AM

626 posts since 7/10/2012

Same as banjered , string them up, tune them low, gradually bring them up to pitch over a few days.

Jun 22, 2021 - 9:50:09 AM

1314 posts since 10/11/2012

quote:
Originally posted by dpgetman

Same as banjered , string them up, tune them low, gradually bring them up to pitch over a few days.


I tried that but the string just got very tight and would not go past f#.

I think I'm going to have to try a different brand...

Jun 22, 2021 - 10:14:43 AM

269 posts since 5/25/2015

quote:
Originally posted by Lyndon Smith
quote:
Originally posted by dpgetman

Same as banjered , string them up, tune them low, gradually bring them up to pitch over a few days.


I tried that but the string just got very tight and would not go past f#.

I think I'm going to have to try a different brand...


I'm very happy with the Picato nylon strings (although they did have to send me a different wound 4th to the string included in set, which was wrong). Easier to get hold of here in the UK and I like them better than nylguts. 

Jun 22, 2021 - 11:20:19 AM

8729 posts since 8/28/2013

Check everything over carefully for burrs that might be cutting into the strings. I personally hate Nylguts, but burrs can wreck any string and should be eliminated no matter what synthetic you decide on.

Jun 22, 2021 - 1:01 PM

626 posts since 7/10/2012

quote:
Originally posted by Lyndon Smith
quote:
Originally posted by dpgetman

Same as banjered , string them up, tune them low, gradually bring them up to pitch over a few days.


I tried that but the string just got very tight and would not go past f#.

I think I'm going to have to try a different brand...


It is definitely an issue with those strings.  I forget which variety of those Reds had a non-red 4th string, but those seemed to work much better than the all red variety, which also had a much thicker gauge 4th string.  I currently have the all reds strung up because I accidentally purchased them when I went to buy another set of the other variety.  Full disclosure, the 5th string snapped on mine as well, but I approached the restringing of it (there was enough left after the snap) with great caution and got it up to pitch.  

Man, I miss Chris Sands strings... 

Jun 22, 2021 - 3:13:18 PM
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1167 posts since 1/9/2012

Frustrating. Yes.

I know of three different Aquila Red formulations. None have been immune to this issue. I suspect that it's the white and cream colored variety that is particularly susceptible to scratching from burrs. Some people really like the particular sound of the red ones. There are three strategies: tune lower, put them on a shorter scale instrument (same as tune lower and capo up), or give up.

Jun 22, 2021 - 6:45:21 PM

8729 posts since 8/28/2013

With all the reported problems with Nylgut strings, I'm surprised anyone still uses them.

I tried them once, and even though none of them broke, I decided with the stretching and poor intonation that I wouldn't bother with them again. That was before I found out about their seemingly constant re-formulations and changes in specifications. The fact that there was no real guarantee of what I'd get should I order again was only the final nail in the Nylgut coffin as far as I was concerned.

Jun 22, 2021 - 8:47:48 PM

316 posts since 4/3/2012

I do like those strings and have them on my banjo now. Except the 5th string which I replaced with regular nylgut string after repeated breaks.

Jun 22, 2021 - 9:19:16 PM

Bart Veerman

Canada

4982 posts since 1/5/2005

quote:
Originally posted by banjered

 I put on the nylguts and tune them up to a pitch two or three steps below standard and let them stretch overnight and then tune them up. It still takes a day or two after that before they stabilize enough


 

hmmm, sounds kinda like, uh, less than ideal...

Jun 22, 2021 - 11:16:11 PM
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316 posts since 4/3/2012

I once tried a variety of synthetic strings over a fairly short period of time and recorded each one to see what I liked best. If memory serves, the ones I tried were Chris Sands, La Bella, Savarez carbon, regular nylgut and red nylgut. I liked the red nylgut best and regular nylgut least.

The reds have a really nice feel and snappy sound. However, I doubt I'll buy them again because of the breakage problem. I did try tuning them up slowly over a couple of days but it didn't work for me.

In my experience, the breakage is not due to burrs. At least, I've never broken any other type of synthetic string. The reds are just brittle. They can't take the tension.

Edited by - banjopickingman on 06/22/2021 23:17:02

Jun 23, 2021 - 7:48:05 AM
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1531 posts since 2/9/2007

Why isn't someone making fluorocarbon banjo sets?

Jun 23, 2021 - 12:01:50 PM
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316 posts since 4/3/2012

quote:
Originally posted by Dan Gellert

Why isn't someone making fluorocarbon banjo sets?


Here are a couple of options for fluorocarbon banjo sets. I haven't tried either.

https://www.justecordes.fr/en/5-string-banjo/440-hutchings-fluorcarbon-banjo-strings-hutchings-banjos.html

https://www.thebeansprout.com/store/full-size-five-string-banjo-non-steel-set

Jun 23, 2021 - 2:14:21 PM

6300 posts since 9/21/2007

quote:
Originally posted by banjopickingman
quote:
Originally posted by Dan Gellert

Why isn't someone making fluorocarbon banjo sets?


Here are a couple of options for fluorocarbon banjo sets. I haven't tried either.

https://www.justecordes.fr/en/5-string-banjo/440-hutchings-fluorcarbon-banjo-strings-hutchings-banjos.html

https://www.thebeansprout.com/store/full-size-five-string-banjo-non-steel-set

 


Yikes!  the set sold by Beansprout are very heavy.  

#1d: .026
#2b: .0319
#3g: .035
#4d: .030w
#5g: .022

Is that in thousandths of an inch?   That has to be some tremendous tension.  These should carry a warning to not use them on most classic era banjos. 

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