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Nov 26, 2021 - 5:05:13 PM
6068 posts since 3/11/2006

Been playing a long time, and have never tried the 17's- always used Nylguts.

Just curious about the 17's.  For folks that have played on both, which do you prefer and why?

Any other preferred non-steel strings?

Thanks.

Nov 26, 2021 - 5:16 PM
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csacwp

USA

2975 posts since 1/15/2014

LaBella 17's are closer to period correct gauges, sound more like gut, don't break easily, and do not have any of the intonation issues of nylgut.

Nov 26, 2021 - 6:01:27 PM

525 posts since 2/8/2003

I prefer the nylgut for clawhammer and the labella strings for 2 & 3 finger. Although the 4th windings do not last long with my heavy bends i use on some tunes, so I buy extras.

Nov 26, 2021 - 7:08:45 PM

1248 posts since 1/9/2012
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My impression is that the sound of the LaBella 17's is crisper than Aquilas (the white or cream colored ones). But my preferences rarely last more than a couple of hours.

Nov 27, 2021 - 5:40:17 AM

9176 posts since 8/28/2013

It's been so long since I tried the 17s that I can't recall my reaction. Not too long ago I tried the Nylguts and absolutely hated everything about them: sound, intonation, stretching, and slipping. Somehow none of them broke, but I've heard that can be an issue, too.

Nov 27, 2021 - 6:06:03 AM

14144 posts since 6/29/2005

I'm not familiar with the LaBella 17s— What's the difference between the LaBella 17s and the LaBella rectified nylon early instrument strings?  Also, what kind of 4th string is on the 17s?

(I'm not a fan of the nylguts)

Nov 27, 2021 - 6:11:35 AM
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11036 posts since 4/23/2004

I liked the old Aquila "classic" sets from years ago. The new ones and I don't get along.

The La Bella 17s are too light for my fingers. I simply prefer a heavier string.

Nov 27, 2021 - 6:17:42 AM

R Buck

USA

3044 posts since 9/5/2006

I used La Bella's years ago. That's all I could get back then but they were good.

Nov 27, 2021 - 7:07:34 AM

4245 posts since 10/13/2005

The La Bella strings I tried years ago were floppy like skinny spaghetti strands, may be different now. Years ago Savarez classical Yellow Card strings were recommended. I recall they were just fine, never seemed to wear out. I use Aquila Minstrel strings and don't seem to have problems like many say but I may revisit Savarez for comparison. banjered

Nov 27, 2021 - 7:45:01 AM
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6666 posts since 9/21/2007
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quote:
Originally posted by Ken LeVan

I'm not familiar with the LaBella 17s— What's the difference between the LaBella 17s and the LaBella rectified nylon early instrument strings?  Also, what kind of 4th string is on the 17s?

(I'm not a fan of the nylguts)


The "no 17" name came from the size of the first and fifth, .017.  Due to modern attempts to make nylon feel more like wire (something I don't understand) LaBella has followed suit and made them thicker.

019, .022, .028; Silver-Plated Wound: .025W; Nylon: .019 are the current sizes.  I presume they are the same DuPont nylon as used in the strings sold as singles. They should change the name to "no 19".  There must be something about non wire that drives manufacturers to want to confuse their customers.

 

To the OP, besides all the differences stated above, LaBella is rectified DuPont nylon, made by a consistent "spinning" process which aligns the molecules and results in a very consistent and true string.

"Nylgut" is extruded polyester with various additives to try and make the compound heavier (but also lowers the tensile strength).  The extrusion process results in various thicknesses and density which causes a "false string" with poor intonation.  Due to the excessive stretching they can become more false over time.

Years ago this folksy sort of trend emerged in using a flabby and thick unwound 4th string.  Along with that, people were complaining about the wound 4th string wrappings wearing.  So Nylgut started using a unwound 4th in some of the sets (but it was a lottery which set).  This no doubt also saved them money in production costs.

The 4th string of the banjo has pretty much always been wound.  The earliest documentation of the banjo as we know it had a wound 4th.  That is over 170 years of tried and true, yet Nylgut knows more than us and has attempted to reinvent something that works fine.

Yes, the wound strings wear out.  So replace them.  Use that as an opportunity to scrape the crud off of your fingerboard.  The monofilament strings will eventually get flat spots at the frets and need changing too.

Nov 27, 2021 - 8:11:57 AM

377 posts since 6/26/2011

Hi RD, I have used Nylgut Reds, minstrels and the modern 17's ( as Joel says, its a misnomer as there is no 17 gauge in the pack these days). I loved the tone and feel of the reds, but were a little shorter lifespan than I would like, lasting months not years. The minstrel set were wonderful and no problems here with the wound fourths.
However these days I like a bright sounding string so I use a light gauge set similar to the Labella 17s. When I tried the 17s I could not fault them, but they are somewhat pricey here in the UK.
Cheers from Bill.
PS: I wish more UK dealers would stock nylon singles, if any of them are reading.

Nov 27, 2021 - 5:07:21 PM

170 posts since 2/20/2004

quote:
Originally posted by banjered

The La Bella strings I tried years ago were floppy like skinny spaghetti strands, may be different now. Years ago Savarez classical Yellow Card strings were recommended. I recall they were just fine, never seemed to wear out. I use Aquila Minstrel strings and don't seem to have problems like many say but I may revisit Savarez for comparison. banjered


Exactly!  The La Bella 17s feel like floppy spaghetti.  I just bought three sets a month ago.  Tried a set, took them off within a couple of days.

JD. PM me your address and I’ll send you the other 2 sets I have.  I won’t  use them.

George

Nov 27, 2021 - 5:08:02 PM

170 posts since 2/20/2004

Oops, should have typed RD....my cousin is JD

Nov 27, 2021 - 7:05:25 PM

6068 posts since 3/11/2006

Thanks to all for the input, it is most helpful.

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