I'm thinking about putting nylgut reds on a spun over Nelsen. It has LaBella no. 17 on it now. Older post suggest that they're prone to breaking. Is that still the case or have they "improved" over the years?
Never had a problem with them. I've got a set on my Matthew fretless. I don't play it every day, but they've been on there for a few years. It does have ivoroid pegs and a 'tie round a bar' tailpiece, both of which may reduce the chances of breakage.
I always get into some trouble when I say this, but tuning and scale length are still crucial issues for the newest reds. Aquila's boss, Mimmo Peruffo was satisfied with their performance with standard G and double-C tuning on a 26 1/4" scale. (You're safer with slightly shorter scale or lower tuning.) I had problems with 27" and up to pitch.
I think you have to be sure to follow the directions when windings them pre-up-to-whatever-pitch. They used to suggest lifting them out of the nut as you crank them up as to avoid any abrasion that nut occur, at least that's what was recommended for the red uke strings.
I had problems with the 1st & 5th breaking on my A-scale, so have a mixed set right now with their classic 1st&5th and reds on the interior. I've switched to LaBella 17s on my Deering Hartford.
I have them on a short scale fretless and they’re fine.
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