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Old 03-25-2013, 08:31 PM   #1
Jazzpanda
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Silent guitar: Exchange steel strings for Nylon Strings works???

Hello everyone,

I bought a silent guitar model by Yamaha for steel strings. I am considering putting nylon strings on it instead to get a better sound, as I am not very satisfied with the sound I get from the steel strings. Do you think it will work? Anything special to consider?
I'd appreciate your advice!

Many Thanks!!!

Last edited by Jazzpanda : 03-25-2013 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:09 AM   #2
GoldenGuitar
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Nope, it will ultimately warp your guitar's neck, as steel and nylon strings have different tension levels. Not really recommended.
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:19 AM   #3
patticake
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i can't see why nylon strings, which are lower tension, would warp the guitar's neck. that being said, nylon strings are thicker, so you'd need to widen the slots in the nut, among other things. they're lower tension, so you'd probably need your action adjusted. and the chances of them sounding better isn't too good - i've heard a number of steel string guitars switched to nylon, and they never sounded very good.

btw, the entire point of the silent guitars is to be quiet, not to have great tone.
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:48 AM   #4
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That's the point, there isn't enough tension on Nylon strings so the neck will eventually bow backwards because there isn't enough force keeping it straight. If there is too much tension the neck will bow in the opposite direction.
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:51 AM   #5
patticake
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but it won't warp your guitar's neck - just have too much back bow, which may be adjusted by your truss rod, depending. imo it isn't worth doing, in any event.
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenGuitar
That's the point, there isn't enough tension on Nylon strings so the neck will eventually bow backwards because there isn't enough force keeping it straight. If there is too much tension the neck will bow in the opposite direction.


That's why guitars have truss rods to counteract and correct changes in string tension. There's no danger in putting nylon strings on a guitar designed for steel-except that the sound will be horrible. The reverse, though (steel strings on a guitar built for nylon) will be disastrous.


However in this case we're talking about Yamaha's silent guitar which has no acoustic properties to speak of, and was designed to be played using headphones via the built-in pre-amp, or via a PA or acoustic amp. The OP can try nylon strings on his SLG100S by all means, but might be better-off trading it for the SLG100N if he prefers the sound of nylon strings.

Another 'however'; the SLG100S has a bridge saddle compensated and slanted for steel strings. Using Nylon strings will result in seriously compromised intonation, as Spanish/Classical guitars have straight saddles and minimal, if any,compensation for nylon strings with much less variation in gauges between bass and treble strings.

Last edited by snakestretcher : 03-26-2013 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:28 AM   #7
Jazzpanda
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Thank you people for your in depth replies!!! Very much appreciated.
Are there certain type of strings (a certain brand, model) which you think would make the guitar sound better then..?
I normally play an old Gibson es-335 with 0.11/0.12 strings (round wounds) and a nice acoustic Takamine guitar so anything that would make it sound closer to a mixture of the two... I am completely aware though that a silent guitar is not a 335 or a Takamine.. . I just try to get a fuller & nicer sound out of it. I both use it to accompany and solo (clean sound).
The idea to buy the silent guitar came after watching a rather nice demo by Yamaha, with which I hoped to find partial solution to problems while boarding a plane. I have sometimes to really convince ground staff at the airport that a regular sized guitar suits perfectly the upper compartment inside the plane... This is many times very stressful for me. Anyway, that's the background for why I bought it, and now I try to make it sound better than the demos I've watched.. . Any ideas are very much appreciated!

Last edited by Jazzpanda : 03-28-2013 at 07:34 AM.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:59 AM   #8
snakestretcher
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All three guitars you mention are very different. None will sound, feel or play anything like the others and each, clearly, requires a different playing approach.
If you're really having problems achieving the sounds you want with the Yamaha, then perhaps it isn't the guitar for you.
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