YES I HAVE READ THE OTHER THREADS ON THIS. I HAVE EVEN SEEN THE HORRIBLE GOREY PHOTOS OF SNAPPED NECKS.

BUT

I am a physicist and have worked something out. The problem is tension. We all know that. From visiting this website: http://store.daddario.com/category/146041/EJ45_Pro-Arte_Normal_Tension
I realized that you CAN put on steel strings to make the same tension but with MUCH lower gauges.

http://www.mcdonaldstrings.com/stringxxiii.html

That lovely website calculates what tension will be produced by different gauge strings. Putting in the gauges 009 010 015 020 030 038 you will NOT be increasing the tension (in fact it is slightly lower).

Problem solved? I know it won't exactly sound like a Martin but I am going to test it on an ancient horrible battered classical.

I'm taking the blow if it fails IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE. This one's for the team.

Any ideas as to what may go wrong?
A long time ago, before I actually started playing, my wife had lost "her" guitar in the divorce to her first husband. (he paid for it...)
She was wanting a guitar, so we went shopping and found a little Suzuki classical that had been strung with steel strings. (Neither of us knew anything at all about guitars at the time, this was about 1975)
She played the thing for a couple of years before I bought her a better instrument, and it sounded surprisingly good and did not suffer any damage that I could see.
Of course, it was a cheap plywood instrument and likely much stronger than it needed to be.
well if you got it figured out with the tension i dont see why not
but the steel strings might damage the frets of possibly the bridge just saying to watch out for that
also
IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE
reminds me of a porn i was watching once
when the guy was a scientist and right before they did it the guy yells
IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE SUCK MY DICK!
doesn't seem to me you'll be determining much by putting extra lights on a guitar that already sounds horrible. putting them on a guitar that sounds good you may find out whether it's worth doing. proving that steel strings the same tension as nylons won't hurt a classical guitar as an experiment is missing the point that everyone wants their guitars to sound good.
Last edited by patticake at Sep 12, 2010,
Quote by obeythepenguin
Apart from killing the tone and playability, not to mention the difficulty of getting the strings on in the first place... no, I don't see any problem.

Tone and playability? The bridge lost its white bit (technical I know) so the strings are being supported by a folded post it note to stop fret buzz. It has two extra holes in the back as well as the front.

I want to give it a go. It may produce a 'unique tone'.

In terms of getting the strings on... the bullet/ball on the end won't be smaller than the holes at the bridge. I may put a plate across with holes drilled in to create a kind of washer and stop the bullet eating into the wood. Should be fine.

I'll let you all know how it goes
Quote by patticake
doesn't seem to me you'll be determining much by putting extra lights on a guitar that already sounds horrible. putting them on a guitar that sounds good you may find out whether it's worth doing.

The main aim is to see if it will snap/bend or affect the neck of the guitar or any other part of the guitar at all. If it's entirely successful I mayyy try it on a nicer classical. By that time though I should have bought myself a entry level Taylor so I won't have to worry about it.
finally, science being put to good use.
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but you already know the answer. it's tension that warps the neck. if the tension is the same or lesser than, it won't warp the neck.

you'd also need to change the nut since the slots won't fit the strings well.

Quote by Geeeeezer
The main aim is to see if it will snap/bend or affect the neck of the guitar or any other part of the guitar at all. If it's entirely successful I mayyy try it on a nicer classical. By that time though I should have bought myself a entry level Taylor so I won't have to worry about it.
Quote by Geeeeezer
Tone and playability? The bridge lost its white bit (technical I know) so the strings are being supported by a folded post it note to stop fret buzz. It has two extra holes in the back as well as the front.

I want to give it a go. It may produce a 'unique tone'.

In terms of getting the strings on... the bullet/ball on the end won't be smaller than the holes at the bridge. I may put a plate across with holes drilled in to create a kind of washer and stop the bullet eating into the wood. Should be fine.

I'll let you all know how it goes

If you're going to try this, I would first replace the saddle. The B and high E strings will probably cut right into a post-it note. Not to mention, the whole point of the saddle is to transfer the vibrational energy to the top of the guitar. Paper probably isn't doing anything, which is why the guitar won't sound anywhere near good no matter what strings you put on it.

Come on, as a physicist you should know these things. Have fun experimenting!
Quote by Ur all \$h1t
On public transport I furiously masturbate while trying to make eye contact with as many people as possible for as long as possible.
somehow this struck me as very very funny, btw

Quote by supersac
IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE
reminds me of a porn i was watching once
when the guy was a scientist and right before they did it the guy yells
IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE SUCK MY DICK!
Quote by Geeeeezer
Problem solved?

Nah, it will be a waste of time.

Here's a little sample of what your tuning scheme would feel like. Take the D string on a normal steel-string guitar and tune it down to the same note as the low E. Try to play a few notes on it. It's not exactly bundles of fun. Just use nylon strings.
I want to know.... why bother?

Like, it's not designed for that at all. Why bother?
Don't tell me what can not be done

Don't tell me what can be done, either.

I love you all no matter what.
Okayyyy THE RESULTS:

Patticake was right the strings obviously didn't fit the nut (but i wasn't so bothered about that)

The NECK DIDN"T SNAP

The frequency produced is extra sensitive to the Tension. This means tuning up a tiny amount (smallest turn possible) is about the difference of half a semitone
IT IS NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO TUNE!

Then on top of that the intonation is out horribly. Playing the 12 fret on the E string makes an F :/

Howeverr, it is very fun to play solos on (like Bayside acoustic solos) as bending strings is so easy (even easier than an electric guitar).

Also the classical body seems to resonate the top e and B strings loads which makes it almost sound resonator/12 string like. It sounds lovely playing things like Iris in open D tuning.

I put a slice of old credit card with holes punched in to stop the string bullets biting into the saddle but the bridge is way too far forward for these steel strings hence why the intonation is messed up.

SUMMARY.
Good for playing strummed chords low down the neck such as Bon Iver or other folky stuff.
Good for playing solos and bending strings
Rubbish for anything else
(Good for not breaking the guitar)
the neck wont snap straight away
it will take a while
Quote by '93
the neck wont snap straight away
it will take a while

You gotta' read, man.
You could tune it to D standard. Perhaps it would help with the intonation? Although the intonation should be a function of bridge distance from the 12th fret and the distance of the 0 fret from the 12 fret. Perhaps the guitar in general has/had poor intonation and the steel strings just brought it to the fore?
Quote by jpnyc
You are what they call a “rhythm guitarist”. While it's not as glamorous as playing lead you can still get laid. Especially if you can sing and play.

Beer is the solutions to the world's problems.

Quote by GC Shred Off
You gotta' read, man.

??

arent we talking about the neck or bridge breaking cos of too much tension caused my steel string in a classical guitar?

or did i miss something?
i have had bronze set on my classical for years already

its Martin 0.12 gauge set

but in most time its in open Dm or ... step down standard

so?!? it never snapped
i had it in standard too
Quote by '93
arent we talking about the neck or bridge breaking cos of too much tension caused my steel string in a classical guitar?

Nah. The TS strung up a classical guitar with super-duper, outrageously light steel strings and was asking if it would work well, which it didn't (more or less).

Quote by Vendetta V
so?!? it never snapped
i had it in standard too

I've seen people do the same many times without incident, but generally speaking, it's a risk.
Last edited by GC Shred Off at Sep 24, 2010,
if you're using 9's or 10's, no reason for it to snap. most people use 12's, and over time that will cause serious damage, but not in a day or even a few weeks. the serious damage takes time.

buying and installing a new nut, saddle and tuners would probably improve things. you can buy tuners at lmii.com or stew-mac.com

Quote by Geeeeezer
Okayyyy THE RESULTS:

Patticake was right the strings obviously didn't fit the nut (but i wasn't so bothered about that)

The NECK DIDN"T SNAP

The frequency produced is extra sensitive to the Tension. This means tuning up a tiny amount (smallest turn possible) is about the difference of half a semitone
IT IS NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO TUNE!

Then on top of that the intonation is out horribly. Playing the 12 fret on the E string makes an F :/

Howeverr, it is very fun to play solos on (like Bayside acoustic solos) as bending strings is so easy (even easier than an electric guitar).

Also the classical body seems to resonate the top e and B strings loads which makes it almost sound resonator/12 string like. It sounds lovely playing things like Iris in open D tuning.

I put a slice of old credit card with holes punched in to stop the string bullets biting into the saddle but the bridge is way too far forward for these steel strings hence why the intonation is messed up.

SUMMARY.
Good for playing strummed chords low down the neck such as Bon Iver or other folky stuff.
Good for playing solos and bending strings
Rubbish for anything else
(Good for not breaking the guitar)
Quote by GC Shred Off
Nah. The TS strung up a classical guitar with super-duper, outrageously light steel strings and was asking if it would work well, which it didn't (more or less).
.

oh...

so it was about sound only...
I find myself in a similar situation (apart from the whole "In the name of SCIENCE WOOT!!" stuff)
-I 'rescued' a cute little First Act (3/4 size) Classical Guitar from my younger cousin's house.
(the poor thing only had 4 strings that had never been changed after 6 years...they were so badly rusted they left CUTS on my fret-fingers)
-I had a pack of Extra Light steel strings laying around that I've never had to use (my full-size Esteban Guitar only sounds good with large/normal gauged strings), and I really had no idea that it would make any difference (noob)...
UNTIL I tried tuning the thing (NIGHTMARE)
-Tuning it to standard was HARD...and it was WEEKS before the high e string decided to stay at high e without tuning itself down 3 whole steps...
-The sound is really kind of horrible, especially when played with a medium/heavy pick...
But bending the strings, hammer-ons/pull-offs, and tapping is SO EASY, and the tones sound decent when the guitar is finger strummed/picked...I actually like using it for certain songs, and the sound is MORE than decent when the strings are dropped to open D, Drop D, Drop D Flat, or Drop C.
Quote by BonesxBreak
the sound is MORE than decent when the strings are dropped to open D, Drop D, Drop D Flat, or Drop C.

Cheers I'll try that. Maybe the intonation will sort itself out a bit too