#1
Hey guys, first thread

I've had an old early 60's Stella Harmony steel string acoustic for awhile, and I love everything about it except one thing...the tone is way too harsh. It's my ideal fingerstyle guitar, and I'd like it to be alot mellower than it is now.

Now, I know people have made threads before about taking a regular steel string acoustic and putting nylons on it. The consensus I've found is a resounding "No". However, this guitar may be an exception.

Firstly, it's ladder braced. And very lightly at that. Secondly, it has a slightly wider neck (somewhere between a 1-3/4" and 2" nut width) so I don't have to worry about the thicker strings crowding. Thirdly, it's a tailpiece/floating bridge combo, so there's no pins to worry about. The neck is "steel reinforced" but has no truss rod, and I've been using the lightest guage steels I can find, but they sound like crap. I have no problem widening the nut and saddle slots to accomodate the thicker strings. And in case anybody mentions it, yes I know about ball-end nylons or "folk" strings.

The only apparent issue is the headstock. As far as the other threads have stated, nylon strings won't fit in the tuning post properly. Is this completely true? The holes in the posts aren't tapered like the newer guitars, they're just straight holes, which May leave enough room.

Opinions? Suggestions? Advice? I'll take it all, along with the criticism that's guarenteed to accompany it.

RS93
Acoustics:
1994 Seagull SM6
2007 Takamine G5013SVFT

Electrics:
2008 Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plain Top (Cherryburst)
1964 Gibson Melody Maker D (DC)

Amps:
Traynor YGL-1

Pedals
MXR Distortion III (C4 Modded)
#2
Here is a simple way I used to see if I liked my crappy '67 Egmond "Kansas" converted to nylon. It is also a tailpiece & floating bridge.

It worked great!!




Richard

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Head Drug Tester of Australians FTWclub
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#3
That looks sweet, how did you attach them at the headstock end? I'm assuming the unwound strings can't just be threaded through the posts and wound around them. Did you cut them to length and just tie a knot after threading them through the post? Thanks for the response
Acoustics:
1994 Seagull SM6
2007 Takamine G5013SVFT

Electrics:
2008 Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plain Top (Cherryburst)
1964 Gibson Melody Maker D (DC)

Amps:
Traynor YGL-1

Pedals
MXR Distortion III (C4 Modded)
#4
No just wind them like steel strings not a problem.
Richard

Veni Vidi Vici

Head Drug Tester of Australians FTWclub
PM the_random_hero for entry

Prime Minister of the UG archtop acoustic players club,
PM Keef_is_King
to join!
#5
Sweet, thanks alot for the help. I'll string this baby up tomorrow and post pics when I'm done.
Acoustics:
1994 Seagull SM6
2007 Takamine G5013SVFT

Electrics:
2008 Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plain Top (Cherryburst)
1964 Gibson Melody Maker D (DC)

Amps:
Traynor YGL-1

Pedals
MXR Distortion III (C4 Modded)
#6
Dont worry about re-grooving the nut or saddle till after you have decided if you like it. Youll get a good enough sound out of it to test. Just dont go crazy with heavy picking/strumming as youll move the strings. I originally just tied the strings to the tail for a test (oh I did tidy up the strings after that pic was taken).

Here's a pic of the original setup.



Richard

Veni Vidi Vici

Head Drug Tester of Australians FTWclub
PM the_random_hero for entry

Prime Minister of the UG archtop acoustic players club,
PM Keef_is_King
to join!
Last edited by Dix_Fix at May 13, 2011,
#7
Yeah, I'm not making any permanent changes until I'm sure. That's a beautiful archtop you've got there. Mine's a flattop, but it's ladder braced and has the tailpiece/floating bridge combo.
Acoustics:
1994 Seagull SM6
2007 Takamine G5013SVFT

Electrics:
2008 Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plain Top (Cherryburst)
1964 Gibson Melody Maker D (DC)

Amps:
Traynor YGL-1

Pedals
MXR Distortion III (C4 Modded)
#8
It's not that difficult to find ball-end nylon strings. At least, they used to be fairly common.

Whether the nylon strings will have enough energy to drive your instrument you'll just have to find out. If it's too quiet, and you like the sound, you can always add a pickup....
Also, since the nylon strings have only about half the tension of steel, you might have to adjust action or neck relief.
#9
Just strung it up an hour ago, all I can say is WOW. These strings brought my guitar to life! I ended up using the ball-end nylons for simplicity's sake. I'll post pics at some point. Barely lost any volume and it's alot less harsh now. Thanks guys!
Acoustics:
1994 Seagull SM6
2007 Takamine G5013SVFT

Electrics:
2008 Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plain Top (Cherryburst)
1964 Gibson Melody Maker D (DC)

Amps:
Traynor YGL-1

Pedals
MXR Distortion III (C4 Modded)
#10
My experiance is similar ,, brought a shitty sounding (harsh & not smooth tone) to a simply lovely sounding warm guitar.
Richard

Veni Vidi Vici

Head Drug Tester of Australians FTWclub
PM the_random_hero for entry

Prime Minister of the UG archtop acoustic players club,
PM Keef_is_King
to join!