#1
Hi guys,
The question I have is can you replace the steel strings on a standard acoustic guitar with nylon strings??
I prefer the sound of nylon but prefer the feel of a normal acoustic with regards to size and neck ect......
Would nylon strings work with the peg in a hole acoustic bridge??
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#2
The strings your looking for are ball end nylon folk strings. They fit like normal steel strings. Never heard them or played on them but I did see them crop up when on my search for my perfect string. As a few string companies offer them I assume it's more common that you'd initially expect. Whether they are for a specific type of guitar or just any old steel stringer I couldn't say. At £4.50 for D'addario ones I'm sure they are worth a punt if that's what your looking for.
#3
Quote by mr frusciante
Hi guys,
The question I have is can you replace the steel strings on a standard acoustic guitar with nylon strings??
I prefer the sound of nylon but prefer the feel of a normal acoustic with regards to size and neck ect......
Would nylon strings work with the peg in a hole acoustic bridge??


Yes you can replace the steel strings with nylon ones. I first did this over 10 years ago and my "nylon string dreadnought" is my most-played guitar.

A few things you will (might) need to do:

For a pin bridge you can either use ball-end nylon strings - a few manufacturers make them - or you can tie a knot or two in the end of the string or - better still - tie knots then slip on a craft bead (readily available in art / craft shops).

You will need to keep the strings under tension when you tune up otherwise you will get too many turns around the tuner peg.

You will probably need to widen the nut slots for the thicker 1st, 2nd and 3rd nylon strings - the basses will be fine. But string up first and check how they sit in the slots - if you don't have nut files you can widen the slots by gently filing down with a piece of folded fine grade emery paper - fold a couple of times for the 3rd string.

Lastly you may need to slacken off the tension of the truss rod a little to allow for the lesser tension of the nylon strings. Again string up first and check how the guitar plays.

Here is a little vid of my nylon string dred (sorry it's blurred - first time I used a webcam):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuuc0f0frLE
Last edited by Garthman at May 8, 2016,
#4
I've tried it. There are three problems:

1) Nylon strings have very little mass compared with steel to drive the top and give a decent sound.

2) Because they have greater string excursion than steel, any neck smaller than 1 3/4" might be too narrow. I've got small f ingers, and a 1 3/4" neck doesn't work well for me with nylon.

3) The nut slots will need recutting on the high strings to accommodate the thinker nylon strings. You can, however do a test run by using a cpao on the 1st fret to hole the strings doen.
#5
As Tony says.... You CAN, but then there's the bigger question of SHOULD. The steel string guitar is designed to function with the mass and energy of steel strings.
About twice the tension of a set of nylon strings.

So the first problem you run into is that of insufficient energy to "drive the top" It'll make a noise, but not much noise.

Then there are the mechanical considerations. Ball-end nylons will work with a pin bridge, but the nut slots will very likely have to be re-cut.
Also, nylon strings have a greater "amplitude of vibration" than do steel strings, which means that they move more.
You'll notice that the action of a typical classic guitar is much higher than that of a steel string.... This to allow that greater movement.
Very likely, you'll get string buzz unless you install a taller saddle.

Were I you.... And wanting the "feel" of a steel string with the tone of a classical....The "crossover" guitar is made for this purpose. There are lots on the market right now.
I bought a Manuel Rodriquez model for 500 bucks. The "Flamenco Moderno". Yamaha makes a very-well-thought-of model in the NTX700....Also around 500. Cordoba makes several models.

These are all designed for nylon strings, but have actions and neck profiles more like a steel-string.
#6
Quote by Bikewer
. .

Were I you.... And wanting the "feel" of a steel string with the tone of a classical....The "crossover" guitar is made for this purpose. There are lots on the market right now.
I bought a Manuel Rodriquez model for 500 bucks. The "Flamenco Moderno". Yamaha makes a very-well-thought-of model in the NTX700....Also around 500. Cordoba makes several models.

These are all designed for nylon strings, but have actions and neck profiles more like a steel-string.


I have a Yamaha APX6NA crossover (the NTX700's parent). But I prefer the sound and playing style of my nylon string dred.

It's all subjective at the end of the day.
#7
Steel strings designed for steel string guitar /folk guitar , or whatever you call it.
Nylon strings designed for nylon guitar / classic guitar.
the main question is ," is it OK for your guitar ? "

folk guitar can be replace by nylon strings , but nylon guitar can not using Steel strings , because nylon guitar doesn't design to hold steel string tension.

so you can use nylon to replace steel , but steel can not replace nylon.
#8
Quote by MR.AWAW
. . so you can use nylon to replace steel , but steel can not replace nylon.


Mainly true. Actually a set of 9 gauge nickel-steel (electric) strings has about the same tension as a set of hard tension nylons so you might get away with using them - the plain strings might cut into the plastic rollers perhaps.

The best substitute if you want a classical guitar to sound more like steel string is to use Thomastik-Infeld "John Pearse Folk" strings:

http://www.thomastik-infeld.com/family-detail/John%20Pearse%20folk