strings for no nails

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
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geoff-bristol
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strings for no nails

Post by geoff-bristol » Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:07 pm

As stated - any recommendations for strings that are good for no nails. I do too much bench work and sailing to grow nails - and when I do they split like crazy - I like playing with fingers anyway - so no problem there.

650 scale - currently have ej46 on the two I play ( both torres model )

I have heard nulgut - as in Aquila Alabastros are good. Or maybe low tension would be better ? Or harder ?

I'm learning - playing at home. Both instuments are making a good balanced sound with no major intonation issues.
So really I am not posting this in frustration - more of a case of - 'could things be better' - when I go for new strings.
Even just a change from ej46 to 45 ?

powderedtoastman
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Re: strings for no nails

Post by powderedtoastman » Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:02 am

I think Alabastros would be the best place to start if you want to play without nails but don't want to take the plunge on gut strings.
I think Rob MacKillop has said on his no-nails guide (forgive me if I'm wrong) the newer formulation that they currently produce is actually better suited for nail players compared to the previous generation because of how polished they are, but I have found that they work nicely to generate a warm tone with a bit more fleshy attack than regular nylon strings.

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tateharmann
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Re: strings for no nails

Post by tateharmann » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:45 am

Real gut if you can get it ;)

If not, I like the lowest tension that I can get my hands on with rectified trebles like savarez white card or la bella lows.
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RobMacKillop
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Re: strings for no nails

Post by RobMacKillop » Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:18 am

Dear Geoff, please read the Strings page of my website - which is dedicated to no-nails playing:

http://rmClassicalGuitar.com

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geoff-bristol
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Re: strings for no nails

Post by geoff-bristol » Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:27 am

RobMacKillop wrote:Dear Geoff, please read the Strings page of my website - which is dedicated to no-nails playing:

http://rmClassicalGuitar.com
Thanks - will take a look.

How stable are gut - do they last longer than nylon - does the top e break for a pastime ! I have not really thought of gut as an option on a modern instument. Do you have to size them oneself as in baroque violins - or do they come in sets ?

edit

Lots there to consider - thanks.

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geoff-bristol
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Re: strings for no nails

Post by geoff-bristol » Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:41 am

Re Bow Brand - looking at the Early Music Shop site - they list all the harp strings by size and octave note.

http://www.earlymusicshop.com/Browse.as ... er11971/1/

Even at 48" they are cheap enough.
I note the 3rd Octave C @ 48" - 1.05mm is only £5.95 - where the 48" 1.0mm 3rd Octave A is £9.50 ?
Also - the 0.66 2nd E is £4.50 - while the 0.66 2nd C is £6.95 - both 48" long ?
Still hunting for a cheaper 0.8mm !

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RobMacKillop
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Re: strings for no nails

Post by RobMacKillop » Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:04 am

It's better to buy directly from Bow Brand.

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geoff-bristol
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Re: strings for no nails

Post by geoff-bristol » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:47 pm

I will contact them.

Still seems the basses are a problem child with gut @ a440 - and seem hard to find as a set of three or individual ?

I see Classical Guitar Plus have Savarez White label 520B for £10.88 inc vat and free post. Thats good option for trial.

Did you have any intonation problems switching to gut - mainly I would have thought G string ? I would not want to get into too much fuss with new saddles etc ( my guitars all have 3.2mm saddles so I have some leeway ) They are both pretty good with the ej46 as set up now.

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RobMacKillop
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Re: strings for no nails

Post by RobMacKillop » Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:39 pm

For basses, I now use the three from the Aqilla SETA set, and thankfully they are available without the trebles.

Only once have I had a problem with intonation on one string. I followed the age old advice of John Dowland and others, and took it off, turned it around, and put it back on. Problem solved.

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Beowulf
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Re: strings for no nails

Post by Beowulf » Fri Mar 03, 2017 5:53 pm

Just a question on using gut strings: With modern guitars generally being designed for use with nylon strings, are there limitations apparent with gut strings?
1971 Yamaha GC-10

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RobMacKillop
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Re: strings for no nails

Post by RobMacKillop » Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:16 pm

Well, I've never tried them with a Nomex guitar, but it would just be a case of increasing the tension, I imagine. For any traditionally-built guitar there should be no problem.

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tateharmann
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Re: strings for no nails

Post by tateharmann » Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:32 pm

They should work just fine on any modern instrument. Just remember to not tune them up to A=440hz!

Nylon didn't come about until the 1940's and I imagine the transition was not immediate so most guitar designs up to the 50s could have originally been played strung up in gut :)
2013 Joseph Redman Lutz/Wenge
Antonio Aparicio AA70 Spruce
"Never practise softly. " - Ernest Shand, op. 100

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Beowulf
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Re: strings for no nails

Post by Beowulf » Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:11 pm

tateharmann wrote:They should work just fine on any modern instrument. Just remember to not tune them up to A=440hz!

Nylon didn't come about until the 1940's and I imagine the transition was not immediate so most guitar designs up to the 50s could have originally been played strung up in gut :)
Ahh...that's it: no 440hz tuning. Thanks.
1971 Yamaha GC-10

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