Parlor guitars that can be strung Nylon or Steel string

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by TrashTreasury, Dec 6, 2017.


  1. TrashTreasury

    TrashTreasury Member

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    Is anyone aware of a Parlor sized guitar that can be strung with either Nylon or Steel strings other than the Martin 0-28 Ian Anderson model? Thanks!
     
  2. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    not sure why anybody would want that; a guitar strong enough for even light steel would be too stiff to sound good with nylon.
     
  3. Matt Sarad

    Matt Sarad Member

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    Get a set of silk and steel.
     
  4. nmiller

    nmiller Drowning in lap steels Silver Supporting Member

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    Yeah, there's no guitar that sounds good with both - the tensions are just too far apart for a compromise. Guitars built for nylon should not be strung with silk & steel; the tension is too high.
     
  5. feet

    feet Supporting Member

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    my guild m20 is pretty nylon-y sounding, as steel strings go. its sort of like a giant ukulele, in a way. it isn't exactly a parlor, though. old strings, or some silk and steels, as noted above, would help to sell the effect.
     
  6. Jayyj

    Jayyj Member

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    Both Gibson and Martin tried to market guitars in the 60s that could take either - the Gibson Folksinger and Martin New Yorkers - and in both cases they sounded sound pretty good with steel, terrible with nylon.

    Apart from structural issues inherent in putting too much tension on a guitar top, if the guitar is lightly built enough to sound good with nylon it generally doesn't sound good with steel - I've played 19th C Martins that have been set up as steel strings and they really don't sound good, with poor sustsin and an uneven response - the tension of the steel seems to choke the top. How long they lasted without the top imploding is another question.
     
  7. snakestretcher

    snakestretcher Member

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    Aside from the problems outlined above, a nut cut for steel strings (typically 12-53 gauge), will not accommodate nylon strings (28-43) and vice versa. There are too many compromises to consider, frankly.
     
  8. davess23

    davess23 Member

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    No. This is kind of like trying to find a car that corners like a Ferrari but will haul livestock. The American flat top steel string guitar often looks a lot like a classical guitar, but that's superficial: they're really different instruments.
     
  9. s2y

    s2y Member

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    I'd say to throw a set of nylons on a steel string to experiment, but also remembered it would probably need a new nut. Could possibly capo it to bring the action down a bit. If ya like it, fine. Doesn't matter what other people say. If not, toss the strings and put steel strings back on it.
     
  10. mccreadyisgod

    mccreadyisgod Member

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    Rainsong makes their carbon fiber Parlor model with either steel or nylon strings. The nut, saddle, tuners, and bridge are all different owing to the differences in the strings, but the guitar bodies and necks are basically identical.
     
  11. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    since they won't fit in the nut slots or through the bridgepin holes and probably not around the tuners either, "throw on" is an optimistic way to put it.
     

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