Tenor Banjo String solutions

  1. Ted Eschliman
    Ted Eschliman
    I imagine most are making up their own sets out of single loop end strngs, but I've been happy just using a set of EXP74 Mandolin gauge. Length has been fine.

    11 15 26w 40

    I like the EXP series for durability and brilliance.
  2. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    My old short scale Stromberg has a ball end tailpiece so I just use guitar strings in the gauges I like - 13/20/30/40. I know that both Angelina Carberry and Enda Scahill do the same, though their banjos have loop end tailpieces, so I guess they just pop the wee ball end out.
  3. mikeyes

    How long are those strings? I know you have a short scale banjo (19"?) and if they are, say 40", they would fit most banjos.
  4. Mike Snyder
    Mike Snyder
    Very cool, Ted, I've got EXP75s I can't tolerate on the mandolin that should be good for the 17 fret. Thanks for the tip.
  5. chordwood
    These may work ok for 17 fret banjos. For my 19 fret Vega Wonder, I use Newtone Irish Tenor strings: .012 .018w .028 .038, and the wound A sounds great. They are available in ball and loop ends.

  6. Jim Baker
    Jim Baker
    I had trouble initially with intonation of the "A" string on my 17 fret. I took the advice of a fellow banjo player and installed a wound "A" string at .024" and my problem was solved. I'm now using .014" .024"w .032"w .042"w.

  7. chrisblack
    I use "Eagle Newtone Heavy gauge" (13, 20,30,40)strings, round wound nickel (I think the wound A string sounds much better than a plain) available from Eagle Music - http://www.eaglemusicshop.com - never had a problem with them and a nice company to deal with.

  8. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Strings are plain steel and nickel wound, .012 .016 .024w .036w

    on mine. It's all I've ever had, so I don't have anything to compare it with! I may try something with a wound A string though, in the future. My TB is a 19 fret Slingerland May Bell.
  9. laura809
    I just picked up a CGDA tuned Kay tenor banjo, 19 fret, 23" scale length. If I swap out the strings with a heavier gauge and tune to GDAE, will the intonation still be pretty close to what it is now with the lighter strings?
  10. mikeyes

    You would have to re-slot the nut for the larger gauge strings if you want the banjo to be playable. You might have to tweak the position of the bridge a little since the ratio of the largest diameter to the smallest diameter is significantly different in the GDAE tuning. Most of this is fairly simple except that I would have an expert do the slotting.

    I have been able to switch back and forth from cgda to GDAE tuning without too much trouble using the larger slots in the nut.

    BTW, if you compare the tension of the J-63 (cgda) and the J-63i (GDAE) you will find that the J-63i strings have less tension on them.
  11. laura809
    Thanks for your response. That is good to know that you are able to switch back to cgda tuning once the nut slots have been modified. I am not sure what which tuning I will prefer.
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