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Thread: fluorocarbon strings on a tenor?

  1. #1

    Default fluorocarbon strings on a tenor?

    Please forgive me if this falls under the heading of questions that shouldn't be asked. (It doesn't seem to have been asked here before -- or at least the "search" feature didn't turn up any previous posts.) With that in mind . . .

    I'm wondering if anyone has fit a set of fluorocarbon strings on a tenor guitar before. Apparently they're popular amongst some classical guitar players -- especially for playing live -- because they have more clarity and "punch" than nylon strings. I've been wondering how they would sound on my tenor.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2

    Default Re: fluorocarbon strings on a tenor?

    The internal bracing is usually different when instruments have steel vs fiber strings. If you want to try floroucarbon you might look into getting a baritone ukulele.

  3. #3
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: fluorocarbon strings on a tenor?

    Can you explain a bit more about the strings you want to use, do you mean a complete set of four strings using plain fluorocarbon nylon?
    I don't know that much about Classical guitars, are you saying some folk like to use six plain fluorocarbon nylon strings ie, no wound strings?
    Last edited by fox; Feb-05-2018 at 11:22am.

  4. #4

    Default Re: fluorocarbon strings on a tenor?

    Quote Originally Posted by fox View Post
    Can you explain a bit more about the strings you want to use, do you mean a complete set of four strings using plain nylon?
    I don't know that much about Classical guitars, are you saying some folk like to use six plain nylon strings ie, no wound strings?
    No, as I understand it, they use fluorocarbon for the treble strings; the bass strings are still wound. But as the tenor guitar only has four strings, I was thinking of using all fluorocarbon strings (rather than the lowest string being wound).

    It's just an experiment; I'm not married to the idea. But I have a long history of doing strange things to instruments just to find out what kind of effects can be produced.

  5. #5

    Default Re: fluorocarbon strings on a tenor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cornfield View Post
    The internal bracing is usually different when instruments have steel vs fiber strings. If you want to try floroucarbon you might look into getting a baritone ukulele.

    Thanks. Yeah, I have a baritone uke (a cheap "Kent" from the '60s). But I wanted something with a scale-length between that and a standard acoustic guitar, so I picked up the 1950s Harmony Monterey I have.

    Forgive the ignorant question, but is the bracing being different mostly an issue of strength to resist the tension of other strings? I am concerned about imposing any additional tension, since these have a reputation for having weak neck joints and the necks bowing (and this one has a bit of a bow, past the 12th fret). So I was looking at lower-tension strings and, as I understand it, fluorocarbon strings are denser than nylon, and can be had in lighter gauges, so could be strung more lightly. Of course, it's entirely likely that I'm confused about one or more of these things!

  6. #6
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: fluorocarbon strings on a tenor?

    Ah OK, what tuning do you want? I can try to work out some tensions for you..
    Hmm 'Monterey' I have one of those, thought be it slightly modified, but the standard bracing is like a pair of railway sleepers.
    I love the sound of nylon & I have built two nylon string tenors....


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  7. #7

    Default Re: fluorocarbon strings on a tenor?

    Quote Originally Posted by fox View Post
    Ah OK, what tuning do you want? I can try to work out some tensions for you..
    I'm thinking of an open G tuning.

    Quote Originally Posted by fox View Post
    I love the sound of nylon & I have built two nylon string tenors....
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    Whoa -- very nice!
    Was the neck off of a "donor" guitar, from a parts place, or did you make it from scratch?

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    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: fluorocarbon strings on a tenor?

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    This one is nylon string (GDAE) the first picture was my Monterey!

  9. #9
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: fluorocarbon strings on a tenor?

    Right open G. what's that then? some weirdo 4ths tuning I guess
    Is that a high G I think is saw a baritone ukulele with something like that GBDG?

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    Harley Marty
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    Default Re: fluorocarbon strings on a tenor?

    Quote Originally Posted by RCH View Post
    No, as I understand it, they use fluorocarbon for the treble strings; the bass strings are still wound. But as the tenor guitar only has four strings, I was thinking of using all fluorocarbon strings (rather than the lowest string being wound).

    It's just an experiment; I'm not married to the idea. But I have a long history of doing strange things to instruments just to find out what kind of effects can be produced.
    @RCH I was looking at those strings, wouldn't the winding be over a fluorocarbon core?

  11. #11

    Default Re: fluorocarbon strings on a tenor?

    Quote Originally Posted by fox View Post
    Right open G. what's that then? some weirdo 4ths tuning I guess
    Is that a high G I think is saw a baritone ukulele with something like that GBDG?
    Here's an example of CGCG: https://youtu.be/pjpRTkHIBLA?t=29s and one of GDAD: https://youtu.be/XElNHYfiqiw?t=15s

    Perhaps one or the other of these might be a bit too much tension for my tenor, but I'll leave that up to people smarter than I am.

  12. #12

    Default Re: fluorocarbon strings on a tenor?

    Quote Originally Posted by fox View Post
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    This one is nylon string (GDAE) the first picture was my Monterey!
    Oh! I didn't recognize it without the tobacco 'burst! And being shot straight-on like that, it almost looked like a flat-top. Looks great either way. Did you refinish it?

  13. #13

    Default Re: fluorocarbon strings on a tenor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harley Marty View Post
    @RCH I was looking at those strings, wouldn't the winding be over a fluorocarbon core?
    Yeah, as far as I can tell, that's the situation. But I think I might prefer to have all four strings be plain, rather than have the lowest string be wound; I think it might sound "unbalanced" or something. (It also might feel weird...)

  14. #14
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: fluorocarbon strings on a tenor?

    Quote Originally Posted by RCH View Post
    Oh! I didn't recognize it without the tobacco 'burst! And being shot straight-on like that, it almost looked like a flat-top. Looks great either way. Did you refinish it?
    Well I took it to pieces & glued it back together, cut down the bracing while I was at it.
    They are not particularly good sounding due to the Birch soundboard & the heavy oil base finish. Although mine is a bit more responsive than the standard format, I would not say it is very good compared to most modern tenor guitars.
    So anyway you want to use nylon string on yours, I think... it wont work very well unless you use high tension flouro carbon & tune up from DGBE but then you might as well use low tension steel.

  15. #15

    Default Re: fluorocarbon strings on a tenor?

    I had a Pono UL4-20 which is a small bodied tenor guitar, think trez size. It was designed and built for steel strings and tuned DGBE. I experimented with Oasis florocarbon classical guitar strings and it sounded as good or better than any baritone ukulele I owned. The scale length is shortish at 22-1/4 but tension and tone were good in DGBE. No idea if it would work for your tuning.

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