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Thread: Nylon strings on Blueridge BR40T?

  1. #1

    Default Nylon strings on Blueridge BR40T?

    Hello there! Iím a ukulele (newbie) player, and I recently got my BR 40T. Iíve been testing many different tuning, and right now the one I prefer is GCEA with a low g.
    But I have some issue with the strumming, since I use fingers and not a pick. So I was wondering if there is any set of nylon strings to use in order to get a ďgiant ukuleleĒ. Iíve heard about Ernie Balls, but I donít know much about strings and brands. The tunings Iím looking for are GCEA or DGBE (low or high g/d is the same). Do you have any tips for me? Someone told me to try a strings set made for a baritone uke, but I donít know if it is worth to try.
    Thanks a lot!

  2. #2
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nylon strings on Blueridge BR40T?

    You cant expect a guitar designed to work with steel strings to perform at its best with low tension nylon, the Blueridge is already a sturdy guitar.
    But of course you can try out what ever you want, it will make a sound and perhaps you will be happy with the results its just that a guitar designed for low tension nylon will work much better.
    So you need the help of a sting tension calculator but working on nylon is not so easy as steel but perhaps somebody like Huck will try and work something out for you?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Nylon strings on Blueridge BR40T?

    I'm not sure how you'll be able to use nylon strings since the bridge is made for ball end strings. I strum my steel string guitar and tenor with my fingers. I think you just need to get used to it.
    If you're looking for a baritone ukulele, why not just buy one purpose made for it? Like a Pono large body
    https://www.ponoukulele.com/ul-series

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  5. #4

    Default Re: Nylon strings on Blueridge BR40T?

    Thanks for your fast feedback.
    Yeah, I know that the guitar wonít sound as good as it does right now with nylons, but others on the web said the final risult is pretty stunning, too. I love to experiment new things, thatís it. Iíll probably go back to GCEA steel strings as soon as I try the nylons (unless itís stunning for real).

    Btw I know there are string sets with the ball end, like this Ernie Ball. I just have no idea what kind of strings should I buy to get the GCEA (or DGBE, if the first one isntír available) tuning.

  6. #5

    Default Re: Nylon strings on Blueridge BR40T?

    I tried a similar experiment but with an Ashbury tenor guitar, but it just didn't sound very good so I took off the nylon strings shortly afterwards. Guitar will sound better if used what they were designed for (although I agree it's good to experiment). I agree with the others that a baritone ukulele might be a better option.

  7. #6

    Default Re: Nylon strings on Blueridge BR40T?

    Using a string calculator for DGBE around 62 lbs: 31-40-24w-31

    LaBella Folksinger strings have ball ends. I don't know the gauges.

    You can buy D'Addarrio singles, but tie-ends.

    These may be your best bet to experiment with using strings 2-5: https://www.stringsbymail.com/string...end-23015.html

    Good luck,
    Huck

  8. #7

    Default Re: Nylon strings on Blueridge BR40T?

    GCEA around 67 lbs: 24p-28w-33-43.

  9. #8

    Default Re: Nylon strings on Blueridge BR40T?

    Thank you so much! Very helpful, Iíll give it a try! 😁

    Iím aware the sounds wonít be as good as with its own strings, but again itía just cause I like to try new things.

    Iím also very interested in baritone ukes, but the only one bigger enough for my taste is the Pono Nui (which is more a tenor than a uke, for what they say), but itís so expensive. Do you know any other baritone as big as the Pono, maybe around 250/300$?

  10. #9

    Default Re: Nylon strings on Blueridge BR40T?

    Can't help you with a bigger baritone ukulele.

    The Kala KA-GTR is a wonderful short scale tenor guitar.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    https://kalabrand.com/products/ka-gtr

    Or you can try to find a Venezuelan Cuatro. Four nylon string folk instrument.
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    Both around $200.

  11. #10

    Default Re: Nylon strings on Blueridge BR40T?

    Never heard about this venezuelan cuatro, looks so nice. But I canít find any brand/model on the web, coould you give me some names or websites? Are they easy to buy?

  12. #11

    Default Re: Nylon strings on Blueridge BR40T?

    Getting one from Venezuela is near impossible right now due to the political and health concerns in that country.

    Google: Venezuelan Cuatro guitar.

    This vendor offers several.
    https://www.boliviamall.com/en/venez...hoCa5wQAvD_BwE

    https://www.boliviamall.com/en/venez...ro-c-3588.html

    Also try Ebay.

  13. #12
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nylon strings on Blueridge BR40T?

    Where do you live?

  14. #13

    Default Re: Nylon strings on Blueridge BR40T?

    Iím from Italy.
    Anyway thank you for all your nice tips, guys.
    Basically I love the uku sounds, but I like to ďfeelĒ the instrument - the ukes are so tiny. Thatís why I got the Blueridge, and I love it. But now Iím looking for the same uke style (nylon needed) in a biggest body, as I did for the steel strings tenor.
    Any creative alternative is welcome!
    As I said, I found this Pono Nui, which is a baritone uke as huge as a tenor, but itís up for 800-1000$. Too much for my pockets right now.

  15. #14
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nylon strings on Blueridge BR40T?

    Well you could take your Blueridge to a luthier and ask him (her) to modify the bracing and set it up for nylon.
    That would be a good compromise although not the perfect answer.
    There is quite often a cheap nylon four stings for sale on https://www.thomann.de/gb/search_dir...+guitar&smcs=0 although I can’t see any at the moment.

  16. #15

    Default Re: Nylon strings on Blueridge BR40T?

    Quote Originally Posted by KRShin View Post
    Iím from Italy.

    Any creative alternative is welcome!

    I found this Pono Nui, which is a baritone uke as huge as a tenor, but itís up for 800-1000$. Too much for my pockets right now.
    If you are in Europe, this is half the cost of the Pono at around $380.

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    Solid spruce top. Very close in scale and nut width to the Pono and nylon strings.
    https://www.thomann.de/gb/thomann_te...r_standard.htm

    Change strings to the proper gauge for your desired tuning and voila!

  17. #16
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nylon strings on Blueridge BR40T?

    Yes that is the one but it does have a very wide nut!

  18. #17
    Registered User john bange's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nylon strings on Blueridge BR40T?

    there is a nylon string that will work on your Blueridge I use this set on my Martin 0-18t and a Blueridge br60t, tuned DGBE.
    I start with a Silk and steel wound D and G. I rob 6 string sets or order singles from Just Strings.com. For the B and E, I use Thomastik-Infeld wound nylon tape singles from Just Strings... 24 and 16 ga. The nut slots require not modification and all 4 strings have ball ends.
    The wound nylon strings are not cheap but they wear like steel and seem to last a long time.
    I don't have a video of my playing the Blueridge but I do have one of the Martin. PM me if you would like the link to one from facebook. I play with my fingernails rather than a pick. both guitars are loud and intonation is fine.
    Martin 0-18t tenor guitar
    Martin baritone uke
    Kamaka baritone uke
    Kalali baritone uke
    Outdoor tenor uke
    Kerry Bannister baritone uke
    Hoyt 10" baritone 5 string banjo/uke GDGBE

  19. #18
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nylon strings on Blueridge BR40T?

    I guess it is a matter of perspective as to what you like and what works for you, there are lots of people using classical guitar strings on tenor guitars.
    If you join any of the ukulele Facebook pages you will find dozens of tenor guitars fitted with low tension nylon and tuned in 4ths.

  20. #19
    Registered User john bange's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nylon strings on Blueridge BR40T?

    https://www.facebook.com/jlbange/vid...65117386/?t=32

    For jigs and reels...quarter and 1/8th notes, flat picks, probably not
    Martin 0-18t tenor guitar
    Martin baritone uke
    Kamaka baritone uke
    Kalali baritone uke
    Outdoor tenor uke
    Kerry Bannister baritone uke
    Hoyt 10" baritone 5 string banjo/uke GDGBE

  21. #20

    Default Re: Nylon strings on Blueridge BR40T?

    Quote Originally Posted by fox View Post
    You cant expect a guitar designed to work with steel strings to perform at its best with low tension nylon, the Blueridge is already a sturdy guitar.
    But of course you can try out what ever you want, it will make a sound and perhaps you will be happy with the results its just that a guitar designed for low tension nylon will work much better.
    So you need the help of a sting tension calculator but working on nylon is not so easy as steel but perhaps somebody like Huck will try and work something out for you?
    While I very much agree with this post... I am brought back to many years ago when I owned this lovely Shenandoah (by Martin) little parlor guitar. Certainly a steel string, guitar but at this stage in my playing I was very much into nylon strings (still am by the way, just love the dry and warm tone from nylon). I thought what the heck - picked up a set of Labella Folk Singer ball end nylon strings, strung it up, and it sounded great!! Loved that guitar, but to be honest can’t remember what happened to that one. Too many guitars to remember and keep track of. I think I gifted it to a learning in-law family member of the times. Wish I had that one back - sigh.

    Anyways, you never know until you try. The price of a pack on strings is certainly well worth the trial. Now, I have owned some Blueridge guitars and they are fantastic instruments. From what I recall, the ones I have played are not over heavily built, but I have not tried the well respected BR-40T. It may be a different story. If nylon doesn’t work out for you there is also silk and steel strings - the in between of steel and nylon.

  22. #21

    Default Re: Nylon strings on Blueridge BR40T?

    Look no further! I wish I had seen this thread sooner because I have a solution for you. I was in the same boat as you. I also own the same guitar.

    You see, I too was a ukulele player when I made the transition to Tenor Guitar, I first started on a tiny soprano, then bought a concert, a tenor, made my way up to baritone and that helped with my transition because the baritone changed my tuning from GCEA to DGBE, and DGBE would be the tuning I would use on my tenor.

    I had a hard time transitioning from nylon to steel strings, regular steel strings were taut and required a lot more pressure to hold down and harder pick action, so I also considered maybe having Nylon strings on my tenor. However, I eventually decided against it, most of the necks really aren't built for the tension of Nylon and you really will be doing yourself and the instrument an injustice by sacrificing tone and volume for ease of play. You should also know that putting nylon strings on that particular tenor will probably get you some serious string buzz.

    So what did I do? I did some research and looked for guitar strings that were low tension, flexible, and allowed for more dynamic movement. I found two sets of strings that ended up being perfect for what I was looking for.

    Newtone Heritage Strings (sold by a company in the U.K)

    These strings are beholden by many to be their favorite set of strings, regardless of the fact that they are low tension they are nonetheless great quality strings. This is what i currently have on my last remaining tenor (i've made the jump from tenor to 6 string, it's kind of funny how over the years the instruments just kept getting bigger) These strings are one of two options for you that I believe will be a good compromise between nylon and standard steel. I highly recommend trying these, start with their 10s, you may need to do some setup work beforehand or afterwards to help attune the guitar to the strings.


    Tomastik Infeld Plectrum


    Again very high quality strings, they are also expensive. around 20 US dollars per set. But they are WORTH IT. These strings in my experience last longer in terms of their tone and sustain than the Newtones and offer a slightly different all around tone than the Newtones, but nevertheless sound great. Again start off with their 10s and adjust accordingly. These can be bought on most online sites that sell strings.

    In terms of quality I think that both sets are pretty much equal, like I said they both offer different tones that only your ear will be able to judge. I whole-heartedly recommend going this route, because in the future you will have to get used to playing steel strings at some point. Trying new ways to play, or new instruments, or even new strings is always beneficial to you in the long run because it furthers your musical potential. I know it may be umcomfortable at first but again take it from someone who was in your shoes, it is completely worth it, you never know one day you may want to transition into a different instrument with steel strings, and the aforementioned strings are a really nice compromise, it's like if steel and nylon had a love child.

    One more thing i'll add is that something I particularly like about these strings is that four of them are wound, this is ideal for a tenor guitar, as opposed to only half of them (out of 6 total), meaning that half of your strings will be wound (2 out of 4, instead of 1 out of 4) I think it offers more tonal range and deeper more robust tones. I cant stress this enough, having that extra wound string really changes the game. Also if you'd like a music sample to hear what they sound like I can figure something out, and if you encounter some issues with having low tension strings (like string buzz) don't fret (no pun intended) there are easy fixes I can recommend.

    I know I know, what a wall of a post... I only wrote so much because I was in the same predicament and ended up researching for weeks for a solution. This is what I came to and I couldn't have made a better decision. Save yourself the time and energy.

    EDIT: I forgot to mention, I use these strings on a BR-40TCE, which is a BR-40T just with a cutaway and a pickup.
    Last edited by EJMUSIC; Jun-09-2020 at 2:46pm.

  23. #22
    Registered User john bange's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nylon strings on Blueridge BR40T?

    totally agree about the Thomastik-Infeld...never tried the other.
    If a flat pick, jigs and reels are what you play, this thread makes less sense but for a ukulele player, they really work. Also, the Blueridge gives very little away to my 0-18t with my setup of silk and steel and 2 T-I strings
    Martin 0-18t tenor guitar
    Martin baritone uke
    Kamaka baritone uke
    Kalali baritone uke
    Outdoor tenor uke
    Kerry Bannister baritone uke
    Hoyt 10" baritone 5 string banjo/uke GDGBE

  24. #23

    Default Re: Nylon strings on Blueridge BR40T?

    I have an extra set of Newtone Heritage 10s, if you'd like to try them I can send them to you.

  25. #24
    Registered User john bange's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nylon strings on Blueridge BR40T?

    thank you for your kind offer. I am so happy with my set-up, I doubt I'll ever change. You are dead right about the durability of the T-I strings. I have many extra singles but I have only changed the 2 silk and steel D and G...I keep looking for wear points on the wound nylon B and E...just can't find one.
    cheers,
    john
    Martin 0-18t tenor guitar
    Martin baritone uke
    Kamaka baritone uke
    Kalali baritone uke
    Outdoor tenor uke
    Kerry Bannister baritone uke
    Hoyt 10" baritone 5 string banjo/uke GDGBE

  26. #25

    Default Re: Nylon strings on Blueridge BR40T?

    Thank you guys for the very helpful advices! Special thanks to EJMUSIC, that string tip is gold! Canít wait to try them out, thank you so much!

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