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Thread: Nylon Strings for Tiple?

  1. #1
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    Default Nylon Strings for Tiple?

    I enjoy playing my eight and six string Ukes, so I've been looking at the ten string Tiple as a possible next purchase. But, all I see are steel string instruments. Does anyone know of a nylon string Tiple out there? Has anyone changed out the steel strings for nylon?
    "The sole cause of all human misery is the inability of people
    to sit quietly in their rooms." - Blaise Pascal, 1670

  2. #2
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    I don’t think it would work. The tiple is braced for steel. Also you may have a fret board width issue.
    You might look into a Charango.
    Keep Strummin'

  3. #3
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    From what I have heard, nylon strings couldn't generate enough vibration to make a decent sound.

    Don't fear the steel strings. I have never used a plectrum in my life and I strum with impunity my tenor guitar and a 4-string B.C. Rich guitar that I treat like a baritone ukulele.

  4. #4
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    Yeah, I didn't think an instrument braced for steel would respond well to nylon. It would probably sound like an unplugged stratocaster.

    I was hoping to hear that someone makes a ten string designed for the nylon strings. I don't know why it wouldn't work. My eight string Ukes work well.
    "The sole cause of all human misery is the inability of people
    to sit quietly in their rooms." - Blaise Pascal, 1670

  5. #5
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    No, the Charango won't do for me. I don't want five courses. I want the ten strings divided up into only four courses. Thanks for the idea, though. I didn't know much about Charangos, so I had to look them up. Learned something. Ouch!
    "The sole cause of all human misery is the inability of people
    to sit quietly in their rooms." - Blaise Pascal, 1670

  6. #6
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    I'm on my 2nd tiple. Tuning steel strings is bad enough, nylon would be nigh impossible.

  7. #7
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    Again, I don't understand. I don't have any problem tuning my eight string. Why would adding two more strings make tuning a problem? And, I never thought of nylon strings as being any harder or easier to tune than steel. Perhaps steel holds its tuning better, although I never thought about it before.
    "The sole cause of all human misery is the inability of people
    to sit quietly in their rooms." - Blaise Pascal, 1670

  8. #8
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    I should have been clearer. It's not the act of tuning, it's playing in tune.

    You have octave strings without the ability to completely intonate them at the bridge. To compound this, nylon has a lower tension, and requires a higher action to accommodate it's vibrating arc, all on an instrument with a relatively short scale. As you fret the octaves, the difference in string diameter makes them stretch at different rates, and they don't play in tune with each other.

    I had a Regal, and had it gone through as thoroughly as possible. It would make your eyes water past the third fret. I've played some Martins-no better. I love the concept so much that I commissioned a custom built mango tiple. It has a wider saddle for compensation, but it's still limited by design.

    Don't get me wrong-I love the tiple. It makes a great secret weapon for recordings where you have ample time to piddle with it. Have you played a regular steel string yet? I know I'm struggling to explain this, but I think playing one would better illustrate my point.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the info 0018g. I've been looking for a tiple for years and bought one with terrible intonation; impossible to tune. I sent it back to the luthier. Your explanation makes sense of the problems, but they're certainly not insurmountable.

    Charangos are pretty hard on the fingers, and old ones are difficult to get into Australia due to the old armadillo shell bodies! But the steel strings of both make fabulous sounds. I don't understand why you'd want to miss out on those sounds Vegas!
    Kamaka Concert delux, KoAloha concert neck soprano, DaSilva Concert, Cole Clark Ukulady Concert, Epiphone Les Paul electric, Greg Bennett concert, and my pride and joy, a Scott Wise Super Tenor

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0018g View Post
    As you fret the octaves, the difference in string diameter makes them stretch at different rates, and they don't play in tune with each other.
    Wow, I never noticed that on my five, six, and eight string instruments. Unfortunately, they are all in storage right now. When they come out, I'm going to check up on that. Hopefully, I'll remember to bring up this thread and report in on what I discover.
    "The sole cause of all human misery is the inability of people
    to sit quietly in their rooms." - Blaise Pascal, 1670

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