The characteristics of nylon, carbon, and titanium strings

Take out one string of Labella 2001 Value PakStrings

This post is also available in: 日本語 (Japanese)

There are many different materials used to make treble strings for classical guitar. This article will discuss the materials used for treble strings and their advantages and disadvantages.

The following article summarizes the string ratings/reviews/feedback/information articles on this blog

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Three main types of materials for treble strings

Modern classical guitar treble strings are made of two main types of material:

  • Nylon
  • fluorocarbon

Gut (sheep gut) was also used in the 19th and early 20th centuries, but is rarely used today.

And using these materials, there are three main types of treble strings:

  1. Nylon Strings
  2. titanium string
  3. Carbon Strings

The following sections discuss the characteristics of each.

Nylon

ProbablyNylon is currently the most widely used treble string for classical guitar. is probably the most widely used.

Nylon is a synthetic fiber made from petroleum and was developed by the American company DuPont in 1935. It was first used in classical guitar by a string manufacturer called Augustine. It was first used in classical guitar by a string manufacturer called Augustine, and spread rapidly when the famous Segovia used it.

Nowadays.There is no classical guitar string manufacturer that does not offer nylon string products! .

If I had to guess, I’d say that Augustin’s Regal Red and Regal Blue are the so-called nylon strings.

Advantages of Nylon Strings

Nylon strings have a so-called classical guitar sound.

  • warm
  • plump
  • soft

It also feels less taut and easier to vibrate.

Disadvantages of Nylon Strings

There are times when I feel that the sound is blurred, beyond the range of soft or full.

This is especially noticeable on the third string and in high position.

It also has the property of absorbing moisture easily, which can make the pitch unstable on humid days.

titanium string

Titanium strings are not made of the metal titanium.They are made of nylon with additives and are called titanium strings because of their purple appearance. (Why the purple color is titanium is a mystery…). Titanium strings are not made of the metal titanium.

It is not clear what this additive (additive) is. If it is an additive that changes things, then there should be many other additives, but for some reason this titanium additive is widely used.

Historically, they are relatively new to the market, and later than carbon strings.

I think Royal Classics was the first manufacturer, but now major manufacturers such as D’Addario (Pro Arte) and Hanabach also have their products. I think the most famous one is the Pro Arte Dynacore below.

D'Addario ダダリオ クラシックギター弦 プロアルテ Dynacore Normal EJ45TT 【国内正規品】
D'Addario(ダダリオ)
極細の繊維を束ね、縒り合せたコア材に、Silver Plate の巻線を使用。

Advantages of Titanium Strings

Titanium strings have a more powerful sound than nylon strings.

This is especially effective when used on the third string, which is easily blurred.

It also has a long lingering sound (sustain) and is easy to vibrate.

Disadvantages of Titanium Strings

The sound may be tinny, especially in the high notes.

Also, the tuning is sensitive to temperature and easily deviates.

Carbon Strings

Carbon strings are not made of so-called carbon, butMade from a plastic called fluorocarbon Carbon strings are made of

It has been popular for a long time to use carbon strings for the third string, which tends to sound blurry, but recently many professional guitarists are using carbon strings for all three strings.

The most famous one for a long time has been Sabares’ Ariance.

Advantages of Carbon Strings

The sound is brilliant, far reaching, and powerful.

They are also more stable in pitch and stronger than nylon strings, making them more durable.

Disadvantages of Carbon Strings

The sound becomes thin and nervous. It can be described as a metallic sound. This is especially true when the instrument and the player are incompatible.

The tension feels strong, making it difficult to apply vibrato and change the tone.

Also, the fibers of fluorocarbon can become wispy.

Other materials

These are the three most famous types, but there are also strings that use other unusual materials.

First of all, Aquila is a manufacturer that focuses on eco-friendly materials, using plastic derived from sugar cane and bio-nylon.

アクイーラ
イタリアの弦メーカー、アクイーラに関する記事です。

Dougal also uses carbon/nylon hybrid strings and special polymer strings.

ドーガル
イタリアの弦メーカー、ドーガルに関する記事です。

Same raw material, not the same sound.

So, if the strings are made of the same material and have the same tension, will they sound the same no matter which manufacturer?

Actually, not really.

The biggest difference is the quality of pitch. The most important difference is the pitch. A treble string is made by extruding the raw material into a cylindrical shape, and if the cylinder is misshapen, the pitch will be poor. This is called a bad string. For more information, please refer to the following article:

Each company has its own know-how on how to prevent defective strings, and methods such as laser inspection and polishing are used.

The tone also differs from company to company, although not as much as the bass strings. Carbon strings, in particular, have a metallic sound that many companies are trying to improve.

There is also a combination of different materials

There is no need to unify the strings of your guitar with the first three strings.

You can use strings made of different materials or from different manufacturers.

As for strings made by manufacturers, Sabares has officially commercialized a product called Creation Cantiga, in which the first and second strings are nylon and the third string is carbon.

SAVAREZ サバレス ギター弦 クリエーションカンティーガ 510MR
SAVAREZ
“クリエイション・カンティーガ" は、ミュージシャンからのリクエストが多かった、「1、2弦ナイロン」、「3弦アリアンス」、「4~6弦カンティーガ」のセットです。

The same goes for a set of treble strings called Clear by Figaro, a Japanese string manufacturer.

There are professional guitarists who use nylon for the first string and carbon for the second and third strings, and there are endless combinations to suit your guitar, your playing style, and your sound preferences.

Try the above two strings first, and you’ll see what I mean.

Knowing the materials makes choosing strings easier.

For treble strings, the material of the string makes more of a difference than the manufacturer.

For this reason, when choosing treble strings, it may be easier to understand if you first look at the material rather than the manufacturer.

If you are dissatisfied with the muffled sound of the treble strings in particular, trying titanium or carbon strings will change your world.

Choosing strings is a deep process, but I hope you enjoy it. Once you get stuck in the swamp, you won’t be able to get out.

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