Early Guitars and Vihuela

A network for historic guitars and vihuelas

I have a student who has recently bought a second-hand baroque guitar, and wishes to buy a set of strings, nylon or nylgut. I tried Bridgewood and Neitzert, but Tom said he couldn't help. The lady phoned the Early Music Shop, who advertise a BG set by Pyramid, but was told they didn't have any in stock and it was a big hassle ordering them.


String length 65cms, pitch 392 or 415. UK based. Can anyone help?



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d'd would sound a bit better :)
LOL. I think I'll go to bed...

B&N can come across as a bit snotty and posh. But, in the end, they have always been helpful to me, anyway. They are in quite a posh/trendy part of London

I was there recently to pickup a mandora I'm hiring  from the Lute Society and in a little cafe opposite I ordered some cheese on toast. Here's how it arrived:

One would think they'd put a little more effort into wiping up the mayo smear. ;) Wonder if the cook used his tongue on that??

I am surprised too as I always buy my strings from B & N.  I use gut but I'm sure they must have others. You must have got the wrong person. Good luck tomorrow.

I got strings from Cuerdas Pulsadas -- http://www.cuerdaspulsadas.es/

I actually worked with David from Cuerdas Pulsadas, and he used a calculator to come up with a set for my instrument that I can switch between A440 and A415.  I think he got the calculator online...  Not sure.  I think it was set up for gut, and then he went to a table to get equivalencies for other materials. Anyway, I'm sure you can give him length and tuning, and he can work out the proper tensions for you.  As I recall, his English is just fine.


I see the Cuerdas Pulsadas page includes calibrations, but not for baroque guitars.  You might be able to fudge what they have such that you get the info you need...  They also have a table of equivalences for different materials.


Here's a string calculator, but you need to know material densities to use it:


Thanks, Chris, but I have all the info I need now.


Would these work?


If so, I don't know how much the shipping would be to Europe, but these guys have the best prices I have seen for certain strings - Labella and Aquila for instance. Unfortunately the Aquila strings they carry are for ukes and ethnic instruments, not specifically for "early instruments", but if the gauges and lengths are compatible, then it's worth a try. I also was thinking these might work for renaissance guitar:


I currently get my vihuela strings there:



Not of any use, but thanks anyway, Mark.

Mark, have you used any of these guys:AQUILA 1CH CHARANGO SET ? These look like the proper strings for a Baroque style, but too cheap to be true. I guess they are nylegut though: 



You will laugh, but the answer is yes, and no. Yes I have bought a set, but I haven't built an instrument to put them on yet! Silly, I know, but they were having a sale. I also thought they might work for Baroque guitar and they are indeed nylgut. That is why I have promoted Elderly.com here and elsewhere. I don't believe their price on strings can be beat. They also carry a nylgut set for 8-string uke that might work too. I bought a set of those too!


Understandably it may only make sense for people in North America - I don't know how much the shipping would cost elsewhere in the world, but there are musicians here in the States that buy strings from Europe so I guess its doable.

Right now I'm trying to get them to carry nylgut for 6 course lute/vihuela (unison, not octave) I'll keep you posted. Aquila doesn't have them in "sets" but I emailed Elderly the gauges so we'll see. I would like to just get all my strings from them since no one can touch their prices and ordering is super easy. You can save your shopping cart so if you are dealing with buying single strings in custom gauges, it would make it a lot easier for repeat orders.

Well, I found this from the source:


I don't think the changaranga strings would be 'period' because they are like a micro Uke size, the string pitch and tension is not going to match.


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