When you’re on the search for the best classical guitar string, it can often be very challenging to find the one that is best for you.
There’s usually a variety of materials, tensions and other factors that can easily confuse buyers. However, fear not, in this article we’re going to set the record straight and allow you to master your nylon guitar string purchase once and for all.
Best All-Round Classical Guitar Strings
D’addario Pro Arte Nylon Core Classical Guitar Strings
The D’addario Pro Arte Nylon Core strings are some of the best classical strings available for guitarists on the market today. Firstly, they come in a variety of tensions. So, if you prefer light gauge strings, medium tension or high tension strings, D’addario have you got covered.
In terms of material used on this particular set of nylon strings, we have silver plated copper wound on the bass strings and clear nylon strings on the higher strings. This allows the string maintain tonal consitency and excellent intonation.
However, if you find that this material doesn’t work for you, D’addario also offer a variety of other string materials such as titanium, composite and coated strings.
Furthermore, what’s great about D’addario strings in general is that their packaging is extremely eco-friendly. They use limited plastic and recyclable materials, this ensures that the production of these strings has minimal damage on the environment.
However, there are a few downsides to these strings. The main one is that some users have complained that they sound extremely mellow. Of course, for classical and folk genres this is exactly what you want. But, if you’re a flamenco player who uses frequently aggressive techniques such as rasquedo and percussive guitar, they might not be the best choice for you.
Overall, if you want a set of classical strings that is going to be reliable, have a warm mellow sound and excellent intonation and tuning, the D’addario Pro Arte Nylon Core classical strings are worth checking out.
- These are excellent quality classical guitar strings and are available in a range of different sizes.
- D’addario is part of the ‘players circle’ program. So, if you’re a regular buyer of D’addario strings, you can often get rewards perks as part of participating in that program.
- Extremely well priced for classical strings.
- Excellent intonation across all string sets.
- These strings aren’t as bright sounding compared to other competitors.
Best Budget Classical Guitar Strings
Augustine Low Tension Classical Guitar Strings
It’s no secret that guitar strings can be expensive. This can be troublesome for classical guitar players who are on a limited budget or for students who little to no money. However, fear not! Augustine create some fantastic nylon strings at a very reasonable price.
Introducing their classical strings all the way back in 1947, Augustine were one of the first companies that created nylon strings and have been providing guitar players with affordable nylon strings for decades.
One of our favourite sets of there’s is the ‘Augustine low tension classical guitar strings’, let’s check them out.
if you’re looking for a set of budget friendly nylon guitar strings, the Augustine Classic series is a fantastic choice. Featuring a traditional tied end, silver plated bass strings and clear nylon trebles. Compared to standard acoustic steel strings, these nylon strings feature a pleasant, warm sound.
As well as this, the low tension of these strings is extremely easy on the fingers. This makes them the perfect choice for beginner guitarists who are in the early stages of fretting notes and chords,
One of the unique aspects of Augustine is that they offer a variety of strings with different string tension. For example, they offer strings with low, medium and high tension on both the bass and treble strings. This really allows players to experiment with the size of strings and achieve their desired tone and feel.
However, our main criticism of this string is that some of their product names can be quite misleading. For example, this string set is known ‘Augustine Classic Black Set’ and they also have ‘red nylon treble strings’ available. .
In the classical world, black nylon strings are often used for folk guitarists, and many buyers have often been disappointed when purchasing these strings and receiving clear strings instead of black painted ones. Maybe this is something that Augstine could address with future purchases as it really isn’t clear.
However, if you want a decent set of nylon strings for your acoustic guitars that aren’t going to be break the bank, the Augstine Classic Black set is definitely worth looking into.
- Rich history associated with nylon string history and based on the original design by Albert Augstine.
- These nylon classical guitar strings are extremely well priced and perfect for beginners on a budget.
- Warm, rich sound that is extremely pleasing on the ears.
- The light feel of these strings increases the overall playability and ease of use.
- Some players have mentioned that the higher strings lack punch and clarity.
- The name of the pack is slightly misleading for the customers who want black nylon strings.
Best Normal Tension Classical Guitar Strings
Savarez 540R Classical Guitar Strings
Hailing from Italy, Savarez have been producing excellent quality classical strings for over a 100 years. However, they really started to build on their early success during the 1940s with the introduction of nylon materials.
Since then, Savarez have provided classical strings for some of the world’s best classical guitarists, this includes Angela Centola, Van Wilks and Eric Franceries.
One of our favourite models of there’s is the Savarez 540R classical guitar strings, let’s check them out.
If you’re looking for some pro nylon classical guitar strings, then savarez classical guitar strings produce some of the best products on the market.
The bright overtones, smooth playability and natural feel make these some of the best nylon guitar strings. One of the main reasons for this is due to the string tension, however another key contributing factor is the materials used.
On this set, we have silver plated copper wound bass strings and fluorocarbon treble strings. The use of carbon on the G string, B string and E string allows them to blend beautifully together and allows the transition from the treble and bass strings to work extremely smoothly.
Due to the silver wound bass strings, this metal allows the strings to feel comfortable under the fingers with minimal tension and superb control. As well as this, these strings are uncoated. So although they won’t last as long as coated strings, they do feel a lot more natural under the fingers.
Although these are some of the best nylon guitar strings you can buy, they do have their downsides. Firstly, they are very expensive for what they are. Coming in at just under $20 this is way too much for beginners.
However, you cannot argue against their quality as nylon classical guitar strings. Therefore, if you’re looking for best nylon guitar strings that are normal tension, check out the savarez classical guitar strings.
- The carbon steel strings allow the treble strings to possess a clear and distinct tone.
- These particular strings are available in a longer scale length, perfect for those guitarists who prefer this style of guitar.
- Wound bass strings produce a powerful sound with consistent overtones.
- Available in high, medium and low tension strings.
- Slightly expensive for guitar strings.
Best High Tension Classical Guitar Strings
D’addario EJ45TT Pro Arte Dyna Core Classical Strings
As previously mentioned, the D’addario pro arte series are some of the best classical guitar strings around. However, what makes the ‘dyna core’ set stand out from the crowd is the use of composite materials. This makes for an extremely versatile string that features a warm tone that projects extremely well.
Whether you’re a pro guitarist or new to the instrument in general, it’s no secret that D’addario offer some of the products for nylon string guitar. As one of the main string manufacturers on the market, D’addario over a variety of different strings for different guitarists. One of these products is the D’addario Pro Arte Dyna Core set.
Differing from the standard core set, these strings feature a blended polymer core, this helps preserve the string life for longer and allows for greater intonation and presence.
As well as this, the material of the nylon treble strings is fairly unique. Using titanium, these aren’t your standard nylon treble strings. The use of this material increases the high end tone of the string and allows you as a player to experience complex harmonic overtones that have to be heard to be believed.
Furthermore, these strings are constructed are extremely. D’addario utilise a twisted pattern in the core construction of the string. This results in a sound that is bold, powerful and striking.
Just like many other nylon classical guitar strings, these strings are available in a variety of tensions such as light, normal and heavy gauge strings. As well as this, classical purists will be at home with this produce due to the plain end nylon strings used. This allows you to wrap your string around the bridge in a traditional manner.
Despite these being excellent strings they do have some downsides. It’s a simple fact that not every player will like the tone and feel of the nylon treble strings. The titanium material can be a little brash for some players and doesn’t have the soft nature of clear nylon.
However, despite this, if you’re looking to experiment with a slightly different sound for your guitar, we’d recommend giving the D’addario Pro Arte Dyna Core series a go.
- Composite materials increase the high end and overall projection of these classical guitar strings.
- Perfect for players who want a wide range of dynamics from their strings.
- The packet of the strings is corrosion resistant, ensuring that your nylon guitar strings stay as fresh as possible.
- These strings are perfect for creating harmonic overtones as well as produce a tone that is extremely responsive.
- Available in single or three packs.
- Not all players like titanium treble strings.
- Not available to buy in bulk. (10 or 25 pack).
Best Nylon Guitar Strings For Beginners
Stagg CL-HT-AL Classical Guitar Strings
One of the best budget brands on the market is Stagg. Known for creating instruments of substantial quality at an excellent price, Stagg have instruments such as guitars, basses, mandolins, ukuleles and even brass instruments like trumpets within their catalogue.
However, one of our favourite products of theirs is there nylon guitar strings. These are cheaper nylon strings that are perfect for beginners. Let’s learn more about this excellent string.
The Stagg CL-HT-AL are some of the best nylon guitar strings available on the market today. At an extremely affordable price ($5 or less), they are the string for beginners and hobbyists.
Firstly, the overall material used is of excellent quality. The bass strings are silver plated strings, where as the the G, B and high E strings are clear nylon treble strings. This allows for the strings to be bright in tone and offer the player a feel that is generally comfortable.
This particular model of strings comes in either a high or medium tension. Currently, there is no low tension available. For complete beginners this may be an issue, however medium tension strings are generally fine for most beginners and can be fretted with ease.
In addition to this, they are made with genuine US nylon. At this price this a solid feature set that allows them to stand out in a crowded market.
However, our main criticism of this string is that they can feel a little slippery when changing them. In the initial stages of tuning these strings easily slip out of tune as they struggle to grip on the tuning peg. Although this may seem like a red flag, it’s actually fairly normal with even the best nylon guitar strings. To remedy this issue, all you need to do is give them a stretch and this problem is solved.
Overall, if you’re a beginner guitarist who wants an affordable set of strings for your nylon string guitars, then this option from Stagg is well recommended.
- These nylon classical strings are extremely affordable and excellent value for money.
- Made of high quality silver plated copper wound material.
- Available in low or high tension.
- Perfect for beginner guitarists.
- Made with genuine US nylon.
- Currently, low tension strings are not available within this product lineup.
- These strings are highly polished which can make them difficult to manage when changing strings.
Best Nylon Guitar Strings For Flamenco Music
Hannabach 652947 Series 827 Flamenco Classic Super High Tension String Set for Classical Guitar
If you’re a seasoned pro who has any experience with classical and flamenco guitars you would have heard of the brand ‘Hannabach’. This company is known as one of the best companies that focus predominantly on nylon strings.
One of their best products is the 827 flamenco classic super high tension string set. Specifically designed with the flamenco guitarist in mind, these are some of the best classical nylon strings available.
Some of the best flamenco guitar strings around are designed by the company ‘Hannabach’. In particular, the Hannahbach 827 Flamenco Classics.
In terms of material, these flamenco guitar strings featured a silver plated metal on the thicker strings, and orange colour strings on the treble strings. For the player, the silver plated metal reduces the overall corrosion of the strings and enhances the sustainability and lifespan of the nylon string.
As well as this, the orange colour stands out compared to other strings and makes for a beautiful aesthetic that is unique and striking.
In addition to this, Hannabach have really considered the versatility needed for nylon string guitars. This is done via the inclusion of multiple string gauges within their product line. Featuring low, medium, high and very high, Hannabach are able to appeal to a wide range of audiences with this particular string model.
So whether you prefer the soft feel of a lighter strong or the tense nature of a higher gauge string, Hannabach has you covered.
However, our main criticism of this particular string is the quality control. On Hannabach’s website, they state that each string is a 25.5” scale. However, some users have mentioned that this can vary dramatically from pack to pack. This is a fairly basic attribute of a string and shouldn’t be happening at this level of string production.
Despite this, we still think these are some of the best nylon guitar strings around for flamenco music. So if you’re into this particular style of music, they are worth looking into further.
- Excellent volume and projection.
- Available in a variety of tensions from low, medium, high and very high.
- Silver plated wound bass strings and orange colour treble strings.
- Specifically designed with flamenco music in mind. Meaning that as a player you can take advantage of the percussive element of these strings.
- Very expensive for flamenco guitar strings.
- Not the most versatile of strings due to them being specifically designed for flamenco music.
Best Nylon Guitar Strings For Jazz
Hannabach Classical Guitar Goldin Medium/High Tension, 725
As previously mentioned, Hannabach strings are of extremely high quality. This company offers a broad range of strings, tensions and other products relevant to the modern classical guitarist,
However, one of our favourite products of there’s is the Hannabach Classical Goldin Medium/High Tension set. Made out of carbon fiber and gold, these strings are of excellent quality and are suitable for a variety of genres, including jazz, classical and flamenco.
The Hannabach 725 Goldin strings are easily some of the best nylon guitar strings available on the market currently. They work perfectly for jazz as well as other styles of music and are favoured by professional guitarists across the globe.
Tonally the Hannabach 725 Goldin strings produce a velvet-like tone that is extremely sweet sounding. This enhances the overall playability of your instrument and provides you with an extremely pleasant playing experience.
What makes this string unique is the materials used. Differing from standard classical guitar strings. The wire of the bass strings is made from a gold coloured metal known as ‘Goldin’. Essentially, this is 100% nickel that is cadmium free. This produces a clear, sparkling tone.
In addition to this, the high strings are made out of ‘super-carbon’. This brings out an exciting treble that is bright and present. Combined with the bass strings, this set is extremely well balanced. And it’s clear to us why they are used by professionals across the glove. A
Our main criticism of this string is how expensive they are. We understand that they are aimed at the professional guitarist and that the materials of these strings will cost more, however they are almost inaccessible for the hobbyist.
However, some users have expressed that they do last for longer. So in theory, although they are expensive, due to them being higher quality you may not have to change your strings as often.
Overall, if you’re a pro guitarist who plays a wealth of different styles, the Hannabach 725 Goldin strings are worth checking out.
- Perfect for the nylon player who focuses on playing purely jazz music.
- Extremely well balanced tonally and some users have even experienced a total transformation in their guitar tone.
- The bass strings are made of ‘Goldin’, which is 100% nickel and cadmium free.
- Premium product for the professional guitar player.
- These strings are considerably more expensive than other strings available on the market.
- At this price, we’d expect a coated version as well.
Best Ball End Nylon Guitar Strings
Ernie Ball Earthwood Folk Nylon
Ernie ball are known as one of the best guitar string manufactures on the planet. Although probably more known for electric and acoustic guitar strings, they also specialise in nylon strings too.
This comes in the format of the Ernie Ball Earthwood series, a product line specifically designed with the acoustic player in mind. The nylon section of these strings work perfectly for folk guitarists who enjoy techniques such as fingerpicking and light strumming.
Let’s learn more about these epic guitar strings.
If you’re looking for the best ball end nylon strings for acoustic guitar, then you’re in the right place. The Ernie Ball Earthwood folk nylon strings are some of the finest strings around.
Aimed at the folk market, this particular model of strings are more similar to regular acoustic guitar strings than traditional nylon strings.
This is apparent with the initial material used. On the lower bass strings, Ernie Ball have used 80/20 bronze material. A common material used on a variety of different strings in the string market. However, fear not. At the heart of it, the top strings still feature a clear nylon core.
Tonally, this material gives the string a vivid tone that is sparkly and warm. So if you’re used to strumming your strings or using fingerpicking technique, the materials used will let your playing blossom with clarity and presence.
In addition to this, these strings feature a hex-core. This increases the overall stability and durability of the string. Essentially, what this means for you as a player is that they stand up to the rigmarole of regular performance.
Furthermore, unlikemost traditional guitar strings. This particular set uses a ball end. So, if you’ve ever struggled with wrap-around technique that is so common on nylon guitars, you’re in luck, as the ball-end features makes changing strings much easier.
The main downside of these strings is that some players have experienced some quality control issues. As well as this, they only come in one string gauge which isn’t ideal.
However, if you’re a folk guitarist who doesn’t want the hassle of wrapping your strings around the bridge, this set is worth trying out.
- The soft mellow tone of these strings is perfect for genres of music such as folk and classical.
- You can rely on the overall quality of these nylon strings due to Ernie Ball’s reputation as a string manufacturer.
- The ball end on these strings makes changing much easier.
- Made from 80% copper and 20% zinc wrapped around a nylon filament. This produces a much brighter tone than a standard nylon string.
- The mellow sound of these strings isn’t for everyone.
- The lighter feel of these strings isn’t the best for more aggressive techniques presented by flamenco guitarists.
- Only available in one string gauge.
Selecting the right classical guitar strings can be an extremely daunting prospect for many guitarists. There are a wealth of different materials, string tensions and other factors that go into producing the best strings on the market.
As well as this, once you’ve worked out what strings you’d like, you’ve then got to go through process of changing them on your guitar. And even that can be an extremely complicated process.
However, don’t worry. In this buying guide we’re going to go through everything you need to know to ensure that you master your classical and nylon guitar string purchase first time.
What’s the main difference between classical guitar strings and nylon guitar strings?
Although it might seem strange, classical guitar strings and nylon strings are actually the same thing. In the same way that there are many different ways to say the name ‘Mike’, for example you could say ‘Michael’ or ‘Mick’, these are essentially mean the same thing.
So if you ever see classical guitar strings or nylon strings on sale, they both refer to the same product.
Classical Guitar String Materials
Despite what you might think, there are a number of different materials used on classical guitar strings. These all provide classical guitarists with a range of tones and feels. The versatility between each string allows each player to fine tune and perfect their own sound.
What’s interesting about nylon guitar strings is that the material changes for the treble (G,B,E) and bass (E,A,D) strings. Here are the most common materials for both:
- Treble Strings: Clear Nylon, Black Nylon, Titanium, Carbon Fiber and Composite.
- Bass Strings: Bronze and Silver.
What about gut strings?
In the early years of classical instruments, nylon simply didn’t exist. The main material that was used for guitar strings was ‘cat gut strings’. These were made from intestines from animals such as sheep, goats and cattle.
Gut strings were used on items such as tennis rackets and traditional instruments. These days, they are not as common due to ethical standards being introduced and nylon being more readily available.
However, they are still often featured on traditional stringed instruments such as lutes and violins.
Treble Strings: Clear Nylon
Clear nylon is the most common guitar material for classical guitars. It offers an excellent balance between a bright and warm tone.
In addition to this, these strings have excellent projection and sustain and work fantastically for fingerstyle guitar.
However, the one downside to this string is that they are not as loud as materials like titanium or composite.
Treble Strings: Black Nylon
This is a great choice for folk guitarists as it provides a warm tone that is mellow and deeper than clear nylon. However, they tend not to be the best choice for classical guitarists.
Treble Strings: Titanium
Titanium produces a bright crispy sound with increased high-end. Because of this, this type of string is often used to add brightness to a dark sounding guitar. Also, they have excellent sustain and can help with your vibrato.
Treble Strings: Carbon Fiber
Out of all the mentioned materials, carbon fiber (or carbon strings) is easily the brightest sounding material available. In addition to this, they last a lot longer than standard nylon strings.
However, the main downside to this is that they have a shorter sustain and can sound harsh on brighter sounding guitars. But, they can compliment a darker sounding guitar excellently.
Treble Strings: Composite
This type of material produces a bright tone with excellent projection. This material is often used on the G string as it helps smooth the tonal transition between the bass and treble strings.
Bass Strings: Bronze
Bronze strings are usually made of 80% copper and 20% zinc. These provide a characteristically bright sound with good projection. This works perfectly with the bass strings.
Bass Strings: Silver
Silver windings are predominantly made of copper material and provide classical guitarists with a warmer tone.
String Gauge and Tension
With regular guitar strings, we refer to the size of the strings as individual string gauges. This range from 10s all the way up to 14s and above.
However, in the classical world the strings are split into different tensions rather than individual gauges. Here are the most commonly used string tensions:
- Light tension guitar strings.
- Medium tension strings.
- High tension strings.
Each of these strings have a number of different advantages and disadvantages, let’s learn about them.
Low Tension Strings
Light tension strings are the easiest to play out of al the string tensions. As a result of this they are a fantastic choice for beginners due to their increased playability.
However, the main downside of this is that they are not as loud as larger strings and they can be more prone to fret buzz on your instrument.
Medium Tension Strings/Normal Tension Strings
Medium or normal tension strings are often the best place to start if you are unsure on what strings to go for. They provide an excellent balance between the pros and cons of low tension strings and are likely to meet your needs as a classical guitarist.
High Tension Strings
High tension strings give guitarists increased volume, sustain and tone. As a result of this, they work fantastically for guitarists who play more aggressive playing styles such as flamenco. This style in particular uses a lot of strumming and the higher tension strings respond to this technique extremely well.
However, there are downsides to this tension of string. The main one being is that they are much harder to play than light tension strings or medium tension strings. On a classical instrument, this can increase the action and potentially damage if your guitar.
Overall, these are great nylon guitar strings, just tread with caution and if you’re worried about the maintenance of your guitar, always get a checked out by a qualified luthier.
Ball End Strings or No Ball End Strings
On nylon string guitars the most common type of string is without ball ends. This is why you often see strings wrapped around the bridge of classical guitars. This is the most traditional way of tying a guitar string and as a result of this, most classical guitars appear in this format. However, they can be completed to change.
However, similar to regular steel strings, nylon guitar strings are also available with ball ends. This can make the string changing process a lot easier.
Both methods are fine and it’s down to personal preference.
How often you should change classical guitar strings?
This all depends on how often you play your guitar couple of months or for every 90+ hours that you play. Keep this simple rule in mind; the more you play guitar the more you have to change your strings. The less you do, the less you’ll have to change them.
Some key factors of when your strings need changing are as follows:
- The strings sound dull.
- The strings won’t stay in tune.
- The intonation is off on the strings.
What are the best classical guitar strings?
We personally think that the best nylon guitar strings are medium or normal tension guitar strings. These give players a nice balance between low and high tension strings, offering decent volume, tone, projection and ease of playability.
Do you need special strings for classical guitars?
Yes, on classical guitar you will need nylon strings. These strings are designed specifically for this type of instrument and provide the most traditional sound.
What is the best way to string a classical guitar?
There are many different ways to string a nylon string guitar. Here are a few videos that will help you change the strings on your instrument with ease: