I've previously used Chris Sands nylon strings but I can't find them now.  I have one set of mediums left but I think my current ones are Chris Sands lights. I tried to restring with Clifford Essex ones today but found them to be too short!  Not sure if I had a rogue set.  Anyway, just wondered what other people are using.  Thanks.

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I use LaBella nylon (and wound).  I buy direct from their website (a bet they will ship to you).

I get the singles sold as "early instrument singles" that they offer in pretty much any size you might want.  Measure the strings you like and order the same from them.

I always put in the notes that it is for banjo.  I think they cut them longer but I don't know for a fact-- only that since I have been putting that in the notes the strings are plenty long even for my FVE banjos.

I too favored the Chris Sands set of strings for several years, the light gauges to be specific. Like you, I've also not had any luck finding them for sale anywhere anymore. Joel's info is spot on however. Once I made the switch to a nylon "single string" set based off of the sizes I wanted, my banjo never sounded or played better. Several different options out there, La Bella and Savarez being two that I've had great success with and should be readily available. 

Great, thank you.  It's a shame that the Chris Sands strings aren't available anymore but good to hear positive reviews for La Bella.  Brown Dog Banjos in the UK supply the no 17 set - I will check out other stockists.

The Chris Sands strings didn't label the string gauges on the packets.  It will be trial and error, I think!  I don't change my strings often as nylon strings seem to keep their tone very well (compared to steel).

great information here, I have been trying to source the type of strings Joel talks about and, now thanks to this thread I know that Brown Dog has them, could not be better news for me, he is practically my neighbour !

carrie horgan said:

Great, thank you.  It's a shame that the Chris Sands strings aren't available anymore but good to hear positive reviews for La Bella.  Brown Dog Banjos in the UK supply the no 17 set - I will check out other stockists.

The Chris Sands strings didn't label the string gauges on the packets.  It will be trial and error, I think!  I don't change my strings often as nylon strings seem to keep their tone very well (compared to steel).

The strings Brown Dog carries are NOT what Joel and I use. The LaBella No. 17 pack is .019, .022, .028, .025w, .019. These are a fair bit heavier than our strings.

Okay, thanks John - what string gauges do you and Joel use?  

Hey, Nick - yes, good news to find a stockist here in the UK!  

I use...

.017, .019, .023, .024 (silver plated copper over nylon floss), .017

Most people think these are too light.  Try the .019s sold as "No 17"  they might work for you.

Okay, thanks for the reply Joel.

Carrie,

I understand that Chris has been unable to locate a supplier who can provide strings to his specifications and so has withdrawn from the market. 

Some time ago I took a micrometer gauge to Chris Sands' strings with the following results:

light gauge: 22, 25, 29, 26W and 22

medium gauge: 23, 27, 31, 28W and 23

heavy gauge: 24, 28, 32, 28W and 24

all in thousandths of an inch (e.g. 0.025 inches etc.) plus or minus one thou. 

Not all suppliers agree these definitions of light, medium and heavy, so it's always best to specify the actual gauge you want.  The early players favoured, by these standards, very light gauge strings, while Chris went for the heavier gauges.  It will probably take some experimenting to arrive at what's best for you, and you may find your preferences will change the more you play. 

Regards

Tony

Thanks Tony - that's very helpful as I like the Chris Sands strings but didn't know what the gauges were.  They are good quality and last well.

I think I replaced the Chris Sands mediums with lights last time I changed my strings but can't say I noticed much difference.    

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