Does anyone have recommendations for cello banjo strings?  The cello in need of strings has an 18'' rim and a 29'' scale, 14 fret fingerboard.  Maybe some kind of harp strings would work?

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on my cello ; 16 inches  ; diapason  ( scale )  75, 4 cm

SAVAREZ  90 / 130  / 230 / 500_______90   KF  nylon

I don't think I can get those gauges in the United States.  I'll have to check, but last time I asked Savarez said they wouldn't do a custom order.

it 's not a custom order  ;  it 's " "  cordes pour instruments anciens  "

they  are   2  meters , long

exact  references  KF91A___________NFA150A___________NFA230A_____________NFA500A

 (these working for my cello )

Dear John,

I've had a Stewart cello banjo for twenty years and have always simply strung it with gut cello strings as per the standard Stewart catalog entry on the subject which I'm duplicating below in case you haven't seen it (though you probably have as it’s a commonly reprinted booklet) — “The strings are as thick as those used on the violoncello, and a covered string is used for the first string in place of a solid gut string.” They've always worked perfectly fine for me, except the two wound strings can shrink over time and can thus get a little rattly, requiring replacement more often than the others.

In other words, I think if you've got a Stewart cello or one close in size (which it sounds as if you have -- the extra 2" in diameter I'd think would make up for the deficit in fret count, more or less) maybe going to a good orchestral instrument shop and trying a set of gut cello strings would solve it for you.

Very best,

C. Ware.

Marc, the distributors of Savarez strings in the USA are no longer providing the 2 meter long sizes, and I don't know of any place here that stocks strings that large in diameter... they only stock the normal guitar sizes.  Recently I had a similar problem trying to string a minstrel banjo of mine with a 29'' scale and 14'' rim.  The USA distributors used to stock the strings I'd need for this, but they recently stopped and wouldn't place an order for me with Savarez.  I'll look abroad and see what I can find.  

marc dalmasso said:

it 's not a custom order  ;  it 's " "  cordes pour instruments anciens  "

they  are   2  meters , long

exact  references  KF91A___________NFA150A___________NFA230A_____________NFA500A

 (these working for my cello )

Thanks Chris, I'll look into this possibility.

F. Chris Ware said:

Dear John,

I've had a Stewart cello banjo for twenty years and have always simply strung it with gut cello strings as per the standard Stewart catalog entry on the subject which I'm duplicating below in case you haven't seen it (though you probably have as it’s a commonly reprinted booklet) — “The strings are as thick as those used on the violoncello, and a covered string is used for the first string in place of a solid gut string.” They've always worked perfectly fine for me, except the two wound strings can shrink over time and can thus get a little rattly, requiring replacement more often than the others.

In other words, I think if you've got a Stewart cello or one close in size (which it sounds as if you have -- the extra 2" in diameter I'd think would make up for the deficit in fret count, more or less) maybe going to a good orchestral instrument shop and trying a set of gut cello strings would solve it for you.

Very best,

C. Ware.

I use harp strings on my cello banjo for the GDA strings, and a wound metal string for the C.  I found a local harpist who kindly fitted the gauge of string to suit the note required, which does not of course equate to the harp note itself because of the difference in lengths between the harp, (Variable) and the fixed banjo neck. Your cello will be different from mine, and so the gauges will be different.

Actually, I think he used a good quality fishing line which came in various gauges. I can look to see what the old packets might say, but I think you might have to experiment.

Good luck!

Per Eli Kaufman, I use the Savarez strings (guitar) on my Stewart CB. However, since John's has an extra 2" in dia, I don't think they would be long enough. I had to be very careful with the 2nd and 3rd as they are the longest stretch.

4/4 Cello strings are very expensive, typically ranging from ~$10 each string on up. That kept me from trying them out!

$50 to string it isn't horrible if the strings last a long time.  

I have had these harp strings on my cello for over 10 years now, and they have survived several dismantling and cleaning procedures.  They certainly did not cost $10 a string either!

Here's a link to "Dusty Strings" for harp strings.

http://manufacturing.dustystrings.com/harps/harp-strings/

It appears that clear nylon is around $2.50 per string (51" pieces). Wound, nylon-core strings start at $6.50.

Gut is more expensive. Now, if we knew what gauges to buy...

Sorry to revive this, but if I were to buy 4/4 cello strings, what string would I use for the 5th string? An additional 4/4 cello first?

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