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  • Writer's pictureLiza

The "Handel" Test : Nylon vs. Steel Strings for Cigar Box Guitars

Updated: Nov 6, 2023



In the world of cigar box guitar builders, there are many interesting debates to be had. For example, some builders prefer magnetic pickups while others prefer piezos, and there's always the question of whether to use a scarf joint or flat fender headstock. However, most CBG builders tend to agree that nylon strings aren't the best choice for cigar box guitars. While nylon strings don't project as well as steel strings, they do produce a unique "classical" sound that you can't achieve with steel strings. It's worth noting that by using a piezo pickup with a good preamp and amp, you can mitigate the projection issue and enjoy the mellow tones of a nylon-stringed cigar box guitar. In this video, I use George Frederick Handel's "Lascia ch'io pianga" to demonstrate the differences between a nylon and steel CBG, so you can decide whether you want a nylon-stringed cigar box guitar in your instrument collection. Enjoy!

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