I bought a guitar which has a classical guitar bridge but a steel guitar tuning pegs and strung with steel strings. I'm wondering if I could replace the steel strings with nylon strings.

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    Hi, sounds unusual, could you post a photo, please (either make one or find one on the internet)? As well, remember that nylon strings are less forceful on the neck than steels so you can replace them. I'm not sure, however, of the quality of the resulting sound. – yo' Jan 11 '15 at 20:57
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    Good luck getting and keeping that thing in tune,. – Neil Meyer Jan 13 '15 at 16:02
  • @NeilMeyer: My favorite instrument is a steel-string acoustic electric strung with nylon strings. Once a set of strings is broken in, I've found pitch stability to be better than my steel string guitars. – supercat Feb 12 at 19:29

Usually it's the other way! No reason why this can't be achieved, but the tension on the strings will be less, affecting, possibly, the relief on the neck. In other words, the neck may well straighten out, and this can cause the strings to be too close to the fingerboard, thus rattling. If the neck has a truss rod and the bridge is adjustable, all will be well.You may or may not like the resulting sound, though, as it will be quite different.

  • thrue - some steel strung guitars are built for quite thick strings so when you put more floppy nylon ones on, they don't resonate as well. You certainly won't harm the guitar so worth a try. Putting steel strings on a classical guitar is more likely to cause issues in bending the wood. – user2808054 Jan 12 '15 at 17:31

Guitars designed specifically for nylon strings typically do not have a truss rod to compensate for string tension. If your guitar is designed for steel strings, it should have an adjustable truss rod visible either through the sound hold in the neck block or under a plate where the headstock joins the neck. The truss rod can be adjusted to allow the proper relief to keep the strings from being too close to the frets which would cause them to buzz or not play at all. Without a truss rod, the tension of the steel strings would cause the neck to bow and the strings to be too high off the fret board in the middle of the fret board. Nylon strings do not create the same amount of tension on the neck, thus many guitars designed specifically for nylon strings, will not have a truss rod. Going from steel strings to nylon strings will create less tension on the neck and so would not hurt the guitar. But nylon strings will not sound the same as steel strings. Also, nylon strings tend to be larger diameter and if the string slots in the nut (at base of headstock) are cut for steel strings, the nylon strings may not seat properly in the slots. A qualified luthier or guitar tech can use a nut file to enlarge the slots should you desire to permanently convert to nylon strings. Or you can replace the nut.

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