I have the Katoh MCG20 Classical Guitar. As you can see, the guitar came with 3 metal strings and 3 nylon strings.

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I understand that this is a classical guitar and should be replaced with nylon strings according to tutorials. However, this guitar came with 3 metal strings, so im confused.

The second string from the left has snapped, Im thinking about replacing all the strings. Should I replace the metal strings with metal strings, or should I replace them with all nylon?


3 Answers 3


They are all nylon strings, but the bass strings have a thin layer of wound metal over a nylon core. All nylon string sets are like that, it's perfectly normal. Buy any standard classical guitar strings you like for replacement strings.

  • 6
    @guitarhe40 Just keep a tuner handy for the first few days. Nylon strings stretch and take a while before they hold tune for any any amount of time. If you've never played a new set of nylon strings before it might surprise you how fast they initially fall out of tune. If you're playing them right away you might need to retune several times during a normal session, and again the next couple of days before they firm up and hold tension.
    – J...
    Commented Oct 8, 2019 at 15:29
  • This answer could be improved by a recommendation of a string brand and type. Keep in mind that it is not uncommon to use metal stings for the treble, at least the high e. So asking for "standard classical" may still lead to ambiguity.
    – user50691
    Commented Oct 10, 2019 at 10:24
  • 1
    @ggcg - a metal top string on a classical guitar? That's a new one on me.
    – Tim
    Commented Oct 14, 2019 at 11:57
  • Deffinitely nylon. Ask for nylon strings. Using metal strings will damage the instrument, starting by the mechanism to install those. Commented Aug 20, 2020 at 18:21

I would like to point out that you NEED to have nylon strings on a classical acoustic guitar. Attempting to put regular metal strings on it will damage or destroy it due to the much larger tension by those strings.


There is probably no need to change all the strings - unless they're a year or two old. Just replace the broken one, and if that new one sounds a lot brighter than the others, then yes, change all - one at a time.

As piiperi states, all the strings are nylon, but the lower three are wound with metal to give them more density. Without that the nylon would have to be a lot thicker.

And you've ordered a set of strings. What happens if that same string gets broken again? Should have ordered two sets...

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    I disagree with the first sentence: if a string has snapped on classical guitar, then it very likely is a good idea to replace at least all of the bass strings. Classical guitar strings seldom snap at all, the normal failure modes are either lost brilliance or windings coming undone. If a string snaps, then it's either a problem with the bridge or nut, or else the strings are just worn way down and replacing only one would completely upset the sound balance. —Ok, this is assuming fingerstyle / nail-strumming technique. If the OP uses a heavy pick, then some snapped strings may be inevitable. Commented Oct 8, 2019 at 9:09
  • @leftaroundabout - that's why it didn't appear alone - the next sentence agrees with what you say.
    – Tim
    Commented Oct 8, 2019 at 9:14
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    @Tim But that's why it's the wrong way around. The recommended approach is to always replace all the strings unless the reason it broke was some clearly-recognisable external damage (e.g. your toddler got hold of scissors and decided to use them to cut the guitar strings). So as leftaroundabout says the first sentence is clearly wrong. The OP almost certainly does need to change all the strings, because the exceptional case where they may not need to is vanishingly unlikely. I've been playing for 25 years, and never had that happen on nylon strings.
    – Graham
    Commented Oct 8, 2019 at 11:12
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    @Tim It doesn't mean they're on the brink of breaking - but it does mean they have all had the same high level of fatigue, which is guaranteed to have affected the tone on all strings. Like you, I'll usually change strings when I notice the tone has deteriorated (or earlier if I'm gigging regularly). For your beginner students who might not notice that so easily though (or get round to it), there is a lot wrong with "trying just one replacement".
    – Graham
    Commented Oct 8, 2019 at 13:02
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    @ggcg - if the strings are that old, they really shouldn't on the guitar anyway! Hence my 1st para. On a couple of occasions I've had a string break after, say, a month - mine or student's guitar. I'm certainly not going to replace the lot at that point! And that is my point.
    – Tim
    Commented Oct 10, 2019 at 10:59

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