Guitar strings - cheese wire or ships' hawsers? - FAQ

Hampshire Guitar Orchestra » Guitar stuff » FAQs » string gauges

String gauges, scale length and pitch ranges in Hertz for Niibori guitars

Our 4 sizes of Niibori Guitar require different gauges of strings because the change in pitch from guitar to guitar is larger than the change in scale length. See our dimensions FAQ.

Why are the strings on the bass instruments thicker than on the higher, treble instruments?
It's because thin strings would have to be very slack to vibrate slowly, and slack strings buzz even at quite modest volumes. Thicker strings can be really tight and still produce a low note, because they are heavier (harder to move) for the same tension, and so move more slowly without slapping. More here

String thickness depends on whether the strings are low, medium or high tension, but here are some typical values.

Guitar string material pitch range
hertz (*)
scale length
inches & mm
string thickness
inches & millimetres
Alto Top 3 strings are monofilament nylon.
Bottom 3 are wound
123-494 21.25in
0.0235in to 0.036in
0.597mm to 0.914mm
Prime Top 3 strings are monofilament.
Bottom 3 are wound.
82-330 25.6in
0.0285in to 0.044in
0.724mm to 1.118mm
Bass Top 2 strings are monofilament.
Bottom 4 are wound.


0.0327in to 0.056in
0.831mm to 1.422mm
Contra Top 4 strings are wound.
Bottom 2 are double wound.
41-165 29.5in
0.030in to 0.098in
0.762mm to 2.489mm

(*) These are the pitches of the open strings to the nearest whole number - the note on fret 12 of the top string is twice as high again

There's more information in our string FAQ