Metal vs nylon strings

Ghelfaire

I've recently bought a lyre online and it came with metal strings. Now this is the first handheld stringed instrument that I've ever played, is there much of a difference in sound between metal and nylon strings? Is one better than the other? Do most harps/harp-like instruments use metal strings?
I just think a couple of notes sound too much like a guitar
 

wishuponafish

The tone is different between metal and nylon strings and each type is considered to be better suited to certain styles of music, i.e. nylon for classical, steel for rock, etc.

However, you can do the same things on either type of string so it's okay to pick whatever you like the sound of. I've never played lute but for a steel-stringed guitar you can swap out to nylon strings (but not vice versa) if you want. It's better to have an instrument originally designed for the type of string though.
 
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Ghelfaire

Thanks, it's a lyre. I wanted a lute but the cheapest ones were $1500

Here's a pic of it
 
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MacZ

Really nice instrument!

I have learned with traditional and folk instruments often the type of string is decisive for the characteristic sound of the instrument. Also sometimes the structural stability depends on the right type of string. Had to learn this for my sitar and some other instruments with an unusual high number of strings. So I would keep an eye on this if you switch to e.g. nylon strings.

Though looking at it you might not achieve the right tuning with nylon... There's only one way to find out.
 
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Ghelfaire

Trying to tune the metal strings is finicky enough, even the slightest turn changes the note by a surprising amount.
 
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MacZ

I can imagine. I sometimes have to fine tune my strings so precise it's a pain in the behind.
 
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Ghelfaire

I can imagine. I sometimes have to fine tune my strings so precise it's a pain in the behind.
The first couple of weeks were the hardest, I had to tune them every 5 minutes. They finally settled do the majority are staying in tune
 
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fish 321

Nylon have a softer sound and steel have more twang.
The first couple of weeks were the hardest, I had to tune them every 5 minutes. They finally settled do the majority are staying in tune
With a guitar you have to stretch the strings after you change them so it will stay in tune.
 
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