6 Best Strings for Yamaha Silent Guitars (Steel & Nylon)

Many new wonders of Yamaha Silent guitars are not happy with the strings they come fitted with, and want to replace them with something better.

In some cases the strings are just a bit old, but for some players they just don’t like the sound of the factory-fitted strings.

Yamaha Silent guitars are designed to use any normal guitar strings, but depending on what tone you want and the playability of the guitar your choice could vary.

Yamaha SLG200S silent guitar with packets of strings

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Best Yamaha Silent Guitar Steel Strings

Yamaha’s SLG200 series steel string silent guitars come with D’Addario 12-53 gauge strings, and for many guitarists these work just fine.

D’Addario as you know is a trusted string brand, and produces very high quality strings that are fitted to the majority of new guitars.

However, you can change the tone and feel of the guitar to some degree by changing the exact type of string you fit to your Yamaha Silent guitar, and that sometimes means changing brand too.

Which Steel String Brands Are Best?

Honestly, as long as you are using strings from a well-known manufacturer you can’t really go wrong as far as reliability is concerned.

Top string brands make strings with carefully controlled metal qualities. The core wire is tested for stretch strength, and also with a twist test to ensure they will perform, along with the outer wrap wire.

Although there are many trusted brands, I find myself regularly returning to Martin or D’Addario strings for both of my Yamaha steel string Silent guitars.

Martin and Daddario guitar string packets

I’ve found these two brands really shine on the Yamaha’s, and they both have a range of string types that let you choose the specific tone you want.

If I had to pick a third string manufacturer then I would go with Elixir Nanoweb 80/20 bronze strings, which I love for full-bodied large acoustic guitars.

What Type of Steel Strings Work Best?

If you are after a mellow tone from your Silent guitar, then I would recommend phosphor bronze strings. I have tried a few different brands of this string type, and prefer Elixir over the others if going with phosphor bronze.

This being said, I believe most players are going to find a coated phosphor bronze string a bit too warm and mellow for these guitars, as you don’t have a guitar body to resonate and bring out the higher overtones.

  • If you decide on phosphor bronze then preferably go for an uncoated string, probably choosing Martin or D’Addario. 
  • For those players who love the long life of coated strings then try the Elixir Nanoweb (not Polyweb), or consider Martin’s newer Lifespan 2.0 acoustic strings.
Elixir Guitar String packets with string sleeves

The shape of the core wire in strings also affects tone, and strings with hex cores sometimes perform better than round core strings on Yamaha Silent guitars, since they have less mass and a brighter sound.

Elixir and D’Addario strings come in hex core varieties, so you may need to test a few different strings to find your personal favorite.

What Gauge Steel Strings Are Best?

Yamaha Silent steel string guitars come with standard 12-53 light gauge acoustic strings, and they work well for this guitar.

The Silent guitar is not well suited to heavy gauge strings and you will find 12-53’s or 12-54’s are a great standard string gauge that give good playability with enough volume.

I wouldn’t recommend heavier strings, as they are much better suited to larger guitars and heavy playing styles, not really how you would play a Yamaha Silent guitar.

You could go for a lighter gauge string for an easier playing string such as 11-52, but any lighter than this and these guitars will just sound too soft.

Best Nylon Yamaha Silent Guitar Strings

Although the steel string and nylon string Yamaha Silent guitars share the same technology and basic design, you will generally want string brands that really cater to the nylon string market.

Listen to famous jazz guitarist Lee Ritenour play a nylon string Yamaha Silent guitar live in concert…

As I discussed above, Yamaha Silent guitars don’t project sound like a traditional instrument, and really benefit from bright sounding strings.

The best nylon strings for these guitars seem to be the higher tension varieties, which will also give you a louder sound on the attack of the notes.

1. Once again, D’Addario produces some great strings that will suit this guitar well, with the EJ44 extra hard tension semi-polished strings being a good choice.

2. If you have some extra money to burn then Savarez Corum Alliance are an amazing professional grade string with clear high tones. Savarez Corum Alliance 500AJ High Tension Classical Guitar Strings

They have carbon composite high strings which are thinner than nylon, and as a result give great projection and clarity. You could even try a medium tension Savarez Corum and get pleasing results with a softer feel.

3. Hannabach high tension flamenco strings are loud and last a long time, and may suit players with a more aggressive playing style. The extra projection of these strings when amplified comes through with a clear punchy tone, and is great when playing with other guitarists.

Hannabach 652387 Series 800 Silver Plated High Tension String Set for Classic Guitar - Blue

Final Roundup

Hopefully this guide will steer you in the right direction when it comes to strings for your Yamaha Silent guitar.

There are obviously many string choices on the market, and many of them offer strings that will give you a great sound, so often you need to experiment to find your favorite strings.

Depending on whether you play solo in your lounge room, jam with others or play live on stage, you ultimate string choice could change to suit your environment.