Banjos were very popular in the United States in the late 1800s, and, consequently, there are lots of strings that survive for us to measure and copy. From the ones in the Gamut collection, it is evident that violin strings were repurposed and relabeled as banjo strings for the first, second, third and fifth positions with a guitar fourth string used for the banjo fourth.
The gauge of the Banjo first string is .56mm
The gauge of the Banjo second string is .78mm
The gauge of the Banjo third string is 1.06mm
The gauge of the Banjo fourth string is .82mm
The gauge of the Banjo fifth string is .56mm
Gamut is pleased to offer gut banjo strings with the same type of twist and gauge as those used in the late 19th century. The banjo first, second and fifth strings are made from our finest beef serosa treble gut, 48", (120cm), in length. The third string is single-twist, Lyon gut and the fourth is treble gut wound with silver-plated copper wire.
The plain gut strings are available with a natural or varnish finish. Natural strings are hand-rubbed with a light oil and pumice. Varnished strings have three coats of finish before being hand polished with the oil. There is an additional charge for varnished strings