With no truss rods during the 1920s, heavy gauge strings are almost guaranteed to bow the neck, if your Galiano isn't already bowed over the years.
I have a wood-body Dobro that I figure is from the late 30s / early 40s (nowhere near as funky sounding as my recently built metal-body Nationals).
On my Dobro, which has a slightly bowed neck, I use light gauge strings for the same reason recommended by Ari. For my Nationals, I use mediums with an unwound plain 3rd which to my ears I find makes a nicer separation between the lows and the highs. Also one less string to worry about causing scraping sounds when playing. I got the idea (a whole other subject) from John Hammond who got the idea from early blues players.
: I use light gauge bronze wound -- regular
: bronze wound, not phosphor. However, I
: don't know whether it's the best or not. I
: do think you want to make sure the gauge you
: use is not too heavy for the guitar to bear.
: I've found that the non-phosphor bronze
: strings are harder to find, but I like them
: better than the phosphor bronze strings, or
: at least the way phosphor strings were years
: ago when I used to use them. I found that
: the phosphor strings were extra-bright when
: brand new, which is not necessary since new
: strings are bright anyway -- perhaps *too*
: bright. Then the phosphors seemed to go
: dead almost immediately, at least with my
: string-deadening sweat chemistry.
: --Previous Message--
: Hi Ari,
: I just bought a wonderful 1920's Galiano
: grand concert guitar similar to the one you
: played on Youtube
: Which string do you recommend me for
: capturing the vintage vibe of this old gal?
: Nickel wound string? Monel string? Or other?
: What is the best string gauge for this
: 26" long scale beauty?
: Many thanks!