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  #1  
Old 01-11-2017, 11:32 AM
Pine Pine is offline
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Default What Kind of Wood is This?

Yesterday I has a first lesson with a guitar teacher. He said he likes to play student's guitars a little to assess the setup. He played my Blackbird L13, for a bit, and said "Great tone!". I told him it was a steel string guitar strung with ball-end nylon. He holds the guitar out and looks at it carefully, and asks, "I've never heard of Blackbird. What kind of wood is this?"

I had to laugh. He didn't say "It has it's own voice", or any of the other comments I've seen folks make about CF guitars. Really make me wonder just how much our preconceptions determine what we hear.

To me, it just sounds like a guitar. A darn nice one!
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Old 01-11-2017, 11:52 AM
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...He holds the guitar out and looks at it carefully, and asks, "I've never heard of Blackbird. What kind of wood is this?"...Really make me wonder just how much our preconceptions ...!

such as instructors that know about guitars?
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Old 01-11-2017, 12:13 PM
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What kind of wood? Couple of million year old wood, I guess.
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Old 01-11-2017, 12:27 PM
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What kind of wood? Couple of million year old wood, I guess.
Nope, can't be a couple of million years old.... Ted at LAG assured me this was new. Although I did wonder about the pterodactyl hide case it came in...
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Old 01-11-2017, 12:31 PM
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Amusing story. I often say that we've been playing composite guitars forever. Wood is a composite of cellulose fiber in a tree sap resin binder. Lately we build using carbon or glass fibers (or linen in the case of Blackbird's eKoa) in a polyester resin binder.

Interesting that you've strung your L13 with ball-end nylon strings. How's that working for you? Did you make a new nut for the larger diameter strings?
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Old 01-11-2017, 12:51 PM
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Hi Earl. I haven't owned a nylon guitar and wanted to try one. Another forum member here suggested trying the ball-end nylon strings. I did, and really like them a lot. The nut slots aren't the proper width for them, but they still work very well for a two or three week test.

This has worked well enough for me to begin the search for a short scale, 00 body, nylon strung carbon fiber guitar with a bit wider string spacing than the L13. My L13 will return soon to steel strings, but for now, I'm really enjoying the tone of this. (and the excuse that the string buzz you heard wasn't my poor technique, but was the low setup for steel strings. )
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Old 01-11-2017, 07:33 PM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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Pine;

There a lot of really neat nylon strung cf guitars: the Rider by Blackbird, the Parlor by Rainsong, and customs from Emerald. I've had then all and they are all very nice. Enjoy the hunt.
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Old 01-12-2017, 04:07 AM
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Funny story. Good to hear my guitar has the potential to be great with nylons on it too!
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Old 01-12-2017, 09:35 AM
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Pine;

There a lot of really neat nylon strung cf guitars: the Rider by Blackbird, the Parlor by Rainsong, and customs from Emerald. I've had then all and they are all very nice. Enjoy the hunt.
Thanks Evan. I'm hoping to find nylon CF guitar as close to my L13 as possible. Just want a bit wider string spacing at the nut and the bridge. My intention for the nylon guitar is primarily for learning solo fingerstyle.

I've looked at (Internet) all the options you mention. Of these, the Rainsong NP12 is the closest. Little smaller body, and the same string spacing as my L13. I do like that it isn't a slothead. I'm going to wait for NAMM to see if anyone releases a new model.

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Originally Posted by sirwhale
Funny story. Good to hear my guitar has the potential to be great with nylons on it too!
I think it does sound great with nylon. I've watched a couple of your videos. I'm hoping that someday my L13 will sound that good in my hands...
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Old 01-12-2017, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Pine View Post
Thanks Evan. I'm hoping to find nylon CF guitar as close to my L13 as possible. Just want a bit wider string spacing at the nut and the bridge. My intention for the nylon guitar is primarily for learning solo fingerstyle.

I've looked at (Internet) all the options you mention. Of these, the Rainsong NP12 is the closest. Little smaller body, and the same string spacing as my L13. I do like that it isn't a slothead. I'm going to wait for NAMM to see if anyone releases a new model.



I think it does sound great with nylon. I've watched a couple of your videos. I'm hoping that someday my L13 will sound that good in my hands...
Pine, have you seen Evan's Emerald X10-OSN? If not, it's worth seeing. Beautiful guitar, a smaller nylon version of the X20. I tried to find the thread with pics in it, but came up empty. Perhaps Evan can post some pics or a link to the thread.
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Old 01-12-2017, 10:39 AM
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Pictures are somewhere on this forum. I don't know if they are still there, but pictures of the X10-OSN used to be on the Emerald site.

The Emerald has the best nut width for my taste, 1 7/8". The Blackbird nut width is a bit wide for my taste but fits classical taste and is great for finger play. The Rainsong nut width seems more designed for steel string players; I didn't think I would like the Rainsong width but have adapted and now find it comfortable.

As far as placing nylon strings on steel string cf guitars, my experience is that tonal qualities are fine but there is a loss of projection, a loss that is compensated for with electronic augmentation.
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Old 01-12-2017, 10:52 AM
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Pictures are somewhere on this forum. I don't know if they are still there, but pictures of the X10-OSN used to be on the Emerald site.

The Emerald has the best nut width for my taste, 1 7/8". The Blackbird nut width is a bit wide for my taste but fits classical taste and is great for finger play. The Rainsong nut width seems more designed for steel string players; I didn't think I would like the Rainsong width but have adapted and now find it comfortable.

As far as placing nylon strings on steel string cf guitars, my experience is that tonal qualities are fine but there is a loss of projection, a loss that is compensated for with electronic augmentation.
I found the thread...
http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...merald+X10-OSN
Check posts 55 & 82 in particular. The pics are there.
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Old 01-12-2017, 11:14 AM
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I found the thread...
http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...merald+X10-OSN
Check posts 55 & 82 in particular. The pics are there.
Took a look at that Red X10 Nylon on the link you provided.
I like the looks of that slotted head stock.
That Red weave is gorgeous, I wonder if Alistair has plans of using matching color bridge beads on future Nylon models ?

Last edited by 121; 01-12-2017 at 11:20 AM. Reason: changed X20 to X10
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Old 01-12-2017, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Acousticado View Post
Pine, have you seen Evan's Emerald X10-OSN? If not, it's worth seeing. Beautiful guitar, a smaller nylon version of the X20. I tried to find the thread with pics in it, but came up empty. Perhaps Evan can post some pics or a link to the thread.
Hi Tom. I've seen posts mentioning it, but never seen it, or specs. What I recall is seeing the X10 on the Emerald website. If I recall correctly, it looked like a conventional guitar body, not like my X7. I love the X7, and would probably love an Emerald X10N if it was a short-scale, 00 body with the string spacing I'm looking for. Finding a used one would be great, but I suppose they didn't make many.

If I cannot find a standard model nylon CF guitar, I know I can order a modified Blackbird Lucky 13, paying an upcharge for the wider nut and bridge.

The upside of the custom L13 is I know I like the body size, the scale, the tone, neck shape, fretboard radius, and non-slotted headstock. I would just increase string spacing a bit for the nylon, and fingerstyle. The downsides are cost and build time.
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Old 01-12-2017, 01:01 PM
sirwhale sirwhale is offline
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Thanks Pine for the complement

Anyway, to aid your search I think you should try these strings (which some consider to be a half way point between steel and nylon:

http://www.thomastik-infeld.com/fami...0Pearse%20folk
or
http://www.thomastik-infeld.com/fami...%20rope%20core

I've been wanting to try this on a nylon string guitar for ages. Here's a video about them - with amazing playing I must add:



And what the player in the video has to say about them:
http://tonefiend.com/guitar/strange_strings/
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Last edited by sirwhale; 01-12-2017 at 01:07 PM.
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