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  #31  
Old 05-12-2017, 09:46 AM
Strumalot Strumalot is offline
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Originally Posted by EvanB View Post
the right cut-a-way and design
This is one of the CF design issues that I am curious about.

On the RainSongs, Emeralds, and some others like the Levoria, there's a big heal and sometimes a strap pin which gets in the way.

On my CA GX it's clear, smooth, sailing to the upper frets. Take a look at the back of each of these guitars and you will see the difference.

In a previous thread, I had asked whether the heal on the Emerald was to accommodate the truss rod. Sean replied that no, it was to give the neck additional support. So do the guitars with heals have weaker necks? If not, why don't they clear out that area? I would be interested to know the thinking and what I might be missing in my perceptions. It seems to me that smoothing out the neck join area would give better upper fret access with a 12 fret guitar. The new Savoy is a good example.
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  #32  
Old 05-12-2017, 10:51 AM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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Strumalot;

I've wondered about the same thing. It seems to me that the big 4 have each done a lot of original work, but that it has not all come together in one definitive product. I thought CA had a number of critical breakthroughs, the neck joint being an important one. As to why other makers have not followed? Could it be patent issue?
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  #33  
Old 05-12-2017, 11:00 AM
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Acousticado Acousticado is offline
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Originally Posted by EvanB View Post
Strumalot;

I've wondered about the same thing. It seems to me that the big 4 have each done a lot of original work, but that it has not all come together in one definitive product. I thought CA had a number of critical breakthroughs, the neck joint being an important one. As to why other makers have not followed? Could it be patent issue?
Although there may be other builders now somewhat emulating the CA neck joint/transition design (someone mentioned the new Blackbird Savoy), of those CF guitars I've tried, I agree that CAs have the best, most comfortable approach.
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  #34  
Old 05-12-2017, 12:23 PM
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Default Emerald 7 string fan-fret nylon

Check out Emerald's Facebook page. Today, Alistair posted a video showing the May custom select series which focus on fan-frets, and he explains concepts behind fan frets and answers customer questions. Near the end of the video he shows a customer's new 7 string fan-fret nylon with s,opted headstock. Contemplating this should cause smoke to come out of the ears of nylon aficionados. Have fun, kids!
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  #35  
Old 05-12-2017, 03:31 PM
Tom2 Tom2 is offline
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Originally Posted by Strumalot View Post
From my nylon perspective ~ I don't know if I am a typical crossover buyer or a market of one ~ but my priorities would be playablility. For me, that's an electiric-like neck and upper fret access. I am still primarily a steel string player. I do like to cross over to the nylon side at times, but am not a classical purist when it comes to the sound.

So my X10N, which joins around fret 15 and has a generous cutaway, beats my RainSong NP12 which arguably sounds better but has reduced upper fret access.

I would be curious... do I represent a typical crossover customer or am I a market of one?
There is no typical crossover customer. It's too new, and specs haven't been optimized yet. Personally, I think the biggest crossover market is electric guitarists, especially lead guitarists who solo a lot. Nylon strings are great for soloing, which is why there are so many solo classical guitar recordings. But until specs are optimized, few people will know that crossovers even exist.

I like my guitars to be as electric-like as possible, with a smallish body and lots of fret access. I also know that nylon tone benefits from having the bridge in the center of the lower bout. And I like the comfort of a shorter scale and a nut that isn't too far from my body. Some of these parameters are divergent, hence our search for a point of balance.
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  #36  
Old 05-12-2017, 04:01 PM
ceciltguitar ceciltguitar is offline
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In reference to the comments about the heel of the guitar limiting access to higher frets, Parker Fly guitars, including the nylon Parker Fly, do not have heels. The neck thickness is pretty stable all the way up and down the neck:

http://www.dreamguitars.com/sold-gui...luxe_330123bp/

The Fly in the photo is NOT a nylon Fly, but the architecture is the same.
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  #37  
Old 05-17-2017, 03:19 PM
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Alistair Hay Alistair Hay is offline
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Sorry I'm late to the game here.
This is a great thread with lots of useful discussion. Tom2 has offered some useful insights and there isn't much I can argue with what he says about bridge placement. I agree it can be beneficial tonally to move the bridge further back on the body but for most of our customers the feeling is that they prefer the extra access of the 14 fret placement. Also it must be noted that on our X20 the 12 fret placement most notably enhances the bass which already is very strong and some may find the bass starts to over power the trebles.
As for the discussion on scale length I really prefer 650mm as it offers better tension and in return a cleaner and lower action is possible.
The great thing about all this is that there really is no right and wrong, its a matter of finding the combination of features that suit your needs best and for this reason we actually build every Nylon as a custom guitar so we can cater for every possible taste. We can even make a deeper cutaway on a 12 fret if that is preferred.
We have been making more and more nylon guitars recently and today we just completed our first Nylon Harp guitar. Evan has been a strong advocate for carbon Nylon guitars and Im glad I listened to him all those years ago. I think Evan has the second Nylon guitar I ever made. We have come a long way since then.
Alistair
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  #38  
Old 05-18-2017, 01:04 AM
Tom2 Tom2 is offline
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Originally Posted by Alistair Hay View Post
Sorry I'm late to the game here.
Late to the game? You were the first one to show up. My reason for starting this thread was to honor your contribution to the art of customization.

I can easily imagine that an X20N, with its full size body and its full length scale, can produce a full tone without needing to shift the bridge from the 14 fret position. I have also experienced some wooden crossovers with a full size body and the bridge in the 12 fret position that have too much bass, so I understand your design.

The thing is that a standard full size steel string guitar is larger than a standard full size classical guitar. This prevents the classical from sounding boomy, even with a long scale and a 12 fret bridge position. Personally, I like the comfort and tone of the smaller classical body, but I can't deal with the classical neck profile, which is why I'm looking for something new. The recent interest in X7N's suggests an overall preference for a smaller body with nylon.

I also understand your preference for a 650mm scale. I've played mainly Gibson solid body electrics for many years, I use a pick, and I like my action to be as low as physically possible. 650mm is definitely the best for low action, but it's a bit much for an electric guitarist. I really enjoy having the nut close enough to my left shoulder that I can allow my left arm to hang loosely by my side as I play. Short scale and low action are divergent parameters, so I'm looking for a point of balance. Right now, my guess is that a 640mm 12 fret will give me the left arm comfort while still providing enough string tension to accommodate reasonably low action.

I've done enough research and experimentation that I know exactly how I would spec a custom crossover, and this is my plan B. My plan A, which is why I joined this forum, is to see if there is a wider convergence of preference from other players, so that a production model could be defined. This would make it a lot easier for people without crossover experience to choose a guitar, without being required to spec out a custom model. I even designed a slotted headstock that can be built into a mold.

If you prefer to keep every nylon build as custom, I fully respect that, and you will probably be hearing from me in the not too distant future for a custom X10N. For now, my wooden crossover that I purchased specifically to experiment with, is good enough, and I'll keep sharing ideas on this forum to see if there actually is a common point of balance.

As a side note, your recent X20 12 string Ziricote with the natural black CF weave back and sides is the nicest looking guitar I have ever seen.
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  #39  
Old 05-18-2017, 12:09 PM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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Tom2;

I appreciate your selection of the X10 for body size. I've tried and/or owned the 5, 7, 10, and 20 Emeralds. I've found the ten to be a perfect size for an acoustic guitar--perfect for me anyway. As Alistair noted, I had one of his first X10 nylon strings and, with new developments, ordered a second one. I hope you end up ordering one to your specs and look forward to what you come up with.

I've gone to the thin-bodied smaller size for the electric guitar because I've liked the small electric guitars that I've played. I'm really not an electric guitar person, but it seems like CF should be in the market.
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  #40  
Old 05-18-2017, 08:59 PM
JimCA JimCA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alistair Hay View Post
... Also it must be noted that on our X20 the 12 fret placement most notably enhances the bass which already is very strong and some may find the bass starts to over power the trebles ...
My new 13-fret X7 nylon with the EJ44TT strings seemed like the bass somewhat overpowered the trebles (or the trebles were lacking). I swapped in D'Addario normal tension carbon trebles with the EJ44TT basses -- now it's very balanced to me. It's such a sweet guitar! Thank you Alistair.

Jim
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  #41  
Old 05-19-2017, 05:08 PM
Tom2 Tom2 is offline
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I have the luxury of liking the tone of my current crossover, which allows me to be extremely patient. Sure it's wood, and I need to feed it water all summer long, can't leave it in a car, and must avoid performing in direct sunlight (which is tough because about 1/2 of my playing is outside), but I do okay if I'm careful. Having said that, I'm really looking forward to carboning up.

On the topic of patience, I study trends in crossover, classical, and composite guitar development. For example, there was some sort of macho thing going on with classical scale lengths, up to 660mm. Bigger is better, right? Now, calmer heads are prevailing. Lots of people are realizing that a properly voiced 640mm classical does not sacrifice any tone, and is a lot more comfortable for some people.

With Emerald, I watched the next generation X20, how Alistair included everything he had learned up to that point, and just made it to be exactly what he wanted it to be. It was such a success, production of the X5, X10, and X30 was suspended. For nylon, the X10 is probably the best size, because it is closest to the traditional size of a classical, but it hasn't received the full treatment that the X20 received for its next generation. I'm inclined to wait.

While I have never designed or built a guitar, I can imagine the process. So if the design goal is to specify scale length, string tension, and bridge placement, then build a guitar around those specs, I imagine that body volume, soundboard stiffness, bracing pattern, bracing stiffness, and sound hole diameter can all be optimized to produce a desirable voice. So if the goal is to build a guitar around a 640mm scale, hard tension nylon strings, and a bridge in the center of the lower bout, this is quite different from adapting a guitar that was originally built for a 650mm scale, medium tension steel strings, and a 14 fret bridge position.

Right now, we are looking at adaptations that can produce fine ergonomics, but haven't yet reached tonal parity with classical guitars. I think a crossover, designed from the beginning to be a crossover, would be amazing. I'm patient.
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  #42  
Old 05-19-2017, 06:15 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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I like that term: "carboning up"!
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  #43  
Old 05-19-2017, 07:31 PM
Tom2 Tom2 is offline
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I knew someone would.
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  #44  
Old 05-20-2017, 06:35 AM
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new2guitar_eh new2guitar_eh is offline
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Following this thread with great interest. Looking forward to when you all come up with the perfect specs for a crossover and then I can simply order one...with a spectacular veneer of course! Just build it around an X10 so my current guitar will have a nylon twin.
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  #45  
Old 05-20-2017, 02:34 PM
JimCA JimCA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CFW View Post
My x20 nylon is a 12 fret with the bridge moved lower. No electronics.

I'm shocked Alistair hasn't made more.

If I move forward with an x7 nylon, it will also be a 12 fret.
As an X7 nylon owner, a couple of thoughts regarding that. There is not a lot of room to move the bridge down on an X7. Mine is 632mm scale at 13 frets. There is an X7 nylon shown on Emerald's website with 650mm scale at 13 frets. My X7 just barely fits in the gig bag -- 650mm scale at 13 frets wouldn't fit, ... at 12 frets maybe, but then is the bridge too low.

Jim
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