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  #1  
Old 04-01-2012, 01:04 AM
JoeCharter JoeCharter is offline
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Default Which steel string builders also build nylon string guitars?

One of my dreams is to travel to Madrid and commission a guitar from Paulino Bernabe -- but since I'm not a classical guitar player, I always thought that such a guitar would be a waste in my hands.

Does anyone here on the AGF build nylon string guitars with "traditional" specs? I'm looking for something that sounds loud and lively -- not some quiet crossover that's meant to be plugged in.

I'm a steel string player and this wouldn't be my primary guitar but I'm still interested in getting a good quality instrument.
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Old 04-01-2012, 01:14 AM
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Joe,

Not many top steel-string builders fit the bill as top classical builders. John Mello might be one, and I know Matt Mustapick builds in a classical vein.

I recommend a fellow here in Eugene, Anders Sterner.

Anders and I have talked quite a bit about nylon string guitars as they might be used for someone like myself...nothing directly in the works yet (for me), but Anders understands and respects fingerstyle music.
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Old 04-01-2012, 01:55 AM
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Ive built a few nylons but they have all been more of a cross-over version. I still consider them a bit of a work in progress compared to my steel strings.
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:41 AM
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I have built nylon guitars as well, with great results, but, steel string is where I carved my nitch. Once you build in one vain, steel string or nylon one will be better than the other. They really are two different animals.
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:54 AM
Thomas Rein Thomas Rein is offline
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I built my first guitar, a steel string dread, in 1972 and first classical in 1978. I continued building both until 1987, when I switched entirely to classical. In 2005 I became interested in building steel string guitars again and have transposed many contemporary classical guitar construction details, like double sides and French polished soundboards, over to my traditional x-braced steel string guitars. If interested, I've got pics and videos of all my guitars on my site.
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:43 AM
rgregg48 rgregg48 is offline
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[QUOTE=JoeCharter;2991478]One of my dreams is to travel to Madrid and commission a guitar from Paulino Bernabe

The fact that Paulino is dead, might present a problem...

My favorite luthier for such things is Johnny Walker, building classical guitars since 1968 and always under the radar,, great guitars
www.Johnnywalkerguitars.com

not to be confused with John Walker who is a fine steel string
builder.

regards,
Rick
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:20 AM
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I suppose there's builders who do both well, but as Dennis said, they're 2 different animals. I would recommend Waddy Thompson to build you a nylon string. Waddy doens't build steel strings though.

http://waddythomsonguitars.com/
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:48 AM
JoeCharter JoeCharter is offline
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions. A couple of them caught my eye.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rgregg48 View Post
One of my dreams is to travel to Madrid and commission a guitar from Paulino Bernabe

The fact that Paulino is dead, might present a problem...
Paulino Sr. has a son. I spoke to him last month.

http://www.paulinobernabe.com/
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:17 PM
Alan Carruth Alan Carruth is offline
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I started as a classical builder back in '74 or so, but got into steel strings pretty early on. These days I make about as many classicals as steel strings.

You're right that classicals and steel strings are different beasts, and you realy have to approach them differently to do either one justice. OTOH, they're both guitars, after all: they have a lot more in common than guitars and violins (which I also make) do. In some ways,once you get the differences clear, making one sort can help you understand the other: things like the differences in top bracing make more sense once you see why it's done the way it's done, and you have a better handle on how to move in different directions with the sound.
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  #10  
Old 04-01-2012, 02:33 PM
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I can't claim a lot of experience with nylons yet but I'm working on it.

This one is voiced very traditionally with some non-traditional elements.

http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...d.php?t=245209

PM sent, by the way.
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:51 PM
JoeCharter JoeCharter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent Chasson View Post
I can't claim a lot of experience with nylons yet but I'm working on it.

This one is voiced very traditionally with some non-traditional elements.

http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...d.php?t=245209

PM sent, by the way.
Kent, how much flexibility do you offer with the overall design (the headstock and rosette, for example)?

How would you compare/describe the sound of your nylon string instruments?
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:53 PM
JoeCharter JoeCharter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Rein View Post
I built my first guitar, a steel string dread, in 1972 and first classical in 1978. I continued building both until 1987, when I switched entirely to classical. In 2005 I became interested in building steel string guitars again and have transposed many contemporary classical guitar construction details, like double sides and French polished soundboards, over to my traditional x-braced steel string guitars. If interested, I've got pics and videos of all my guitars on my site.
Thanks for posting. I love this rosette BTW:

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  #13  
Old 04-01-2012, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeCharter View Post
Kent, how much flexibility do you offer with the overall design (the headstock and rosette, for example)?
That's a good question. Being more inclined as a craftsman than a business person, I've always sought out business advice from those who are better at it than I am. One thing that the business minded folks seem to universally agree on is that "branding" is important. In the guitar world, that usually means having a signature headstock and rosette. So I have put some work into developing those things in a way that reflects my sense of esthetics. But it has also become clear over the years that my real goal in building is to collaborate. I don't want to build my favorite guitar for everyone, I want to build my client's favorite guitar. So that's a long-winded way of saying I can be flexible.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeCharter View Post
How would you compare/describe the sound of your nylon string instruments?
That's a shorter answer. I'll let you know when #1 is strung up. Should be about a month.
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:02 PM
wcap wcap is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeCharter View Post
One of my dreams is to travel to Madrid and commission a guitar from Paulino Bernabe -- but since I'm not a classical guitar player, I always thought that such a guitar would be a waste in my hands.

Does anyone here on the AGF build nylon string guitars with "traditional" specs? I'm looking for something that sounds loud and lively -- not some quiet crossover that's meant to be plugged in.

I'm a steel string player and this wouldn't be my primary guitar but I'm still interested in getting a good quality instrument.
Based on the various classical guitars I tried out when doing my classical guitar shopping about 7 years ago, I'd go with Burguet before Bernabe.
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  #15  
Old 04-01-2012, 04:25 PM
Thomas Rein Thomas Rein is offline
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[QUOTE=JoeCharter;2992099]Thanks for posting. I love this rosette BTW:

Thanks, Joe. I made that one myself in the traditional Spanish method with naturally colored woods.
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