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Old 05-29-2021, 05:07 AM
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Adamski Adamski is offline
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Default Stephen Eden Nylon Crossover

Over the years I have bought (and sold) a number of classical instruments but have never got on with them. The combination of very wide (and flat) fretboard and an aesthetic that makes them look like they came from a workshop in 19th century Spain has always mean that they haven't hung around long.

Whilst I have no desire to play "classical" guitar music (as, being an ex-violinist, the guitar repertoire all seems rather bland and repetitive) I do have an itch to have a different tonal palette to play with.

So, the choice seemed to either buy a "good" factory made crossover such as a Furch or Breedlove and recognise that the performance wouldn't be brilliant, or buy an outstanding crossover by someone like Jost von Huene (as played by Jule Malischke) or Christina Kobler (as played by SŲnke Meinen)...but both of them have that awful "classical" rectangle profile bridge which would just annoy me.

So, the respected classic builder Stephen Eden is going to make something totally different (for him) and is about to start the build!

The specs are going to be:

- minimal appointments
- flamed maple binding
- simple bwb purfling
- plain rosette (still under consideration)
- no back stripe
- Venetian cutaway
- 650mm scale
- c. 47 mm nut
- IRW back and sides
- moon spruce front
- fan braced
- modern looking bridge
- interesting headstock profile
- French polished finish

It will be constructed to work with hard tension nylon strings so it feels more like a steel strung instrument.

I will keep you all posted!

Any input and comments would be most welcome as it's a lot easier to change things at this stage!
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Last edited by Adamski; 06-24-2021 at 07:13 AM.
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  #2  
Old 05-30-2021, 07:47 PM
Fast Jimmy Fast Jimmy is offline
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Default Crossover

Just out of curiosity, what will the string spacing be at the saddle?

Thanks, Jim
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  #3  
Old 05-30-2021, 08:53 PM
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Guitars44me Guitars44me is offline
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Smile Suggestions

Since you asked...

I LOVE a Manzer Wedge, arm and rib bevels, soundport in bend of upper Bout, and see you have wisely speced a cutaway.

And, Get a neck shape that is comfy for YOU

Good thing you don't want it to look traditional....

Hard to argue with comfort, especially as one ages.

I look forward to seeing this take shape!

Salud

Paul
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Old 06-23-2021, 11:24 AM
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Default The build starts tomorrow...

The woods have been picked.

Doesn't look much like a guitar so far!

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Old 06-23-2021, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Fast Jimmy View Post
Just out of curiosity, what will the string spacing be at the saddle?

Thanks, Jim
As yet, undecided!
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Old 06-23-2021, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitars44me View Post
Since you asked...

I LOVE a Manzer Wedge, arm and rib bevels, soundport in bend of upper Bout, and see you have wisely speced a cutaway.

And, Get a neck shape that is comfy for YOU

Good thing you don't want it to look traditional....
I like those things too...but as this is basically "classical sized" there's not the same necessity to make bit more accessible with a wedge and bevels.

I am toying with a sound port though...
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Old 06-23-2021, 04:22 PM
steveh steveh is offline
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Originally Posted by Adamski View Post
I am toying with a sound port though...
Donít.
It will raise the body resonance etc. Far more audible on a nylon. Not heard a nylon yet where I didnít greatly prefer it plugged.
Whatís Mr. Eden think?

The woods look lovely; great quality IRW.

Cheers,
Steve
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Old 06-23-2021, 05:29 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is online now
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Hard tensions are a good choice, but since classical strings are marketed as separate basses and trebles I'd suggest you consider titanium trebles for a bit more upper edge if you are used to the sound of steel strings.

A post over in the classical section might yield a lot more specific recommendations from crossover players, who probably align more with classical guitar considerations.

It's good that you're going with a classical builder as they would have a much better understanding of the need to build LIGHTLY as opposed to steel string builders who work with designs that are primarily designed to resist steel string loading and its effect on structural stability.

It did a testing of the waters by retrofitting a narrower radiused fretboard onto an older classical guitar. It played well and sounded great, so I knew a crossover would work for me.

Last edited by Rudy4; 06-23-2021 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 06-24-2021, 12:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudy4 View Post
Hard tensions are a good choice, but since classical strings are marketed as separate basses and trebles I'd suggest you consider titanium trebles for a bit more upper edge if you are used to the sound of steel strings.

A post over in the classical section might yield a lot more specific recommendations from crossover players, who probably align more with classical guitar considerations.

It's good that you're going with a classical builder as they would have a much better understanding of the need to build LIGHTLY as opposed to steel string builders who work with designs that are primarily designed to resist steel string loading and its effect on structural stability.

It did a testing of the waters by retrofitting a narrower radiused fretboard onto an older classical guitar. It played well and sounded great, so I knew a crossover would work for me.
Thanks, I'll head-over there and have a snoop around.

Actually I want something totally different to my steel-strung instruments, so I will be using nylon strings (to begin with).

It was SteveH's strong suggestion that I go to a nylon specialist to have this made rather than a steel strung builder who's having a go at classical!
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Stephen Eden Nylon Crossover (imminent)
Hahn 228 Telecaster

Past guitars from: Tom Sands (2), Stefan Sobell (2), Dana Bourgeois, Marc Beneteau, Nigel Forster, Peter Abnett, Avalon (3), Martin (4 - vintage & modern), Gibson, Taylor (2), Yamaha (3) and more...
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Old 06-24-2021, 01:21 AM
nikpearson nikpearson is offline
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Default 47mm nut width too narrow?

Iíve played and owned a number of nylon string guitars both traditional classical and crossover. Also recently finished a classical build where the nut width was 47.5mm as the player has small hands. I also have small hands and relatively slim fingers and find the string spacing a little cramped. The nut width limited me going any wider on the spacing and I find Iím more prone to inadvertently touching adjacent strings.

Iím a steel-string player who plays some classical guitar; the traditional classical 52mm nut is too wide for me and I strongly suspect the ideal nut width is 49-50mm for my hands.

Are you going with a flat or radiused fingerboard? I also experimented with a 20 foot radius on the above build, thinking it would make the instrument more playable and perhaps help with the tighter string spacing. In reality Iím finding that some pieces are actually harder to play because of the need to barre and stretch; that could be partly my technique and increasing age, but my own classical with 49mm flat fingerboard really does feel easier.

One other thing, if at all possible go with a 12-hole bridge as it makes string tying a little easier and improves break angle over the saddle. Down the line this can prove invaluable if the action needs lowering significantly.
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  #11  
Old 06-24-2021, 01:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikpearson View Post
Iíve played and owned a number of nylon string guitars both traditional classical and crossover. Also recently finished a classical build where the nut width was 47.5mm as the player has small hands. I also have small hands and relatively slim fingers and find the string spacing a little cramped. The nut width limited me going any wider on the spacing and I find Iím more prone to inadvertently touching adjacent strings.

Iím a steel-string player who plays some classical guitar; the traditional classical 52mm nut is too wide for me and I strongly suspect the ideal nut width is 49-50mm for my hands.

Are you going with a flat or radiused fingerboard? I also experimented with a 20 foot radius on the above build, thinking it would make the instrument more playable and perhaps help with the tighter string spacing. In reality Iím finding that some pieces are actually harder to play because of the need to barre and stretch; that could be partly my technique and increasing age, but my own classical with 49mm flat fingerboard really does feel easier.

One other thing, if at all possible go with a 12-hole bridge as it makes string tying a little easier and improves break angle over the saddle. Down the line this can prove invaluable if the action needs lowering significantly.
I find the flat fingerboard thing dreadful...it just feels slab-like and not very comfortable (although I have only played 50 & 52mm). So I'm going to go for 47mm and an 20" radius (so fairly flat still).

I did suggest a 12 hole bridge and Steve said "I wouldn't"... I explored this and he said that he has never seen a 12 hole bridge where there isn't a gouge on the front from one of the treble strings coming undone and slipping out. I do like the look of a 12 hole bridge...but a ding in the front is a high price to pay!
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Past guitars from: Tom Sands (2), Stefan Sobell (2), Dana Bourgeois, Marc Beneteau, Nigel Forster, Peter Abnett, Avalon (3), Martin (4 - vintage & modern), Gibson, Taylor (2), Yamaha (3) and more...
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Old 06-24-2021, 04:55 AM
MThomson MThomson is offline
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I think this is a really interesting thread and I love how you're driving to get the guitar that suits you perfectly. The wood sets look great. I'll look forward to seeing it take shape.
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Old 06-24-2021, 07:15 AM
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Adamski Adamski is offline
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Originally Posted by MThomson View Post
I think this is a really interesting thread and I love how you're driving to get the guitar that suits you perfectly. The wood sets look great. I'll look forward to seeing it take shape.
Thanks...I am excited. It'll be an interesting journey I'm sure!
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Stephen Eden Nylon Crossover (imminent)
Hahn 228 Telecaster

Past guitars from: Tom Sands (2), Stefan Sobell (2), Dana Bourgeois, Marc Beneteau, Nigel Forster, Peter Abnett, Avalon (3), Martin (4 - vintage & modern), Gibson, Taylor (2), Yamaha (3) and more...
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Old 06-24-2021, 09:29 AM
steveh steveh is offline
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Originally Posted by Rudy4 View Post
It's good that you're going with a classical builder as they would have a much better understanding of the need to build LIGHTLY as opposed to steel string builders who work with designs that are primarily designed to resist steel string loading and its effect on structural stability.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adamski View Post
It was SteveH's strong suggestion that I go to a nylon specialist to have this made rather than a steel strung builder who's having a go at classical!
I can't stress this enough. It was only when I played a nylon guitar from a bona-fide nylon builder that I had my Road-To-Damascus moment (and left steel-string behind for most of my playing). It was built so lightly and was incredibly responsive and resonant. Fabulous.

In contrast I have played nylons from steel-string builders that were truly awful. One stands out: An uber-expensive used instrument from someone whose steel-strings are usually in the 20 to 30K bracket. It sounded like a wardrobe with strings on it - waaaaay overbuilt. I wouldn't have paid 2K for it. It sold very quickly to someone who had a lot of expensive steel-strings and had likely never been near a "proper" nylon. Either that or he was deaf.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adamski View Post
I did suggest a 12 hole bridge and Steve said "I wouldn't"... I explored this and he said that he has never seen a 12 hole bridge where there isn't a gouge on the front from one of the treble strings coming undone and slipping out. I do like the look of a 12 hole bridge...but a ding in the front is a high price to pay!
I'm very surprised by this: The whole point of a 12-hole (or even 18-hole) bridge is so that the strings DON'T slip? I can't stand 6-hole these days (and the only string burn I've seen has been on 6-holes). Are you sure there wasn't a bit of misunderstanding here?

Cheers,
Steve
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Old 06-24-2021, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by steveh View Post
I'm very surprised by this: The whole point of a 12-hole (or even 18-hole) bridge is so that the strings DON'T slip? I can't stand 6-hole these days (and the only string burn I've seen has been on 6-holes). Are you sure there wasn't a bit of misunderstanding here?
I will clarify...I like the neatness of a 12 hole...but not the idea of it damaging the front.

I will reconsider mate, thanks.
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Past guitars from: Tom Sands (2), Stefan Sobell (2), Dana Bourgeois, Marc Beneteau, Nigel Forster, Peter Abnett, Avalon (3), Martin (4 - vintage & modern), Gibson, Taylor (2), Yamaha (3) and more...
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