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  #16  
Old 06-22-2021, 05:47 AM
Tannin Tannin is offline
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Rudy4, Redir, and TBman, those look like great resources, thank you. (And a useful video Rudy4.) Charles Tauber those are great questions!

What do I want from playing a nylon string guitar? Variety. Growth. I like playing different instruments and finding ways to make them sing. Or - really the same thing but expressed the other way around - exploring the new possibilities a different sound and a different instrument suggest to me.

Do I want to play classical repertoire? No. I like classical music - Mozart, Haydn, Janáček, and Shostakovich are favourites - but have no wish to play it.

Do I want to play the same repertoire I now play on steel strings but with a nylon string sound? In broad, yes. But it evolves as I write new stuff, and the old stuff morphs as I think of new ways to play it or explore it on different instruments.

Do I want to play the same way I play now - using the same technique - on steel strings, but now on nylon? Now that is an interesting question! I don't know! I guess I want to use a *similar* technique, or the same one from a broad-brush point of view, but expect it to change in detail as I get to know a different instrument. I guess I'm expecting something a little akin to learning to play baritone or 12-string after playing 6-string. They are the same but they are different.

Answers to those questions will guide you on whether to get a nylon string guitar and whether or not to buy a steel string player's nylon string guitar or a traditional "classical" guitar. I understand. I think I want to steer a middle course on this, but I'll play some examples before deciding. I don't mind spending a bit and I want a guitar I enjoy playing. I used to be a bass player years ago, and I still hit the strings quite hard, so I might have to adapt to moderately high action. On the other hand, volume is of no consequence. We will see.

Rick-slo you are making sense. The reality is that I have several excellent instruments lying around the place already; any instrument I add has to be nice enough to get my attention or it won't get played. I'll certainly keep my eyes open for a nice used classical guitar, but living where I do I'm not very likely to see one. Possibly I can pick something up if I make a trip to Melbourne sometime - Melbourne is 25 times bigger than Hobart so there is lots more to choose from, but it takes a four hour drive and a $500 overnight ferry trip to get there, and then getting around the sprawling suburbs takes forever. Maybe if I can combine it with a family visit. I play my own stuff, so classical repertoire isn't on the radar. (I did play covers in a wedding band many years ago, but that was for money. Different thging.)

Don, that's a great post, very encouraging. I'm not a strummer at all these days, only fingers. I do have it in the back of my mind to learn some odd bits of flamenco strumming technique one of these days (for dropping into songs as accent and variety), but that's only an idle thought at this stage.

Douglas, thank you for reminding me of Kremona. I had vaguely heard of the company before when looking at steel string guitars (of which they make only a few) and it turns out that their nylons are fairly widely distributed in this country (though not in this small state). Furch guitars, curiously enough, are rare to very rare In Australia, and typically overpriced. I don't know why.

Great tip, Darkwave. Yes,

JonWer. Good info, thanks. I knew about MIJ Yamahas. They are out of my target price range, the ones I see advertised are in the $5000 AUD bracket; I'm thinking between $1000 and $2000 AUD as a rough guide. (About $700 to $1500 USD.) But there are other Japanese-made guitars around the $2000 mark; Takamine for one. I didn't know about Cordoba manufacturing in Spain and the US. I looked up the USA-made ones, same sort of stratospheric prices as MIJ Yamahas. Cordoba Espana Series guitars are rare here; I could only find two listed for sale, one in Sydney 1600 km away, the other in Brisbane, 900km further north. They are going for between $2500 and $3000, so not out of the question. But my local Maton dealer also sells Guild and Cordoba, so they could certainly get something in for me. Something to bear in mind.

Cheers Gordon. I'll be playing my own originals as always, blending any of classic rock, jazz, blues, and folk, and ... well, I think of it as letting the instrument guide me where it wants to go. Different instruments draw me in different musical directions, which is the whole point of having them. When you say that "a classical guitar doesn't work well for jazz, latin and folk", what are the things that make the difference?

Thanks RMP. Yep, I'm fingerstyle only these last few years. I think the main message I'm getting from your thoughts is that I need to try things for myself. That's going to be a little awkward living where I do, but there is no hurry. And who knows? I could try out a wide variety of different instruments over the next 12 months and eventually decide that nylon isn't for me, or I could try something out next Friday and fall in love with it on the spot.

I'll post more when I know more.

Thanks heaps all!
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  #17  
Old 06-22-2021, 06:55 AM
Caddy Caddy is offline
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It was said that nylon string guitars are not good for folk. Peter, Paul & Mary did pretty well using them for folk (even if it was pop folk it sounded pretty good).

During my college years back in the mid/late 60's I played with another guy and a girl singer doing folk music. Both of us played nylon string guitars and it sounded great. We referred to ourselves as the poor man's P, P and Mary. Played a lot of sorority and fraternity parties and concerts on campus and had a lot of fun doing it. On many songs we finger picked and on some one or both of us strummed and it worked out well.

Willie Nelson seems to do well playing a variety of music types playing with nylon strings. I think they can be more versatile that some think. Back when I gigged solo doing mostly originals I used a nylon string guitar for quite a few songs (mostly finger picked).
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  #18  
Old 06-22-2021, 07:07 AM
RoyBoy RoyBoy is offline
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Hi Tannin,
I built a classical guitar with a Florentine cutaway 40 years ago as I was really into Jobim and Bossa Nova. Newly retired, I have the time to rejuvenate it now and am getting back into jazz. The biggest difference with nylon strings is that they are so expressive. In that regard, I've found cheaper classicals to be uninspiring.

I fear you may be challenged to find a good grade guitar within your budget range. I would recommend looking for an older classical guitar, perhaps a less-known maker. You'll definitely want to sight down the neck with an older guitar as traditionally, they don't have truss rods. If its bowed badly, pass.

Higher action is normal, generally 4mm - 3mm but it's not as big of a deal as you'd think because it takes so much less effort to fret the strings. Speaking of which, be prepared for some experimentation. There are lots of options, faster paced music may be easier to play on medium tension or high tension strings. Also, I've found nails to be more critical for nylon strings.

As for genres, a standard classical works for just about everything but Flamenco. Many fine jazz and Latin players do their thing on a nice classical guitar with appropriate strings. Enjoy the journey!
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  #19  
Old 06-22-2021, 07:32 AM
EvanB EvanB is online now
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I've been as interested in nylon string guitars as I am in playing them; I've traveled through 50 of them. I find their long history and continual evolution to be fascinating.

I like having a quality instrument but I do not associate cost with quality. For example I use my brother-in-laws expensive Ramirez as a comparison point but find that a Cordoba at less than half the cost sounds just as good.

For someone just starting out with nylon I recommend picking up any reasonably priced instrument made by a reliable company. It may not have the projection and tonal qualities of a $10,000 instrument, but it will offer the feel and warmth of nylon strung guitars, will be a start.

that's my 2 cents
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  #20  
Old 06-22-2021, 08:14 AM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvanB View Post
I've been as interested in nylon string guitars as I am in playing them; I've traveled through 50 of them. I find their long history and continual evolution to be fascinating.

I like having a quality instrument but I do not associate cost with quality. For example I use my brother-in-laws expensive Ramirez as a comparison point but find that a Cordoba at less than half the cost sounds just as good.

For someone just starting out with nylon I recommend picking up any reasonably priced instrument made by a reliable company. It may not have the projection and tonal qualities of a $10,000 instrument, but it will offer the feel and warmth of nylon strung guitars, will be a start.

that's my 2 cents
A lot of truth here.

I don't tend to play my nylon all that much, but when I do I'm always amazed at the tonality and resonance such a simple instrument can produce. My Cordoba Orchestra Fusion is also light as a feather.

Focusing on what type of music is best suited for nylon strung guitar is going to limit anyone unnecessarily. You can play anything you want, and the only person it has to please is you.

Probably an overused example, but Willy Nelson plays all sorts of music on his nylon and it doesn't seem to have limited his abilities.
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  #21  
Old 06-22-2021, 08:51 AM
EvanB EvanB is online now
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I think nylon is particularly nice if you're using it as vocal accompaniment: It doesn't overpower the voice and it's mellow. And, if you want to rock and scream, get a nylon string guitar that plugs in and dial in some distortion--awesome stuff.
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  #22  
Old 06-22-2021, 08:53 AM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tannin View Post
I think I want to steer a middle course on this, but I'll play some examples before deciding.
From your description of what you want from it, it sounds like a crossover instrument might best suit you. It's always best to play instruments and decide based on what you've liked of what you've played.
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  #23  
Old 06-22-2021, 03:01 PM
EvanB EvanB is online now
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There's an interesting Kremona crossover just listed in the classifieds, it seems to meet the needs suggested.
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  #24  
Old 06-24-2021, 04:02 AM
Tannin Tannin is offline
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Cheers all. I'll get out and play a few examples over the next little while. Crossover, traditional, various price points and timbers, get a feel for what I like. (If any, of course.) I said $1000-$2000 AUD but I can be flexible for the right instrument.

Evan, your Kremona would indeed be interesting if it was about 15,000 kilometres closer! There are none in this state but shops in the other capital cities which stock them; I'll be sure to have a look if I do any travelling soon.
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Tacoma Thunderhawk baritone, spruce & maple.
Maton SRS60C, cedar & Queensland Maple.
Maton Messiah 808, spruce & rosewood.
Cole Clark Angel 3, Huon Pine & silkwood.
Cole Clark Fat Lady 2 12-string, Bunya & Blackwood.
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  #25  
Old 06-25-2021, 12:44 AM
Always Learning Always Learning is offline
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Default Think Spain

Tannin,

1)You say all your steel string are "higher end" makes and models

If you want a well made true Spanish Style Nylon guitar. I would suggest you google Amalio Burguet guitars (site below)

https://www.burguet.com/english/

I own a beautiful 1996 2M Studio model, solid rosewood back and sides, cedar top (nice warm tone), cedar neck with ebony fret board. It is a delight to play. I paid a little over 1600 US for it back then. Worth every penny too.

https://www.burguet.com/english/producto/2m-clasica/

The nice thing about Burguet guitars is that they are not factory made. They are made in a small Spanish Luthier shop. They are built in the traditional way, the woods are select and are aged 20 years or more before going into the making of the instrument. The wood is air dried not kiln dried. The wood has had years to stabilize and acquire it's playing characteristics. It's is true classical style 52mm nut, 650 scale (nut to saddle). The neck is a true "D" shape with a flat fingerboard. And there is no truss rod like the factory made guitars that use woods that are only several years old and kiln dried. In place of a truss rod for stability there is a 1/4" strip of ebony running the back length from the heel to head-stock. A real well made classical guitar doesn't need a truss rod. Number one reason is that nylon strings don't exert as much tension on the bridge and neck. As for sound.. the selection of strings is very important.

Burguets are hard to find in shops here in the states. They are mostly sold in Europe and England. But used ones are sometimes advertised on the Reverb web site. And a nice mint 2M can probably be had for 1500 to 1600 US. Again IMHO well worth it.

Here is a link to a 2010 build in "good" condition ...

https://reverb.com/item/37774069-ama...iABEgJu7fD_BwE

Best of luck
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  #26  
Old 06-25-2021, 08:50 AM
mtdmind mtdmind is offline
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I play steel string, electric, and nylon stringers. They are all like different colors on a pallet. I have a very nice luthier made classical and can attest to enjoying a fine instrument. However, I find that the better Cordobas , Takamines, and Kremonas are also very nice instruments too. The Taylor nylons are also nice if one prefers a more narrow neck .
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  #27  
Old 06-29-2021, 03:28 AM
Miguel_Guitar Miguel_Guitar is offline
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Default Godin Multiac Encore Nylon-String Classical Acoustic-Electric Guitar

These guitars are amazing , "Godin Multiac Encore Nylon-String Classical Acoustic-Electric Guitar"
It's a semi acoustic Nylon with a nice comfortable neck , as oppose to traditional Classical Guitar Tank . I play Flamenco and Classical I must say Godin is one of a kind . Check it out

https://www.ebay.com/itm/17481560751...xoCllsQAvD_BwE
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  #28  
Old 06-29-2021, 05:46 AM
Tannin Tannin is offline
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Thanks Miguel, Mtmind, and Always Learning. This is all useful information.

It will be a while before I go any further ahead with this - as mentioned above, the handful of shops in this small state have plenty of steel-string acoustics to choose from, but very little in nylon, so I need to travel interstate to try some instruments out. For the obvious reasons, most interstate travel is paused at present. Most likely I'll slip across to Melbourne in the early spring. I've gone about 50 years without a nylon-struing guitar, so a few more months won't do any harm.
__________________
Tacoma Thunderhawk baritone, spruce & maple.
Maton SRS60C, cedar & Queensland Maple.
Maton Messiah 808, spruce & rosewood.
Cole Clark Angel 3, Huon Pine & silkwood.
Cole Clark Fat Lady 2 12-string, Bunya & Blackwood.
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