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  #1  
Old 01-14-2020, 10:18 PM
BlackHeart BlackHeart is offline
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Exclamation Turning Classical guitar into Steel String?

OK, so I would like to retop a classical guitar with an X braced Adi top, and hopefully truss-rod the neck, (might reduce it a bit) but WHAT problems will I encounter with a standard classical to steel redo?
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Old 01-14-2020, 10:25 PM
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Just a thought before you do anything - have you tried Thomastik-Infeld 'John Pearse' Folk strings on the classical guitar?

Concept was by John Pearse and the aim was to produce a string set with a more steel string sound for nylon string guitars.

Unusual - all 6 strings are wound.

Can't say they achieve what they set out for but .. they're definitely not like traditional nylon strings .. I really like them.

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Old 01-14-2020, 10:38 PM
BlackHeart BlackHeart is offline
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Very cool. That would theoretically save some time for sure. But, in the end, Id like a real steel OM size guitar with an adi top anyway, but Im worried about the neck joint among other issues.
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Old 01-14-2020, 10:47 PM
redir redir is offline
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If you want a learning experience then it might be worth doing but I would not expect to get an OM guitar out of it. You certainly will end up with some sort of steel string guitar anyway. And done right it could sound pretty good. But again if this is for fun and learning and the classical guitar is a Junker-ish then go for it but don't expect to save money or end up with an OM guitar.
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Old 01-15-2020, 08:57 AM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackHeart View Post
OK, so I would like to retop a classical guitar with an X braced Adi top, and hopefully truss-rod the neck, (might reduce it a bit) but WHAT problems will I encounter with a standard classical to steel redo?
A full re-top, adding a truss rod, narrowing the neck, changing to a radiused fretboard, and the need to change rollered tuners to something that is meant for steel string use is going to be more work than simply building a new guitar. That would be one of the problems you would encounter. It would keep you off the streets, though...
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Old 01-15-2020, 08:59 AM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucebubs View Post
Just a thought before you do anything - have you tried Thomastik-Infeld 'John Pearse' Folk strings on the classical guitar?

Concept was by John Pearse and the aim was to produce a string set with a more steel string sound for nylon string guitars.

Unusual - all 6 strings are wound.

Can't say they achieve what they set out for but .. they're definitely not like traditional nylon strings .. I really like them.

Hi Bruce,
I'm curious why you tied the ball end strings. There must have been a reason why you opted for that?
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Old 01-15-2020, 10:28 AM
printer2 printer2 is offline
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Easier going the other way, steel to nylon. So pull frets, take an iron and heat off the fretboard. A jig to run a router down the center of the neck for the truss rod slot. Take a router to the inside of the top to cut it out. A jig and router or careful work with a chisel to get the rest of the top off. Make the top and drop in, some purfling and binding. Plug the tuner holes and redrill. Install truss rod, attach fretboard. Fret markers? A little bit of finishing?

No problem.
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Old 01-15-2020, 11:15 AM
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Bruce Sexauer Bruce Sexauer is offline
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Classical guitars are 00 size, OM guitars are 000 size. Classical guitars usually have much longer string length than SS guitar’s. Classical guitars are usually built top-up, while most SS guitar’s are built back-up, which makes top replacement somewhat more challenging.
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Old 01-15-2020, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudy4 View Post
Hi Bruce,
I'm curious why you tied the ball end strings. There must have been a reason why you opted for that?
It has always been my understanding that the bridges on classical nylon string guitars were not designed for ball-end strings.

I have seen where the continuous use of ball-ends on these bridges damages and enlarges the holes at the rear and weakens the structure to the point that the top of the bridge breaks off.

That guitar pictured is now 48 years old and has always used tied strings - bridge and string holes are still in excellent condition.

I did own a Taylor 422 steel string with a pinless bridge but I'm guessing they use a much harder wood than most classical nylon string guitars.
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1972 - Takamine D-70
1980 - Morris B-50
2002 - Guild F-412
2009 - Martin Grand J12-40E Special
2011 - Martin JDP 2 #71/71
2014 - Alvarez ABT60 Baritone
2015 - Kittis RBJ-195 Jumbo
2012 - Dan Dubowski#61
2012 - Epiphone EJ-200/N
2012 - Huss & Dalton MJ Custom
2018 - Rickenbacker 4003 Fireglo

Last edited by Brucebubs; 01-15-2020 at 02:34 PM.
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