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morningstar
09-09-2010, 07:09 AM
I want to know if I can have my acoustic guitar restrung with nylon strings and made into a classical guitar. I'm really attached to my guitar but I prefer the sound of a classical instrument to acoustic, so can it be done or do I need to buy a classical guitar?

itsme
09-09-2010, 09:20 AM
It's not going to work well. While you could conceivably put nylon strings on an acoustic without damaging it (unlike putting steel strings on a classical), acoustics are designed for higher tension steel strings and have thicker tops. The lower tension nylon strings will not cause the wood to vibrate properly and the sound will be very weak.

morningstar
09-09-2010, 09:27 AM
ah, in that case I think I'll find a nice new home for it :) I'd rather it be used to it's proper potential than be ruined or just sit in my corner

:D thanks for the advice!

JohnnyRockers
09-11-2010, 07:56 AM
Well another problem you would run into is the fact that the sizes of classical and acoustic guitar necks are different. Acoustic guitar necks are much more narrow, plus they are longer than that of a classical guitar.

And, as mentioned, the tensions of the necks are set up different, so I don't see it working out well.

Not to mention the mechanical part of actually installing the strings - steel strings use little balls at the end that you wedge in, whereas classical guitar strings need to be tied on. Plus I don't know if the winders on the acoustic guitar would hold the nylon strings.

farmerboy
09-11-2010, 11:37 AM
just for the sake of continuing the discussion - it is possible to get ball end nylon strings (used to sell them in a music shop I worked in), but they're rare. I agree wholeheartedly, though. Nylons on a steel strung guitar just won't work out for you. Give up on the idea now and go to a garage sale (or car-boot sale in the UK) and pick up a classical for 5 or 10 second hand.

itsme
09-11-2010, 01:16 PM
Well another problem you would run into is the fact that the sizes of classical and acoustic guitar necks are different. Acoustic guitar necks are much more narrow, plus they are longer than that of a classical guitar.

Not to mention the mechanical part of actually installing the strings - steel strings use little balls at the end that you wedge in, whereas classical guitar strings need to be tied on.
One of my ukes does use bridge pins like you'd find on an acoustic guitar. To use standard uke strings you tie a couple knots at the end to act like a ball that the bridge pin holds in place.

I recently had a bridge pin fly out and still haven't found it. :o I found some spares for my Ibanez acoustic guitar and it fit the uke, so I imagine the same setup could work with regular nylon strings on an acoustic with bridge pins.

You are right about the neck. Classicals have wider necks (and more space between the strings) to facilitate fingerpicking. And classical necks join the body at the 12th fret, whereas acoustic necks join at the 14th.

Another adjustment that might be necessary would be widening the slots in the nut to prevent the thicker nylon strings from sliding out of the slots meant for thinner steel strings.


just for the sake of continuing the discussion - it is possible to get ball end nylon strings (used to sell them in a music shop I worked in), but they're rare.
Most of the ball end nylons I've seen use a fairly large bead designed to prevent the string from sliding through the holes you'd normally be wrapping the string thru. I think they might not fit in the bridge pin slots of an acoustic.

jimmybookout
10-30-2010, 09:05 AM
You might want to try silk and steel strings for the heck of it. Martin makes good silk and steel strings and GHS makes a set called Silk and Bronze which I prefer over the Martins.

Jimmy

wolf69
12-25-2010, 01:41 PM
I strung once a Parlor with ball end nylon strings, but the sound was very weak, is not a good idea

Tor
12-26-2010, 07:23 AM
Restringing a steel-string guitar with nylons won't work out well, even extra-high-tension strings will deliver far too little tension to move a top designed for steel. You will also most probably run into intonation problems because steel strings have a higher relative mass difference between the strings than nylon strings (among other things), so they intone differently when you move up the fretboard. So, on steel-stringed acoustic guitars the bridge is set up so that the saddle is angled relative to the soundboard, while on nylons (classical guitar) the saddle is practically perpendicular (like on an ukulele). Which means that if you put nylon strings on a steel-string guitar the E/D/A strings will sound flat as you move up the fretboard. So, the guitar will not ring (too little tension), and intone badly.. conclusion: Keep the steel stringer as-is, and get a second guitar: A classic nylon (it's legal to own more than one instrument.. for many years I lived under the assumption that one couldn't really have more than one at the time, what a mistake!).

Btw, Lowden Guitars make some guitars which look like acoustic steel string guitars (narrow neck etc.) but are actually nylon string guitars. At least they used to have some models like that, some years ago I tried one out in a shop in Denmark Street in London, and it had a lovely sound and great playability. I should have bought it but I didn't. A mistake.