PDA

View Full Version : Could a Steel String Guitarlele Work?



khal
06-29-2014, 01:16 AM
I love guitarlele. I have a Gretsch. The 17" scale is perfect.

I know that steel strings can be problematic on a short scale instrument. The Tacoma Papoose is the shortest decent instrument I've seen.

Do you think an acoustic 6 string guitarlele with steel strings would sound good and be playable?

Kim

Wicked
06-29-2014, 02:14 AM
Mandolins and mandolas seem to work just fine. So do the several Latin American short scale, steel string instruments. So, yes, a steel string guitalele should work fine.

Jim Hanks
06-29-2014, 02:40 AM
I see 19" scale advertised as 1/4 size guitar
http://www.smallguitars.com/results.php?CategoryID=9

Edit: I see the Papoose is also 19":
http://www.elderly.com/new_instruments/items/PAPOOSE.htm

I'll bet Blue Star Guitar could build you a 17" 6-string. Oh wait, you said acoustic.

Bao
06-29-2014, 04:40 AM
I remember someone saying you can get EADGBE tuning on a guitalele if you use steel strings. Don't take my word for it and try it out though.

iamesperambient
06-29-2014, 04:56 AM
I love guitarlele. I have a Gretsch. The 17" scale is perfect.

I know that steel strings can be problematic on a short scale instrument. The Tacoma Papoose is the shortest decent instrument I've seen.

Do you think an acoustic 6 string guitarlele with steel strings would sound good and be playable?

Kim

all a guitarlele is, is s shortscale guitar (aka like a guitar with a 5 capo on the 5th fret). So yes they would be able to make a 'guitarele' with steel strings and have it be fine but than it would be even more like a guitar than a uke.

iamesperambient
06-29-2014, 04:57 AM
I see 19" scale advertised as 1/4 size guitar
http://www.smallguitars.com/results.php?CategoryID=9

Edit: I see the Papoose is also 19":
http://www.elderly.com/new_instruments/items/PAPOOSE.htm

I'll bet Blue Star Guitar could build you a 17" 6-string. Oh wait, you said acoustic.


He has a photo on his site of an acoustic, (not for sale) but i bet he would make a custom
acoustic i dont see why not.

Dane
06-29-2014, 06:45 AM
If you're asking about putting steel strings on your guilele, DON'T DO THAT. It will damage the instrument.

If you're asking if it would be possible, I'm sure it could be, but the instrument would need a different construction, and would be quite a bit heavier.

Personally, I don't care for the sound of steel string acoustics. So I would say no, it wouldn't sound good. But there are people who love that sound, and I'm sure they would say the opposite.

iamesperambient
06-29-2014, 10:34 AM
If you're asking about putting steel strings on your guilele, DON'T DO THAT. It will damage the instrument.

If you're asking if it would be possible, I'm sure it could be, but the instrument would need a different construction, and would be quite a bit heavier.

Personally, I don't care for the sound of steel string acoustics. So I would say no, it wouldn't sound good. But there are people who love that sound, and I'm sure they would say the opposite.



what i gather from their question is can a steel stringed 'guitarele' be made. aka a smaller childs guitar with steel strings tuned higher
and yes thats totally possible, why you would want it? no idea. I think the only thing that makes a guitarele semi appealing (and id rather just have a uke for my taste) is the nylon strings.

kissing
06-29-2014, 04:21 PM
Electric ones certainly exist such as the Epiphone Pee-Wee and one by Samick.

Risa had one once upon a time:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Em41s2AUo4

iamesperambient
06-29-2014, 04:41 PM
Electric ones certainly exist such as the Epiphone Pee-Wee and one by Samick.

Risa had one once upon a time:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Em41s2AUo4


just as all RISA ukes are this one is very nice i could see the appeal for this one.

Dane
06-29-2014, 04:51 PM
I didn't know risa made those, what a bummer I never got to pick one up. They made a stick version too for nylon:

http://www.elderly.com/new_instruments/items/images/30N/RGS.jpg

iamesperambient
06-29-2014, 04:57 PM
I didn't know risa made those, what a bummer I never got to pick one up. They made a stick version too for nylon:

http://www.elderly.com/new_instruments/items/images/30N/RGS.jpg

i love their les paul and bean and other electric designs but never liked the way the stick looked, just cant get into it. I wonder if you could find a used risa guitarele somewhere i feel like it could be a really cool useful instrument.

kissing
06-29-2014, 11:42 PM
They occasionally pop up in eBay


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWvx7umCdjc

iamesperambient
06-30-2014, 09:07 AM
They occasionally pop up in eBay


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWvx7umCdjc

do you know why they stopped making the bean shaped one?, thats something worth saving for pretty
unique instrument.

katysax
06-30-2014, 09:33 AM
The Tacoma Papoose is essentially a steel string guitalele. Not made any more but can still be found used. It's a great little instrument.

iamesperambient
06-30-2014, 09:38 AM
The Tacoma Papoose is essentially a steel string guitalele. Not made any more but can still be found used. It's a great little instrument.

any links? im interested in this RISA one a lot really sad it doesn't seem i'd be able to find one and save for it being their not made
and i dont make enough to buy one on the whim if i saw one used :/

Dane
06-30-2014, 02:21 PM
The only Tacoma Papoose I found was a 12 string with a 19" scale.

https://reverb.com/item/166366-tacoma-papoose-112?gclid=CjkKEQjwlcSdBRD3wva3-KOAo80BEiQAjNIhiaFoJ1bSmz-4JoDV7UKw9IFZVtyO6BAWfB4ISOTjWKLw_wcB

iamesperambient
06-30-2014, 02:57 PM
The only Tacoma Papoose I found was a 12 string with a 19" scale.

https://reverb.com/item/166366-tacoma-papoose-112?gclid=CjkKEQjwlcSdBRD3wva3-KOAo80BEiQAjNIhiaFoJ1bSmz-4JoDV7UKw9IFZVtyO6BAWfB4ISOTjWKLw_wcB

looks awesome!

iamesperambient
07-01-2014, 08:37 PM
Thanks to ambient, I checked out the Blue Star site. One of the products there is a 22 inch travel guitar with steel strings based on a fender musicmaster guitar. It seems to be priced around $450 for the base model. If you do a search on "fender musicmaster" there are others who make this type of 3/4 electric guitar. Maybe if there is enough interest Fender itself would start to make them again, noting that if you look at the current Fender catalogue it does include some small guitars with a different name and maybe a re-make of the basic 1950s model may not be cheap unless it is made in numbers.

Bruce at blue star is an amazing luthier.
I own one of his creations a konablaster electric
baritone uke and i love it. I'm sure if you contact
him he can make you a custom electric guitarele
hes very nice and fair priced and makes only the
best quality instruments all hand made in the usa!

Gray2267
07-29-2017, 06:10 AM
Guys, I've got a 3/4 size guitarle with steel strings tuned adgcea. If you want pics or a video etc let me know and I'll tell you how I did it

Booli
07-29-2017, 10:56 AM
Guys, I've got a 3/4 size guitarle with steel strings tuned adgcea. If you want pics or a video etc let me know and I'll tell you how I did it

Just FYI- last activity on this thread was over 3 yrs ago and many of those folks have not been active here on the forum for quite some time, so no sure you will get a meaningful reply from anyone who has written in this thread...since likely they have moved on and are not involved here much, if at all, any more since then.

uke51
07-29-2017, 05:19 PM
Ibanez makes a 17" scale steel string "guitarlele": Ibanez EWP14, called a "Piccolo " guitar.
It's laminated

Booli
07-30-2017, 12:18 AM
Ibanez makes a 17" scale steel string "guitarlele": Ibanez EWP14, called a "Piccolo " guitar.
It's laminated

I played one of these in a local music shop a few weeks ago, and commented previously, which I have copied below for the sake of fluid conversation and not have to leave this thread, but links follow after the text if you want to see these comments in the original context.

"...if your desire is to string this and tune it in a standard guitar tuning EADGBE, at this scale length, your bass strings are going to be very fat diameter, like your low E string is going to be something like an 0.058" to 0.064" otherwise you can forget about intonation completely, because the typical 0.042"-0.052" "E" string on a standard acoustic guitar, thinner strings will not have enough density nor tension and likely be about 8 cents sharp all the way up the neck starting from the 1st or 2nd fret, and on an acoustic such as this, you simply do not have enough room to compensate the saddle for proper intonation, which is likely WHY they went with a higher tuning, and likely thinner strings, that can offer enough tension at that tuning such that it can intonate well and play in tune...." source here (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?128409-Veillette-Avanti-Gryphon-guitars&p=1983387#post1983387)

"...Ibanez also has a 17" scale length 6-string, steel string guilele type instrument, and I played one, and it sounded nice, but a 42mm nut width is near impossible for me to finger normal guitar chords due to the tight string-to-string spacing, and the intonation was really bad, like 15+ cents sharp all up the fretboard, and despite using medium gauge steel strings 10-52 (and tuned ADGCEA), really did not have enough tension to intonate well, and even with the typical slanted saddle for a steel string acoustic, it's not really possible to compensate enough in the maybe 3mm of the saddle breakpoint.

when I return to that shop I am going to buy a set of extra-heavy strings that has a 0.058" 'E' string and and ask them if I can test the strings on one of the demo models, and then see if it can intonate well and not sound thuddy and/or too quiet. If so, such an instrument would be a prime candidate for converting to a 5-string 5ths tunings either FCGDA (mandola/tenor guitar) or to CGDAE (octave mando)...and there should be a more comfortable string spacing with only 5 strings on it...." source here (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?128409-Veillette-Avanti-Gryphon-guitars&p=1983564#post1983564)

Patrick Madsen
07-30-2017, 09:49 PM
George Thomas guitars makes short scaled parlor guitars. He was building one with a 21.5" scale. I'm next on his list for a small body (13" lower bout) parlor. EIR back/sides with an old growth singer redwood top. He specializes in small bodied instruments.