N-30DC Nylon Hybrid Classical Style Guitar
For many years customers have asked if their steel string guitar can be set up with nylon strings.
The answer is yes, but it will not sound good. Of course, the tension is less, so there are no structural issues caused by putting nylon strings on a steel string guitar. But it's simply not designed for nylon strings. A steel string guitar was designed for steel strings. It has strong internal reinforsement to accomodate the stress and the many pounds of pressure exerted by the combination of six steel strings. And thus this added reinforsement will dull the tone and volume if nylon strings are used.
Six nylon strings create less tension and pull, thus internal bracing and soundboard woods are layed out and cut different. Otherwise the top soundboard cannot vibrate properly, and the tone and volume will not be good.
Some of the designs of a traditional "classical" guitar are easier to play, and the tone is soft and warm.
Thus some of the major guitar manufacturers started making what was named a "crossover" or "nylon hybrid" guitar. They were modifications of both a classical nylon string guitar and a steel string guitar. What resulted was a combination of the two. We liked the idea and decided a few years ago to begin research and prototypes of our N-30DC Nylon Hybrid Guitar.
Traditionally a classical guitar was named "classical" because the musician used it to play traditional classical music. And so, in conjunction with luthiers (guitar makers), they designed what has been known for several hundred years now as a "Classical" Guitar. And the design and specifications have rarely deviated for hundreds of years. Classical Guitarists seem to be happy with this, or they just go along with what's "traditional." Changes come slow.
However, we wanted a steel string guitar with the playability of a nylon string guitar. This included the ease and tonal warmth of nylon strings. We took some ideas from what was already on the market, and came up with our own.
Let's take a look at the design of a traditional classical guitar. Normally it's 15" or 381mm wide at the lower bout. Usually we find that the body is not a cutaway, and most expensive classical guitars are made of rosewood with a spruce top (though Cedar is becoming acceptable). It has a flat fingerboard, a 2 inch (48mm) wide nut, and a slotted headstock.
That's it. From $99 to $30,000, the specs are usually the same. The materials are obviously different, from cheap to expensive, and of course, a wide range of construction quality. But otherwise, the design has not changed for hundreds of years. And most "classical" guitarists are ok with this.
And we are ok with it too, but that's not what we wanted to make.
So we took some designs and specifications of a traditional classical guitar, and modified it for a steel string player. Please note that we understand this will not be acceptable for most classical guitarists, whether they rationalize that the changes are practical or not. And we know that the adjustments will be considered unprofessional in the world of classical guitar luthery. But again, the N-30DC is designed for steel string players who want the tone and feel of nylon strings.
The N-30DC is a long scale neck (25.4") and the body meets the neck at the 12th fret.
Thus we felt it would be best to have a cutaway body. We figured that many of our customers playing this particular guitar are not three chords players, and will probably play high up the fingerboard, and thus appreciate the cutaway body.
On occasion someone will ask if the cutaway body will greatly hinder tone and volume by the removal of a large space in the body chamber.
For one, the area is not large, and it's important to consider what area? It's the least percussive part of the soundboard.
If someone was blind folded, and asked to play a cutaway and non cutaway of the exact same guitar, it's doubtful they would know the difference. Sometimes we just hear what we want to hear.
Another untraditional design of the N-30DC is a radiused fingerboard. Again, this is what steel string players prefer. Classical guitars insist that, because they are fingering notes up and down the fingerboard, as opposed to barring chords, that a flat fingerboard is more practical. And again, that's ok. But probably the radiused fingerboard would work just as good for "classical" music, however when we are taught a certain way, and then practice for years a certain way, it's difficult to change. And that's ok. We just wanted to make a nylon string guitar for steel string players.
Another modification is the nut spacing. It's 1 7/8" rather than the traditional 2" width. We figured that 1 7/8" would allow a little more room for the vibration of nylon strings so they are not banging into each other, and also for people like me with fat fingers, to be able to move between strings. But not the full two inches commonly found in a "classical" guitar.
Our N-30DC does have the traditional slotted headstock, which practically speaking exerts more of a downward pressure at the headstock from the nut, for a slightly stronger projection.
The N-30DC tuners are Grover model 306. We could have used tuners from Germany, Japan, or the US, but the Grover tuners are just as good. There are cheaper ones we could use, but the ones we are using seem to work good.
This is the dream guitar for the steel string guitar player wanting the ease of playability and warmth of a nylon string guitar.
|Model||N-30DC Nylon Hybrid Guitar|
|Dimensions||Box - 48x20x9|
|Package Includes||Hardshell arched top wooden case- Oasis Humidifier Custom setup & Insured Shipping|