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what would you do here?


slimt

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I'd leave it as is. as you must for sure know, the design of the top, the bridge, and internal bracing will not support steel string tension, and to make it so it would, IMO, would be very much,, not worth the trouble.

 

I'd slap a new set of Savarez or some other good nylon string set on there, let them stretch out and settle for a few days, and just play it.

 

Everyone should have at least 1 decent classical guitar.

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It does not need a new neck and the top is fine.. but it would sure make a killer steel string.. full depth body

 

You might be surprised how much fun it is to sit around and fingerpick on the nylon stringed classical type guitar. I hadn't had one in about 35 or 40 years and ran across an inexpensive Alvarez. I've had a blast playing it and are always looking for excuses to work it into concert performances. I would say enjoy that guitar for what it is.

 

As you mention in the OP, converting it to steel strings is such a major structural project, by the time you get done, the guitar will have lost any and all of it's original characteristics. When I was 12 or 13 I just strung up the family classical with Slinkys. You should have seen what happened to that guitar over a very short period on time.

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I'm with the others: you risk messing up a really good top and the integrity of the joins between top and sides, just because you hanker after a(nother?) steel-strung guitar with Brazilian back and sides. But nylon strings merit good wood as much as steel ones, and I'm not sure a converted classical will give you the sound you're after. Somebody else might cherish this instrument as is, however.

 

My advice? Keep it as is, Slim, and use it to set up as a Leonard Cohen tribute act. Serious growth potential in that business model. Maybe even enough to earn you the means to buy a dedicated steel string with Brazilian b&s.

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As you mention in the OP, converting it to steel strings is such a major structural project, by the time you get done, the guitar will have lost any and all of it's original characteristics. When I was 12 or 13 I just strung up the family classical with Slinkys. You should have seen what happened to that guitar over a very short period on time.

 

My first guitar was a Mexican classical that I switched over to steel strings. I would say the action at the 12th fret was about 5/16" as a result, maybe more.

 

But I developed great calluses on my fingers, and really learned to press down hard! It was amazing to discover later that on the right steel-strung guitar, it didn't take brute force to fret a string.

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