Music Player Network
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Nylon String Acoustic/Electric Recommendations
#3050400 06/22/20 07:47 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 879
Likes: 10
Gold Member
OP Offline
Gold Member
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 879
Likes: 10
Greeting,

I am a long time member of the "Keyboard Corner" and my wife and I are starting our adventures in learning guitar. We both like the sound of classical, bossa, and flamenco guitar styles and we have a nice sounding Yamaha classical. The problem is the neck is so thick it hurts our hands after awhile. We are looking to find an acoustic/electric "classical" guitar with a much thinner neck, with the hope it will be easier to play. Our teacher has Ovation 1624 that feels very good to us, but it's out of our price range which is about $300. Any recommendations?

GP Island
Re: Nylon String Acoustic/Electric Recommendations
montunoman #3050407 06/22/20 08:21 PM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 2,028
Likes: 101
MP Hall of Fame Member
Online Content
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 2,028
Likes: 101
In that price range, you will want to look at used guitars. Consider posting on Craigslist what you are looking for and your price range. If you have anything you can trade sometimes that helps.

Yamaha NTX500 is a nice nylon string electric with the features you are looking for. I don't know about finding one for $300.
There are quite a few good brands, do some research online. Scan eBay, Reverb and Guitar Center used online and see what's available. Enter the brand and model number with the word "review" or "forum" and see what you can learn.
At the least, this will give you some familarity with your options.

I have a really nice Yamaha "hybrid" classical electric but I paid $700 for it, a return and I got a deal on it. Mine has the wider neck, which I prefer. A good friend has a Godin that looks sort of like a Fender Telecaster and it has the slimmer neck, he loves it and it sounds and plays great. Still, a bit spendy...

One of the reasons for a wider neck is that nylon strings will have lower tension and higher action in general than steel strings. With a slimmer neck it may become more difficult to chord cleanly unless you have slim fingers (I don't).
One workaround for that is to use Extra Hard Tension strings, the D'Addario Pro Arte are very good. The higher tension will allow lower action. Still much softer to the touch than steel strings.

Maybe your teacher knows somebody who might be selling something? Good luck!


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
1 member likes this: montunoman
Re: Nylon String Acoustic/Electric Recommendations
montunoman #3050413 06/22/20 08:47 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 879
Likes: 10
Gold Member
OP Offline
Gold Member
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 879
Likes: 10
Thank you Kuru. We are looking used, and it's pretty hard finding a electric/classical. Steel strings for sure dominant the market!

Re: Nylon String Acoustic/Electric Recommendations
montunoman #3050415 06/22/20 08:48 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 13,898
Likes: 32
CEB Online Content
10k Club
Online Content
10k Club
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 13,898
Likes: 32
Córdoba has guitars in a wide variety of price ranges. The ebony tuners are nice. The components are good. The necks are more playable than Yamaha They have a big variety of guitar types. Crossovers, Flamenco and Classical. I play out with my Gipsy Kings model which is a single cutaway electric Flamenco-esque model. It has traditional string spacing but the neck isn’t as deep.

It depends on your goals. I’d stay away from hybrids and crossovers if you intended to study classical or traditional Flamenco. GC is a Córdoba dealer and you can find some really good deals on used Córdoba guitars through the GC. The China models are well made. Customer Support is great. Córdoba owns Guild. They are from the same family.

If you are NOT focused on traditional Andalusian literature or classical then get whatever is comfortable. Picado and tremolo are a b**** on most hybrids.

Last edited by CEB; 06/22/20 08:57 PM.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!
So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt
Re: Nylon String Acoustic/Electric Recommendations
CEB #3050419 06/22/20 08:57 PM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 2,028
Likes: 101
MP Hall of Fame Member
Online Content
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 2,028
Likes: 101
Originally Posted by CEB
Córdoba has guitars in a wide variety of price ranges. The ebony tuners are nice. The components are good. The necks are more playable than Yamaha They have a big variety of guitar types. Crossovers, Flamenco and Classical. I play out with my Gypsy Kings model which is a single cutaway electric Flamenco-esque model

It depends on your goals. I’d stay away from hybrids and crossovers if you intended to study classical or traditional Flamenco. GC is a Córdoba dealer and you can find some really good deals on used Córdoba guitars through the GC. The China models are well made. Customer Support is great. Córdoba owns Guild. They are from the same family.

If you focused on tradition Andalusian literature or classical then get whatever is comfortable. Picado and tremolo are a b**** on most hybrids.

I've had a couple of Cordoba guitars and played or worked on a few, including a Gypsy King. They are good guitars too.

"The necks are more playable than Yamaha" - this is a very subjective statement. The setup needs to be done to the taste of the player, the right strings, etc.
I wouldn't say they aren't but I wouldn't say they are either. :- D


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Nylon String Acoustic/Electric Recommendations
montunoman #3050421 06/22/20 09:03 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 13,898
Likes: 32
CEB Online Content
10k Club
Online Content
10k Club
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 13,898
Likes: 32
I would if the player is a new to Andalusian music and they want to be nylon player but not a hardcore classical player. With Yamaha you are going to get either a deep classic profile. Or some hybrid thing meant for steel string players who want a nylon sound.


"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!
So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt
Re: Nylon String Acoustic/Electric Recommendations
montunoman #3050422 06/22/20 09:13 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 13,898
Likes: 32
CEB Online Content
10k Club
Online Content
10k Club
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 13,898
Likes: 32
You can find bargains if you look around some shops. The classical guitar I bought before college when Instarted studying under professor Wherman was made by a Japanese builder. I found it in a store for $50. Spruce top Brazilian back and sides... awesome neck. It was about an $800 guitar back then. There just wasn’t anybody around with much knowledge on classical guitars. The problem with the internet is all the guitar ships now have Google.

Last edited by CEB; 06/22/20 09:14 PM.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!
So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt
Re: Nylon String Acoustic/Electric Recommendations
CEB #3050424 06/22/20 09:28 PM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 2,028
Likes: 101
MP Hall of Fame Member
Online Content
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 2,028
Likes: 101
Originally Posted by CEB
I would if the player is a new to Andalusian music and they want to be nylon player but not a hardcore classical player. With Yamaha you are going to get either a deep classic profile. Or some hybrid thing meant for steel string players who want a nylon sound.

I read their post, where they said this "We are looking to find an acoustic/electric "classical" guitar with a much thinner neck, with the hope it will be easier to play"

I also noted that they liked the Ovation nylon string, which is certainly a hybrid.

So I offered a suggestion but will allow them to choose the guitar that they prefer. Pretty simple.

And yes, my Yamaha has a more traditional neck with a 12 fret neck joint. Many play and prefer the slimmer profiles and the 14 fret neck joint. Lots of players would like a radiused fingerboard instead of a flat one. That's fine with me as long as they are happy with it.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Nylon String Acoustic/Electric Recommendations
montunoman #3050456 06/23/20 12:33 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 5,521
Likes: 7
S
MP Hall of Fame Member
Online Content
MP Hall of Fame Member
S
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 5,521
Likes: 7
Look for used Godins. They tend to make their acoustic/electric hybrids with the electric player in mind.


Scott Fraser
Re: Nylon String Acoustic/Electric Recommendations
montunoman #3050553 06/23/20 04:12 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 879
Likes: 10
Gold Member
OP Offline
Gold Member
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 879
Likes: 10
Thank you guys for the recommendations. So far I'm looking at a used Yamaha NTX 700 for $380 and a used Cordoba C5CE for $275. Unfortunately we can't try these out in person and the most important thing for us is feel. A traditional classical guitar neck is too wide. Also the ability to plug into a speaker is important as we have some very good (but fairly loud) Latin percussionist in the family that like to come over to jam.

Someone was asking about what style of music.: We just want to back ourselves up as we sing boleros,bossa nova and popular Latin-pop type songs, and also keep up with basic classical guitar, jazz chords, and blues. We both don't use pics, just finger so nylon feels better to us, and we grew up the the nylon string sound. Thanks again!

Last edited by montunoman; 06/23/20 04:15 PM.
Re: Nylon String Acoustic/Electric Recommendations
montunoman #3050555 06/23/20 04:36 PM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 2,028
Likes: 101
MP Hall of Fame Member
Online Content
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 2,028
Likes: 101
Originally Posted by montunoman
Thank you guys for the recommendations. So far I'm looking at a used Yamaha NTX 700 for $380 and a used Cordoba C5CE for $275. Unfortunately we can't try these out in person and the most important thing for us is feel. A traditional classical guitar neck is too wide. Also the ability to plug into a speaker is important as we have some very good (but fairly loud) Latin percussionist in the family that like to come over to jam.

Someone was asking about what style of music.: We just want to back ourselves up as we sing boleros,bossa nova and popular Latin-pop type songs, and also keep up with basic classical guitar, jazz chords, and blues. We both don't use pics, just finger so nylon feels better to us, and we grew up the the nylon string sound. Thanks again!


I owned and played a Cordoba C5CE, mine had the black finish. The width at the nut is 50mm (2"), pretty standard for a classical guitar and not slim. The Fishman pickup is pretty good, nylon string guitars tend to behave better with undersaddle pickups than steel string guitars. Still, the saddle is resting on the pickup, not on the bottom of the saddle slot - some of the acoustic sound is lost there. Some favor a cedar top, I find it a bit less responsive in the higher frequencies, boosting the treble after the fact in the preamp or amplifier simply doesn't capture the complexities in tone of a brighter top. Here is a link, the full specs will open to a button well down on the page. https://www.cordobaguitars.com/guitars/c5-ce/

The Yamaha has the slimmer neck of the two = 1 7/8ths. It also has a spruce top, typically that is a brighter tone wood. Here are the specs.
https://usa.yamaha.com/support/faq/guitars_basses/9136.html

I currently own the Yamaha NCX1200R, it replaced the Cordoba. Yamaha's NX models were built to the requested specifications of Rodrigo y Gabriella, a noted nylon string duo. The NTX models were desiged to Rodrigo's specs and the NCX models to Gabriella's specs. I like the wider neck and had an opportunity to buy the NCX1200R at a reasonable price ($700) so I got it. Not disappointed with it at all.

The one you are looking at has the features Rodrigo requested, including a slimmer neck.

The Yamaha you are looking at has the same pickup system as mine does. It is not an undersaddle transducer like the Fishman in the Cordoba, it is two transducers attached to the top underneath the bridge. This means the saddle is in direct contact with the bottom of the bridge slot, that improves the acoustic tone, response, etc. The NTX 700 also has the same preamp, with individual controls for the volume of the treble and bass strings. Mine sounds great plugged in direct without any of the un-natural or harsh transients typically generated by an undersaddle pickup.

Of these two, I would choose the Yamaha without hesitation, especially considering your request for a slimmer neck.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Nylon String Acoustic/Electric Recommendations
montunoman #3050574 06/23/20 05:46 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 879
Likes: 10
Gold Member
OP Offline
Gold Member
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 879
Likes: 10
Thank you K.P. for the details. Hopefully we can get the Yamaha, and it sounds like this particular Córdoba wouldn’t be good for us.

Re: Nylon String Acoustic/Electric Recommendations
montunoman #3050583 06/23/20 06:24 PM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 2,028
Likes: 101
MP Hall of Fame Member
Online Content
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 2,028
Likes: 101
Originally Posted by montunoman
Thank you K.P. for the details. Hopefully we can get the Yamaha, and it sounds like this particular Córdoba wouldn’t be good for us.

There are Cordoba guitars with spruce tops and slimmer necks. I am not sure about the undersaddle pickup but if everything else seems good I do like the Cordobas.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
1 member likes this: montunoman
Re: Nylon String Acoustic/Electric Recommendations
montunoman #3050612 06/23/20 08:42 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 879
Likes: 10
Gold Member
OP Offline
Gold Member
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 879
Likes: 10
I've heard the Cordoba Fusion would be good for what were looking for- a nylon acoustic/electric with a thin neck. I haven't found any used in our price range though. I'm hoping this Yamaha NTX 700 works out for us!

Re: Nylon String Acoustic/Electric Recommendations
montunoman #3050617 06/23/20 09:00 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 13,898
Likes: 32
CEB Online Content
10k Club
Online Content
10k Club
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 13,898
Likes: 32
The Córdoba acoustic electrics still use the Fishman Presys I think. I like them. It is both an under the saddle piezo combined with an internal mic and you get a blend control to determine how much of which you hear. The internal mic will feedback at loud volumes but it is great for acoustic only gigs. It’s what is in my Gipsy Kings. Only problem is the built in tuner will suck your battery dry if you leave the tuner on. I wish it had an auto shut-off.


"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!
So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt
Re: Nylon String Acoustic/Electric Recommendations
CEB #3050629 06/23/20 09:38 PM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 2,028
Likes: 101
MP Hall of Fame Member
Online Content
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 2,028
Likes: 101
Originally Posted by CEB
The Córdoba acoustic electrics still use the Fishman Presys I think. I like them. It is both an under the saddle piezo combined with an internal mic and you get a blend control to determine how much of which you hear. The internal mic will feedback at loud volumes but it is great for acoustic only gigs. It’s what is in my Gipsy Kings. Only problem is the built in tuner will suck your battery dry if you leave the tuner on. I wish it had an auto shut-off.

I have the Fishman Prefix in my Rainsong WS3000 12 string. Maybe they just changed the name but it has a blend from mic to piezo as well. And yes it's a good sounding pickup.
Not sure if it's just the graphite guitar but the mic picks up noises I didn't realize I was making, including the back of the neck "squeaking" a bit.

Mine doesn't have a tuner though, of all things to leave off a 12 string!!!!!


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Nylon String Acoustic/Electric Recommendations
montunoman #3050765 06/24/20 04:56 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 879
Likes: 10
Gold Member
OP Offline
Gold Member
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 879
Likes: 10
Hello again,

Unfortunately the used Yamaha NTX 700 goes over our budget with the shipping. I did find an NTX 500 that is actually under our budget. Is there much difference between the 700 and 500 models? Again, a thin neck for greater comfort is the number one priority.... Thanks!

Re: Nylon String Acoustic/Electric Recommendations
montunoman #3050768 06/24/20 05:22 PM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 2,028
Likes: 101
MP Hall of Fame Member
Online Content
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 2,028
Likes: 101
Originally Posted by montunoman
Hello again,

Unfortunately the used Yamaha NTX 700 goes over our budget with the shipping. I did find an NTX 500 that is actually under our budget. Is there much difference between the 700 and 500 models? Again, a thin neck for greater comfort is the number one priority.... Thanks!


The neck is also 1 7/8" at the nut. It does have a solid spruce top. The pickup is a Yamaha undersaddle instead of under the soundboard. I haven't played one so I can't comment on the tone.
Yamaha mentions a slimmer body, that makes it easier to play live since it won't be as prone to feedback, provided your onstage volume is reasonable.

That's about all I can really tell you, just what is on the internet. It's been my experience that Yamaha maintains a level of QC that is pretty high and this is by no means their least expensive guitar.
One of the variables will always be the set-up, as a guitar tech I can tell you that pretty decent guitars can usually be made to play as good as anything out there but may or may not already have that work done to your taste.
As always, ask all questions before buying.

It seems like a reasonable choice to me, given my limited experience with that particular model.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Nylon String Acoustic/Electric Recommendations
montunoman #3050818 06/24/20 08:40 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 879
Likes: 10
Gold Member
OP Offline
Gold Member
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 879
Likes: 10
Thanks KP. I found an Ibanez GA 35 that also in my budget. Anybody have experience with the Ibanez? Or would you rather play on a Yamaha NTX?

Re: Nylon String Acoustic/Electric Recommendations
montunoman #3050822 06/24/20 09:04 PM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 2,028
Likes: 101
MP Hall of Fame Member
Online Content
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 2,028
Likes: 101
Originally Posted by montunoman
Thanks KP. I found an Ibanez GA 35 that also in my budget. Anybody have experience with the Ibanez? Or would you rather play on a Yamaha NTX?

I recommend that you check search for the Ibanez, if possible take a look at the specs on the company website. In particular, look at the nut width and the type of wood used for the top. The type of pickup used may be of interest also.
I've not owned or played many other nylon strings, I had the Epiphone copy of the Chet Atkins model made by Gibson, it was OK but somebody else has it. That's about it for electric nylon strings for me.

Also add either the word "review" or "forum" to the search and see what sort of information you can gather.

There is lots of competition and it would be tough to stay in the game if the quality is not there. I've not owned or played many other nylon strings, I had the Epiphone copy of the Chet Atkins model made by Gibson, it was OK but somebody else has it. That's about it for electric nylon strings for me.
Good luck!!!!


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Nylon String Acoustic/Electric Recommendations
montunoman #3051229 06/27/20 01:57 AM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 879
Likes: 10
Gold Member
OP Offline
Gold Member
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 879
Likes: 10
I think I was that I was lucky to find both a “ blemished” Yamaha NTX 500 and a used Ovation 1624-4 classical
that I ordered through GC within our budget. We tried the Ibenez GA35 but didn’t love it .... We actually really liked a Lucero , never any even heard of that brand. Once the Yamaha , Ovation come in , we may take all three guitars home for a week and pick out our favorite. Should a fun or maybe agonizing experience!

Re: Nylon String Acoustic/Electric Recommendations
montunoman #3051267 06/27/20 06:37 AM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 2,028
Likes: 101
MP Hall of Fame Member
Online Content
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 2,028
Likes: 101
I have limited experience with Lucer0, they are still in business in a very competitive market so we can assume there is a reason for that. Certainly worth trying.

I am not brand phobic at all or even COO (Country Of Origin) phobic.

The difficult part to assess for most people is how much a particular guitar will benefit from a set up. If the strings are well used and or damaged it can be difficult even for an experienced tech to know the true condition of the instrument.

Some great guitars are not set up properly or the conditions they've been exposed to has compromised the set-up but not the guitar.

Cosmetics can up the value to cost ratio.
If the action would be better set lower, make sure the saddle is tall, sticking well out of the bridge. A low saddle and high action are SEP - Somebody Else's Problem.

The best thing is finding one that sounds great and plays great. It happens, that's a joy. Keeping them for a week is a good idea, you'll know a great deal more after that and hopefully have a fun new instrument!


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
1 member likes this: montunoman
Re: Nylon String Acoustic/Electric Recommendations
montunoman #3052445 07/03/20 11:46 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 879
Likes: 10
Gold Member
OP Offline
Gold Member
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 879
Likes: 10
We ended buying a used Ovation 1624, a new Yamaha NTX 500 and a Lucero LFN200SCE. Also tried an Ibenez, a Taylor Academy and a Cordoba. I actually really liked to feel of the Taylor but it was out of our price range, as was the Cordoba.
The guitars were very nice, and could have worked out for us, and all of them played easier than our Yamaha standard classical. After much thought we picked the Lucero and returned the other guitars to GC without any issues. The Lucero sounded the best to our ears and plays very well. funny, I had never even heard of this brand before, but we're very happy so far. It's so fun to plug into a speaker and use the loop pedal. Thanks everyone for the input, and soon we'll seeking Latin guitar learning resources for bossa nova and rumba flamenco. Fun times await!

Re: Nylon String Acoustic/Electric Recommendations
montunoman #3052460 07/04/20 01:12 AM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 2,028
Likes: 101
MP Hall of Fame Member
Online Content
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 2,028
Likes: 101
Nice, glad you got something you enjoy!


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Nylon String Acoustic/Electric Recommendations
montunoman #3052466 07/04/20 01:58 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 10,047
Likes: 11
M
10k Club
Offline
10k Club
M
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 10,047
Likes: 11
Sorry I missed this thread; I'm used to this forum being fairly inactive so I only check it every few weeks or so these days.

I have an unequivocal recommendation for one that I sold years ago (as I no longer want any acoustic/electric hybrid stuff if I can keep from it, since I only do studio work now except for bass, woodwinds and occasional keyboards).

Godin Multiac, which uses nylon strings and has great tension and a perfect neck width. A truly awesome guitar at a great price. No feedback issues either.

In my view, nothing else comes remotely close and I wouldn't recommend anything else even as a second choice.


Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari
Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold Top, G5422DC-12, T486-RB, ES295, PM2, EXL1
WX5, XK1c, Voyager
Re: Nylon String Acoustic/Electric Recommendations
montunoman #3052532 07/04/20 03:02 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,664
Likes: 17
10k Club
Offline
10k Club
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,664
Likes: 17
Motunoman, I find the hybrids work perfect for me. I have two Taylor nylons that I cannot recommend as they are well out of your budget (even used) as they start out around $1,500. I'm really glad you found the Lucero within your budget range that you like and keep us posted on how well they hold up for you. I too have not heard of the brand before but from your posts, I think you may have found a good one. The Taylors are hybrids made for steel stringers who just want the nylon sound. Not meant for the true classical guys as the necks are not as wide/thick/etc. I really like them when compared to the classical nylon necks as the classics are just too wide for me. The necks on the nylons are just a tad wider than my Taylor steel string acoustic and my T5 and T3B electrics. I wish you all the best in your new quest. thu


Take care, Larryz
Re: Nylon String Acoustic/Electric Recommendations
montunoman #3052543 07/04/20 03:54 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 879
Likes: 10
Gold Member
OP Offline
Gold Member
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 879
Likes: 10
Thank Larryz. Like I said I really liked the feel of the Taylor that I tried. I think it was my favorite! Maybe one day..... Who stops at just one guitar? : )

1 member likes this: Larryz

Link Copied to Clipboard
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4