#1
Hail folks,

After decades of switching styles, postures and instruments of all shapes and sizes, I've decided to cut the chase and just do it myself. A few matters to clear up, so that you'll understand where I'm coming from and what I'm trying to achieve.

I am a tall person, and even for someone my size (nearly 6'4"), I have rather long arms, which forces me to either strain my plucking wrist or shoulder into awkward positions. I hadn't always this problem, but then I haven't been this tall my entirely life either. At least I remember this not being a problem when I was young.

Currently, my playing is largely focused on Flamenco, with the occasional drop of gipsy jazz or renaissance lute music. A long time ago it was electric guitar, and everything attached to that. It is also my job. Small concerts, accompanying dance lessons and teaching are a part of my daily life. So I constantly need to balance decent practice levels, but can't give myself too much time playing, as it'll not only hamper me from playing optimally most times, but also cause me injuries in the long run.

This means that, partly because I'm fed up with having to cope with instruments that always work against me, and partly because it would be very special to get more immersed in my instrument and music but on a different level, I would like to build my own.

Now, a few factors that come into play.

- The music I play nearly entirely requires me to use nylon, it's also my preference tonally and technically. I find it impossible to achieve what I need when using steel.
- Another part is my length and arms, over time I discovered that the most ideal size for an acoustic guitar-body is the Jumbo size steel-string models.

There have been some models that approach this, Taylor and Takamine makes a few, as does Yamaha. While there are no such Takamine guitars in my country to test out, the ones Taylor made were absolutely horrible for the money, when compared to an average study-model of a classical guitar of that price. All those guitars were of a grand auditorium model, which approached what I needed, but wasn't exactly right.

Unfortunately it's also not possible to just take off the steel-strings and replace them with nylon, on any Jumbo model I've found. Aside from the neck being too small for those fat nylon strings, there is supposedly not enough tension to them to get the thicker top vibrating properly, if I understand correctly. That aside, I could test it out, but I don't see myself throwing a few hundred bucks to an idea that might not work and produce me a frankenstein that'll just take up space.

A jumbo model with nylon strings, that'll still give me a somewhat dry, snappy sound that I need for Flamenco, is essentially what I'm looking to create.

So what I was intending to ask is mostly advice, and thoughts concerning such a plan. Is it even possible to make a decent sounding guitar out of such a plan? And will using cypress even still have the tonally required effect on such a guitar, as it's that much larger than traditional flamenco guitars? The model itself is unconventional at the very least. I've read/heard some things about needing to use Martin's x-bracing to even make it work, but have yet to speak to a luthier that actually tried something like this, and had sufficient experience with it that they could give me definitive answers.

Either way, thanks in advance, and if this will turn into a feasible plan I shall let keep you updated on its progress (not least because it'll give me an extra incentive to actually proceed with it).

Cheers
Wise Man Says: The guitar is obviously female, she's got hips, breasts... and a hole.
UG's Flamenco Club
#3
See if Tom Prisloe can offer you some suggestions. Tom builds some of the best custom-built classical guitars (usually for concert guitarists) on the planet. He's one of those guys who can build you a guitar voiced to your preferences, and there just ain't a lot of those around. The point is that he won't build one of these for you (he regularly turns down orders for his own guitars because he doesn't like to have a long waiting list and he DOES like to make sure the guitars he produces are done according to his standards), but he might have some thoughts...

http://www.classicalguitarbuilder.com/