((A note to the mods, after having posted it in the gear building & customizing forum earlier, I've been advised to post this thread here instead as it would likely get more/better replies or wouldn't be noticed by those that I'm looking to ask at all. I'm not sure which of these two posts will prove more productive, but just so you're aware that there are two of these. Let me know if you want me to remove one thread entirely, so that I can keep the one that is actually making progress.))

Hail folks,

After decades of switching styles, postures and instruments of all shapes and sizes, I've decided to cut to 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 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 would cause me injuries in the long run, but this hampers me from playing optimally most times.

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 instrument.

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).

Wise Man Says: The guitar is obviously female, she's got hips, breasts... and a hole.
UG's Flamenco Club
The only part of the whole affair which truly has a function, is the part of the rim which raises the guitar in the lap. The rest is just decoration.

For whatever reason, the gentleman doesn't conclude the story. It would be nice to know what happened when the guitar was delivered and played.

I had thought that gypsy jazz guitars had rather large lower bouts anyway. I of course, could be mistaken, and some fact checking might be in order.

Here's a Taylor nylon which is "grand auditorium" body:

Here's a Cordoba,"crossover" 14 fret: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/cordoba-fusion-14-jet-acoustic-electric-nylon-string-classical-guitar

And finally, here's a Gypsy jazz guitar, which is bordering on huge (It's got a 26.675" scale length:


This type of guitar seems to run big, but slightly shallower than most acoustic guitars. Count me as not knowing whether that's the case, or an optical illusion due to the large body.

You might consider taking up the "guitarron":

(OK, I'm just kidding about that).

I hate to say this, but you might get better responses over at the "Acoustic Guitar Forum". They have a lot more builders enrolled than we do. In fact, a lot of the subtext in the forum is builders trolling for customers. They will answer your questions though: http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/index.php?s=25171431e971727964a05a82f57be9de
Last edited by Captaincranky at Oct 3, 2016,

I did see that project before yes, it's an interesting idea, but I imagine it's much more difficult to do than following a plan. Apparently PDFs with plans are just sold, so I may go with one of those and alter what is needed. I imagine it's easier to follow that and alter where needed, though possibly it'd avoid odd sound-results.


I actually played all the models you posted, except the guitarron, but to be honest I wouldn't rule it out (don't you just love how the poor man has to strain to smile?). But I appreciate you going through the effort of looking them up.

The Taylors were absolutely dreadful, and felt and sounded as if they were made of plastic. A classical guitar in that supposed 1000-2000 range blows the Taylors out of the water, tonally, volume-wise and playability, so I'd advise against buying them without playing them rigorously beforehand. All the Cordoba guitars I've tried were very stiff, and wouldn't let out any sound whichever way they were played. I've also played those Cigano instruments before, a few days ago in fact. Ironically for the price they were the most acceptable.

Unfortunately, aside from being almost all, dreadful instruments that weren't worth their money. None of them were actually the size I needed. The grand auditoriums are a bit small, and I don't want to throw cash in a tonally bad instrument that isn't exactly right sizewise. The Cordoba's are actually a little smaller in body size compared to the average for classical instruments (there are a lot of variations here), and the Cigano's would have worked if they were longer (the hips are fatter, which is nice, but the body is about as long as a classical instrument). All the instruments that I've tried that actually worked were true jumbo models, and even with the horrible steel strings and small neck, they were pleasant and a relief to play.

Either way, I've re-posted at the acoustic guitar forum (edit: we're actually posting in the acoustic forum right now, oh well...) , and if the mods want me to remove one I'll copy your posts there so we can discuss further.

Thanks in any case, I appreciate the insights.
Wise Man Says: The guitar is obviously female, she's got hips, breasts... and a hole.
UG's Flamenco Club
Last edited by FretboardToAsh at Oct 3, 2016,
FretboardToAsh No, I think you completely misunderstood me about the, "Acoustic Guitar Forum", ("AGF" for short), it's an entirely different website!

It's general purpose is to serve acoustic guitar interests. The traffic in acoustic guitar discussions is likely more than 10 times what it is here. If you want to get into a project as complex as building your own acoustic, you should join their forum. There are several acoustic luthiers (*) active at all times over there.

Like I said, I hate to pitch another website, but I think you'll find more of what you need there.

Here, let's try that again: http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/index.php

(*) We have guitar builders here, but they're mostly concerned with electrics
Tony Done Judging by this quote from FtA:

"Either way, I've re-posted at the acoustic guitar forum (edit: we're actually posting in the acoustic forum right now, oh well...) , and if the mods want me to remove one I'll copy your posts there so we can discuss further".

Either he made an error in syntax, or wasn't fully aware of what either of us meant by "Acoustic Guitar Forum"..... signed yours truly, confused..
Ah, I did indeed not understand you both meant a different website altogether. Given that the larger number of the suggestions on both threads are to post and ask there instead, I believe I shall.

However, if anyone here still believes they've got some good ideas or suggestions, I'll be happy to hear them.
Wise Man Says: The guitar is obviously female, she's got hips, breasts... and a hole.
UG's Flamenco Club