This is a nylon-stringed guitar based on my Parlour body design.
Body length: 414mm
Upper bout width: 276mm
Lower bout width: 355mm
Scale length: 25 21/32″ / 651.7mm
It is not what classical guitarists would recognise as a classical guitar – hence the term neo-classical to indicate that it carries nylon rather than steel strings. The main differences compared to a traditional classical guitar are:
- the body design is shorter and rounder
- the neck joins the body at fret 15 rather than fret 12 (determined by the body design that places the bridge in the middle of the lower bout)
- the top bracing system is a lattice rather than a fan shape
- the presence of a piezo contact pickup
- a bolt-on-bolt-off neck
The soundbox has bamboo sides and back (standard guitar woods can also be used, of course), which contrasts boldly with the Niugini Rosewood neck:
The top bracing uses the Greg Smallman style carbon fibre/balsa/carbon fibre lattice:
Nylon strings deliver probably only half the energy density to the soundboard that a steel set would, so the bracing system needs to be more responsive. The lattice is reduced in depth around the bridge location to increase top mobility.
Luckily the tension in a nylon-string is much less than in a steel string (about 36 kg wt compared to a typical 70kg wt for steel), so the balsa/carbon lattice is strong enough to keep the top from distorting. The lattice has no localised hard spots like a double X system, so should allow freedom for a greater number of top vibrational modes giving a more complex sound.
The instrument has excellent volume and projection, and a strong lively sound. The client who ordered it is interested in playing Latin-style music as part of a band.