The Parlour Neo-classical


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.

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