58 mm nut?

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
Ramon Amira
Teacher
Posts: 2899
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 12:44 am
Location: New York City

58 mm nut?

Post by Ramon Amira » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:12 pm

I am working with a client on a luthier guitar to be built to order. He is a big man, former football player, 6'4" 325 pounds, with proportionally large fingers. He is currently playing a 650/52, and is having a bit of trouble getting his left hand fingers between the strings. Probably a bit as well with the right hand.

I'm thinking about a 660, though I think a 650 might be okay. The real question is about the nut and string spacing. It's difficult without being able to actually see his fingers on the guitar, but I'm thinking 56 or even 57 to allow enough leeway for ample string spacing.

Has anyone ever heard of a nut as wide as 57? Would it present or create any problems either with the construction or with playing? Any caveats? Also I'm wondering if an extra wide nut would call for a somewhat longer scale, like 660, just to maintain a proper relationship of nut and scale.

Appreciate any feedback on this.

Ramon
Last edited by Ramon Amira on Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Classical and Flamenco guitar lessons via Skype worldwide - Classical and Flamenco guitars from Spain

User avatar
David_Norton
Posts: 3831
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 4:12 pm
Location: Salt Lake City, UT, USA

Re: 57mm nut?

Post by David_Norton » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:35 pm

Ramon, Look on YT for "madeiraeditions". I've asked him the size of his (six string) guitar, he did not know, but it is visibly much wider than standard. A nut width 56 or 57 seems reasonable visually.
David Norton
Salt Lake City, UT

riffmeister
Posts: 4105
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:15 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA

Re: 57mm nut?

Post by riffmeister » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:39 pm

I have one guitar that is 55 mm. I do not see any reason why 57 mm would be a problem.

souldier
Posts: 677
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:45 pm

Re: 57mm nut?

Post by souldier » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:41 pm

I'm no luthier but I'd imagine there wouldn't be any construction issues since multi string guitars are made with wider nut widths all the time.

My concern would be whether a 57mm nut would actually translate to better playability for your client. If it turns out to be unsuitable, resale will be near impossible. Is there any way to test out what nut width/string spacing would be most suitable before pulling the trigger?
"Success grants its rewards to a few, but is the dream of the multitudes.
Excellence is available to all, but is accepted only by a few." - Christopher Parkening

User avatar
scottszone
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:19 pm
Location: Austin, Texas

Re: 57mm nut?

Post by scottszone » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:55 pm

Bars could be a problem
2006 Manuel Contreras II C-5 Cedar/IRW
2016 Cordoba C7-CE Cedar/IRW
2006 Cordoba GK Studio Spruce/Cypress

Keith
Posts: 1172
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 5:48 pm
Location: Land of Daniel Boone

Re: 57mm nut?

Post by Keith » Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:15 pm

Ramon, in the guitar history book, the Russell Cleveland collection, there is a Ramirez flamenco that is listed as having a 57mm nut. I am at work and do not have access to the book but I recall that dimension. This situation might be a good time to get creative and make a pseudo neck at 54mm and tape strings at the appropriate distances and see how that works. Then try the spacing at 55mm and so on.
be true to the one you love but have many flings with different guitars

Paul Micheletti
Amateur luthier
Posts: 462
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:48 am
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: 57mm nut?

Post by Paul Micheletti » Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:18 pm

While expanding the string spacing at the nut, don't forget the right hand too. You may need to expand the tie block area of the bridge and the string spacing there to allow more room for a big right hand.

User avatar
Steve Ganz
Luthier
Posts: 769
Joined: Mon Dec 25, 2006 6:19 pm
Location: Blaine, WA, USA

Re: 57mm nut?

Post by Steve Ganz » Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:24 pm

Ramon,
I think the overall picture of his hand could be important. Ask your customer to put his hand on a copier and send you the copy.
Steve

User avatar
SeanWinkler
Posts: 697
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 5:30 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Re: 57mm nut?

Post by SeanWinkler » Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:43 pm

Keith wrote:Ramon, in the guitar history book, the Russell Cleveland collection, there is a Ramirez flamenco that is listed as having a 57mm nut. I am at work and do not have access to the book but I recall that dimension. This situation might be a good time to get creative and make a pseudo neck at 54mm and tape strings at the appropriate distances and see how that works. Then try the spacing at 55mm and so on.

The limited printing book with the gold spine? If so, then maybe the 1965 Ramirez on page 88? It's listed as 56mm with a string spacing of 48mm at the nut and 57mm at the saddle.

Depending on what the student is planning to spend on a custom guitar, it might be worthwhile to buy something like the Ibanez 7-string classical for around $600 (or less used). They have a 61mm nut width, so you could easily cut some experimental nuts and string it as a 6-string. Granted, the spacing at the saddle will probably be odd in this case, but you could at least figure out what should work at the nut end. Assuming you don't make any drastic changes to the guitar and save the original nut, the guitar could probably be re-sold as well.
Remember Anthony Weller, please help. Contact myself or Aaron Green for details.

User avatar
petermc61
Posts: 5792
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:11 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: 57mm nut?

Post by petermc61 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:03 pm

If he ever wants to resell it I suggest maybe a 655 scale, 55mm nut and 58-59mm at the bridge. I suspect beyond that it is more about technique and practice than making the guitar unnaturally large.

User avatar
Andy Culpepper
Luthier
Posts: 171
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:57 pm
Location: Ithaca, NY USA

Re: 57mm nut?

Post by Andy Culpepper » Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:22 am

I've made one 57.5 and am working on another now... it only makes sense as these people's hands are at LEAST 10% larger than the average, probably more.

Ramon Amira
Teacher
Posts: 2899
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 12:44 am
Location: New York City

Re: 57mm nut?

Post by Ramon Amira » Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:12 am

Andy Culpepper wrote:I've made one 57.5 and am working on another now... it only makes sense as these people's hands are at LEAST 10% larger than the average, probably more.
Andy, what string spacing would you suggest with a 57.5 - this is a BIG guy. And what at the bridge. I had him finger a four string C chord, to see if his left hand could be clean, and it can't. He touches adjacent strings. I've also asked him to check his span. Even though it's a far from perfect test, it at least gives some rough guide. Because besides the 57 or 57.5, I'm thinking maybe 660 or 664. He's playing a 650/52, and I had him finger F on the first string and try to finger A on the fifth fret. He can get it into the early part of the box, so I suspect at least a 660 would work. I wish I could see him in person.

Hmm, just this moment, as I was writing the last sentence above, I had a thought - maybe I could watch him on Skype. It's better than nothing. I'll ask him.

Ramon
Classical and Flamenco guitar lessons via Skype worldwide - Classical and Flamenco guitars from Spain

es335
Posts: 1133
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2007 2:12 pm
Location: Germany

Re: 57mm nut?

Post by es335 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:42 pm

I do remember having seen a luthier guitar in the market with a 57 mm nut and a 670 mm scale but can't remember if and how fast or slow it sold. The spruce/maple combination drew my attention but I found the measures frightening even though my main guitar was 54/667 mm by this time.

User avatar
Andy Culpepper
Luthier
Posts: 171
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:57 pm
Location: Ithaca, NY USA

Re: 57mm nut?

Post by Andy Culpepper » Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:46 pm

Ramon Amira wrote:
Andy Culpepper wrote:I've made one 57.5 and am working on another now... it only makes sense as these people's hands are at LEAST 10% larger than the average, probably more.
Andy, what string spacing would you suggest with a 57.5 - this is a BIG guy. And what at the bridge. I had him finger a four string C chord, to see if his left hand could be clean, and it can't. He touches adjacent strings. I've also asked him to check his span. Even though it's a far from perfect test, it at least gives some rough guide. Because besides the 57 or 57.5, I'm thinking maybe 660 or 664. He's playing a 650/52, and I had him finger F on the first string and try to finger A on the fifth fret. He can get it into the early part of the box, so I suspect at least a 660 would work. I wish I could see him in person.

Hmm, just this moment, as I was writing the last sentence above, I had a thought - maybe I could watch him on Skype. It's better than nothing. I'll ask him.

Ramon
Probably something like 49 at the nut and 62 at the bridge. Or just recommend he pick up the guitarron :)

Ramon Amira
Teacher
Posts: 2899
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 12:44 am
Location: New York City

Re: 57mm nut?

Post by Ramon Amira » Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:52 pm

Andy Culpepper wrote:
Ramon Amira wrote:
Andy Culpepper wrote:I've made one 57.5 and am working on another now... it only makes sense as these people's hands are at LEAST 10% larger than the average, probably more.
Andy, what string spacing would you suggest with a 57.5 - this is a BIG guy. And what at the bridge. I had him finger a four string C chord, to see if his left hand could be clean, and it can't. He touches adjacent strings. I've also asked him to check his span. Even though it's a far from perfect test, it at least gives some rough guide. Because besides the 57 or 57.5, I'm thinking maybe 660 or 664. He's playing a 650/52, and I had him finger F on the first string and try to finger A on the fifth fret. He can get it into the early part of the box, so I suspect at least a 660 would work. I wish I could see him in person.

Hmm, just this moment, as I was writing the last sentence above, I had a thought - maybe I could watch him on Skype. It's better than nothing. I'll ask him.

Ramon
Probably something like 49 at the nut and 62 at the bridge. Or just recommend he pick up the guitarron :)
Hey Andy - that Guitarron is not a bad idea - especially when I tell you his span - it's almost ten inches. I told him how to measure, and I just got back the stats: from fingers One to Four - Seven and a half inches. From pinky to thumb - Nine and Seven Eighths.

Would love to hear from more of our luthiers on this, given these figures. I'm going to see if he can Skype, and that might help, but in the interim would any luthier here have any ideas or comments given that span - both on nut and scale. The problem of course is that I don't want to see him lose his money. If we don't get it right he obviously can't return it, and it's basically zero chance of selling it.

My immediate thought is to make an extra wide fingerboard, even more than has been discussed, so that there would be room to widen the string spacing if necessary. But I guess there is just so wide it can be made and still be practical and playable.

And 660 seems like a bare minimum - I hope I can see him on Skype with a 650 in his hands. It would give me a better idea.

Appreciate any thoughts, comments, ideas. Short of converting a cello to an arch top guitar. :D

Ramon
Classical and Flamenco guitar lessons via Skype worldwide - Classical and Flamenco guitars from Spain

Return to “Luthiers”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Adrian Allan, CommonCrawl [Bot], Jose Marques, lagartija, Paul Micheletti, Robert England, senunkan, vesa, Wizzle and 26 guests