Widen string spacing on a 3/4 guitar?

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
CliffP
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:38 pm
Location: St. Charles, MO, USA

Widen string spacing on a 3/4 guitar?

Post by CliffP » Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:27 pm

I just bought a Cordoba Cadet 3/4 scale guitar because the size fit my fairly small hands and now I'm seeing that the string spacing in just enough less than my full-size Alvarez to make fretting the strings with my stubby fingers difficult so I'm wondering if perhaps I could just cut a new nut with the E strings closer to the edge and slightly widen the spaces between the strings. The difference in nut width is about 1/8".

I've read the thread about adding width to the fretboard and that's clearly not an option, and especially not for this price range instrument.

Thanks,
Cliff

Paul Micheletti
Amateur luthier
Posts: 505
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:48 am
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Widen string spacing on a 3/4 guitar?

Post by Paul Micheletti » Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:42 pm

Creating a new nut is pretty simple and is possible with only a few tools. The cost to try this is low as long as you are able to remove the old nut easily.

I hesitate to recommend this though if you play using pulloffs. The first string needs some fingerboard space adjacent to it or else pulloffs become problematic. If you need to cheat the strings out towards the edges, I would move the 6th string more than the 1st string.

CliffP
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:38 pm
Location: St. Charles, MO, USA

Re: Widen string spacing on a 3/4 guitar?

Post by CliffP » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:29 pm

Thanks, I made a new nut for a Martin Sigma a few months ago and so don't think this would be too difficult. Thanks for the heads-up on the 1st string, I probably wouldn't have thought of that until too late.

Philosopherguy
Posts: 888
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:40 am
Location: Niagara, Ontario, Canada

Re: Widen string spacing on a 3/4 guitar?

Post by Philosopherguy » Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:54 pm

You should be able to push out the spacing a little bit. Keep in mind that the closer to the bevel on the frets and the edge of the fretboard the more accurate your playing and fretting has to be so as not to roll the string off the edge. Personally, I like lots of space on the edges. But, I have played many guitars that were much closer to the edges then I like and their owners were quite comfortable playing them. So, that is a matter of personal taste and how accurate you think your fingers are.

I think when builders purposefully put strings close to the edge they would likely put less bevel on the fret ends. But, I doubt you would want to re-fret a guitar to make the spacing a tiny bit wider.

Trying won't hurt though. Just keep the original nut intact and you can always switch back.

Martin
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