Thin Body Electric Classical Guitar

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
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Mollbarre
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Thin Body Electric Classical Guitar

Post by Mollbarre » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:16 pm

Again, the guitar world (all of it) is still very new to me - so be nice! :mrgreen:

Outside of the obvious - what is the reason for making a thin body electric classical guitar? I tried looking it up but couldn't find a satisfactory answer.

Is it just something a typical band would want for colour, for certain songs?

Or is it mainly for electric guitar players who prefer nylon strings?

There seems to be quite a few models out there, so I assume they are at least somewhat in demand.

So - it would qualify as a crossover - but I think these have been around before "crossover" became a thing?

Just random questions...mine arrived in the mail today. I got it to use as a travel guitar. I wanted it sooner rather than later so I could make sure it would work for what I want it for. It wasn't what I wanted, but it seemed to be the best option I could find in a low budget range.

I haven't played it yet. Looks better than I thought (woohoo!), but you can see that it's not expensive. I suppose if I end up liking/using it enough I can have the nut and saddle replaced.
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Seter
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Re: Thin Body Electric Classical Guitar

Post by Seter » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:15 pm

If you're in Metallica for instance, and you want to play live in a heavily amplified setting a passage in classical guitar style that would be difficult to play on an electric guitar and where a standard classical would be more vulnerable to feedback issues, a solid body classical guitar can be the ticket.

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Mollbarre
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Re: Thin Body Electric Classical Guitar

Post by Mollbarre » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:42 am

Yes - and I've also noticed the solid-body nylon string guitars - which I assume Metallica would use...

But the thin-body is hollow and looks like a regular classical guitar from the front...not very "bad ass"... :wink:

Well - I played it (which isn't saying much) and it's okay. I expected it to sound thin, but it still sounds "real". So that's fine. It seems buzzy - so I don't know if I need to press harder or if it needs to be adjusted...or new strings?

What I am supposed to do with the battery that came with it? Take it out and leave it out? Unwrap it and stick it back in? What is it even for? Lol...

The only thing I really don't like - and can't change - is that the bottom of it seems taller - my right arm is tired. Hope I can get used to that...

I really just wanted a parlour guitar... :roll:
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Mollbarre
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Re: Thin Body Electric Classical Guitar

Post by Mollbarre » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:51 am

Okay - got the battery figured out... most of it went over my head, active versus passive pickups, piezoelectricity, EMF...but that's okay. I can take the battery out and not worry about it...
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Christopher Langley
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Re: Thin Body Electric Classical Guitar

Post by Christopher Langley » Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:09 am

More comfortable to play standing.

Easier to transport.

Much less prone to feedback, I imagine this is the main reason.

Can still be played acoustically unlike a solid one.
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robert e
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Re: Thin Body Electric Classical Guitar

Post by robert e » Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:18 am

Hi Mollbarre,

Not sure if you're joking but the battery is for the preamp. If you're not going to plug the guitar into an amp or mixer, leave it out. If you do want to plug in, you'll have to install it in the preamp in the guitar (unwrapped).

Why do they exist? Apparently for steel string players who want that nylon sound once in a while, need to plug in, and don't want to strap on, carry around or store a full size guitar.

I'm surprised parlor guitars aren't available at similar price, especially if you're not picky about tone quality. (pun not intended)

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Peter Frary
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Re: Thin Body Electric Classical Guitar

Post by Peter Frary » Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:22 am

Mollbarre wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:16 pm

Outside of the obvious - what is the reason for making a thin body electric classical guitar? I tried looking it up but couldn't find a satisfactory answer.
The obvious answer is a thin line body design is helpful when you need to amp up big whereas a full sized body is more prone to feedback. Why amp up? You're playing in a loud environment such as a bar, dance hall, convention center, hotel lobby, outdoor wedding, etc., all of which I've done. I don't know much about metal players but I often use my Hirade acoustic-electric classical amped up for classical solos at wedding ceremonies and also for playing popular and jazz with a bass player and percussion. I have to stuff it with rags and plug the sound hole to keep body resonance down. Wish I owned a thin line model. And the nylon string sound is surprisingly popular with non-classical players nowadays. There are many solid body and chambered classicals on the market for the world beat, jazz, Latin and new age flamenco players to rock out at stadium volume levels.

On the other hand, not much reason to own a thin line or solid body if only need low volume level amplification, i.e., small coffeehouse. A full sized body with pickup will do fine.
I play a Tiny Tenor 6 so I look taller on stage!

Grasshopper
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Re: Thin Body Electric Classical Guitar

Post by Grasshopper » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:51 am

As has been said thin-bodied or solid classical guitars are usually used where the standard acoustic would suffer from feedback - i.e. when you're playing loud. I've got a Gibson Chet Atkins CEC which I use sometimes if I want to practise without anyone hearing (!) - I can put headphones on and listen to what I'm doing without others having to suffer. It also seems to give a better, more even, response than amplified acoustics - but that may be just that it's got a better pickup. The main problem with it IMO is that it weighs a ton and, being thin-bodied, it's uncomfortable to rest on your leg.

You can also get "silent" guitars - Yamaha do one.

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Mollbarre
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Re: Thin Body Electric Classical Guitar

Post by Mollbarre » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:31 pm

Christopher Langley wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:09 am
More comfortable to play standing.

Easier to transport.

Much less prone to feedback, I imagine this is the main reason.

Can still be played acoustically unlike a solid one.
Thanks...I didn't think of feedback, since I've never been plugged in... :lol:
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Mollbarre
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Re: Thin Body Electric Classical Guitar

Post by Mollbarre » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:37 pm

robert e wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:18 am
...Not sure if you're joking but the battery is for the preamp. If you're not going to plug the guitar into an amp or mixer, leave it out. If you do want to plug in, you'll have to install it in the preamp in the guitar (unwrapped).

...I'm surprised parlor guitars aren't available at similar price, especially if you're not picky about tone quality. (pun not intended)
Nope. Not joking. I don't know what a preamp is...I'll go look it up. But! I know that I need to unwrap a battery! :mrgreen:

There are parlour guitars. I ordered one - then that order was cancelled. I didn't want to then go and place an order outside of Canada because I don't want to have to deal with potential paperwork for an inexpensive guitar. Other parlour guitars had other issues that I didn't want...like a full size nut...so those were out...

Then I just went through a too long process of elimination - and this was the best (maybe) of what I was left with.

If this doesn't work out, I'll have to go back to the drawing board...
2016 Fender CN320AS
2018 Cordoba C10 crossover
2018 Ibanez GA5TCE
...and miscellaneous bits and pieces.

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Mollbarre
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Re: Thin Body Electric Classical Guitar

Post by Mollbarre » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:38 pm

Grasshopper wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:51 am
As has been said thin-bodied or solid classical guitars are usually used where the standard acoustic would suffer from feedback - i.e. when you're playing loud. I've got a Gibson Chet Atkins CEC which I use sometimes if I want to practise without anyone hearing (!) - I can put headphones on and listen to what I'm doing without others having to suffer. It also seems to give a better, more even, response than amplified acoustics - but that may be just that it's got a better pickup. The main problem with it IMO is that it weighs a ton and, being thin-bodied, it's uncomfortable to rest on your leg.

You can also get "silent" guitars - Yamaha do one.
Peter Frary wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:22 am
Mollbarre wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:16 pm

Outside of the obvious - what is the reason for making a thin body electric classical guitar? I tried looking it up but couldn't find a satisfactory answer.
The obvious answer is a thin line body design is helpful when you need to amp up big whereas a full sized body is more prone to feedback. Why amp up? You're playing in a loud environment such as a bar, dance hall, convention center, hotel lobby, outdoor wedding, etc., all of which I've done. I don't know much about metal players but I often use my Hirade acoustic-electric classical amped up for classical solos at wedding ceremonies and also for playing popular and jazz with a bass player and percussion. I have to stuff it with rags and plug the sound hole to keep body resonance down. Wish I owned a thin line model. And the nylon string sound is surprisingly popular with non-classical players nowadays. There are many solid body and chambered classicals on the market for the world beat, jazz, Latin and new age flamenco players to rock out at stadium volume levels.

On the other hand, not much reason to own a thin line or solid body if only need low volume level amplification, i.e., small coffeehouse. A full sized body with pickup will do fine.
Thanks! I think I've got it! :merci:
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Christopher Langley
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Re: Thin Body Electric Classical Guitar

Post by Christopher Langley » Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:35 pm

Are you absolutely sure you don't like a full size nut?

Most of us here dont really care for the smaller ones.

To me anything smaller than standard feels cramped.
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Mollbarre
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Re: Thin Body Electric Classical Guitar

Post by Mollbarre » Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:27 pm

Yes. For the time being at least. I am keeping the full size Fender just in case things change down the road.

The Fender was my first guitar, 52 mm nut. Bought it two and half years ago. Found I couldn't chord anything - too hard on my hands. Put it away.

In December I saw the cross-over Cordoba, 48 mm nut, radiused fingerboard, tried it, and it's perfect! I've been playing since then and coming along at a gratifying rate (*knockonwood*).

The Ibanez has even a slightly narrower nut, 46 mm, and it's fine for chording, which is likely all that I'd be doing with it - I'm planning on accompanying adult beginner violin players at music camps, etc. It might be a bit narrow for finger-picking, but we'll see.

I play the violin - and the mandolin - so that could be a preference factor too, on top of stiff hands...
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Peter Frary
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Re: Thin Body Electric Classical Guitar

Post by Peter Frary » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:07 pm

I once thought I could only comfortably play a standard classical nut width but as I learned new instruments—requinto, terz guitar, tenor ukulele, bass—the brain remaps and I seem to be able to adjust to just about any reasonable nut size and scale length. Well, soprano ukulele and mandolin befuddle me but I didn't work at it very long.
I play a Tiny Tenor 6 so I look taller on stage!

Grasshopper
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Re: Thin Body Electric Classical Guitar

Post by Grasshopper » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:32 am

Mollbarre wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:27 pm
In December I saw the cross-over Cordoba, 48 mm nut, radiused fingerboard, tried it, and it's perfect! I've been playing since then and coming along at a gratifying rate (*knockonwood*).
Guitar nut widths vary (from about 42mm to 52mm) depending on the type of guitar and the type of music it's intended for:

- Nylon strung guitars have wider nuts because the strings themselves are physically bigger in diameter than steel so they need to be further apart to allow the same space for fingering a string without touching adjacent strings.
- Acoustic guitars also need a wider nut (and bridge, ideally) because you need to pluck the strings harder to get volume (you can't just turn up the volume control) - meaning that the strings have to be higher off the neck (higher action) to prevent rattling. That means the stings have to be further apart because it becomes harder to avoid fouling adjacent strings if they're higher off the fingerboard.
- Classical guitars have wider nuts because classical music involves playing, for example, counterpoint, where there are two simultaneous threads to the music - so you need to make sure you don't foul other strings or it sounds terrible. Also classical guitarists use far more complex right hand techniques (like the rest stroke) which adjust the tone of the acoustic guitar by striking the string in a different way - which needs a higher action than for non-classical music, or you get rattling.

So you get electric solid steel strung solid guitars with 42mm nuts (and 52mm string width at the bridge) that have strings with a very small clearance of the fingerboard, which are fine for single string soloing or chords. And at the other end of the scale you get full classical guitars that have 52mm nuts (and 60mm string width at the bridge) that have a much higher action. But if you try to play classical music on an electric solid you'll find it's impossible - it's also very difficult on an acoustic steel strung guitar with a 45mm nut.

So there are good reasons why the classical guitar is designed the way it is. But I don't know why cambered fingerboards have never caught on with classical guitars. IMO they're easier to play (slightly) and the strings are cambered at the bridge anyway, so it does make logical sense.

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