Inexpensive Brahms guitar?

Discussion of all aspects of multi-string guitars, namely those with 7 or more strings.
Robert Cote
Student of the online lessons
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:27 pm

Inexpensive Brahms guitar?

Post by Robert Cote » Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:13 pm

I've gotten very interested in purchasing an 8-string "Brahms" guitar similar to the one that Paul Galbraith plays; however, to have one built by Martin Woodhouse looks to be in the neighborhood of $4600 USD. This is a price I would gladly pay if I were positive that a Brahms guitar would be a good fit for me, but at the moment I'd prefer to try out something much less expensive and then eventually graduate to a pricey, well-made Brahms guitar.

I'm thinking of purchasing a Rondo Agile Renaissance 8-string, which comes with strings tuned F#-B-E-A-D-G-B-E (two lower strings added to the traditional six) and restringing it B-E-A-D-G-B-E-A (one lower string and one higher string added to the traditional six). Has anyone tried this? Or are there any other inexpensive options that would fit the bill? I know Ibanez also makes an 8-string tuned F#-B-E-A-D-G-B-E, but it doesn't have fanned frets and costs $200 more than the Rondo.

Any advice would be much appreciated!

gilles T
Posts: 187
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:11 pm
Location: Paris, France

Re: Inexpensive Brahms guitar?

Post by gilles T » Tue Sep 27, 2016 5:47 pm

Dear Robert Cote,

I recently purchased a second-hand 8-strings Orfea guitar (google it, since commercial links are not allowed here). The lutherie is made in China, but the brand is a german one, with high standards of quality. I plan to post a dedicated thread about it, when I will be able to post pictures (the most complicated part of the job for me...)

Well, I'm very impressed by the quality of this low-priced instrument. It's a bit on the heavy side (the truss-rod might explain that) but it is in no way "overbuilt"; the intonation is perfect, every note rings just like it should (with no over-sustained basses), and the ebony tuners work perfectly.

The big plus : the saddle features muliple holes, and the nut multiple slots, so you can string it as a seven string, or as any 8-strings tuning you might choose, be it Brahms or not.

I tune it B-D-E-A-D-F#-B-E, just like an 8 course lute in E would be tuned, because I play mostly renaissance and baroque repertoire.

Hope this will help.
Regards,

Gilles

Robert Cote
Student of the online lessons
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:27 pm

Re: Inexpensive Brahms guitar?

Post by Robert Cote » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:42 pm

Thanks very much for the suggestion, Gilles! I'm still leaning toward the Rondo 8 string because I want to see if a multiscale guitar is something I can get used to, but it's good to know that a decent, inexpensive Orfea 8 string is available.

BaRaN

Re: Inexpensive Brahms guitar?

Post by BaRaN » Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:16 am

I am waiting for my ibanez 8 string. When it comes, I make a review about it. İf you buy Rondo Renaissance 8 string. Please make a review and maybe a video :) Because I wanted to buy it but shipping and taxes make the guitar 1000+$ to me. So ibanez was more "budget guitar" for me. But I am still thinking about rondo model so still waiting for a good review :)

Robert Cote
Student of the online lessons
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:27 pm

Re: Inexpensive Brahms guitar?

Post by Robert Cote » Fri Oct 14, 2016 12:36 pm

Thanks, BaRaN. I look forward to your review of the Ibanez. I'm happy to post a video of the Rondo, although it will be a while before buy it, and longer still before I can play anything on it well enough to share on YouTube ;)

ElRay
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:23 am

Re: Inexpensive Brahms guitar?

Post by ElRay » Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:49 pm

Any updates? I'm looking at getting a multi-scaled, 8-string, Agile Renaissance Classical and starting with: BEADGBEA.

My big question right now is: Can I do BEADGBEA with the 25-1/2" to 27"? I'd love a 24" - 27", but the nylon stringed Renaissance seem to be only 24" - 25-1/2" or 25-1/2" to 27" and the custom shop has an option for 24" to 27", but only in steel-string.

I'd like to go with a High-A and a Low-B/A. That A is tough on a 25-1/2" electric, but I don't know if there's a thin enough nylon string that can hold the required tension -- hence the desire for the 24" 1st string. At the same time, I don't want a bridge cable for that 8th string. So I'd love the 27" on the 8th string.

Has anybody done this yet? What scale lengths do you have, and what gauges did you use?

On a related note, is there anybody other than LaBella that sells single nylon strings?

Ray

Martin Woodhouse
Luthier
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:05 pm
Location: Cambridge, UK

Re: Inexpensive Brahms guitar?

Post by Martin Woodhouse » Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:55 am

25 1/2" would be a bit long for a high A, but it would work with a high G, if you tuned down to ADGCFADG

I use 600 - 660mm for my Brahms guitars. For the high A/G string I (and Paul Galbraith) use a high tension E string: if you use a very thin string it will sound too harsh and won't balance with the other strings. D'Addario sell individual strings up to .060", which is what I use for the 8th.

ElRay
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:23 am

Re: Inexpensive Brahms guitar?

Post by ElRay » Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:43 pm

Martin Woodhouse wrote:
Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:55 am
... it would work with a high G, if you tuned down to ADGCFADG ... if you use a very thin string it will sound too harsh and won't balance with the other strings. D'Addario sell individual strings up to .060", which is what I use for the 8th.
:merci:

ElRay
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:23 am

Re: Inexpensive Brahms guitar?

Post by ElRay » Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:49 am

ElRay wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:49 pm
Any updates? I'm looking at getting a multi-scaled, 8-string, Agile Renaissance Classical and starting with: BEADGBEA. ...
I received a reply from Kurt @ Rondo Music. Both the 82425 and 82527 Classical guitars come with two lower strings: F#BEADBGE.

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