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Nylon string fretless nut and saddle setup


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#1 WillM

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 11:49 PM

Hi all - first post here . I recently acquired  a nylon string/classical guitar I am converting to fretless. I have filled the slots with veneer and am ready for a setup. I have read that it is best to lower the nut and saddle height for optimum playability. No where can I find what the string height at the nut should be or the optimum 12 fret string height for a nylon string. Lots of info for electrics or steel string just nothing nylon specific other than general " set it low". Any help appreciated.

 

the guitar I am converting:

 

http://willmilnephot...com/espana1.JPG

 

Will

 

 



#2 jahloon

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 09:05 AM

Hi Will,

 

The string height at the nut on my Nylon guitars is pretty much the same as the electrics, less than the thickness of a business card.

 

Try my trick with a capo to see the best height for the nut:  http://www.unfretted...retless-guitar/

 

Then gradually lower the saddle until you get the best string height.

 

You will need to ensure the neck is dead straight and level.

 

BTW That looks like a harp guitar without the harp strings...

 

J


Play the blues guitar with your soul, but play the fretless guitar with your spirit.
Author of the book "Fretless Guitar The Definitive Guide" fretlessguitar.co.uk

#3 WillM

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 12:50 AM

Thanks J your link/advice was great!!!. I have the guitar defretted/wood strips inserted and the fingerboard leveled and  and flat. Nut is now lowered and I know what I am aiming for with the saddle/action. The guitar sounds wonderful and I am hoping it will just get better as I fine tune the setup. 

 

I am surprised by the drop in sustain but recognize why that has happened and am already exploring left hand technique that compensates where needed. 

 

I have some Augustine red label strings on the guitar right now just because I had some in the house. Are there nylon strings that complement the fretless approach. For instance I play with thumb and fingers and notice a raspy edge that reminds me of tabla or simple wind instruments, short of sandpapering strings are there less slick strings that enhance that raspy tone.

 

The guitar is a late 60's/early 70's Espana/Landola made in Finland psuedo harp guitar that found me and invited me to dance :))

 

cheers

 

Will



#4 jahloon

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 09:54 PM

Hi Will, and I forgot to say Welcome!

 

Don't ever worry about sustain, like you say you can compensate.

 

Like you say, instruments find you...

 

Love your photography, I had a sneak look. :)

 

J


Play the blues guitar with your soul, but play the fretless guitar with your spirit.
Author of the book "Fretless Guitar The Definitive Guide" fretlessguitar.co.uk

#5 WillM

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Posted 20 September 2017 - 11:58 PM

"Love your photography, I had a sneak look.  :)"

 

thanks :))



#6 jahloon

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 05:31 PM

Oh, and the strings, take a look here:

 

http://www.unfretted...other-hardware/


Play the blues guitar with your soul, but play the fretless guitar with your spirit.
Author of the book "Fretless Guitar The Definitive Guide" fretlessguitar.co.uk

#7 WillM

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 01:09 AM

Ah thanks for the link. I have used the TI KR116 rope cores on another guitar ( Frameworks Classic Nylon) and really like the unique tone and feel. Have you tried the TI John Pearse Folk strings - same strings but the Pearse set has slightly heavier bass strings , still tape wound rope core and I can't tell the difference  tonally for lots less money :) Just put some on my new fretless and you are right amazing tone that really suits the fretless approach

 

Will



#8 jahloon

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 07:43 AM

Do the TI John Pearse Folk Strings have a steel core? (Like the KR116)

 

This means you can us magnetic pickups like the Roland GK2/3.


Play the blues guitar with your soul, but play the fretless guitar with your spirit.
Author of the book "Fretless Guitar The Definitive Guide" fretlessguitar.co.uk

#9 WillM

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 03:26 PM

Ah!! there you go that must the difference I think the Pearse Folk are nylon core

 

Will






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