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Guitar string height... requesting pictures   You are logged in as Guest
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Nemo Nint

 

Posts: 41
Joined: Jul. 20 2006
 

Guitar string height... requesting p... 

Hi Everybody!

I'm wondering how average the string height over the fretboard is before you hold a note down on a fret.

also, how far above the body itself are the strings, on a flamenco guitar?

I've heard this is one of the major differences between a classical and flamenco guitar.

Could someone who is quick with a digital camera take a picture or two and post them? maybe with a quarter or dime so I can get a sense of scale between the body/neck and the strings?

PLEASE?

Due to my finances in the last 3 years, and because I actually didn't even play any guitar before 2 years ago, I have never bought and never even played a flamenco guitar, but I have learned as best as I could on a classical guitar.

I'm thinking of getting one or two guitars soon, hopefully a flamenco guitar.
-Tom

PS- Thank you very much, in advance!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 24 2006 21:08:19

JBASHORUN

Posts: 1839
Joined: Jan. 23 2005
 

RE: Guitar string height... requesti... (in reply to Nemo Nint

I believe that there are some photos of the action on a Yamaha flamenco in this thread:

http://www.foroflamenco.com/tm.asp?m=43044&p=1&tmode=1&smode=1

If you read the accompanying text, the action is also described there.

But bear in mind that the Yamaha is only a cheap guitar, and that the action on any guitar will vary according to how the guitar is set up.

but generally speaking: Flamenco guitar= lower action than classical.

Jb

_____________________________

¡Si esto no está en compas, esto no es el Flamenco!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 26 2006 18:47:25
 
n85ae

 

Posts: 865
Joined: Sep. 7 2006
 

RE: Guitar string height... requesti... (in reply to Nemo Nint

I have a yamaha, I made a new bone saddle for it, and adjusted the string height to exactly
3mm at the 12th fret. It plays great. In fact better than all the rest of the Flamenco's at my
local guitar shop including the $1500+ guitars ... What a deal for $350

Plus I have been to Kaoshiung Taiwan where it is made, so it has more meaning to me than
just something made "in Asia". Lot's of very hard working, serious people in Kaoshiung.
I think Anders is going to have serious competition if the people in that part of the world get
really serious about building high end guitars.

I think just the label, saying "Yamaha" has a stygma.

Anyway, if you need more string heights at different frets I'll gladly send them.

Regards,
Jeff
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 26 2006 19:20:40
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13248
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Guitar string height... requesti... (in reply to Nemo Nint

As a player I distinguish between action at the fretboard and when the guitar has a low bridge. For me action at the fretboard is affected by the bone height, and the lower it is, the more the strings buzz after you press down and play. It is a personal preference how you want to set the action over the fingerboard. A classical guitar can have a lower action than a flamenco guitar.

But what really makes the difference between flamenco and classical is the bridge. Flamenco guitars usually have a lower bridge, but not necessarily low action on the fretboard. I have seen classical guitars half an inch to an inch high at the bridge (from strings to top of soundboard). A really nice flamenco set up would be as high as the diameter of a cigarette. In other words, a cigarette should not have lots of room to roll around under the strings of a flamenco bridge. It makes the right hand strumming more comfortable in general. Classical guitarists don't usually touch the sound board when playing, but flamenco players use the soundboard constantly.

I am not a luthier, but I have noticed the guitars with higher bridge are usually louder and more sustain than the same guitar with a low bridge. Obvisouly LOWERING the bridge bone will also lower the fingerboard action. So that is why the intitial set up of a flamenco guitar is so critical. If the action is not low enough on the fingerboard for ones taste, and the bone is already super low (lower than a cigarette), you don't have a lot of easy options for changing the action. Ideally you have a low bridge with a little bit of buzz when playing hard for flamenco, with room on the bone to go down just a hair if you want.

Hope this makes some sense.

Ricardo
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 27 2006 19:40:29
 
Hugh

 

Posts: 130
Joined: Jul. 27 2006
 

RE: Guitar string height... requesti... (in reply to Nemo Nint

Quote: A classical guitar can have a lower action than a flamenco guitar.

I thought the flamenco action was always lower on the fingerboard than the classical to allow faster playing.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 27 2006 21:56:51
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13248
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Guitar string height... requesti... (in reply to Nemo Nint

quote:

I thought the flamenco action was always lower on the fingerboard than the classical to allow faster playing.


Yeah a misconception. True a lot flamenco players prefer a low action with buzzing strings, but not everyone. Like I said it is personal preference. I saw a vid of Segovia in his 80's or 90's and the action on his Ramirez was so darn high he could barely push the strings down. A friend had a classical guitar and he had a nice sweet clear sound, but when I played flamenco on it, I was able to make it buzz more than my flamenco guitar.

Just to reiterrate, it is true that the flamenco BRIDGE is constructed much lower to facilitate more comfortable strumming, not necessarily "faster" playing. I can play just as fast on a high action classical guitar, but I can't get the sound I want. I am no luthier but way you can have low bridge and high enough action is by neck angle.

Ricardo
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 27 2006 22:57:41
 
Hugh

 

Posts: 130
Joined: Jul. 27 2006
 

RE: Guitar string height... requesti... (in reply to Nemo Nint

I got my Yamaha nice and low by making a bone saddle for it and fine filing a few frets.
It plays great now.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 28 2006 21:27:37

JBASHORUN

Posts: 1839
Joined: Jan. 23 2005
 

RE: Guitar string height... requesti... (in reply to Hugh

quote:

I got my Yamaha nice and low by making a bone saddle for it and fine filing a few frets.
It plays great now.


Ditto. But bear in mind that the Yamaha has a 7mm bridge height, wheareas most Classicals have about a 10mm bridge.

Jb

_____________________________

¡Si esto no está en compas, esto no es el Flamenco!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 29 2006 12:13:40
 
Nemo Nint

 

Posts: 41
Joined: Jul. 20 2006
 

RE: Guitar string height... requesti... (in reply to Nemo Nint

Hi everyone.

just a quick mention after I found some info out:

On the board, it sounds like CG171SF is the most talked-about Yamaha flamenco guitar, but I have a promotional product page with images and a short paragraph and the model specifications for the Yamaha "Flamenco Standard". I don't know anything about how the Flamenco Standard plays better compared to the CG171SF but the ...SF is somewhere around the $500 price, and the Flamenco Standard is around $2000. The model number/code for the Flamenco Standard is FCSTD.
CG171SF specs
Flamenco Standard specs


One other thing I wonder- A "low" action is equivalent to a low string height, and a "high" action is a high string height. But ... what is the difference between "FAST" and "SLOW" action? I guess each relates to high and low action, but when you say "fast" action, does that mean the strings are easier/faster to press into the frets? often I thought "fast" action would indicate the strings have higher tension so would be less giving to bends and picking would be "faster" because they held their position more strongly ... but I probably thought wrong.
ah well, that's what this board is good for.. learning!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 29 2006 13:47:40

JBASHORUN

Posts: 1839
Joined: Jan. 23 2005
 

RE: Guitar string height... requesti... (in reply to Nemo Nint

Thats funny. The CG171SF DOESN'T show up on the English Yamaha website, but it DOES on the American and Canadian ones. Whereas the "Flamenco Standard" DOESN'T show up on the American and English websites, but it DOES on the Canadian one.

It would seem that Yamaha are selling different products in different countries.

As for the difference between the CG171SF and the Flamenco Standard, the only difference I can see is that the CG171SF has a NATO wood neck, whereas the Flamenco Standard has a MAHOGANY neck. Exactly how much relevance the neck material has to the sound is debateable. But if there is a weight difference between the two woods, then I think the lighter one would be preferable.

The other thing is that the "Flamenco standard" specs say the back and sides are SOLID cypress, whereas the CG171SF specs just say "Cypress". As far as I know, the CG171SF uses LAMINATED cypress, instead of solid cypress. But SOLID woods are preferable to laminated ones when making musical instruments. As for how much this affects tone- again, its debateable, but I would say that a guitar made with solid wood back and sides "should" sound better than one made from laminated woods.

If anyone else disagrees, feel free to share your views...

Jb

_____________________________

¡Si esto no está en compas, esto no es el Flamenco!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 29 2006 15:51:50
 
Doitsujin

Posts: 5063
Joined: Apr. 10 2005
 

RE: Guitar string height... requesti... (in reply to Nemo Nint

I didnt read all the posts here, coz Im hungry and wanna make a sandwich now. But the first poster wanted pictures of the height of the dstrings. I can show you the hight of my flamenco-guitar. Its a professional model. The hight is perfect I think.

.
.
.




Images are resized automatically to a maximum width of 800px
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 29 2006 17:57:41
 
Hugh

 

Posts: 130
Joined: Jul. 27 2006
 

RE: Guitar string height... requesti... (in reply to JBASHORUN

If you do a Yahoo search. And type in - CG171SF. Pick out the first site, and you will see that they sell the instrument with a "solid spruce" top.
That is the company I bought my instrument from a few weeks ago.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 29 2006 21:13:04

JBASHORUN

Posts: 1839
Joined: Jan. 23 2005
 

RE: Guitar string height... requesti... (in reply to Hugh

quote:

If you do a Yahoo search. And type in - CG171SF. Pick out the first site, and you will see that they sell the instrument with a "solid spruce" top.
That is the company I bought my instrument from a few weeks ago.


http://www.musicalinstrumentmegastore.co.uk/itm03069.htm

Thats a good price!!!

Top is solid spruce, but back and sides are Laminated cypress I think (even though it doesn't say so on that page).

Jb

_____________________________

¡Si esto no está en compas, esto no es el Flamenco!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 29 2006 22:20:21
 
Hugh

 

Posts: 130
Joined: Jul. 27 2006
 

RE: Guitar string height... requesti... (in reply to Nemo Nint

Price is fine for what it is, exactly £249.23 delivered to the door.

Its a great wee guitar for that kind of money. It makes a difference if you are like me and not afraid to work on the neck a bit, and get it more playable so to speak.
I've changed the saddle and nut to bone, and it has really made quite a difference to the sound quality.
Everytime I've changed the strings, I've worked on the frets, getting them smoothed down a bit. It just about as good as it will get now.
If you can do this work yourself, it brings the instrument up to a par with far more costly guitars. I did it with my Yamaha classical years ago. It cost me around £400 at the time, and when I'd finished with it, It played and sounded better than some guitars over £1000 that I tried out in the guitar stores in Glasgow.
A lot of folk dont realise that when you buy a factory made guitar, the finishing quality leaves a lot to be desired. I was in Sound Control once looking at some guitars to pass the time.I picked up this Les Paul Custom, and the finished quality was atrocious for what the cost was. It was in the £1500 cost bracket, which for that kind of money, I would expect much much better. I'd have had to spend a lot of time and work on that instrument to get it to a fast rock playing capability.
The only thing I'd say, which I think it was you Jb that mentioned before, is that if you go down the same road as me, you almost certainly invalidate your warranty on the instrument. So, if you're not sure about what you're doing, dont touch it.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 30 2006 8:29:30

JBASHORUN

Posts: 1839
Joined: Jan. 23 2005
 

RE: Guitar string height... requesti... (in reply to Nemo Nint

quote:

The only thing I'd say, which I think it was you Jb that mentioned before, is that if you go down the same road as me, you almost certainly invalidate your warranty on the instrument. So, if you're not sure about what you're doing, dont touch it.


Yes, caution is advised- it is a (limited) LIFETIME warranty that Yamaha give their instruments, if I remember rightly.

Jb

_____________________________

¡Si esto no está en compas, esto no es el Flamenco!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 30 2006 9:17:46
 
Graeme

 

Posts: 30
Joined: Apr. 2 2004
From: Lincoln, UK

RE: Guitar string height... requesti... (in reply to Nemo Nint

Hello Hugh. You mentioned working the frets: what do you use for this? I've been considering attaching abrasive paper to the straight edge of a spirit-level as a cheap & cheerful method. If your method is similar, what length of straight-edge and which grades of paper would you recommend?
Thanks for any info, Graeme
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 30 2006 9:20:08
 
Hugh

 

Posts: 130
Joined: Jul. 27 2006
 

RE: Guitar string height... requesti... (in reply to Nemo Nint

Ha ha, well you'll probably laugh at my makeshift implements for doing the job.
As its not a thing I do very often, I dont have proper tools for the job, so I just make do with what I can find.

Firstly I put electric tape in between the frets so as the wood does'nt get damaged when I am filing the frets.
I did'nt have a proper really smooth file so I used these emery boards that the wife uses for her nails (she has'nt found out yet), there are all different grades she has in her collection. I started off with a pretty rough one then used the smoothest I could find, finally I used t-cut to polish off any roughness and they turned out just fine.
I did'nt have too much to take off the surface of the frets.
I dont have a proper level so I made do with a long metal handplane, sitting it along the frets on its edge, it shows up any high frets. I had a light at the back of it to show up any spaces better. It might sound a bit amateur but it works if you just take your time and put a lot of effort into it.
I've been doing this over the space of maybe three/four string changes, til I got it the way I wanted it. Dont go crazy and try to do too much on the one go.
Do a bit, try it out for a while, and if it needs more just take another wee bit off next string change til you are happy with it.
I know to the more professional luthiers on here this will sound terrible. But hey, it works for me.
And all I spent was £7.50 on a saddle and nut for the replacement.
Its easy to do as long as you are carefull.
Bye the way, the emery paper on the spirit level sounds good too, I never thought of that idea. Thats one for the memory banks, ta....Hugh.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 30 2006 14:26:52

JBASHORUN

Posts: 1839
Joined: Jan. 23 2005
 

RE: Guitar string height... requesti... (in reply to Hugh

quote:

Firstly I put electric tape in between the frets so as the wood does'nt get damaged when I am filing the frets.
I did'nt have a proper really smooth file so I used these emery boards that the wife uses for her nails (she has'nt found out yet),


the electrical tape is a wise choice. I believe this is the proper tool used to file the tops of the frets:

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Fretting_supplies/Shaping_and_crowning/Three-in-one_Fret_File.html

Wirewool can also be used afterwards to get a finer finish.

Jb

_____________________________

¡Si esto no está en compas, esto no es el Flamenco!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 30 2006 15:01:58
 
Graeme

 

Posts: 30
Joined: Apr. 2 2004
From: Lincoln, UK

RE: Guitar string height... requesti... (in reply to Nemo Nint

Ha! Consider yourself outed Hugh. Careful your wife doesn't come home early and catch you "at it"? Probably explains the curious string-sized notches in her nail clippers too?

Hoping I won't need JB's shaping file since I'm only planning to make minor adjustments to the odd high fret. I presume that even frets that are well levelled from new move slightly as the guitar timbers settle down with time.

Just been looking at the StewMac diamond fret levelling blocks and found a cheaper variety on Ebay (AmTech brand - search for "diamond sharpening") so I may give one a try. Must be a sinch with one of these........no?

Sorry for hijacking your thread Nemo Nint!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 30 2006 22:32:17
 
Hugh

 

Posts: 130
Joined: Jul. 27 2006
 

RE: Guitar string height... requesti... (in reply to Nemo Nint

Graeme, all you are looking to do is smooth off the neck a bit to allow more ease of movement along the fingerboard. There should'nt be that much work required to get it to the way you want it.
Thats why I did'nt go buying expensive tools, all to do one job in a while.
If I was doing it on a regular basis, I would certainly invest in the proper equipment for the job. Some of the guys on here are building their own instruments, you need all the proper gear if you go that deep into it.
Like I said before, dont go trying to do too much on the first go. Do it is stages, just a small bit at a time till you get it just right for you.
By the way - I am a wee bit more technically minded than nail clippers. I do have quite an extensive tool collection, just not the finer ones for luthiery. I found my Dremel set on its stand invaluable for shaping the bone nut and saddle. Word to the warning there though, if you go down that road, make sure you got a really good mask if you're buffing down the bone with a power tool. The dust caused by this is unbelievable. Smells like the dentist drilling your teeth too
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 31 2006 6:52:39
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