Thinking of doing a reso conversion on an acoustic guitar seen as I have a reso plate and a few old acoustics knocking about. Unfortunately all the guitars I have are originally nylon strung. Seems a little pointless having a nylon strung reso? Question is would putting even real light gauge steel strings on an old nylon acoustic be too much for the neck. I've seen a few of these done so just wandering what peoples experiences are?

 

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The bridge on a classical guitar has no string offset, that is it is straight, at right angles to the neck. A steel string bridge is offset 1/8" per inch. So in any conversion to steel string you are looking at changing the bridge or re setting the saddle. With a reso, you would have to change the bridge anyway to a biscuit bridge on the resonator.

I am thinking that installing a resonator is probably also a major problem in that you would have to cut and change all of the exisitng bracing inside the sound box to both hold the resonator properly and to rebrace the sound box and give it back some strength.

Sounds like a more major project than just building your own box and neck from scratch.

Converting an acoustic guitar into a resonator is a serious proposition, but perfectly manageable. The only problems with an old nylon strung guitar are that the width of the neck might not suit you as they are generally so much wider than a steel strung guitar, and the neck might not be up to taking the higher tension steel strings. I've seen it done before with an old classical guitar, so it is a practical proposition. The string tension is taken on a trapeze-type tailpiece, so as long as the body is sound and robust, it should be OK. I've made several acoustic to reso conversions (a spider bridge, a few biscuit bridges and a 12 string spider bridge), and always re-top the guitar in 6mm birch ply. I also form a soundwell and install a neck-stick in a similar manner to how a National is constructed. Here's the last one I made.

Hi,
Chet Atkins played a nylon resonator (Del Vecchio Dinamico )
There are some hits with google.
Some sites showing pics -

Inside view
http://theunofficialmartinguitarforum.yuku.com/topic/79900#.Uu-f1X8...
Outside views
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=1007008&sid=f48b...

And a video
www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJUr10qwOsU
(Sometimes they had light gauge steel strings but in this video I think they are nylon).

If you search google via the video option there are other vids so you can gauge if that is the sound you are aiming for.

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