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Extra strings on the basic acoustic (bootlegger)?

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Topic starter

Here's my thinking.

I want to build an acoustic (actually I want to build several over time, such as a smaller bodied model and a nylon string, but I need to start somewhere). The problem is that my basic workhorse needs are filled very nicely by my Taylor (it's a cheaper model, but it sounds good, plays nicely, has a cutaway and also has sentimental value, so I'm not looking to replace it).

So if I build the basic design (which makes sense from a first build perspective) it probably won't see much use. That's a lot of time and money for something that's just going to sit on a shelf (plus I'm short of shelf space)

But making it an 8 or 9 string (like in these two Taylor models) would give it a special niche, and because of the nature of the sort of playing it lends itself to I'd be unlikely to want to go up to the dusty end and miss having a cutaway (which is something you advise avoiding first time out).

But extra strings is extra tension, would the design need to be modified with that in mind, or is it strong enough as is? (Reinforcing the neck with a couple of carbon rods would be simple enough I think, but the bracing on the body might be a different matter. 

3 Answers

One of my many unfinished projects is a 12 string guitar but I've also got a half naked idea (and a nut) for a 7 string acoustic so I'm keen to follow this thread

Jonathan Hodgson Topic starter 08/12/2020 2:19 pm

For your 12 string project, have you planned to do anything different with the bracing, or do you think what you did on your 6 string will be fine?


Who’d pick up a Taylor over a guitar they’d built themself? My Lowden doesn’t get a look in these days! Build your guitar, with however many strings, and then sell the Taylor to fund the materials for the next guitar project. You know it makes sense!


Topic starter


Two reasons

1) My goto guitar is always going to be the one with the cutaway, that's just the way I am. I'm a 24 frets on an electric type person (22 is forgivable if you want the tone of the neck pickup at the 24 fret point, 21 is just fret theft). Mark advises against cutaways first time round, and I think that's fair enough.
2) The Taylor has sentimental value, even if I wasn't using it, it would be really tough for me to sell it. So that would mean wasted value.

Further down the line I'm hoping to build a smaller bodied "couch guitar", but that will have to have a cutaway and some extra bling (exotic woods, binding, some inlaying perhaps) and so it's not going to be a first project.