Advice on 8 string classical guitars

Discussion in 'Jazz, Acoustic, Classical & Fingerstyle' started by TankJon666, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. TankJon666

    TankJon666 SS.org Regular

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    After years of playing electric guitar and mostly metal I have found my tastes mellowing and enjoying the sound of nylon strings! I'm looking at trying an 8 string classical guitar and transitioning my jazz noodlings to acoustic. Either the Ibanez G208CWC or the Ortega RCE159-8.

    I'm not interested in tuning it down to drop E so I'm not concerned with how it sounds at super low tunings. I would be tuning, low to high, B E A D G B E A and probably experimenting with some open tunings.

    Do any of you guys own either of these guitars? Nut width is pretty much identical but I'd likely go for the one with the flatter neck profile. The Ortega does have on-board electronics so for me that is a plus but not a deal breaker for the Ibanez.

    Unfortunately I can't try one out locally as no one stocks them ...and a few local stores were convinced you can't buy 8 string classical guitars without having one custom made :nuts:

    Thanks!
     
  2. Given To Fly

    Given To Fly Contributor

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    They are not crazy. Before Ibanez released their 8 string classical your options were to have a luthier build you one or buy one from a shady guitar brand that only sells on eBay.
     
  3. TankJon666

    TankJon666 SS.org Regular

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    Fair enough...
     
  4. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    Is that 'shady' brand Bartolex?
    I can vouch for them. They don't only sell on ebay either, the bartolexusa website is run by somebody else I think. They have their own other website and you can purchase directly through owner Neris Gonzalez. I picked up a Bartolex fanned 8 shortly before the Ibanez was released, when it was indeed the only option. I've also got a Milagro 11 string which is the higher quality line also designed by Neris. They are all China made but very good quality instruments. They are pretty reputable in the classical ERG crowd

    I've experience with many setups and high A is my thing too. However, don't have too much hope for it even at 25.5"
    It's more viable than electric guitar yes, but can still be a struggle. I'd recommend tuning a step down to G.
    Even when the string is safe, you'll find it just has a little less projection and tone than the others because the gauge is so small.
    G makes it much more practical.

    Maybe message Neris, I do believe there was a shorter scale version of the Bartolex I have. mine is 27.5-25.5 but I think there was one that went down to 24 or something.

    Bartolex has electronics too. I'm sure it's a much higher price point than the Ibanez but thought I'd weigh in
     
  5. Given To Fly

    Given To Fly Contributor

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    I was referring to Bartolex. I bought a 7 string classical w/electronics off eBay and later sold it on Jemsite. The first paragraph of your post contains more information about the brand than I was ever able to find. This all happened awhile ago though. I imagine things have changed.
     
  6. InfinityCollision

    InfinityCollision SS.org Regular

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    I bought a Bartolex through the USA dealer back in August (still need to do a NGD). Functional, albeit with some fairly obvious issues with attention to detail. I kept it, but I wouldn't say I got my money's worth :2c:
     
  7. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    :yesway: Fair. I got a good deal on one Neris had to shift from his place at the time he moved to the USA from Spain. I would agree, there are some slight finish issues on my Bartolex just like the fretboard end and fret tang finish really, some glue etc.
    The Milagro however is perfect - though a lot more expensive.
     
  8. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    I would probably say that considering price, the Ibanez is the best option - especially given the good performance of classicals in low tunings even at regular scale length. The baritone fan isn't as necessary as it may be on electric.
    However, if you're keen on tuning above F# on that treble string, I do think you'd benefit very much from a shorter scale if Neris does indeed offer a 25.5-? version.
     
  9. TankJon666

    TankJon666 SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the advice guys. I've been toying with building a godin multiac style fan fret guitar and going 24-25.5. Or just go with the Ibby and leave it tuned as is ��
     
  10. TaP

    TaP Genin

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    Anybody ever try the Agile ones? I only ask because they're the only company I know that sells left handed 7 and 8 string acoustics. They weren't classical with nylon fitted strings, they were steel strung, but still look sick.
     
  11. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    Quite a lot of people on this forum have tried the agile steels :) Do a google for "site:sevenstring.org agile renaissance"
     
  12. jack_cat

    jack_cat SS.org Regular

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    That high A4 string is a really wonderful thing musically, but the string length has to be a little shorter, like around 24.5 inches max, or less in my opinion. There's a "high A4" thread going already somewhere here with many pages of posts about folks' experiences. I am going for 23-5/8" (60 c) on my currently-being-built 9 string fanned fret. This is less than the maximum length possible by about 3 c. A buddy has an 8 string "Romantic" guitar tuned the way you want, at 63 c (24.8") but I think the high A4 on his guitar is pretty thin and I don't enjoy it.

    Then, the low B sounds great - on my own fanned fret prototype built in 2013 - strretched out to 68c (26.75") but nobody is making anything like that commercially.

    I have never played a Bartolex but have corresponded with various happy owners of them. They do have one fanned fret model that you can tune from A4 to B1. I don't remember the string lengths but no doubt they post them somewhere. For a factory model it seems to be about the best thing going.

    Doesn't Agile make a Renaissance fanned fret 8 with nylon? I think I saw an ad for it -- but maybe it was a steel string.

    good luck
    - jack
     

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