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Author Topic: RO10 Nylon String Conversion - alternate to discontinued RO20  (Read 5367 times)

Offline bugster

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RO10 Nylon String Conversion - alternate to discontinued RO20
« on: December 26, 2015, 09:23:16 PM »
The Backpacker is offered as Nylon Classical, but with no truss rod and supports only extra light strings. The Rover is a more attractive design, with truss rod. So I chose the Rover and am very pleased. The EXP super light set had an .009 high E, super light weighs in at 85 lbs tension which matches Daddario Pro Arte normal tension. I clipped the ball ends off the stock super lights and tied to the nylon strings, a knot above and below, and mounted normally with the bridge pins. Used overlap/knot on trebles at tuners and it strung up easily. I used folded over 150 grit sand paper to enlarge the nut slot for 1st and 2nd strings, the others fit perfectly. These might be considered enough to void the warranty, no matter, since I prefer nylon tone and play finger style. The backpacker long triangular body extends up the neck to create more resonance, but I find the tone of the Rover to be very pleasing and somewhat Banjo like. Remember classical Banjo? The Rover also needs a stock strap button behind the neck, it's a hassle to tie the strap at headstock, and balance is much better with a neck heel strap button. So I added one. Used one from an old Strat, a small wood screw, pre-drilled hole above centerline at neck heel. This is for balance, to miss the truss rod with the screw yet low enough from top edge so plenty of wood to support the light guitar. Also the lower bout strap button is larger diameter than the included strap, so I used a bit of metal tubing from an old lamp and a block of wood to punch it to a larger diameter. You'll read nay-sayers that steel nylon conversion doesn't play, however if string tension is matched, action and tone work as if guitar was designed for nylon. I wish the neck was wider at the nut, but that's a compromise I'm willing to make for lack of the RO20. Took a chance making these mods, but the result is fantastic and I am happy to share my exhuberation here and inspire you to pursue Rover nylon as well.

Offline evenkeel

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Re: RO10 Nylon String Conversion - alternate to discontinued RO20
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2015, 01:41:54 PM »
Welcome to the forum.

Interesting modification.  In general terms a nylon string, classical guitar is much lighter braced than a steel string.  You need to keep things very lightly braced on a classical so you can drive the top with the light, nylon strings.  Conversely you need a bit more bracing on a steel string to handle the extra tension.  So... the common wisdom is a set of nylon strings on a steel string guitar will sound very thin and muted since you can't really drive the top.  Steel strings on a classical will likely deform the top.  In the case of the rover; with a short scale, a very small body the bracing is probably rather minimal.  But, the lower tension and less surface area may make the tension issue moot.  Whatever the case, glad it worked out for you.