Steel string acoustic sizes vs classical

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carloscarlos Frets: 1248
Keen to try a steel string acoustic again. I used to have a dreadnought but it wasn't comfortable to play at all. On the other hand, I can play my classical for hours on end without any aches or pains. What would be a good size steel-string for me? Let's assume a nylon-string classical is a good size.

Thanks
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  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 6041
    OM or OOO will be about that size. I believe many OOO's are 12 frets, so that may also be a familiar size for you. 

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  • carloscarlos Frets: 1248
    Thanks
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 31153
    Pretty much anything which isn't a Dreadnought or a Jumbo will be no larger than a classical.

    As Vim said, the 12th-fret neck join may be part of what you find more comfortable though - it will make the guitar seem smaller because it brings the neck further in towards your body. While most OM/000s are actually 14-fret, most 00s and smaller are 12-fret.
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  • earwighoneyearwighoney Frets: 1599
    edited November 2017
    VimFuego said:
    OM or OOO will be about that size. I believe many OOO's are 12 frets, so that may also be a familiar size for you. 
    OM/OOO's have 15" or 15.25" lower bouts which is an inch or so larger than a classical guitar lower bout which is 14" or so.  FWIW, I think the one inch for body sizes does make a significant difference. 

    12 & 14 fret OO's have 14" lower bout and are closer to classical guitar dimensions.  The 14 fret OO has an upper bout closer to classical guitar but a different bridge position which impacts finger style playing but the 12 fret OO will have a similar bridge position but a smaller upper bout.  

    I think it's worth trying as many of the variants as possible to find out which body size suits you the most.  

    I myself play a lot of nylon strings (flamenco) and I also have an OM and 12 fret OO and without a moment's hesitation finding the latter closer to the nylon strings for comfort. 

    Also, 12 fret variants will often have wider string spacing at the nut/saddle which is something which a lot of nylon string players are more comfortable with. 

    If you have the chance try to find a place which stocks Sigma Guitars as their range contains a lot of the OO/OOO variants in 12 & 14 variants. 
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  • carloscarlos Frets: 1248
    To make it worse my classical is short sale at 630mm although I use high tension strings to make up. So I think having a 12 fret joint would suit me. 
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  • An O-sized guitar might also work for you. The Martin O-16 New Yorker feels just like a classical guitar. 12 frets to the body, wide fretboard with no obvious radius and not too deep between the top and back. Strung with silk'n'steel strings it even has similar string tension.

    What sort of playing would you like to do with your steel-strung guitar? 
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  • carlos said:
    To make it worse my classical is short sale at 630mm although I use high tension strings to make up. So I think having a 12 fret joint would suit me. 
    FWIW, in that case I think the Larrivee Parlor's of 24" scale might be worth checking out. 

    https://www.larrivee.com/products/p-03r-recording-series
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  • carloscarlos Frets: 1248
    Tried a few today:
    New Tanglewood tw40 O - ooo body size. Sounded great to me. Very easy to play. Cheap, too. 
    Used Gibson lg0 - very boxy sound, kind of limited in range but felt great to play. Size almost the same as a classical. 
    A couple of dusty acoustic archtops - massive thick necks, I love their biting sound, not the same as a flat top. One had action too low the other too high. Don't feel confident in buying a guitar that old without a truss rod, though. 
    New Godin 5th avenue - brilliant. How can it be £499 RRP? 
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