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(Apologies if you've seen this question somewhere else, but I need a second opinion and advices are inconclusive).

I have (found) this guitar:

PICS

It is a Chandry by Sue Ryder (Don't bother googling it. Sue Ryder is a UK charity). Model seems to be SGS-WSAG1C-NAT if that makes any difference.

It appears this guitar was sold with steel strings but the tension and the action is very high. I've found a video on Youtube of a guy who plays with guitar with nylon strings: Youtube

The solid headstock and the cutaway design seem to point out to a steel string guitar, but the bridge, the lack of a truss rod and the flat fretboard seem more like a standard classical. The nut width is 48 mm, which is half way between an acoustic and a classical.

The first two pics in link 1 are for the bracing (sorry for the quality) and it is difficult to determine what kind of build it is.

The sound with steel strings is great but, as it is, this guitar is unplayable.

So, my options are:

  1. Chuck it in the skip
  2. Replace steel strings with nylon strings (maybe high tension)
  3. Shave the saddle of the bridge.
  4. Change the bridge altogether.

Everybody is telling me not to waste time and money and I wonder if they are right.

  • It's ChanTry..! – Tim Jul 14 at 16:45
  • At first I thought the wood screws driven right through the bridge and into the top protruding out into the body were signs of an amateur retrofit, but after further examination and consideration I think they are hallmarks of extremely cheap construction. – Todd Wilcox Jul 14 at 18:26
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The bridge with its intonation step for the B string says it's designed for steel. Maybe try lighter gauge strings. There is possibly a trussrod accessible inside the body, through the soundhole. Sight down the neck, and decide if lowering the saddle would work. Not a big job if so. Pics don't show the relief, and that's crucial. If the neck's not pretty straight, and there's definitely no truss rod - it's a scrapper.

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    The tuning machines suggest steel also. – Todd Wilcox Jul 14 at 18:23
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My experience of these guitars is that they are so poorly made as to not justify any effort in trying to make them usable. Your example has machine heads for steel strings, but a gut-string bridge, and the internal photos show appalling construction. I hope you didn't pay much for it, as I would say it's irredeemable. Sorry...

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Some guitar companies will use the same templates and manufacturing processes for both types of guitar to cut building costs. Sometimes there will be a slotted head stock for both types.

Usually the easiest way to tell if the guitar is set up for nylon or steel strings is the tuning machine posts. The nylon string guitars will have larger, usually plastic string posts in a slotted headstock. If the string posts are small and metal they are intended for steel strings.

The head stock and steel post tuners on this guitar are certainly for steel strings. The poor action is likely due to inexpensive construction.

You could switch to super light tension strings, even down to electric guitar gauges. You will loose tone and volume if you do, but it can make the guitar playable.

Putting nylon strings on it is also possible, and would require slotting the nut for the thicker string gauges.

The saddle can probably be lowered some, I can't tell too much from the picture. I have deepened the slot and lowered the forward wood of the bridge on some guitars like this before, to get a lower action at the bridge.

For the price of some strings and your time working around on the guitar it is probably worth an attempt. At worst you make it unplayable and have to convert it into an art project or a nice set of shelves.

https://www.google.com/search?source=univ&tbm=isch&q=guitar+body+shelf

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  • What's a 'slotted' string post? – Tim Jul 16 at 11:01
  • @Tim a "slotted string post" is slang for "not checking grammar before posting"... – Alphonso Balvenie Jul 17 at 21:14
  • @Tim but actually, there are slotted string posts. They are found on vintage Fender guitars and on electric bass guitars. The post has a cut through it and a small hole in the center. The string end is pushed into the hole and bent through the slot before wrapping. fatsound.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/… – Alphonso Balvenie Jul 17 at 21:21
  • Yes, I know that - use them a lot. But hardly for nylon strings! – Tim Jul 18 at 5:59

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