As a mid-life learner of Acoustic Guitar, my collection is extremely humble and comprises of 2 beginner-level (i.e. laminated, entry-level range) steel-string acoustic guitars - both of which are cut-away, and a Yamaha C40 entry-level nylon-string full-size classical guitar (that by the way has the best sound) that is not cut-away.
As I'm beginning to play a bit more fingerstyle and would like to do so on steel-string guitar as well, I've thus been looking (for a good 5 months now as evidenced by a related question in the past) for wider-nut steel-string acoustic-electric guitar, but with at least solid top -- since that is all I think I can afford.
I think I might've found a decent guitar that checks many boxes (solid body, excellent pickup etc.) but still a 43mm nut. Have got few reports of the guitar being very nice sounding and a pleasure to play. However, I am torn between putting my money on another 43mm (which otherwise is a step-up for me in all other ways), or waiting somemore time to find a 47-48mm, which seems to be extremely hard to find, where I live.
Thus, the question -- How significant is the real effective difference between a 43mm nut and a 47-48mm nut width guitar, after all it is just about 1mm extra between each string, compared to the one with 43mm nut ?
I find playing (fingerstyle) my current entry-level Yamaha F310 with 43mm nut-width, somewhat cramped now, i.e. after playing the 52mm nut-width Classical guitar for a while. I notice lack of clarity (muddy sounding), more mistakes with inadvertent neighboring strings being muted (thanks to both left hand and right hand) or mis-struck on the narrower neck (i.e. 43mm nut) -- but perhaps it is because I am returning to the 43mm neck guitar after several months (of playing the Classical guitar, almost exclusively), and I am still very much learning.
Will 43mm nut width guitar be a life-long handicap in playing clean, good sounding, finger-style and thus should be avoided ?
Edit-1: Here is an interesting youtube video sharing poster's views on appropriateness of wider neck for finger-style playing. The problem that the poster refers to, is one of the problems I am facing with my left (fretting) hand fingers, i.e. the pads of the fingers seem to touch the next/lower string, there by causing some muting/buzzing.
Edit-2: After reading around this subject a bit, I tend to think that industry is using inconsistent terminology. For example, the definition of Nut-width in may places is noted as the distance between lower-E and higher-E (6th string and 1st string) at the nut. However, here is what I measured just now on 2 guitars:
- Yamaha C40 (Classical): 36mm, 43mm, 50mm for eE, NW, BW respectively
- Yamaha F310 (Steel St): 42mm, 52mm, 60mm for eE, NW, BW respectively
where eE is distance between lower-E and higher-E at the Nult, NW is Nut width, BW is Bridge Width (but distance between lower-E and higher-E at the bridge).
Edit-3: (Oct 26, 2018) So what I did since posting the question was that -- against advise, I fell in love with a guitar that had a 43mm nut-width. The guitar sales guy turned out to be a good fingerstyle guitarist and I absolutely fell in love with the sound of the guitar. The guitarist had fatter fingers than mine and he put my doubts at rest. Now, few months after playing on this guitar (43mm nut-width), I am happy to report that I have not noticeable issues with the nut width or the bridge width. It takes getting used to. I'm pretty sure that if I were to spend few weeks with my Classical guitar and come back to this one, I might struggle again.