Cello Nylon String

For this guitar the customer gave me a very simple brief – ‘I want a nylon string guitar that looks like a cello’. I said OK and then went away scratching my head, wondering what I had just agreed to. I broke down the various elements of the design and it quickly became clear – It was all about the headstock, F-holes and tail piece.

The headstock was hand-carved from a solid laminated block of carbon and features peg tuners from pegheds that actually have a 4:1 gear built into them, giving a very traditional look. The bridge and tail piece are custom-moulded carbon parts.

To keep the lines clean I created a special ball joint to hold on the tail piece, rather than a regular tie design. For the soundboard I used a solid cedar top laminated with a very fine skin of carbon. I used a very light carbon lattice bracing system, giving a very light and responsive soundboard. All these features really blended beautifully together and created a very unique instrument that exceeded both the customer and my own expectations.



    Alistair's working processin 3 steps

    Alistair takes on a number of Custom Design projects a year. If you checked out our Emerald Custom Shop and couldn't find the options you were looking for and have something very special in mind, send Alistair a query!

    browse & be inspired

    Browse through the Alistair Hay Custom Design Portfolio and see how endless the possibilities are when coming up with your own instrument design.

    contact & develop

    Send Alistair a query and let him personally advise you on a one-to-one basis on all the possibilities in view of building your dream instrument.

    place your order

    Following consultation with Alistair, all you have to do is finalise your specifications and await the completion of your Alistair Hay Custom Design instrument.


    Add an Emerald Artisan or Opus to your Collection. Colour, pickup & upgrade options available....