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A friend brought me his uncles old 1978 Alhambra classical guitar.  It was a tourist grade model they brought back from Spain 40+ years ago.  Over time the neck angle has changed and he eventually cut down the saddle slot and saddle to lower the action.    Now the top of the saddle is the same height as the saddle slot and this still leaves the break angle of the strings very shallow with the strings tied on.

It has a roughly cut spanish heel.  So a neck re-set would require cutting off the neck and a bolt on conversion.  It is a solid cedar top, laminate body.

Minimum I'm going to have to make a new saddle and raise it a hair over the saddle slot.  This will get slightly more break angle on the strings.  And they'll need to live with slightly higher string action.

Could classical strings have a ball end added allowing the break angle to drop down to the saddle side exit hole then to the back of the tie block?

Could changing the string mounting method put different potentially harmful stresses on the bridge and top?

I don't know how to word this properly, but here goes.  Where is the full stress/pull of string tension on the top plate with a classical bridge?  Pulling from the loop in the strings in front of the tie block or generating from the exit hole at the rear of the tie block?

Any insight or practical experience you can share would be greatly appreciated

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Ball end nylon strings are available to purchase, certainly here in the UK. As far as I can see ball end nylon strings and tie end nylon strings put the same stresses on the bridge.

The other operation is to "slip the block". This means separating the neck block from the back , and also the sides from the back for about 3". Allowing the block to be pushed into the body until the neck angle is acceptable , then reglue the block and sides , and finally trim the excess back overhang . This is quite easy if there is no back binding .

The simplest way is just what you suggest - tie a ball on the end of the string.    You can buy ball end nylon strings, but the choices are limited.  

I just went to the local bead shop and bought a handful of 4mm glass beads.   They are perfect to use on those ancient gut-strung Martins with pin bridges, and they work well on classical guitars, too.


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