Theo Cheng has been a good friend and demonstrator of my instruments at Music Fairs for at least 30 years. He is at home playing the classical repertoire, dealing out the delta blues or swinging with jazz standards. For years he had the idea of getting a nylon strung guitar that could be amplified and, having tried all the available alternatives asked me to build his idea for him. So here it is. Theo wanted the shape and feel to be similar to a Hermann Hauser classical guitar so the body follows those lines except I don't think Herr Hauser ever used a cutaway! Also the neck dimensions are true to the Hauser in terms of width but is slightly slimmer front to back. The top is Canadian spruce and lightly braced as an acoustic instrument. The back and sides are solid Irish fiddleback sycamore which have been hollowed out to give a thin body at 45mm. The glued-in neck is Irish fiddleback sycamore with an ebony fingerboard underneath which are two carbon fibre rods for stability. Tuners are the rather lovely new Schaller Grand Tune. The scalloped ebony bridge has a Highlander IP-2 pickup fitted and there is also an adjustable Highlander condenser mic in the body cavity. So how does it work out? Well, for a start, it is very loud acoustically and could be recorded with an external mic. This is surprising when you consider the small volume of the body. The Highlander pickup and mic can be used alone or blended together so there are a wide range of amplified sounds available. None of them are exactly a classical nylon string tone but that is not what Theo was after. Mind you, it gets close if required. Theo was happy and so was I so now we have a new model on offer - The Theo Signature Semi Acoustic Nylon String. By the way, if you like the T-shirt you can find out more about them here.