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Author Topic: Does guitar shape affect tone ?  (Read 10423 times)
jeremy3220
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« Reply #60 on: May 22, 2011, 05:43:36 PM »

Though I don't care either way I was wondering if there are any builders out there building based on and using the science available to them to actully build guitars and I'm not talking about CAC or CNC stuff but act true computer science and physic to build.


Yeah of course. Alan Carruth was already mentioned. There are many others - Somogyi, Ryan I know off the top of my head. http://www.esomogyi.com/principles.html

Nah thats not what I'm talking about.Fiber guitars are just a different material and fan frets have been around forever.I asking is there any builder building base on science and physics to construct a guitar.Is there a real math formula designed based on what phsyics dictates ie;dimention,top thickness,side thickness etc?You know real science stuff,real physics,not another trick market pony.

Yeah there are actual builders who test chladni patterns, top deflection, dampening, etc to help them build a better guitar. Physics could never give a single equation to build a good guitar. You have to figure out what physical quantifiable characteristics you desire then use physics to achieve that.

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« Reply #61 on: May 22, 2011, 06:23:29 PM »

Cool and thanks,Now I know so off to check out the builders.
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« Reply #62 on: May 24, 2011, 12:35:31 PM »

Yeah of course. Alan Carruth was already mentioned. There are many others - Somogyi, Ryan I know off the top of my head. http://www.esomogyi.com/principles.html

Yeah there are actual builders who test chladni patterns, top deflection, dampening, etc to help them build a better guitar. Physics could never give a single equation to build a good guitar. You have to figure out what physical quantifiable characteristics you desire then use physics to achieve that.



Interesting from Somogyi about different attitudes between classical and steel string players. I find steel string players are not near critical enough, and we get the guitars and service to a certain level because of it. I think there is still a lot wrong with steel strings and they are at a primitive state as serious instruments compared to classical. Not near in nuance and articulation, clarity --much harder to shape the sound with technique.





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« Reply #63 on: May 24, 2011, 12:47:27 PM »

jeremy and rockstar THANKS I wish they talked about the technical{physic}thing more.

Its amazing when you think about the history of stringed instruments.Some gut/gal is walking along see's a turtle shell things "hey if I stick a piece of wood on one end and tie a  piece of string attaching it from one end to the other and strum it I might be able to make music."
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« Reply #64 on: May 24, 2011, 04:44:49 PM »

Interesting from Somogyi about different attitudes between classical and steel string players. I find steel string players are not near critical enough, and we get the guitars and service to a certain level because of it. I think there is still a lot wrong with steel strings and they are at a primitive state as serious instruments compared to classical. Not near in nuance and articulation, clarity --much harder to shape the sound with technique.

He's right. In the steel string world the PC attitude is that there are only good guitars and maybe better guitars, no company makes bad guitars, 'brand bashing' is for bigots, etc. There are a lot of companies who are making bad guitars on a consistent basis but you'll get flamed if you mention it; if you criticize a particular action by a builder you'll get 'well they've been in the business for XX years, I think they know what they're doing'.  Those attitudes prevent buyers from being discerning enough to want a better guitar and perhaps subsequently preventing builders from building a better guitar.
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« Reply #65 on: May 25, 2011, 02:48:38 AM »

unclrob,

I had the good fortune of nearly begging none other than Mr. Jean Larrivée for a job in the lobby of the Oxnard facility about 8 or 9 years ago - telling him that I could help him confirm or reject design ideas with a methodology called Modal Analysis (used to document mode shapes of the vibrating surfaces).

In no uncertain terms, Mr. Larrivée said, "Thanks but no thanks.  Folks have been trying to improve on the design of acoustic guitars using science for many years and so far, nobody has got it nailed down."  (Or something to that effect).

This was after Mr. Larrivée had given me a nearly hour personal tour of the facility where he was there fitting necks to bodies of the California model - commemorating their new Oxnard facility.  In said tour, he showed me plenty of cool technology that he used in the manufacturing of Larrivées including the CNC machine used to rough shape the necks ( to which he graciously credited Bob Taylor for introducing him to that technology ) and the very cool vacuum clamping machine used for clamping glued braces to tops/backs.

As for another builder that uses science in construction - check out the adjustable neck joint used by Greg Babicz.  http://www.babiczguitars.com/continually-adjustable-neck.htm  I've seen that design personally at a local violin luthier who is working with Babicz on some items.  Very cool design that makes lots of sense from the physics part of the situation.

(try not to look at the way he connects the strings to the outer rim near the binding - can't figure that one out!)

-Scott
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« Reply #66 on: May 25, 2011, 03:08:00 AM »

I played his {Babicz} guitars when they first came out and they were pitiful.His design if I remember rite was based on a late 1800 early 1900's parlour design I can't remember who's.I understand Mr. Larrivee's feeling towards science/physic I think,in physic/science the soul shall we say disappears.I had a client that just had his guitar Plexked{spelling}the machine used to dress frets.He brought it to me because the guitar would fret out when bending notes.Anyway I did my low tech test to see if the frets were level and they weren't.I then did a fret dressing the old fashion way and an hour latter he left happy as he has a gig tonite swearing he'd never believe anything he reads again until he talked to me first.This was his first visit to me.So science is a wonderful thing but you sometime's it gets you into things you don't want it in.
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« Reply #67 on: May 25, 2011, 03:19:59 AM »

yep - doesn't always work.

However, that said, I would take ANY model of a Rainsong put in my hands any day. 

BTW, I'm not sure all Babicz guitars have that weird string attachment.  The model I played did not have it - but it wasn't labeled a Babicz (yet!)

You'd love that violin luthier shop here in Colorado Springs - feels like stepping back into the 1700's.  I go in there and chat with the luthier now and then.  He's the person who does the repairs on my daughter's viola.  (out here in the dry, seems like the glue attaching the back to the sides needs more humidity than what we can reliably provide).  On that topic, he recommends either being very anal about humidifying to a constant %-age or not humidifying at all - since our humidity doesn't vary that much.  His feeling is that it's worse to only remember to humidify now and then than to either do it religiously or not at all.  His feelings is that it's the swings in humidity that are problematic for the instrument.  Makes sense to me.

-Scott
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« Reply #68 on: May 25, 2011, 03:23:55 AM »

, he recommends either being very anal about humidifying to a constant %-age or not humidifying at all - since our humidity doesn't vary that much.  His feeling is that it's worse to only remember to humidify now and then than to either do it religiously or not at all.  His feelings is that it's the swings in humidity that are problematic for the instrument.  Makes sense to me.


Interesting perspective
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« Reply #69 on: May 25, 2011, 03:27:50 AM »

   So I was just wondering...."Does guitar shape affect tone "     
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« Reply #70 on: May 25, 2011, 04:24:14 AM »

Seems like humidity levels may effect tone more than guitar shape.......... whistling

Make mine a dry...............
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« Reply #71 on: May 25, 2011, 12:39:32 PM »

He's right. In the steel string world the PC attitude is that there are only good guitars and maybe better guitars, no company makes bad guitars, 'brand bashing' is for bigots, etc. There are a lot of companies who are making bad guitars on a consistent basis but you'll get flamed if you mention it; if you criticize a particular action by a builder you'll get 'well they've been in the business for XX years, I think they know what they're doing'.  Those attitudes prevent buyers from being discerning enough to want a better guitar and perhaps subsequently preventing builders from building a better guitar.

Even much of the high end has too much noise in the sound and a kind of bag pipe momentum to where you are dragged along with the response and you have not near enough control of it. Guitars thought highly of in the market -- like older (good) Martins and Collings and Santa Cruz can often have a sort of sourness and noise to the sound profile that is just not musical to me. I think the entire market needs a major kick in the behind. Players salivate over the high end  --- but so much of what is produced is only slightly better than the completely crummy level of what the big companies produce over and over, for the most part. Some of the stuff Taylor comes out with is inexcusably Bad. Still they sell a ton.
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« Reply #72 on: May 25, 2011, 01:20:18 PM »

Rockstar I had the pleasure of hanging/learning how to repair violins from a wondrful vintage{no longer use the word old}builder and stepping into his basement felt like stepping back in time to Italy.Wonderful smells coming fromthe kitchen mixed with the smell of aging woods,sawdust and finishing material.
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