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Author Topic: Bass is cheap, but trebles are going to cost you.....  (Read 1348 times)
fitness1
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« on: April 04, 2017, 01:04:37 AM »

evidently about 15 hours of sanding

Over the last few weeks/string changes I've been slowly tweaking a Taylor DN3 I bought back in January.  I knew it had potential, and one thing that I really liked about it was the 4 3/8 maximum depth, giving a little  quicker decay and more clarity.

Initially, I put some ports in it......then I did some minor brace and bridge sanding.

About three weeks ago I decided it was sounding so good that it was going to be MINE, and decided to see how far I could take it in regards to mass reduction.

The first few treatments involved just reducing the height of the braces, but the last couple I began scalloping and making them more peaked.  I'd estimate that the overall reduction is well over 30% in regards to the main part of the X, the closest tone bar to the bridge and the small fans on either side.   The bridge is probably down between 20 and 30% and I focused on the wings, and the ridges on each side, as well as the lower part below the pins - didn't really mess much with the pin/saddle slot area.  I also took the bridge plate down a little bit (maybe less than 10%) as it was, and still is pretty thick.


I also spent a good amount of time waxing the top (Meguiars Deep Crystal 2) to reduce the thickness of the finish - with extra emphasis around the bridge area.


These last two 'treatments' have really dialed in the sound I was looking for.   Deep, tight bass, fat trebles and mids that jump out like a scared cat.   It's so dynamic it's hard to believe and records really, really well.

I've owned around 100 Taylors in the last 25 plus years and this one is sounding better than any of them.    I have two world class instruments here with sound ports that I can refer to, and that helped a lot along the way - although I'm nowhere near the small size of those braces.   The top is still flat as a pancake too....

This has been extremely therapeutic for me as I'm in the midst of some of the darker days of my life to this point.  It's been nice to have a project to keep my somewhat sane.

I'll post a few pics here......







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Mikeymac
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« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2017, 04:11:17 PM »


I've owned around 100 Taylors in the last 25 plus years and this one is sounding better than any of them.


Wow... Bob should name a wing in his offices after you!

Looks like a fun interesting project. It will be interesting to see how much more the guitar opens up over time. 

Did you say which model this is? You mentioned waxing/polishing/removing finish - was this one of the satin models? Also, did you slot the bridge string holes, or does Taylor do that now? 
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fitness1
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2017, 04:15:10 PM »

Wow... Bob should name a wing in his offices after you!

Looks like a fun interesting project. It will be interesting to see how much more the guitar opens up over time. 

Did you say which model this is? You mentioned waxing/polishing/removing finish - was this one of the satin models? Also, did you slot the bridge string holes, or does Taylor do that now? 


Believe it or not, only one of them was new!! ('96 410K)    So, Taylor made very little off me!

It's a DN3 (2013 I believe)    The top is gloss and the back and sides were satin, but I've polished them out to a semi-gloss like a Mcilroy or Lowden.    Bridge pin holes were slotted - think they've been doing that for a while at Taylor.
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2017, 11:23:34 PM »

I see you have a Charis. Does it have the solid kerfing like what you can see on their website right now? 
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fitness1
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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2017, 11:27:08 PM »

I see you have a Charis. Does it have the solid kerfing like what you can see on their website right now? 

Yes it does - mine is a late 2013.
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bobsnuscruz
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« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2017, 02:28:37 PM »

Fitness, Thank you for this post.  I would have guessed that the lightening you did to the main X and nearby braces would have loosened the center, leaving the perimeter of the top with roughly the same rigidity.  I find Taylors to already have enough treble, and thought that this loosening in the center might actually reduce the bass component further.  What part of the impact do you think was attributable to the ports, and which to the brace shaving?
Bob
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Bob

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« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2017, 04:01:19 PM »

What part of the impact do you think was attributable to the ports, and which to the brace shaving?
Bob

That's really tough to say - and I've not had this guitar here for a while (actually a few more have passed through since - I know that's a surprise to many of you )

I think in reading your verbiage maybe we need to figure out if you are confusing a guitar with "plenty of treble" for a guitar that is overly bright.   My search is for thick, fat trebles up the neck and normally the pursuit of lightening braces will get both - more warmth and richness across the spectrum......fuller, rounder bass (definitely NOT reducing it)  and fuller, fatter trebles.   Lightening the bracing also increases the guitars sensitivity to a lighter touch, while the ports will allow you to hear that sensitivity more easily.

Here are a few points about what I find that ports do on their own, maybe that and what I've posted here already will help answer your question more fully.
I've installed probably two dozen or so on various body sizes/wood combinations/different quality levels of guitars and can tell you without hesitation that I've come to expect (and receive) these results:

1 It increases the sound to the player, and almost always increases the output out front - working like a breather hole on a gas can

2. Ports almost always make harsh or shrill trebles smooth out and become more fat....even instruments with already pleasant trebles are louder and fatter.

3. They almost always smooth out the response across the spectrum and make mic placement easier for recording....this is especially true with classical instruments.
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Charis SJ Koa/Sitka
Mcknight/Poling GC Koa/Italian
Eastman E10D - Mahogany/Adirondack
Cordoba C9 Mahogany/Euro Spruce



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bobsnuscruz
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« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2017, 09:21:47 PM »

Thank you.  You are right: "overly bright" is what I would want to avoid.  I've got an old Seagull; I think try on that what you've done on the Taylor.  Thanks.
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Bob

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« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2017, 08:00:29 PM »

I don't like bass because true guitarists choose only normal guitars
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« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2017, 12:52:56 PM »

Nice pictures of the project.
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