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On the guitar/music thread
 

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17129
Location: Portland, OR

4/1/13 2:20 PM

On the guitar/music thread

I found this one I would have posted in that thread, so will do a new thread instead.

http://128.163.130.14/woodsongs-562.wmv

Tommy Emmanuel & Frank Vignola on Woodsongs. Some sick diddling going on, and in the genre of swing/jazz styles...

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Nick Payne
Joined: 10 Jan 2004
Posts: 2410
Location: Canberra, Australia

4/4/13 5:25 PM

Willie Nelson playing the world's most beat-up guitar:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=dX9VXuLIfCM

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17129
Location: Portland, OR

4/4/13 5:35 PM

Monte Montgomery play an acoustic like an electric. His guitar is pretty bad from the beating, maybe not quite that bad... ;)

Heck of a player too!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjpkVv9OrZQ

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Andy M-S
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3201
Location: Hamden (greater New Haven) CT

4/4/13 7:10 PM

Nahhh

I would venture to guess that's just an old guitar. To see one that's beat up, check anything that Ritchie Havens has played for more than a week.

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17129
Location: Portland, OR

4/4/13 7:12 PM

"Ritchie Havens has played for more than a week."

I 1st looked for a pic of Havens, he wears holes though the tops....

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Nick Payne
Joined: 10 Jan 2004
Posts: 2410
Location: Canberra, Australia

4/4/13 10:21 PM

You can't see it all that well in the YT link I posted, but this is an unobstructed view of the soundboard on Willie Nelson's guitar. He reckons that when it finally dies, he'll retire. He bought it in 1969:

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Andy M-S
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3201
Location: Hamden (greater New Haven) CT

4/5/13 4:19 AM

Impressive

But I think a guitar Havens owned would have turned to sawdust in the same period--though it looks like he's a little more gentle on them these days.

Remember that Willie plays a classical guitar, though not in classical style (Peter, Paul & Mary and Larry Norman are other acts who did this). Clasicals, even cheap ones, are very lightly built. Among steel string builders, I think only the now-legendary Gurians approached (but did not match) that level of delicacy.

Havens, on the other hand, plays a steel string, which has much heavier construction (has to--steel strings pull a lot harder on the instrument) and drives that thing very hard--listen, for example, to "What you gonna do about me" from one of the Bread and Roses albums.

Good thing that over his career he's favored some of the guitar maker who build for strength, like Ovation and Guild!

I can't find a photo, but here's an interview with Havens. Read the blue sidebar on the first page to learn about his style and his guitars...

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17129
Location: Portland, OR

4/5/13 10:30 AM

" Clasicals, even cheap ones, are very lightly built."

Not really, but the cedar top on them is not quite as durable as Spruce used on steel strings gits pretty much.. IMO anyway... The bracing in the top may or may not be bigger. Not sure how that would keep one from wearing through the top or not. ;)

I do have a steel string with a cedar top, a 12 string.
It is not as bright as a spruce top would be, but nice with some warmth. Which seems to work well with a few paired strings an octave higher normally than a 6 string.

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Andy M-S
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3201
Location: Hamden (greater New Haven) CT

4/5/13 10:40 AM

IMO...

I've seen cheap classicals (with laminated tops) pulled apart by well-intentioned folkies with no sense of tuning, who install steel strings. Part of that's bracing, part seems to be overall construction. My impression is that the tops on classical guitars are thinner, as well as more lightly braced. But you may be right.

Ever played a Gurian? I saw one c. 1980 at The Podium and got to play with it for a while. Truly responsive instruments, but above my pay grade then and certainly above it now.

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17129
Location: Portland, OR

4/5/13 10:49 AM

"Ever played a Gurian"

Have not...

What I would like is a nylon stringed guitar with more of a steel string neck/radius/width configuration.

Godin makes the ACS, almost traded my Kingpin for one recently.

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Andy M-S
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3201
Location: Hamden (greater New Haven) CT

4/5/13 11:43 AM

Country Artist

My first good guitar was an Ovation Country Artist (c. 1977 or so) which had a fairly narrow neck (though the fingerboard it was flat, not radiused), meeting the body at the 14th fret. I really liked it, and should never have sold it (but of course, I did).

I picked up a used Yamaha C-40 just to have something around the office that won't annoy the other employees (and employers), and I'm starting to appreciate the wide, flat neck--though of course, it means that I have to play different music! I've been messing around the "Classical Gas" for the past month or so.

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17129
Location: Portland, OR

4/5/13 12:18 PM

" I've been messing around the "Classical Gas" for the past month or so."


Guessing you have heard Tommy Emmanuel doing that..

Guessing also maybe this is the impetus/inspiration for you playing it ??


What do you think of his harmonics riffing BTW?

I heard Frampton doing that at the Ryman as a 5 minute long very classical influenced intro to While My Guitar Gently Weeps. 2005-6 or so...

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Andy M-S
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3201
Location: Hamden (greater New Haven) CT

4/5/13 1:01 PM

Actually, no.

When I was a young thing, my parents had a copy of The Mason Williams Phonograph Record, and I enjoyed a number of tunes on that album, including but not limited to Classical Gas (ISTRC "The Prince's Panties").

For some reason, it popped into my head when I picked up this instrument, so...I've been busy bludgeoning it to death ever since.

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17129
Location: Portland, OR

4/5/13 1:37 PM

But you/ve heard Tommy E's rendition of ClaGas, yes? If no, go to YouTube it and let me know what you think..

And check out his Somewhere Over the Rainbow rendition while you are at it if you've not already...

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Nick Payne
Joined: 10 Jan 2004
Posts: 2410
Location: Canberra, Australia

4/5/13 2:48 PM


quote:
"Classicals, even cheap ones, are very lightly built."

Not really, but the cedar top on them is not quite as durable as Spruce used on steel strings gits pretty much.. IMO anyway... The bracing in the top may or may not be bigger. Not sure how that would keep one from wearing through the top or not. ;)

Actually, that guitar of Willie Nelson's is a Martin N-20, which has a sitka spruce top. And, lattice-braced guitars excepted, there's usually not much difference in the thickness of the soundboard between steel-sting and nylon string guitars. It's the bracing that's much heavier on a steel string.

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17129
Location: Portland, OR

4/5/13 3:06 PM

Are the braces taller, or just less scalloped on the steel string?

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Nick Payne
Joined: 10 Jan 2004
Posts: 2410
Location: Canberra, Australia

4/5/13 9:59 PM

The bracing patterns are quite different, but the main steel string braces are taller. They don't have to be all that much taller, because the stiffness of a brace is proportional to the cube of the height, so if you double the height of the brace it becomes eight times stiffer.

Here's a fan braced classical soundboard:


Here's an X braced steel string soundboard:


And here's Buster Keaton on a cowcatcher compared to the classical bracing plan used by Ignacio Fleta, a famous Spanish luthier (vintage Fleta guitars can fetch over $40,000 at auction):

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Andy M-S
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3201
Location: Hamden (greater New Haven) CT

4/6/13 4:04 AM

Bridge plate

It's interesting to see the orientation of the bridge plate--the way it's butted up against the X-braces--on the steel string. Is that rosewood?

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Nick Payne
Joined: 10 Jan 2004
Posts: 2410
Location: Canberra, Australia

4/6/13 4:09 PM

Yes, it looks like rosewood - that's not my photo, I grabbed it off one of the guitar making forums of which I'm a member. I only make classicals.

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17129
Location: Portland, OR

4/6/13 4:22 PM

Are you folks using the baked/carbonized maple for fret boards yet for classical guitars?

My 84 Les Paul is Ebony, the Les Paul BFG I grabbed recently is baked maple. Gibson and imported exotic wood laws et al. It smells like cooked/roasted vanilla bean in the case and around the guitar. Still getting used to that...

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Nick Payne
Joined: 10 Jan 2004
Posts: 2410
Location: Canberra, Australia

4/7/13 1:00 AM

A lot of the classical guitar market is pretty traditional and won't accept anything except a black ebony fretboard. However, as most ebonies are now listed under CITES as endangered species, and as I only make guitars for my own amusement, I ignore tradition and use Gidgee, which is a dark brown Australian desert timber. It's both harder than ebony and also more dimensionally stable with humidity changes. I've noticed that the necks of guitars with ebony fretboards will tend to backbow, leading to excessive fret buzz, if you have several days of high humidity. This is due to the ebony moving more than the neck timber as the humidity changes. These days, in addition to trying to use neck and fretboard timbers with approximately the same shrinkage, before fitting the fretboard I rout a couple of channels in the neck and epoxy in a couple of 3/8"x1/8" solid C-F rods, which pretty much eliminates all movement of the neck.

Some makers have gone to C-F for the entire fretboard. Greg Smallman, probably the best known Australian maker of classical guitars, has been making his fretboards from carbon-fiber for at least the last decade. I think he mixes milled C-F strands with resin and vacuum bags the fretboards in a mould with the fret slots already in place. Because the carbon fiber looks pretty much the same as good ebony, some guitarists don't realise that their Smallman has a C-F fretboard.

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Andy M-S
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3201
Location: Hamden (greater New Haven) CT

4/22/13 8:19 PM

RIP Richie Havens

nm

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