Question on Tapered Braced Style Guitars, Deep Body F Anyone?

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    • #4983
      Acoustic Soul
      Participant

      I am curious, has anyone ever seen a deep body F model?  I have played a couple and I felt they most represented what I was trying to do with my fingers sonically over any model from Santa Cruz that I’ve played, but felt kind of choked, small, or not enough low end.  Sitting around in a shop doesn’t help small bodies in my opinion for sure.

      Can’t get around the low end thing though.  I have played the Skye OO which is 12 fret, short scale, deep body and the low end on that thing had the character of an upright bass shrunk down to a tiny box and was in great relation to the rest of the body.  It was probably the best balanced SC I’ve played, but when I laid into it I just felt like it couldn’t take heavy rhythm strumming enough…. but that and the firefly have been my standout moments in balance just not enough air/volume moving.

      Moving up in size from the F for me would be a VS or RS.  I played 2 VS, the adirondack top was much better but still not thrilling… and I don’t suspect an RS would be the ticket based off what I can hear.  I was looking at those as basically larger F models.

      I was just curious with how they do the Skye models and get the depth of bottom end, fundamental, and even sound what you think results in that?  I think it’s a combo of the scale length, deep body, and 12 fret…. but I doubt they would make a 12 fret, deep body, short scale F/small jumbo because then it would be radically different.

      Any thoughts on how to get an F guitar that has more depth and power on the very low end and just a little more power overall without sacrificing the balance found in Firefly, Skye, and F?  I had an H13 and it also gave me problems of being too small of a guitar for me.  I guess I just like more bottom in the EQ as they say and air moving in the cavity…. not necessarily caring about volume because Santa Cruz is so loud it’s louder than I can sing lol

      It just seems like for ‘something larger than an F’ that’s not a square shoulder D and not a VS/RS, and maintains the balance and voice of an F but with more from the 5th and 6th strings there isn’t really a model there… and I don’t know how someone would be an F to be that, or build an RS or VS to be more like an F

       

      I recently found out Santa Cruz used to make an ARCHTOP!  So I”m wondering, have you seen any larger jumbo guitars or F cousins out there?  I actually only have on guitar right now that I am using for everything since I sold my OM Grand and that is a Heritage Golden Eagle 17″ archtop.  Even with the neck pickup mounted in the top I am acoustically in love with it.  Everything up and down the neck is so balanced, it punches, it has depth etc…. very pleasing, it just doesn’t quiet have the volume or sustain sometimes that I might want of having a flat top around.

       

      I have been traveling around before Covid and taking time to think it over and such about what my next Santa Cruz might be.  I figured it would be a RS or VS, but I am not so sure that’s going to be the ticket although very close, and I don’t think a standard F would be it either.  Definitely would want to try Old Adirondack and African blackwood with an F.  I feel like for the standard guitars I could have an F and a VS and use both of them and not find a happy middle place.  Really looking for a solution…. or at least to have the information in my head and be able to fly over to see Richard one day.  I don’t know what it is necessarily , but I find it easy to sing over tapered braced guitars and them being good for rhythm. . . and I am much more partial to a lot of the hits from Gibson than anything – especially an L5…. I would love to get a 17″ lower bout deep body FTC haha… although there is no predicting how that would be and it would be too much like the archtop I have already probably

       

      ** Unrelated tone wood question, have any of you played the ancient sitka spruce in person?  Just curious how it compares to old growth adirondack*

    • #4988
      Old 97
      Participant

      Contact Dan Roberts regarding SCGC  Archtops.

       

    • #4990
      Chrisakadigdog
      Participant

      There’s a cool F on reverb. German /Maple.   The ticket

    • #4993
      Matt Hayden
      Participant

      The F body is already quite deep – it’s basically dread depth.  To go too much deeper might enlarge the cavity to the point where it’d get a bit woofy and out of breath.

      If you want bass, try a BBB – the SCGC Bob Brozman Baritone with (IIRC) a 28” scale.  I think they’re tuned down to B, and they…rumble.  They sound clear when strummed, fingerpick beautifully, and the basses will peel the paint off a wall or set off earthquake sensors within a reasonable space.  If I had the $$, it’s one of the instruments I’d have; running ii-V-Is on it in the lower register is like a piano, and I’m not being entirely hyperbolic when I say that. I played some Leadbelly tunes on one and was surprised how much James P Johnson (stride piano) there was in the sound.

      If you’re looking for that in an F, maybe a baritone F or FS with an extended scale length?

      • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by Matt Hayden.
    • #4998
      Acoustic Soul
      Participant

      Thank you for the responses.  I definitely think that stringworks guy looks really interesting 97.   I don’t know enough about maple except that I love it on my archtop to order one on Reverb.  I’d need to try it.  I’m also looking specifically for Adirondack – and old growth for pick response.  Strumming to me matters most.  I love compressed percussiveness and piano like expanse and archtop like evenness up and down.

      That’s a really interesting proposition about the baritone.  I will keep that in the mind in the future.  I’m not looking as much for the lower frequencies below what a guitar does, but I bet it sure is a blast!  I worry that it would be too niche. I figure there is probably a reason guitars are tuned the way they are…. Wouldn’t mind having one in the future… I love piano like guitars.

      That’s interesting about the F already having a deep body.  I wouldn’t have guessed that. I didn’t remember it feeling deep or responding like it had one.  It almost felt like the one I played had a shelf filter to where the 5th and 6th strings were reduced below the first through fourth intentionally

       

      What tone woods have really deep fundamental power as well as a lot of non metallic air and punch?  I played an adirondack/african blackwood guitar in Austin from Santa Cruz that was in that video and I absolutely loved the combination.  EIR has been nice but lacking for me, cocobolo was really nice but I didn’t feel like it had enough punch in the mids I guess you could say and was a bit too wet.  African blackwood kind of had traits strangely from maple and mahogany that I liked plus an unknown character.

       

    • #5000
      Chrisakadigdog
      Participant

      Have you had the chance to play any or many Gibson SJ200 Sitka/ Maple?     . It sounds like that might be the sonic signature your describing . Powerful warm ,round and clear with plenty volume and punch Even and controlled across the spectrum .. Not quite boomy,aka Martin D18 or D35, but full and focused.. Not as overtone rich as a D/PW spruce/rosewood.    To me the SCGC F with German /Maple has a lot of that quality that my Gibson SJ 200 has .

    • #5002
      Matt Hayden
      Participant

      How deep is your OM grand?  Is it stand depth or Martin J depth (dread depth)?   I wonder if that’s a factor….

      Oh FWIW, SCGC archtops are the ne plus ultra of modern archtop design.  I played one at the Xmas party some years ago and just couldn’t stop smiling….so good.  I also played an older one with a smaller body – 15”? – and it had huge punch.   Just brilliant.

      • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by Matt Hayden.
    • #5004
      Acoustic Soul
      Participant

      I don’t have it anymore, but it was the standard OM Grand Depth.  Richard said I have a choice, either deep body or advanced X bracing.  I think that it would have been a much better idea on that guitar for what I wanted to do a deep body and regular bracing, especially based on other’s comparisons.  I didn’t know that at the time.

      I would love to play one… the particular one that I saw up for sale a couple of months ago sounded good, but not smashing and it didn’t take me , but I didn’t have the chance to play it in person, it was just their demos.  They had a 40k archtop which in my opinion is just ludicrous, but it sounded exactly like what I would have expected the santa cruz to sound like.  I was so shocked when I stumbled upon and bought this archtop I have, I didn’t know that I would be such a lover of them since I don’t play jazz and never really thought much of it.  It’s the best sounding electric or acoustic I’ve ever heard or played in person to me.  It’s a little quiet , in the shop getting a setup now… I kind of wish the pickup would have been a floater and that might’ve helped, but as it is I love the sound quality.  They’re putting in a kent armstrong pickup right now

    • #5005
      Acoustic Soul
      Participant

      Yes Chris, I have never played a good example but the Gibson jumbos are supremely pleasing to me in terms of their sound… but there is always something about each one I’ve played that bothered me… they weren’t custom shops or anything…. or they were vintage ones and just worn out or better for finger style because they couldn’t handle strumming headroom or something.  I played a bunch of old j45’s and jumbos of different sorts in Nashville on the Gibson wall and I loved it… but I didn’t find a single vintage one that strummed too well… the santa cruz surprisingly excelled there… I was shocked that the vintage gibsons had an enormous finger style charm to me… I thought it would have been the flip flop from that

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