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You may have noticed similar body size between OMG and F models. A difference here would affect EQ, the larger air space favors bass and the smaller treble. Brace manipulation and sound hole size also give us control over the EQ, or relative volume between bass, mid-range and treble. The OMG is standard with scalloped braces, which promote bass, while the F braces are tapered in a manner that brings the bass volume down to an even level with the other frequencies. This translates to the standard OMG being used for guitar styles that favor a predominate bass, like Bluegrass, Country and acoustic Rock. The standard F ‘s more even EQ lends it to Classical, Fingerstyle Jazz and more sensitive defined Finger Styles with open tunings. Think Celtic and the definition desired by the Acoustic Soloists.
Don’t forget that we specialize in custom needs and this voicing of the EQ can be used to reverse the above to deliver an F with a big bass presence or an OMG more suited to the even EQ requirements of a Jazz Soloist. All you have to do is ask.
All the best,
Zorro, you are an inspiration. Happy New Year to you and yours!
I understand your desire to maximize your options by turning your F into a 12 string. Sounds simple, right? Nah! The mods that I would insist on for conversion from 6 strings to 12 are those which would not only make it playable, but durable and great sounding as well, like an SCGC 12 string. The short list includes re-bracing the top to accommodate added tension and a new bridge plate to support the increased bridge footprint. The fret board needs more width to properly space the 12 strings with a new nut to do the same. The head stock will need some added real estate to house 6 more tuners.
You may have now arrived at the conclusion that the time, cost and aggravation of replacing the neck and top will not be as satisfying as having a new 12 string guitar built with all your desired features while still enjoying your intact F 6 string, even if you have to hide it during random guitar inventory inspections. Always happy to enable you!
Have a fulfilling new decade. Best, Richard
I hope that I can dig up some records on this. maybe you’ll be so kind as to bring it by someday so that I can record its specs. Ill certainly let you know if I do come across the originals.
I know for sure that I worked with the unrivaled Tom Ellis of Austin on the fret board inlay. My input, his fault for the actual execution. You can see his signature cleanliness of line and economy in his execution of this simple but elegant design.
Have a s’wunderful Christmas Time!!
I can’t claim any whole mandolins on my own, though while working with Darol Anger and David Morse, around 1973-4 we completed several F-5 Copies and a few of David’s own design, The Seed. Darol and David would have made more mandolins and Banjo necks before I found them and David went on to a notable career of his own specializing in Violin family instruments. Darol Anger went on to become the Darol Anger we know and love from the original David Grissman Quintet, and later Turtle Island String Band, along with another dozen fabulous collaberations.
Hope to see you at the shop this season!
Laminated sides are well represented in classical construction and almost never in known makes of steel strings. Thus I am sampleless in order to do any A,B with similar guitars. It would certainly make the sides stiffer, though that is what we are manipulating when we use different hardwoods in the sides and back. If I was to extrapolate, which is all I can do for this question, I’d say that using woods in laminate that are denser in combination would lend brightness to tone while lesser density lessens clarity.
I pair woods for their combined density to manipulate the clarity of tone, in this back and sides are both important.
Old Growth is a subjective term, I’m going to use it to describe virgin, or an unmolested ecosystem that allowed trees to grow at steady rate, not accelerated by opening the canopy to nourishing sunlight. These trees would accordingly be denser than ones that grew quickly when unnaturally exposed to excess sunlight. These latter, fastgrowing trees will have wider annular rings and less stiffness. We just learned above the effects of more or less density on tone.
All the best, Richard
Having seen many successes and failures with beginning guitarists, I’m convinced that the key to a sustainable relationship with the instrument is gratification from the process. Only you, or a specialist in learning skills, can determine how you best process and retain information. It really is different for many of us.
I, for instance, would have never persevered with the guitar if I had been forced to learn scales, or theory, first. When I was given a student with the same challenge, I found it more successful to first show them how to put the three chords together so that could play their favorite song. Buoyed with that sense of accomplishment we could then explore the fundamentals needed to eventually sound just like the record with all its color and complexity.
If you are blessed with the ability to stick to traditional study through well functioning information storage and retrieval practices then you will most likely find satisfaction in this through the methodical accumulation of knowledge and facility as you observe the ongoing improvement in your playing abilities. If you are in this category, and want to launce a serious study of classical guitar, send a message via this forum to Maestro Eric Skye and ask for his recommendation on the most appropriate study guide for fundamentals and technique.
The other excellent resource for learning to play like a pro is Homespun Tapes. Their detailed video and explanation of most styles of playing will keep you engaged in practice until you’re ready for your own TV show!
All the best, Richard
Efficiency of string energy to sound is determined by the degree of contact and the resonance of the material the string contacts. Assuming the bridge pin material doesn’t absorb energy the connection between string, pin and bridge will determine how well the vibration will transfer from string, to top to ear. Without a slot to encircle the string we’d allow an airspace that would compromise the transfer. Likewise if we only slotted the pin, OR the bridge, the unslotted component would not make total contact. The most complete contact is achieved by slotting each, pin and bridge with half the diameter of the string. If this is done to insure the string is encircled for the whole of its diameter, the most efficient transfer can be achieved.
An important exception is in the “do no harm” philosophy of the restoration of an historic instrument. Here a luthier is honor bound to maintain originality, without any discernable modifications that will devalue the piece. In old guitars you will find all combinations of slots and not.
All the best, Richard
That’s a pretty evocative question A.S. We could do some spectacular speculation on what kind of predictive luthery would keep your arm from dampening the sound of the guitar, though the solution is already there in the after market arm rest. Here’s a silly analogy: the design of a hand bell precludes damping by attaching a handle that doesn’t conduct resonance. When you hold the bell by the handle your hand doesn’t absorb the vibration and the body of the bell rings freely.
Same with a guitar, until you lay your arm on the resonant surface and damp the vibration with the non-resonent nature of your forearm. This happens more with larger bodied guitars that limit your ablity to keep your arm free of the body. It wasn’t always so. Guitars only needed to be big enough to be heard in the largest room in the house until around a dozen decades ago. These earlier designs were meant to avoid arm contact by allowing the player to comfortably reach over the body while playing. It turns out that relatively larger guitars like the Dreadnought are historically the anomaly. Over the millennia of stringed instrument design the Jumbo and D are recent adaptations made to produce enough volume to compete with banjos, mandolins and other instruments in an ensemble. With sophisticated microphones and pick up systems we now have other options that allow us to be heard.
Back to SCGC; we build guitars for appropriate durability with maximum resonance, sustain and complexity. We don’t compromise these qualities by trying to accommodate all possible dampening influences a player may introduce. On larger bodied guitars that don’t allow the player to comfortably keep their forearm off the body, arm-rests are an excellent aftermarket solution that saves us from adapting the build and messing with an already good thing. All the best, Richard
Happy late summer to you and yours Zorro.
Officially, the first ’34 D Model was June 2008. That was when we began to use the ’34 D designation. Like the Tony Rice professional Model, we had made prior one off guitars with similar specifications before arriving at the official model name. I will venture that the seller is accurate in their 2008 model being “among the first” We can verify if it is “The Prototype” by referencing its serial number and comparing it to our records.
The concept of the ’34 D (The build year of Tony Rice’s iconic D-28) was not to merely copy the kinds of woods and cosmetics, but to build the instrument from woods that were actually existent in the 1930’s. In addition we used the glues, finishes and non-force techniques that Martin employed when building the originals nearly 90 years ago!
Fun stuff this luthery!
Al the best, Richard
Hi NM and everyone else,
I’m pleased to announce that we now provide a guitar case with superior strength at noticeably reduced weight.
Cases are a moving target and we evolve to meet market demand. Anything that we don’t make ourselves, we designed our own improved versions and have them made to our specs. This includes cases, strings, tuning machines and so on.
We worked with GWW, makers of carrying cases for really expensive scientific and medical device transport, to make a guitar case worthy of air travel. At the time of the first version we used the best available material for a maximum weight/safety ratio. As the materials evolve, so do we. Last month we realized our goal of ongoing improvement with the inclusion of a lighter stronger case with all new SCGC Guitars. The look and cost are the same, with added durability and portability.
All the best, Richard
Thanks all for helping out with this. Here’s some FYI’s to fill in the gaps. We found that the original 3/8″ Truss Rod nut was not close enough to 10mm to satisfy our European customers, whereas 5/16″ and 8mm was a perfect match! This was a nice contribution to world peace so it became the standard about 2011. If you’d like to be sure regarding your personal guitar; go to http://www.santacruzguitar.com/careandfeeding and using your serial and model number as reference you’ll see what size nut is on your truss rod.
The thin walled socket is only recommended to keep it from binding between the old 3/8″ nut and the wall of the access hole. With today’s 5/16″ nut there is ample clearance with no chance of binding, making any standard issue socket appropriate for the task.
Dear Big Shoe,
Until the 1870’s guitars were only made loud enough to be heard in the biggest room in the house; the parlor. It wasn’t until Guitar’s began to share the stage with barking dogs and banjos that they needed to be made larger and louder. Today with microphones and sophisticated amplification a smaller bodied guitar can hold its own anywhere.
Big brands have reintroduced small guitars in response to renewed popularity. Unfortunately they now size the woods heavier than in the past to fit into their more modern production systems for both efficiency and durability. The bracing is disproportionately large and stiffer then needed. This makes them sonically restricted, less responsive and, well, boxy sounding. SCGC chooses to build our small bodied guitars with woods sized appropriate to the original lighter, more resonate specifications. This results in an instrument with all the sophisticated tone of their earlier brethren. We gain durability through the same advances in engineering that allow the modern automobile or airplane to be many times stronger and yet many times lighter than the early designs.
If we get the chance to build one for you I can guaranty that you will get exactly what you want. You won’t need to worry about a boxy sound. Until then…
All the best, Richard Hoover
A happy spring time to you and yours!
We did the first prototypes with a combo of radii and parabolic curves a little after your 1994 VA was made. A while before that we just radiused the tall fingerboard transverse brace to keep the fretboard extension from diving in past the body joint. Because your VA shows this deformation, it probably pre dates that revision.
The first top with the complete parabolic treatment was a precurser of our D/PW, done about ’96-’97. I named it “Archy “and had every intention of keeping it for myself and observing how it changed over a few years. Alas, cash flow and pride effect my judgement and I “loaned” it to Dan Tyminsky in order to enhance our famousity while having him report on its progress. Alas again; the reports were not forthcoming and I heard much later from a guy who had bought it from Dan and then sold it off to parts unknown…dang!
The adaptation was so much of an improvement in sound and durability that I incorporated it into our standards of procedures for every SCGC instrument from then on. The durability and sound improvement come from the integrity of an egg shape being superior to that of a box when pressured from various angles while being a much improved air pump over a less efficient flat top.
The “drop off” of the fret board extension after the body/neck joint is exacerbated by diminished support when the brace is flat and by the difference in length between a 12 fret to the body neck and one that joins at the 14th fret. The same variation in the amount of drop off is also affected by the body shape, sound hole positioning and sound hole size. Among various guitar brands and ages in general, the drop off is affected by humidity which creates more, or less movement in relation to how well the top wood was dried, seasoned and stabilized prior to its construction.
Please bring your VA in for a check up and I will advise if we can mitigate your drop off to improve playability and intonation past the 14th fret.
All the best, Richard
Here it is Haasome! I did minor clarifying editorial here to make me look smarter.
Let’s start with how the binding affects the sound in general. The violin uses the little black/white/black fiber purfle to isolate the top from the body of the instrument. With out this the string’s energy would transfer from the top into the sides and back of the violin directing sound to the player at the expense of the audience. The same happens in the guitar. If the bindings don’t isolate the top from the body it will suffer in its ability to project the sound outward.
Your SCGC’s 45 style binding does an excellent job of isolation with two violin purfles book-ending abalone strips all working together by limiting the transfer of vibration away from your audience. Real wood or cellulose based bindings like Ivoroid add to the advantage. Contrast this with the laminated plastic binding found in production instruments. These will transfer rather than block vibration resulting in a guitar that seems louder to the player than to the audience.
All the best, Richard
Thank you Tadol and Hassome. You have us headed in the right direction!
Zorro; here’s some links to expert knowledge on Chatoyance, especially the last one. You know my promise to stick to scientific conclusion and repeatable experimentation, rather than opinion. So, instead of me issuing an “opinion alert”, let’s learn together through these experienced perspectives.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chatoyancy https://www.bing.com/search?q=chatoyancy+wood+grain&FORM=QSRE4 Or, here in The New Wood Finishing Book by Michael Dresdner. https://www.rockler.com/how-to/what-is-chatoyance/ Michael is the definitive source for woodworking and finish science. He’s devoted a life time to his work and contributed to our craft as a founding member of The American Society of Stringed Instrument Artisans.
For everyone: Put “Michael Dresdner” into your search engine for an instant bibliography on valuable and trustworthy knowhow for all things wood, finish, technique and lutherie.
All the best, Richard