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Jeff Highland

 

Posts: 401
Joined: Mar. 5 2010
From: Caves Beach Australia

Pulsation 

I'm new to flamenco and just building my first.
I see some of you guys using the term "pulsation" which I have never encountered in other luthiery circles
Can someone explain what it means please?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 27 2010 22:35:59
 
estebanana

 

Posts: 7502
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Pulsation (in reply to Jeff Highland

I never use the term. Frankly it makes me feel dirty. I can can't bring myself to say "My guitar pulsates." It makes me feel like my guitar is a lubed up sex toy from a seedy porn shop.

I use the term "tempo" as in each guitar has it's own tempo. But that makes me feel old, dowdy and sloth like.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 27 2010 22:51:13
 
Jeff Highland

 

Posts: 401
Joined: Mar. 5 2010
From: Caves Beach Australia

RE: Pulsation (in reply to Jeff Highland

Remember, "sex is only dirty if you're doing it right"
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 27 2010 23:00:13
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11057
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Pulsation (in reply to Jeff Highland

I first heard the term from Anders, and wondered if it was his own personal term for something I understood already as a player. After some discussion, the jist of it is that it does relate to how you play the guitar. For example, some guitars really deliver the goods when you play them harder and harder. It seems these instruments have "high or hard pulsation". If you don't play them with a heavy hand, then it could seem the guitar is stiff and dull sounding.

Conversely if you have a guitar that is very easy and the sound jumps out with a lighter attack, (I assume you would call it low or soft pulsation??) then the heavy handed player may run the risk of driving the guitar too hard and making a bad or "brash" sound. Perhaps some other terms are stiffness, or easiness to the way the guitar responds to your playing technique?

Here I found Ander's thoughts:


quote:

Ok, I´m back with one of favorites, Pulsation. Thats one of the most important things in a guitar that suits you and its the one you cant adjust because its built into the guitar.
In popular words I would call it stiffness or softness of a guitar. Its something you feel in you right hand, it has to do with how you produce sound. Its also something you cannot adjust by changing string tension. Yes a little bit, but a stiff guitar feels stiff with low tension strings and a soft guitar feels soft with high tension strings.
Pulsation you control mainly by thickness of soundboard and how heavy its braced. These two things interact and also affect the sound of the guitar. If the soundboard is to thick, the guitar might be trebly but also with lack of nuance and dynamics in the basses and midrange. If to thin it becomes bassy and with lack of dynamics in the trebles and high midrange. Guitars with a to strong bracing system tend to have this unpleasant nosy sound.
There´s no right pulsation. It depends on the player and some pro´s like stiff guitars and some like soft guitars. From my experience, a typical stiff guitar is a Conde and a typical soft one is a Reyes. So you see, that you can find all kinds of pulsations in all categorys and its a waste of time to discuss which is best etc, because its so personal.

One of the problems with the internet info you get about good guitars is that the info comes from people who knows very little about guitars, hence the enourmous amount of info about sound and very little about playability. There are lots of "clever" persons writing about how good this and that guitar sounds without being able to really test it and play it with a good strong flamenco technique. If you dont have that techique, you wont be able to test the guitar fully. Its like testing a formula 1 car under speed limitations. Everyone with money can buy a good guitar, pluck the strings and write a raving review on the internet. If you do so many times some people will consider you to know a lot about good guitars, but the only info you get is a personal comparision on how good guitars sound when plucked.
I hope you understand what I mean with "plucking". thats something that has very little to do with playing flamenco. Flamencos dont pluck strings.

So what has this to do with a standard beginner or intermediate flamenco player: Its difficult to get it right the first time. Thats why guitars are being sold. Some people want to think they have a strong right hand and buy or order a stiff guitar (macho type) what they have is maybe an uncontrolled right hand and so, the guitar they buy will always be overpowering them.

My personal goal is to build a guitar which is just right of course. but its relative, so it might be just a tad to soft or stiff for someone.
Now I´m being very honest with you guys, and please give me credit for that because its not what is normally considered good for business and very few luthiers are saying that their instruments might not be correct for all players. In fact most luthiers are very afraid of talking about how their guitars work and thats leads us back to Rons dilema: all this talking about sound. Its so much easyer to talk about the right sound than he right feel of a guitar and this leeds to this misunderstanding that if you have a guitar with a good sound (relative as well) you have a guitar that´ll always be perfect for you


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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 27 2010 23:30:56
 
HolyEvil

Posts: 1239
Joined: Nov. 6 2008
From: Sydney, Australia

RE: Pulsation (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ricardo
Ander's thoughts:


quote:

Ok, I´m back with one of favorites, Pulsation. Thats one of the most important things in a guitar that suits you and its the one you cant adjust because its built into the guitar.
In popular words I would call it stiffness or softness of a guitar. Its something you feel in you right hand, it has to do with how you produce sound. Its also something you cannot adjust by changing string tension. Yes a little bit, but a stiff guitar feels stiff with low tension strings and a soft guitar feels soft with high tension strings.
Pulsation you control mainly by thickness of soundboard and how heavy its braced.



haven't read this, so does it mean that a high pulsation guitar will feel like it's having high tension strings on it even if it's low tension strings etc?

Funny talking about de conde, my teacher just bought a conde negra a26(or a25, whichever is the negra). I had a play of it an asked him whether it was high tension strings cuz it felt like it, and he tolde it was his usual normal tension proarte strings..

In my guitars strung with all the same strings - pro arte normal tension,
de yamaha feels like the lowest tension and the macias the middle of the 3 and the anders the highest tension.. Does this mean that the anders had the highest pulsation and the yamaha de lowest?

Cheers
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 28 2010 2:23:08
 
Ron.M

Posts: 7051
Joined: Jul. 7 2003
From: Scotland

RE: Pulsation (in reply to Ricardo

My take on 'pulsation' is from the other aspect...ie I feel a guitar may sound excellent and have good action etc, but for some reason seems to feel a bit "out of control" to the right hand...not because the guitar is bad or anything...but the 'pulsation' just doesn't suit your way of playing. It may be perfect for somebody else.

A guitar with the correct 'pulsation' for you will seem very responsive and under your (RH) control.

Kinda difficult to describe.

cheers,

Ron
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 28 2010 2:34:07
 
Patrick

Posts: 1189
Joined: Jul. 7 2003
From: Portland, Oregon

RE: Pulsation (in reply to Jeff Highland

Several years ago I spoke to Lester DeVoe about this issue. I don’t know if he has a name for it such as “Pulsation” now, but at the time he just refereed to it as stiffness or feel.

He said he formulated his thoughts based on conversations with PDL. He said the big issue with Paco was string recovery when doing his machine gun picado. What Paco wanted was a guitar that had ultra fast string recovery, meaning that after deflection it came back to center very quickly. With input from Paco, Lester started to experiment in this area. I have owned two DeVoe’s and played others. All but one of them were what I would call “very high pulsation” guitars. They are not unpleasantly stiff, but you can defiantly feel it in the right hand.

I can really tell the difference between my Aaron Green and my DeVoe. With the same strings on both, the DeVoe is markedly stiffer feeling in the right hand.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 28 2010 11:32:59
 
Anders Eliasson

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Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: Pulsation (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

I first heard the term from Anders, and wondered if it was his own personal term for something I understood already as a player. After some discussion, the jist of it is that it does relate to how you play the guitar. For example, some guitars really deliver the goods when you play them harder and harder. It seems these instruments have "high or hard pulsation". If you don't play them with a heavy hand, then it could seem the guitar is stiff and dull sounding.

Conversely if you have a guitar that is very easy and the sound jumps out with a lighter attack, (I assume you would call it low or soft pulsation??) then the heavy handed player may run the risk of driving the guitar too hard and making a bad or "brash" sound. Perhaps some other terms are stiffness, or easiness to the way the guitar responds to your playing technique?


Its a very good explanation of the term.

The word pulsation I use because its not a strange word in Spanish (Pulsación) used to describe the power you use to make something do something, in this case, to make a guitar vibrate.
Since flamenco is a Spanish artform, played on a Spanish instrument, I think its normal that some Spanish words are being introduced and used. I know that for you native English speakers, its something you are not used to. But in other languages we import a lot of words from other cultures (the computer world is the best example) Its good to be openminded and learn from others.
I know perfectly well that you guys use the word pulsation in another way, but I will let that be your problem. Most of you guys have accepted words like compás and soniquete.

If you talk to good piano players, you´ll see that its not something special for flamenco guitars.

Ron, I agree with what you say.

Patrick.
I have also tried a very nice DeVoe with a (in my case) horribly high pulsation. It would be a very nice guitar for very few players and the owner didnt like it at all, but I repeat, the guitar was very good. What you write about ´recovery´ is another good way of describing the term.

You could also use the word 'elasticity' (if it exists)

I will continue using the word 'pulsation' because thats what I´m familiar with and IMO its the word that describes the term the best, but maybe I should write it in Spanish: Pulsación.

_____________________________

See the guitars I have for sale here:
http://news-from-the-workshop.blogspot.com.es/p/guitars-for-sale.html

Fine flamenco and classical guitars: www.eliassonguitars.com
Blog: http://news-from-the-workshop.blogspot.com/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 28 2010 20:47:48
 
estebanana

 

Posts: 7502
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Pulsation (in reply to Jeff Highland

Anders,

I understand exactly what you are trying to explain by using the word pulsation. I'm only pissed because I did not think of it first. Damn you! Javla Norska.

My teacher Gene Clark explained the same feeling by saying the guitar has a 'tempo' . Perhaps even before we were born. However I think your coining the term 'pulsation' serves a fine purpose, even though it still makes me feel dirty to use it. So you should forever own the term.

I would like to add the phrase "fast recovering string excursion" to the mix as cumbersome as that is. But I say it's very difficult to talk about tone and tactile qualities of guitars, but you seem to have actually verbalized something we can all wrap our minds around, to an extent. For something so elusive to articulate, and language being abstract as it is, you did quite well.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 28 2010 23:00:08
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5779
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: Pulsation (in reply to Jeff Highland

Hey, take it easy, I didnt invent the use of the term pulsación. Its common use here. Basically I havent invented anything. My building is very traditional and I´m just a grumpy old fart who has to do evererything his very way, which is pretty traditional here as well.
I think that from now on I will use the Spanish word. I like Spanglish.
"The players compás and soniquete was very good. You noted that his pulsación worked well with that of the guitar and that the cantaor was happy with him".

_____________________________

See the guitars I have for sale here:
http://news-from-the-workshop.blogspot.com.es/p/guitars-for-sale.html

Fine flamenco and classical guitars: www.eliassonguitars.com
Blog: http://news-from-the-workshop.blogspot.com/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 29 2010 1:39:13
 
RobJe

 

Posts: 666
Joined: Dec. 16 2006
From: UK

RE: Pulsation (in reply to Jeff Highland

For me, pulsación is the most important quality of a flamenco guitar – more important than the actual quality of sound. To obtain the subtle rhythmic and other typical qualities of flamenco playing, the way that the fingers interact with the strings is very important.

Hard and soft may not be useful qualifying terms for pulsación. There are guitars that feel soft and ring out and others that are snappy. There are guitars that feel hard that are responsive under your fingers and others that feel dead.

In my expereince, the best chance to get a guitar with the pulsación you want is to go to a luthier who
• has made a lot of flamenco guitars
• either plays flamenco or is in regular touch with a community of flamenco guitarists – or both
• achieves a reasonable degree of consistency in the pulsación of his/her guitars which is achieved whatever the qualities of the wood used (so you know what you are likely to get).

It is more difficult to find this in
• factory built guitars where construction is more formulaic and doesn’t vary according to the qualities of the timbers used
• the work of luthiers who make the occasional flamenco guitar.

Whatever strings you use, whatever string tensions you select and however new the strings are, you can’t make significant difference to pulsación, so it is good to get it right.

Of the hundreds (thousands?) of flamenco guitars made every year I would not expect to find the ideal pulsación for me in more than about 5% - perhaps even less. Paying huge amounts of money gives no guarantee – that’s rather nice!

Classical guitarists trying my guitars never have the same opinion as I do about which is the best. If you are a classical player dabbling in a bit of flamenco, an occasional player or an absolute beginner it would be quite hard to select for yourself a guitar whose pulsación would satisfy you if went on to be a good flamenco player.

Rob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 29 2010 3:22:30
 
Ron.M

Posts: 7051
Joined: Jul. 7 2003
From: Scotland

RE: Pulsation (in reply to RobJe

Good post RobJe!

I agree with everything you say there.

I was originally going to say that to me it feels like "recovery time" (like Pat) but thought this term would not have any meaning outside Electronics Engineering.

To me it feels a bit like the hand and strings are a bit out of sync...so that say..when you are playing the next stroke of a rasgueado..the strings "are not ready to be played yet".
Like they haven't "returned" or something.

I totally agree about it being impossible to change this "recovery time" no matter if you change the string tension or action etc.

Over time, I think you could adjust your playing to compensate, but I'm not sure if it would also change your "style" of playing?

I must admit, I have only tried a couple of guitars which felt like an old friend from the word go.
They just felt perfect...and that's without even bringing tone quality into the equation.
It's like they were "pre warmed up" and you could just play stuff on them straight off.

I think advanced drivers get the same sort of feeling with certain high end performance cars too as they seem to use the same kind of "fuzzy" language to describe the experience and seem to have their own preferences which suit their own technique, regardless of price tag.

cheers,

Ron
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 29 2010 4:12:01
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5779
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: Pulsation (in reply to Jeff Highland

Rob, I 100% agree with your post.

Just want to add one thing. I think that this with only finding that 5% of the guitars will suit you is a bit exagerated.
Its very often about finding the "sweet spot" Thats where you and the guitar work together and it might be different on different guitars

_____________________________

See the guitars I have for sale here:
http://news-from-the-workshop.blogspot.com.es/p/guitars-for-sale.html

Fine flamenco and classical guitars: www.eliassonguitars.com
Blog: http://news-from-the-workshop.blogspot.com/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 29 2010 4:41:07
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 2665
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: Pulsation (in reply to Jeff Highland

Any parents of 3rd graders please ask them to leave right now because this is about to get dirty.

Anyone want to talk about how you would build different pulsations into a guitar? In my experience things like having a bridge patch, having a stiffer bridge, having the braces stiffer under the bridge all make for a harder pulsation. So is it a matter of just making the bridge area stiffer (without unnecessarily strengthening the rest of the top)?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 29 2010 5:08:54
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5779
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: Pulsation (in reply to Jeff Highland

Basically, yes. But we are talking about very small things. tenth of milimeters etc.

_____________________________

See the guitars I have for sale here:
http://news-from-the-workshop.blogspot.com.es/p/guitars-for-sale.html

Fine flamenco and classical guitars: www.eliassonguitars.com
Blog: http://news-from-the-workshop.blogspot.com/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 29 2010 5:34:11
 
RobJe

 

Posts: 666
Joined: Dec. 16 2006
From: UK

RE: Pulsation (in reply to Anders Eliasson

quote:

Just want to add one thing. I think that this with only finding that 5% of the guitars will suit you is a bit exagerated.
Its very often about finding the "sweet spot" Thats where you and the guitar work together and it might be different on different guitars


You have a point Anders - perhaps the percentage is higher. There are more guitars that suit me quite well that I would be happy to play. However, when it comes to something that suits me as well as the one I like most, I have probably only played 1 or 2 in many years of searching. Good luthers consistently making great guitars sometimes produce something exceptional. Don't you ever dream that your next guitar will be not just great but out of this world?! I read an interview with Manual Reyes some years ago where he admitted that one of the two guitars he had built for Vicente Amigo was exceptional. I guess the other one would be good enough for most of us.
Rob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 29 2010 6:56:09
 
rojarosguitar

Posts: 242
Joined: Dec. 8 2010
 

RE: Pulsation (in reply to Jeff Highland

I wonder as an amateur player whether pulsación means how the guitar support your rhythmic attack - similar to cymbal work in playing drums.

Depending on how you play and what kind of sticks you use:
some cymbals support your pulsation (and in percussion work we use this term for he basic feel of the rhythm or time) and some rather resist it, so that you have to work much harder to get it right.

I tend to feel that with different flamenco guitars: some are ore supportive to my kind of right hand playing and some are are more resisting ...

_____________________________

Music is a big continent with different lascapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

A good musical instrument is one that inspires one to express as free as possible
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 29 2014 20:54:06
 
tele

Posts: 1401
Joined: Aug. 17 2012
 

RE: Pulsation (in reply to rojarosguitar

well to me it's best described in english as stiffness of the top. Spanish use word pulsacion for it. Slightly different approach to playing is needed on a loose vs stiff top.

quote:

ORIGINAL: rojarosguitar

I wonder as an amateur player whether pulsación means how the guitar support your rhythmic attack - similar to cymbal work in playing drums.

Depending on how you play and what kind of sticks you use:
some cymbals support your pulsation (and in percussion work we use this term for he basic feel of the rhythm or time) and some rather resist it, so that you have to work much harder to get it right.

I tend to feel that with different flamenco guitars: some are ore supportive to my kind of right hand playing and some are are more resisting ...


_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 30 2014 11:43:12
 
etta

 

Posts: 267
Joined: Jan. 20 2010
 

RE: Pulsation (in reply to Jeff Highland

Hope I do understand the concept of "pulsation". It seems the guitar that is overly stiff in string tension can be softened by lowering the action. I have a guitar with very stiff pulsation; I little by little lowered the action considerable to a point where it plays much easier but still using HT strings. It still has a rapid attack but the stiffness that is left prevents undue string rattle; action is very comfortable now with little compromise in volume or projection.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 30 2014 15:09:29
 
tele

Posts: 1401
Joined: Aug. 17 2012
 

RE: Pulsation (in reply to etta

quote:

ORIGINAL: etta

Hope I do understand the concept of "pulsation". It seems the guitar that is overly stiff in string tension can be softened by lowering the action. I have a guitar with very stiff pulsation; I little by little lowered the action considerable to a point where it plays much easier but still using HT strings. It still has a rapid attack but the stiffness that is left prevents undue string rattle; action is very comfortable now with little compromise in volume or projection.


the stiffness is factor of how the top is built, one can then play a bit with string tension by using high or low tension strings

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 30 2014 16:41:46
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11057
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Pulsation (in reply to etta

quote:

ORIGINAL: etta

Hope I do understand the concept of "pulsation". It seems the guitar that is overly stiff in string tension can be softened by lowering the action. I have a guitar with very stiff pulsation; I little by little lowered the action considerable to a point where it plays much easier but still using HT strings. It still has a rapid attack but the stiffness that is left prevents undue string rattle; action is very comfortable now with little compromise in volume or projection.


I initially was confused by this concept and after some argument, it turns out NO the action is not affecting "pulsation". In other words you can have low easy action (buzzing a lot too) but it is still a "stiff" pulsation guitar. And vice versa, a soft pulsation guitar with the action very high and not easy to play. Anyway, all I know is that I like a low bridge vs a higher one, and there is no specific generally accepted term for it, though I personally distinguish "right hand action" from "left hand action".....neither one having to do with "pulsation".

_____________________________

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 1 2014 5:21:07
 
RobJe

 

Posts: 666
Joined: Dec. 16 2006
From: UK

RE: Pulsation (in reply to etta

Your guitar has the pulsation it was born with and there’s nothing much you can do about it.

It is a product of the luthier’s brain, experience and hands but is also affected by some properties of the wood that are not easily discernable by casual inspection

It’s not the only important quality of a guitar but it is probably the most elusive.

Rob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 1 2014 17:30:04
 
rojarosguitar

Posts: 242
Joined: Dec. 8 2010
 

RE: Pulsation (in reply to Jeff Highland

The word 'pulsation' suggests, though, a rhythmic element, something like 'bouncy-ness'. At least I have the feeling that different flamencas do support rhythmic right hand work differently well for my (like cymbals, as I wrote) ...

_____________________________

Music is a big continent with different lascapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

A good musical instrument is one that inspires one to express as free as possible
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 1 2014 22:45:23
 
Cloth Ears

 

Posts: 152
Joined: Apr. 26 2005
 

RE: Pulsation (in reply to Jeff Highland

Can somebody explain why scale length is a minor factor in Pulsation?

I have searched but cannot find a thread that explains this.

quote:

ORIGINAL: orsonw

Cloth Ears- check the search function there's been lots of debate and explanation on why scale length is only a minor factor in pulsation.


Anders, I know it's hard to resist but please you know better!

from this thread.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 6 2015 14:05:57
 
orsonw

Posts: 1400
Joined: Jul. 4 2009
From: London

RE: Pulsation (in reply to Cloth Ears

quote:

I have searched but cannot find a thread that explains this.


It is explained a few times on this thread (but there are several other threads). Start with Ricardo's post quoting Anders third post down, or Andy's post.

I am not a luthier, they will explain better than I can. But to clarify; a guitar string is not attached to two fixed points, especially the bridge end is mobile. So the string length is not as important as the stiffness of what the string is attached to.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 6 2015 14:31:23
 
Cloth Ears

 

Posts: 152
Joined: Apr. 26 2005
 

RE: Pulsation (in reply to orsonw

Thanks orson, I must have missed reading that quote whilst doing this and working simultaneously

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 6 2015 15:53:46
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2576
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Pulsation (in reply to Anders Eliasson

Do any of the luthiers here adjust the pulsation to the player?

Here's the reason I ask. For several years I bought guitars for friends from the Mexico City luthier Juan Pimentel, but I never bought one myself. Pimentel's main clientele was Mexico City professionals. For most of them their right hand technique was strong enough to crack walnuts between p and i. They sounded great on Pimentel's instruments, but his guitars felt stiff to me.

Pimentel seldom laid down his tools. When I would bring a new customer to the shop his first move was to tell a helper to get a guitar into their hands. Then he would turn his back and keep working. After the customer had played for a bit, Pimentel would take a few glances over his shoulder to observe the player's technique.

I asked him whether he adjusted the guitar to the player. He replied that he did his best.

Personally, I like a medium pulsation. I have played Reyes that were too soft (for me) and Condes that seemed a bit stiff--but a friend has a '73 Gravina media luna that I really like.

Classical guitars exhibit a wide range of pulsation as well.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 7 2015 1:18:39
 
Tom Blackshear

 

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Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: Pulsation (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:


Personally, I like a medium pulsation. I have played Reyes that were too soft (for me) and Condes that seemed a bit stiff--but a friend has a '73 Gravina media luna that I really like.

Classical guitars exhibit a wide range of pulsation as well.


The quest for most guitar makers who build to spec. is to get the tension built into the guitar that will fit the average market potential.

There is no doubt that this building average is not going to work, but for a few players, but this can be adjusted with different tension strings; even different string brands, to bring most guitars into a very close tolerance toward most playing styles.

For example: I played a 1958 Pimentel of Mexico City with medium tension strings and it was perfect for my technique without being too stiff.

So, the way I build guitars is to build them to comply with my technique, and this will fit about 80% of the market's playing style.

This is a personal adjustment that any guitar builder should be able to make with his own product.

And if the builder is a player, then it's just a matter of knowing how to make adjustments to fit a particular style. And generally speaking, the length of a building career will be the common denominator, as to the quality of build.

But I have to admit that some younger builders have an innate understanding of what makes a guitar work, so all is essentially relative in each individual shop.

There is no perfect rule to fit 100% of all guitars for the market due to each individual player's needs, but the end result is that a guitar should fit a larger percentage of players, and this normally takes a certain critical analysis supported by a great deal of experience.

_____________________________

Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 7 2015 17:16:27
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