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My first Negra   You are logged in as Guest
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Sammy K

 

Posts: 30
Joined: Dec. 2 2004
From: Finland

My first Negra 

Hi, everybody!!

I just graduated from a luthiery school here up north in Finland. I made my first Negra guitar as my artisan work. This guitar was finished in march and maybe now, that it's sound has a little bit -not much- opened up and improved I dare to give you some info how it ended up. -I did promise this to Anders few months back.

I also put some pictures on the web...
http://www.saunalahti.fi/samowar

the specs... well here you go...

Body&Sides: Indian Rosewood
Soundboard: European spruce
Bridge: Brazilian rosewood (12 hole tie block)
Neck: Honduras Cedar
fingerboard: Ebony
tuners: Schaller "Hauser" ebony
Scale: 650mm
Bracing pattern: Santos Hernandez 7-fans

Here is my own honest opinion of her sound.
Now that I have compared it with other flamenco guitars I might say the sound is very promising. It's very balanced. 'It has that Adalucian sound' told me one Finnish flamenco player. Good. So it has middle punch. It does have enough trebles and bass, but I'm going to do some little changes to make them more separate and increase trebles. I recently tried out one Blanca made by Manuel Reyes and that one had really NICE trebles and basses with that flamenco punch. I really have to play a lot and see if the sound opens up. It's still new and it needs at least a year to really see what the guitar is gonna be like. Well, the sound is dark and deep in a good way, but I'd hope it to have little more volume. Hope that increases too in time. It is quite loud, but nothings enuf for me! Playability is very good. Easy and fast neck profile with proper string heights (2,75 mm 12th fret - 8,5 mm at the bridge) ...

I'm working on my homepages and soon gonna start my project on 2 blancas. Later I'm gonna put in some soundfiles. Any comments and questions are more than welcome!

_____________________________

-Sami

--This goes to eleven--
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 8 2005 18:00:38
 
PacoPaella

Posts: 163
Joined: Nov. 7 2004
 

RE: My first Negra (in reply to Sammy K

Sami,

it looks sweet, i cant wait to hear the sound samples How wide is the nut? Looks like 54 mm to me?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 8 2005 20:54:51
 
gerundino63

Posts: 1625
Joined: Jul. 11 2003
From: The Netherlands

RE: My first Negra (in reply to Sammy K

Hi Sami

Nice guitar, and I like your headstock, wonder too how he sounds!

Is it laquer or french polish?

Peter.

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 8 2005 21:28:59
 
gshaviv

Posts: 272
Joined: Mar. 22 2005
From: Israel

RE: My first Negra (in reply to Sammy K

Nice rosette (though its hard to really see without a closeup). Did you make it?

_____________________________

Guy
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 9 2005 0:02:53
Guest

RE: My first Negra (in reply to Sammy K

Hi Sammy.

Congratulations. It looks very nice. I to like you (double Conde) headstock. The guitar looks very clean and well build.

Did you build it with a slightly angled lower harmonic bar and thinner braces on the bass side as you said you would?

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 9 2005 8:35:48
 
Sammy K

 

Posts: 30
Joined: Dec. 2 2004
From: Finland

RE: My first Negra (in reply to Sammy K

Thank you all!

At the Nut it's 51,5 mm wide. The Perspective of that photo makes it look like more wider than it is. The finish is nitrocellulose laquer as I don't quite master the french polish yet as good as I wanted. Cellulose laquer is preferred in steelstring guitars because it's made of wood fibers and the coats can be sprayed very thin and it's very durable. I think it's a second best option after french polish far away from polyuretans and stuff. Well anyway after this one I'll be doing only french polish on my flamenco and classical guitars. I think Jose Oribe often does only the top with f-polish and the rest with nitocellulose, Do I remember right?

The rosette is unfortunately ready made as I had no time to concentrate making it myself, but before I make those blancas I'm gonna design my own 'coz in a way it is the builder's footprint.

Anders, I did the angled lower harmonic bar and a liiiittle bit thinner braces on the bass side and now I don't know what it would have been like if I didn't! I'm gonna try using narrower and higher braces next time. What do you think about it? I'll try to do some study on those 2 blancas and use small differences in building. Unfortunately the tops and body materials are all from different logs so the comparison will not be that perfect, but I hope to get something out of it.

_____________________________

-Sami

--This goes to eleven--
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 9 2005 11:22:33
Guest

RE: My first Negra (in reply to Sammy K

I asked you because you wrote:

<It does have enough trebles and bass, but I'm going to do some little changes to make them more separate and increase trebles.>

I remember telling you that if you did what you have done, you might find that the trebles would be a bit flimsy and not so clear as the basses. I also told you that you were doing two things that was loosening the bass side, and that it might end up being to much, especially on a Negra. I know that theory sais that the angled lower harmonic bar should tighten the trebles. But experience from my own guitar and other more famous makers guitars, tells me that it does the opposite: It makes the bass looser and deeper. At the same time experiments with guitars stringed the other way around, like lefthanded gives the exact same result. This undermines another theory: that non symetrical bracing should make the guitar play high frequencies on one side and low on the other. Experiments tels me that it gives more room for the bass and a tendency to make the trebles weaker and not so clearly defined. So IMHO it's wrong to also make the braces on the bass side weaker. That's simply to much. You loose the idea of what is happening.
On the other hand, the assymetrical system gives a very nice soundquality with lots of harmonics. So the way to go is to find out how much tension to put in the soundboard and the braces in order to balance the guitar and make the trebles strong.

Also remember that Santos Hernandez model is very old and small and very much a Blanca. I think it's to light for a negra and especially if you use a larger body size. (plantilla)

But again, these are just my thoughts, and your guitar looks wonderfull, so be happy and play it a lot.

Anders

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 9 2005 15:59:09
 
Sammy K

 

Posts: 30
Joined: Dec. 2 2004
From: Finland

RE: My first Negra (in reply to Sammy K

Thanx for the thoughts, Anderes. I remember you told me that few months back...

I've discussed with builders who use the non symmetrical bracing and they have ended up in that because it worked better than assymetrical design... But that's just for them. Now I don't actually see no reason for using non symmetrical design because the assymetrical design is in the history proven to work great. I thought about this before I glued the braces a lot and thought to myself "what the hell let's make an experiement whatever the result is. then I know better" ... Good friend of mine build Santos H. designed Blanca with assymetrical design and it really does have less trebles than my negra.... maybe I try to use assymetrical and non symmetrical designs on my forthcoming blancas...then we'll know the difference.


quote:

So the way to go is to find out how much tension to put in the soundboard and the braces in order to balance the guitar and make the trebles strong.

That's it... You got it there in a nutshell

Well anyway, that's just the prototype and there's still a lot to experiment to achieve that ultimate sound. It would be so nice to compare our negras side by side....

_____________________________

-Sami

--This goes to eleven--
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 10 2005 7:56:01
Guest

RE: My first Negra (in reply to Sammy K

Just one thing.
In my vocabulary (I'm not a native English speaker either) assymetrical and non symetrical is the same thing, so I dont understand your last post. One of the words should be chamged to symmetrical in order to make sense.

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 10 2005 8:37:44
 
Sammy K

 

Posts: 30
Joined: Dec. 2 2004
From: Finland

RE: My first Negra (in reply to Sammy K

douh! Of course my assymetrical is symmetrical here... oops!

_____________________________

-Sami

--This goes to eleven--
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 12 2005 8:14:48
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