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RE: FINE TUNING A GUITAR   You are logged in as Guest
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constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1679
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: FINE TUNING A GUITAR (in reply to Tom Blackshear

I understand that Greg Smallman fine tunes his lattice-braced classical guitars by removing and adding material under the soundboard.

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rec.music.classical.guitar/NONksQTRT7k:

"He taps the top to check the stiffness from
the pitch at the sides and the bottom of the
soundboard, and adds liquid epoxy-resin into the gap
between the robust frame he builds below (and not
touching) the soundboard, to increase the stiffness and
raise the pitch from G# to A or A# at the sides
(rocking from side to side) and from E to F or F# at
the bottom of the soundboard. These changes improve
the sound (but at the risk of going too far and
spoiling the sound - we didn't get to hear the
'mistakes')."

Frankly, it would seem to me that the effects of removing microscopic amounts of wood with very fine sandpaper would be undetectable and swamped by the effects of normal changes in humidity.

_____________________________

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www.edluthier.com
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I always have flamenco guitars available for sale.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 18 2016 16:26:26
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2304
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: FINE TUNING A GUITAR (in reply to constructordeguitarras

quote:


Frankly, it would seem to me that the effects of removing microscopic amounts of wood with very fine sandpaper would be undetectable and swamped by the effects of normal changes in humidity.



First, I would rather not try and fine-tune the Smallman guitar but stay with the traditional Spanish style fan bracing. This is my forte.

However, there are many ways to tune an instrument, so my way is not a new way but a technique that lends certain skills that have already, for the most part, been used before.

All you have to do is sand any part of the fan brace system and see and hear for yourself, the change in tone and top tension. The tension will be noticed a little more than the tone when first starting the technique. Then the tonal change starts to come out a little with very slight adjustment.

But the trick is to know where to lightly sand so as not to hurt the progression of tonal change. And once you get the hang of it, you will know how to treat certain areas so as not to go too far. This takes a certain amount of practice but it should not be too difficult to learn with a teacher.

I gave a builder a little information, while he was in my shop, to adjust his fine tuning, but this requires some shop time to where I can see and hear the guitar
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 18 2016 17:23:51
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2304
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: FINE TUNING A GUITAR (in reply to Tom Blackshear

I'll be in the shop today with the Rodriguez build and hopefully get the back installed so I can route out the binding and purfling slots.

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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 25 2016 13:56:28
 
SephardRick

Posts: 358
Joined: Apr. 11 2014
 

RE: FINE TUNING A GUITAR (in reply to constructordeguitarras

Tom,

Are the quality of golpes ever a consideration in the fine tuning process?

This weekend I was playing am old flamenco. The golpes were so balanced with the notes in volume. It really made playing Bulerias, Rumbas, etc. songs with a lot golpes not just easier, it enhanced my playing experience. So, I found value in that.

The tap quality was their - not only on the golpeador surface, but on the bare top and bridge. It sounded the same in those three areas.

Can that consistency of golpe balance be tuned in after construction?

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Rick
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 1 2016 14:31:48
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2304
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: FINE TUNING A GUITAR (in reply to SephardRick

Rick,

I use 11 to 12 thousandths clear tap plate thickness.

Richard Brune and I have agreed, that on my guitars we should call them tonal plates, as they do effect the tone.

And to answer your question about, can the guitar be fine tuned after the plate is installed. Yes.......

This is the reason that on all my flamenco guitars I tune the voice before and after the plate has been installed.

_____________________________

Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 1 2016 15:11:01
 
mmenk

 

Posts: 23
Joined: Dec. 26 2015
 

RE: FINE TUNING A GUITAR (in reply to Tom Blackshear

Tom, I do admit that I have given you a bit of grief over the years, rubbing salt into old wounds. I do not see the logic in what you do to fine tune your guitars, but I must admit that you find a way to get the sound that you have inside your soul and draw it forth from your creations. I believe that is what a true artist can do with the material of choice.
The fact that you can dial in the exact sound that you want to hear is remarkable.
I can do it other ways, but the final touches are similar, it comes down to working your will on the material. But wood will change over time, we do not have control of what happens after it leaves the bench.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 5 2016 8:49:38
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2304
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: FINE TUNING A GUITAR (in reply to mmenk

quote:

wood will change over time, we do not have control of what happens after it leaves the bench.


Absolutely and it takes foresight to understand how it will change under normal conditions. There is some interpretive skill here, as well.

Some of the instruments I've seem 2 years after sale and I didn't believe I built them, they were so good. So, I think the key to most good guitars is to tune them correctly on the bench before sale, as best you can.

The reason I recommend using the same string brand on my guitars is that the least amount of difference can pull the tone off center, on occasion. Yes it is that close.

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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 5 2016 11:28:52
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2304
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: FINE TUNING A GUITAR (in reply to Tom Blackshear

To Every One,

I would like to add a few things about my Miguel Rodriguez build, in that this guitar has turned out to be a fairly strong instrument with a treble edge that snaps, rather than bouncing too much, when using the thumb. In other words, when pulling a chord it expresses a balance that is hard to beat. The bass sound is getting closer to a more hollow sound for classical but still retains some balance for rasgueado and left hand ligado.

It is definitely a classical guitar in comparison to my M. Reyes style flamencos. So the suggestion to anyone considering this model would be to think what you have for your repertoire. This may be my last classical guitar built in my shop.

Good health to everyone,

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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 11 2016 15:51:16
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2304
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: FINE TUNING A GUITAR (in reply to Ricardo

The real interesting thing will be this... what does tom's tuning REALLY change about Adalid's sound, and secondly, will Adalid truly learn the technique and be able to apply it in his factory to justify the price? ......

.....................................................................................................

I was going back over some older posts and noticed this from Ricardo.

It appears that there has been a change in Adalid's tonal quality, so it's apparent that he has learned the system quite well.



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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 16 2016 19:31:20
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2304
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: FINE TUNING A GUITAR (in reply to Tom Blackshear

Here s one of Manuel's primo flamencos before his use of the Blackshear fine tuning technique.



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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 24 2016 22:40:58
 
gerundino63

Posts: 1748
Joined: Jul. 11 2003
From: The Netherlands

RE: FINE TUNING A GUITAR (in reply to Tom Blackshear

So, how much is It the recording , the playing, and how much is the tuning......?
If the recording and playing are the same it is spectaculare.....but is it comparable this way?
Oh, I nearly forgot... It is a blanca and a negra too......

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 24 2016 23:48:05
 
estebanana

Posts: 9383
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: FINE TUNING A GUITAR (in reply to constructordeguitarras

The one I made at the same time as this thread did not need any fine tuning, and it's being completely ignored.

It's a better guitar than this one. I offered to someone for $2500.00 and it got turned down. Guitar making is more than anything else, a popularity contest.

*bitterness*

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https://www.stephenfaulkguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 25 2016 0:41:59
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2304
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: FINE TUNING A GUITAR (in reply to estebanana

quote:

The one I made at the same time as this thread did not need any fine tuning


Steve, if I remember correctly, you were playing a blanca out in the yard, some time back, that I just loved the sound.

And yes, Manuel's new guitar model is that good.

Also, take into consideration that he is now using my basic design, not his older model.

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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 25 2016 1:27:55
 
estebanana

Posts: 9383
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: FINE TUNING A GUITAR (in reply to constructordeguitarras

Here is the guitar I built while following this "tutorial" it turned as well or better than the guitar being built in this thread. But when I posted this guitar before I was shushed off and told to delete my work, which I did.

I'm parking this video right here and not deleting it. If this is a tutorial about guitar making then my work deserves to be here as well because I took the time to get involved and tried to see if I could learn something.

I finished this one in February well ahead of the guitar made in this "tutorial" and yet my guitar has not been talked about. When you put energy and time into a project that some one labels a tutorial you should get some recognition for participating.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 25 2016 3:35:01
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2304
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: FINE TUNING A GUITAR (in reply to estebanana

quote:

Here is the guitar I built while following this "tutorial" it turned as well or better than the guitar being built in this thread.


I have to admit that your guitar sounds good.

And if you are referring to the Manuel Adalid flamenco Negra then there might be a debate, but you are most welcome to post your art here. I've always enjoyed both your and Anders creations.

And I have to say that the Hill guitars haven't gotten much mention on this forum, even though they are well built and tonally correct.

So, welcome to my fine tuning thread, glad to have your presentation. Your guitars are certainly worthy.

I have to apologize for not having a more active thread with my fine tuning. I remember you and others jumping in to keep it going when I was sick.

I'm currently running a few threads that I get mixed up with, trying to remember which one I'm on.

_____________________________

Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 25 2016 12:47:42
 
Escribano

Posts: 6418
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England, living in Italy

RE: FINE TUNING A GUITAR (in reply to estebanana

quote:

I finished this one in February well ahead of the guitar made in this "tutorial" and yet my guitar has not been talked about.


Never forgotten, Stephen. I often think of you in that faraway land in the East. Not an expert, but that guitar has a cut-off of sustain in the mid-range (around the A & D strings) that I like, and sounds muy flamenco to me, if you know what I mean?

Keep building. We are all just part of the great white noise of the Internet, I am afraid.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 25 2016 18:48:29
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: FINE TUNING A GUITAR (in reply to estebanana

quote:

The one I made at the same time as this thread did not need any fine tuning, and it's being completely ignored.

It's a better guitar than this one. I offered to someone for $2500.00 and it got turned down. Guitar making is more than anything else, a popularity contest.

*bitterness*


I follow what you say Stephen.
I wouldnt post my work in this thread or in the large one (you know what i mean)
If you have a guitar that you would like to show, I think you should make a fresh thread for it and i think that kind of threads should be respected by others. Being builders or not builders.

So give it another try and i will try not to wave my Eliassonguitars banner all over the place.

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Blog: http://news-from-the-workshop.blogspot.com/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 25 2016 19:38:01
 
SephardRick

 

Posts: 358
Joined: Apr. 11 2014
 

[Deleted] 

Post has been moved to the Recycle Bin at May 25 2016 20:29:49
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 25 2016 20:13:47
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3461
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: FINE TUNING A GUITAR (in reply to estebanana

quote:

Here is the guitar I built while following this "tutorial" it turned as well or better than the guitar being built in this thread. But when I posted this guitar before I was shushed off and told to delete my work, which I did.


Stephen,

I assume you attempted to post your guitar in this thread. And you were told to delete your work?! That, and the rather condescending attitude embodied in the statement, "I have to admit that your guitar sounds good....So, welcome to my fine tuning thread, glad to have your presentation. Your guitars are certainly worthy," suggests less than welcoming faint praise.

I must agree with Anders that it would be in your interest to post your work in a thread initiated by you and dedicated to your work. As it is, this thread is dedicated to "Fine Tuning a Guitar" and appears to be a bit self-absorbed.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 25 2016 22:14:31
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2304
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: FINE TUNING A GUITAR (in reply to BarkellWH

quote:

I assume you attempted to post your guitar in this thread. And you were told to delete your work?! That, and the rather condescending attitude embodied in the statement, "I have to admit that your guitar sounds good....


Just for the heck of it, I happen to like Stephens instruments a lot, as I know he is capable of building a great guitar but I feel rather diminished by people who seek to hammer me on occasion by finding something inherently wrong with the way I post.

Steve was very active in his complaint and I didn't see fit to acknowledge his post, as probable cause to push me into over reacting about the fact that he does make great guitars.

So say what you feel about my post but I can tell you that you are wrong in your assumption.

Love makes the world go around.

_____________________________

Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 25 2016 22:35:17
 
estebanana

Posts: 9383
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: FINE TUNING A GUITAR (in reply to BarkellWH

quote:

Stephen,

I assume you attempted to post your guitar in this thread. And you were told to delete your work?! That, and the rather condescending attitude embodied in the statement, "I have to admit that your guitar sounds good....So, welcome to my fine tuning thread, glad to have your presentation. Your guitars are certainly worthy," suggests less than welcoming faint praise.

I must agree with Anders that it would be in your interest to post your work in a thread initiated by you and dedicated to your work. As it is, this thread is dedicated to "Fine Tuning a Guitar" and appears to be a bit self-absorbed.

Bill


Bill,

Yes, I announced that I was going to try to learn something from this tutorial, even though I can build fairly well, you never stop learning- at least I can't learn enough. I tried to enter it a few notes and pictures into the mix, but was asked not to post my work even as an adjunct to the main subject.

I carried on my own work, figuring not doing any fine tuning could in a way serve as a control subject, compare a guitar that receives no additional monkeying around under the hood to one that does. The concept of control subject seems unwelcome......Hmmmm....Honestly I don't believe in fine tuning a matter of course, I think you learn to hit targets of weight, flex, articulation as result of being present while you work and through accumulated experience that is both empirical, facts /data and gut level, intuition- guitar maker inner guidance of some kind.


My Fort Worth bred grandmother was a bigoted, bible thumping old battle ax who thought I was a Devil worshiper, however she could quote the bible off the top of her head in a quite brilliant way. She had the perspicacity of a stubborn Talmud scholar when it came to "bible lernin". She eventually rose out of poverty after picking cotton in Central Texas as a child and having her finger bitten off by a cotton processing machine, maybe she was 9? Poor little thing. She had no education, but learned to read and became astute about politics and good at golf. She even joined The Marlin Club at Coronado Island in San Diego harbor and did manage to land a few large bill fish. Reeling them in with that chopped finger and braided linen line on a non level winding star drag Penn reel the size of table saw motor and an early fiberglass rod the diameter of your thumb. Those Pacific Striped Marlin never saw her coming. She used her tennis shoe trolled out on a cord as a "teaser" to attract them, when a sail was spotted in the water behind the boat they pulled in the sneaker and threw out a hook rigged flying fish, and the rest of the story would have set Zane Grey to the edge of his seat.

Her biblical aphorisms, platitudes and metaphors flowed as swiftly as her analeptic glasses of Ernest and Julio and Gallo, and even faster at mid bottle. In summer she drank red wine on ice, the only ones who do that are American rednecks and Spaniards. Not a bible man myself, but I still see value in those platitudes and soaked witticisms. They are useful in guitar making. " The lord says you shall know them by their fruits!" She often said this of Jimmy Carter, and not in good way. She hated Cesar Chavez, he was Mexican Mafia backed of course, and oddly she slightly mourned the death of Hubert Humphrey. Sour Grapes, and liberal pickings.

I suppose this influenced my life in someways, how could it not? Like I said I'm not a bible man, but it did stir in me the penchant to create platitudes of my own original synthesis. Like if are you going to drink the wine, don't punish the harvester. Nana could have used a little Fine Tuning herself, but why bother?

I apologize not all of you will understand this obtuse story, but I "guuurontee you boy", there are a coupla fellows out there laughin' really hard o'r this an trying not to spiller a glass 'o Scotch as they chorts.

"And that's the way it is."

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https://www.stephenfaulkguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 26 2016 0:32:52
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: FINE TUNING A GUITAR (in reply to estebanana

quote:

Yes, I announced that I was going to try to learn something from this tutorial, even though I can build fairly well, you never stop learning- at least I can't learn enough. I tried to enter it a few notes and pictures into the mix, but was asked not to post my work even as an adjunct to the main subject.

I carried on my own work, figuring not doing any fine tuning could in a way serve as a control subject, compare a guitar that receives no additional monkeying around under the hood to one that does not. Honestly I don't believe in fine tuning a matter of course, I think you learn to hit targets of weight, flex, articulation as result of being present while you work and through accumulated experience that is both empirical, facts /data and gut level, intuition- guitar maker inner guidance of some kind.


Stephen, I totally agree with what you say about fine tuning and I think your attitude towards building and continuing to learn is a very healthy one.

But, (and I repeat myself) I think you are in the wrong thread and that it would be better to make a new one when you have a guitar you would like to show.
This is Tom Blackshears thread about what is VERY important for him.... fine tuning.
I never post in this thread. I read and sometimes learn. There has been so many harsh discussion in the past with Tom Blackshear and I and a few others have been to much a part of that. I disagree with a lot of what he writes, but I find that the forum has more or less found a balance on this subject. A balance based on leaving each other in peace. Personally I find that to be better for all of us.
Tom Blackshear is writing less now. He concentrates more on his own threads and he has stopped spamming every second thread with his fine-tuning approach which I believe is very good for him, but which at the same time cannot be called universal or the only way to build.

I know that its easy for me to say because I have stopped at least for a while. But I have the hopes that you, Stephen will continue doing what you do the way you do, so what I write is just a kind push forward. Im looking forward to more threads about your building, what you do and what you dont do.

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Blog: http://news-from-the-workshop.blogspot.com/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 26 2016 3:01:37
 
estebanana

Posts: 9383
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: FINE TUNING A GUITAR (in reply to constructordeguitarras

Thanks Anders, hear what you are saying about the end of the fine tuning spam of a few years back. I suppose I am very bitter and that is just my problem not anyone else's. You know I have not heard a real flamenco guitarist play person in three years. Not one of my guitars or anyone ones guitars. The isolation from real musicians has taken a toll on my brain, in CA I was surrounded by real guitar players everyone one from Jason to Keni Parker, who would all play everything I took to them and give feedback from the perspective of a seasoned pro. By force of circumstance I have not gotten to hear any of my guitars played by anyone qualified to judge them properly, or anyone who knows how to make them sound. If I don't say something on my own behalf I will not get any notice.

This is Fine Tuning talk, let it remain fine tuning talk and I'll take your, and Bill's, advice and begin something of my own when have a project I want to show.

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https://www.stephenfaulkguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 26 2016 3:29:26
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: FINE TUNING A GUITAR (in reply to constructordeguitarras

I will look forward to se and hear more work from you Stephen and I totally understand your frustration and bitterness. I also think its ok you express it here when you feel like that. That shows us there is a human behind the profile and it actually does that you break out of that "white noise" thing that Simon explained above.

Keep them comming and I will also leave this thread for now, so that Tom Blackshear can continue on topic. I will even continue reading it and may even ask something (on topic) in the future if I feel like.

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Blog: http://news-from-the-workshop.blogspot.com/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 26 2016 16:25:56
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2304
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: FINE TUNING A GUITAR (in reply to Anders Eliasson

quote:

Tom Blackshear is writing less now. He concentrates more on his own threads and he has stopped spamming every second thread with his fine-tuning approach which I believe is very good for him, but which at the same time cannot be called universal or the only way to build.


Anders,

This brings to mind a friend, Roger Thurman, who basically presented the Thurman sound port system for acoustic guitars. We used to hear a lot about his new system, at the time, with him extolling the merit of his invention. Richard Brune tried it out and believed it had merit. And I was approached to try it out with my Miguel Rodriguez models but found it to be too invasive in appearance for the top's symmetry, as I'm a strict traditionalist.

This didn't stop Roger's frequent posts on chat lists, and it apparently caused Robert Ruck to try it out with his guitar models. So everyone should know by now that the sound port models are liked by some but not all players, who prefer to have their guitars traditional in appearance. My thrust was to find a way to fine-tune my own guitar builds to be full in volume and still maintain the traditional feel of the Spanish Antigua style.

I spoke about this at length on my website concerning fine tuning. So you are not the first nor probably the last builder that I would disagree with on sound ports. By The Way, this was not meant, in any way, to insult your character, as I'm not a person who does that. I merely have my own ideas about certain aspects of guitar systems that either appeal to me or don't.

I have a certain love for chat and I always enjoy a good conversation, and I'm willing to share my experience with other builders, with the hope that they will do the same. So my thread is open for anyone who would want to shake things up a little, with an attitude of friendship and a common search for greatness.

_____________________________

Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 27 2016 15:48:19
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: FINE TUNING A GUITAR (in reply to constructordeguitarras

Since I have no idea why you suddenly wanted to talk about soundports, I will leave that as it is. I will only say that I, just like many other builders, build with and without soundports and leave it up to the individual client/player to decide wheather they want a soundport or not. If they want my opinion I give it to them before the building starts.
Good luck with your building.

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Blog: http://news-from-the-workshop.blogspot.com/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 27 2016 16:30:05
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2304
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: FINE TUNING A GUITAR (in reply to Anders Eliasson

quote:


Since I have no idea why you suddenly wanted to talk about soundports,



It was basically about you mentioning my frequent posts on other threads about fine tuning guitars. I was new to this forum and I chose to try and spread information about it, similar to what Roger Thurman did about frequent posting of his sound port methods. But things adjust a little when finding a certain niche of having a verbal balance that is more acceptable to this list. This is why I mentioned it.

Also, I read that you are returning to Denmark...I wish you all the best. The world is going through hard economic times and it is good that we have a home base, where-ever it may be.

Be in good health,

Tom

_____________________________

Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 28 2016 14:14:36
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