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RE: New Guitar problem   You are logged in as Guest
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Ricardo

Posts: 12994
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: New Guitar problem (in reply to estebanana

quote:

A string like the nylon treble G tends to play sharp, the reason is that it is a fat string in relation to how flexible it is. When you press it to a fret and stop it, the string does not actually stop at that fret because it's thickness creates a small length of string after the fret that becomes stiffer due to contact with the fret. There is a very, very small length of string that becomes like a little pipe due to contact tension with the fret and to compensate for that after length that tightens up and becomes harder the string length needs to be lengthened. The little stiff pipe section of string shortens the string length.

That is why G strings on Nylon string guitars often have longer compensation that the other strings. You can sometimes see wide saddles with a notch letting the G string ride farther back towards the tie block. All the strings do that physical hardening where they contact being stopped, and at the nut also, but the G string is biggest in diameter and sometimes requires a bit more compensation due to it's tendency to create a stiffer after length at the stop point.


I was assuming this description was the reason. I totally get the theory behind it. Now, based on the "little pipe" concept, if you guys could imagine a nylon string guitar with a SCALLOPED fingerboard. That idea is an exaggeration but to make my point that luthier's should not really be assuming that a stopped string will go all the way down to the fingerboard....thus the "little pipe" curvature (therefore the pitch) will be extremely variable by fret height, string type and by finger pressure. Further, when the string is "Stopped" is not stopped perfectly DOWN toward the fingerboard, it may be slightly pushed toward the bridge, or slightly pulled toward the nut. Unless you are the terminator and can apply a perfect downward pressure. IN my novice brain, a "compensated-for-the-little-pipe-deal" saddle, will work great for a nut puller (who tends to push and pull sharp anyway....they are out there trust me), and be way too flat (over compensated) for a bridge pusher. Hence, my feeling it's arbitrary except for a specific players style that might need it baddly.

I concede it might be more of an issue than I am thinking if I could just compare some guitars I know have it or don't. I for one admit I never had a problem with normal fat G strings so many complain about...my fingers simply got used to the difference I guess? Goes for the weird bridges and the coffee colored string etc... jump out at me as "G string phobia" or something.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 25 2014 4:35:19
 
Jeff Highland

 

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

RE: New Guitar problem (in reply to Ricardo

Compensation is a complicated matter

For a great exposition on it http://www.byersguitars.com/Research/intonation.pdf
If the tech discussion is too much for you go to page 10 for a diagram of the resultant offsets

For a flamenco I would use less saddle compensation due to the lower action.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 25 2014 7:35:15
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: New Guitar problem (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

concede it might be more of an issue than I am thinking if I could just compare some guitars I know have it or don't.


It's way more of on a issue than you are thinking. Like I said if you played a non compensated guitar you would know.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 25 2014 10:55:43
 
orsonw

Posts: 1480
Joined: Jul. 4 2009
From: London

RE: New Guitar problem (in reply to Jeff Highland

quote:

I concede it might be more of an issue than I am thinking if I could just compare some guitars I know have it or don't.


Your Condes and Sanchis are likely to have about 1.5 to 2mm compensation.

To try what it would be like without, tune the G up about 10 to 15% and the B up about 5 to 10%. Now play something which includes open chords and some chords around 7th and 12th fret maybe some which include open strings. I imagine it won't be long before you want to tune your guitar. That's how much of an issue compensation can be.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 25 2014 11:54:29
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12994
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: New Guitar problem (in reply to orsonw

I want to believe you guys. I play Sanchis and I have played Reyes Sr and Jr. I did not notice this difference at all. How about Ramirez or Hauser II?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 25 2014 15:10:11
 
Morante

 

Posts: 1774
Joined: Nov. 21 2010
 

RE: New Guitar problem (in reply to Ricardo

Ricardo, this kind of mistake is unusual and probably never to be repeated by a luthier. The guitarras de Reyes Padre which I know have no such problem.

But when there is a quarter tone difference between the harmonic and the 12th fret, you are going to notice it.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 25 2014 15:21:31
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12994
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: New Guitar problem (in reply to Morante

quote:

ORIGINAL: Morante

Ricardo, this kind of mistake is unusual and probably never to be repeated by a luthier. The guitarras de Reyes Padre which I know have no such problem.

But when there is a quarter tone difference between the harmonic and the 12th fret, you are going to notice it.


In your case (reyes jr) I take your word for it of course. Thing is the guy on the thread here and 100% say defective guitar build, sight un seen, just based on the verbal description. THat's why I feel I am really missing out. I would need to play it...honestly I never played a guitar with such a defect I guess. With all that goes on with a guitar and it's set up and sound, this minor math error due to compensation could not be noticed before the guitar goes out seems so odd to me.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 25 2014 16:24:25
 
Morante

 

Posts: 1774
Joined: Nov. 21 2010
 

RE: New Guitar problem (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

this minor math error due to compensation could not be noticed before the guitar goes out seems so odd to me.


It seemed even odder to me, having waited 4 years, paid 4000 euros and really wanting the guitar.

I imagine that his guitars have improved a lot by now.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 25 2014 16:48:52
 
orsonw

Posts: 1480
Joined: Jul. 4 2009
From: London

RE: New Guitar problem (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

this minor math error due to compensation could not be noticed before the guitar goes out seems so odd to me.



I have played a guitar by a top level luthier, which needed the bridge compensated. Anders has also mentioned in the past having to compensate a top level luthier guitar. And Morante mentions another- so it certainly happens.

However as far as I understand from speaking with a luthier not every guitar is compensated and somehow they can still intonate? But for sure I have played one that wasn't built compensated but definitely needed it. Ask the luthiers- it's mysterious to me!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 25 2014 18:13:38
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: New Guitar problem (in reply to Ricardo

There was a whole series of post war Martins that left the factory without proper compensation, Martin repair guys know the serial numbers and it is obvious when one comes in. You take the bridge off a move it down the body about an 1/8" then the guitar plays in tune.

Sorry I carried on with explanation, it's just that compensation in a repair shop is something you check and it happens that guitars arrive without compensation, even Martins. Or guitars simply have to much or too little and need to be tweaked. There are a few reasons compensation is needed, some of it has to do with strings and some of it is due to the compromises in intonation that equal temperament scales cause on a guitar fingerboard.

If you want to read a really fine book on the history of intonation and fretted scales get this book: 'Lutes, Viols and Temperament' by Mark Lindley

http://books.google.co.jp/books/about/Lutes_Viols_and_Temperaments.html?id=oXE5AAAAIAAJ&redir_esc=y

If you are an instrument maker it's a book worth having on your shelf. If you are a player and want to understand the reasons the modern guitar evolved into using equal temperament, what that means and what types of scale division systems were used for centuries, this book explains it in plain language. It also explains why other systems were used, and why temperament changed as musical eras and tastes changed. The book also delves into how to quantify the amount of 'out of tuneness' you may hear. That could be useful.

It is reasonably priced online and it is in most big public or university music libraries.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 26 2014 0:48:37
 
Anders Eliasson

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Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: New Guitar problem (in reply to orsonw

quote:

But for sure I have played one that wasn't built compensated but definitely needed it. Ask the luthiers- it's mysterious to me!


maybe things are not so mysterious. Luthiers make errors even factories like Martin make errors. Sometimes they dont even notice their errors. After all they are only human beings. Sometimes they notice the error, but hope the buyer wont notice it. And sometimes they may defend someone elses guitars by saying something just to shut someones mouth. It will be the first time in history that someone ubuses his/her power.
I had a look at my plans and they are all compensated aT the bridge. I have TomB´s Reyes plan, but I cant find it so I dont know and I cant remember if that one is compensated. Maybe someone else can have a look.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 26 2014 7:22:37
 
orsonw

Posts: 1480
Joined: Jul. 4 2009
From: London

RE: New Guitar problem (in reply to Anders Eliasson

quote:


maybe things are not so mysterious. Luthiers make errors even factories like Martin make errors. Sometimes they dont even notice their errors. After all they are only human beings.


Sorry to be unclear. The mystery for me that I was refering to was- why do some guitars need compensation more then others? I think Stephen's post answers that.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 26 2014 10:45:04
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2253
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: New Guitar problem (in reply to Anders Eliasson

quote:

I have TomB´s Reyes plan, but I cant find it so I dont know and I cant remember if that one is compensated. Maybe someone else can have a look.
\

The Reyes plan has no compensation, as the top is designed not to have one. However, the blue line at the bridge is compensated, set longer for the build, as the bridge saddle pulls forward about .5 MM when under stress from the strings.

This perfectly lines up with no compensation needed, and the harmonics are good at 655 MM total playing scale.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 26 2014 13:36:22
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12994
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: New Guitar problem (in reply to estebanana

well I got a detailed response about from Richard Brune in a private email yesterday. Including makers old and new and different trends and practices. Simply put, older makers didn't do it dealing with low action flamencos. Classical makers had to do it because of higher action. Players of non compensated guitars (there were a lot of them in the past including sobrinos de esteso) simply get used to playing up high in tune and even might feel to be going flat as they move up on modern compensated instruments (exactly like I was thinking). Anyway, it was helpful for me to have a specific list of makers that did and did not do it.

Ricardo

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 26 2014 14:01:20
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2253
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RE: New Guitar problem (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

well I got a detailed response about from Richard Brune in a private email yesterday. Including makers old and new and different trends and practices.


I agree with Brune on much of what he said but todays guitarreros are building to a finer line than yesterday's builders. I remember that Miguel Rodriguez had quite a bit of freting out of place in the upper register above the 12th fret. And it wasn't until GSI et, al, requested it be fixed that things were better placed. And of course Yuris Zeltins repairs probably had something to do with it. So, I think that not all guitars of yesterday were carefully thought out with their fret placements or compensations, for that matter; even the master builders.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 26 2014 15:34:31
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: New Guitar problem (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

So, I think that not all guitars of yesterday were carefully thought out with their fret placements or compensations, for that matter; even the master builders.


Exactly. I´ve seen some of the scale rules that were used not so long ago and they are far from the standard you can get today from Luthier supermarkets like Stewmac, LMII etc.
Often they were just copied from some dudes guitar.

I actually compensate less than I did before. When I started to assemble flat, and in general making a more straigh guitar (less neck angle), it was necessary to compensate less. Also its better to compensate a little less than a bit to much. If you compensate a little less, the rest can be done in the saddle and made to fit different string types and brands.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 26 2014 17:53:19
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
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RE: New Guitar problem (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

Anyway, it was helpful for me to have a specific list of makers that did and did not do it.


Well, thats good. may I ask you two 2 questions:

1) In which way was it helpfull?

2) Do you mind posting that list?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 26 2014 17:54:42
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12994
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: New Guitar problem (in reply to Anders Eliasson

1) because I played almost all the makes on the list so my fingers memory has some reference. Particular good comparison is the slight adjustment of Ramirez 1A vs Hauser....something I can feel the difference of and had certainly noticed many years ago.

2.) "Without going into a whole dissertation, in general, the Hauser family puts too much compensation on their bridge placement, usually about 3mm longer from 12 to saddle than from nut to 12th. So for most players, they play a bit flat as you ascend the fingerboard. Modern Ramirez 1a's have the saddle slightly slanted, with the first string side placed so the 12th fret is the exact 1/2 distance, and the basses slightly longer (12th to saddle), maybe about 1mm compensation max, which is not enough for most players. Previous generations of Jose Ramirez, like most Spaniards, place the bridge so the 12th is the exact 1/2 distance, although you will often find they miss sometimes due to sloppy, careless measuring. My '67 Faustino Conde media luna is intonated with the 12th fret exactly in the mid point (no compensation), ditto my '34 Santos, ditto my '55 Barbero, ditto my '62 Arcangel and ditto my '98 Gerundino. In general, this is the way Spanish makers placed their bridges in the days of gut strings and LOW actions, and it works in that situation. When you use slippery nylon, and raise the action to the height acceptable to most modern classical (or many modern flamenco players) then you need to place the bridge about 1-1.5mm further back from the 12th fret than the distance from the nut to the center of the 12th fret to allow for the slight sharpening of the string when you press it to the fret. Its that simple."

-Richard Brune

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 27 2014 15:43:40
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2253
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: New Guitar problem (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

When you use slippery nylon, and raise the action to the height acceptable to most modern classical (or many modern flamenco players) then you need to place the bridge about 1-1.5mm further back from the 12th fret than the distance from the nut to the center of the 12th fret to allow for the slight sharpening of the string when you press it to the fret. Its that simple."


I think this is a common agreement with some builders but the fact is: There are many designs that require certain scale length adjustments for each particular pattern. There is no golden rule that says one size fits all.

And unless Mr. Brune is suggesting this for one particular style, then I don't know how he manages to include it as a universal standard.

For example: The Reyes pattern requires a strict set scale of 655 MM with no compensation, while the Miguel Rodriguez scale has to have compensation to make it work. So, perhaps Mr. Brune is addressing only the guitars in his collection?

And perhaps he is addressing guitars with repair in mind; with how they act according to their individual harmonic.

Perhaps another thing might be considered with the REYES STYLE , as no matter the difference in HEIGHT, so much, as it is with making the harmonic a little shaper when the string is pressed down at the 12th fret. This does not seem to detract from flamenco.

If I build a different guitar model, with a particular scale in mind, I will install the bridge where it belongs and then glue the fingerboard to match certain scale harmonic; slightly up or down.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 27 2014 16:39:44
 
Anders Eliasson

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RE: New Guitar problem (in reply to Tom Blackshear

Thanks Ricardo. Its interesting. I still find that most flamenco guitars need a bit of compensation in order to work all the up on the fretboard. Many of the old guitars were made for a playing style staying mostly in the frets or close to the capo, while a more modern style uses a lot more fretboard.

quote:

There are many designs that require certain scale length adjustments for each particular pattern. There is no golden rule that says one size fits all.


I experienced the same when making the same design but going from gluing the braces on a scooped out solera to gluing on a flat surface. Compensation should be a tad shorter. Now I compensate around 0,5 mm at the first and a little over 1mm at the 6th. And if necessary, I adjust the saddle a little bit. Mostly the 3rd string but not always. Also different string brands and tension changes everything a little bit.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 27 2014 17:37:06
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2253
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: New Guitar problem (in reply to Anders Eliasson

quote:

I experienced the same when making the same design but going from gluing the braces on a scooped out solera to gluing on a flat surface.


What made you switch to flat tops?

I've been doing this for awhile and find that flat tops seem to work better for me.

Actually, I build the top flat but then put a slight curve in the bridge to pull the top into it when it is glued to the top's surface.

After the top is tapered around the sides a little behind the bridge, giving it a slight curve across, then the bridge finishes out the curve behind the bridge and leaves the top in front of the bridge completely flat.

How do you like the difference with a flat top?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 27 2014 18:54:31
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: New Guitar problem (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

quote:

I experienced the same when making the same design but going from gluing the braces on a scooped out solera to gluing on a flat surface.


What made you switch to flat tops?

I've been doing this for awhile and find that flat tops seem to work better for me.

Actually, I build the top flat but then put a slight curve in the bridge to pull the top into it when it is glued to the top's surface.

After the top is tapered around the sides a little behind the bridge, giving it a slight curve across, then the bridge finishes out the curve behind the bridge and leaves the top in front of the bridge completely flat.

How do you like the difference with a flat top?


I switched to flat top some 4 years ago because after trying, I prefered the sound, the pulsation and the strings over the soundboard which becomes more parallel. The guitars are more lively and with a more open sound.

When I say that I glue the braces on a flat surface, it doesnt mean the the soundboard ends up being flat. It ends up at some 1,5mm - 2mm higher at the bridge than at the sides and so it has enough "space" to move when humidity changes. I dont use a bridge plate, but a bridge strap just like Barbero did on many of his guitars and what Reyes does to a smaller degree. I make it very thin and light 1mm thick and 10 mm wide and I taper it down to 0 at the sides. This bridge strap makes the soundboard lift a little bit (at least in my hands) Just what I need. I hollow the inside of the of the bridge to fit the shape of the soundboard. Its all done with the idea of assembling with as little stress as possible. Nothing is forced into its shape. The drag of the strings slightly lifts the top behind the bridge and slightly flattens it in front (not dishing only flattening)
The flamenco guitar with its low bridge setup is a stringed instrument with little power built into the bridge, so it needs to vibrate as free as possible in order to do its job.

Many guitars built by bracing in a hollow solera ends up with to much curve in the soundboard. I consider 3mm or more to be to much. The sound gets "nosy" and the sondboard tend to dish more easily in front of the bridge and also with more dome in the top, it gets more difficult to control the height of the strings at the bridge and at the soudhole. Often you get to much angle and a stringheight at the soundhole which is to high.

But hey everyone, this is just me, my taste and my way of building. there are 1000 ways of getting to Rome and noone says you have to go to Rome at all.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 28 2014 8:00:00
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2253
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: New Guitar problem (in reply to Anders Eliasson

quote:

This bridge strap makes the soundboard lift a little bit (at least in my hands) Just what I need. I hollow the inside of the bridge to fit the shape of the soundboard. Its all done with the idea of assembling with as little stress as possible.


That is a good way to build, and I don't know why I have changed it a bit but to try and figure out if I can make the top tension a little more stiff under string torque.

I glue the top on completely flat with a slight side taper as mentioned before and then I use a flat thick board about the size of a fingerboard and lay it across the top at the lower bout to keep the top completely flat as its being glued.

Then the curved bridge is glued on and this causes a certain tension under the bridge. It seems to flatten out the sound a little but improves string torque to some extent. And the voice doesn't seem to have any adverse side effects.

With this method I get a strong solid bass with tight trebles, with certain shaping of the fan braces to finish out the playability. But I agree with your understanding of it; how the top works for good sound.

As you said, there are many ways to make a great guitar.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 28 2014 11:44:53
 
Armando

Posts: 302
Joined: May 27 2005
From: Zürich, Switzerland

RE: New Guitar problem (in reply to Tom Blackshear

Hi Anders

I have to admit that i have a problem building the right amount of doming into my soundboards. I have a solera that has about 2mm doming crosswise but as i finally discovered, almost 0 doming lenghtwise. The soundboard of my recent guitar was very resonant with that wommm tone when knocked with the finger. But after assembly the soundboard sounds very dry like tok, tok. So i came to the conclusion that my soundboard is under too much tension because of missing doming in it's logitudinal direction. By logic, it can restrict the soundboard from moving if there is no doming. OK i still don't have the binding on and some luthiers told me that this could change the sound again. I don't know if it will. Will have to wait and see.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 27 2019 11:42:26
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2253
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: New Guitar problem (in reply to Anders Eliasson

quote:

I have TomB´s Reyes plan, but I cant find it so I dont know and I cant remember if that one is compensated. Maybe someone else can have a look.


Anders, the original to the 2003 plan has no compensation. I don't know why Reyes did that but it seems his pattern does not need it.

I could give my idea but that would be just my opinion, which may not be fact.

My guess is that he planned the strut placement and length to be the compensation.

As far as the 3rd string goes, the strut size and shape seemed to be a regulator of sorts. I've seen this done to some older Faustino Condes; even though there was some compensation.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 27 2019 14:24:21
 
JasonM

Posts: 1695
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: New Guitar problem (in reply to Tom Blackshear

When you say the Reyes plan has no compensation, but that the blue scale line at the bridge is set back 1mm, isn’t that 1mm of compensation? Or does compensation only refer to when the bass strings are slanted further back.

Also, Brune said up there that modern players often play with a higher action in comparison to old guitars. I find this hard to believe.. Or does he mean old guitars had a super low 2mm action that was the norm.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 28 2019 2:38:55
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