Foro Flamenco
Posts Since Last Visit | Advanced Search | Home | Register | Login

Today's Posts | Inbox | Profile | Our Rules | Contact Admin | Log Out



Welcome to one of the most active flamenco sites on the Internet. Guests can read most posts but if you want to participate click here to register.
This site is dedicated to the memory of Paco de Lucía, Ron Mitchell, Guy Williams, Linda Elvir, Philip John Lee and Craig Eros who went ahead of us too soon.
We receive 12,200 visitors a month from 200 countries and 1.7 million page impressions a year. To advertise on this site please contact us.





Question for Anders.. Guitar weight   You are logged in as Guest
Users viewing this topic: none
  Printable Version
All Forums >>Discussions >>Lutherie >> Page: [1]
Login
Message<< Newer Topic  Older Topic >>
 
flamencoguru

 

Posts: 271
Joined: Jun. 30 2004
From: West Palm Beach, Florida USA

Question for Anders.. Guitar weight 

Hey Anders,

I figured you could perhaps answer this question. I was wondering if the weight of a guitar really matters when it comes to sound. I've never really paid any attention to the weight of a guitar but some people do. Is there a reason why? The newer guitars of today seem to weigh more than let's say those of the 1960s and 1970s.

I would love to hear you expert view.

Un saludo, Errol
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 16 2005 22:02:26
 
duende

Posts: 3051
Joined: Dec. 15 2003
From: Sweden

RE: Question for Anders.. Guitar weight (in reply to flamencoguru

think of a Gibson Les Paul. lots of wood in one piece. very heavy.
the ton is very very fat and has a lot of sustain. a lighter guitar like thoes "plastic" "play fast"
guitars from Ibanez, jackson ect are not so heavy and has a thiner sound with less sustain.
I think this would apply to classical/flamenco guitars as well

Henrik

_____________________________

This is hard stuff!
Don't give up...
And don't make it a race.
Enjoy the ray of sunshine that comes with every new step in knowledge.

RON
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 17 2005 6:16:40
 
flamencoguru

 

Posts: 271
Joined: Jun. 30 2004
From: West Palm Beach, Florida USA

Question for Anders.. Guitar weight (in reply to flamencoguru

Sounds pretty logical. Let's ask Anders, seeing he's the expert.

For me those really light flamenco guitars sound hollow and very boomy.


Un saludo, Errol
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 17 2005 11:29:49
 
XXX

Posts: 4400
Joined: Apr. 14 2005
 

RE: Question for Anders.. Guitar weight (in reply to flamencoguru

Im not Anders, but might be also helpfull

Thinner guitars have a shorter response or reaction time (attack). That is the most obvious to me.
The sustain imo doest not necessarilly need to decrease, since it also depends on how the neck is connected to the corpus and how well the guitar was built.

I mean to know that the low weight is mainly caused by very dry wood and maybe also very hard wood, so there doesnt need to be much material.
And I think the more dry the wood, the more sustain and attack you get.

_____________________________

Фламенко
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 17 2005 14:28:11
 
sorin popovici

 

Posts: 417
Joined: Jan. 7 2005
From: Iasi, Romania

RE: Question for Anders.. Guitar weight (in reply to flamencoguru

i think it's true , my guitar has 20 years and "zambilica" (that's her name") has
great atack.Not a very good sound ...but great atack.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 17 2005 15:06:49
 
Thomas Whiteley

 

Posts: 786
Joined: Jul. 8 2003
From: San Francisco Bay Area

RE: Question for Anders.. Guitar weight (in reply to duende

quote:

think of a Gibson Les Paul. lots of wood in one piece. very heavy.
the ton is very very fat and has a lot of sustain. a lighter guitar like thoes "plastic" "play fast"


I may not fully understand the terms and definitions you are using but it leads me to these thoughts.

A “heavy guitar” has little ability to produce sound. By heavy I mean one with thick wood. Thick wood does not vibrate as well as thin wood. In the case of a Gibson as well as any and all electric guitars the pickup and electronics play a very important role in sound reproduction.

Play a Gibson Les Paul without any electronics (amplification). What do you hear? Not much.

Try playing a Gypsy Kings Cordoba FCWE guitar without electronics. Compare it to a Ramirez 2-CWE also without electronics. The Ramirez is louder, and has better sustain, etc. than the Cordoba. Why? Look at the construction. The Cordoba is not very deep and does not allow as much volume as a Ramirez.

I have several guitars and the construction and woods used is what seems to determine the quality of the sound. My Manuel de La Chica is the lightest guitar I have ever played and is an outstanding instrument in every respect.

_____________________________

Tom
http://home.comcast.net/~flamencoguitar/flamenco.html
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 17 2005 15:23:22
 
pablus

 

Posts: 10
Joined: Sep. 28 2005
 

RE: Question for Anders.. Guitar weight (in reply to flamencoguru

I think one has to make a distinction between a thick top and heavy back and sides.
1) the trends in classical guitar building are to make very heavy, thick back and sides. Some of the makers make their own laminate to achieve this goal, some just make double back and/or sides. This is to limit vibrations of the back/sides so that the maximum energy is transmitted to the top.
2) the trend in the top construction is to decrease its weight but keep/increase the stiffness. This can be achieved e.g. by constructing very thin (thicknes of a credit card) top and a carbon-reinforced balsa lattice bracing, like in the Smallmann style. Another novelty is to create double tops or sandwich tops by glueing two very thin tops with a honeycomb structure inside.
Either way this can result in a VERY loud guitar. I had an opportunity to play few double tops and they were like piano, damn loud and sustaining forever.

However one has to remember that the guitar construction is a very complicated process which depends on many factors. So it is possible to build a loud guitar with relatively thick top, provided that it is a part of a carefully-planned design.

Flamenco guitars are much lighter. The difference can be rather dramatic at least in my experience.

Pawel
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 18 2005 10:32:56
Guest

RE: Question for Anders.. Guitar weight (in reply to flamencoguru

Hola amigos.

I was away this weekend.

This with weight is another one of these difficult, if not to say impossible questions. I think Pablus hits the nail very well when it comes to classical guitars, and when talking about a certain style of classical guitars that I personally don't care to much about. The big sustain classical guitar with a very soft attack. I find that this trend is to make the guitar sound as little as possible as a classical guitar, a sort of anti guitar. It's impossible to make a lot of sustain without sacrificing something else, and in this case the percussive part of the guitar. In classical guitars, I like the style of Torres, Hauser, Romanillos a lot more, a classical guitar with more balance between sustain and percussiveness. I also prefer the tonal quality of this type of guitar

Flamenco guitars are another story. We want them to be fast, very responsive and with a great percussive capacity. I agree that very old Condes, Ramirez etc. are lighter than most guitars nowadays. There are a couple of reasons: Some of those were way to light and fragile. I've seen a few of them which were "dead" because of a to light construction, bend necks and sunken soundboards are a sign of a to light construction. Another thing is that playing style has changed a lot. Generally asking for a guitar with a bit more "body" and harmonics. Few players nowadays want one of these very dry guitars with absolutely no sustain.
The art is to build light and to control the stifness of the guitar. My own guitars I will consider to be on the light side. A peghead only weighing some 80 - 100 grams more than an old Ramirez or Conde. The art is to know where you can skip weight. If you make the soundboard to thin, you loose definition and clarity and the basses will be to hard to control. The whole construction of the box with the harmonic bars will have to be strong enough to accept the tension of the strings. Remember that you can buy strings with a lot higher tension than 30 years ago. I will never accept to make a guitar without some kind of reinforcement in the neck. I look for stiff and stable reinforment material, and make the sticks high and slim, so that it's more the glue joint itself (principle of lamination) than the stifness of the stick that stabilises the neck.

The electrical guitar is another story. Yes a Less Paul has a lot of beautifull and lon sustain. Mainly because of weight and the use of mahogany in the body. I've had 2 myself. But it's not a very good rytmical guitar. If you want to cut through without being to loud and distorted, a Fender Telecaster does the job a lot better. It's so sharp, bright and percussive, that you don't have to turn up the volume or distortion in order to be heard. A bit like a good flamenco guitar.

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 19 2005 16:17:08
 
XXX

Posts: 4400
Joined: Apr. 14 2005
 

RE: Question for Anders.. Guitar weight (in reply to Guest

quote:

ORIGINAL: Anders
Some of those were way to light and fragile. I've seen a few of them which were "dead" because of a to light construction, bend necks and sunken soundboards are a sign of a to light construction. Another thing is that playing style has changed a lot. Generally asking for a guitar with a bit more "body" and harmonics. Few players nowadays want one of these very dry guitars with absolutely no sustain.


First I am one of them who want that kind of oldskool flamencoguitar :)

Then I got somthing additional to ask: The old guitar of which you speak, did they broke because they were too light or because the wood wasnt stiff enough, or any other reason.

It would be also interesting to know, how much influence a builder can have on the stability of a guitar by means of design etc...

Ps: Does somone know where to get guitars with the traditional sound? Do the Gipsy Kings use that kind of guitars?

_____________________________

Фламенко
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 19 2005 17:02:02
 
Armando

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

RE: Question for Anders.. Guitar weight (in reply to Thomas Whiteley

quote:

In the case of a Gibson as well as any and all electric guitars the pickup and electronics play a very important role in sound reproduction.

Play a Gibson Les Paul without any electronics (amplification). What do you hear? Not much.


Hi Thomas

I do not enirely agree with that statement. Bevore i started to dedicate myself to the construction of the flamenco guitars, i was building electric guitars. I own a Gibson Les Paul Custom and a Heritage Les Paul Standard. I have also built my own Les Paul Guitar.

You may have a lock for it on http://www.buildyourguitar.com/guitars/yourguit/ruckli1.jpg

Yes, an electric guitar has pickups and yes, they play a role, but the pickups can't deliver something to the amplifier, that is not being produced by the guitar. Therefor it matters a lot also on an electric guitar, how the guitar was built, with what kind of woods. A Les Paul guitar does not only have more sustain due to the heavier weight but also because the vibration of the strings passes more directly into the body. This is because there is no tremolo system which takes away a big part of the vibration. Another reason is the glued in neck construction, which adds sustain as well. My Heritage Les Paul is made of lighter maple and lighter mahogany than the Gibson Les Paul. The tone of the Heritage is incredibly loud when played unplugged in comparisson to the heavier Gibson. The Gibson in spite of it has not more sustain than the Heritage. This indicates, that a heavy guitar looses ability to vibrate, so you are basically right on this.

Most cypress Flamenco Guitars are built to a weight in between 1100 and 1300 gramms.
I have realized on my flamenco guitars, that the lighter one sounds more flamenco alike than the heavier. I keep care to build the flamenco guitar as light as possible but with a rather stiff soundboard. I also keep care to keep the wight of the headstock as light as possible.

Armando
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 20 2005 6:55:30
Guest

RE: Question for Anders.. Guitar weight (in reply to flamencoguru

Hi Phrygus.

You are not the only one liking very light and short sustained guitars. The question is how light and short sustained do they need to be. I play a blanca with pegs of my own, and it's very short sustained. You can visit me and try it. It's my tribute to old style flamenco guitars, but it's not made to thin or light, and it does have at little bit of harmonies in the trebles and a very deep percussive growl in the basses.

The problem with some, to lightly build guitars, is that in order to be light, they have compromised on physics. If you make the backseam reinforcement strip 1mm thick and 6mm wide, then you are building to light IMO. Even worse, If you build (like me) with only one upper harmonic bar, you have to make that strong enough to support the pressure from the neck, if not, the soundboard will sink with time. I build with a bigger neck foot (the piece you see inside the guitar), in order to make the pressure from the neck "stand" on a larger surface and so not distort the shape of the back. If you make the neck with a very light piece of cedar without reinfoercement, and use a very thin fingerboard, you have to accept that the neck might bend. If you make the bracing to light, the soundboard will distort and "dish" ETC
I've seen all these things happen in a couple of old Condes and one Ramirez. And I say all in each of these guitars. Bend neck, distorted back, sunken harmonic bar and dished soundboard. Each of these guitars were 'dead'. But mostly the owners thought they had the best guitar in the world, because it featured a label with a certain name on it.

This doesn't mean that all old Condes and Ramirez are like that, but take care, there are many of them.

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 20 2005 7:06:43
 
Jim Opfer

Posts: 1876
Joined: Jul. 19 2003
From: Glasgow, Scotland.

RE: Question for Anders.. Guitar weight (in reply to flamencoguru

This is a big question.
IMO flamencos have to be light weight.
I have a few guitars including a recent find, a Conde AF25 negra which is relatively light weight given it's a negra.
It seems obvious that a heavy guitar wil soak up the energy from the strings and only the method of construction used by the maker will be a factor in helping the energy to be released as sound.
Great guitars are light, strong and durable with a very open responsive sound. I have a Ramirez 69' peghead that is a magnificent guitar, very light weight (1100g) and has lasted all this time and still playing well. Seems weight (or the lack of it) need not affect durability.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 23 2005 12:37:39
 
XXX

Posts: 4400
Joined: Apr. 14 2005
 

RE: Question for Anders.. Guitar weight (in reply to flamencoguru

Anders, I wasnt doubting that the old guitars broke. I just wondered if it was really the lightness or more the stiffness. Then you said to build light you got to make compromises on physics.

What Im trying to say is, first the builder should be sure of the stiffness BEFORE he builds it. This goes for any light guitar, but Im not sure how developed his possibilities are there.

Second, just try to imagine in 20 years a new enzyme will be designed that allows guitarbuilder to buil 400 gramm guitars, because it makes the guitar more hard AND easy to work with, since one reason why hard wood is complicated to work with because it can break during the builiding process, as I heard of...

so wouldnt that be great and would that be possible or not? :)

_____________________________

Фламенко
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 23 2005 18:24:25
 
geoffLW

 

Posts: 3
Joined: Dec. 27 2005
 

RE: Question for Anders.. Guitar weight (in reply to flamencoguru

The stuff in this threadd puzzles me somewhat... surely one of the luthiers arts, is to make the body of the guitar thin enough to resonate properly. This results in a light instrument. Make the parts too thin and you get, as Anders points out, a guitar that buckles with age... sometime just two or three years is enough. I am still puzzled about the electrics though. How can you compare electrics and flamencos? It should be noted that Mr McCarthy spent a long time getting the woods just right to get the 'les paul' sound which is just that...The wood must be shaped to get the required sound ; not the other way round. I'm almost sure that luthiers don't spend their life attempting to get the thinnest wafer of wood on the planet. They may however be search of that holy grail, a sound in their head that has yet to come from their hands no matter how many years they have been at the game. I have a few years left in me before I throw the towel in.. but live in hope that one day I will make sounds come from a guitar that sound like some of the better players.. keeps me going.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 27 2005 21:14:01
Page:   [1]
All Forums >>Discussions >>Lutherie >> Page: [1]
Jump to:

New Messages No New Messages
Hot Topic w/ New Messages Hot Topic w/o New Messages
Locked w/ New Messages Locked w/o New Messages
 Post New Thread
 Reply to Message
 Post New Poll
 Submit Vote
 Delete My Own Post
 Delete My Own Thread
 Rate Posts


Forum Software powered by ASP Playground Advanced Edition 2.0.5
Copyright © 2000 - 2003 ASPPlayground.NET

0.046875 secs.