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RE: new build for 68' Conde style flamenco   You are logged in as Guest
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Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2087
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: new build for 68' Conde style fl... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

This is a face book link so I'm not sure how it will open up for everyone.

Carlo Rodriguez Quiros playing my 1968 Conde style guitar I previously built for him.

He has a flamenco guitarist friend of his who really got down to some serious flamenco on this guitar but I could not get the link to it.

https://www.facebook.com/natalio.izquierdo/videos/10163271944050495/

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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 31 2020 14:53:14
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2087
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RE: new build for 68' Conde style fl... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

Hello,

I thought that you Spanish speakers on the list would like to hear this Sabicas interview in 1989.



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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 2 2020 14:31:48
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2087
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: new build for 68' Conde style fl... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

I'm currently back under Chemo so it will be a little while to finish off this build of the Conde style guitar.

In the mean time here is a little intermission from Robert Guthrie playing my 1986 build of a 1917 Santos Hernandez classical guitar, Brazilian rosewood and cedar top, with shellac sealed top inside.



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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 5 2020 15:39:05
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2087
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: new build for 68' Conde style fl... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

Here's the ongoing build with the head design and heel carving.

Slow but sure.........



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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 11 2020 20:06:37
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2087
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: new build for 68' Conde style fl... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

Thought I would put this video of Jose Luis Rodriguez up to show his bulerias falseta.

When Jose was about 17 years old he came to San Antonio to give a recital with flamenco guitar. He was mainly a student of Mario Escudero at the time and was sponsored by Casa de Espana for the concert at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

At that time he played a lot of Mario's music, which was very notable and precise.

After the concert, a bunch of us got together and met Jose back stage to talk and get an autograph. Strangely enough, one of my guitar customers had a classical guitar I had built for him, after a 1980's Paulino Bernabe style.

Jose wanted to play it, so my customer let him give a try.

His answer, after playing; it was an excellent guitar.

Well, who knows what goes through the head of a 17 year old, but he seemed sincere



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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 13 2020 16:41:50
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2087
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: new build for 68' Conde style fl... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

Here is a little bit better view of the neck as it is near being finished. The previous machines I had ordered for this build were a little bit too heavy so I ordered a set of Gotoh machines to finalize this design.

The sharp knife that I ordered from woodcraft works real well on carving the head curve next to the side, near the nut.



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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 16 2020 17:13:59
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2087
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: new build for 68' Conde style fl... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

Hello,

I've just finished the neck carving and slight adjustments, so the next post will be the top pattern and sharing of information about how to create some tonal quality with my fan brace graduation techniques.

Conde guitars of this era are quite different in their top thickness, as I have discussed before.

The basic thickness of this plan will be to try and adhere to a thickness of 1.9 MM to 1.8 MM around the center area under the bridge.

I'll try and stay with the original fan brace placement and keep to the shape and original size of the braces. Then to add some fine tuning techniques to enhance sound after the guitar is strung up and playing.

In the meantime I'm still trying to decide which rosette to use, since I've got to make this guitar as appealing as possible without stepping on the toes of the Conde Brothers, whom are fine builders.

So, although this guitar will cosmetically be my own, on the outside, the inside will be in the style of a 1968 Sobrinos de Domingo Esteso. So none of this will be a slavish copy but it will give recognition to those Spanish builders' who have created their art, to this day.

I'll try and start the top work in a few days.

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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 21 2020 16:58:49
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3770
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: new build for 68' Conde style fl... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

Hi Tom,

Sad to read of your mentioning of chemo therapy.
Sincerely hope everything to settle well for good and soon.


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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 25 2020 16:29:51
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2087
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: new build for 68' Conde style fl... (in reply to Ruphus

Thank you, Ruphus, for your concern, I've always thought of you as a kindred spirit full of compassion and love for your fellow man.

Right now I'm dealing with a lower back cold which aggravates me to no end but I'll get over it:-)

Hopefully soon so that I can start the top pattern and rosette.

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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 25 2020 17:39:02
 
mrstwinkle

 

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Joined: May 14 2017
 

RE: new build for 68' Conde style fl... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

You didn't go full media luna on it?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 25 2020 22:26:34
 
Echi

 

Posts: 719
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: new build for 68' Conde style fl... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

I had put the same question and Tom wrote:
quote:

the media luna is too close to home in this present day, and Nino Ricardo is one of my favorite guitars of the 50's which, BTW is very close to this 68' guitar plan I have.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 26 2020 11:08:15
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3770
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: new build for 68' Conde style fl... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

Hey Tom,

Thank you very much for your very appreciated, kind perception. :O)

Hopefully you are not a physician-avoiding type like me. It can result in needless pain.
In the early millennia me got something terribly aching in the lower abdomen and back. It temporarily crippled me, with each and every smallest of moves hurting like hell. Apparently shingles (some herpes virus attacking the nervous system, finally diagnosed by my doc sister). Went through it without medical help.

Only weeks ago (after someone having coughed in my face –the way many folks here uneducatedly do- 4 weeks before) I first got a cold, then pneumonia which then kreeped further into diaphragmitis.

Also incredible pain with each breath, let alone when coughing. Just as if there was a knife being twisted between one´s rips. Almost couldn´t move around anymore. During two nights crouching from the lower end of the bed into sleeping position truly took almost an hour. And there was no position, whether standing, sitting or laying down, in which there was lessening of the trouble.

Then after 5 days of that torment, finally overcome myself to see a doc, and the pain was taken off within hours by description of 4 medicines and a cough syrup. Can´t put into words what a relief that was! Gladly then accepting regular taking of diverse pills over the course of a week or so.

In decades of physical activity and MA there have being countless of cracks, cuts, dysfunctional jaws and thelike stuff, but the above experiences meant another league.

What I want to say is: When being of the type used to overcoming booboos without pharmaceuticals, one should not exaggerate such attitude. That seems at least what I learned from these two occasions. There is no use in enduring serious pain.

Let the doc help you out with the lower back cold. Even if it be just for the issue to not expand any further.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 26 2020 11:34:55
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2087
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RE: new build for 68' Conde style fl... (in reply to Ruphus

quote:

Let the doc help you out with the lower back cold. Even if it be just for the issue to not expand any further.


Ruphus,

Thank you for your astute observation. I will see about contacting my Doctor.

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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 26 2020 14:03:21
 
Tom Blackshear

 

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RE: new build for 68' Conde style fl... (in reply to mrstwinkle

quote:


You didn't go full media luna on it?


Due to the Conde brothers still building, I have to be careful not to intrude too much. So I keep thinking about how to put this project together, and it seems that ideas are coming and going, to where I'm still going in circles with this.

Sorry, but this is a work that is changing as I go..

I love to get into the head of famous builders by making guitars after their patterns, but I've never gotten to the point that I like to do slavish copies. I just like to try and make the sound better, whatever that may mean.

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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 27 2020 3:19:34
 
Tom Blackshear

 

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RE: new build for 68' Conde style fl... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

Hello,

I've been thinking about changing the bridge tie block design so that it would better match the rosette I bought from LMII.

This rosette seems to be the closest to the Conde style that I have, so I went ahead and installed another tie block design to fit the rosette colors.




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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 7 2020 19:37:53
 
Armando

Posts: 290
Joined: May 27 2005
From: Zürich, Switzerland

RE: new build for 68' Conde style fl... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

Hi Tom

The Santos Hernandez is the most beautiful rosette in my opinion but it just doesn't match any Esteso or Conde guitar. Other branch of Manuel Ramirez as you know. So the rose design was often used on Condes, especially those out of the Felipe V shop. For Esteso however i think the 2nd from the top would fit best.

For the headstock i have to admit that i don't like that design.

Would be an interesting project for sure.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 11 2020 20:45:29
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2087
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RE: new build for 68' Conde style fl... (in reply to Armando

quote:


The Santos Hernandez is the most beautiful rosette in my opinion


Understood but I'm going with the present rosette unless I have a change of heart and go with the Barbero.

The list members thought that Andy's Santos style was better, which I have a tendency to agree; it was more colorful than my Santos copy.

Anyway, I'll give the Barbero more thought since the bridge tie block design will match it.

So, if there is more voting between these two rosettes, the members better let me know soon, as next week I'll set the rosette into the top.

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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 12 2020 2:20:20
 
Armando

Posts: 290
Joined: May 27 2005
From: Zürich, Switzerland

RE: new build for 68' Conde style fl... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

This is an interesting concept Tom. Actually it doesn't matter what you do. Everything you do has an influence on the tone maybe major and maybe minor, be it to the better or the worse.
I did not build the number of guitars you did, so my experience is limited but i was always sceptical towards the idea that the struts underneath the soundboard can be refered directly to a specific string and thus controling the sound of a guitar by viewing at each strut individually to shape the tone of the guitar.
The reason why i'm sceptical is that each string has a range of 19 semi tones. So on a guitar you have the same notes and the same frequencies on different strings so you have an overlaping of frequencies from one string to the next. You know that a guitar can respond very different to just seconds of differencies in the frequency delivered by a string. How much more would it differ over a range of 19 semi notes and over a range of 6 strings. Therefore whatever string you touch at whatever note, it will always respond according to the room that is given to it and that is determined by so many more things than just this brace or the other one.
I believe in understanding the sytem as a whole. This is not to say that i do. I'm nowhere near of being there, but that is where i want to arrive. The better understanding of the system as a whole.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 13 2020 17:58:52
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2087
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RE: new build for 68' Conde style fl... (in reply to Armando

Armando,

I teach this concept in my shop for the reason that I can't translate the techniques very well on paper.

If you look back over my posts on this forum you can catch the thrust of the ideal that makes things work.

I've actually had feed back from some builders who picked up the ideas pretty well.

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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 13 2020 19:23:21
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11604
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: new build for 68' Conde style fl... (in reply to Armando

quote:

my experience is limited but i was always sceptical towards the idea that the struts underneath the soundboard can be refered directly to a specific string and thus controling the sound of a guitar by viewing at each strut individually to shape the tone of the guitar.


Have you played any of Blackshear guitars? Here’s the thing. For years I had an aversion to Pedro de Miguel guitars....something didn’t jive well for my ear the many examples I played. Then one day I played one at Dan Zeff’s house. This thing was like a conde, or at least a very nice voiced and responsive instrument...I asked dan what gives? He said Blackshear had a go at the braces inside. So whatever he is doing to the braces, it opens up the sound in a good way...I’m sure it can be over done and ruin the guitar just as easily.

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CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 14 2020 17:13:09
 
Tom Blackshear

 

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RE: new build for 68' Conde style fl... (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

So whatever he is doing to the braces, it opens up the sound in a good way...I’m sure it can be over done and ruin the guitar just as easily.


Thanks Ricardo, but it's true, there is a risk every time I use this technique, but it's also true that if I get it right , there is a general improvement to the tone and articulation of the instrument; especially with my own builds.

It all comes down to being able to improve the technique with practice and to gain knowledge so as not to hurt the guitar with fine tuning. Since I've been practicing this technique, I've learned what not to do to hurt sound.

Thankfully I haven't done this to many other builders guitars. The very last time I did this was with a Poncho Navarro "Miguel Rodriguez classical style" made for a guy in Texas.

The fellow's teacher told him that the guitar sounded like a student model, (I won't go into detail). So he called me and made the trip to my shop for an adjustment. I saw what the problem was and made a couple of slight adjustments that made him very happy.

The next day he called me from his home near Houston, Texas and told me that his teacher loved the guitar, thinking that he was playing a new guitar, not the same one with tonal adjustments.

Does this mean that I knew a great deal with the Pedro de Miguel guitar. Not hardly, since I've learned quite a bit since then. And this in no way should reflect on the Navarro guitars, as I consider him a good builder.

So, now that I'm in the twilight of my building career, I'm trying to get this Conde style finished, to see how well it turns out for anyone who is interested in buying it.

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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 15 2020 17:19:24
 
Tom Blackshear

 

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RE: new build for 68' Conde style fl... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

It seems that I'll go with the number 2 LMII rosette that is close to a Conde style.

The Barbero style has more depth and color but I think this #2 LMII is going to be the one........but only one time for this particular guitar.

This build is taking some time but I want to get it right without making some mistake that slows the process even further.

The trick to making the tone stronger is to thin out the top around the center under the bridge area. And then after the bridge is installed, and the guitar is strung up, slightly thin the edges around the lower bout, if needed.

Then proceed with the fine tuning inside the box if needed.

All of this I'll try and cover when I get to it.

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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 19 2020 8:03:31
 
JasonM

Posts: 1171
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: new build for 68' Conde style fl... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

quote:

The trick to making the tone stronger is to thin out the top around the center under the bridge area. And then after the bridge is installed, and the guitar is strung up, slightly thin the edges around the lower bout, if needed.


My personal favorite is the santos rosette.

I’ve been thinking about pulling the bridge off my guitar and sanding the area under the bridge. I want to see if I can bring back some tone that was lost when I put the golpeador on. It’s a big job of course and a risk in my unskilled hands. But gotta learn somehow. I followed Toms advice about sanding braces to relieve top tension and get more string snap and he was spot on. I didn’t notice any change in tone though.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 23 2020 20:59:50
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2087
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RE: new build for 68' Conde style fl... (in reply to JasonM

I followed Toms advice about sanding braces to relieve top tension and get more string snap and he was spot on. I didn’t notice any change in tone though...............'


Jason, What I mean about the tone is that I put an edge to the sound that reflects a different voice to some extent. And the string articulation/snap is to alter the feel for the right and left hand.

The fine tuning effects both at the same time.

One thing you have to be careful of, is that the more you remove off the strut height, (equal height from top-to-bottom), the brighter the sound on the particular designated string.

If you remove the wood near the sound hole you get a certain drop off on the designated string tone.

You can see this on the 2003 Reyes plan, on the second and third strut. If you remove some wood near the bottom of the strut then you heighten the frequency of the tone. You can see this on the first strut of the plan.

You'll also be able to see, (some of this), on the 1968 Conde plan I'm building.

The trick is to get all strings level in tone as much as possible, from side to side and top to bottom, without messing things up, or learn how to modulate the polishing technique and cause certain inter-dimensional voicing that is pleasing to the ears.

So, to do this, you have to polish the strut just a little off its synergistic communication, with other struts next to it, and this will disturb its own balance a little, so as to create your own voice.

Sometimes one swipe of the #400 paper will do it

Note: I find that sometimes its best not to do too much fine tuning so as not to push things out of sinc. Because, when this happens, it may take a longer time to get it fixed.

Or you may have to send your guitar to me, to fix it for $1,000 :-)

I actually did this for a fellow once and he wound up selling his guitar for more than he thought was reasonable, but there's no guarantee

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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 24 2020 14:51:09
 
JasonM

Posts: 1171
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: new build for 68' Conde style fl... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

Thanks for the pointers Tom. It would be nice to come out to San Antonio and learn some of this if funds and our health ever aligned.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 25 2020 17:06:59
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2087
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: new build for 68' Conde style fl... (in reply to JasonM

Jason,

You have the basics now, so all you have to do is start experimenting with this and learn what happens when you sand/polish things.

Just remember that what you do on the treble side will effect the bass side, to some extent. It's sort of a balancing act on a scale with weights on either side.

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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 27 2020 23:00:28
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2087
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: new build for 68' Conde style fl... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

Here's another intermission with Robert Guthrie playing my 1986 build of a 1917 Santos Hernandez style classical guitar.



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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 31 2020 9:38:15
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2087
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: new build for 68' Conde style fl... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

Hello again,

Video of the rosette glued into the top just to show that everything is tight around the edges for a good fit. This is without any finish, just in its dry form.



The next video will be to set the pattern with the fan braces on the inside. I'll try and explain the fine tuning concept as I go.

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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 10 2020 19:21:54
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2087
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: new build for 68' Conde style fl... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

Hello again,

Here is the latest installment for the top design; explaining a little about the fan braces. I'll continue (with each video) with an explanation of the gluing process and ongoing completion of the top before gluing it to the box.

The top is thickness-ed at a slight bit over 2 MM.




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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 14 2020 20:05:18
 
RobF

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RE: new build for 68' Conde style fl... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

Thanks Tom. I’m enjoying these updates.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 14 2020 20:41:41
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