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Cedar negra   You are logged in as Guest
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Andy Culpepper

Posts: 2752
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

Cedar negra 

Just finished this Cedar/Indian Rosewood negra with 2.5 mm action.
The customer opted to go with premade rosette and simple Maple binding to shave some $$$ off the cost, which is something I have no problem doing. I couldn't resist adding an extra touch to the tail stripe though.
Forgive my nonsensical noodling...








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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 8 2020 2:05:52
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2000
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: Cedar negra (in reply to Andy Culpepper

Andy,

This appears to be close to a 1949 Barbero pattern I got from Brune many years ago. I built a few guitars with this pattern and the most explosive one was with a thin top about 1.9 mm to 1.8 under the bridge area; nice piece of semi-stiff Englemann spruce top, cypress sides and back.

Congratulations on another good one.

Oh, one other thing is that the harmonic bars across the top had very little relief at the end.

_____________________________

Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 8 2020 15:01:47
 
ernandez R

 

Posts: 24
Joined: Mar. 25 2019
From: Alaska USA

RE: Cedar negra (in reply to Andy Culpepper

Andy,
I have a confession to make: I thought you and Ethan were the same person when first I started reading the Foro luthiery section a couple of years ago. I think it's cool you two can be in this small world of Flamenco guitars and work together.

I like how you fair the neck into the body, my last two are similar. I wrote it out it like this:
I had this idea how I wanted these two necks to fair into their bodies, like a sharp ships prow or a shark fin. An angle that inspires an attack of fast cords, pulsing pulgar, and ringing picado. I am guessing it was a signature of a builder from the past but I'm not familure with who.

You mentioned adding the tail stripe detail and I thought to myself, how does one keep from getting carried away. We all all have a standard. I decided to make up a brace of vary simple parlor guitars loosely based on the 1863 Torezz that Bruen wrote up in Vintage Guitar. I had a walk in commission of sorts for one of the parlors and She wanted this and that, ok fine, but then I keep on wanting to take this one to the next level all the while knowing I will only be compensated in knowing I did my best or rather better then I had done so far. How does one set a personal limit on these commissions without making compromises? Of course my master plan was to never build on commission or custom anything, go figure... It's not like one can say no.

And your " nonsensical noodling", it puts my remedial noodling to shame.

HR
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 8 2020 16:11:47
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 2752
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: Cedar negra (in reply to Tom Blackshear

quote:

Andy,

This appears to be close to a 1949 Barbero pattern I got from Brune many years ago. I built a few guitars with this pattern and the most explosive one was with a thin top about 1.9 mm to 1.8 under the bridge area; nice piece of semi-stiff Englemann spruce top, cypress sides and back.

Congratulations on another good one.

Oh, one other thing is that the harmonic bars across the top had very little relief at the end.


Thanks, Tom. This design is "copied" from a 2005 John Park guitar that I really liked. I still use it but mostly on Cedar tops or Spruce tops with less cross-grain stiffness. The other layout that I normally use on stiffer Spruce has the center five fans parallel, but I've found that it just doesn't work as well on Cedar.

The Park also has not much taken off the ends of the harmonic bars, but it's hard for me to resist taking off as much weight from the soundboard as I can. This cedar top was under 150 grams fully braced which is one of the lightest I've made. It ended up about 2.1 to 2.0 thickness.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 8 2020 16:52:30
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 2752
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: Cedar negra (in reply to ernandez R

quote:

Andy,
I have a confession to make: I thought you and Ethan were the same person when first I started reading the Foro luthiery section a couple of years ago. I think it's cool you two can be in this small world of Flamenco guitars and work together.

I like how you fair the neck into the body, my last two are similar. I wrote it out it like this:
I had this idea how I wanted these two necks to fair into their bodies, like a sharp ships prow or a shark fin. An angle that inspires an attack of fast cords, pulsing pulgar, and ringing picado. I am guessing it was a signature of a builder from the past but I'm not familure with who.

You mentioned adding the tail stripe detail and I thought to myself, how does one keep from getting carried away. We all all have a standard. I decided to make up a brace of vary simple parlor guitars loosely based on the 1863 Torezz that Bruen wrote up in Vintage Guitar. I had a walk in commission of sorts for one of the parlors and She wanted this and that, ok fine, but then I keep on wanting to take this one to the next level all the while knowing I will only be compensated in knowing I did my best or rather better then I had done so far. How does one set a personal limit on these commissions without making compromises? Of course my master plan was to never build on commission or custom anything, go figure... It's not like one can say no.

And your " nonsensical noodling", it puts my remedial noodling to shame.

HR


Lol...I'm struggling to find any similarity between Ethan and myself, at least visually, but we do both make flamenco guitars!

Personally I'm 100% focused on tailoring my guitars to the people who order them. This was a repeat customer and he had specifically asked for a little extra tail stripe detail before so I had no problem doing it. I am always willing to throw in some extras for a repeat customer especially.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 8 2020 17:01:10
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2000
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: Cedar negra (in reply to Andy Culpepper

quote:

It ended up about 2.1 to 2.0 thickness.



That makes sense since relieving the ends will produce more sweetness to the tone. And this can incorporate a thicker top. There are so many ways to treat top function that it baffles my thinking.

_____________________________

Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 8 2020 17:45:13
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 2752
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: Cedar negra (in reply to Tom Blackshear

quote:

That makes sense since relieving the ends will produce more sweetness to the tone. And this can incorporate a thicker top. There are so many ways to treat top function that it baffles my thinking.


Indeed! So many variables. Plus this is Cedar so I don't think I would go much thinner than that, with this particular top at least.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 8 2020 18:08:21
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1376
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Cedar negra (in reply to Andy Culpepper

Really nice sound, Andy. I think your noodling was just what we needed to appreciate its sound (though I like to hear some rasqueado too). The visual elements all work together on it.

_____________________________

Ethan Deutsch
www.edluthier.com
www.facebook.com/ethandeutschguitars
www.youtube.com/marioamayaflamenco
I always have flamenco guitars available for sale.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 8 2020 21:37:27
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 2752
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: Cedar negra (in reply to Andy Culpepper

Thanks, Ethan. As you know they always improve a lot during the first few days too. Yeah I felt like that kind of playing was what the guitar wanted to do :)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 8 2020 23:04:36
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2000
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: Cedar negra (in reply to Andy Culpepper

quote:

Plus this is Cedar so I don't think I would go much thinner than that, with this particular top at least.


OK, I understand what you say about cedar, I keep forgetting that other builders use cedar for flamenco on occasion.

I use nothing but spruce tops for blanca guitars but I have used cedar for flamenco negras. Excuse me for rattling on.

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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 9 2020 14:48:08
 
Echi

 

Posts: 671
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Cedar negra (in reply to Andy Culpepper

Lovely guitar Andy, you have really a talent.

Very interesting considerations about the bracing also.
What do you take in bigger consideration to get those sharp trebles?
I notice that your bracing is not asymmetrical.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 10 2020 10:11:03
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 2752
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: Cedar negra (in reply to Andy Culpepper

Echi, thanks amigo!

I've generally used symmetrical bracing patterns, but I've been thinking lately about the importance of some asymmetry in the guitar top. Mostly I've been wondering why some guitars I've made that had runout in the top sounded so damn good. It could be that the top is not vibrating in perfect symmetry which allows it to project more or not swallow its own frequencies. To that end, the slanted harmonic bar a la Barbero might be a good way to introduce a little asymmetry in a top with no runout, or you can make the fan bracing, or just top or bridge thickness asymmetrical. Maybe tops with runout work better with dead symmetrical bracing. Just a thought.

As for the trebles and overall balance of the guitar, I think a lot of that has to do with the bridge weight being a good match for the top. I always try to go by "thin top - light bridge; thick top - heavy bridge". So on a typical flamenco guitar with a thin top a light bridge is necessary to bring out the treble and not make it too bass-heavy. A beefier modern Conde type build requires a heavier bridge to drive it.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 10 2020 21:00:33
 
JasonM

Posts: 1075
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: Cedar negra (in reply to Andy Culpepper

Very nice Andy! I can hear that cedar sound. Have you looked at any Conde bridges? I havnt but I would suspect they are low because most condes have a low bridge setup. That ofcourse would shave off mass. The bridge on my Ricardo Sanchis is 1mm lower than the bridge on Tom’s Reyes plan.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 10 2020 23:19:11
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 2752
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: Cedar negra (in reply to JasonM

quote:

Very nice Andy! I can hear that cedar sound. Have you looked at any Conde bridges? I havnt but I would suspect they are low because most condes have a low bridge setup. That ofcourse would shave off mass. The bridge on my Ricardo Sanchis is 1mm lower than the bridge on Tom’s Reyes plan.


Thanks, Jason. Yes, I have. Below is a picture of a high end Conde negra that I did some work on and French polished the top. The bridge setup is low but that's a given for a flamenco. Where you really want to look is the wings. Notice how the wings on this bridge are almost as thick as the tie block, probably close to 5mm thick Brazilian Rosewood. I would guess that the bridge weighed more than 22 grams. That is correct for a thick top with the two large "Conde braces" running up through the lower harmonic bar. A lighter bridge probably would have left the guitar with weak bass response. As it was that was a great guitar for someone with a very strong right hand technique.

Right now I'm building a classical guitar for a professional player/teacher who has a very strong right hand. His free strokes sound like my rest strokes. He needs high action and high tension strings. That really changes the way I construct the soundboard, namely it is thicker and the bridge is heavier. A strong technique will pull a very complex and projecting sound out of that guitar whereas someone like myself would find it difficult to play.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 10 2020 23:36:35
 
JasonM

Posts: 1075
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: Cedar negra (in reply to Andy Culpepper

I’m still a little cloudy on how bridge wings can be thick but still have clearance for a shallow saddle slot. Could you have a taller / steeper apex profile on the wings to still allow clearance? I think Rob explained this to me before maybe I just need to see more bridges
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 12 2020 15:31:39
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 2752
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: Cedar negra (in reply to JasonM

quote:

I’m still a little cloudy on how bridge wings can be thick but still have clearance for a shallow saddle slot. Could you have a taller / steeper apex profile on the wings to still allow clearance? I think Rob explained this to me before maybe I just need to see more bridges


The full thickness of the wings is only in the middle so you still have room for a shallow saddle slot. It is shallow though. The bridge setup is low so you still have more than 50% of the saddle in the slot.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 12 2020 16:33:32
 
JasonM

Posts: 1075
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: Cedar negra (in reply to Andy Culpepper

Makes more sense now, thanks! What would you consider the lighter end of the spectrum to be? ~15g?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 14 2020 14:23:22
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 2752
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: Cedar negra (in reply to JasonM

quote:

Makes more sense now, thanks! What would you consider the lighter end of the spectrum to be? ~15g?


Yep that's about as light as I would normally go. There's always the question of whether or not you add in the saddle weight too though. Some makers take a round file to the bottom of the saddle and file out in between where the strings sit to reduce weight and possibly make better contact with the bottom of the slot.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 14 2020 16:46:24
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