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LarryA

 

Posts: 2
Joined: Sep. 4 2020
 

New Member Introduction 

Hi all,

My name is Larry Atha, I live in Huntsville, AL. I am an amateur luthier (hobby builder) who has built one flamenca blanca in a master class under the tutelage of Paco Chorobo (Andalusian Luthier) with Robbie O'Brien in the O'Brien Guitars in Colorado last August (2019). I have wanted to build guitars, particularly flamenco guitars, since I was 10 and started classical guitar lessons. I am not a good flamenco player, but love the music and want to continue to learn to play. I have only been able to afford to buy the specialty tools and put a shop together in the last few years as my daughters got out of high school. I live in Huntsville, AL. I am an engineer (of ~30 years post-university experience) and did shock, vibration, and acoustics measurement and experimental modal analysis in the first 10 years of my career and continued doing signal processing and have been involved in measurement data analysis all these years. I am interested in using quantified methods to characterize and test the wood and tune the tops and backs - like Trevor Gore's methods. [I would like to develop an amateur luthier affordable laser doppler velocimeter and stepped sine exciter with a force gage for transfer function measurements of the guitar modes.] I also like qualitative methods and believe that these methods are obviously just as good as they have worked for the best luthiers in the world for a long time. I now have a mostly equipped 25' x 10' air-conditioned lutherie workshop that relies on the primacy of hand tools (but I use power tools, such as bandsaws and routers when they make sense) dedicated to building guitars. I have a very good memory of what I read and I have read books about it and studied these books for decades driving around and waiting for my daughter's sports practices and music lessons to end. I am in the process of building a parlor guitar right now but I ordered Tom Blackshear's Manuel Reyes Flamenca Plan this morning and the GAL red book with his notes and I want to build this beautiful guitar and learn more. I saw that Tom Blackshear was documenting a new build this year in this forum and wanted to watch, learn and study and join. I am excited to make all of your acquaintances and hope to be a positive contributing member of this society. Cheers,

_____________________________

Larry Atha
Huntsville, AL
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 4 2020 16:23:36
 
machopicasso

 

Posts: 899
Joined: Nov. 27 2010
 

RE: New Member Introduction (in reply to LarryA

Larry, welcome to the foro.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 5 2020 5:48:18
 
Piwin

Posts: 3350
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: New Member Introduction (in reply to LarryA

Welcome!

_____________________________

"Anything you do can be fixed. What you cannot fix is the perfection of a blank page. What you cannot fix is that pristine, unsullied whiteness of a screen or a page with nothing on it—because there’s nothing there to fix."
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 5 2020 9:26:47
 
rombsix

Posts: 7603
Joined: Jan. 11 2006
From: Beirut, Lebanon

RE: New Member Introduction (in reply to LarryA

Come on up to Nashville. I'll buy you some pancakes.

_____________________________

Ramzi

http://www.youtube.com/rombsix
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 5 2020 14:12:23
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3194
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: New Member Introduction (in reply to LarryA

Hello LarryA-

Welcome to the Foro.

I just ordered Trevor Gore's books--I'm waitning for them to arrive from Australia. I'm not a builder, but I am a retired engineer/physicist and long time player, with a lifelong interest in guitars and guitar makers.

Another professional luthier with a scientific and experimental bent is Al Carruth.

http://www.alcarruthluthier.com

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 5 2020 20:27:08
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3194
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: New Member Introduction (in reply to rombsix

quote:

ORIGINAL: rombsix
Come on up to Nashville. I'll buy you some pancakes.


She: "Why are you making pancakes? We just ate."

He: "They're for the dogs."

She: "Why are you making pancakes for the dogs?"

He: "They don't know how."

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 5 2020 21:28:28
 
JasonM

Posts: 1776
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: New Member Introduction (in reply to LarryA

Larry,

That’s really cool that you went to Pacos /Robbie’s class!

I used Paco’s video course as a resource to build my first flamenco last year. But I used the Reyes plan from GAL instead of Chorobo’s plan. He seems like such a nice guy and I thought about attending that class in 2019 but it filled up quick. What did you think of the course? A lot of information crammed into a short period I’m sure!


Richard,

If you ordered Gore’s books than I have too as well Be good to have your engineering insight.
I joined Stew Mac so I could get the discount and then a luthier friend of mine got the books so I’ve been thumbing his copy. The second book is a very nicely illustrated guide on the build process. That book alone is great to have.

When Gore talks A little about the flamenco guitar, he said he evaluated a Conde and it performed very poorly in his analysis. So does that mean I should do the opposite of what Gore says if I want my guitars to sound like Conde’s ?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 6 2020 2:37:37
 
LarryA

 

Posts: 2
Joined: Sep. 4 2020
 

RE: New Member Introduction (in reply to JasonM

thanks for the welcome

JasonM, Paco and Robbie's class was absolutely worth it. I loved it! It was like taking a drink from the firehose of lutherie knowledge but great - very minute. We worked hard! I had bought the video course and liked Robbie and Paco so much - I wanted to take the class with them. I actually had started with Robbie's courses before that - and when I first started watching them - I wrote a snall mail to him and told him I wanted to come and build. His dry sense of humor appeals to me and I think he is a great teacher. I will go and build another guitar with them each again when I can when the sanitary conditions allow travel. As there is so much to learn - even once one gets the process and hand tool methods down. Paco is also a great teacher and so Passionate about excellence. Paco is just a super hand-tool as well as flamenco expert. And both guys are fun and made everything so enjoyable and they put up with me! {aside- I did have a hard time with the altitude in Denver(being a flatlander) - feeling a little breathless, having a headache, etc. I didn't expect the altitude to affect me as much as it did. } But I want to go to Spain and build another guitar or two with Paco (another flamenco and another classical or romantic guitar). And I want to go back to Robbie's shop and build another guitar (a classical) or two (a steel string) with him, too. There is so much to learn and because of the group - we had to go fast. There were three other experienced luthiers taking the class. Dr Mark French, Purdue Professor, wrote an article about our particular class in 'American Lutherie' - the GAL magazine. We worked hard all day from 7:45am until 6pm from the 12th to the 19th of August, every day. Just great all around - I don't see how anyone would regret going and taking the course if they want to build more guitars. I remain in correspondence with Robbie and Paco and it was just great. I can't recommend it highly enough for budding luthiers.

I'm not sure what Trevor means when his techniques don't work for flamenco. I'm not sure what you mean by doing the opposite, also - in that regard. I haven't read his books yet, so I can only say so much. my birthday is this month and I hope to give myself his books for a present. I think some of his goals would still apply though - you want to control what frequency the Helmholtz resonance is and control what freq the first bending mode of the top and the first bending mode of the back is - and controlling those so that they don't fall on top of a string mode resulting in a wolf tone. But then - I wouldn't use falcate bracing on a flamenco -and what works for a classical to ptimized for sustain and bell-like tones, are in opposition for the "dry sound' - which to me in engineering terms means a fast rise time for the note and a fast decay. Wbich is achieved by first - a low mass as well as good damping in the construction. But too much damping will result in no sustain -so you don't want too much. So I wouldn't expect what is optimal for a classical guitar to be optimal for a flamenco because the goals of the luthier are different. I'm pretty sure he is optimizing for tone and sustain. And a flamenco luthier is usually optimizing for the 'dry' sound. A fast rise time and quick decay - although modern trends in flamenco are evolving to slightly more sustain, according to Paco - who would know since he is a flamenco performer in Spain, as well.

As I build the Reyes from the plans I ordered, I was actually thinking about making more than one top - and doing some Gore inspired experiments and write them up along the way. I thought I might order a couple of higher grade tops and use one of the ones I already have and try to see how the data works to support Gore's methods. So maybe we can talk more about this as times goes along, but I warn you - I am a slow builder, since its just a hobby. But I will be out in my shop a lot more once fall comes and the temps and humidity are lower this fall.

cheers,
Larry A.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 6 2020 15:35:28
 
ernandez R

Posts: 525
Joined: Mar. 25 2019
From: Alaska USA

RE: New Member Introduction (in reply to LarryA

Welcom Larry,
Was writing a long reply and poof!
Will be enteresting to see what you come up with

HR

_____________________________

I prefer my flamenco guitar spicy,
doesn't have to be fast,
should have some meat on the bones,
can be raw or well done,
as long as it doesn't sound like it's turning green on an elevator floor.

www.instagram.com/threeriversguitars
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 8 2020 0:18:16
 
JasonM

Posts: 1776
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: New Member Introduction (in reply to LarryA

Sounds like it was a great experience, Larry! Except for the altitude. I did see some of the video he made from the workshop. And interesting to hear there were some students with experience in the class as well. I’d love to go to Spain and take some lessons with Paco too. I don’t think I have the stamina for building an entire guitar in a week for two with my health issues, but it would be good to get some experience with soundboard flexing and bracing.

Regarding Gore’s analysis of the Conde guitar in his book, I think he compared two or three blancas,. But he basically said what you mentioned about being light with quick decay. My comment about doing the opposite was sort of tongue and cheek because a lot of folks knock modern Conde’s for sounding dull, and there certainly are duds, but some inexperienced players overlook a lot of the sonic features.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 8 2020 2:01:38
 
singlechange

 

Posts: 28
Joined: May 13 2019
 

RE: New Member Introduction (in reply to LarryA

Richard, I did not know you have a fine sense of humor too. I bet you like knock knock jokes also.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 4 2020 3:48:03
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