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RE: Blanca vs Negra - is only the wood different? Or are there other differences?   You are logged in as Guest
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tijeretamiel

 

Posts: 441
Joined: Jan. 6 2012
 

RE: Blanca vs Negra - is only the wo... (in reply to estebanana

quote:

ORIGINAL: estebanana

I’ve seen mango trees in Micronesia with huge trunks. And I believe certain species of mango tree would make great guitar wood. Probably not easy to get because it’s not a regularly commercially traded wood, but I’d like to get my hands on some.


Mango is used for making guitars.

Faith Guitars have some steel strings made with it (soundboard, back/sides), and Pono use it for Ukuleles. Both are based in Indonesia, I think they could both be in the same factory?

There are a few sets of Mango for back and sides on eBay.com.

I think it'd make a great flamenco guitar!

***
As for eating them. For our brethren in the Americas, I'd recommend finding your 'ethnic' part of town in the summer and buy the Pakistani Chausa/Alphonso mangoes if you see them for sale. They are quite a bit more expensive than their South American/Mexican counterparts and much softer, and have a very short shelf span but they are much sweeter, and aromatic.

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 27 2023 20:02:22
 
estebanana

Posts: 9386
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Blanca vs Negra - is only the wo... (in reply to TrickyFish

If you have many guitars coming over your bench and you actually measure them, Blanca’s and Negra’s average out to be the same size body depths.

Cypress guitars and rosewood guitars are made on the same plantillas with the same general body depth. It’s usually 3-1/2” to 3-5/8” at the heel of the neck and then rises 3/16” to 1/4” inches at the lower bout tail. That’s for both blanca and negra. They are the same when you start measuring a large survey.

Added cognitive dissonance:

Unless you’re fitting the back with a radius sanding dish which distorts the back plane line of the guitar making it difficult to tell the depth by the eye.

At the winter holiday season I visited my friend Stewart Port in Oakland for a week. I used to work at his shop and he’s also a Gene Clark alum. He’s been a great friend and mentor who came through Matt Umanov’s shop in the 1970’s. I was in Stew’s shop from 2004 to about 2007 working on my own guitars, but also with him in his steel string repair- restoration practice. We used to keep each other company in the shop and I’d get talked out of my rants on the Baudleriztions of American guitar makers perpetrated on Spanish guitars. One topic I revisited on a weekly basis is my dislike of radius dished back fitting.

I would complain loudly and often about how it ruins the look of the guitar and Stew would calmly and collectively turn my focus onto something more productive. He wasn’t unsympathetic to my feelings and even agreed. His solution was to tool up a section of the shop, lay in a stock of MDF and power out various sized radius dishes to sell. He joked of course, calling this venture “The miracle of dishes for the fishes”.

Eventually I learned to coexist with the heathens that mutilate guitars by sanding a spherical rim into the back of the ribs by simply ignoring them. After ten years of ignoring them I noticed the chatter about the dish was quieter, as advocates on both sides of the quibble had chosen to look away from the massacre of dishing it. What surprised me mightily is that during this trip Stew had a reprise of ranting about the dish. I could hardly believe it that the mentor who taught me to ‘turn the other bout’ was going on hotter than a Ukrainian super models culo about his deep seated hatred of the sphere arched back. I said Stew let’s have a shot of whiskey, eat some holiday cheese and rye bread and relax. He wasn’t having it. He railed against the dish and its users as if they were Lucifer Incorporated, he even cussed them with a variety of the foulest words in the American English lexicon.

“The solution” he says to me across the shop “is to go to war with the fishes. We need to mount an online campaign to fight the bastards and turn the tide back to using a hand plane and to a gentle rise from heel to butt on plane line. I said we’d already won the traditional moral high ground and can only teach it to our students, we are teachers not fighters in this battle. I rationally talked him off that ledge and he came in from the cold into the warmth of our knowing we matriculated through Clark University.

That’s a true story.

What happened to guitar making that set Stew off? I think I know.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2023 2:36:15
 
estebanana

Posts: 9386
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Blanca vs Negra - is only the wo... (in reply to tijeretamiel

https://www.wood-database.com/mango/


Here’s a link to the wood data base. I looked at a whole bunch of photos of mango online and it jogged my memory. The wood data base says a lot of it has interlocked grain, which isn’t always fun to plane out, and much of it looks like very twisty trunk wood. That means that wood suitable for full size guitar backs and sides would necessitate looking through a lot of material first hand, or buying a ready cut set. Realistically I’m aiming more for acquiring high quality maple, cypress and Australian woods like Acacia, but I’ll see what comes up.

First thing that comes to mind for mango however for me is electric guitar drop tops, it has the burly figure that electric bassists love in those boutique five string basses.

So maybe mango classical/flamingo isn’t that high on my priority list.

However I have a great mango chutney with pork chops recipe…

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2023 2:52:29
 
estebanana

Posts: 9386
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Blanca vs Negra - is only the wo... (in reply to tijeretamiel

When I lived briefly in Micronesia we had a moderate plot of land in front of our compound that was planted with papaya, banana, mango, pineapple, coffee and ginger. The coffee was not mature enough to really sustain a big coffee drinking habit, which we had so we relied on one of the Air Mike captains or any friends going to Hawaii to bring back an ice chest filled with frozen Starbucks whole bean and corn tortillas.

The rest of the in situ fruit crops were producing at full steam. The bananas were especially good being the small sweet ones whose name I forget, but not those huge sour and disgustingly ubiquitous Cavendish monstrosities. The papaya was even better and some what sexually provocative, at least to me, as it hung swaying from small trees that grew to just over my head in height. The fruit dropped and pulled heavily at its branches and was shaped with little nipples at the lower ends that I dreamed one night we had a forest of breasts living with us. Almost every morning I ate a papaya that I had picked at twilight the previous night. The bright salmon pinks and orange reds of the interior peppered with the glossy black seeds drew me out of the dream revery that these fruits were sexual objects. They smelled like the acidic volcanic soils that they grew in, musty and at the same time floridly refreshing to smell.

Everything about these fruits growing in their natural range brought me to understand them as food you could observe ripening on the tree or bush. After some time I became adroit at knowing which one to pick so the taste would be perfect the next day. I learned when to cut the hank of bananas off the tree and hang them from the eves of the veranda that joined our two small houses that the family lived in. The house was built on a ridge that looked southwest to the south of Sohkes. There was a depression in the ridge between our two houses and the veranda or lanai or covered bridge that joined the houses was left by the Japanese after WWII. It was a pit dug in the ridge for an anti aircraft gun. Sometimes kicking up soil in the papayas a 50 caliber shell casing would work to the surface. My wonderland of fruity girl treats was littered sparingly with the tarnished brass of war.

After Micronesia the tropical fruits don’t hold allure to me anymore because it’s disappointing that bananas are sour and mangoes are bruised, not to mention papaya piled in ugly boxes and picked two weeks too early.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2023 3:52:02
 
tijeretamiel

 

Posts: 441
Joined: Jan. 6 2012
 

RE: Blanca vs Negra - is only the wo... (in reply to estebanana

quote:

ORIGINAL: estebanana

Realistically I’m aiming more for acquiring high quality maple, cypress and Australian woods like Acacia, but I’ll see what comes up.



Australian Blackwood is glorious for guitars, the wood is grown in plantations too. At Maderas Barber it's less than $30 for a set.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2023 13:56:40
 
estebanana

Posts: 9386
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Blanca vs Negra - is only the wo... (in reply to tijeretamiel

I just get it or any Australian woods right from Australia. I have friends down there in koala land. The guitar I’m building now is made from Australian cypress. Feels a lot like Monterey Cypress from California or Mexico



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2023 21:28:14
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3625
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
 

RE: Blanca vs Negra - is only the wo... (in reply to TrickyFish

quote:

This is a very strange forum


I'm with you TrickyFish, at times this is a very strange forum. I don't get the random talking about food either. Those responsible may like to correct me if I'm wrong, but the only way I can understand it is to see it as being passive-aggressively rude and dismissive of the topic, the thread and/or the OP.

I can't see anything wrong with the question.

If the question is naive or misjudged that can be pointed out without derailing the thread or covertly ridiculing the question (and by implication the OP).

I have always assumed that a cypress bodied flamenco guitar and a rosewood bodied flamenco guitar were constructed in the same way, the difference in the woods producing the different qualities in the guitars.

If individual luthiers make negras and blancas in different ways, all they had to do was say so. If individual luthiers make each guitar differently according to the customers requests, all they had to do was say so. If individual luthiers don't want to reveal their methods, they don't have to say anything at all. I don't think the question was asking any one luthier to speak for all luthiers.

If questions like this are shut down in this way by self-appointed moderators, then the many people who "lurk" will be less likely to post them, and the foro will suffer as a result. It's pretty quiet at times...

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 1 2023 12:35:32
 
estebanana

Posts: 9386
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Blanca vs Negra - is only the wo... (in reply to mark indigo

quote:

ORIGINAL: mark indigo

quote:

This is a very strange forum


I'm with you TrickyFish, at times this is a very strange forum. I don't get the random talking about food either. Those responsible may like to correct me if I'm wrong, but the only way I can understand it is to see it as being passive-aggressively rude and dismissive of the topic, the thread and/or the OP.

I can't see anything wrong with the question.

If the question is naive or misjudged that can be pointed out without derailing the thread or covertly ridiculing the question (and by implication the OP).

I have always assumed that a cypress bodied flamenco guitar and a rosewood bodied flamenco guitar were constructed in the same way, the difference in the woods producing the different qualities in the guitars.

If individual luthiers make negras and blancas in different ways, all they had to do was say so. If individual luthiers make each guitar differently according to the customers requests, all they had to do was say so. If individual luthiers don't want to reveal their methods, they don't have to say anything at all. I don't think the question was asking any one luthier to speak for all luthiers.

If questions like this are shut down in this way by self-appointed moderators, then the many people who "lurk" will be less likely to post them, and the foro will suffer as a result. It's pretty quiet at times...



The three or four people who make guitars that responded to the question all said about the same thing. The people who look really closely at how guitars are made answered the question adequately. The OP was encouraged to ask more questions.

What do you want for free? Should we get up on our hind legs and beg for table scraps? Why can’t we guitar makers have a place where we can talk to each other, instead of being the unpaid educators?

Ask good engaging questions or offer some encouragement to educate.

When someone asks a good repair question or a question about the health or care of their instrument they get advice that’s as good as any website. See the post about taking strings off or leaving them on for leveling frets. That’s a solid thread about a substantial topic.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 1 2023 15:51:37
 
estebanana

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RE: Blanca vs Negra - is only the wo... (in reply to tijeretamiel

I actually just want to give up on talking online because of the interferences from people who abuse the space by asking stupid questions and feeling entitled to expert answers. Talking about fruit seems more interesting. If you don’t want ‘self imposed’ moderators then moderate this **** yourself.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 1 2023 16:10:47
 
ernandez R

Posts: 755
Joined: Mar. 25 2019
From: Alaska USA

RE: Blanca vs Negra - is only the wo... (in reply to tijeretamiel

I’ve said this before, I don’t get my tightly whities in a bunch on a web forum for nothing, I ether chuckle or ignore, just scroll past if you feel your sensibility are… threatened?

I’ve never used rosewood and I’m on guitar #18 so I don’t know fuc-all. But! I have been separating my classical vs flamenco builds and yes there are differences.

If I was to simplify my idea without getting too deep I would say, Attack vs Sustain via:

Top thickness
Top Edge thinning
Top lining density
Neck density
Top bracing pattern
Bridge density

Now there is a lot of marketing Mumbo Jumbo out there and it’s easy to get trapped in it and here in line it’s often what gets bandied about because we don’t have any real experience. In the end if you have personal played the guitar one should just zip the lip and step away from the keyboard.

All that being said I would never have made the progress I’ve made without the many contributions I’ve found here at the Foro and over to the Delcamp. It’s an amazing resource we have even if we have to duck a few rotten mangoes being tossed here and there ;)

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 Apr. 1 2023 18:06:18
 
estebanana

Posts: 9386
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Blanca vs Negra - is only the wo... (in reply to ernandez R

I used to think I could make you bend to my will and change your plantilla to a traditional Spanish design, but after 6 months of badgering I realized two important things. #1 you are stubborn and resist the peer pressure to conform to traditional standard. So developed a respect for your irreverent attitude. #2 - I realized you’d be less competitive in the traditional Blanca market if you used your own weird plantillas. 😂

That said, if I have extra money I’ll commission you to build Yuko a classical guitar as long as the headstock doesn’t have gaping holes drilled into it.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 2 2023 5:05:30
 
estebanana

Posts: 9386
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Blanca vs Negra - is only the wo... (in reply to tijeretamiel

Another reason certain guitar making questions are difficult to answer is that there are not any good simple answers.

To those who don’t make guitars, but study them carefully there are a lot of traditionally or commonly held assumptions that folks arrive at. The problem is once you have built for several years or a couple decades the answers can become even more elusive. If you read the books that are written to address the engineering behind the guitar it will provide you with some sort of acoustic talking points about body air resonance information and other mathy kinds of statistics, but for flamenco guitars in particular, it’s not easy to figure out why the string tension and bridge /top/ wood combination works.

There is a lot of non verbal intelligence that instrument makers develop and many top makers have said to me personally that it’s not a requirement to be able to articulate this intelligence verbally. Among them them who said this were Ervin Somogyi, Gene Clark and several others who are still around who’d probably not want to be quoted.

So if someone says answering that question is like “-asking a painter how they paint the sky” then it might be that exact thing. How does a guitar player impart ‘aire’ into accompaniment? That’s a very hard question to give a definitive answer to because the seasoned guitarist has a backlog of musical non verbal information in their mind. They have a way of creating aire that might be difficult to explain, if they even understand how they themselves do it.

Guitar making is a bit different because it moves slowly and has reference points to woods and dimensional information along with weights and measures, but this stuff is only a map at best and it guides the maker on the journey. You follow a map and you do your best to navigate the actual terrain. The process of building is the terrain, the map is made up of all the dimensions and shapes. It’s like sheet music, it’s up to the musician to make it come alive.

Some guitar makers can build well and talk well, some can build well and understand there is stuff that’s strange to talk about because it’s difficult to verbalize without making treacherous generalizations. Then there are those that take advantage of this mystery to perpetuate their own self styled bullsh&t. It’s better to be honest and talk about what’s real instead of make up crap that sounds awesome, but is not being realistic. I guess I’m trying to say just because someone has answers for these questions doesn’t mean another guitar maker doesn’t understand it, but recognizes it’s a can of worms to open up.

You learn which battles to fight because certain topics are brain drains and it’s possible the public at large doesn’t need to know the difference between how one maker sees the difference between Blanca’s and Negra’s from the terrain view. Maybe just play a lot of them and decide which ones work for you.

And if anyone goes into a side sub chat about mangoes, maybe that’s to buy time to write a splendid answer to a mind bending question…lol. Marduk got a great negra because he listened to me going in about mangos. I didn’t ask him to explain his relationship with kangaroos, but had he wanted to tell me I’d have been game.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 2 2023 5:29:24
 
ernandez R

Posts: 755
Joined: Mar. 25 2019
From: Alaska USA

RE: Blanca vs Negra - is only the wo... (in reply to estebanana

Wouldn’t you know it, spent the afternoon reworking my plantilla, rounded the upper bought shoulders and the lower bought buttocks, dropped the soundhole 3/8” although I didn’t want to for any sonic reason, just wanted to get a grip on my last fret before the sound hole to not be a mystery. Still sticking with 18 full frets in my homage to DDG.

In regard to your long last comment: there have got to be a lot of wrong pathways for sure but we humans excel at learning from mistakes, it doesn’t matter if it’s a fine mango chutney or evaluation, it’s bred into us. The cool thing about something creative verses a trait critical to survival, some might beg to differ, is that their are as many flavors as palettes, I hate sweet chutney ;), but in the end one isn’t going to starve to death… I see guitars as no different.

Now, if you want to fight to the death we can discuss coffee…
The monk of mokha is my next non fiction read…

HR





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_____________________________

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 Apr. 2 2023 6:49:38
 
Echi

 

Posts: 1133
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Blanca vs Negra - is only the wo... (in reply to tijeretamiel

That’s a very well thought and written answer, Stephen.
I would add that this community has been here for a long time and the main people already shared or received a lot of info about the flamenco guitars and so they are less active. Also someone left and the dynamics changed: it’s not a big community and I guess we all are complicate people, some more some less.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 2 2023 7:12:04
 
estebanana

Posts: 9386
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Blanca vs Negra - is only the wo... (in reply to ernandez R

quote:

ORIGINAL: ernandez R

Wouldn’t you know it, spent the afternoon reworking my plantilla, rounded the upper bought shoulders and the lower bought buttocks, dropped the soundhole 3/8” although I didn’t want to for any sonic reason, just wanted to get a grip on my last fret before the sound hole to not be a mystery. Still sticking with 18 full frets in my homage to DDG.

In regard to your long last comment: there have got to be a lot of wrong pathways for sure but we humans excel at learning from mistakes, it doesn’t matter if it’s a fine mango chutney or evaluation, it’s bred into us. The cool thing about something creative verses a trait critical to survival, some might beg to differ, is that their are as many flavors as palettes, I hate sweet chutney ;), but in the end one isn’t going to starve to death… I see guitars as no different.

Now, if you want to fight to the death we can discuss coffee…
The monk of mokha is my next non fiction read…

HR







Open waisted bodies are different than more closed waisted bodies. The air moves through them differently because the more closed waists are like baffles or a Venturi tube, or something like that. The big D45 steel string bodies and the really tight waisted Viennese guitars are different in how the air pressure in the box works. You might want to try making one of your designs with a tight waist and build them at the same time.

I’m not suggesting your designs are bad, but given the proportions it would be interesting to experiment with the Viennese shapes too. I think you would figure out a new thing.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 2 2023 7:40:44
 
estebanana

Posts: 9386
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Blanca vs Negra - is only the wo... (in reply to Echi

quote:

ORIGINAL: Echi

That’s a very well thought and written answer, Stephen.
I would add that this community has been here for a long time and the main people already shared or received a lot of info about the flamenco guitars and so they are less active. Also someone left and the dynamics changed: it’s not a big community and I guess we all are complicate people, some more some less.



Gozaimas

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 2 2023 7:43:27
 
Firefrets

 

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RE: Blanca vs Negra - is only the wo... (in reply to tijeretamiel



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 2 2023 12:56:18
 
estebanana

Posts: 9386
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Blanca vs Negra - is only the wo... (in reply to Firefrets

Hey Buddy,
You have to hit 500 posts before you can throw a gif or meme.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 2 2023 13:06:25
 
Firefrets

 

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Joined: Mar. 22 2023
 

RE: Blanca vs Negra - is only the wo... (in reply to estebanana

I've just had to do a level on a guitar with tangless frets ... you won't like my next 492 posts, as that's how long it will take for me to calm down ha ha.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 2 2023 15:28:28
 
estebanana

Posts: 9386
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Blanca vs Negra - is only the wo... (in reply to Firefrets

quote:

ORIGINAL: Firefrets

I've just had to do a level on a guitar with tangless frets ... you won't like my next 492 posts, as that's how long it will take for me to calm down ha ha.


From mango to tango 😂



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 2 2023 16:11:51
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3625
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
 

RE: Blanca vs Negra - is only the wo... (in reply to estebanana

quote:

The three or four people who make guitars that responded to the question all said about the same thing. The people who look really closely at how guitars are made answered the question adequately. The OP was encouraged to ask more questions.

I have no issue with the answers that were given, but the OP wasn't encouraged to ask more questions before you started the food thing. Given what I have already posted about that, I see derailing the thread by talking about food as the opposite of encouragement to ask more questions.

quote:

What do you want for free? .... Why can’t we guitar makers have a place where we can talk to each other, instead of being the unpaid educators?

I'm not asking for anything, other than showing people a bit of common courtesy (and I only mentioned my own lack of knowledge of how guitars are made to show how easy it is for someone who has been learning and playing flamenco guitar for 30 years and who currently owns 3 blancas and 2 negras to make those assumptions, NOT because I'm asking, much less demanding, answers). Escribano very generously provides us with this forum for nothing, I think you do already have a "place where we can talk to each other", and no-one is forcing you to be an "unpaid educator." However, on the Home page of the foro it says "Lutherie We have established guitar makers on this forum, so ask away." which IS an encouragement for people who maybe don't know as much as you to ask questions. But no-one is making you answer anything if you don't want to. If you think the questions are stupid, don't answer them. There's no need to be rude to people.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 5 2023 23:23:33
 
estebanana

Posts: 9386
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Blanca vs Negra - is only the wo... (in reply to tijeretamiel

Never really thought a non sequitur about mangoes would elicit a reaction, given that so many people posted to pile onto the joke. It wasn’t rude, and one would think someone with the screen name ‘tricky fish’ might be in for a little catch and release humor.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 6 2023 3:23:06
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 1626
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

RE: Blanca vs Negra - is only the wo... (in reply to TrickyFish

quote:

Is the only difference between a blanca and a negra the type of wood used in the back and sides?

Yes. It's only the wood. The density of wood.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 8 2023 20:44:30
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