Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Andy’s Hybrid Archtop



These are some photos of a full-size model of the proposed design for Andy’s new guitar. The out-line shape is one that I’ve been considering using for a while: I’ve always liked curvaceous shapes for steel strings and this seems a good opportunity to try it out.
Fortunately, Andy is a good friend, as well as client, and trusts my judgement; this will be the fourth instrument that he has commissioned from me!
The top will be carved from solid spruce, as an archtop, but as Andy wishes for rosewood back and sides, to match his other instruments, so the back will be flat and depend on the braces to give it a gentle curve. This form of construction isn’t as unusual as it seems, C.F. Martin built its C3 jazz guitars in the 1930s in the same way, complete with a round soundhole.
Electrically, there will be a Kent Armstrong magnetic pickup mounted at the end of the finger board and a piezo pick up under the bridge’s saddle.
As this is the first time that I’ve used this shape, the next step is to make the external mould ready to bend the sides and also source a nice piece of spruce for the top. Although, I’ve got a good supply of tonewood for classical and steel string guitars, I have nothing in stock for this. Maybe I’ll buy a couple just in case anyone else wishes to order one similar!
I need to start working out some more design details before I go any further with this commission. I imagine that this guitar will be ready some time next summer.

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