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Questions tagged [construction]

This tag should be used for questions about creating or modifying instruments and equipment, whether from the perspective of the craftsman or the layman.

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2 votes
2 answers
73 views

What is the air path in a rackett?

There's plenty of videos and online descriptions of these, but: where does the air come out? As an example, shows racketts with the reed in the centre of the top, but ...
8 votes
4 answers
16k views

How to connect a line signal to a guitar amp?

My Laney Lv300 Tube Fusion Combo amp, doesn't have a Line-In, as such. It merely has one "Input" on the front, for the guitar and a pair of FX sockets, as an FX Loop (FX Send and FX Return). It also ...
4 votes
3 answers
272 views

Most violins have the same shape, mandolins have many different shapes, why is that?

There are mandolins with f-shaped holes, oval holes, round holes; bowlback mandolins and flatback mandolins; archtop mandolins and flattop mandolins; mandolins with a pear-shaped body (A-style) or ...
10 votes
1 answer
31k views

What is the length of piano keys, in inches

I am working on a project for which I need the dimensions of piano keys. The width is addressed in Is there a standard width for piano keys?, but what about the length?
6 votes
1 answer
2k views

What are the differences for left handed person when playing electric cello?

If I decide to buy an electric cello, should I look for a special one for left handed people, or I will even have to order a custom one?
2 votes
1 answer
104 views

Guitar build — Will the wrong neck work?

I am building a Les Paul style guitar from parts I bought online. Unfortunately, I noticed that I've got the wrong neck, the body is cut for a set-in neck with a tab at the end of the heel which goes ...
2 votes
1 answer
675 views

How much does an embouchure's shape affects the ability to produce a note on a flute?

I've already asked a bunch of (more theoretical) questions about the subject, but I'm trying to build a flute — a chromatic flute to be more precise. I don't play the flute or any other woodwind ...
1 vote
2 answers
585 views

Why do old wood recorders sound and play better?

I inherited a German-made soprano recorder that my mom bought in 1970. She played it weekly in a senior citizen "fun band". I pick it up occasionally and play it for a few minutes. I have ...
3 votes
3 answers
299 views

Purpose of window in kick drum [duplicate]

I was at a jazz concert tonight and the kick drum was facing the audience. It had a circular "window" on the lower right (from the audience's point of view), with a microphone in front of it....
5 votes
2 answers
145 views

Homemade Serpent project

One of the classes I'm in this semester is all about physics in the arts. One of our final projects is to make an instrument and, as a euphonium player, I decided to make a serpent. I've made the body ...
2 votes
0 answers
112 views

12 string guitar stringing

Most commonly, 12 string guitars have their bottom four pairs arranged so that when strumming down, the octave strings sound before the original E A D and G. Is there any particular reason for this? ...
10 votes
5 answers
2k views

Do pianos have a generally recognized "bass register"?

Playing the piano, I've noticed the notes under a certain note seem to be voiced more for heavy chords instead of melodies/countermelodies. If you try to play complicated lines under that note, They ...
6 votes
2 answers
582 views

What's the highest note on a piano that uses 1 string?

What's the highest note on a piano that uses one string? (The note where the scale design crosses over from using 1 to 2 strings.)
4 votes
1 answer
799 views

What are the mechanics behind flute keys used to play chromatic notes?

I recently listened to recordings of the bansuri, a bamboo flute used in Indian (Hindu) music, and I thought about trying to make one myself from scratch. A tutorial I found on wikiHow makes the ...
0 votes
1 answer
217 views

What's the distance between black and white piano key balance rail pins?

Piano keyframe consists of these parts: The balance rail is marked (6) in the image, but there are two balance rail pin rows - in the picture only the pin row for white keys is marked(7). You can ...
12 votes
7 answers
6k views

Can you make your own Leslie Speakers?

I love the sound when employed with an Organ ( Jimmy Smith) and on Little Wing(SRV) - I vaguely remember seeing Kings X live once and I believe Ty Tabor had a pair of Leslie speakers that sounded ...
11 votes
2 answers
460 views

What is the most common highest key with a damper?

On my old Steinway, the lowest key that doesn’t have a damper is the second-highest E. On a Bösendorfer I got to play recently, I noticed that the highest key without one was (I believe) the second-...
6 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why doesn't a piano have dampers in the upper register? [duplicate]

An acoustic piano has dampers that mute the strings when a pressed key is released. Pressing (and holding) the sustain pedal lifts the dampers, allowing the strings to continue ringing after keys are ...
25 votes
4 answers
8k views

Why do many acoustic pianos have a wooden block to the left of the keys?

I have no idea what it's called but I'm curious why most pianos have a flat section to the left of the keys, and what it's called. It almost looks perfect for resting a cup of tea on which sounds like ...
18 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why are end-blown flutes shorter than their ideal length?

A flute is an open cylinder air column instrument. This means that an idealised flute, the fundamental pitch of the flute should have a wavelength of twice the length of the flute. This isn't exactly ...
6 votes
2 answers
881 views

Creating a xylophone out of copper pipes

I have been trying to create a xylophone out of copper pipes for a school project and have been running into a few problems with calculating the length of each bar. I have been using this paper as ...
5 votes
2 answers
4k views

Woods to use for woodwinds

What kinds of wood would work well for making woodwind instruments? I know that pearwood, boxwood, ebony, and maple are all standards, but of those only maple is readily available to me (and even then ...
2 votes
3 answers
771 views

Could one make a piano with all notes placed on narrow white keys?

This piano would include every note normally on a piano, just without any visual distinction between the accidentals and naturals. The keys would be narrower than normal white keys, but, I think, not ...
8 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is a guitar body made out of mahogany generally lighter than a body made out of alder ?

I know that each piece of wood is different and two similar pieces of a same essence will have different weight. But in general, for the same body shape and size which wood essence will tend to give ...
5 votes
2 answers
759 views

Trombone (or any other brass instrument really) construction material

I'm not really sure where to post this question: As a trombone player, I've never understood why aluminum is never used in brass instrument manufacturing. It's seldom mentioned on the internet either. ...
5 votes
1 answer
427 views

What happens when the wall thickness of a bamboo flute changes? Advice for a bamboo flute building

I’m building a Japanese bamboo flute, Noh-Kan, used for the Noh theater in a self-learning way. I’d like to ask some advice about the wall thickness and the hardness of the material. In Japan, among ...
2 votes
1 answer
426 views

How to glue a crack in the front panel of a classical guitar?

It was probably caused by dryness or bad storage. The crack goes all the way from the sounding board hole to the bottom edge of the guitar (assuming it's standing).
12 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why do trumpet valves shift the pitch down and not up?

I understand how trumpets work - valves open to force the air through crooks, which lengthens the pathway the air must travel, thus decreasing the resonant frequency. The question is, why are ...
16 votes
3 answers
10k views

How does the piano middle pedal work? Is there a standard symbol for it?

What are the mechanics behind the middle piano pedal? I have been using the middle pedal for a variety of music, it is wonderful, but I can't figure out how it works (I mean the mechanical process). ...
4 votes
1 answer
10k views

What is "vintage" wiring on a Les Paul?

What does "vintage" wiring on a Les Paul look like? How is it different from "modern" wiring? What are its advantages? Drawbacks?
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why do violin bridges support the lower strings at a greater height from the fingerboard?

It appears that violin bridges are typically designed asymmetrically to support the lower strings at a greater height from the fingerboard, as shown in this photo: At the end of the fingerboard the G ...
3 votes
1 answer
4k views

6 finger Flute hole placement formula

I like to experiment on plastic flutes. Is there a mathematical formula for placing holes in a flute? Is it same for all kinds of flutes for example western flute,6 hole flute or 8 hole flute?
22 votes
3 answers
3k views

How does one change bow hair?

What are the steps to follow to unmount the hair from a bow and install a new set ? What kind of tools and products do you need beside a new set of bow hair ? How do you measure/adjust the length ...
6 votes
1 answer
119 views

Is there some means of expanding the range of a capped reed instrument?

Given the pitch limits of capped reed instruments, I wondered whether some means of expanding the range of such existed. Perhaps with some sort of embouchure mimicking device surrounding the reed, but ...
1 vote
2 answers
101 views

Is there a way to know what is the tension range a specific classical guitar is designed for?

I have two old classical guitars with no way of knowing who made them, or finding a specification sheet, or something similar. I normally play with high or ultra high tension strings, but I don't know ...
1 vote
1 answer
967 views

Spruce vs cedar as the material of the soundboard (top, tonewoods) of the classical guitar; how do they affect the tone and sound?

Seems that two of the most common materials for the soundboard of a classical guitar (also called tonewoods) are cedar and spruce. Regarding tone, is there a significant difference between the sound a ...
0 votes
2 answers
173 views

How can I design a string instrument and for it to be louder?

I'm trying to make, as a hobby, a few instruments, and watching videos on string instruments, specially compact ones, I noticed that outside of the sounds being pleasant or not, the volume was ...
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why do wooden woodwinds sound better than plastic?

With clarinet, recorders, and I presume oboe's also - it's common for beginner instruments to be made out of plastic/hard rubber, and more high quality instruments to be made from wood. This seems to ...
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

How do I know where to place holes on an instrument?

I've been trying to build a double reeded instrument out of plastic straws. I've run into a problem though, when I place fingering holes, the instrument doesn't seem to follow the $$f=/frac{nv}{4L}$$ ...
10 votes
5 answers
3k views

Building an electric guitar from scratch

I want to make an electric guitar by myself from scratch. How can I do this?
1 vote
5 answers
1k views

Does an acoustic guitar pickup still benefit from overtones provided by wood types?

When I was buying an acoustic guitar, I was told there were different types of wood and construction principles that gave guitars different flavors. You choose this wood for a softer and rounder tone, ...
32 votes
13 answers
119k views

What is the Difference between Maple and Rosewood Fretboards

Is there a difference that's based on feel or sound - why are they the two most widely used choices?
5 votes
3 answers
306 views

Does the webbing seen in some trumpets change the sound?

Back in high school I played the trumpet for 6 months, and then clarinet for the next 4.5 years (high school is odd in Quebec, and it's not important to the question anyway), and I was a science ...
8 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why do the top ends of piano keys extend beyond the rest of the keys?

The upper part of the white key of the piano is extruded (I don't know if anyone will get my point so I'll put a picture here)? Is it just for ornamental use or does it actually have a practical ...
1 vote
2 answers
6k views

Where to install a bridge in an electric guitar? (assuming the scale length keeps the same)

I am planning in building an electric guitar, and I personally believe it would be more comfortable to have a bridge a little bit more to the back of the body, near from where it hangs (which is ...
6 votes
3 answers
3k views

What pickups should I install on my telecaster?

I have some texas specials on a telecaster right now. The were fine when I was back in the army but now I'm playing a wider combination of music that needs solid rhythm (even acoustic sounding would ...
1 vote
1 answer
113 views

optimal resonance for instrument body

building a Mbira, which is like a Kalimba with 3-4 chromatic octaves with bigger tines. I'm getting away from wood because of expense. 3D printing is cheaper, gives more control, and saves time. The ...
4 votes
1 answer
542 views

Why is it so uncommon to see electric basses with flat fretboards?

I am interested in this as I build my first bass and it took me the whole summer, so any ways to make the handbuilding process simpler, faster and still reliable. Classical guitars have flat ...
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

Electric Guitar Jack: How To Get A Nice Fit

I've noticed on several guitars I play, that I will get a satisfying -click- when I plug the jack into the guitar. But on one guitar I own, there is no haptic sensation. You can feel that it barely ...
13 votes
3 answers
550 views

What to look for in an independent luthier?

I've long been considering looking for an independent luthier to build me a custom guitar. I have a pretty specific idea of what I want the guitar to be, but I don't know how to find the right ...