Questions tagged [lutherie]

The art of making stringed instruments.

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0 votes
1 answer
48 views

Is it usual for old violin to have an obvious line that separates the front plate into left and right?

The picture of the front plate of an old violin below shows a very obvious line that separates the front plate into left and right parts. While I understand that the violin has a two-part front plate, ...
0 votes
1 answer
46 views

Is looking at the centre spine behind the peg box of a violin a good way of discerning whether it is from Dutzenarbeit?

In some school of violin making, e.g. Mittenwald, the centre spine, if it is not from "Dutzenarbeit", should be sharp instead of ending with some delta. See the photo below. Is it also the ...
9 votes
5 answers
6k views

On instruments that use frets, where's the best spot to press a string on, in order to minimize hand fatigue and potential for injuries?

I know this question sounds completely subjective at first sight, it even triggered the automatic "The question you're asking appears subjective and is likely to be closed" alarm, but please read ...
3 votes
0 answers
45 views

Can you attach a backplate in a semi-hollow guitar with screws?

All semi hollow guitars I've seen have the backplates glued to the body or body "frame" in the case when the hollow is fully removed instead if carved. I'm not a tone-freak, but, would I ...
2 votes
3 answers
180 views

Why are necks thinner at the nut?

I'm sure this must have been asked before but I'm finding myself incapable of phrasing the search query correctly to find it. Guitar and bass (and more generally all 'necked' instruments) necks are ...
6 votes
3 answers
1k views

Are these indentations on the frets of my Acoustic for intonation? Can I apply this to the frets of my Electric?

The questions are in the title, picture is below, but here are the (TL/DR) details. About 9 months ago, I bought an electric guitar "kit" and assembled it (fun, highly recommended). This ...
0 votes
1 answer
179 views

First guitar with fretboard inlays?

When did guitars first get fretboard inlays? Or were they a common feature on pre-guitar stringed instruments before the the guitar was formalised to the shape we now know and love? Was there a ...
9 votes
3 answers
2k views

Physical volume of instruments

I am aware that this might be a slightly unusual question, but just today I was wondering about the physical volume (meaning the capacity, NOT the loudness) of some musical instruments. In particular,...
4 votes
2 answers
158 views

When did Stradivarius become "Stradivarius!"

Instruments built by the Stradivarius family are popularly thought of amongst the pantheon of "greatest ever".1 But have they always been considered this way? Were they held in similarly ...
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 ...
7 votes
1 answer
736 views

How risky is it to have a maple fretboard refretted?

I was thinking of having my guitar (with a maple fretboard) refretted, but I've been looking at images of different fret wire online, and I noticed that they have some sort of teeth to keep them in ...
5 votes
1 answer
192 views

Why do classical guitars necks meet the body at fret 12th and steel strings at fret 14th?

Is there a reason for this? What exactly is the reasoning behind it?
7 votes
4 answers
9k views

Can I use a Mustang bridge on a Fender Jaguar? Are there issues?

I've recently purchased a Fender Squier Jaguar from an online dealer, and was aware beforehand, that the stock bridge was unreliable and subject to many complaints. The issue with the Stock Jaguar ...
6 votes
1 answer
214 views

I want to make my Rabab sound louder

I have an Afghani stringed instrument. It has 3 main strings (nylon) along with drone and sympathetic strings. 20 in total. I feel that my rabab is not creating enough sound, especially the echo a ...
3 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is my truss rod broken?

Recently I have been messing around with a Squier Affinity Strat, trying to set it up properly. I tried to adjust the truss rod and it was initially too tight. So I turned it counterclockwise, in ...
1 vote
2 answers
81 views

What kind of box for a hand crank music box

I usually build boxes for speakers, but I would like to build a box for a hand crank music box to have a strong resonance. Like this : https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/27/...
2 votes
1 answer
257 views

Normal fret wear or particularly low-quality fret wire?

I've been playing a cheap guitar for maybe an hour every day for the past two years. At first I was very happy with the way it played, the frets were perfectly level and I was able to set it up ...
1 vote
2 answers
88 views

Fixing loose strap button screw in solid-body guitar [duplicate]

I have a strap button screw in my Squier Affinity Strat that I have to re-fasten every week or so, and I'd like to carry out a more permanent repair. There is no visible damage to the screw hole or ...
4 votes
2 answers
527 views

Magnetic part of pickup sticks out

I got my guitar set up and the luthier did an amazing job. However, I want to know if the magnetic part of one of the pickups sticking out is normal. Beneath the A and D strings, these parts stick out ...
5 votes
2 answers
320 views

Violin bridge E-string: pad or hardened insert?

I know many (not all) violinists place a small pad or a short piece of tubing around the E-string at the bridge contact point. Some bridges have a tiny insert there, presumably of a very hard wood, ...
6 votes
4 answers
1k views

Are there any violin family instruments built without a left shoulder?

On the bass and cello (and probably violin and viola as well), it seems like many aspects of proper form serve the purpose of getting ones arm over the left shoulder to play high on the fingerboard. ...
4 votes
2 answers
3k views

Importance of the neck joint on an electric guitar

Many electric guitar builders stress the need for a very tight-fitting neck/neck pocket. I find this the most difficult aspect of the build. Question 1: if a neck is bolted (4 bolts) but is not a ...
2 votes
2 answers
486 views

Crack between fretboard and guitar neck

I recently adjusted the truss rod in my guitar, nothing uncommon. I increased the relief a little bit when I noticed the following crack around the 7th fret. It is, perhaps difficult to see, but I am ...
3 votes
1 answer
145 views

What physical phenomenon causes stratitis?

I've heard luthiers refer to the weird sounds from a badly adjusted pickup as 'stratitis' (or 'wolf sounds'?). What are the mechanics of stratitis? What physical phenomenon causes it to occur?
0 votes
1 answer
212 views

How can I measure, or otherwise quantify, the accuracy of intonation of my classical guitar, in order to compare it with other classical guitars?

Is there an standard / common way of measuring and comparing intonation in classical guitars? Say, if I were a luthier, which objective method would I use to decide if any given classical guitar needs ...
-2 votes
1 answer
1k views

How do I convert a Hawaiian guitar to Spanish Guitar?

I have a 4 months old hawaiian guitar. I do not like playing the Hawaiian guitar, and I want to change instruments. I have a standard bengali Hawaiian guitar with all its accessories and I want to ...
1 vote
3 answers
151 views

Electric guitar bridge moved after one string broke

Ok so I was playing my Ibanez electric guitar when the first string broke during a bend. Afterwards the bridge seemed lifted up, like moved upwards (see image). When I tried strumming the other ...
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

(Solved) Intonation Problem (Only with High E and B Strings) in Acoustic Guitar

My Acoustic Guitar's Intonation is right in place for the bottom 4 strings, But the Top two are off. Octave is 50 Cents flat in B-string and 1 semi-tone flat in E-string. - I thought it was the ...
3 votes
2 answers
465 views

Is it OK to just replace the first 4 frets instead of all 24 on an Ibanez SR-300, because the first 4 were the only ones damaged by my negligence?

Ibanez SR-300 4 String bass guitar re-fretIbanez 4-String Bassneck DR-300
3 votes
1 answer
268 views

White dirt in jatoba fretboard

My brand new JemJR has weird white dust inside wood. I already tried to clean it using some paper and water. It looked perfect right after cleaning it, but it returned once the fretboard was dry. ...
2 votes
1 answer
76 views

Anti-slip foam material used for shoulder-rest?

What's the name of the very anti-slip foam felt used in popular violin shoulder rests such as Everest, Bonmusica etc? I have a high neck and I want to cut out another layer of that foam to adhere to ...
1 vote
1 answer
47 views

How thick should rosewood be for a floating pickguard?

I'd like to make a rosewood or ebony pickguard for my archtop. I see rosewood in 2mm thickness for a reasonable price. Does anyone have experience with wooden floating pickguards? I've only seen ...
2 votes
1 answer
81 views

Are intonation issues in a cheap acoustic guitar fixable?

so I am a beginner guitarist, and I have one quite good guitar, and a cheap one. I`ve tuned it to standard tuning, and when I play the 5th fret on the E string on the cheap one, it goes like 1/4 of a ...
2 votes
1 answer
111 views

How does the action (distance between fret and string) of a guitar affect the tone / sound / timbre?

When talking with or reading / watching about professionals and their setups (acoustic instruments in particular), I found that there's a heavy tendency for using higher actions, in contrast with non-...
0 votes
2 answers
615 views

Are hard tension strings (around 85 lbs total tension) generally safe for classical guitars without truss rod?

I know some classical guitars absolutely definitely can't handle extra-hard tension strings because they can cause the bridge to break or the neck to bend, so only guitars specifically designed for ...
3 votes
2 answers
7k views

Is it safe to use water to clean (rosewood, ebony, maple) fretboards?

It's common to see in message boards, forums, and news groups that using water to clean a fretboard can cause problems, or is otherwise advised against. It's not normally explained why, or if it only ...
20 votes
8 answers
20k views

Why is a zero fret so uncommon on guitars in spite of all the advantages?

Given the many advantages of using a zero fret on a guitar (as cited in this excellent answer Advantages of a zero fret) and given that with a zero fret it is easier to play chords that call for ...
3 votes
2 answers
248 views

Sticker between neck and body on electric guitar

I have a Fender Highway One American strat, and after removing the neck (bolt-on), I found that there are two stickers one the base of the neck where it makes contact with the body. Will this impact ...
10 votes
1 answer
596 views

Guqin construction and physics

I am a physicist building a Guqin, an old Chinese zither. I try to understand its construction, how it vibrates, what are the key features to obtain a good sound. I found only one paper on the ...
1 vote
2 answers
80 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
101 views

What should I ask my luthier about from a general maintainence perspective?

I am taking my violin to a luthier on the recommendation of my teacher (though I have been considering it for a while). Recently it has been 'sounding a bit off' - it has a forced quality to the tone, ...
3 votes
1 answer
452 views

Which are the differences between the typical nylon strings, and the newer fluorocarbon (or "carbon") strings?

We all know the traditional nylon strings for the classical guitar, which in turn replaced the even more traditional gut strings. Lately, more and more string manufacturers are introducing products ...
1 vote
1 answer
817 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 ...
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is a good string height for a mountain dulcimer?

27" scale, tuned DAd. Just ordered the nut and saddle and don't know how much I should sand them down as I'm not really a dulcimer player. Thanks in advance
4 votes
1 answer
72 views

Flamenco guitar strings

Before the invention of nylon, from what material were strings made for use by flamenco players? I have tried different search engines and forae but found no answer or similar question.
0 votes
2 answers
100 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 ...
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Crack on guitar neck. Possible solution?

Recently I've noticed that my guitar (classic) has some crack on the top of the neck, precisely where the neck connects to the head. I've doing some research and it seems that it's not a big deal, and ...
1 vote
1 answer
172 views

Dark-sounding 1986 Les Paul Custom - modern upgrade? or embrace yacht rock? [closed]

I'm lefty, and good lefty guitars used to be very rare. I bought the first lefty Les Paul I ever laid eyes on: a used black 1986 les paul custom. I gigged/toured in three different bands with it. It's ...
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?
12 votes
4 answers
5k views

Does the type of wood on a solid body electric guitar affect its tone or sound?

I know that on an acoustic guitar the sound is produced by the strings vibrating the top or soundboard and that the type wood used on the soundboard and body of an acoustic guitar will be the ...