James Lister - luthier

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Erik Zurcher
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Re: James Lister - luthier

Post by Erik Zurcher » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:39 am

Very nice guitar, James! Will you build guitars with elevated fretboards more often now?
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Re: James Lister - luthier

Post by Vito Simplicio » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:48 am

James Lister wrote:I've always been a bit unsure about the aesthetics of the elevated fingerboard, but in the end I was very pleased with it....
As you should be, James. It's a real beauty!
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James Lister
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Re: James Lister - luthier

Post by James Lister » Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:22 pm

Erik Zurcher wrote:Very nice guitar, James! Will you build guitars with elevated fretboards more often now?
Thanks Erik and Vito!

I don't think it will ever become a standard feature on my guitars, but I'm certainly going to offer it as an option now. For this guitar I definitely underestimated the amount of extra time it would take to construct - but hopefully next time it will be quicker!

James
James Lister, luthier, Sheffield UK

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Re: James Lister - luthier

Post by riemsesy » Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:52 pm

very nice.. liked it on FB already
haven't seen a compensated nut before. it makes the g string shorter?
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Re: James Lister - luthier

Post by brooks » Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:06 am

a real stunner, James. i'm a fan of the raised FB. ports and a 20th fret can't be far behind! :wink:

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James Lister
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Re: James Lister - luthier

Post by James Lister » Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:38 pm

riemsesy wrote:very nice.. liked it on FB already
haven't seen a compensated nut before. it makes the g string shorter?
Yes - in the same way the g string needs more compensation at the saddle, it also gives the greatest intonation error at the nut (i.e. between the open string and the 1st fret). It's explained in more detail on Greg Byer's website (click on the "Research" link). I'll probably try it on one of my standard guitars soon, and decide if I think it's worth pursuing.

James
James Lister, luthier, Sheffield UK

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James Lister
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Re: James Lister - luthier

Post by James Lister » Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:40 pm

brooks wrote:a real stunner, James. i'm a fan of the raised FB. ports and a 20th fret can't be far behind! :wink:
Thanks! I have already used ports and 20th frets, but so far only at customers requests. As with the elevated fingerboard, I don't think they'll become standard features, but they're all available as options.

James
James Lister, luthier, Sheffield UK

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James Lister
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Re: James Lister - luthier

Post by James Lister » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:51 am

Over a year ago in this thread I posted a picture of an experimental guitar I've been working on, and promised more photos and information, and after a reminder in another thread, I thought I should finally post something.

The idea was to build a guitar with a really thin top, but with (more or less) traditional fan bracing. At best I was hoping to get a traditional tone with more volume, but at the least I wanted to better understand the influence of top thickness on tone, without changing the bracing. The problem with using standard fan bracing on a very thin top, is that it's difficult to provide enough support against the string tension. There are other issues as well of course, but after some input form an associate with an engineering background, I decided to play around with cancelling the torque of the strings - hence the internal string.

Apart from the changes to the top, the guitar also has an adjustable neck, radiused fingerboard, aluminium pin saddles and a new head shape.

Anyway, I think that's enough words - here's some pictures.
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Dsc_0093.jpg
Dsc_0094.jpg
Bridge.JPG
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James Lister, luthier, Sheffield UK

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Re: James Lister - luthier

Post by kloeten » Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:24 pm

Very interesting thought of that internal string to cancel torque!

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James Lister
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Re: James Lister - luthier

Post by James Lister » Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:53 pm

kloeten wrote:Very interesting thought of that internal string to cancel torque!
~Thanks.

The string is actually a continuation of the 3rd (g) string, which passes through a hole in the top (as do all the strings), and then passes over a post, and returns to tie off on a steel bar close to the heel block. The post is high enough to increase the torque by a factor of between 4 and 5, so that the single string almost completely balances the torque of the other strings.

James
James Lister, luthier, Sheffield UK

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Re: James Lister - luthier

Post by ChristianSchwengeler » Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:08 pm

Very interesting your build. Do you have some sound samples of it? I am curious how it sounds. Does it sound different? All the best

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Re: James Lister - luthier

Post by riemsesy » Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:16 pm

It will be known as the 'Listar' :)
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Re: James Lister - luthier

Post by James Lister » Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:46 pm

ChristianSchwengeler wrote:Very interesting your build. Do you have some sound samples of it? I am curious how it sounds. Does it sound different? All the best
No sound sample yet.

Yes, it does sound different. Some players really like it, but to me it's lacking something that I can't quite put my finger on. It perhaps has a little bit of the quality of some lattice guitars - not really nasal, but a bit "thin" in some places (mostly middle range). The bass is really nice, although the body resonance is a bit too close to the open E, and the trebles are sweet. It has a bit more volume than my "standard" guitars, but not as much as I was looking for from such a lightweight top.

This is actually the second version of this experiment. I've recently taken the back off the Mk. 1 guitar, and am in the process of making it a bit more radical - reducing the weight of the top and the bridge (and the internal "bridge"), and taking even more off the bracing to see how far I can go with it.

James
James Lister, luthier, Sheffield UK

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Re: James Lister - luthier

Post by simonm » Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:20 pm

Great looking instrument. First time I have ever seen external braces. Very interesting. Thanks for posting it.

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James Lister
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Re: James Lister - luthier

Post by James Lister » Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:34 pm

Thanks Simon,

There is a reason for the external braces. When the Mk. 1 guitar was first strung up, I wasn't at all happy with the sound. I decided it needed more transverse bracing, and rather than take the back off, I thought I'd glue them on the outside, so that I could adjust them easily (this was a guitar that I was never going to sell anyway.) In the end I decided I like the look of them on the outside - they broke up what was otherwise a very large expanse of spruce with the bridge being so small - so on the Mk. 2 guitar I just kept them on the outside.

My standard guitars have two similar transverse bars on the inside, but you'll see from the photo of the inside that this one has two more transverse braces spaced further out. If you think of the internal and external braces together, it starts to look a bit like a lattice, but although the top thickness is similar to a Smallman type lattice, the bracing is MUCH less stiff.

James
James Lister, luthier, Sheffield UK

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