Making a guitar with Roy Courtnall

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
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josswinn
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Re: Making a guitar with Roy Courtnall

Post by josswinn » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:47 pm

Thank you. I’ll start next month. I want to be sure about the fundamentals of Flamenco design first.
Joss Winn

cgratham
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Re: Making a guitar with Roy Courtnall

Post by cgratham » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:25 pm

Joss,
Congratulations on creating such a beautiful looking (and I'm sure sounding too) guitar. And thanks so much for sharing all the photos and words documenting the process. It's been a great pleasure for me to follow along and now see the wonderful results.

Congratulations again.

Chris

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martinardo
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Re: Making a guitar with Roy Courtnall

Post by martinardo » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:39 pm

I echo what Chris said. Great thread. For me, one of the most satisfying things in life is using something

that I've made myself. (with the caveat that I'm never ever going to be quite satisfied with my efforts :))

Well done Joss. :bravo:
I'm pink therefore I'm Spam

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josswinn
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Re: Making a guitar with Roy Courtnall

Post by josswinn » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:08 pm

Thank you. I appreciate all the encouragement that everyone has given me here. I will admit to feeling a great sense of achievement. I should also say that Roy has been a superb teacher. Full of patience, confidence in me, and enthusiasm for the whole project.
Joss Winn

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chrispeppler
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Re: Making a guitar with Roy Courtnall

Post by chrispeppler » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:01 am

Beautiful guitar and very interesting posts - thank you. I made my own CG a couple of years ago and so was very 'involved' in the process as you took us through it.

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josswinn
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Re: Making a guitar with Roy Courtnall

Post by josswinn » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:56 pm

The website that Roy and I have been working on to accompany his book, Making Master Guitars, is now live.

http://makingmasterguitars.org.uk

It currently contains an extended version of my journal that I posted here over several months, with about twice as many photographs of the build process with accompanying text.

You will also see that Roy has begun to provide updates to his book, working through it chapter-by-chapter. Over the next few weeks, each chapter of the book will be addressed.

With both the chapter-by-chapter updates and our actual day-by-day account, we hope you find the site useful and welcome any comments here or on the website itself.
Joss Winn

TJ2
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Re: Making a guitar with Roy Courtnall

Post by TJ2 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:07 pm

Thanks for the website update Joss.

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josswinn
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Re: Making a guitar with Roy Courtnall

Post by josswinn » Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:21 pm

I have finally managed to record some samples of the guitar. They are on the website, or direct MP3s below. The guitar is played by Rob Johns and recorded in one take on a Marantz PMD-620 handheld digital recorder.

Torija by Federico Moreno Torroba

Prelude No. 1 by Heitor Villa-Lobos

La Miñona de Cataluña by Gaspar Sanz

The Miller’s Dance by Manuel de Falla (short strumming sample)

Joy by Rob Johns
Joss Winn

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Beowulf
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Re: Making a guitar with Roy Courtnall

Post by Beowulf » Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:51 pm

A lovely sounding instrument Joss! Well balanced, lively, with singing trebles, clear midrange and resonant bass. You must be delighted.

Douglas
1971 Yamaha GC-10 (Hideyuki Ezaki)
2017 Yamaha GC82S (Akio Naniki/Naohiro Kawashima)

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josswinn
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Re: Making a guitar with Roy Courtnall

Post by josswinn » Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:45 pm

Thank you, Douglas. Yes, I'm very pleased with the range and projection of the instrument. I'm still trying to understand what makes it sound like it does: Mid-weight laminated walnut sides and back that tangibly resonate against the player; rigid spruce and carbon lattice-bracing supporting a thin spruce top; a sound port; reduced body depth (85-90mm); A# body resonance; a light-weight padauk bridge; a generous plantilla... all of the above!? :-)
Joss Winn

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Beowulf
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Re: Making a guitar with Roy Courtnall

Post by Beowulf » Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:24 pm

I would suspect the thin spruce top and lattice bracing would be major factors for the trebles and midrange and the generous plantilla for the bass. But I am no luthier or expert...so just a guess. :mrgreen:
Last edited by Beowulf on Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
1971 Yamaha GC-10 (Hideyuki Ezaki)
2017 Yamaha GC82S (Akio Naniki/Naohiro Kawashima)

Dave M
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Re: Making a guitar with Roy Courtnall

Post by Dave M » Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:33 pm

First of all congratulations on building a good sounding instrument on your first go round. Even with the help of a master craftsman like Roy this is an achievement.

The trebles have been described as light, and clear. Allowing for the vagaries of sound over the net and my particular sound making machinery.. I detect a bit of that quality that seems characteristic of lattice guitars of a slight simplicity of sound. A slight lack of richness. This is maybe just another way of describing the tone and certainly not a major criticism. I have heard some lattice braced guitars (again over the net so care has to be taken) that sound very harsh and somewhat metallic, which seems to me to be a much more extreme case of the sort of sound I am getting from yours. I suspect those are nearer the Smallman design - taking the concept to the extreme.

All entirely subjective and we probably shouldn't even talk about it without being in the same room as the guitar!

As for why it sounds the way it does: well you list some of the reasons. There will be others. Welcome to the infinitely fascinating subject of guitar building!

Good luck with the next one or several...
Dave

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josswinn
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Re: Making a guitar with Roy Courtnall

Post by josswinn » Tue Mar 20, 2018 7:44 am

Thanks, Dave. When I went to record the guitar, I took a Shure SM57 Cardioid dynamic microphone with me, thinking it would make a truer recording than the internal condenser mic of the recorder. That wasn't the case despite positioning it in various places; on play back, it just didn't sound anything close to what we were hearing in the actual room, whereas the internal mics were more representative and recorded more of the acoustics of the room in which the guitar was played. The internal mic was also more sensitive and required less gain than the Shure 57. What it taught me was that depending on the mic and its placement, I could make my guitar sound very different!

To illustrate this further, here are two examples of a Smallman being played:

I chose this XueFei Yang piece because on my Apple Music version she includes 'Greg Smallman' as her playing partner in the credit for this piece, presumably because his guitar is so integral to the sound that is achieved. The other example is a happy Smallman customer who achieves quite a different sound...

I really like a well-produced and recorded Smallman sound. I've only heard one live, played by Craig Ogden, and he used amplification in a large concert hall.

Cheers,
Joss Winn

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