3 dead C's on 3 different strings?

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
GuitarsWeB
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Re: 3 dead C's on 3 different strings?

Post by GuitarsWeB » Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:23 pm

Luthiers who are telling you it can't be fixed are just telling you they're not up to the job.
They’re not saying it..the dead C note, can’t be fixed. You could get it fixed, but a very good chance you’ll then end up with another bad note. It’s a trade off.

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petermc61
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Re: 3 dead C's on 3 different strings?

Post by petermc61 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:40 pm

GuitarsWeB wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:23 pm
Luthiers who are telling you it can't be fixed are just telling you they're not up to the job.
They’re not saying it..the dead C note, can’t be fixed. You could get it fixed, but a very good chance you’ll then end up with another bad note. It’s a trade off.
I don’t think you fully understand what Trevor is saying. It’s clear if you muck about randomly you are unlikely to fix the problem. Trevor is advocating for a proper understanding of the resonance through measurement and a specific solution to reduce that problem without ‘just shifting it elsewhere’. It’s a big call to say he (or a similarly competent luthier with the right measuring rig) couldn’t do it.

Regards
Peter

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Re: 3 dead C's on 3 different strings?

Post by GuitarsWeB » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:31 am

petermc61 wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:40 pm
GuitarsWeB wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:23 pm
Luthiers who are telling you it can't be fixed are just telling you they're not up to the job.
They’re not saying it..the dead C note, can’t be fixed. You could get it fixed, but a very good chance you’ll then end up with another bad note. It’s a trade off.
I don’t think you fully understand what Trevor is saying. It’s clear if you muck about randomly you are unlikely to fix the problem. Trevor is advocating for a proper understanding of the resonance through measurement and a specific solution to reduce that problem without ‘just shifting it elsewhere’. It’s a big call to say he (or a similarly competent luthier with the right measuring rig) couldn’t do it.

Regards
Peter

Then go for it! Good luck.

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petermc61
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Re: 3 dead C's on 3 different strings?

Post by petermc61 » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:55 am

I don’t need to at present. I have seen Trevor test one of my guitars previously and it is very interesting. Comes with good coffee and conversation as well.... 😊

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Re: 3 dead C's on 3 different strings?

Post by GuitarsWeB » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:49 am

petermc61 wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:55 am
I don’t need to at present. I have seen Trevor test one of my guitars previously and it is very interesting. Comes with good coffee and conversation as well.... 😊
For sure...try the A-432 tuning, and let us know what happens.

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petermc61
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Re: 3 dead C's on 3 different strings?

Post by petermc61 » Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:48 am

GuitarsWeB wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:49 am
petermc61 wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:55 am
I don’t need to at present. I have seen Trevor test one of my guitars previously and it is very interesting. Comes with good coffee and conversation as well.... 😊
For sure...try the A-432 tuning, and let us know what happens.
I think you misunderstood my previous comment. The reason I don’t need to do anything is I don’t have a problem - I’m not the OP.

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Peter

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Re: 3 dead C's on 3 different strings?

Post by Mark567 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:49 pm

*Update*
Ok, thank you everyone for all your input!

This is a 5 year old guitar that gets played quite often so it’s probably not going to change over time. Rather than take it straight to a luthier (the nearest credible one is about 200 miles away) I tried the 432 tuning. It helped ever so slightly and I did like how it seemed to “mellow” the tone of the guitar. I would like to mention that it did not make me feel any more connected to the universe as so many utube videos claim. (laughing)

Next I put a set of medium tension Savarez carbon trebles (I also bought Knoblock and Hannabach trebles to try next) on and tuned it to 415. This really made a difference with the C on the 1st string at the 7th fret. It seems to sustain about 90% better. I actually prefer the carbon’s also, especially tuned to the lower tension. This guitar resonates at F# and since the G is actually tuned to F# now it has a powerful punch to it that I can feel resonate throughout the entire guitar. As for the carbon trebles, it seems to be easier for me to land the tips of my fingers on them because of the smaller diameters and I think the sound and sustain are amazing.

I would like to mention here how the lower tuning does seem to give the guitar a less “tense” feeling. The sound seems to be richer and warmer and for some strange reason I find it easier to play more slowly and project a more even tone. I only play alone so the lower tuning makes no difference to me.

Of course there’s always the possibility that in time after the warm and fuzzy feeling wears off I may find that I don’t really like this set-up at all! Time will tell.

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John Oster
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Re: 3 dead C's on 3 different strings?

Post by John Oster » Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:46 pm

GuitarsWeB wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:31 pm
This is one advantage to the lattice and double top instruments. They seem to respond better to all notes, but over all sound seems to suffer.
I'm not so sure about that. My Hill Signature, which is double top and lattice braced, had a few deadish treble notes. That's one reason I sold it, that and the issue that you mention in your last sentence. I could never get past the slightly plastic tone that the nomex imparted. (I was initially attracted to its volume, power, and ease of playing.) So, dead notes and a funky overall tone? No thank you!
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rojarosguitar
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Re: 3 dead C's on 3 different strings?

Post by rojarosguitar » Sun Jan 20, 2019 6:52 am

As for changing the tuning you could also use a slightly different approach. Instead of setting on another number (like 432) just tune it slightly different (slightly up or down, whatever you like better) in very small increments and see if and how the situation changes (but you must allow each time the tuning to settle, so that you can have a well tuned guitar with all overtones in the right places).
There is a continuum of possibilities as soon as you leave 440 and there could be a sweet spot for your guitar with the type of strings that are on.

Many players of oriental string instruments tune their instruments that way, as far as I know. They go for the best sound (all the best, here we go again :wink: ) and not the 'industry standard' of 440 (or whatever it is there and then).

Of course this is only possible if you don't play with instruments of a fixed tuning like piano or organ. Most other instruments are more flexible.
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Re: 3 dead C's on 3 different strings?

Post by soltirefa » Sun Jan 20, 2019 1:43 pm

The dead C

bordering Israel, the West Bank and Jordan – is a salt lake whose banks are more than 400m below sea level, the lowest point on dry land. Its famously hypersaline water makes floating easy, and its mineral-rich black mud is used for therapeutic and cosmetic treatments at area resorts. The surrounding desert offers many oases and historic sites.

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Re: 3 dead C's on 3 different strings?

Post by GuitarsWeB » Sun Jan 20, 2019 3:03 pm

soltirefa wrote:
Sun Jan 20, 2019 1:43 pm
The dead C

bordering Israel, the West Bank and Jordan – is a salt lake whose banks are more than 400m below sea level, the lowest point on dry land. Its famously hypersaline water makes floating easy, and its mineral-rich black mud is used for therapeutic and cosmetic treatments at area resorts. The surrounding desert offers many oases and historic sites.
Wow! you could be a writer for late night TV. Too bad Johnny Carson's not with us.
Last edited by GuitarsWeB on Sun Jan 20, 2019 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rojarosguitar
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Re: 3 dead C's on 3 different strings?

Post by rojarosguitar » Sun Jan 20, 2019 3:04 pm

Oohhh, I'm so slow; now I start to understand: you mean on three different strands of the multiverse ... they are called strands, not strings. So on one strand it belongs to Israel, on both other strands its not habitated ... :lol:
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Alan Carruth
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Re: 3 dead C's on 3 different strings?

Post by Alan Carruth » Sun Jan 20, 2019 6:19 pm

You have to understand that there is a sort of 'Catch-22' in making a good guitar. An instrument that is responsive and has lots of tone color gets that from having a lot of strong resonances. Strong resonances, particularly in the low range, can react back on the string to change it's sound, or bleed off all the energy of a string quickly, either of which can cause a 'wolf' note of some sort. A guitar that has no strong resonances will have an even response that is boring and doesn't allow for much tone color. The more strong resonances you have the harder it is to get all of them to be at pitches that don't cause problems,and, of course, the pitches of the resonances can change when the temperature or humidity do. Generally a luthier can work with the resonances, to ameliorate any problems. Since the lowest pitched and strongest ones cause the most trouble they usually start there. Most good guitars actually can show 'problems' if you know where to look, but so long as they don't bother anybody they're not problems. So that's the trick; try to build the most responsive and colorful instrument you can while just skirting the problems that brings with it. As is often the case with the guitar, it's a nice balancing act.

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Charles Mokotoff
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Re: 3 dead C's on 3 different strings?

Post by Charles Mokotoff » Mon Jan 21, 2019 5:33 pm

Alan Carruth wrote:
Sun Jan 20, 2019 6:19 pm
You have to understand that there is a sort of 'Catch-22' in making a good guitar. An instrument that is responsive and has lots of tone color gets that from having a lot of strong resonances. Strong resonances, particularly in the low range, can react back on the string to change it's sound, or bleed off all the energy of a string quickly, either of which can cause a 'wolf' note of some sort. A guitar that has no strong resonances will have an even response that is boring and doesn't allow for much tone color. The more strong resonances you have the harder it is to get all of them to be at pitches that don't cause problems,and, of course, the pitches of the resonances can change when the temperature or humidity do. Generally a luthier can work with the resonances, to ameliorate any problems. Since the lowest pitched and strongest ones cause the most trouble they usually start there. Most good guitars actually can show 'problems' if you know where to look, but so long as they don't bother anybody they're not problems. So that's the trick; try to build the most responsive and colorful instrument you can while just skirting the problems that brings with it. As is often the case with the guitar, it's a nice balancing act.
This is very interesting reading, thank you.
On a related note....suppose a pitch is short in one place and not in another? E.g., the B on the top string, 7th fret is short, but when played on 12th fret of the 2nd string its perfectly fine. Is there a "typical" cause for that?
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Alan Carruth
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Re: 3 dead C's on 3 different strings?

Post by Alan Carruth » Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:44 pm

Trevor probably covered this, but I'll reiterate.

Keep in mind that a string works best when the ends are 'fixed': tied to something that is really massive and stiff so that they don't move. The problem is that if the bridge on the guitar doesn't move no energy will get out of the string to drive the top, and you won't hear it. You get a 'short' note when:
1) it's easy to move the bridge where the string is tied to it at that pitch, and
2) the guitar can extract the energy from that string quickly. These are related, of course, but not identical.

All of this is a function of the resonant structure of the guitar. Every worthwhile guitar has a number of 'resonances' at different pitches; structured ways of moving that are easy to drive and more or less well defined in pitch. Strings are the same way, as you can easily prove. Just touch a string at some point that divides it into equal parts and pluck it. If you touch it at the 12th fret you've divided it in half, and it vibrates an octave higher than it's fundamental pitch, which is twice the frequency. If you touch it at the 7th fret you've divided it into thirds, and get the interval of a 12th; an octave and a fifth, which is three times the fundamental pitch, and so on. Strings are pretty much one-dimensional structures, so the overtone series they produce is simple. Guitars are more complicated, so they vibrate in ways that are more complicated, and harder to predict as well. We often talk about these different ways of vibrating as 'modes', and sometimes refer to them as 'top', 'back' or 'air' modes, depending on what's moving the most. This is vastly oversimplified, but handy; none of these movements is 'just' in the top, or back, or air. The higher you go in pitch the more of them there are, and the more complicated things get.

The lowest pitched useful mode on most guitars is called the 'main air' mode, where the air flows in and out of the hole at a certain pitch. It's a 'Helmholtz mode', analogous to what you get when you blow across the mouth of a wine bottle. In this case, though, the top (and the back usually as well!) get into the act. Air moving in and out changes the pressure in the box, and pushes on the top, so that moves. It's easy for the string to get this going, and the guitar is very effective at turning it into sound, so it's a common 'short' note, often down around G on the low E string. There's another similar mode, often called the 'main top' mode, about an octave higher, where most of the action is in the top. It can be a problem as well, but not usually so much as the 'air' mode.

The next thing up in pitch is sometimes called a 'cross dipole' mode: the bridge is rocking sideways, with the treble side going 'down' while the bass side moves 'up'. Since the center of the bridge doesn't move the two middle strings can't push this one very easily, but the high and low Es can, and the A and B strings to some extent. This one often tends to come in at around B~247 Hz, right about the pitch of the open B string, so that can be a 'short' note too, but only on that string. The pitch is too low for the high E, and too high for a fundamental on the low E or A, although it might affect an overtone on those strings.

The next resonance up is often a 'long dipole' of the top, where the bridge is rocking forward and aft as the upper and lower parts of the top move out of phase with each other, similarly to the 'cross dipole'. This can be a strong resonance, and also an effective sound producer, but it's hard for the string to drive it, so it's not usually a 'short' note. It often happens at around F~349 Hz; the first fret on the open E. Ironically, the high E can't drive it as well as the Fs on the low E or D strings. Those Fs are lower in pitch, but the tension is changing twice per cycle, or at multiples of that, and they can rock the bridge by pulling on the top of the saddle in step with the motion of the top. The F on the high E pulls it too often. Since the bridge and top don't move much in that 'rocking' direction this doesn't result in 'short' notes (usually) but can 'enrich' the timbre of those notes. There are also some more complicated things that can go on with this one.

And so it goes. IMO it's precisely the complex nature of the way the guitar responds that makes it the instrument that we love. At the same time, the more effort we put into making it responsive and powerful, the more likely it is to cross over into behavior that is problematic. We're always trying to find that balance point where the 'great' instruments are. It's tricky.

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