Tuesday, November 12, 2013

New Guitar Tops-Hernandez y Aguado and Santos Hernandez

I love order and clarity and balance.

Andres Segovia



Next week I finally get some time to start building two new guitars.


The top on the left will become part of a close copy of a guitar constructed in 1968 by Manuel Hernandez y Victoriano Aguado. The top is redwood, I re-sawed it (by hand using a Disston rip saw) from a board that came from an old barn outside of Yosemite National Park and I was able to get only two good tops from that board. The original guitar had this asymmetrical bracing, this helps to center the fundamental mode (or tone) of the guitar on the bridge and will help make this guitar's sound carry to the back of a concert hall. Hernandez y Aguado are believed to have developed this style of bracing after seeing the inside of a guitar that was made by Jose Ramirez III in the early 1960's. I used this bracing on my guitar No. 5 with great success. This guitar will have Indian rosewood back and sides.

The top on the right is Englemann spruce and will have nearly parallel bracing, I got this style from a guitar made by the great Santo Hernandez in 1930. I expect great sound from this bracing, it should make for a very balanced and loud guitar. Masara Kohno used a variation of this design on some of his guitars, everyone who has played one of those Kohno guitars tells me that they were very loud and balanced. The back and sides for this guitar will be California laurel which was re-sawed from a board that I purchased at a redwood burl store about 30 miles north of Eureka, California.

Oh, the joy of being able to work on some thing so beautiful as a classical guitar!

2 comments:

  1. Certainly enjoy watching your progress, Wilson. I look forward to seeing more!

    How does the redwood top sound compared to the traditional sitka spruce?

    Finally just started learning to play guitar a few weeks ago. My best friend has been playing for 20 years, ever since high school. Not sure why I didn't ask him to teach me sooner. But I guess it's never too late, is it?

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    1. Redwood is amazing tone wood! It has the warmth of cedar and the tone palette of spruce, the guitars that I have made with redwood have incredible singing voices and presence! I wish I could find more of this old growth redwood, I've used up the cache that I acquired in Northern California!

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