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Andyjr1515

Dreadnought Acoustic

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I have a surprising amount still to do, but I now know that it can take the tension of the strings without clapping hands and actually sounds like a dreadnought acoustic! :D

I am a bit weird (generally, I suppose, but also specifically...) because I do the final neck shaping when the guitar is fully strung.  I have all of the critical dimensions now at their final position (eg overall depth and width) but have left the profile a teeny bit clubby.  Personally, I can't judge when the profile is just right until I'm playing, so that's what I do.  I will get the scrapers out and fine tune the shape - probably creating a soft 'V' profile from what is presently halfway between a 'C' and a 'D'.

Here it is at the first stringing up trial:

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Still to do, as a minimum:

  • Finish profile the neck and re-slurry/oil
  • Polish the top
  • Reset the nut - I am using a zero fret but the nut behind it needs to be higher with deeper slots to keep the G and D strings in position better
  • Sort a truss rod cover
  • Take the sharp edges off the fretboard
  • Install the fretboard side dots
  • Install the electrics
  • Final set-up

In the meantime, I'm well chuffed how it sounds.  The comparison with my OM is just as it should be - this is for strumming and has volume, balance, sustain and a bassy smoothness.  OK too for fingerpicking.  The OM has the edge on fingerpicking but is much rougher with the strumming.

I'm a happy chappy who is hoping this will be complete by the end of this weekend :D

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31 minutes ago, Andyjr1515 said:

 Personally, I can't judge when the profile is just right until I'm playing, so that's what I do.

That is about as logical as it gets.

She's a beaut Andy.

SR

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Thanks folks!

Two more jobs off the finish list.  I raised the nut a touch and filed the slots down until they were below the zero fret.  This gives proper and secure positioning of the two middle strings where the angle off to the tuners.

I also added an ebony trussrod cover with a routed 'swift'.  I also added a sliver of maple veneer to reflect the white line demarcation of the fretboard.  Having said that, not entirely sure whether ebony is right for the cover - if I get a bit of spare time, I might do a mahogany one and a lacewood one and see which looks best.

IMG_7666.JPG

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Well it certainly doesn't look out of place, so the rest is your call.

Yours and @Aakoo's acoustics are tempting me to consider making my own within the next 10yrs, perhaps 20. You know how prone to inertia I am. :thumb:

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The last photo was a direct download (I know it's the preferred method so I thought I'd better give it a try) so, spurred on with success, thought I'd try and download a direct soundfile rather than go through Soundcloud or similar.   

So if nothing happens, you'll know it didn't work :lol:

The longer clip of fingerpicking has failed.  Probably the file size, so I'll convert it to MP3 and try again, but this below is the first brief strum with some very, very old strings on.  Haven't do the set up yet or fitted the electronics so this is straight into a mic, no effects or EQ of the strumming tone Chris Dreadnought Strumming WAV.wav

Well pleased.  It sounds like a dreadnought to me :D

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23 minutes ago, Andyjr1515 said:

Well pleased.  It sounds like a dreadnought to me :D

It does to me too. Nice!

SR

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1 hour ago, Prostheta said:

Man, that's a nice result. How pleased, scale of 1-10?

About 12.5 :lol:

In truth, it's not perfect.  There are bits where I am still thinking 'should I do that bit again' and others where I am kicking myself for basic errors that are largely hidden, but I know they are there.

But in the primary target - for this particular player, it had to sound good strummed and it had to be able to operate at a very low action - it is fully there and with knobs on.  Still got to fully set it up, but the action on the upper strings is about half the height that I personally play and not a buzz in sight.

Mind you...there's still time for me to completely c**k it up :D

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2 hours ago, Prostheta said:

Well, we'll see. I like the idea of your doing it again though. <_<

:lol:

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Shame my Karelian Birch isn't suitable or large enough to pull off a back and sides set. That would be an amazing thing and I could shoot some across for covered postage.

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9 minutes ago, Prostheta said:

Shame my Karelian Birch isn't suitable or large enough to pull off a back and sides set. That would be an amazing thing and I could shoot some across for covered postage.

It would be...but as you say, probably not the right properties or dims

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The biggest problem is the presence of knots. They're never welcome in backs/sides! Shame, because they'd be wicked unique.

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OK - final shots.  Electrics are in, new strings are on, still thinking of just one more flatten and coat of varnish on the top but I have between now and June to decide... 

Forgive the self-indulgence :rolleyes:

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Well pleased.....

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That last photo is a bit superfluous, but can't seem to delete it....oh well...it is a pretty back after all :rolleyes:

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3 hours ago, ScottR said:

I'd be bursting with pride if I built that Andy.

SR

Thanks, Scott.  Having seen some of your builds, that's praise indeed.  Much appreciated :)

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The only thing I don't like is the headstock shape. Then again, it's not my guitar! I agree wholeheartedly about the zero fret though. Is this the first one you've built with a zero or do you pick and choose them? I totally advocate the things. Mostly because I hate making nuts.

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39 minutes ago, Prostheta said:

The only thing I don't like is the headstock shape. Then again, it's not my guitar! I agree wholeheartedly about the zero fret though. Is this the first one you've built with a zero or do you pick and choose them? I totally advocate the things. Mostly because I hate making nuts.

I know what you mean about the headstock.  To me, it's a bit ordinary though not objectionable, but the guy I'm building it for is quite traditional in his tastes so I think it will suit him.

I chop and change with the zero frets - this is my 3rd build with one fitted.  It is certainly easier and makes for a very simple and accurate set-up!  I think where I can incorporate one easily, I will tend to go with one.

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I appreciate how they even out the sound of open notes. As a bassist, they tend to be the ones to avoid. You still need to dampen them differently to simple lifting off, however they don't have that obvious "open note tonality" that a simple single nut gives. It's funny how people can be so dead set against them, when in reality if things had evolved differently back in the day, zero frets might have been seen as the norm and the "standard" nut types as weirdos instead. I truly think that a lot of people are just too stuck to what they perceive as normal to take onboard anything that challenges their ingrained standard notions.

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1 hour ago, Prostheta said:

I appreciate how they even out the sound of open notes. As a bassist, they tend to be the ones to avoid. You still need to dampen them differently to simple lifting off, however they don't have that obvious "open note tonality" that a simple single nut gives. It's funny how people can be so dead set against them, when in reality if things had evolved differently back in the day, zero frets might have been seen as the norm and the "standard" nut types as weirdos instead. I truly think that a lot of people are just too stuck to what they perceive as normal to take onboard anything that challenges their ingrained standard notions.

Certainly, when you read most forums in the 'can anyone help' sections, the majority of the posts seem to involve some problem or other with the nut, or recutting it followed by pages an pages of the thread then devoted to how to do it, what horrendously expensive files folk should buy, that the health of yourself, your family, the local community and mankind as a whole is at risk if you don't cut it right so take it to a trusted and experienced luthier or just bin the guitar and take up knitting.

Anyway, must go.....got a woolly scarf to finish off.... ;)

 

 

 

 

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That tinfoil wool is quite difficult work.....!

I do agree though. They do make for more reliable and serviceable parts over traditional single-part nuts. A properly crafted nut is a beautiful thing, I can't deny that. There have been SO many instruments I've set up where the nut was the biggest letdown, and these have ranged from expensive "go to" instruments for recording, off-the-shelf production instruments, etc. The range. A well-tuned nut transforms an instrument, and zero frets just make that whole thing a breeze. There should be no excuse for a bad nut.

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