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  1. Need another peek at this month's entries? Click HERE! Welcome to this month's ProjectGuitar.com Guitar Of The Month voting round! The winner of each month's Guitar Of The Month contest gets front page placement on the main ProjectGuitar.com website, privileged member status, a photo feature on our Facebook page, plus an (all-important) shiny member profile badge. Good luck to this month's entrants! As usual, discuss your voting choice and opinions about the entries this month in this thread....however don't read into the discussion until you've cast your vote! This thread and poll automagically close on 1st March 2016
  2. Welcome to the Guitar Of The Month entries for February 2016! ProjectGuitar.com's Guitar Of The Month contest is a showcase for members to exhibit their creations and to vote on their favourites. The contest is open entry for any and all members, new or old. Winner(s) receive a featured article at the head of the ProjectGuitar.com homepage, a photo posting to our Facebook and elevated member status. ProjectGuitar.com receives tens of thousands of unique visitors monthly; Guitar Of The Month is a great way to showcase your creation to the world! Submissions are open throughout the month until about the last week when public voting opens. Polls close on the 1st of each month. Lastly, if you didn't win a previous month's Guitar Of The Month contest, you are encouraged to enter your build again the next month for a maximum of three consecutive months. Sometimes one entry just hits it out of the park! Tips and Guidelines Upload a maximum of eight photos for the instrument in your post Ensure that your guitar has a name otherwise we'll make one up ;-) List additional descriptive information specific to the build; for example.... The woods and materials used, especially if there is something unusual in there! Scale length(s) and other specific configuration details Electronics, pickups, etc. Is this your first build, fifth or five-hundredth? A bit of information on your own background as a builder helps give context to your build. Was it built in the garage, at school, work or in your own shop? A summary of the build's history. Was it built for yourself, friend/family or a client? Did you design the instrument and its specifications or was it built to spec? What were the inspirations behind the instrument and why were various build aspects chosen? Any background on what makes it special? Posting a link to your guitar-building website, Photobucket, Facebook, etc. is fine, even if it is your business. In the spirit of fairness we encourage instruments made by professional builders to have that disclosure made so there is a more even balance between weekend warriors and grizzled veterans. If you documented your build in the forums, post a link to the thread! Instruments with a build thread shared tend to attract more votes from the general community. Unsure what to write? Have a look around the entry archives for suggestions. If you have any questions about the contest, either PM me or ask forum members; we're a helpful bunch! This thread is exclusively for entry posts only - any post that is not an entry will be deleted. We love to hear your discussions and opinions on the month's entries whilst the polls are open. Alternatively, head over to that instrument's build thread if one has been made in the entry post. Good luck to all entrants!
  3. The voting for this month's contest is now open!
  4. ProjectGuitar.com

    Guitars and Woods Luthier Supplies

    https://guitarsandwoods.com/
  5. ProjectGuitar.com

    Stewart-MacDonald

    http://www.stewmac.com/
  6. ProjectGuitar.com

    Welcome to our new forum manager!

    We are very happy to welcome Curtisa as part of our team; the role of Forum Manager will help to fill the void we've had for some time. Behind the scenes, Curtisa has poured countless hours into fixing almost fourteen years of content across multiple forums. His organisational capabilities, technical site knowledge and hands-on community involvement will undoubtedly make a positive impact as ProjectGuitar.com continues to develop through 2016 and beyond. The role of Forum Manager is distinct from that of the Moderating team; rather than being a "top mod", the role reflects the specific need for technical and structural management of the ProjectGuitar.com forums. The Forum Manager works with the engineering tools in the background; the Moderators work on the frontlines wielding the large hammer!
  7. ProjectGuitar.com

    Is It Multiscale or Fanned Fret?

    Guitars and basses using compound scale lengths have exploded in popularity over the last two decades. Originally the province of boutique luthiers such as Ralph Novak, Ormsby Guitars, Conklin Guitars & Basses, blackmachine, Dingwall, .strandberg* (plus too many others to list) with several luthiers here on ProjectGuitar.com having designed and built their own, the last few years have seen compound scale length instruments become a mainstream feature. How and why would we incorporate more than one scale into an instrument? What advantages or differences do they actually offer? What are the most common misunderstandings or misconceptions? Why are terms being used incorrectly or interchangably? We'll cover a brief history of compound scale instruments, explore the theory and demonstrate how they're designed including their strengths/flaws.... ----==---- Obligatory boring history lesson The concept of a strung instrument utilising different lengths per string is not a new one, the most obvious and recognisable example being a grand piano or instruments such as harps, lyres, psalterys, hammered dulcimers, etc. Grand pianos commonly have over 200 strings with similar length/tension/pitch relationships This arrangement of using longer strings for the lower notes and shorter ones in the upper range is part of a greater relationship; the fundamental frequency of a vibrating string is a function of the free vibrating length, the tension within the string and physical mass by length ("gauge"). We don't need to go into the exact mathematics behind this relationship (more can be found through the virtues of Google, however this is very good, as is this) it can be summarised as: Higher pitches require.... short vibrating string length higher string tension lighter string gauge Lower pitches require.... long vibrating string length lower string tension heavier string gauge This is true for the most part. As this is simply a relationship, not all of these have to be true at the same time, however the other components of the relationship need to compensate. Okay, this has probably lost a few people already who just want to see the weird-looking instruments. At least we're not looking at the math! Simply, a lower pitch can still be produced by a lighter string gauge, however an even lower tension and/or longer string length will be required to make up. Harps, et alia. leveraged the parts of the relationship the best that they could given the limited string material engineering capabilities of the times; high tensions and gauges simply weren't possible. This placed greater emphasis on long string lengths for lower string tunings with the reverse for higher ones; a naturally-evolved solution for instruments covering a wide range of octaves. The Spanish guitar - the blueprint for what we might recognise as guitars - covered barely 3-1/2 octaves. String-making was such that it could meet the relatively modest demands of six strings over such a small range; string tension and mass by length were more than sufficient in the relationship to produce required tunings; a simple single scale across the entire instrument worked perfectly well. The model established by the Spanish guitar carried itself through to steel-strung acoustics, Hawaiian steel guitars, archtops, solidbody guitars, basses, etc. without the underlying single-scale architecture altering. Hold a Les Paul next to an original Torres (good luck with that) and the DNA is clearly apparent. Disadvantages of single scale instruments Standard guitars and basses sit on the cusp of practicality when it comes to the string pitch/mass/length/tension relationship. Many modern solidbody guitar/bass designs feature more than the "normal" number of strings and utilise tunings significantly beyond standard. Such "extended range" guitars and basses fly beyond the limits of our calm island of 6/4-string standard-E safety. This fundamental shift highlighted the inadequacies of a single-scale arrangement; adding strings to a standard scale produces flabby lower strings with insufficient string tension, requiring excessively-heavy gauges to compensate. Increasing scale length to compensate increases string tension over the higher strings requiring super-low gauges for playability! Accompanying alterations in the number of string courses and scale lengths is a shift in timbre around the instrument; baritone scale lengths with longer strings tensioned higher than usual emphasises the fundamental, lower and uppermost harmonic overtones becoming (appropriately) "piano-like" in timbre. Much of the softer tonality generally preferred in the upper ranges easily becomes strident, harsh and less "musical". It was only a matter of time before these limitations in single scale lengths had to evolve in the same direction as other wide octave range instruments. Enter the compound scale instrument At its simplest, a compound scale instrument features two or more scales. This can be as simple as having a hybrid extension beyond the nut (not entirely unrelated to a plectrum banjo).... Amfisound Hellbass .... or more commonly, non-parallel frets.... Ormsby Guitars GTR TX Production Model Advantages of compound scale instruments Having full access to the relationship between pitch/length/tension/gauge opens up design possibilities both as a luthier and as a musician. Single scale instruments only allow us to leverage gauge and tension within a limited range before playability, tonality and practicality become too significant to ignore. We don't want cheesecutter high strings simply because we extended scale length for the benefit of the lower notes. We don't want flubby nu-metal low notes simply to keep expressive bendier high ones. Compound scales allow us to pick and choose what works best for us. A 24" 1st string and 27" 6th string? Do-able. A 16" 1st string and 30" 22nd string? Strange, but theoretically workable. A welcome (but not strictly deliberate) side effect of introducing non-parallel frets in compound scales is a more ergonomic feel; as a 5-string bassist I can attest strongly that parallel frets require a degree of compromise and automatic playing adjustment....potentially with painful hand/wrist problems. That the architecture of your instrument starts affecting how easily you play the thing is a Big Thing. In the playing position, the wrist and elbow (even the shoulder) have mutually comfortable ranges of movement. Parallel frets on a single-scale instrument (especially those with longer, wider necks and many high frets or for players that barre like crazy) can often pretzel your arm out of an optimally relaxed playing position. Some say that Hendrix himself played behind his head thanks to the limitations of single scale guitars and that Eddie Van Halen jumped around simply to get himself into a playing positions. All we know is.... ....compound scales tend to angle the fretting hand more naturally from the lowest notes to the highest. Even designing in an additional 1" to the lowest scale of a standard 6-string guitar produces a more organic feel with non-parallel frets. In addition to this natural arc, instrument designers commonly specify a "perpendicular" fret or position; a single point on the fingerboard where the fret (or proportional relation between scales if not actually a fret) is perpendicular to the centreline between outer scales. This aspect of a compound scale is highly personal, being affected by playing style, personal physical differences and also those of the instrument. What is comfortable for one person may be different for another. This point is most commonly found anywhere from the 5th fret to the 9th, however in theory it can exist anywhere on the neck; even between frets or beyond the nut or saddles! The advantages of compound scales to instruments are distinct; they unlock design aspects which are otherwise constrained through habit and tradition, plus they allowing instruments to be voiced more fairly from the lowest to the highest registers. The Novax® Fanned-Fret® System In spite of a fretted compound scale instruments existing hundreds of years ago, Ralph Novak patented the idea (more accurately, the process) for a compound scale guitar in 1989: the Fanned-Fret® system. The patent itself has expired, however Ralph continues to enforce intellectual property rights over the system and its trademark, licencing its use to luthiers selling their instruments within the US. Unlike a single-scale instrument where frets are parallel to each other, the Fanned-Fret® system arranges frets according to a geometric pattern whereby the straight line paths of each fret (plus the nut and theoretical bridge witness line) converge on a single point in 2D space, not entirely dissimilar to representing depth within single-point perspective. As a simple method of producing compound scales across several strings, it is elegant and very easy to implement: Generalised layout of a Fanned-Fret® system It does however possess one crucial flaw; the system only truly works if all of the strings are parallel to the reference scale. As with most things, taking an idea to a logical extreme serves to highlight fundamental issues. Consider a convergence point way off to one side with respect to the centre of the reference scale: (zoom to embiggenate) Theoretical extreme of a Fanned-Fret® system on a seven-string instrument As can be seen from the (nth root of 2) reference scales transposed onto outer string paths, a Fanned-Fret® system fret placement would leave bass strings progressively flatter further up the fingerboard and treble strings progressively sharper; so much so, that the 24th fret is approximately one semitone sharp! Plotting true nth root of 2 fret locations along each string path demonstrates that the usefulness of fret placement from a single convergent point in space is poor at best unless one wants to work with no string taper. Whilst discrepancies in a real-world Fanned-Fret® system implementation will be in the order of a few cents, the theoretical basis of the system is not truly a sound one; those cent errors add up. A reliable system for producing compound scales should be fit for purpose as opposed to being merely simplistic, clever-sounding, approximate and trademarked. Extending out true nth root of 2 fret placements disproves the convergent point idea Regardless of these yawning chasms, the Fanned-Fret® system introduced compound scale instruments into the consciousness of guitarists and luthiers, and is an important milestone to recognise in compound scale instrument design. Languagewise, it is important not to confuse the term "fanned frets" with anything but the Novax® Fanned-Fret® System. Not all non-parallel/compound scale instruments are "fanned frets". The Fanned-Fret® System is a distinctive and specific enough method that the term is not a catch-all for non-parallel fret design. Whenever you hear the term "fanned fret" used, ask if it's actually Fanned-Fret® or not. Interpolated Dual Scale Fret Placement Okay, I just made that name up. It does however describe a better way of producing a working multiscale fret placement for any range of equally-spaced strings. Referring back to the previous diagram showing why a single point in space does not work demonstrates that by subdividing the two outer string paths and "joining the dots", each intermediate string's placement is perfectly in line. Theoretical 22-string instrument. joining the dots from an nth root of 2 scale placed over the outer strings This system is more or less the basis behind how FretFind2D works when plotting multiple scales, and produces fine instruments that intonate well. If like myself, you prefer to design your instruments by hand in CAD then it is sufficient to test your multiscale layout by stretching a scale template over each string path as in the diagram above. If the points between string paths and the interpolated frets coincide, the design is proven to be good. In Closing.... Compound scales in guitars and basses have represented a significant evolution in our instruments, and one that would be ridiculous to ignore. Amongst the many fundamental compromises and imperfections baked into our perceptions as what constitutes a guitar, continuing to maintain a single scale length is one we can happily grow out of, and continue evolving. -------- All trademarks, service marks, trade names, product names and logos appearing in this article are the property of their respective owners and used under the doctrine of Fair Use for educational purposes.
  8. ProjectGuitar.com

    New Searls Guitars video

  9. ProjectGuitar.com

    Luthiers Mercantile International, Inc.

    http://www.lmii.com/
  10. ProjectGuitar.com

    January 2016

    @ScottR, "Lester T" "To date my favorite guitar I've built was "Justin's Guitar" that I built for my son. He wanted a Les Paul body shape with my own headstock and carves and he wanted a set of Klein Epic Broadcaster pickups in it. That led to what has been dubbed a Les Tele-ish guitar build, that I just loved........but it lives a 1000 miles away. So I had to make me one. " Lester T. Body--Chambered Sapele Top--Quilted maple Neck--Sapele-Macassar Ebony-Sapele Headstock cap--Gaboon Ebony Frets--Jumbo SS Tuners--Gotoh 510 Delta 21:1 Bridge--Gotoh Tele Bridge Pickup--Klein Fatman tele bridge Neck--Klein Epic Series 1957 P-90 neck Check out Scott's build thread over on the ProjectGuitar.com forums! click for larger click for larger click for larger click for larger click for larger click for larger click for larger click for larger click for larger
  11. ProjectGuitar.com

    Easy Guitar Wall Hangers

    Previously.
  12. ProjectGuitar.com

    demonx/Searls Guitars, "Darkhorse"

    From the album: February 2013

    Project Guitar's Guitar Of The Month February 2013 You can also visit Searls Guitars' website at searlsguitars.com.au

    © Searls Guitars, 2013

  13. ProjectGuitar.com

    2015 Guitar Of The Year vote

    Congratulations to @SwedishLuthier on his well-deserved Guitar Of The Year win!
  14. It's that time of year again....dozens of amazing entries in our monthly ProjectGuitar.com Guitar Of The Month contest have distilled down to the twelve winners you chose as your favourites. All that remains is to deliberate as to which one guitar is this year's Guitar Of The Year! ------ @DC Ross January 2015 winner ------ @verhoevenc February 2015 winner ------ @brutal-lv March 2015 winner ------ @SwedishLuthier April 2015 winner ------ @brutal-lv May 2015 winner ------ @SwedishLuthier June 2015 winner ------ @ginner July 2015 winner ------ @jessejames August 2015 winner ------ @Mr_Riddler September 2015 winner ------ @V16 Guitars October 2015 winner ------ @verhoevenc November 2015 winner ------ @komodo December 2015 winner
  15. ProjectGuitar.com

    Guitar Of The Year 2015

    Peter has been a long-time contributor on ProjectGuitar.com, providing his insight into all aspects of luthiery generously and graciously. His highly identifiable "Northstar" body design has become a signature of sorts, having been used as the basis for a wide range of instruments including an 8-string bass, an 8-string guitar, a headless guitar and of course this stunning doubleneck. Peter's wider range of instruments can be found over on his personal website http://www.peternaglitschluthier.com/, in several build threads on the forums or exhibited at shows such as the Holy Grail Guitar Show! Congratulations on producing a stunning instrument that has clearly resonated with the ProjectGuitar.com community. Last but not least, a warm round of applause to the other eleven Guitar Of The Month winners from 2015 whose instruments won through from the dozens of entries in 2015. ------- A full photo gallery can be found in the original June 2015 GOTM announcement.
  16. Welcome to the first Guitar Of The Month contest of 2016! ProjectGuitar.com's Guitar Of The Month contest is a showcase for members to exhibit their creations and to vote on their favourites. The contest is open entry for any and all members. Winner(s) receive a featured article at the head of the ProjectGuitar.com homepage, a photo posting to our Facebook and elevated member status. ProjectGuitar.com receives thousands of unique visitors monthly; Guitar Of The Month is a great way to showcase your creation to the world! Submissions are open throughout the month until about the last week when public voting opens. Polls close on the 1st of each month. Lastly, if you didn't win a previous month's Guitar Of The Month contest, you are encouraged to enter your build again the next month for a maximum of three consecutive months. Sometimes one entry just hits it out of the park! Tips and Guidelines Upload a maximum of eight photos for the instrument in your post Ensure that your guitar has a name otherwise we'll make one up ;-) List additional descriptive information specific to the build; for example.... The woods and materials used, especially if there is something unusual in there! Scale length(s) and other specific configuration details Electronics, pickups, etc. Is this your first build, fifth or five-hundredth? A bit of information on your own background as a builder helps give context to your build. Was it built in the garage, at school, work or in your own shop? A summary of the build's history. Was it built for yourself, friend/family or a client? Did you design the instrument and its specifications or was it built to spec? What were the inspirations behind the instrument and why were various build aspects chosen? Any background on what makes it special? Posting a link to your guitar-building website, Photobucket, Facebook, etc. is fine, even if it is your business. In the spirit of fairness we encourage instruments made by professional builders to have that disclosure made so there is a more even balance between weekend warriors and grizzled veterans. If you documented your build in the forums, post a link to the thread! Instruments with a build thread shared tend to attract more votes from the general community. Unsure what to write? Have a look around the entry archives for suggestions. If you have any questions about the contest, either PM me or ask forum members; we're a helpful bunch! This thread is exclusively for entry posts only - any post that is not an entry will be deleted. We love to hear your discussions and opinions on the month's entries whilst the polls are open. Alternatively, head over to that instrument's build thread if one has been made in the entry post. Good luck to all entrants!
  17. Voting is now open!
  18. Need another peek at this month's entries? Click HERE! Welcome to this month's ProjectGuitar.com Guitar Of The Month voting round! The winner of each month's Guitar Of The Month contest gets front page placement on the main ProjectGuitar.com website, privileged member status, a photo feature on our Facebook page, plus an (all-important) shiny member profile badge. Good luck to this month's entrants! As usual, discuss your voting choice and opinions about the entries this month in this thread....however don't read into the discussion until you've cast your vote! This thread and poll automagically close on 1st February 2016
  19. ProjectGuitar.com

    New ABM Guitar Parts website

    High-quality guitar part manufacturer ABM have launched their all-new web site and online store! If you want single-string bridges for your compound scale guitar or (what we think are) arguably the best TOM bridges, head over to http://www.abm-guitarpartsshop.com/
  20. ProjectGuitar.com

    Make Your Own Acoustic Guitar

    "Make Your Own Acoustic Guitar" was released into a very expectant audience of people brought up on Melvyn's first release, "Make Your Own Electric Guitar". The volume of content is a magnitude greater than that of his already-comprehensive book on solidbody building without being either overwhelming or redundant. Drawing on over thirty years of experience, Melvyn informatively details the full range of information one could require on the subject; a brief history of acoustic guitars, design choice and reasoning, the ins and outs of material selection through to building techniques and the tools used. The core of Melvyn's books are his demonstration builds. These serve to bring together the concepts and ideas which form the majority of the information presented, walking the reader through a real-world set of design characteristics and working situations. To cap off this already excellent subject coverage, Melvyn describes his visit to the Martin factory demonstrating how the same acoustic building concepts translate through in a manufacturing setting. Acting as a very suitable segue, one demonstration build covers the assembly of a Martin kit guitar. Melvyn's writing style is friendly, pragmatic and engaging. Subjects are built from the ground upwards avoiding presumption of existing skills or knowledge, whilst Melvyn's light approachable tone to the comprehensive nature of the information presented makes it a great read for the experienced builder wanting to broaden or consolidate their existing skill set. Hundreds of intelligently composed full-colour photographs complement the textual content, building an excellent visual parallel to each chapter's narrative. Flicking through the book to let the eye choose a random section is just as pleasurable as reading the book chapter-to-chapter. Like its predecessor, "Make Your Own Acoustic Guitar" works perfectly as a self-contained read, taking anybody with zero knowledge of instrument making to the point where they could confidently complete their own unique guitar with informed choices in design, material selection and building processes. Both "Make Your Own Acoustic Guitar" and "Make Your Own Electric Guitar" are readily available via Amazon, IPG Publishers in US/Canada or directly from Melvyn via his website for those of us UK/EU-side.
  21. ProjectGuitar.com

    December 2015

    @komodo The Dragon This build was one I did for myself, with every detail being what I would pick on my uber guitar (which is what the build thread was titled). The initial build was mothballed after I had too many builds going at once. When I picked it back up again, I went full steam for three months, doing several new techniques that was a big learning opportunity. Specs Neck 25" scale length Gaboon ebony fretboard with dragon inlay using white and gold mother of pearl Rosewood neck of unknown variety-best educated guess is Panama (Yucatan) rosewood Ebony faceplate Sperzel open back tuners Black buffalo horn nut Body Swamp ash capped with 5A quilted maple front and back Full cream binding Alcohol-based dyes and nitrocellulose clear Hardware/Electronics Seymour Duncan Custom Shop Bridge: SH-5 custom 8 (Alnico 8) Neck: Seymour Duncan Jazz Simple one volume, one tone with a .022 Sprague orange drop cap for the tone Three way switch B/BN/N ------
  22. Need another peek at this month's entries? Click HERE! Welcome to this month's ProjectGuitar.com Guitar Of The Month voting round! The winner of each month's Guitar Of The Month contest gets front page placement on the main ProjectGuitar.com website, privileged member status, a photo feature on our Facebook page, plus an (all-important) shiny member profile badge. Good luck to this month's entrants! As usual, discuss your voting choice and opinions about the entries this month in this thread....however don't read into the discussion until you've cast your vote! This thread and poll automagically close on Monday 4th January 2016 This month's winner will also be the last entrant competing for Guitar Of The Year 2015! That vote will open the same day this vote closes, so to stayed tuned.
  23. ProjectGuitar.com

    AweSome Musical Instruments

    http://www.awesome-guitars.com
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