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I need a little help... I have a tele on the bench about two weeks from finished and an acoustic is next on the list. Where I need a little help is, this morning I was able to side by side compare a Breedlove Focus and an Alvarez Yari. The difference in tone was amazing... My concern is as I'm planning and building my acoustic (right now walnut back and sides, top one of the spruces, neck either maple or cherry) how do I adjust for things like fullness of or lack of bass, or other tonal variables? Though the Breedlove sounded great... it is distinctive in the lack of bass. I just want to know before I end up with a guitar I don't like. Thanks

Rubin

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I need a little help... I have a tele on the bench about two weeks from finished and an acoustic is next on the list. Where I need a little help is, this morning I was able to side by side compare a Breedlove Focus and an Alvarez Yari. The difference in tone was amazing... My concern is as I'm planning and building my acoustic (right now walnut back and sides, top one of the spruces, neck either maple or cherry) how do I adjust for things like fullness of or lack of bass, or other tonal variables? Though the Breedlove sounded great... it is distinctive in the lack of bass. I just want to know before I end up with a guitar I don't like. Thanks

Rubin

You will have to read up on guitars. You might get away with a good first build. But that level of tuning will depend on alot. Thin the top near the edges to .90 will help. Scallop braces will also help.

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I need a little help... I have a tele on the bench about two weeks from finished and an acoustic is next on the list. Where I need a little help is, this morning I was able to side by side compare a Breedlove Focus and an Alvarez Yari. The difference in tone was amazing... My concern is as I'm planning and building my acoustic (right now walnut back and sides, top one of the spruces, neck either maple or cherry) how do I adjust for things like fullness of or lack of bass, or other tonal variables? Though the Breedlove sounded great... it is distinctive in the lack of bass. I just want to know before I end up with a guitar I don't like. Thanks

Rubin

You will have to read up on guitars. You might get away with a good first build. But that level of tuning will depend on alot. Thin the top near the edges to .90 will help. Scallop braces will also help.

GW... thanks for the reply. I guess you caught me on the reading up... I was looking for the easy solution. :D Not having built an acoustic, would you recommend someone who publishes a good tutorial on building one of them. Thanks,

Rubin

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Hmmm, go to the OLF, its a good first start. Its a more active forum. Google.

Go to youtube for some guitar building videos. This guy is good.

Many people recomend Kinkead or Cumpliano, but they are a bit outdated. For backs and tops, most use dishes for example.

Figure out how many tools you have. And how many you will need. There are lots of specialty tools you will need. I am closing in on $2000.00 Drill press, and the little specialty tools, small planes, large planes, reamers, drill bits, it is *#)@#)*$% endless

If you don't or can't make a longterm committment on tools (and woods) you could get LMI to do a KIT guitar, they can slot your fingerboards, and bend your sides. etc.

If your gonna make one or 2 do that. (Do a practice braced top first)

If you KNOW your gonna love this as a hobby, then start investing, get some cheap tops and start there. Do a test top first. Get the video on tap tuning (search luthier forums) One guy did a video series on that, it may help.

Do you have access to a thickness sander (cabinet shop-Call for price per hour.)

Nothing is simple at all, nothing is cheap (for the most part) I make mistakes all the time,

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It may be that you were compairing a smaller bodied Breedlove to a larger Alvarez. I believe the Focus is about 15" at the lower bout, and the Steel string Yari is Dreadnought, and a Jumbo(both are wider at the lower bout, and deeper). A larger box produces bass easier than a smaller box. Your first choice should be the size/model/design you think most suits your needs. That is the biggest factor in the sound of an acoustic. You can "tweak" the sound a bit. You can certainly get more focused responce with material selection and bracing configuration. In the end though, you can make 20 small changes that impact the sound a little, however you will never make as significant a choice as the size/design.

There are a lot of little things that you will question along the way on your first acoustic. Keep one concept in mind though, 20 little things may add up to a small change in performance. Stick with the design as drawn(I assume you will be using a set of drawings), and don't worry too much about making "improvements". Focus on good joining, getting a feel for the thickness/ stiffness/ tapped responce and so forth(don't put too much pressure on mastering these things, you are only trying to develop a first point of reference on your first). If you feel like making some little changes after careful consideration, do so, but remember little changes are secondary to solid construction.

Always feel free to toss out questions, or ask for dimensions others are using for this part or that. Also ask for tool and jig suggestions as well as dig around on the web for these things. GW is right that many books on building acoustics are outdated, and those builders are probably using several different methods today.

Rich

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It may be that you were compairing a smaller bodied Breedlove to a larger Alvarez. I believe the Focus is about 15" at the lower bout, and the Steel string Yari is Dreadnought, and a Jumbo(both are wider at the lower bout, and deeper). A larger box produces bass easier than a smaller box. Your first choice should be the size/model/design you think most suits your needs. That is the biggest factor in the sound of an acoustic. You can "tweak" the sound a bit. You can certainly get more focused responce with material selection and bracing configuration. In the end though, you can make 20 small changes that impact the sound a little, however you will never make as significant a choice as the size/design.

There are a lot of little things that you will question along the way on your first acoustic. Keep one concept in mind though, 20 little things may add up to a small change in performance. Stick with the design as drawn(I assume you will be using a set of drawings), and don't worry too much about making "improvements". Focus on good joining, getting a feel for the thickness/ stiffness/ tapped responce and so forth(don't put too much pressure on mastering these things, you are only trying to develop a first point of reference on your first). If you feel like making some little changes after careful consideration, do so, but remember little changes are secondary to solid construction.

Always feel free to toss out questions, or ask for dimensions others are using for this part or that. Also ask for tool and jig suggestions as well as dig around on the web for these things. GW is right that many books on building acoustics are outdated, and those builders are probably using several different methods today.

Rich

Thanks guys for all of the help and advice. I'm fortunate to have the tools... the ability to use the tools is another story. :D Rich, didn't put the guitars up next to each other to see if they were different in size... GW, I spent last evening downloading Steven's guitar build videos, great reference. That guy's style of teaching is great. I appreciate you guys being there.

Rubin

Edited by rradams
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