???? 1778T(orrified)...
DanSavage
Posted 2017-01-11 1:17 PM (#531909)
Subject: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
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Posts: 1611

Location: Lake Forest, CA

So, I bought this bare bowl off another OFC member sometime last year and stashed it away into the someday pile.

It looks like that day has arrived. I guess I'll be doing four guitars at once, not just three.

I recently acquired a 1537 neck that is in pretty good condition. It's been played a lot, but otherwise it hasn't been abused.

I've been goofing around with moody p.i.'s 1537. I borrowed his 87C for a couple of weeks so I could satisfy my curiosity of how they sound since both of these guitars are rated among Ovation's best by quite a few people. For the most part, I like how both of these guitars sound, but truth be told, my ear has become accustomed to the sound of torrefied wood tops.

I originally planned to use the 1537 neck on an Elite version of the wood bowl Ovation I'm planning to build. But, I didn't want to wait that long to hear how a torrefied Quintad brace pattern sounded.

So, to coin a model airplane phrase, I decided to bash together a torrefied Quintad-braced Elite using the 1778T bowl and the 1537 neck. It's not going to be a permanent joining, just together long enough to hear how it sounds.



The heel is a little long for this bowl, but for this purpose, it will work fine.



If all goes well, these two necks will form the basis of two torrefied-top, wood-bowl Ovation guitars -- a Custom Legend and a 1537 Elite.

I took a photo of the Adamas braces from the Ovation Tribute site and imported it into CAD. I opened up the back of the 1537 and took some measurements of the braces, then drew them up.

I printed them at full-size, then spray-glued the templates to some 1/8" balsa sheet and cut them out.



I compared them to the braces in the 1537 and fine-tuned the profiles. Even though the test templates above are angled, the final templates will be rounded. It was easier to cut these out with an Xacto and a ruler than to hand-cut with all the curves.

Next job is to kit out the braces on all four guitars: 1528, 1612, 1117 and now, the 1778T(orrified).



Edited by DanSavage 2017-01-11 1:18 PM
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DarenSavage
Posted 2017-01-11 1:24 PM (#531910 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...


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That's a nice neck. I'm sorry it didn't arrive before I left so I could see it in person.
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-01-11 1:28 PM (#531911 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



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Location: Lake Forest, CA
Yeah, it is.

I don't have to do anything for this project, but when I get ready to use on the wood-bowl, I'll re-fret it and level the fret board and maybe touch up the finish a little bit.
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Mark in Boise
Posted 2017-01-11 1:46 PM (#531914 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...


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Remember that the original 1537s had a layer of plywood across the upper bout. I don't recall that anyone on this site could figure out why.
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moody, p.i.
Posted 2017-01-11 2:57 PM (#531918 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...


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I had to laugh in relief. At first I thought, Dan, that you had pulled the neck on my 1537......
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BanjoJ
Posted 2017-01-11 3:26 PM (#531919 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: RE: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



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All of your threads are interesting Dan, but this one will be even more so.

I've been waiting for you to do an Adamas/Elite style retop - and now you are. Thank you.

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DanSavage
Posted 2017-01-11 5:08 PM (#531922 - in reply to #531914)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



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Mark in Boise - 2017-01-11 11:46 AM

Remember that the original 1537s had a layer of plywood across the upper bout. I don't recall that anyone on this site could figure out why.


Yep. I noticed that. It looks to me like it's 3-ply 1/32" birch ply. It's got a section that's tapered. This is shown on the plans pic I posted. It's the section of the upper bout outlined in red. The red dashed line shows the tapered section.



It looks to me like it's a doubler designed to keep the top from breaking through the small bridges of wood between the sound holes.

Because this will be a torrefied wood top, I'm going to try to use a cross-grain piece of torrefied Sitka spruce sanded to either 1/32" or 3/64" thick  in place of the non-torrefied birch ply. Well, that is, if the guy I use can sand wood that thin.

The birch ply would definitely be stronger, but it also won't resonate like the torrefied spruce.



Edited by DanSavage 2017-01-11 5:12 PM
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-01-11 5:11 PM (#531923 - in reply to #531918)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



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moody, p.i. - 2017-01-11 12:57 PM

I had to laugh in relief. At first I thought, Dan, that you had pulled the neck on my 1537......


Ha ha! I can see how you might think that and have your heart skip a beat or two...

Me: "Hey, Paul. I hope you don't mind but I pulled the neck off your 1537 to see how it would fit my 1778T bowl."
Paul: 

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DanSavage
Posted 2017-01-11 5:16 PM (#531924 - in reply to #531919)
Subject: RE: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



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BanjoJ - 2017-01-11 1:26 PM

All of your threads are interesting Dan, but this one will be even more so.

I've been waiting for you to do an Adamas/Elite style retop - and now you are. Thank you.



You're welcome. It was only a matter of time, wasn't it?
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2wheeldrummer
Posted 2017-01-11 6:32 PM (#531926 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



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Wow Dan 4 guitars at once,are you going to setup an assembly line lol
Excellent diagram of the 1537 bracing I always learn so much from your projects thanks for sharing them with us.

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DanSavage
Posted 2017-01-17 10:24 AM (#532051 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: RE: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



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Location: Lake Forest, CA

I was able to joint the top in preparation for joining and rough cut the braces.



I'm planning to join the tops for all four guitars at the same time so that I can take them down to the sanders and have them all thickness sanded together.

While each top is drying I'll be cutting out the braces. Top for the 1778T is being joined.

Referring back to the photo of the upper bout on the inside of the 1537, there is a cross-grain reinforcement. It looks to me like 1/32" birch plywood.

I'm not real keen on using birch plywood for this job, first because it's plywood and secondly because it's not torrefied. One of the main reasons why I use torrefied braces on the inside of the torrefied tops is so the braces have the same rate of expansion/contraction with changes in humidity. Using non-torrefied wood would change this. Unlike non-torrefied wood, torrefied wood doesn't really absorb moisture from the air. The second and most important reason is because the braces will of the same 'age' as the top, so they'll both have the same response. IOW, both are already 'broken in'.

So, my solution, or at least my first attempt at a solution, was to cut out 1" wide, 1/32" thick slices of the uncut torrefied brace stock.

The uncut brace stock is normally quartersawn. I was originally going to use another top, which is quartersawn, sanded down to 1/32" thick for this reinforcement. It occurred to me that quartersawn wood sanded that thin would be prone to cracking and splitting along the grain and would provide almost no reinforcement.

By cutting with the grain instead of across it would yield thin wood that is, essentially, flatsawn. IOW, thin, flexible, strong and not prone to splitting. Here's a drawing that shows the differences between quartersawn and flatsawn.

These will get glued edge-to-edge to form a thin sheet, which will get laminated to the underside of the upper bout. Then, I'll drill the sound holes.

I'm going to cut all of these to length, then laminate the scrap to a scrap piece of top wood. Once the glue has dried, I'll try drilling holes and see how it works. if the 1/32" reinforcements are too weak, then I'll cut new ones that are a little thicker, then try the drilling test again.



Edited by DanSavage 2017-01-17 10:27 AM
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moody, p.i.
Posted 2017-01-17 7:32 PM (#532072 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...


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Is that 1st pic my 1537?
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-01-17 8:45 PM (#532076 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



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The pic of the inside of the guitar showing the braces & plywood doubler is your 1537.
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-02-16 6:34 PM (#532809 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: RE: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



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Location: Lake Forest, CA

The outline of the top has been rough cut and the bridge alignment pin holes drilled.

The cross-grain strips are being laminated to the underside of the top. These will need to dry for a day. Once the glue is dry, I'll sand them smooth, then drill the epaulet holes.

This guitar will not be getting the epaulet leaves. Since this is a test piece, it'll be simplified for expediency.

Once the holes are drilled, I'll glue the braces into place.



Edited by DanSavage 2017-02-16 6:36 PM
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arumako
Posted 2017-02-17 9:47 PM (#532826 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



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Location: Yokohama, Japan
Hi Dan, your projects look to be coming along immaculately as usual. Thanks for sharing your journey. Love the post with your family X-mas photo. There's no way we'd be able to tell you and your brother apart! Had a question about the "cross-grain reinforcement". Do you see that as a necessity or are you trying to keep the instrument in as original condition as possible? Your torrefied solution is very cool, and I suppose it acts somewhat like a cross-brace. My 1868 has that feature as well, but I wonder as to its necessity...Hmmm
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-02-17 11:36 PM (#532830 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



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Hi Ken,

Thanks for the kind words.

Yes, the cross-grain reinforcement is necessary. The reason is that the top is quartersawn which means that the grain runs vertically through the sheet, which makes it stiff, but it also split easily along the grain.

The epaulet holes are drilled very closely together, with the closest having a 1/8" web of wood. Without some sort of reinforcement, the bridge of wood between the holes would bust out with even the lightest touch. (ugly!)

I was originally going to use quartersawn reinforcement, but I thought about it and realized that this, too, would be prone to splitting. So, instead, I sawed these from the brace stock to make flatsawn pieces, which are flexible and split-resistant.

I could have used plywood, as was done on the original, but plywood isn't as resonant as solid wood. I also wanted to make the top using all torrefied wood, mainly for the resonance, but also to equalize the rate of expansion/contraction, which wouldn't happen with a torrefied top and non-torrefied plywood.

Edited by DanSavage 2017-02-17 11:38 PM
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Jonmark Stone
Posted 2017-02-19 6:08 PM (#532855 - in reply to #532830)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...


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Location: Gnashville
I may be mistaken... but didn't they (MS) do some experimentation with using a layer or two of glass cloth and epoxy to reinforce that area at one time?

Once again, you're fun to watch, Dan. Thanks for taking the time to document your projects.
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-02-19 6:22 PM (#532856 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



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Location: Lake Forest, CA

Hi Jon,

Thanks for the kind words and you're welcome.

You could be right. I've never seen anything like it. Of the limited number of Elites I've seen, they either have the full width cross-grain plywood (1537) or individual pieces overlaid on the back of the holes outside the braces. (1768-7LTD, 2078TX-5)

Dan



Edited by DanSavage 2017-02-19 6:24 PM
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-02-19 6:32 PM (#532857 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: RE: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
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Posts: 1611

Location: Lake Forest, CA

Before attempting to drill holes in the top, I decided to mock up a couple of test pieces from the sound holes cut from the other tops.

I knew I needed several different sizes of drill bits to make the holes, the largest being 1-5/8", next largest 1-1/8", followed by a 1/2" and finally 3/8". I checked with Harbor Freight and they had a Forstner bit set which contained all these sizes for $38.

Here's the sample piece with most of the holes. The spacing between the 1-5/8" and 1-1/8" hole in this piece is only about 1/16", but the cross-grain doubler is doing a good job of keeping the sound board from splitting even when the holes are this closely spaced from each other.

The spacing on these two holes got closer because I made several attempts at the 1-5/8" hold and the drill bit wandered a little. When I do the sound board for real, I'll make sure to drill the hole(s) in one shot.

Next job is to mark the locations of the sound holes on the top and drill them out



Edited by DanSavage 2017-02-19 6:34 PM
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tpa
Posted 2017-02-20 1:54 PM (#532871 - in reply to #532855)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...


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Location: Denmark
Jonmark Stone - 2017-02-19 1:08 AM

I may be mistaken... but didn't they (MS) do some experimentation with using a layer or two of glass cloth and epoxy to reinforce that area at one time?

Once again, you're fun to watch, Dan. Thanks for taking the time to document your projects.


Like this: http://www.ovationfanclub.com/megabbs/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=29... ? Pictures are gone but scroll down to post 7. Other examples have been seen.
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Jonmark Stone
Posted 2017-02-20 4:43 PM (#532880 - in reply to #532871)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...


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Thanks tpa. That's what I was remembering.
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-02-20 7:57 PM (#532882 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



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Interesting. I would really liked to have seen photos of the fiberglass lamination.

If Beal is reading this I'd like to know the progression of the doublers used.

Edited by DanSavage 2017-02-20 8:00 PM
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-02-21 5:26 PM (#532891 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: RE: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



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Location: Lake Forest, CA

I got the sound holes drilled. They aren't as perfect as what the MS could do, but for my purposes they'll work just fine.

Next job is to lay out and glue down the braces.

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MWoody
Posted 2017-02-21 8:46 PM (#532893 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



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Location: Upper Left USA
Very encouraging!
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arumako
Posted 2017-02-21 9:54 PM (#532895 - in reply to #532891)
Subject: RE: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



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DanSavage - 2017-02-21 7:26 AM

I got the sound holes drilled. They aren't as perfect as what the MS could do, but for my purposes they'll work just fine.


Forgive me Mr. Savage, I am afraid I must contend with your definition of "perfect."

Jeez, Dan you're too hard on your self!

Edited by arumako 2017-02-21 9:56 PM
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BanjoJ
Posted 2017-02-21 10:20 PM (#532896 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: RE: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



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Looking very, very good to me Dan!
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-02-21 10:56 PM (#532897 - in reply to #532895)
Subject: RE: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



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arumako - 2017-02-21 7:54 PM

Forgive me Mr. Savage, I am afraid I must contend with your definition of "perfect."

Jeez, Dan you're too hard on your self!


Ha ha!

When I say 'perfect', I meant that I used a hand-drill instead of the drill press so the holes aren't perpendicular to the surface of the top. Since the hand-drill wasn't perpendicular, it caused the holes to drift a little and were slightly off-center to what they should have been.

In the grand scheme of things these little flaws won't matter as the main goal of this exercise was to demonstrate to myself how a torrefied-top Elite sounds. (Wanna buy a guitar? LOL!)
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-02-21 11:02 PM (#532898 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



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Thanks, Mike.

Thanks, Paul.
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DetlefMichel
Posted 2017-02-22 12:12 PM (#532902 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



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I once made experiments with an Adamas guitar that had no soundholes on the lower bout and I simply added some. I found out that 2 of the middle-sized holes and 5 of the small ones finally gave the best results. I would ecourage you to try one more of the greater ones and 2 of the small ones . More soundholes in the lower bout make the guitar fuller in the lower mid-range. Just remember the Tony Rice guitars by Martin or Santa cruz, they have bigger soundholes, too. And the Marcel Dadi Adamas custom!
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-02-22 1:06 PM (#532904 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



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Location: Lake Forest, CA
Thanks for the info, DetlefMichel.

I'm not sure where on the guitar you're describing when you write, 'lower bout'.

To me, the lower bout is the area between the bridge and strap button. The upper bout is the area between the bridge and the neck joint.

The upper and lower bouts are then divided by the center line of the guitar into bass side and treble side.
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arumako
Posted 2017-02-22 5:56 PM (#532907 - in reply to #532897)
Subject: RE: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



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DanSavage - 2017-02-21 12:56 PM

...(Wanna buy a guitar? LOL!)


LOL! As the immortal Vizzini said, "Hahahaha hahahaha hahahaha...ha" To that, I would add "GAAAAAAAAAS!"

Then I hear a voice inside my head saying, "Wait-a-minute...is he being serious? But he's building 4 of them. Which do you think he's talking about?"

To which I answer, "I don't know. Do you think I should ask?"

Then another voice cries out, "No! Don't ask! Don't ask!" To which another voice responds to the other voice saying, "Shut-up over there...come on Ken, of course you should ask!"

Hearing voices telling me to buy guitars... Perhaps early signs of OFC-itis?

Edited by arumako 2017-02-22 5:57 PM
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Love O Fair
Posted 2017-02-22 10:13 PM (#532908 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



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@arumako -->Hearing voices telling me to buy guitars"<--

Early sign?? Not so sure. I've been hearing them since I was about nine.
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-02-22 10:39 PM (#532909 - in reply to #532907)
Subject: RE: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



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Location: Lake Forest, CA
arumako - 2017-02-22 3:56 PM
Perhaps early signs of OFC-itis?


No. OFC-mania...
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arumako
Posted 2017-02-23 12:19 AM (#532911 - in reply to #532909)
Subject: RE: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



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Love O Fair - 2017-02-22 12:13 PM

@arumako -->Hearing voices telling me to buy guitars"<--

Early sign?? Not so sure. I've been hearing them since I was about nine.


WOW Love O Fair, you've had an early start into the world of GAS! LOL...

DanSavage - 2017-02-22 12:39 PM

No. OFC-mania...


Yes, Yes, OFC-mania. Much, much better articulation. Thanks Dan. Being in Japan, my options are a bit limited, but did you have anything specific in mind?
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DetlefMichel
Posted 2017-02-23 5:20 AM (#532915 - in reply to #532904)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



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DanSavage - 2017-02-22 8:06 PM

Thanks for the info, DetlefMichel.

I'm not sure where on the guitar you're describing when you write, 'lower bout'.

To me, the lower bout is the area between the bridge and strap button. The upper bout is the area between the bridge and the neck joint.

The upper and lower bouts are then divided by the center line of the guitar into bass side and treble side.


I´m sorry, I meant the treble side of the upper bout then. I forgot to take pics of that guitar and it has a new owner now...Sometimes it´s hard to discuss here in a foreign language.
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-02-23 8:50 AM (#532916 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



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No problemo. Your English is much better than my German. LOL!

When I owned my 2078 TX, I noticed that it had very strong bass. Part of this can be attributed to the deep contour bowl. But, the Elite T line of guitars also don't have any holes in the treble bout.

After some consideration I decided to add the standard Elite holes to the that side so that the lack of sound holes would not suppress the treble response of the guitar.

I had this bowl laying around gathering dust. When I had the chance to acquire the 1537 neck I decided to bash together this guitar so I could hear how the quintad braces sound on a torrefied top. I'm not a big fan of cutaway guitars because, IMO, it limits the acoustic balance of the sound it puts out, but this should give me a pretty good idea whether building an Elite-style top worth the extra work.

I can say for sure that any Elites I do in the future will not have the full-width cross-grain reinforcements, but will have only the cross-grain on the area over the sound hole outside the braces.

From a production standpoint, it's a pain in the neck to have full-width doublers.

Edited by DanSavage 2017-02-23 8:52 AM
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moody, p.i.
Posted 2017-02-23 2:36 PM (#532918 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...


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Dan, it's always fun when you get hot on your projects!
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-02-23 4:48 PM (#532919 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



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Thanks, Paul.
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-02-23 4:51 PM (#532920 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: RE: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



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Location: Lake Forest, CA

Braces glued down. I can say 'never again' will I use the full-width cross-grain. Taking a 1/32" notch out of the underside of the braces was a major PITA. I even had to re-do one of the braces. It would have been much easier to not have to do that. And, there's no real benefit as the only purpose of the cross-grain is to keep the webs between the holes from splitting out.

I can see why the factory did away with this and went to small patches over the sound holes.

Because the upper ends of the braces are so tall, I decided to make a jig to keep them more or less square while the gobars are clamping them in place. The main thing is to keep them from flopping over to the side.

I'll let these dry 24 hours, then pull the top out of the gobar deck.



Next job is to start gluing the tops to the bowls.



Edited by DanSavage 2017-02-23 4:55 PM
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Jonmark Stone
Posted 2017-02-23 9:57 PM (#532923 - in reply to #532920)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...


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Very clean. Waiting with bated breath to hear your results. Be interesting to hear Beal's memories of the original process. After all, you are reverse engineering here.

Maybe they began using fiberglass in those areas and found it varied in thickness too much to make bracing fabrication a bigger PITA than using uniform plywood.

Anyway, carry on, Dan. Looking great.



Edited by Jonmark Stone 2017-02-23 10:24 PM
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marenostrum
Posted 2017-02-24 4:02 AM (#532927 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



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Bravo Dan !
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DetlefMichel
Posted 2017-02-24 4:48 AM (#532929 - in reply to #532916)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



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Location: Muenster/Germany
DanSavage - 2017-02-23 3:50 PM

I'm not a big fan of cutaway guitars because, IMO, it limits the acoustic balance of the sound it puts out, but this should give me a pretty good idea whether building an Elite-style top worth the extra work.

.

I disagree. Any guitar, if it´s well built, will have no loss of sound if it has a cutaway. I had a custom legend cutaway that a huge potential (and I only sold it because of the extreme V shape of the neck), but it was definetely the most sonorous of my 4 cl´s.
I have 3 luthier-built guitars with cutaways, all of them with great tone. And doesn´t the Adamas guitar sound so good because the soundholes are placed in an area of the guitar top where no great vibrations are to be expected?
The only exception may be very small guitars with low body depth, they may suffer from a lack of resonant chamber. But I believe most luthiers would answer even this back.
But I think that there may be an other problem with cutaways, especially with 12string guitars. The structural strength of the treble side of the body. I saw some guitars with completely distorted bodies. My hand-made 12string guitar has a 12fret neck and a small ! cutaway only to be able to reach the 12th fret with a slide when played with the ring finger. Most cutaways are too big, more than really necessary.
I would only fully agree that non-cutaway guitars simply look better.
But now I better leave you alone and let you work...;-)
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-02-24 9:09 AM (#532931 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
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Posts: 1611

Location: Lake Forest, CA
Thanks, Jonmark & Riccardo.

I'm aiming to get these guitars done by the end of March, so it shouldn't be too much longer before we'll be able to hear how all these sound.
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-02-24 9:37 AM (#532932 - in reply to #532929)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
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Posts: 1611

Location: Lake Forest, CA

DetlefMichel - 2017-02-24 2:48 AM

I disagree. Any guitar, if it´s well built, will have no loss of sound if it has a cutaway. I had a custom legend cutaway that a huge potential (and I only sold it because of the extreme V shape of the neck), but it was definetely the most sonorous of my 4 cl´s.
I have 3 luthier-built guitars with cutaways, all of them with great tone. And doesn´t the Adamas guitar sound so good because the soundholes are placed in an area of the guitar top where no great vibrations are to be expected?
The only exception may be very small guitars with low body depth, they may suffer from a lack of resonant chamber. But I believe most luthiers would answer even this back.
But I think that there may be an other problem with cutaways, especially with 12string guitars. The structural strength of the treble side of the body. I saw some guitars with completely distorted bodies. My hand-made 12string guitar has a 12fret neck and a small ! cutaway only to be able to reach the 12th fret with a slide when played with the ring finger. Most cutaways are too big, more than really necessary.
I would only fully agree that non-cutaway guitars simply look better.
But now I better leave you alone and let you work...;-)


Ha ha! That's okay. I have lots of down-time while the glue dries to discuss guitar theory. :D

Here's a link to a video where two otherwise identical guitars (is there really any such thing?) are played, one a full-body and the other a cutaway.

Cutaway vs Non-Cutaway: Does it affect the sound?

Unless the volume of the body is increased on the cutaway guitar, it will have a tone that emphesizes the mid- to -high range. (Helmholtz resonance)

Since most deep-bowl Ovation guitars utilize the same basic molded bowl, the one with a cutaway will have decreased volume that causes a shift in the tone. The full-body will have a deeper, more rounded (no pun intended) tone.

Naturally, there are other factors that affect tone, including sound hole size, sound board thickness, brace pattern, etc. But, for two otherwise identical guitars, such as our Ovations, the one with more body volume will have a deeper, more rounded tone.

The Adamas got it's sound hole locations for two reasons: Increased stiffness between the bridge and the neck. This allows for lighter braces because they don't have to keep the sound board from distorting due to the center hole. The lighter braces allow the sound board to flex more which increases volume. (amplitude)

One of the reasons why one guitar might sound better than an otherwise identical guitar has a lot to do with the wood, itself. When my daughter was shopping for a guitar we tried two Epiphones that were the same model, same finish, both brand new. One sounded better than the other and that's the one I recommended she buy.

WRT appearance, you and I are in complete agreement. A full-body guitar looks better. :D



Edited by DanSavage 2017-02-24 9:39 AM
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arumako
Posted 2017-02-24 10:46 AM (#532933 - in reply to #532923)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
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Posts: 652

Location: Yokohama, Japan
Jonmark Stone - 2017-02-23 11:57 AM

Very clean. Waiting with bated breath to hear your results.

+1
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DetlefMichel
Posted 2017-02-24 10:57 AM (#532934 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: RE: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
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Posts: 405

Location: Muenster/Germany
Ok that video was impressive. If you compare otherwise identical guitars the non-cutaway is obviously the one I would choose.
(But every luthier can built a cutaway guitar with no sound compromises, which will then not be identical with non-cutaway guitars.)
And...I´ve been telling it ever since: Sunbursts are better!!
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-02-24 12:21 PM (#532935 - in reply to #532934)
Subject: RE: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
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Posts: 1611

Location: Lake Forest, CA
DetlefMichel - 2017-02-24 8:57 AM

Ok that video was impressive. If you compare otherwise identical guitars the non-cutaway is obviously the one I would choose.
(But every luthier can built a cutaway guitar with no sound compromises, which will then not be identical with non-cutaway guitars.)
And...I´ve been telling it ever since: Sunbursts are better!!


True. But, as you say, then they're not identical.

Ha ha! I think you're right. It's the sunburst! LOL!

Just for the fun of it I did some math comparing the area of the sound holes between the center hole style and the Elite style. (CAD makes this kind of stuff really easy)

1) Center hole: 4" diameter, 12.56 sq. in.
2) Full body Elite: 11.27 sq. in.
3) Cutaway Elite, bass & treble holes: 7.126 sq. in.
4) Cutaway Elite, bass-only holes: 5.63 sq. in.

What this is telling me is that less sound hole area of the Elite style could balance out the tone of the guitar to account for the loss of volume of the cutaway guitar. Could. Not does, but could.
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Mark in Boise
Posted 2017-02-24 1:25 PM (#532936 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...


Joined:
March 2005
Posts: 12534

Location: Boise, Idaho
Thanks for the numbers, Dan. I've always liked the sound of the center hole Ovations over the Elites. Now I have some numbers to explain my preference. I also like the deep bowl over the contour bowl. Can you come up with some numbers to explain that?
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-02-24 5:01 PM (#532937 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
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Posts: 1611

Location: Lake Forest, CA
Hi Mark,

Thanks. What is it you like about the deep bowl vs. contour?
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Love O Fair
Posted 2017-02-25 11:50 AM (#532947 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
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Posts: 478

Location: Spin axis of a California map
@Dan -->What this is telling me is that less sound hole area of the Elite style could balance out the tone of the guitar to account for the loss of volume of the cutaway guitar. Could. Not does, but could."<--

If you actually have the sample guitars on hand you can record them each in the same fixed environment and input values, then expand out the waveform (both directions) to closely inspect the differences. I've found this to be helpful on various instruments and ambient sounds, though keep in mind that with guitars it involves the human factor of plucking/strumming with equal force and sustain during each sample for the most accurate readings. You can also record with various input values and environments within a wide range desired sampling criteria. I have to wonder how we ever survived the old days with nothing but green scopes and curves!
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Mark in Boise
Posted 2017-02-25 12:21 PM (#532948 - in reply to #532937)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...


Joined:
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Posts: 12534

Location: Boise, Idaho
DanSavage - 2017-02-24 4:01 PM

Hi Mark,

Thanks. What is it you like about the deep bowl vs. contour?

This is really subjective, but I think the deep bowl has more bass. I can't really compare apples to apples, though. Both my contour bowls have cutaways and are much newer than my deep bowl Ovations. One is Adirondack spruce and the other is Koa. Seven of my deep bowls are center sound hole. Three are Adamas, so the only spruce top deep bowl Elite I have is the 1537, which has been played a lot and it's tough to compare anything with that.
Besides that, I've never liked the feel of the contour bowl. My stomach doesn't fit the contour. I know that doesn't really affect the sound, but I like the round bowl pressed against my stomach. I also think the contour bowl was a cop out to the unjustified criticism of the round back.
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-02-25 12:39 PM (#532950 - in reply to #532947)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1611

Location: Lake Forest, CA
Love O Fair - 2017-02-25 9:50 AM

@Dan -->What this is telling me is that less sound hole area of the Elite style could balance out the tone of the guitar to account for the loss of volume of the cutaway guitar. Could. Not does, but could."<--

If you actually have the sample guitars on hand you can record them each in the same fixed environment and input values, then expand out the waveform (both directions) to closely inspect the differences. I've found this to be helpful on various instruments and ambient sounds, though keep in mind that with guitars it involves the human factor of plucking/strumming with equal force and sustain during each sample for the most accurate readings. You can also record with various input values and environments within a wide range desired sampling criteria. I have to wonder how we ever survived the old days with nothing but green scopes and curves!


Interesting experiment. Right now I don't have the tools, nor enough of the sample instruments on hand to conduct it.

Right now I'm more keen on rebuilding existing designs to see how they sound with torrefied tops and braces.
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-02-25 12:42 PM (#532951 - in reply to #532948)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1611

Location: Lake Forest, CA
Mark in Boise - 2017-02-25 10:21 AM

This is really subjective, but I think the deep bowl has more bass. I can't really compare apples to apples, though. Both my contour bowls have cutaways and are much newer than my deep bowl Ovations. One is Adirondack spruce and the other is Koa. Seven of my deep bowls are center sound hole. Three are Adamas, so the only spruce top deep bowl Elite I have is the 1537, which has been played a lot and it's tough to compare anything with that.
Besides that, I've never liked the feel of the contour bowl. My stomach doesn't fit the contour. I know that doesn't really affect the sound, but I like the round bowl pressed against my stomach. I also think the contour bowl was a cop out to the unjustified criticism of the round back.


Gotcha.

Yes, I agree. I think the criticism of the round back to be unjustified. The most common is that the bowl 'slips' off the lap of the user. Unfortunately, this is one that has been around since the beginning, which led to the use of the non-slip applique to the treble bout waist.
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-02-25 12:44 PM (#532952 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: RE: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1611

Location: Lake Forest, CA

Top being glued.

Yes, that's the 1612 next to it.

Once the glue on all the tops is cured, I'll grind off the excess in preparation for routing the binding and purfling channels.

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DanSavage
Posted 2017-08-31 9:57 PM (#537267 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: RE: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1611

Location: Lake Forest, CA

Sooo...

Getting back to this project...

I glued the purfling and binding to the body.



Tape is off and it's ready for scraping.



Purfling and binding is leveled to the top and the bridge is masked.



The rest of the masking is in place and ready for finishing.



First coats of the finish are on. Now, it's time for spraying and sanding, spraying and sanding, etc...

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Old Man Arthur
Posted 2017-09-01 12:27 AM (#537269 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
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Posts: 9989

Location: Keepin' It Weird in Portland, OR
That top is beautiful.
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-09-01 8:28 AM (#537272 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1611

Location: Lake Forest, CA
Thanks, Art.

It reminds me of Koa.
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moody, p.i.
Posted 2017-09-01 11:27 AM (#537275 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...


Joined:
March 2002
Posts: 15096

Location: SoCal
Dan, Are you going to put on epi's or leave it plain?
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Love O Fair
Posted 2017-09-01 1:45 PM (#537277 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 478

Location: Spin axis of a California map
Dan, do you know.. is the collective square inch total the same on those holes as to equal the classic center hole?

PS-- Nice top. I really like the symmetry of the darker grain.

Edited by Love O Fair 2017-09-01 1:56 PM
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-09-01 2:22 PM (#537278 - in reply to #537275)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1611

Location: Lake Forest, CA
moody, p.i. - 2017-09-01 9:27 AM

Dan, Are you going to put on epi's or leave it plain?


Leave it plain. I'm only building this to hear how the Elite quintad braces sound in torrefied wood.
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-09-01 2:24 PM (#537279 - in reply to #537277)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1611

Location: Lake Forest, CA
Love O Fair - 2017-09-01 11:45 AM

Dan, do you know.. is the collective square inch total the same on those holes as to equal the classic center hole?

PS-- Nice top. I really like the symmetry of the darker grain.


No. They're all different areas. I previously measured the size of the holes, then calculated the different areas.

1) Center hole: 4" diameter, 12.56 sq. in.
2) Full body Elite: 11.27 sq. in.
3) Cutaway Elite, bass & treble holes: 7.126 sq. in.
4) Cutaway Elite, bass-only holes: 5.63 sq. in.

Thanks. It's just an off-the-shelf Stewmac torrefied Sitka spruce top, but they do have some really nice examples, such as this one and Ken's 1612.

Edited by DanSavage 2017-09-01 2:25 PM
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arumako
Posted 2017-09-02 8:36 AM (#537286 - in reply to #537278)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
October 2012
Posts: 652

Location: Yokohama, Japan
DanSavage - 2017-09-01 4:22 AM

I'm only building this to hear how the Elite quintad braces sound in torrefied wood.

Beautiful work and documentation as usual, Dan. The silking on these Stewmac tops are really something to behold; but the torrefied top with the torrefied K-5 bracing combined with the bowl (I swear torrefied tops and lyrachord bowls are a match made in heaven) on my 1612 really give the guitar a sensitivity that is unparalleled. It's gonna be really interesting to see what the torrefied quintad bracing will do for this Elite. The darker hue of the torrefied tops really make the "-4" finish stand out. As much as I love the Epi's they might just interfere in this particular case...kinda glad you've decided to go with the non-Epi finish.

Edited by arumako 2017-09-02 8:38 AM
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-09-02 10:09 AM (#537287 - in reply to #537286)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1611

Location: Lake Forest, CA
Thanks, Ken.

Yes, the torrefied K-5 braced top sounds very similar to the torrefied A braced top. One of the aspects of this brace pattern that a lot of people like is it's balanced tone between bass and treble. I like their sound, too. But, the tone is too muted for my taste which is why I got rid of all my A-brace Os.

When I did the 1717 I got to hear what the A-brace sounds like on a torrefied top and the difference was dramatic. It still has the balanced tone, but it was alive with sound. It still has the A-brace sound, but like it's on steroids.

I'm hoping to hear this kind of enhancement of the Elite sound on this guitar.
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Love O Fair
Posted 2017-09-02 1:57 PM (#537289 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 478

Location: Spin axis of a California map
Dan, thank you for the measurements. The reason I was asking... I was wondering what it would sound and look like if a cutaway Elite's bass side were just one hole with the same area as the small ones (leaving the treble holes as are). It would take a 2 3/4" diameter bass hole to match roughly close (producing slightly more area). Just a product of my own, crazy imagination, and also keeping in line with customary Ovation markings, the bass hole would require a rosette with traditional Ovation plastic and pearl construction, as well as making the ring more narrow in appropriate aspect ratio to the 4" one. The hole would seem a simple procedure, but how insanely difficult would it be to create that 2 3/4" rosette? A curve ball question, I know. Sorry. Just curious if you think it's at all practical.

Edited by Love O Fair 2017-09-02 2:23 PM
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-09-04 9:01 AM (#537305 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: RE: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1611

Location: Lake Forest, CA

The actual rosette itself is an injection-molded plastic part that has the oak leaf pattern printed/silk-screened on the underside. The area where the pattern is located is inside a recess.

The pearloid/abalanoid or in the older Custom Legends, abalone sections, are glued into this recess.

Given how they're made, it would be pretty insanely difficult to create a rosette without the tooling.

You could have one created out of white and black MOP pieces by one of the many inlay specialists, but then the cost would be insanely high.

In a word, no, it's not practical. Speaking of impractical rosettes, I've always loved this one, which was on a prototype nylon-string Adamas.

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Love O Fair
Posted 2017-09-04 2:43 PM (#537315 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 478

Location: Spin axis of a California map
@Dan - "I've always loved this one, which was on a prototype nylon-string Adamas."

Holy moley! That's 22x enough guitar porn to keep my idea's vision satisfied (at least for now). Thanks for posting.
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DarenSavage
Posted 2017-09-04 3:55 PM (#537316 - in reply to #537305)
Subject: RE: ???? 1778T(orrified)...


Joined:
December 2016
Posts: 71

DanSavage - 2017-09-04 9:01 AM


I love the Ovation Fractal Rosette. Wow! It takes me back to the wild days of my youth! Is there a black light poster of that?

Edited by DarenSavage 2017-09-04 3:58 PM
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-09-11 10:32 AM (#537372 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: It's Alive!!!!



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1611

Location: Lake Forest, CA

The Frankenvation is all done.

So, I'm sure the next question on everyone's mind is "how does it sound?".

In a word, spectacular. It's everything one would expect from a quintad-braced Elite on steroids.

It's my new favorite brace pattern in torrefied spruce. It's got the balance of the A-brace with the brightness and sparkle of the X-brace.

Because it's a mid-depth bowl, I tried the PB extra light Elixir strings. It sounded nice, but was a little muted with no brightness at all. I restrung it with 80/20 extra light Elixirs and the guitar came alive.

I'll make a video in a day or so and post it to youtube.

Interestingly, I had the original bridge for the 1778T, but I didn't have a saddle/pick-up. So, I bought a graphtech saddle and a chi-com pick-up. Because of the compensation built into the saddle and the angle of the saddle slot in the bridge, the guitar has perfect intonation on all six strings.

It's the only Ovation acoustic I've played that has perfect pitch and I can say I like it and I'm definitely going to duplicate this set-up in the future.

Now that this project is done, I can move onto a couple of really interesting jobs. Stay tuned.



Edited by DanSavage 2017-09-11 10:34 AM
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moody, p.i.
Posted 2017-09-11 10:55 AM (#537373 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...


Joined:
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Posts: 15096

Location: SoCal
I like it! The epi-less look is really good and the 1537 neck suits it well. Outstanding job Dan!
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DetlefMichel
Posted 2017-09-11 10:59 AM (#537374 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
May 2011
Posts: 405

Location: Muenster/Germany
Wonderful guitar. The top looks surprisingly fine without the epaulets. Pure Understatement.
How did you manage to fit the deep-bowl neck to the mid- bowl? Did you have to destroy the multiple wood layer at the bottom of the neck heel or could you use them?
(And this guitar would also look better with the metal-label of the old Ovations)
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-09-11 11:19 AM (#537375 - in reply to #537373)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1611

Location: Lake Forest, CA
moody, p.i. - 2017-09-11 8:55 AM

I like it! The epi-less look is really good and the 1537 neck suits it well. Outstanding job Dan!


Thanks, Paul.

You're welcome to come over to play it any time.
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-09-11 11:28 AM (#537376 - in reply to #537374)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1611

Location: Lake Forest, CA

DetlefMichel - 2017-09-11 8:59 AM

Wonderful guitar. The top looks surprisingly fine without the epaulets. Pure Understatement.
How did you manage to fit the deep-bowl neck to the mid- bowl? Did you have to destroy the multiple wood layer at the bottom of the neck heel or could you use them?
(And this guitar would also look better with the metal-label of the old Ovations)


Thanks, Detlef.

Yes, I agree. I really like how it looks without the epis.

Luckily, both the neck and bowl have the two-bolt KB neck, so it was easy to bolt up.

WRT to the heel of the neck, it just hangs off the bottom of the bowl. Incidentally, the bowl is still silver like it is in this pic. That really contributes to the Frankenvation look.

This guitar is an experiment so I could hear how a quintad-braced O sounds with torrefied wood. Eventually, I'll use this neck for my wood-bowl Elite and have to find another neck to go onto this guitar. I'll make sure that neck is a medium-bowl neck so it'll fit properly. Because I knew this neck wasn't more-or-less permanently mounted to this guitar, I did not glue the fretboard extension down. This means the guitar really can't be played above the 14th fret, which is not a problem for me.

Then, once i have the proper neck, I'll paint the bowl, either black or brown, depending on the neck I acquire.



Edited by DanSavage 2017-09-11 11:32 AM
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DetlefMichel
Posted 2017-09-11 12:29 PM (#537378 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
May 2011
Posts: 405

Location: Muenster/Germany
I would have bet any money that you cut off the multiple layer, shortened the neck heel and reglued it, re-finished and re-polished the neck....you slack off!
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-09-11 3:28 PM (#537383 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1611

Location: Lake Forest, CA
If it were any other neck I would have considered it, but this one was from a 1537. LOL!
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DarenSavage
Posted 2017-09-11 10:17 PM (#537388 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...


Joined:
December 2016
Posts: 71

Ha ha, Frankenvation! The MS will never run out of funky names if they listen to us. That looks great. I can't wait to hear it.
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-09-12 8:27 AM (#537390 - in reply to #537388)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1611

Location: Lake Forest, CA
DarenSavage - 2017-09-11 8:17 PM

Ha ha, Frankenvation! The MS will never run out of funky names if they listen to us. That looks great. I can't wait to hear it.


Thanks! I'll shoot some video in a day or so after the strings settle down.
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Love O Fair
Posted 2017-09-12 11:28 AM (#537392 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 478

Location: Spin axis of a California map
Another fine product of Savage Labs. Terrific wood pattern on the top, with cool simplicity on the non-epi finish. Glad to hear you dialed in on the strings and sound combo.. looking forward to the roll-out video.
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-10-07 12:22 AM (#537642 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: RE: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1611

Location: Lake Forest, CA

Y'all have waited long enough.

Here's a youTube video of Paul 'Moofy' playing one of my most favorite songs on this guitar.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxWzV4nt9VE

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Love O Fair
Posted 2017-10-07 8:34 PM (#537646 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 478

Location: Spin axis of a California map
@Dan - "Y'all have waited long enough."

Proud and honored to have the acquaintance of you both. Very nice!
(especially since I'm still stuck on the baby chords for that song)
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-10-08 3:45 PM (#537649 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
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Posts: 1611

Location: Lake Forest, CA
Thanks for the kind words, Al. Same here.
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DarenSavage
Posted 2017-10-09 2:34 AM (#537655 - in reply to #537642)
Subject: RE: ???? 1778T(orrified)...


Joined:
December 2016
Posts: 71

DanSavage - 2017-10-07 12:22 AM

Y'all have waited long enough.

Here's a youTube video of Paul 'Moofy' playing one of my most favorite songs on this guitar.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxWzV4nt9VE


Youza! That's a great sounding O and Paul's choice of songs was spectacular! If I didn't have my favorite O ever, I'd ask you to build me one too.

Thanks for sharing.

Edited by DarenSavage 2017-10-09 2:53 AM
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Jonmark Stone
Posted 2017-10-10 10:25 AM (#537679 - in reply to #531909)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...


Joined:
May 2008
Posts: 1219

Location: Gnashville
That guitar sounds great! Even past the 5th fret....
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-10-10 10:32 AM (#537680 - in reply to #537655)
Subject: RE: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1611

Location: Lake Forest, CA
DarenSavage - 2017-10-09 12:34 AM

Youza! That's a great sounding O and Paul's choice of songs was spectacular! If I didn't have my favorite O ever, I'd ask you to build me one too.

Thanks for sharing.


Thanks and you're welcome!

Yeah, it's my 'new' favorite O. I haven't played any of the others since I finished it, including my 1111, which was my previous favorite.

I bought a set of sound hole plugs to see how it would have sounded without the treble bout holes. This increases the bass response, as expected, but the guitar lost some of its sparkle. So, I'll leave them out.
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-10-10 10:34 AM (#537681 - in reply to #537679)
Subject: Re: ???? 1778T(orrified)...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1611

Location: Lake Forest, CA
Jonmark Stone - 2017-10-10 8:25 AM

That guitar sounds great! Even past the 5th fret....


Thanks, Jonmark.

I'm really pleased with how well the Elite T bridge and graph tech compensated saddle work.
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