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Harry Chapin's 1977 1613-4...

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DanSavage
Posted 2018-04-18 3:14 PM (#543301 - in reply to #543300)
Subject: Re: Harry Chapin's 1977 1613-4...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1735

Location: Lake Forest, CA
Thanks, Mark.

It does make an awfully nice workbench.
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DanSavage
Posted 2018-04-20 11:11 AM (#543333 - in reply to #541987)
Subject: RE: Harry Chapin's 1977 1613-4...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1735

Location: Lake Forest, CA

I wanted the new top to look as much like the original as possible. Ovation used Western Red Cedar for these guitars.

Most of the torrefied Sitka and Adi spruce tops have, either figuring or dark-ish racing stripes. I didn't want this guitar to have either one. I also wanted the grain pattern to be fairly open so it would look like the cedar when it's done.

Thankfully, RC Tonewoods carries a variety of torrefied spruce. I found a set of torrefied Engelmann spruce on their site that looked like it might fit the bill, so I ordered it.

As it turns out, it's an almost perfect match for the cedar on the old top. Sonically, Engelmann is somewhere between Sitka and Adirondack, so it should work pretty well on this guitar.



Back to the head stock repairs. I'm not sure what species of mahogany Ovation used on their necks, but it's hard to match through conventional sources. When I repaired the broken ear on my 1111, I was unable to find wood that matched the coloring of the original, so I resorted to dyeing the patch.

I remembered that I bought a corporate sales trophy made from an Ovation head stock. I pulled it out to see if I might be able to perform an ear transplant.

When I compared the grain pattern of the two, it was an almost perfect match. Certainly close enough under all but the closest scrutiny.

The two are different in color. I wasn't sure if this was due to the finish is yellowed, discoloring the underlying wood. The only way to find out was to sand off the finish and get down to bare wood.



Once the finish was gone, I wet out the donor wood and it's a perfect match to the original. Woo Hoo!

So, I cut off the donor ear.



And, prepared the recipient by sanding it smooth. Next job is to start shaping the donor ear to fit.

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Jonmark Stone
Posted 2018-04-20 11:38 AM (#543335 - in reply to #543301)
Subject: Re: Harry Chapin's 1977 1613-4...


Joined:
May 2008
Posts: 1279

Location: Gnashville
Amazing how closely matched the top and ear are. Little old fashioned karma coming down.
Carry on
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Mark in Boise
Posted 2018-04-20 12:21 PM (#543336 - in reply to #541987)
Subject: Re: Harry Chapin's 1977 1613-4...


Joined:
March 2005
Posts: 12609

Location: Boise, Idaho
Dan,
Why didn't you use Western Red Cedar for the top?
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DanSavage
Posted 2018-04-20 12:53 PM (#543337 - in reply to #543336)
Subject: Re: Harry Chapin's 1977 1613-4...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1735

Location: Lake Forest, CA
Mark,

Because the torrefied spruce will sound better, sooner.

More importantly, it's also less susceptible to changes in humidity which are a bigger problem in NY, where this guitar will ultimately end up.
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Mark in Boise
Posted 2018-04-20 2:43 PM (#543338 - in reply to #541987)
Subject: Re: Harry Chapin's 1977 1613-4...


Joined:
March 2005
Posts: 12609

Location: Boise, Idaho
When I first joined this forum I noticed that cedar was often used on nylon string guitars and I asked why. All I remember of the response was that it sounds better. I guess I'm still looking for objective answers to subjective questions.
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DanSavage
Posted 2018-04-20 3:10 PM (#543340 - in reply to #541987)
Subject: RE: Harry Chapin's 1977 1613-4...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1735

Location: Lake Forest, CA

Historically, spruce has been used on classical/flamenco guitars for centuries. Using cedar for guitar tops is fairly recent, becoming popular in the 1960s.

Generally speaking, cedar will have a 'warmer' tone, but at the cost of projection (volume) and clarity. (separation of notes)

Spruce will have more projection and clarity, but with a slightly brighter tone. (crispness)

What I've found is that cedar has a lower overhead when it comes to projection. If your attack on the strings is too aggressive, the tone becomes muddy.

More grist for the mill...

Cedar vs Spruce Tops: tonewoods for classical guitar

The Advantages of Spruce Over Cedar

Spruce vs. Cedar top classical guitar comparison - Viktor Fogas lattice concert guitars

Spruce v Cedar vintage Jose Ramirez classical guitars

Compare Brazilian Rosewood Spruce and Cedar Top

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moody, p.i.
Posted 2018-04-20 5:27 PM (#543341 - in reply to #541987)
Subject: Re: Harry Chapin's 1977 1613-4...


Joined:
March 2002
Posts: 15159

Location: SoCal
Trigger has a spruce top. Sounds just fine to me....
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arumako
Posted 2018-04-20 10:36 PM (#543344 - in reply to #543333)
Subject: RE: Harry Chapin's 1977 1613-4...



Joined:
October 2012
Posts: 734

Location: Yokohama, Japan

DanSavage - 2018-04-20 1:11 AM

I remembered that I bought a corporate sales trophy made from an Ovation head stock. I pulled it out to see if I might be able to perform an ear transplant.

Hi Dan,
Your skillful ability to source and collect parts for your project is darn near...magical, mystical, prophetic, providential... That corporate trophy is a head stock from a Nakao Elite like this one from my friends NNS778-9;

Nakao HS

Your Spruce sound board is practically a twin! The aging of the cedar has made it identical to spruce - just incredible.

Also, thanks for the links to the spruce/cedar discussions. They seem to support what I've experienced. Recently, repaired a cedar top cutaway nylon that is very warm sounding, but extremely loud. The table is only 2mm thick, but quite strong. The acoustic volume is probably the loudest of all the nylon strings I own. But iin the past, I've found cedar w/nylon strings to get a bit "scraggly" (for lack of a better term) when played hard. As if the clarity of the note gets compromised.

Once again, you're "raising the bar" of the BFLG! Thanks again for sharing your journey with us. This is a real treat for those of us who were influenced by Harry's music and character.

You know, with all the experience you have moulding FRP and the discontinuation of the Adamas line... Hmmm, how does a torrefied Birch fiberglass sandwiched sound board, resonance ringed, wood bowl backed project sound? Sorry, just a strange thought that crossed my mind, LOL!



Edited by arumako 2018-04-20 10:37 PM
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DanSavage
Posted 2018-04-21 10:29 AM (#543348 - in reply to #543341)
Subject: Re: Harry Chapin's 1977 1613-4...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1735

Location: Lake Forest, CA

moody, p.i. - 2018-04-20 3:27 PM

Trigger has a spruce top. Sounds just fine to me....


Speaking of Trigger. I'm not sure how many follow Dan Erlewine's How-To videos, but he has a couple with his cousin, Mark Erlewine of Erlewine Guitars in Austin, Texas performing annual maintenance on Trigger.

Repairing Trigger Part I

Repairing Trigger Part II

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Love O Fair
Posted 2018-04-21 1:47 PM (#543350 - in reply to #541987)
Subject: Re: Harry Chapin's 1977 1613-4...



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 788

Location: Spin axis of a California map
How about fabric types of various thickness and weave, poured over with a thin viscosity clear that sets stiff and rigid? Then braced accordingly (whatever that may be). It would take some experimenting to zero in.. but definitely possible. Ever heard of that for a guitar top? I can't say as I recall ever seeing that.. but if I could have one made from the back of my late brother's favorite tropical shirt, the ultimate sound would be secondary to the sentiment of the piece. Whatever.. when my wife gets home I'm sure she'll have me moving furniture or such.. but for now the fabric guitar is my Saturday morning coffee ponder. Happy weekend to all.

Edited by Love O Fair 2018-04-21 1:51 PM
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Love O Fair
Posted 2018-04-21 3:50 PM (#543351 - in reply to #541987)
Subject: Re: Harry Chapin's 1977 1613-4...



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 788

Location: Spin axis of a California map
Well, not only furniture moving, but she also got her ashes hauled (the fireplace kind). Anyway, while hauling, I thought more and decided that rolling the clear onto flat and tight fabric in layers would be better than pouring. More control over thickness and texture desire, and perhaps extra or less coats on the back than the front to make adjustments for overall thickness. Okay, back to Saturday.
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Jonmark Stone
Posted 2018-05-21 9:34 AM (#543726 - in reply to #541987)
Subject: Re: Harry Chapin's 1977 1613-4...


Joined:
May 2008
Posts: 1279

Location: Gnashville
I'm having withdrawals....
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moody, p.i.
Posted 2018-05-21 12:31 PM (#543727 - in reply to #543726)
Subject: Re: Harry Chapin's 1977 1613-4...


Joined:
March 2002
Posts: 15159

Location: SoCal
Jonmark Stone - 2018-05-21 7:34 AM

I'm having withdrawals....

Yup. It's painful....
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DanSavage
Posted 2018-05-21 12:44 PM (#543728 - in reply to #543727)
Subject: Re: Harry Chapin's 1977 1613-4...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1735

Location: Lake Forest, CA
Basically, the headstock I used wasn't thick enough to fix the broken ear.

As a result I've had to hunt down some mahogany that is somewhat close to the color and grain of the original.

Thankfully, I've been able to buy some that will be close. Now that I've got the wood I can get back to work on it.
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arumako
Posted 2018-05-22 9:02 AM (#543733 - in reply to #543728)
Subject: Re: Harry Chapin's 1977 1613-4...



Joined:
October 2012
Posts: 734

Location: Yokohama, Japan

DanSavage - 2018-05-21 2:44 AM

Now that I've got the wood I can get back to work on it.

Meanwhile, here's a video you've all probably seen already, but it features his 1613-4 quite prominently. Hope you don't mind my sharing this on your thread while we all wait with bated breath, Dan...

Link: https://youtu.be/_1TUgWGuKM8



Edited by arumako 2018-05-22 9:08 AM
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DanSavage
Posted 2018-05-22 12:38 PM (#543734 - in reply to #543733)
Subject: Re: Harry Chapin's 1977 1613-4...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1735

Location: Lake Forest, CA
arumako - 2018-05-22 7:02 AM

DanSavage - 2018-05-21 2:44 AM

Now that I've got the wood I can get back to work on it.

Meanwhile, here's a video you've all probably seen already, but it features his 1613-4 quite prominently. Hope you don't mind my sharing this on your thread while we all wait with bated breath, Dan...



Don't mind at all.
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