Bouchet Style Guitars

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
630mm
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:32 pm

Bouchet Style Guitars

Post by 630mm » Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:17 am

Hi, I just purchased a Benito Huipe Bouchet style guitar and I'm wondering if the differences in this guitar from my other guitars can be attributed to the Bouchet influences and bracing.

Most notably:
Top seems very stiff
Bass has much less low frequency content
Trebles are pingy unless extra hard tensions are used and then sound somewhat nasal

However, the sustain and harmonics on this guitar are the best I've experienced. Is this how Bouchet guitars typically sound?
2017 Benito Huipe "Bouchet" Spruce 655mm
2015 Francisco Navarro Concert Cedar 630mm
1999 Esteve 1GR08 Cedar 655mm
1972 Yamaha GC-6D Ezo Spruce 662mm

Sprucetop
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Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:36 am
Location: Twin Cities, MN

Re: Bouchet Style Guitars

Post by Sprucetop » Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:16 am

Yes and great note separation, quick response and clarity. This type of guitar projects well because of its brightness. Personally, I wouldn't use high tension strings - I would use medium or low and let the guitar open up naturally. Is it a new guitar? If so give it time. As for the trebles sounding "pingy", no offense but check your nails. I was shocked when my Bouchet style guitar arrived as the sound was a little harsh when using longer nails. I now play with shorter nails and try to keep them nicely buffed. When my nails are perfect its the best sounding guitar I've owned.
"Music exists for the purpose of growing an admirable heart." Shinichi Suzuki

630mm
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:32 pm

Re: Bouchet Style Guitars

Post by 630mm » Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:30 pm

Thanks, yes it's new. The pingyness seems directly related to tension on this guitar. I started with EJ45s and moved up in tension until the pingy sound went away. If it opens up and I can move back down in tension, bonus! Which Bouchet style guitar do you play? I've often heard about note separation and clarity being good with this style. My separation and clarity at the moment seems worse due to the great sustain. I may need to rethink my damping entirely on this guitar. The first time I tried the opening harmonics in Capricho Arabe, wow!!
2017 Benito Huipe "Bouchet" Spruce 655mm
2015 Francisco Navarro Concert Cedar 630mm
1999 Esteve 1GR08 Cedar 655mm
1972 Yamaha GC-6D Ezo Spruce 662mm

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Chris Sobel
Luthier
Posts: 1002
Joined: Sat May 04, 2013 8:44 am
Location: Vancouver, WA

Re: Bouchet Style Guitars

Post by Chris Sobel » Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:52 pm

630mm wrote:
Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:17 am
Hi, I just purchased a Benito Huipe Bouchet style guitar and I'm wondering if the differences in this guitar from my other guitars can be attributed to the Bouchet influences and bracing.

Most notably:
Top seems very stiff
Bass has much less low frequency content
Trebles are pingy unless extra hard tensions are used and then sound somewhat nasal

However, the sustain and harmonics on this guitar are the best I've experienced. Is this how Bouchet guitars typically sound?
#1 and 2 usually accompany the build style... especially the bass being more focused and less "boomy" compared to a guitar without bridge bar. The timbre overall tends to be more "woody" than "crystalline" and I have noticed that your nails have to be in much better shape or the imperfections can really shine through. They usually take longer to break in although when they do they're hard to beat. A lot of this depends on the builder... some of the granada Bouchet's tend to be less woody than others but it depends.

Cheers,

Chris
CE Sobel Guitars

astro64
Posts: 559
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2016 7:43 pm
Location: American Southwest

Re: Bouchet Style Guitars

Post by astro64 » Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:40 pm

I am not sure what you mean with "pinginess", but if it is what I sense it to be, it can definitely be a nail problem. I have a guitar with hard wenge back and sides. It too has lots of sustain, requires lots of damping of basses and is among the more "difficult" to play instruments in terms of the sound quality on the first string. I can see why higher tension (i.e. thicker) strings help but ultimately it is also a matter of making the nail shape work well for that instrument. It will always let you know when your nails are not perfectly smooth or shaped well. The bonus is that when you get a good sound on that instrument, you'll be set for your other guitars too!

630mm
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:32 pm

Re: Bouchet Style Guitars

Post by 630mm » Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:06 pm

Thanks for the responses everyone. I'm glad to hear folks saying they believe that this type of guitar will break in. I'm very happy with the harmonics and the sustain already, and if the bass and treble warmth improve with use, this guitar will be great! I do obsess over my nails quite a bit, testing each by running my other nails over them to feel for any surface imperfections, going through 4 or 5 grits of sandpaper etc. I experimented a lot with this guitar, and driving the total tension and the tension of the g and b higher was the only way to improve/eliminate the pingy sound. To me, pingyness is a high pitch sometimes metallic twang or thunk accompanied by little volume, little sustain and next to no sound of the note fundamental. To me, very different from a wolf where you hear a loud burst of sound around the fundamental or a related harmonic and then a quick dissipation of the note.
2017 Benito Huipe "Bouchet" Spruce 655mm
2015 Francisco Navarro Concert Cedar 630mm
1999 Esteve 1GR08 Cedar 655mm
1972 Yamaha GC-6D Ezo Spruce 662mm

630mm
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:32 pm

Re: Bouchet Style Guitars

Post by 630mm » Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:18 pm

Chris, can you explain the "woody" sound? To me crystalline would be a pure sound, rich in higher harmonics.

Thanks,
Mark
2017 Benito Huipe "Bouchet" Spruce 655mm
2015 Francisco Navarro Concert Cedar 630mm
1999 Esteve 1GR08 Cedar 655mm
1972 Yamaha GC-6D Ezo Spruce 662mm

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Granary Guitars
Posts: 335
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 12:59 pm
Location: Carmarthenshire, West Wales

Re: Bouchet Style Guitars

Post by Granary Guitars » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:04 pm

630mm wrote:
Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:17 am
Hi, I just purchased a Benito Huipe Bouchet style guitar and I'm wondering if the differences in this guitar from my other guitars can be attributed to the Bouchet influences and bracing.

Most notably:
Top seems very stiff
Bass has much less low frequency content
Trebles are pingy unless extra hard tensions are used and then sound somewhat nasal

However, the sustain and harmonics on this guitar are the best I've experienced. Is this how Bouchet guitars typically sound?
My Bouchet 'style' guitar was made by Robert Bouchet in 1949. Great volume and sustain and very even across the range . It has few faults and is a pleasure to play with rich deep bases and clear trebles. I find the action a bit too high but others are fine with it. The only real problem is that the machine heads, which are original, work backwards. These, I was told, were made to Bouchet's design and were his choice.
One of the best things about it are the letters between Bouchet and the original buyer - a guitar playing GI who had served in Europe in WW2, became a teacher back in the USA and returned to tour Europe on a Sabbatical during which he commissioned the guitar from Robert Bouchet. The letters from the original buyer to his wife in the USA telling of his excitement at this (and presumably softening her up for the expense) are lovely, as are the letters between Bouchet and the buyer.(Bouchet's English is excellent!) This particular guitar was played by Segovia who, we are told, liked it.

If you can wait 70 years, I'm pretty sure your guitar will sound just as good!
Alun

By the way the guitar is strung with D'Addario EJ45s - normal tension - as are all my guitars. They work just fine.

MartenFalk
Posts: 153
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2015 2:04 pm

Re: Bouchet Style Guitars

Post by MartenFalk » Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:32 pm

Alun: Bouchet was definitely a great genius and the guitars he made in the 40s are already great (or so I'm told - and I know that your guitar is a great instrument). But, those are not "Bouchet-style" guitars. At that time he built inspired by Torres and the extra bar across the other bars was introduced in the 50s. Generally, now, "Bouchet-style" is used to describe guitars that have this extra bar (for example Marin Montero and some others) and generally these guitars have less low (bass) frequencies but very long sustain (and great beauty and clarity in the trebles if made by a luthier such as Bouchet and Marin).

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