SteveL123 wrote: ↑
Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:32 am
You say tone character will not change by thinning the top. What is the explanation behind that? What has to change if I want deeper base and sweeter trebles. Anyway it should be a fun experiment. I paid $100 for this guitar in 1985 from a couple who bought it in Spain on vacation there the previous year. They didn't play and I was lucky to buy it from them. That's how I got into classical guitar (I played electric before that).
If I knew the correct explanation, I'd be José Ramirez V. Just I have scraped a few tops and that's what I have found. By thinning the top at the edges you may gain volume and if you are lucky, you won't lose sustain. Overall tone character, the ratio of frequencies, attack, decay, etc. won't change much. Still, your subjective judgement on the overall tone may improve, because you will hear all frequencies better, even the ones the ear is not so good at hearing.
If you really want to change tone character, you'd better buy another guitar! Tone character depends on lots of things, subtle interactions between the parts of the instrument. The biggest role, in my opinion, has the material itself. E.g. a rosewood back gives a different tone colour from what a cypress back can give. That's true to tops as well. The eventual tone colour depends on a big way on the interaction of these elements.
If you like experimenting, and if you are ready to even sacrifice your instrument, you can try to alter one, or more than one element in the sound production chain. Thus you may stumble upon a more pleasing tone than the present one.
These possible points of alteration are:
- Using different strings (make, hard/normal, etc.)
- Different tunings (some guitars sound bad at certain tunings)
- String tension (low/high)
- Saddle material, shape, etc.
- Top material (spruce/cedar)
- Possible impregnation of wood (see violin making)
- Water content of wood, especially the top
- Indeed, the top thickness and its cross section profile
- Top finish (shellac, lacquer)
- Bracing (type, material, thickness, etc.)
- Material of back and sides (even rosewood grade!)
- Quality of internal surface
- Body shape and size (air volume inside)
- Body finish (varnish, lacquer)
- Quality of external surface (gloss, matte)
- Sound hole(s) placing, size
- Use of nail/flesh for plucking
- Attack angle
- Indeed the whole plucking process
- Holding of the guitar, supporting points, etc.
- Place & distance of the listener.
- Auditorium size, shape, walls (acoustics)
- Subjective elements.
As you can see, lots of factors influence the final tone sensation, some less, some more. All of these deserve chapters in textbooks or even whole books to carefully examine. Top thickness is just one of them, and as it is, not so closely linked to tone colour. Some of these elements are not so easily changed, i.e. the back & side material. Some others can be easily altered, like the way you pluck the strings. When you want to change tone character you need to consider these things and how much work you are willing to do, and indeed, how much risk you are willing to take.