Leyden Guitar by Martin Woodhouse

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
asmodeus
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Leyden Guitar by Martin Woodhouse

Post by asmodeus » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:21 am

Is anyone familiar with the Leyden (http://www.woodhouse-guitars.co.uk/classical-guitars/, bottom of page) classical guitar? Went looking for a video but didn't find one. I wonder how splitting the sound hole into two parts influences the sound?

Paul Micheletti
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Re: Leyden Guitar by Martin Woodhouse

Post by Paul Micheletti » Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:35 pm

I imagine it is like when people split their tongues. They talk funny afterwards. :lol:

More seriously, the main tonal change (if any) would not be due to the split soundholes. Guitars with sound ports have essentially a split soundhole, and it is not an issue. Any tonal changes would be due to the possibility of a larger active soundboard. Moving the soundhole allows the maker to move the lower transverse brace anywhere they choose. Who knows what this particular maker has chosen, but if it is moved towards the neck, then the lower bout active area is increased.

Another big consideration is the ease of working on such a guitar for repairs. I can fit my hand into a standard soundhole to fit a bridge caul for clamping, or to fix a crack with a cleat. But I would never be able to get inside a guitar like that for repairs without removing the back. For that reason alone I would never want to build in this style.

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Chris Sobel
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Re: Leyden Guitar by Martin Woodhouse

Post by Chris Sobel » Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:38 pm

The idea was tried at least in similar clothing by Simplicio and never did get a lot of traction. That's probably because it's no better or worse, just different.
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Pat Dodson
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Re: Leyden Guitar by Martin Woodhouse

Post by Pat Dodson » Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:41 pm

asmodeus wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:21 am
Is anyone familiar with the Leyden (http://www.woodhouse-guitars.co.uk/classical-guitars/, bottom of page) classical guitar? Went looking for a video but didn't find one. I wonder how splitting the sound hole into two parts influences the sound?
It is really charming. How could anyone not love this?
IMG_0753.JPG
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Guitar-ded
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Re: Leyden Guitar by Martin Woodhouse

Post by Guitar-ded » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:27 pm

Pat Dodson wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:41 pm

It is really charming. How could anyone not love this?
Sorry Pat, but to me the body makes it look like a slightly annoyed frog.
:desole:
Getting better bit by bit, day by day.

Paul Micheletti
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Re: Leyden Guitar by Martin Woodhouse

Post by Paul Micheletti » Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:10 am

Guitar-ded wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:27 pm
Pat Dodson wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:41 pm

It is really charming. How could anyone not love this?
Sorry Pat, but to me the body makes it look like a slightly annoyed frog.
:desole:
Once seen it cannot be unseen. Annoyed frog indeed!

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Re: Leyden Guitar by Martin Woodhouse

Post by Pat Dodson » Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:17 pm

I think that's a rather serene Mona Lisa smile.

Martin Woodhouse
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Re: Leyden Guitar by Martin Woodhouse

Post by Martin Woodhouse » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:24 pm

There aren't any videos with this model yet - I've only made two prototypes so far, and haven't had a chance to record anything with them. I am intending to record some videos with it soon though... hopefully sometime this year

The split soundhole isn't really an important aspect of the design - it was just the most effective way of getting the sound that I wanted out of this body shape/size. The point of the design is to solve the problem of high-fret playability by moving the neck/body joint to the 19th fret. It's mainly aimed at people who play modern repertoire with a lot of complicated stuff high up the fretboard.

Repairability is an issue with this design, as you really can't get your hand in through the soundhole, but I've partially solved that problem by making the back relatively easily removable - no back bindings, back braces feathered out and not fitted into the linings, and the back is glued on with hide glue, so it's about as difficult to repair as a violin.

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Chris Sobel
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Re: Leyden Guitar by Martin Woodhouse

Post by Chris Sobel » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:26 am

Martin Woodhouse wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:24 pm
There aren't any videos with this model yet - I've only made two prototypes so far, and haven't had a chance to record anything with them. I am intending to record some videos with it soon though... hopefully sometime this year

The split soundhole isn't really an important aspect of the design - it was just the most effective way of getting the sound that I wanted out of this body shape/size. The point of the design is to solve the problem of high-fret playability by moving the neck/body joint to the 19th fret. It's mainly aimed at people who play modern repertoire with a lot of complicated stuff high up the fretboard.

Repairability is an issue with this design, as you really can't get your hand in through the soundhole, but I've partially solved that problem by making the back relatively easily removable - no back bindings, back braces feathered out and not fitted into the linings, and the back is glued on with hide glue, so it's about as difficult to repair as a violin.
Martin,

Thanks for the clarification and information on the model. It sounds like it's well thought out and I would love to play one sometime.

Cheers,

Chris
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asmodeus
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Re: Leyden Guitar by Martin Woodhouse

Post by asmodeus » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:43 pm

Guitar-ded wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:27 pm
Sorry Pat, but to me the body makes it look like a slightly annoyed frog.
:desole:
Indeed. My partner saw it right away but I had to read this first. Now I cannot unsee it, thanks for that ;-)

asmodeus
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Re: Leyden Guitar by Martin Woodhouse

Post by asmodeus » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:47 pm

Martin Woodhouse wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:24 pm
There aren't any videos with this model yet - I've only made two prototypes so far, and haven't had a chance to record anything with them. I am intending to record some videos with it soon though... hopefully sometime this year

The split soundhole isn't really an important aspect of the design - it was just the most effective way of getting the sound that I wanted out of this body shape/size. The point of the design is to solve the problem of high-fret playability by moving the neck/body joint to the 19th fret. It's mainly aimed at people who play modern repertoire with a lot of complicated stuff high up the fretboard.

Repairability is an issue with this design, as you really can't get your hand in through the soundhole, but I've partially solved that problem by making the back relatively easily removable - no back bindings, back braces feathered out and not fitted into the linings, and the back is glued on with hide glue, so it's about as difficult to repair as a violin.
I love this forum, where the luthier himself responds :) I really like the idea of better playability in the high frets. Looking forward to the videos! How satisfied are you with the prototypes so far, and what are your plans for the next one?

Thanks, Achim

Martin Woodhouse
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Re: Leyden Guitar by Martin Woodhouse

Post by Martin Woodhouse » Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:11 am

asmodeus wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:47 pm
Martin Woodhouse wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:24 pm
There aren't any videos with this model yet - I've only made two prototypes so far, and haven't had a chance to record anything with them. I am intending to record some videos with it soon though... hopefully sometime this year

The split soundhole isn't really an important aspect of the design - it was just the most effective way of getting the sound that I wanted out of this body shape/size. The point of the design is to solve the problem of high-fret playability by moving the neck/body joint to the 19th fret. It's mainly aimed at people who play modern repertoire with a lot of complicated stuff high up the fretboard.

Repairability is an issue with this design, as you really can't get your hand in through the soundhole, but I've partially solved that problem by making the back relatively easily removable - no back bindings, back braces feathered out and not fitted into the linings, and the back is glued on with hide glue, so it's about as difficult to repair as a violin.
I love this forum, where the luthier himself responds :) I really like the idea of better playability in the high frets. Looking forward to the videos! How satisfied are you with the prototypes so far, and what are your plans for the next one?

Thanks, Achim
Sound-wise, I'm happy with the two prototypes - they basically sound like good 'normal' classical guitars (which is my aim with this design), and I don't think they would stand out as being obviously different in a blind listening test with a range of traditional guitars. A few guitarists have tried them, and the comments have all been positive. I'm finding that older players find it quite confusing not having the neck/body joint at the 12th fret, but younger players don't seem to have a problem with it. I guess that if you've only played a regular classical guitar for a long time, then it would take a while to get used to this design, but for someone who also plays / has played some electric guitar it's an easier transition. A couple of people are thinking about commissioning one, so I'll probably be building the next version soonish.

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