request Brahms gtr specs, input from extended range players

Discussion of all aspects of multi-string guitars, namely those with 7 or more strings.
Intune
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Re: request Brahms gtr specs, input from extended range play

Post by Intune » Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:27 am

The luthier at the forefront of Brahms guitar building and innovation these days might be Martin Woodhouse in England, whose website link follows: http://www.mgwoodhouse.webspace.virginmedia.com/

Woodhouse has supplied Brahms guitars to members of the famed Brazilian Guitar Quartet, as well as to soloists around the world. I've exchanged emails with him and he doesn't mind sharing information and ideas gleaned from his years of experience building these instruments and the feedback he gets from players. His early Brahms guitars followed the original long-scale David Rubio specs, but they've since evolved into guitars with no more than a 650mm length on the longest string and 615mm on the shortest. If you have technical questions about Brahms guitars, send an email to Martin Woodhouse; I strongly suspect he'll take the time to answer them thoroughly. And if you're serious about commissioning one, I doubt you could find a better luthier to handle the assignment.
Intune
2010 Andres Marvi (cedar/Madagascar rosewood)

"...beware of all enterprises that require new clothes..." -- H.D. Thoreau

jack_cat
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Re: request Brahms gtr specs, input from extended range play

Post by jack_cat » Tue Apr 30, 2013 7:17 pm

Hi Blkw,
Your points are well taken, and not at all out of line. I am pushing against the realities of string and instrument design, for an imagined musical result. Did I mention my most outrageous concept? To wit: The imaginary 12-string. This exotic instrument (I do actually possess one) has 6, I repeat "6" real strings, tuned as usual, and an additional 6 imaginary strings (!!!), 3 basses tuned B, deep F#, deepest C#, and then three imaginary trebles tuned a' d'', g''... an imaginary extra pair of hands is also an asset.

:D

Anyway, I am really not intending to go spending X,000 thousands of Modern Monetary Units having something built that will not fly, but in this design / concept phase I am certainly pushing the conceptual boundaries to wherever I can and am truly grateful for all feedback based on actual experiment, successful or not. But your points about the limitations of a high A-440 string are indeed exactly at the heart of the issue. I found on your French thread the interesting fact that Galbraith uses Seaguar for his G, B and E strings, but nylon for the top one.

Yes, I have played requintos, and also the thing they call here a "tercerola" which is usually 63 cm, the word being a clear cognate for "terz". I also have a duet partner who, having smaller hands, is very happy these days with a 7 string that measures 58 cm. Yes, the A string is a little weak - it's a D'Addario nylon .024", I think, or maybe it's .022", in this moment I forget. But I love the sound, objectively speaking - and I also love my deep bass notes, and I want it ALL before I croak. I am nearly 60, and if I wait until I'm nearly 70, well, I may not have the vitality left to play the thing. And obviously I don't receive kindly advice to just stay home on the 6-string farm and don't try to go see "Paree".

It may be a while before I have the dough in hand anyway. It took a few years to put aside money for the seven strings. And I spent quite some time chewing on that concept.

thanks - Jack

jack_cat
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Re: request Brahms gtr specs, input from extended range play

Post by jack_cat » Tue Apr 30, 2013 7:18 pm

Intune wrote:The luthier at the forefront of Brahms guitar building and innovation these days might be Martin Woodhouse in England, whose website link follows: http://www.mgwoodhouse.webspace.virginmedia.com/
Thank you, Intune!
- jack

Blkw
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Re: request Brahms gtr specs, input from extended range play

Post by Blkw » Wed May 01, 2013 1:14 pm

Jack, when you'll get your instrument, all these byzantine discussions will turn off .

Simply for the 8-string so-called Brahms guitar really works … Even a pale copy like mine is everyday happiness, for the concept is effective and makes music . The problem of the sounding is finally quite accessory, even for the 1st, it only depends on what you want to do with it, and that would remain the core of my comment .

My own concern was to play the music I love, and it has never been written for guitar but for piano … Transcription is now my goal. In that oxymoric use, my model fits very well ... but so ugly :(
So that I didn't cogitate anymore, and ordered to a young French luthier something like this (He built it for me remembering the lute)

Image

... but with all the musical specs and fretboard from my Bartolex, as a copy-paste (and with darker woods - walnut, and cedar for the soundboard).
You can thus realise my trusting in old Rubio's pattern … And I've no more worry about it …

But I fully agree with Intune about Woodhouse, one more reason he's the cheapest so far ! And I would follow his specs ears and eyes wide shut . I just find him too strict and "classical" in his model design, and he'll never custom an instrument in my taste , that's why I won't order with him. Another (bad) argument is this one : he's collaborating with the top of 8-string professional players, and for these guys there are no more technical problems, so that all improvements they can find turn to a "greater" sound for stage … Hyper high action, hyper tense and so on. I would be stressed by such an instrument - as I just want have music for myself .

I hope all that helps to make your mind, I apologize being sometimes categorical with so short an experience (I couldn't help myself about short strings, that have been so deceptive for me).

Yours, Blkw
"Non Serviam"

jack_cat
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Re: request Brahms gtr specs, input from extended range play

Post by jack_cat » Wed May 01, 2013 9:23 pm

Blkw,

I found myself lying awake in the small hours comtemplating the possible virtues of the tuning ADGCFADG - i.e, G-lute tuning with 2 more quartal basses, as the Brahms guitar tuned down a whole step would necessarily be.
Maybe I need to "make a virtue of necessity" and surrender to the realities of the technology of nylon and carbon strings, and accept that a string somewhere in the range of 60 to 63 cm would have to be a G rather than an A.

(1) This instrument would have its bias two more steps toward the flats, so that instead of having its "easy" keys range from 0 to 4 sharps, C major to E Major, it would be smack in the center of the most-used 17th century keys, from 2 flats to 2 sharps, or Bb Major to D Major. For the creation of new repertory this could be a definite advantage.

(2) It would conform to the 16th century's preferred mapping of the gamut onto the fingerboard and be "in tune" with the writing of theorists like Galilei, and of course make the entire Vielle Ton lute repertory directly available.

(3) It might be quite an elegant sound. Maybe with cedar top for deeper and darker sound, and one or another rosewood.

ON THE OTHER HAND THERE ARE TWO MAJOR DISADVANTAGES: and on these, Blkw, I would appreciate your comments and point of view on:

Because, I am thinking of making a transition to this being my primary instrument - only a dream at this moment, but I would like to keep my different musical threads all on THE SAME instrument so that they will cross-fertilize each other, rather than changing instruments and changing mental modality at the same time. I have done this in the transition to 7 string which I did last year, and have played six string only a few hours since then.

(1) I have about 3 hours of memorized money-producing "legacy" repertory which is only one half of a duet act... currently on two seven strings. To port this repertory to the G lute tuning, the easy and obvious solution would be to use a capo on the 2nd fret, but that seems "quick and dirty" to me, and the more elegant solution would be to rearrange adapting all to the new tuning, which might require some period of months to accomplish, and furthermore would be missing all of the characteristic open string advantages of the tuning they were originally built for...

(2) I am very absolute pitch oriented, not that I claim perfect pitch, but I play at A=440 rather than Baroque Pitch = 415 or Cosmic Pitch = 432 just because from time to time I play with other musicians or even along with recordings for fun, and so having a different tuning standard is like driving on the wrong side of the road. Baroque Pitch could be negotiable but I haven´t had the opportunity to play with baroque purists any time lately. So, what I mean by this is that simply accepting that everything will be a whole step down is not really an acceptable solution for me. I associate moods and colors with different keys, as well.

(3) To change over to an entirely different tuning system requires re-wiring the brain for music-reading and harmonic improvisation. I am not saying that I can-t do this but just the fact that it would be a rather major overhaul of habits that I have had for over 40 years. In fact it is an interesting challenge, and perhaps well worth it for the purpose of getting to play in the sound=space that I am imagining, but how long might it take! I didn-t know how long the change to the seven string would take, and in fact I had it down in a month, but this change would be somewhat more extensive. Could take a month, or it could take two years. Any thoughts?

The remaining question I am looking at is, what are the reasonable limits of a fanned fret spread difference? On sevenstring.org I found some talk about a four-inch spread = about 10 cm, with some comments that that was extreme, "are you really going to do that?" etc. Woodhouse´s spread from 615 to 650 is only 4.5 cm. I get the feeling that this is the conservative end.

I am not interested in transcription, but I do often read keyboard music. I have read all the of inventions and sinfonia of JS Bach and have the grand goal of reading all of the well-tempered clavier, but that has been difficult even on the seven string where I have all the notes at least, from the low B to the high C.

Lance Litchfield

Re: request Brahms gtr specs, input from extended range play

Post by Lance Litchfield » Wed May 01, 2013 11:56 pm

Jack, I would have to assume the bigger the spread, the more likely fret spacing and intonation will be compromised, if only for the odd sideways stretch of the string. I would guess the current spread for fan fretted guitars is manageable, but it would have to be more troublesome with greater fret angles surely? If you were getting a guitar made up especially, why not make a mini Alto, less strings same stepping? You'd have a short scale to get to G easily, and could wind that up a little.

Blkw
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Re: request Brahms gtr specs, input from extended range play

Post by Blkw » Thu May 02, 2013 9:43 am

Dear Jack,

In your last post you pulled the discuss up to many ######### !!!
Formerly you did say :
"although I do dabble in classical music and ancient music theory as a serious hobby"
Here we are, in fact, both hands and feet inside it …

I would be very cautious while assuming a position in the great general problematic with pitches/moods/colors - vs. keys/modes/scales, because I've a dramatic limitation : I (quite always) play music alone, so that if I can understand the dilemma (you developped so explicit and conscious) , I've never been seriously confronted to these problems !

I realize now how much my hearing is totally pitchless and equal-temperament conditionned .
It's in the same time a terrible lack - when I meet other musicians I'm just like "a hen that finds a knife" with my guitar - and a solipsist paradise while passing from an instrument to another (e.g. I've no problem with transposing instruments, I tried bass-clarinet for a couple of years, and drove in flat jazz keys without being conscious !) Worse again : When confronted to Baroque music, I never felt the mood - color association with tonalities … I can't imagine anything about it . Perhaps because I drank JSB's WTC with the milk ? (and yet himself was so fond of D.Maj and B.min…) On the other hand, I'm highly sentient to modes, from Renaissance up to Messiaen, or Coltrane.

Sorry for this long personal digress, but you may thus understand my lacking of relevant answering to your actually crucial reflections …

Nethertheless I would propose (fully aware of the trickery) :
(1) For your stage duo repertoire, down with the pitch a tone for both of you. Rearranging is really weighty, and will lead to twisted solutions .
(2) When meeting occasionally others musicians, then the capo II isn't a shame …
(3) The same for all the theoretical approach and reading, so you readjust your instrument a major second above just to fit with your cursed absolute pitch addiction ...
- So that you'll be ready in your mind to cope with ADGCFADG if you are afraid that BEADGBEA doesn't sound , and then go back to sleep :D
(3') ... and what about dealing with just a semi-tone lower ? - as I'm doing now, that's the best ratio comfort-timbre with my guitar at this moment, and I don't mind about which weird keys (########.bbbbbbb) that would give .

Yours,
Yves .

PS - For the fan spread, I agree with Lance ; Fan fretting I really feel comfort, but more inclination of frets in first position would induce an awkward radial bent of the wrist that you have to pay by a major shoulder adduction, which is crampy .

-- (edit) I've just thought about an other approach that I never saw realized, that is the balance of the fan between nut and bridge :
if you fix the perpendicular fret at about VI - VII, then you can keep the comfort in first position, and thus increase the spread asymetrically, giving preference to a greater bridge angle, about 45°.
Lance, do you think it would be then playable, with exact pitches ?
"Non Serviam"

Lance Litchfield

Re: request Brahms gtr specs, input from extended range play

Post by Lance Litchfield » Thu May 02, 2013 11:39 pm

Blkw, I can't comment on comfort unfortunately as I have never tried one myself, and don't have an opinion here. Your idea may be feasible for Jack using low action and limited use of upper frets on the bass. From my perspective, as a luthier of standard parallel fretted guitars, I would need to think carefully about a few things...as mentioned playability and fret numbers up to and past the body/neck position, tuning for highly angled frets which I would find interesting to study, bridge angle which for me would involve some rethinking of top design, longer bridge meaning more mass etc. Fan fretting luthiers would have a better feel for pushing these limits than me I am sure.

jack_cat
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Re: request Brahms gtr specs, input from extended range play

Post by jack_cat » Thu May 02, 2013 11:52 pm

Lance & Yves, thanks to both for your recent replies.

Two new developments;
(1) I have been reading posts at sevenstring.org, and
(2) I have started drawing full scale mockups to see how they look.

There is one possibly questionable assumption that I have been working with: that the high a (or g) string should be fluorocarbon rather than nylon. I see that Galbraith uses nylon, and that hence there is a tone difference with the lower strings for which he uses fluorocarbon. The smallest diameter useful fluorocarbon string is .47mm; I have tried .405 (edit: it was .435, sorry), which is available but it is too thin to have good tone. Now, Mikfik posted above that he was able to tune a .47 savarez FC string to high A-440 at 63cm, but I have been unable to get this result with seaguar .47 FC. I got it up to an A at 56 cm and up to a G at 60cm, not far short of the breaking point. I will need to redo these experiments again soon. Anyway, these test results are why I have the high a length at 56. I am not so sure about the tone quality of a high a string anyway - this may be the biggest weak point in my whole scheme, and why Plan B is to default to G-lute tuning starting at 60 cm or so.

Yves asked, "Anyway, did you already find a guitar-maker ready to try such a short first string while assuring a musical result ?"
To which I reply, I have a luthier who is a proven adventurer who will probably go for it... but I agree that the high A is the weak point.

At sevenstring.org there are many electric players, (and a few steel-string acoustic players, and almost no nylon strings, other than one Bartolex commercial) who play fanned fret extended range instruments. In that electric guitar zone, there are no harp guitars, but there are fanned fret instruments up to ten strings, and many with eight strings. Most people there who have commented seem to agree that a 3" (7.6mm) fan spread is comfortable for "most players" with the perpendicular fret around the 7th to 9th fret. There are a few who advocate a 4" (10mm) fan spread - these are players who want the usual six strings plus a low B and an even lower F#, the length on the low F# being 28" (71 cm) and the high e shortened to 24" (61cm). It appears that the short end of this spread would also make possible a high a-440 with the "right" string. By contrast, Woodhouse is using only a 1-3/4" (3.5mm) fan spread, from 615 to 650, very conservative by comparison, and it appears that he has reduced it after experiments with larger fans (??). Now, how that which works for electric guitars may work when applied to classical guitars remains to be proven.

In general, the electric players at SSO say that it is "no problem" to adapt to playing on the fan fretting. They also say, generally, that intonation problems are actually reduced by the graduated scale, so that all string thicknesses are not forced into the same length and thereby reducing differences in the effects of stretch and inharmonicity (concepts which I do not entirely claim to understand, and throw around like word salad to show my erudition :) ). (With regard to this, I would propose as with my other guitars a wide bone on the saddle, 3mm or more to allow possible increases in setback for intonation adjustment.)

Not wanting to be accused of not thinking far enough outside the box, as a projection of a thought experiment I drew up a full-scale diagram of my most radical possible design (excluding the "virtual 12 string" as not realizable, of course) which is a 9 string (some players have electric fanned fret 9 strings at sso) with the high a-440 at 56cm and a low B and then a low F# at 71cm. This is a 6" (15 cm) fan spread, of which 2" (5 cm) is expressed at the nut end (because I set the parallel fret at the 7th fret, or 1/3 for _easy calculation_, and only for that reason.) With the strings near the nut spaced at 9 mm, the total fingerboard width is around 80mm (don't have the drawing with me, I'm at an I-net cafe) which I believe is too much for my index finger to get across at the fanned first fret, so the string spacing would have to be reduced to 8mm probably even if the rest of the design were workable. The extreme pitch range seems to me to be unlikely to work with an acoustic box; with electric guitars the signal is not acoustic so it's no issue. However, the 6" fan spread itself does not seem entirely unworkable... when the parallel fret is #7, the amount of spread expressed at the nut end is only 1/3 of the total, and the differences between my drawings do not appear that extreme. I have not yet cut them out and pasted them onto cardboard, which I will do soon so that I can hold them like a guitar and ... meditate. :)

The other completed drawing I have is for an 8-string high a-440 at 56cm and a low B at 66cm, a fan spread of 10 cm or 4 inches. As I said, some electric players say that this much spread works fine for them. The 1/3 of the spread expressed at the nut end is only 33mm, looks easy compared to the 6" spread!

These drawings take me some time. Anyway, I am getting some concrete ideas. Next up on the table will be the g-lute model, with the high g at 60 and the low A at 67, a 7cm spread or 2-3/4", of which about 2.3 cm would be at the nut end. Compared to the other possible designs this is starting to look like no problem at all!

Now, it is time for me to go and watch the sunset, to prove that I am not a computer addict!
over and out.
Jack
Last edited by jack_cat on Sat May 04, 2013 10:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Lance Litchfield

Re: request Brahms gtr specs, input from extended range play

Post by Lance Litchfield » Fri May 03, 2013 1:42 am

Please let us know if you ever do get the project under way, and what you discover. I am always happy to learn from others experiments - good luck!

Blkw
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Re: request Brahms gtr specs, input from extended range play

Post by Blkw » Fri May 03, 2013 7:55 am

Hey, Jack, you're going so fast …

Yesterday we were dabbling in almost metaphysic considerations, but today is hard science !

I didn't understand you were soon in phase II , with such information and experiment behind you . Sure I should have been less assertive … I do believe now that all your proposals are sternly argued until the (string) breakpoint.

So, logically, you favor the extreme paradigms : Fan to 10cm vs/ prudent "lute"way. Middle-range seems not to be your cup of tea … BTW, I'm gently joking about myself, as I am wallowing in compromises, leaning on a short experience delimited around my own musical pleasure, and summerizable by a poor "it works!".

Despite all, I can't follow you in all your premises, mainly in the "electric" panel of your searches, as extrapolation to acoustic seems to me most daring. Not so much because of physics, but more the musical way electric players use high pitch tones - nearer to violin in my perception, another planet . But I was really interested for they already worked upon the balance - you call spread expression - backing up the normal fret ; Lance seemed less enthusiastic about it …

But all that more and more interesting - and you seem to have an accomplice luthier to go ahead, fine … That was the only means to progress, I just bought and tried . So carry on and tell us about - we'll follow eagerly the 8str. saga !

Friendly yours, Yves.
"Non Serviam"

jack_cat
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Re: request Brahms gtr specs, input from extended range play

Post by jack_cat » Sat May 04, 2013 10:17 pm

So here are the drawings from the other day (sorry I didn't get them scaled the same, comparison is difficult), the X-treme 9 string with 6" (15cm) fan
9-string.png
and the less X-treme 8-string with 4" (10cm) fan.
8-string.png
A couple of guys over at sevenstring.org have thrown cold water on the six inch fan but one gave a thumbs up to the 4" fan, saying he meditated on templates for some while and then settled on a 4.5" (11.5cm) fan. But he is an electric player. However, as I said, there are lots of guys in that arena with 4" fans although not as many as with 3".

Anything less extreme, with say a 3" (7cm) fan ought to fly just fine, then, even though the classical Brahms guitar norm seems to be more like 3.5 to 4.5 cm (1.4 to 2").

But don't worry - I am compulsive enough to spend a few more months making drawings and templates and testing strings. I am going to rig up a mono-chord string tester with a sllding bridge on my workbench soon - my previous tests were with a beater guitar, and limited to the discrete lengths of the fret layout. After this thread peters out, you can probably expect a long silence... see, this is the trade off between the guy who has a great day job and therefore money to burn on new instruments but no time to play them well - I have time to play them until my poor old tendons are shredded but a new instrument takes time to save for. You all know this story, I'm sure.

In any case, Yves, you are right that in several ways electric players are in a different zone and it is dangerous to extrapolate. Good thing this is all more or less "thought experiments" so far. I really only want the upper range to about high c''' 2 octaves above middle C, which I can play now on my seven string at the 20th fret, but in my wanderings thru Bach keyboard music I spend an awful lot of time crawling around above the 12th fret. With the proposed high A instrument, I only need to the 15th fret, and anything above there is just extra, I wouldn't turn it down if I had a couple or four more frets, of course, but there really are diminishing returns with the tone quality above the 15th, hard to get vibrato and sustain. That's why they make the upper notes of pianos with no dampers.

Thanks again both Lance and Yves and I will keep you posted.

over and out for now -
Jack
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jack_cat
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Re: request Brahms gtr specs, input from extended range play

Post by jack_cat » Sat May 04, 2013 10:36 pm

Lance Litchfield wrote:Blkw, I can't comment on comfort unfortunately as I have never tried one myself, and don't have an opinion here. Your idea may be feasible for Jack using low action and limited use of upper frets on the bass. From my perspective, as a luthier of standard parallel fretted guitars, I would need to think carefully about a few things...as mentioned playability and fret numbers up to and past the body/neck position, tuning for highly angled frets which I would find interesting to study, bridge angle which for me would involve some rethinking of top design, longer bridge meaning more mass etc. Fan fretting luthiers would have a better feel for pushing these limits than me I am sure.
Yeah, a luthier speaks!
I do admit that I am freely wandering out into the fantasy zone and that the stern voice of reality will have to come into play at some point. There are a variety of subtle internal design problems here which I have no handle on at all, and obviously the placement of a huge bridge spread across the top at a 45% angle will really mess with traditional bracing designs, and who knows what else might come up... The tuning of the box itself, and then some essentially aesthetic details about the headstock and the way the fret pattern intersects the soundhole (as I said, 15 frets on a high A would be enough, the rest is gravy). The aesthetic details are well in the future, and I am incompetent to judge the details of how the internal design is to be done. I'll have to give my luthier an advance and let HIM lie awake at night for a year or so trying to figure it out...

I am emphatically moving toward lower action - I used to play really hard, am paying for it with various pains in the elbow etc. and am still in the process of learning to play softly. Did I mention I also really like the Pegheds tuners, look like violin pegs with a gear system inside. I have seen photos here of various extended range classicals with machine sets with one extra machine cut from another set and oh-so-carefully stuck alongside, so that from out in the audience you can't see the seam - but if I were sitting there playing the thing you can bet I would see the seam myself every time I pick up the guitar, and it would bug me. Pegheds are a very elegant solution for any guitar IMHO.

-Jack

Blkw
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Re: request Brahms gtr specs, input from extended range play

Post by Blkw » Sun May 05, 2013 10:25 am

Jack, two last things and I'll let you work, promised !

I'm highly interested with pegheds . I tried something like that on the guitar you can see on this thread . I don't know the exact name of maker, but I'm not really satisfied, for they often get jammed or at least are so hard to turn that changing the strings is a bore . So that it would be nice to give me the exact reference of these you employed and are satisfied with. (pics?)
When you'll realize your monostring tester, can you take the opportunity to evaluate these pegheds at the very high tensions required to A 440 1st and tell me then ? Thanks in advance …

The second point I found recently (but I'm often discovering "the moon at full daylight") is also a pianist's trick to enhance very high tones : that is to play along the octava bassa ! That may look a bit heavy as it enrolls a second finger, but in a well-planned melodic acme, I think the d'' and e" doubled with octava sounds more natural and fine than harmonics - that I always feel "artifacts" . So that I'll let my fingerboard spread out up to XXIV, waiting for the ideal string …

Friendly yours, Yves
"Non Serviam"

jack_cat
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Re: request Brahms gtr specs, input from extended range play

Post by jack_cat » Sun May 05, 2013 9:16 pm

Blkw wrote:I'm highly interested with pegheds. I tried something like that on the guitar you can see on this thread. I don't know the exact name of maker, but I'm not really satisfied, for they often get jammed or at least are so hard to turn that changing the strings is a bore . So that it would be nice to give me the exact reference of these you employed and are satisfied with. (pics?)
When you'll realize your monostring tester, can you take the opportunity to evaluate these pegheds at the very high tensions required to A 440 1st and tell me then ? Thanks in advance …
I got them from pegheds(dot)com NOT from pegheds(dot)net. We had to call the guy (I think his name is Chuck, I will PM you sometime with full details) on the phone. He is in the US of A and I am not, but we arranged to have seven sets shipped to us, four of which went to our luthier so that he could offer them to other clients. One important factoid: they come in left- and right-turn varieties. If you have them on backward they will jam or unscrew the mechanism from itself. I cannot tell you if there is a mark on them to tell left from right at the moment. High tension does not seem to be a problem.
Blkw wrote:The second point I found recently (but I'm often discovering "the moon at full daylight") is also a pianist's trick to enhance very high tones : that is to play along the octava bassa ! That may look a bit heavy as it enrolls a second finger, but in a well-planned melodic acme, I think the d'' and e" doubled with octava sounds more natural and fine than harmonics - that I always feel "artifacts" . So that I'll let my fingerboard spread out up to XXIV, waiting for the ideal string …

Friendly yours, Yves
You have a point about doubling the octave below on high notes. It's hard to get harmonics to carry well, and I have occasionally doubled the octave when I play notes that go up past the frets, like D on the virtual 22nd fret.
thanks - jack

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