Double-tops

Talk about things that are not necessarily related to music or the guitar.
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Mike Steede
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Location: North Vancouver, B.C. Canada

Double-tops

Post by Mike Steede » Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:22 am

Opinions on double-tops? I heard that when they first came out, they were loud but didn't sound so good, but that's largely changed for the better.
2017 Steve Ganz 'New Moon'
2017 Yamaha NCX900FM

Wuuthrad
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Location: USA

Re: Double-tops

Post by Wuuthrad » Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:36 am

I don't know much about them, other than hearing Ana Vidovic play one. I do like the sound of her playing, and I'd like to know more. If anyone could share examples I'd be very pleased! I'm into the idea of more volume, and different woods, newer technologies.

:merci:

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Gorn
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Re: Double-tops

Post by Gorn » Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:56 am

I'm fond of new technologies, but I never managed to test a double-top as long as I was living in Munich. There's a comparison of differently priced "native wood" Hanika models (including a double top) on that page: https://www.hanika.de/de/news/newsbeitr ... andel.html
Not my favourite sound, but: Listen by yourselves.

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Adrian Allan
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Re: Double-tops

Post by Adrian Allan » Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:18 pm

The most sensible answer to this question is that it depends on a whole range of factors; some normally built guitars are louder than double tops, for example. I think it is almost impossible to generalise. I play a double top and am very happy with it, but it is not remarkably loud and has a very traditional sound. Other double tops almost approach the Smallman nasal sound, which is of course not double topped.
D'Ammassa Spruce/Spruce Double Top

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Michael Lazar
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Re: Double-tops

Post by Michael Lazar » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:18 pm

A lot depends upon your sensitivity to variances or deficiencies in the "quality" of sound. Some of the double topped guitars cause me to experience a sense of disorientation and/or mild nausea. I can experience this with some ultra thin topped lattice braced guitars as well.

Here is a link to an article by the well known luthier Sebastian Stenzel. I think he does a great job of addressing this question.

http://www.stenzel-guitars.de/media/pdf ... modern.pdf

celestemcc
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Re: Double-tops

Post by celestemcc » Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:10 pm

I've found that I can identify them if I hear one played live (and only live): huge sound but not a lot of depth or warmth. A matter of taste of course, but there's an indefinable something lacking. I didn't know the ones I'd heard were double-tops before hearing them, and only asked afterward. In fairness I may not have heard double-tops from many different luthiers. I did play one I liked very much, to my surprise: a Canadian luthier with a spruce/cedar double top.
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
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UKsteve
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Location: St Albans, UK

Re: Double-tops

Post by UKsteve » Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:48 pm

celestemcc wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:10 pm
huge sound but not a lot of depth or warmth.
David Russell's Dammann is probably the warmest guitar I have heard live, to the extent that the treble was really reticent in comparison.

These questions are always difficult to answer: The OP has to go and play a few and decide for him/herself.

Michael Lazar wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:18 pm
A lot depends upon your sensitivity to variances or deficiencies in the "quality" of sound. Some of the double topped guitars cause me to experience a sense of disorientation and/or mild nausea.
Yes, if I had listened to this sort of post, seen everywhere on Delcamp, I'd never have experienced the benefits of lattice construction. I have both traditional and "modern" guitars. Great examples of both are great. No nausea involved.

richtm
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Location: Hamburg, Germany

Re: Double-tops

Post by richtm » Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:33 pm

I would like to make a pleading for either way. There might be some just "loud" and cold sounding double top instruments out there.
And I guess in the past this was a Luthiers problem/task they had to overcome. I played several different double tops, they were all different.
There is the ususal nomex /honey comb based technik. There is the balsa core technic. The luthiers play with different combinations of wood, bracing, .... It depends to your taste, if a double top guitar suits you. I find no real contradiction between a Bernabe and Andreas Kirmse guitar.
The Bernabe is a traditional spanish guitar, loud, and maybe a little bit warmer. The Kirmse dt guitar to me is (even with cedar tops) warm to, maybe a little bit less, but has a much clearer tone and is well balanced between basses and trebels which was also a problem in the beginning of the dt guitars... :discussion:
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Ernest Köröskenyi 1977 Cedar top; Pauline Bernabe Especial 2007 Spruce top, Andreas Kirmse 2017 Cedar Double-top

Cincy2
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Re: Double-tops

Post by Cincy2 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 5:38 pm

I have had the pleasure of owning a few nomex/double top instruments. I will agree with some of the posters above. It's the luthier, not the construction technique. The guitar I owned that had the most volume with the sweetest tone and broadest palette was not a double top. It was a "ladder braced" solid soundboard instrument with doubled sides and a sound port by Joshia de Jonge. Go with the luthier you trust and don't tell her/him how to build it.

Cincy
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