A 'different' body shape

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
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Mollbarre
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A 'different' body shape

Post by Mollbarre » Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:09 pm

Just saw this the other day.

Giannini GNCRA SPC CEQ Craviola

Doesn't seem to have caught on, despite the little I was able to read on it. What were/are the advantages/disadvantages, if any?
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Matthew Masail
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Re: A 'different' body shape

Post by Matthew Masail » Thu Apr 04, 2019 4:02 pm

Putting asaid the fact that I think it's ugly and we are esthetically driven biengs, looks like s comfortable leg area, good access to upper frets, with potentially more active top area. The thing is it is only potentially as the extra mass of the area might not be compensated for by the extra radiating surface . Great for builders who like Asymetrh maybe lol, but I doubt it offers any improvement over a effective guitar . What maybe might be of interest is the box air volume maybe acting a little more like a lute ? I'm just a begginer so just thoughts to be taken with a grain of salt.

Alan Carruth
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Re: A 'different' body shape

Post by Alan Carruth » Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:30 pm

I've worked on a few of those. Sadly, the ones I've seen were not well made, so it's difficult to judge the potential of the design. One suspects they were trying to get more soundboard area without interfering with holding the guitar. It might work if well done.

In my studies of the acoustics of these exasperating boxes I've seen some evidence that the usual design, with a waist just above the center of the length and the sound hole a little above that, can have interesting acoustic results. Basically the combination of the waist and the hole location can facilitate some complex coupling between air and top resonant modes. This can produce an 'extra' peak in the spectrum right around A on the high E string where you would not expect one otherwise. This helps reinforce the notes up the neck on the high E. It's an example of how complexity is a key attribute of a good guitar. It also explains why the 'alternative' designs never seem to be more than passing fads. WE retain the traditional design in part because that's what sounds like a guitar.

madrilla
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Re: A 'different' body shape

Post by madrilla » Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:58 pm

Would this be an arched back? The raised area still seems to be flat.

Image

Alan Carruth
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Re: A 'different' body shape

Post by Alan Carruth » Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:16 pm

That is a carved arch, but not a very refined one, IMO.

I'll note that using a carved arch on the back may possibly be a useful way to get a less expensive and lighter weight wood to mimic the properties of something like Brazilian rosewood. Guitars with arched backs and flat tops are not common: it's a lot of work to carve an arch, and the back has less influence over the sound than the top, but it's done sometimes. Buscarino has been making them for some time.

Marshall Dixon
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Re: A 'different' body shape

Post by Marshall Dixon » Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:09 pm

Mollbarre wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:09 pm
Just saw this the other day.

Giannini GNCRA SPC CEQ Craviola

Doesn't seem to have caught on, despite the little I was able to read on it. What were/are the advantages/disadvantages, if any?
In case this did not come up in your searches here is the inventor of the instrument playing a Choros by Villa Lobos:


Marshall Dixon
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Re: A 'different' body shape

Post by Marshall Dixon » Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:26 pm

Matthew Masail wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 4:02 pm
What maybe might be of interest is the box air volume maybe acting a little more like a lute ?
Got this website from one of your previous posts and have perused it a bit. The bass side looks like half of that Russian guitar you posted then.

https://www.atlasofpluckedinstruments.com/index.htm

Apparently the idea was to sound more harpsichord-like as the name Cravo is Portuguese for harpsichord and viola is a ten string guitar.

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Mollbarre
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Re: A 'different' body shape

Post by Mollbarre » Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:07 pm

:D Thanks!
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robert e
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Re: A 'different' body shape

Post by robert e » Mon Apr 08, 2019 3:01 pm

Jimmy Page? "Stairway to Heaven"? That sounds to me like it did "catch on", to some extent. Maybe more so in Giannini's home country of Brazil? The company web site still lists several variants.

It looks unsuited for classical playing position, though. I think it sounds like a wonderful guitar in the Noguiera recording above, and nothing like a harpsichord. One could argue that Jimmy Page's 12-string version evoked that instrument, but to my ear no more so than standard 12-string guitars.

Aside from the body shape, the materials and dimensions seem to be strictly traditional, including rosewood. I assume the Brazilian RW ban affected the Craviola (and any Brazilian-made guitar), and in combination with its odd shape (limited appeal), the ban may have made the economics of export (e.g. having it made elsewhere) simply unworkable. (I'm curious now how Brazilian guitar-makers in general adapted to the convention.)

Some publicity from various retail sites:
A uniquely shaped Brazilian folk stringed instrument with the modern touch of Fishman electronics...

Designed in 1969 by Paulinho Nogueria, a famous Brazilian guitarist, this patented shape instrument took the world by storm with such as artists Jimmy Page, Jose Feliciano, 4 Non Blondes, Bill Withers, Jeff Linksy and many others playing this unique instrument live or in the studio. Its contoured shape fits perfectly when being played in a seated position, nestling comfortably on one's leg. A must-have instrument for everyone who wants to differentiate themselves from the pack.
... sounded a little like the Harpsichord (Cravo in Brazilian Portuguese) and a little like the 10-string Brazilian Viola; thus the Craviola name was born (Cravo + Viola = Craviola). Numerous musicians fell in love with the Craviola and helped to create its fame and identity across various musical styles. Among the most famous is Jimmy Page, guitarist and composer of the legendary classic rock group Led Zeppelin, who got to know the Craviola in the early 70's and recorded several hits with his 12-string model. The most widely known is the iconic "Stairway to Heaven", beloved by fans for its unique timbre that's often compared to instruments from Asia and the Middle East. Jimmy Page recorded other successes and made several live appearances at Led Zeppelin shows, further strengthening the Craviola's fame as "the instrument with in the shape of a drop". Other famous musicians known for playing the Craviola include Puerto Rican guitarist Jose Feliciano, as well as Luis Bonfa one of the fathers of the Bossa Nova.

Seter
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Re: A 'different' body shape

Post by Seter » Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:30 pm

Watch the music video for the song What's Up by 4 Non Blondes and you'll see the singer playing a 6 string steel string craviola. Giannini still makes a variety of different instruments with the craviola shape: http://www.gianniniguitars.com/grupo/craviolas/28/

Matthew Masail
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Re: A 'different' body shape

Post by Matthew Masail » Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:59 pm

Marshall Dixon wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:26 pm
Matthew Masail wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 4:02 pm
What maybe might be of interest is the box air volume maybe acting a little more like a lute ?
Got this website from one of your previous posts and have perused it a bit. The bass side looks like half of that Russian guitar you posted then.

https://www.atlasofpluckedinstruments.com/index.htm

Apparently the idea was to sound more harpsichord-like as the name Cravo is Portuguese for harpsichord and viola is a ten string guitar.
Seems to me they succeeded somewhat, both the guitar in the recording and that Russian guitar both have a little lute/harpsichord "air" about them. The body shape consideration have cought my interest, obviously it's been on my mind. I have yet to explored that site much, thanks for sharing!

MessyTendon
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Re: A 'different' body shape

Post by MessyTendon » Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:03 pm

The gianini craviola body style came in many iterations...i dont know which models alan saw or specifically what he means by poor build.

Flagship models had nice rosewwod but didnt sound too great. Perhaps overbuilt and mass produced, overcompensating for strength at the ecpense of tone. That has been my experience with the craviolas

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