Speaking of 11-string alto guitar

Discussion of all aspects of multi-string guitars, namely those with 7 or more strings.
soltirefa
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Speaking of 11-string alto guitar

Post by soltirefa » Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:46 pm

I had uploaded these two pieces before, but then deleted them because I thought I would record them again with better audio. These were recorded on my Zoom Q3HD in a room that gets lots of traffic noise. Played on an Asturias (Japanese maker). Solid top, laminated back and sides.

I was just reading the thread on Heike Russo 11-string. I have considered ordering one of his guitars, but don't really want to hassle with importing. Plus, the french polish issue dissuades me. I wonder how different it would sound from my Asturias.




Conall
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Re: Speaking of 11-string alto guitar

Post by Conall » Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:07 pm

Hi Soltirefa,

Those are attractive pieces played nicely.

I have no idea how an Asturias 11 string would compare to a Heikki Rousu. I can only say that the fundamental strength (loudness & resonance) of the 6 strings with other 5 strings damped of my Rousu is what you might expect: in between my factory made 8 string (Chinese Orfea brand) and my hand made George Lowden 6 string. But with the basses it's more resonant (obviously) & well balanced & plenty of volume & very nice tone.

The import issue might well be a hassle if you are outside the EU.

I guess the french polish finish would also be an issue for some. For me it was most important to find a maker who would make an 11 string to my specifications at a price I could afford that would sound excellent. The appearance of the polish is fine except in the light at a certain angle where the less well polished areas show up (around the bridge & under the fingerboard on the soundboard mainly). But give me a reasonably priced luthier made guitar that sounds brilliant but doesn't look perfect over a beautiful looking guitar that sounds poorer anyday. Heikki clearly knows how to make extended range guitars unlike another 6 string luthier I know of (who otherwise makes excellent guitars).

soltirefa
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Re: Speaking of 11-string alto guitar

Post by soltirefa » Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:02 pm

This guitar is made by a luthier not too far from me named Len Laviolette. I remember when he posted on the alto guitar forum asking for dimensions to make this guitar for his client. I believe this is the only 11-string alto guitar he has made. I think my Asturias sounds comparable, if not better. Hard to say from a video though.


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David Norton
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Re: Speaking of 11-string alto guitar

Post by David Norton » Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:35 am

Nice recording of that Milano piece, but I've always seen/heard that referenced as #31, not #11?
David Norton
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soltirefa
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Re: Speaking of 11-string alto guitar

Post by soltirefa » Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:41 am

Nice recording of that Milano piece, but I've always seen/heard that referenced as #31, not #11?
Getting a flare up of GAS?

:D

soltirefa
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Location: Southern California

Re: Speaking of 11-string alto guitar

Post by soltirefa » Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:15 am

The guitar on the right in this duo is a Heikki Rousu guitar. The one on the left is a Len Laviolette (San Diego).


Conall
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Re: Speaking of 11-string alto guitar

Post by Conall » Tue Feb 26, 2019 6:29 am

There's nothing for it - you'll either have to try another luthier built 11 string & compare it to your Alhambra or take a leap in the dark (or whatever the expression is) & order one.

But first ask yourself what's missing from your Alhambra? If it does what you want why change it? Is it well balanced, loud & resonant enough & a good overall tone, plays in tune with no serious defects & easy enough to play? If there are minor issues could a local luthier sort them for you?

soltirefa
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Location: Southern California

Re: Speaking of 11-string alto guitar

Post by soltirefa » Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:14 pm

compare it to your Alhambra
It's actually "Asturias." Different A-word. :D

Conall
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Re: Speaking of 11-string alto guitar

Post by Conall » Tue Feb 26, 2019 4:08 pm

soltirefa wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:14 pm
compare it to your Alhambra
It's actually "Asturias." Different A-word. :D
A yes, silly me!

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