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Drawings, plans, ideas for acoustic 5-string

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Damon Rondeau, Nov 24, 2002.


  1. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    Anyone have any tips, links, favorite sources, etc. for tech info on acoustic bass guitars? I'm thinking about making a 5-string fretless "one day", and would like to learn more about building for acoustic volume, how bracing ideas might differ from guitars, etc.
     
  2. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    The Guild of American Luthiers ( http://www.luth.org ) has many sets of plans available on their website, including an acoustic bass guitar designed by Tim Olsen. It's #13 on the plans page, and looks something like this:

    [​IMG]

    There are also lots of discussions about acoustic guitar and bass building over in the Musical Instrument Maker's Forum ( http://www.mimf.org ). It's worth having a look over there.

    Good luck!

    Mike

    Mike
     
  3. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    Thx for the links, Mike. I'd been to the Guild before, but overlooked that one somehow. It's a beauty, isn't it?

    Anyone ever try archtops for acoustic bass guitar? Any louder?
     
  4. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    I've never tried one, except for the cheap Samick ABG. Harvey Leach says that the archtop is better for purely acoustic playing --he builds both a flattop and and archtop bass:
    http://www.leachguitars.com/bass.htm

    And Richard(?) Moll, who hangs out over at MIMF, has built this stunning archtop bass:

    [​IMG]

    Mike
     
  5. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    Hey, once again, thanks for the links Mike. Just the type of thing I was looking for. Those archtops are real pretty.

    I was wondering about ABG archtops because of the acoustic volume problem with these instruments. I've only ever played one that I would consider loud enough ("loud enough" might also mean "not too flabby", or "having some balls in the lower register") to hold its own in a rowdy acoustic jam. That "loud enough" ABG was an Ovation, of all things. I don't like their looks, and I don't much care for the guitar sound anymore either (not since about '77), but the roundback thing really seems to work for making the ABG louder. (And to think I could have had it for $600 Canadian....)

    Once they're plugged in, they all sound like EB's to me.
     
  6. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Check out Tacoma basses.

    Their main features that give them their incredible acoustic volume are their bracing and size.

    The main thing with their bracing is that since the sound hole is off to the side, they can be braced differently so that the top is more free to vibrate. Their large size makes the body chamber tunned to a lower frequency alot like a speaker cabinet.

    Taylor basses feature similar ideas and are also known for being great.

    Peace
    Nick