Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

F holes placement?!

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Bijoux, Dec 13, 2002.


  1. Bijoux

    Bijoux

    Aug 13, 2001
    Denver-CO-USA
    Does anybody know how a luthier comes up with the exact place to cut the F holes and the exact place for the notches? is there a science to that? how is the sound compromised by moving the bridge towards a shorter string lenght or longer? thanks.
     
  2. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    The inside f-hole notches indicate the "sweet spot" of the top. That is, the mid-line of the thickest area. Moving the bridge up or down can have a serious affect on the tone. Sometimes it sounds better. Sometimes worse. Just keep these adjustments small, or you can cause serious top deformation. The longitudinal f-hole position depends mainly on the design, and the width between has much to do with bass bar placement.
     
  3. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Here's a pic for fun.
    The distance from the bottom of the neck to the inside eff-nick is considered the stop. This, plus the neck length determines the mensur[string length]. It isn't an exact addition of the two but more a combined effect of the two measurements. How a luthier determines the initial placement of the effs is a step more complicated and is a combination of several considerations-the size of the top, the model's breadth. the length and angle of the eff and of course the luthier's own esthetic.
    As far as bridge movement-what Ahnold said!
     
  4. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    Nice pic, Jeff...I think I recognize those hands. Is that blood?
     
  5. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Actually, I just took a look at it myself and it's a horrible picture in terms of clarity. I don't know why. The digital camera is way beyond my ken. It's the same camera that took the lion head pics and they were quite clear. Mebbe someone savvy has a clue for me. ??
     
  6. mje

    mje

    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    You're closer than your camera can focus, and the lighting is too flat. A piece of unfinished pine/spruce/whatever doesn't have much detail.
     
  7. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Thanks for the response, emjay. Can you clarify what "flat" lighting is? and if you look at the thread "lions head" in "basses" I think that some of those pics are this close yet are a quantum level clearer. Is it possible that it is another factor-like mebbe I took the pic at the basic setting 10 in. away vs. 2' away and zooming in all the way?
     
  8. mje

    mje

    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    If you mean you took the Lion's head pics from 2' away and zooming, yes, that's why those pics are in better focus. Your camera can't focus closer than a couple of feet. Some digital camera have a "macro" mode for extreme close focusing but if they don't, that's the way to do it- with the zoom.

    Lighting: The head is sculpted and casts nice shadows that accentuate and define the shape. That expanse of flat, light colored wood , if even slightly out of focus, loses all definition. As your hand is about the same color, there's no contrast anywhere and all the detail sort of washes out.

    In a case like that it's good to use some narrow, direct lighting from one direction to cast shadows and create some range. Normally in shooting small objects you go for a large, indirect light source to cut reflections and show detail.

    (In a previous life I did some commercial photography)