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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:50 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

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Here are some photos of my finally completed Stahl...

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Thanks for looking...

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Last edited by Haans on Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:02 pm 
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First name: Doug
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Really nice Haans. Can you provide a few other specs as well?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:23 pm 
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Dark and lovely.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 7:00 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Thanks guys!
So, here is a 1928 original Stahl...

Image

Doug, Stahl was one of the many brand names made by Larson Bros. The box is roughly O size; box measures 13-1/2" at lower bout. Scale is 24.9". Top is red spruce and back 70 year old BRW, stuff you just don't see much anymore. Purfling strips are made for me by Gurian and are an old Larson ladder pattern. Center is green abalone.
Only deviation from Larson is this one has my modified ladder bracing because I prefer it to X bracing. It just has more clarity than X bracing. Back braces are laminated red spruce/wenge.

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Last edited by Haans on Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:32 pm 
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I'm in love! Staggeringly gorgeous!
Did you cut all that inlay by hand?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 5:20 pm 
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Koa
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Wow. That is truly stunning!


Unbelievable.

Would love to hear both of them sometime.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:03 pm 
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Looks utterly perfect to me. I can't imagine the time and devotion to perfection required to build such a thing.
Patrick


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:16 pm 
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Gorgeous as usual!

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:42 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Thanks folks!
Nick, just as the Larsons bought the inlays from Germany, I bought them. I just can't cut inlay anymore because of the dust. However, it is a trial to scribe around all (over 100) pieces and set them into the headstock and F/B. They are hand cut and not CNC'd.
Patrick, thanks so much and I know what you are saying (devotion is the key word), but it is far from a perfect instrument. Every builder's work that I have ever seen presents a particular "look". I try to present the look of Larsons, Oscar Schmidt Co. (Stella), Holzapfel and other builders of the period by using close to period materials, finishes, and attention to detail. The originals had "maker's marks" and mine do also. I have spent a lot of time researching old instruments that I build, and while I may make what I consider improvements or just add my own ideas internally, cosmetically, I try to make them pretty close to original. These days, there are only a handful of builders making these kinds of instruments.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:32 am 
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Quote:
However, it is a trial to scribe around all (over 100) pieces and set them into the headstock and F/B.
No doubt! I had a harder time scribing than cutting on my last last (first) inlay!

Inspirational work!


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:41 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Nick, keep working at it. It'll get easier, then you will get old and it will get harder again...
I certainly am glad that I replaced the top a few months back. Originally, I had used the Larson laminated X brace pattern, and half finished, I accidently stuck an X-acto #11 knife straight into the top. When I knew it was time to just replace the top, I switched and used my ladder pattern. Two days old, and this thing is STRONG.
Never get me to go back to X bracing...

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:42 pm 
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Thanks Haans, I think I've caught the inlay bug now! Not sure when I'll attempt anything like you've done here though! That's supreme.

I'd love to play it! I'll have to try ladder bracing one day.

Congrats again!

Quote:
then you will get old and it will get harder again
Need I say anything? :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:15 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Good one Nick, guess I stepped into that...think you know what I mean though (or you will find out).
Do try ladder bracing, my advice is to build a guitar very similar to an X braced one you keep and like. You can find the info easily enough to get the specs right. You may find (as I did) that the difference is astonishing.
I just yesterday removed a neck from a GC-6 BRW, and will replace the top with ladder instead of the usual Larson laminated X bracing. I liked the guitar a lot, but I think it will be even better after replacing the top.

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These users thanked the author Haans for the post: Nick Royle (Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:16 pm)
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 5:56 pm 
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Haans, that is such a stunner!!! Thanks for sharing! [clap]


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:37 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Thank You Beth!
I might add that I normally don't do elaborate F/B's like this one as I have always considered the F/B a "working surface". Re-fretting an instrument with this much garbage on the F/B could be a real nightmare as leveling the F/B could lead to replacing quite a few inlays and would be a continuing story as the instrument was fretted again and again.
Just had to build one for my own collection...

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:18 am 
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Walnut
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First name: Randy
Last Name: Maucher
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Wow!
Gotta love the Larson brothers.
Hans did they have a distinct sound from the martins of the day? And would you elaborate on your experience of the difference in sound and or stability of the ladder bracing. I'm some what versed in the different bracing schemes but unfamiliar with ladder bracing on the top. How does it avoid the dreaded hump at the bridge area and or twist at the neck?
I'd love to find another way myself but would hate to give a paying customer something that might go side ways down the road. But you have lots of experience and I really would love to check it out

Thanks randy


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:34 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Randy, they did have a distinct tone. Of course this is a gross generalization, but I think they were stronger sounding and not as muddy as Martins. They did use pretty extreme radius on their tops and backs, which probably made for a stiffer instrument. Some have suggested that they used thinner tops, but I think that has been pretty much disproven. I don't think they ever used ladder bracing, but I could be wrong.
I have been experimenting with ladder bracing for several years, and have also tried a combination of ladder and X bracing. That does work, but is not exactly what I was looking for. I continue to experiment and one thing I think helps is a full doubler under the rosette. I run it out all the way to the waist between the soundhole transverse braces. The other is simply a thicker top and the proper thickness bridge patch. Ladder bracing uses a much thicker top than X bracing.
As far as tonal differences between ladder and X, I feel that Martin style X bracing is too muddy for my taste, and ladder bracing is much louder and the clarity is much better. I feel it is more even across the strings and bass is not boomy. Probably not good for bluegrass, though...
Let's face it, in their time Stellas were supreme. Most all blues players and fingerpickers played Oscar Schmidt instruments. Why? They were loud, clear and were good for playing blues in juke joints. Well, they were relatively cheap too! Even Nick Lucas played Stellas before Gibson gave him a "Nick Lucas Special". This history is all "Corporate Political"...and continues today.
Enough of that though. If you want to build ladder braced guitars, you can find the info...even on this forum. I would build a couple for myself if I were starting out and keep them before making them for customers.

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Last edited by Haans on Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:20 am, edited 1 time in total.


These users thanked the author Haans for the post: U2luckydog (Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:50 pm)
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:45 pm 
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Walnut
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Thanks Hans
I'm piked... we're could I find out more the history you were talking about. And we're can I get reliable info on the ladder bracing without getting caught up in the politics. I find this fascinating and it resonates as the next step in my maturity concerning building. I'm confident there are plenty Martin style guitars and builders and my little contribution would not be missed. However, more defined tone is the pursuit. It would be priceless for me to learn the purpose and results of greater radius tops and backs, thickness, ladder bracing etc from a source accountable and experienced as I don't have another 30 years to contribute.
It's taken years for me to learn Martin and Gibson are not the last word but very shrewd at marketing. And most certainly we have not arrived at the end of 6 string sound possibilities.
Realy appreciate your unique contribution my friend wish I had a day with you.
Thanks again


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:11 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Randy, I added my website in my signature so you can email me. Contact me and I will send you a couple of links.
Always fighting for the less popular and the little guy, I have always been interested in "those other guys" like Larsons, Oscar Schmidt & Co (Stella), Galiano, Holzapfel, and others. There are a few books, the Hartman book on the Larson Bros, and Neil Harpe's excellent little book on Stellas and Oscar Schmidt instruments and history. Neither will give you much in the way of numbers, but will give you an idea of the history, styles and construction elements.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:27 am 
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Well, you've certainly set the bling bar very high Hans.
Superb work.
Not sure it's my style, it's too showy for me personally, but I am glad that people are still making this style of guitar.
Got to try ladder bracing.
Any pics/info on this style of bracing Haans?

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:41 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Sorry Colin, missed this one.
It's a bit too much for me too, especially the F/B. You really have to watch side dots until you get the feel for it. I don't usually make them this fancy, but decided to show a few Guitar "Royalists" on another site that guitars don't have to be "modern" to have bling.
That said, it is my favorite guitar, tonally, box size wise, playability (my hands are getting weaker), it's just a joy to play. It's breaking in very nicely I like the tone more and more. Should probably make one out of white oak soon.
Ladder bracing is the usual Stella 3 brace setup with a doubler between the UTB and LTB. Thick top is necessary on Ladders. The usual soundhole braces are also present and extend out to the bridge patch. Popsicle brace rounds it out.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:36 am 
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Simply awesome [:Y:]

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 6:56 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Thanks Bob.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 5:23 pm 
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Haans in the wood shop your a real badass :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:06 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Don't quite know how to answer that, but thanks!

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