Monday, December 3, 2007

Design Considerations- Repairable instruments

Dominate Archtop Design

Archops [guitars] are good designs. Some contemporary luthiers do build with repair in mind. The playing public is less concerned about this aspect the guitar. The market will continue to lower the cost of instruments and make them disposable. Discriminating players understand the dynamics of construction and tone.

Presented is a response to another blog site on the topic of “Dominate Archtop Designs”. In that session the author’s point of view is about popular designs concerning archtop guitars. The point of view is from that of sales history when Gibson dominated with particular designs. There the author purposes archtop designs like those of the L-5 and the later ES-175 are part of a term known as Dominate Design.

This presentation comments on actual design of the archtop to establish a point of view regarding design considerations such as physical properties, materials, and construction methods of guitars, mandolins and other stringed instruments. Personal preferences held and discussed could be adopted for the musical instrument genre. Think of the comments in terms of, use of materials and the ability to facilitate repairs and why buyers might think of these issues when selecting contemporary instruments.

The L-5 (or L-7, 10s. 12. etc), in fact, the archtop concept of design is a good one. It lasts and lasts due to its physical properties. Archtop instruments of 80 years plus are intact while flattop design has issues. When you look at its cousin the cello and other stringed instruments of arched construction then the instruments have creation dates much earlier.

Tensions and stresses are addressed in the design of archtop instruments which are reflected by their longevity. Contrast the flattop designs which on average have a life span of 50 years or so. This is a general statement I’ve heard in the community. There are the flattops of the 1500s, 1600s and onward (Guitarra and Vihuela) which are mostly museum pieces that are still present. Tensions were of lesser values due to use of gut strings which may be why examples still survive.

One must consider the attitude of construction differs from today. Today most if not all guitars are made for sale as a product. The product has a short lifespan so more can be sold. The idea of repair is not as highly regarded as in the past. While hide glue and other glues which allows tops, backs, and necks to be removed with minimal disruption to appearance and function were dominate in 1500- 1900’s, polyurethane glues and other methods to secure joints do not lend themselves to repairs easily in today’s high volume manufacturing world.

The same can be said for the contemporary finishes. Shellac (French polish) and nitrocellulose finishes can be reworked to make “just made” vibe. Urethane finishes are one-shot applications whose repair procedure is complete removal and refinish. Costs involved for such procedures usually make it cost effective to purchase another new instrument.

Luthiers of earlier periods, had less string tension on their instruments than instruments of today which may account for some destructive tendencies of contemporary flat top designs.

Archops are good designs. Some contemporary luthiers do build with repair in mind. The playing public is less concerned about this aspect the guitar. The market will continue to lower the cost of instruments and make them disposable. Discriminating players understand the dynamics of construction and tone. Pockets of the instrument buying market do understand this. They are likely to be found in the orchestral instruments, classical and flamenco guitar market segments. The jazz guitar / archtop community could benefit from this attitude.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Press Release 13104; Updated 101707

Falk Guitars
PO Box 7732
Amarillo,Texas 79114

Falk Guitars is pleased to continue sales of a budget minded line of acoustic string instruments. All string instruments found in orchestral and blue grass bands as well as traditional instruments of Hawaii are available at value points that exceed leading mass-merchant retailers.

The value line of guitars, fiddles, and ukeleles will augment Falk Guitars existing line of finely handcrafted custom archtop guitars, mandolins and mountain dulcimers. An instrument for every budget and temperament.

Sales are conducted via one on one phone and personal sales with Dave Falk, and as always on line from the Falk Guitar web site and eBay auction stores. Always look for out ads in Vintage Guitar Magazine.

Contact Falk Guitars for real savings on your musical needs.

Reasons To Select a Falk Guitar

Click Here to Falk Guitars

Falk Guitars
Dave Falk
PO Box 7732 816-678-FALK
Amarillo, Texas 79114 816-678-3255

Dear Guitar Enthusiast,

Thanks for asking about Falk Guitars. Your inquiry suggests that you are of discriminating taste when it comes to your music, and your equipment. Let me share with you the reasons you should embrace a Falk guitar, and why I know that you won’t regret it!

Falk Guitars as an investment. Hand-made guitars are made in extremely limited quantities, due to the nature of the process. The Luthier enjoys an intimate relationship with each instrument. As a result the product is appealing to those musicians who value craftsmanship, customization, and the unique sonic qualities available in hand-made guitars. Collectors are attracted to these instruments for similar reasons. Your Falk guitar will not only provide you with an instrument that will expand your musical potential, but will also increase in value to both yourself, and others who appreciate such precious works of art.

Commitment to quality materials. For the caliber of instrument I build, premium quality woods from the Old World caches are most desirable from the player and collector point of view. I use the best woods available for each instrument. I take great care to condition my wood inventories in my climate-controlled shop. This ensures a predictability of response, and lifetime of performance for my creations.

Always keeping the player in mind. Your Falk guitar will be built from the point of view of a player, for a player…you! I have played guitar for years and continue to study today, which not only feeds my passion for music, but also provides perspective for my creations. This remains a motivating factor for my work, and basis for any Falk instrument. My objective is to provide you with a highly playable guitar, delivering the optimal tonality, suited specifically to your taste.

An extension of you! Each made-to-order instrument I create contains certain appointments specified to me by the buyer. This allows you to incorporate a piece of yourself into this elegant work of art, and separates your instrument from the others. Adjustments not found by major manufacturers can be incorporated to the final instrument. Neck dimensions and scale length requirements vary from player to player, and should be determined by your comfort, playing style, and taste. Finish and ornamentation should be a reflection of who you are… so let’s collaborate on the options.

One of a kind. Many players desire a visual impact that will separate their instrument from all others. I offer several special appointments such as delux pickguards and tailpieces, which are specially crafted, and add value beyond my standard model.
Other options available include personalized inlay work. Whether it’s your name in mother-of-pearl on the neck, or adding a seventh string and specially made jig, I will make every effort to provide you with an instrument like no-other.

A new relationship. Trust is something you need to have in your guitar. I’ve always felt strongly that you should also have it in the manufacturer. My workmanship is guaranteed for the life of the instrument. I look forward to maintaining a relationship with each of my instruments, and will provide warranty work (minus shipping) as required. (Optional) I also would like to build on the relationship I have with my customers, by offering them access to my “upgrade” policy, of trading in your current Falk guitar toward an instrument of a higher grade, within the Falk guitar line. Ask me for details on this innovative approach, which can enable you to play a premium hand-crafted instrument today… and aspire to your ultimate dream guitar tomorrow!

Value & Information, David Falk

Guitars, Mandolins, & Dulicmers
Value & Information

Falk, David

Building guitars, mandolins and recently dulcimers. Starting in the heart of America, that jazz town, the fertile crescent of jazz- Kansas City, Missouri. Now located in the home of Texas Swing— Amarillo, Texas where hand building of instruments of fine quality thrives.

He has relocated in Amarillo, TX. Where he produces fine instruments. Dave states, “The climate is wonderful for instrument making and the people are warm and friendly. There is a musical gathering downtown at Scales Music shop where bluegrass legacy is practiced regularly.”

Trained as an artist in Maryville, Missouri with degrees in art and education. Training in art school has provided Dave with the sensibilities and esthetics necessary when producing refined instruments. He credits most of his instrumental influences to that of the Gibson/Lloyd Loar/via Jim Triggs line. Some seminar work with Bob Benedetto provided broad overview knowledge, while the initial catalyst stemmed from a conversation with Bill Hollenbeck at a local guitar show.

Archtops and mandolins vary in price points to satisfy your budget. Many custom appointments can be ordered to create an instrument just for you.
Dave also has every type stringed instrument available for every price point.
Contact Dave directly for the information and pricing of your new guitar.

Site for FG images in Picasa

Listed here is the site of Picasa where a few photo albums are posted. View Guitars, Manodlins, Dulcimers and Repair wokd.

Listing the site in Add Image didi not publish the Albums. Paste the address in your browser to view images.


Where are the graphics.
Look here for images of Archtop guitars, Mandolins and Dulicmers