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  #1  
Old 05-04-2022, 01:20 PM
RichardET RichardET is offline
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Default Japanese guitar heel design

Are most decent Japanese guitars using a Spanish heel design popular with many Spanish makers?
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  #2  
Old 05-04-2022, 09:44 PM
pentaprism pentaprism is offline
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I don't know the answer to your question, Richard.

But I think an old thread on rec.music.classical.guitar is interesting. Below are two posts by David Schramm in that thread regarding Spanish heel design:

-------------------------------------------
David Schramm
Jul 31, 1999, 12:00:00 AM
to
John Philip Dimick wrote:

> A
> properly made Spanish heel gives a quality of sound that cannot
> be produced any other way. If you want that sound, you need a
> Spanish heel.
>

This is not true and is all hype!!! Please do not spread rumors like
this. It only hurts the guitar makers. Please discribe a properly made
Spanish heel, if you can. Also let us know how and why it affects the
sound. You've fallen prey to the hype monster.

Dave Schramm
Schramm Guitars
-------------------------------------------

David Schramm
Jul 31, 1999, 12:00:00 AM
to

John Philip Dimick wrote:

[email protected] (GuitarsWeB) ranted:
>I'll put it a nice way. You are out to lunch!
>How in the hell do you think Fleta, he is a Spanish maker,
>attaches his necks?

What's the got to do with what I said? (You ARE speaking to me,

yes? You should make it clear.)

Obviously Paul IS talking to you and he did make it clear. Didn't you say " A properly made Spanish heel gives a quality of sound that cannot be produced any other way. If you want that sound, you need a Spanish heel." Fleta is a spanish maker who uses a dovetail joint NOT a Spanish heel, which btw(Spanish heel) is the weakest way to attach a neck to a guitar when done properly!

>Now, shall we talk about other top builders, who don't use a
>Spanish solid neck.

Go ahead, if you like. It has nothing to do with what I wrote,

however. (Gee, maybe he really ISN'T talking to me? I can't
tell.)


It has everything to do with what you said!!! There are many guitar makers, myself included, who do not use a Spanish heel and build guitars that sound exactly like those built with a Spanish heel/foot. Therefore your premise is false.


>Would you explain to us on the Newsgroup, in your own words or
>even some book you've read, what the Spanish solid neck does to
>help the sound, say, over a mortise and tenon method.

I might, if asked politely.

He just did! So, John, are you up to the challenge?

>Let me guess, It chops out the high and low ranges of the sound
>chamber and brings out the mid ranges in the instrument. Yes,
>the mid-ranges are where all subliminal thinking like this is
>found. I read that in a classical guitar construction book, so
>it must be correct. I mean, it was written in a book. Or was it
>on some dealers or salons website. Hell! That's even more
>reliable. I think that's what we in the guitar world call
>"hype." You know, car salesmen use it.
>Paul


Well said Paul. There is a lot of hype and "mystery" about the guitar which is a bunch of crap and is not true. Some dealers,salons, guitar collection books,and other literature are behind some of the reasons for many of these false ideas about the guitar. That is why some of their brochures are known as "the funny papers" among us guitar makers.

As for a list of non-Spanish heel using guitar makers here are a few: Paul Jacobson, R.E.Brune, Robert Ruck, Michael Thames, David Daily, Jose Oribe, John Gilbert, Ignacio Fleta, Greg Smallman, Jim Redgate, Dake Traphagen, Tom Humphrey, Greg Byers, Tim McCoy, Dave Schramm.....etc.

The Spanish heel is a simple basic "beginners" type joint to make. Why do you think they have been using it for so long? Surely not for acoustical reason. The more advanced joints such as the spline joint, tapered mortise and tennon, and dovetail joint require greater precision in their execution and take more time. They allow perfect controll of the neck angle.These joints are much more durable and stable. My neck joints are kept to a tolerance of .0005"-.002"! They(advanced joints) are also not prone to the inevitable neck/body seperation of the Spanish heel method, which is the first thing to look for in a used guitar.

Dave Schramm
Schramm Guitars
"The No Hype Guitarmaker"
-------------------------------------------
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  #3  
Old 05-05-2022, 07:52 AM
GuitarsWeB GuitarsWeB is offline
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No ...the Japanese makers do not use the Spanish Heel. Just because you see a heel block inside does not mean it's the SH design. Oribe is a good example of that. He has a heel inside but the neck is attached with a double mortise and spline... which is a very good way to attaching the neck. David Schramm is totally correct in his remarks. It's a lot of hype. AND, there's lot of it in the guitar world, even in articles and books. As a matter of fact; if the Spanish Heel is not done properly with exact fits, in time you end up with neck angle issues. I'm sure many of you have seen Spanish made instruments with that problem. Richard Brune wrote an article on Japanese guitar makers. I believe he mentioned that many attach the neck to the body with five dowel pins. There are many ways to join the neck to the body. As far as hype goes; back in the late 1960's, cedar soundboards were becoming very popular. It was written that cedar would go dead after five years. Later, it was changed to 10, then 20. Finally, that fable went by the road side.

Last edited by GuitarsWeB; 05-05-2022 at 10:28 AM.
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  #4  
Old 05-05-2022, 01:55 PM
Carey Carey is offline
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> No ...the Japanese makers do not use the Spanish Heel.."

I think that some do, and some don't. There was a recent issue of Orfeo
that I think showed a few Japanese makers, partly influenced by Romanillos, who use that method. Quite a few makers who use that design have adopted
Romanillos's method of using a wedge (or two) against the sides, in an enlarged slot. On the other hand, my '67 S. Nakade definitely has a dovetail joint.

> Just because you see a heel block inside does not mean it's the SH design.."

For sure.
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  #5  
Old 05-05-2022, 02:36 PM
GuitarsWeB GuitarsWeB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carey View Post
> No ...the Japanese makers do not use the Spanish Heel.."

I think that some do, and some don't. There was a recent issue of Orfeo
that I think showed a few Japanese makers, partly influenced by Romanillos, who use that method. Quite a few makers who use that design have adopted
Romanillos's method of using a wedge (or two) against the sides, in an enlarged slot. On the other hand, my '67 S. Nakade definitely has a dovetail joint.

> Just because you see a heel block inside does not mean it's the SH design.."

For sure.
You are correct. If one is going to use the Spanish method, Romanillos'wedges is the best way. It provides a much tighter fit. I've see David Schramm's You Tube videos where he uses both the Romanillos style, Double Mortise and Spline. Some of his older instruments used John Gilberts method.
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  #6  
Old 05-12-2022, 08:04 PM
RichardET RichardET is offline
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Default Heel design

Great info! Thanks very much.
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