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Old 02-12-2019, 02:21 PM
Arthur Blake Arthur Blake is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 924

Originally Posted by mcduffnw View Post
They did on the some of the higher line stuff during the Ren Ferguson era...I don't know about now


Luthier extraordinaire James Olson does not individually voice is tops per se' either. He had developed a set of specs for his SJ model that he uses, and he builds to those specs with very slight adjustments. There was a thread from last year where one of our members was interested in having Mr. Olson build a guitar for him, and asked if he would voice it to have a tone similar to an SJ that he...the AGF member...had heard and had really really liked. James told him that he does not individually voice his tops and whatever difference he heard in that guitar was due to the inherent natural differences in the wood that each guitar was made from.

Here is the quote from the members Custom Shop thread. He ultimately had T. Drew Heinonen make him a guitar, as Drew said he would voice it to the members wishes for tone based on what he had heard in that SJ:

I couldn't plunk down 20k+ for it, so I contacted Jim Olson to see if he would build an EIR and asked if he could get that sound again by any chance. The answers were no for now (only BRW was a for sure yes) and maybe. With the latter, he didn't do anything different voicing wise--his bracing was fairly standard and created the general Olson sound, and then he let each piece of wood be the difference.

The famed Martins of the 30's and 40's were not tap tuned, or specifically voiced in any manner...they were just built to spec...but...depending on which craftsman was doing top and bracing on a given run of guitars, and just with the hand work in general...there were individual differences created in the tone...guitar to guitar...but they were still very similar overall.

Tap tuning/voicing does not absolutely guarantee a better sounding guitar. It may improve the chances, but it is not a guarantee.

Be A Player...Not A Polisher
Very interesting comment about Olson bracing and tone. Thanks for posting.
Martin OM-18 Authentic 1933 VTS (2016)
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Old 02-12-2019, 02:45 PM
Manothemtns Manothemtns is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Austin/San Antonio Region, Central Texas
Posts: 132

Originally Posted by zmf View Post
Personally, I've enjoyed it from the historical perspective in terms of guitar making. Group A doesn't tone tap, and Group B taps, but a few individuals in Group A might take 10 seconds to tap just out of curiosity, if nothing else, while some in Group B tend to build to spec. Some sneak in a tap and spend an extra few minutes to take a little more off the bracing.

Regarding stepping on toes, forums are full of toes hanging out there waiting.
You've summarized the gist of things in the thread and done so with some always appreciated levity. Thanks for that.
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