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  #1  
Old 09-18-2023, 10:09 AM
LHawes LHawes is offline
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Default Build Techniques, Top Woods, Strings for More 'Sparkling' Highs

I've built about 15 guitars and they sound good but seem to be missing those 'sparkling' highs I hear on some guitars. I know 'sparkling' is a vague and subjective term but it's all I can come up with. Are there techniques, (bracing, top thickness etc.) top woods, bridge material or strings that might help brighten the highs?

Thanks

Last edited by LHawes; 09-18-2023 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 09-18-2023, 11:23 AM
Fathand Fathand is offline
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I have built 2 guitars with Englemann spruce tops. One size 0 Osage Orange and one size 00 on Padauk sides and back. I think I might describe them as sparkling. Bright, ringing, lots of overtones. Remind me of my banjo. Tops are around .10-.11" thick. Pretty conventional X braced, scalloped.

Other guitars I have built sound different than these with Sitka, Adirondack and Mahogany tops. I think the Englemann was the major factor.
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Old 09-18-2023, 07:55 PM
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Bruce Sexauer Bruce Sexauer is offline
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20/80 are brighter (by my definition) than PB. I higher saddle (off the top) is brighter than a lower saddle. Some believe that more skookum finger braces enhance treble. Of all pleasant woods I've used, Big Leaf maple has the most clarity.
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Old 09-19-2023, 01:58 PM
LHawes LHawes is offline
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Thanks Bruce, forgot about the Skookum finger braces.
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Old 09-19-2023, 08:05 PM
redir redir is offline
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IF it really does come down to strings and not how the top of the guitar was constructed then IMHO John Pearce 80/20 are the best in that regard.
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Old 09-20-2023, 07:03 AM
DickHutchings DickHutchings is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Sexauer View Post
20/80 are brighter (by my definition) than PB. I higher saddle (off the top) is brighter than a lower saddle. Some believe that more skookum finger braces enhance treble. Of all pleasant woods I've used, Big Leaf maple has the most clarity.
Skookum?? I must have missed that thread.

skookum
1 of 2
noun
skoo∑​kum ˈskŁkəm

And this.

Meaning strong or excellent, the word is a bit odd, but not so much as to never be uttered. On a Vancouver street you might be offered a compliment the likes of, “that's a skookum jacket.” An entry for "skookum" in a Chinook Wawa dictionary. The word, meaning strong or excellent, is a common adjective in B.C.
plural-s
: an evil spirit
skookum

2 of 2
adjective
"
1
: marked by strength or power
was a skookum eater most times, but he pushed his bowl away
—Arthur Mayse
2
: marked by excellent quality : FIRST-RATE
as handsome and healthy as skookum apples
—Time

Last edited by DickHutchings; 09-20-2023 at 07:09 AM.
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Old 09-20-2023, 07:13 AM
DickHutchings DickHutchings is offline
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One more thing. "20/80 are brighter (by my definition) than PB" 20/80 is definitely brighter than peanut butter.
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  #8  
Old 09-20-2023, 10:51 AM
darkwave darkwave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Sexauer View Post
20/80 are brighter (by my definition) than PB. I higher saddle (off the top) is brighter than a lower saddle. Some believe that more skookum finger braces enhance treble. Of all pleasant woods I've used, Big Leaf maple has the most clarity.
This quote is interesting to me. I definitely agree with the 20/80 quote (surprises me when others see it different). I was on a search for a dread-sized guitar that was more scooped and had more sparkle than my others. I ended up with a Larrivee C-09 with Rosewood back. The surprise was that the saddle was very tall, and this particular guitar probably pushes the sparkle to the extreme end of what I was looking for (strung up with PB).

I'm very happy with it, but interesting to hear that the saddle height might be a small factor in those results. I often hear about the neck set impacting tone, but rarely hear examples of how...

Thanks!
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