The “prototype” is the first concert classical guitar I built.
It features a mastergrade European 10 year old spruce top, a spanish cedar neck with ebony inlay and rosewood back and sides.
It was built following a slightly modified version of John Bogdanovich´s design.
I decided to change John´s design after having carefully studied Erwin Somogyi´s publication “The responsive guitar”. Erwin goes into much more detail regarding the “sound” production of the instrument, and some of his concepts and conclusions made so much sense that I decided to design them into my prototype from day one.
Below you can see the reference material I studied in great detail before deciding to start designing and building my first guitar. Not to mention that the internet is full of very useful resources as well.
At the end of this page you can discover some pictures of reference material I used.
Even though she turned out as an amazing guitar, I could have reduced the overall structure a little bit. For instance, the sides are laminated. and I could have thinned the rosewood of the sides a little bit more (to save some weight) The same goes for the back. The next indian rosewood model I’ll build early 2016 will profit from this.
But since it was my first attempt, I decided to remain on the safe side and to stick to John Bogdanovich’s thickness recommendations. What is funny is that I knew this while building it. Erwin Somogyi does not recommend for no reason that thickness is not the end-goal, but merely an initial target. What really counts is stiffness and flexibility of the wood (sometimes referred to as springback).
What this tells me however is that the margin of flexibility you have in designing the various components is not “that” narrow. The proof is my prototype. This being said, it sounds excellent with high tension strings. When I tried it with the Hannabach goldin medium tension strings, well, I felt that something might be missing.
This is a major difference compared to the blanko model for instance (my second buld). This one sounds really loud and “present” with high tension strings, and remains perfectly balanced with the medium tension goldin strings as well. It does lose some aggressiveness in overtones by reducing string tension. Here string tension really becomes a “tool” for the end-user to adjust the sound to his or her likings without compromising the overall “quality” of the instrument.
Personally I think that the prototype loses a little bit of this overall quality with medium tension strings. In other words, to develop its full potential it really requires the higher tension strings, thus she is probably a little bit overbuilt. Don’t get me wrong, compared for instance to my Manuel Rodriguez model A, they are ‘worlds apart’, and if the Hanika 60 ps that I wanted to buy befor my teacher let me play his Amira Keller would have been a little bit more like this prototype, then I probably would have never felt the need to build my own.
More on the incentive to start building my own can be found here: