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Antonio Stradivari; Guitar Maker..!


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Over the last couple of years I have extensively studied Stradivari's guitars, guitar forms and templates and guitar making methods, to come to a more close reconstruction.


The large guitar was made after Cremona template MS. 750. The small guitar was made after the little form in Paris (E.901.6). The cases were based on the "Giustiniani" example.

These were the first guitars ever made after the Stradivari forms and templates, instead simply making a shortened version of the "Hill" or copy a guitar with later alterations (Rawlings).

An article about this investigation, along with a plan for the little guitar, was published in the summer edition of American Lutherie. A shortened excerpt of this article can be found here: https://thedutchluthier.wordpress.com/2015/08/30/antonio-stradivari-guitar-maker/

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Thanks for the article. I haven't thought much about Stradivari as a guitar maker, but to think that he would be at the same time the best violin maker and an erratic guitar maker does not make sense to me either. Which inch unit measurement did you end up using, and where did you apply it?


Oh, and how do they sound? :)

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The unit I used was the Braccio Da Fabbrica, as given by Pollens. It works great and can be found in all places on the guitars. The length of the headstock for example (161 mm = 4 BDF = 4 x 40.25mm) but also in the string length en side height. The holes in the paris forms, the soundhole in the small guitar (1 BDF), the width of the inlay channel, thickness of the plates).

The guitars are extremely light, (the large guitar weighs only 500 grams) and have no barring on the very thin back. This makes the back act as a resonator, and gives a sort of reverb effect (can be stopped by holding the instrument to your body). It gives two different sounds in one instrument. There are also no linings in the guitar, the back is only secured to the sides by paper. The top hangs to 1.65 mm of animal glue (the little blocks are only used to position the top, not to hold it in place). The guitars are extremely resonant.

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