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Thread: Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

  1. #41
    Mojo's Minions KeeperOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Hey Pete, at first I was not sure whether I should post since I'm not that knowledgeable about all things luthier nor did I feel I had a question that wouldn't be asked by somebody else (and indeed most were both asked and answered already) but in the end I think I'll be a little selfish and ask about what I'm personally interested in

    So, as you might have gathered I am a Rock/Metal player at heart (albeit not a very proficient one...).
    Thing is if I were asked how my perfect guitar would be like I would spend an exhaustive amount of time describing the neck, a few minutes describing the wiring scheme but when the time would come to choose woods then there'd be a complete blank...
    I know some attributes of the famous woods that I like/dislike but I'm not really that sure that I'd be successful in choosing a right combo for what I have in mind.

    I like a fast attack (like with Ash/Maple) and the greatest definition/note separation possible, good sustain, a full but tight bottom and mids that never become overpowering but still cut through the mix with ease. I'm not especially fond of shrill highs but I always seem to reach for more treble rather than mids at the amp, resulting in a "hollow" EQ.

    Which woods would YOU choose for a trem HH guitar that would yield IYO the best results? (ANY woods)

    Also, while on the subject, I know your dislike for trems but I can't help it, a lot of my personal technique comes from use of the trem, either for flutter effects or diving before/after a bend. A trem however IMO must lie flush with the body and is only useful to me for dives - I don't need pull-ups when I can bend.
    On the other hand I always seem to like a Floyd Rose best, not so much for locking the strings (I HATE locking nuts with a passion because of what they do to the tone) but because of the added mass that improves sustain and lows as well as for the fine tuners (which even with a conventional nut I much prefer as they are much more precise that headstock tuners plus there's the added bonus of not fearing of a string binding at the nut during fine-tuning).

    What would be your trem of choice for a player such as I that you'd feel would have the best combination of stability, usability (see fine tuners) and tone?

    EDIT: Sorry for the long post but I couldn't find a quicker way to describe what I wanted...
    Last edited by KeeperOS; 09-01-2009 at 08:36 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue_Fingers_Jay View Post
    I prefer cheaper guitars, nothing is as cool as a cheap guitar that sounds awesome.
    Quote Originally Posted by That90'sGuy View Post
    Not all guitars are created equal, so make sure it sings and if it does, you'd be silly to pass it up.

  2. #42
    Ultimate Tone Member Peter Crossley's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Quote Originally Posted by pzaxtl View Post
    Hey Peter,

    This is outstanding, especially since you're staying up all night to do this (please stay away from the machinery tomorrow LOL.)

    1. Where/how did you begin to acquire the requisite knowledge to build your own unique designs? Books? Internet? Trial and error?

    2. How do you do your top carves? By hand? Machine? Mix of hand tools and machine?

    3. How greatly do templates and story sticks feature in your build process? Do you have a template for the entire guitar, or just the significant features? (body contour, pickup routes, bridge location, fret slots, etc.)

    4. Given the choice of being machine only or hand tool only, which of the two would you choose? Why?
    1. Yes books mainly, but also the net has some great things on lutherie.
    a killer book to get started with is "Make your own Electric Guitar" by Melvyn Hiscock. Melvyn is an English luthier and has really nailed a lot of stuff.
    And yes trial and error is the greatest teacher of all.

    2. I do my top carves by putting a pencil line where the peaks are, and then using wood rasps to roughly carve the shape, then bastard files, then 100 grit papers. Its all hand done.

    3,I have templates for the body shapes. these are used to first draw out the shape on the assembled body blank, this is then cut out on the band saw, to within around 2mm outside of the line. The template is then stuck onto the body blank with 3M double sided tape, and sent through a spindle cutter that has been adapted as a heavy duty table router.
    Now this machine is one evil sonofa***** and will eat any body parts recklessly placed in its path. It has also destroyed some nice maple tops.......
    but its quick, and providing a clear head is used its efficient. Deadly, but efficient.
    The pickup routs, neck pocket routs, tremolo routs, control cavity routs all have individual templates. I make all of my templates from 8mm thick Marine Ply.
    I split my top timbers with my bandsaw, these are then sanded through a conveyor drum sander, and bookmatched on a 6" jointer.

    4. even though my guitars are "hand built", there is obviously a component of machine work involved. This speeds up the process, and I suppose its ultimate expression is the CNC machine, which is what all the major manufacturers use as the primary tool, cuttiong not only bodies but necks also.
    Good question..
    I think I have the balance OK, although there are one or two more large machines I would like........

  3. #43
    Ultimate Tone Member Peter Crossley's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Quote Originally Posted by crusty philtrum View Post
    Hi Pete

    Are they Schaller roller bridges that you use?

    Are you in Melbourne?

    If so, want me to come round and make the coffee? (I just got up, at 1 a.m., hehe)
    yeah mate Schaller is the go............

    coffee is flowing like water as I write.....

    Cheers
    Pete

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    Mojo's Minions 75lespaul's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Hello Pete and thank you for donating your sleep time to us.

    A lot of guys are going to be sick of seeing this post but I guess one more time won't hurt, eh?

    I've got a 1975 Les Paul custom pancake and all the pickups I've tried (Super Distortion, Antiquity, Moe'Jo, Dragonfire Distortion, Brobucker) except for the Brobucker sound thin and bright in this guitar. When I put them in other guitars, they sound great. The Brobucker sounds very good but still not quite there. It has an ebony neck and one of the posts for the bridge just falls out due to an ill advised "repair" over twenty years ago. I'm going to plug up the hole and redrill it this week to get a tight fit, but is this guitar just a bad sounding guitar? I don't know what value the pots are because they don't seem to be marked, but it does have the serial number which shows the year. I've been given a lot a great things to try from forum members but right now I'm flat broke and can't really afford to take it in for repair or to keep buying pickups, pots, caps, stuff like that. I'd like to see what you think.

    Thank you sir,
    Mario
    My songs....enjoy! (hopefully )

    http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page...?bandID=652921
    or for older stuff too, but slower downloads
    http://www.acidplanet.com/artist.asp...=301569&T=7414

    Quote Originally Posted by DankStar View Post
    700 watts is ok for small clubs, but when you play with a loud drummer or at a medium-large sized venue, you really need 1,500-watts at least. no one should be left alive.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Iron Horse's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Thanks for the reply, I have to second that Melvyn Hiscock book, it's great.


    How do you draw the body templates and such ? On a PC CAD software?

  6. #46
    Ultimate Tone Member Peter Crossley's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Quote Originally Posted by scottish View Post
    There a couple of amateur luthiers on here. Some like myself, just build the bodies, do the finish work and buy the necks and others do the whole thing. You are obviously in a different category to most with the skill level of your work.

    If you had to impart one or two things on us to improve our skills, what would they be? Either strictly guitar related or wood working in general.
    Great question..

    where to start though..

    I think having an open mind, talking to craftsmen of all types, they are just regular guys that are passionate about what they do, as such they are more than happy to talk to you about how they get the results and the steps involved.

    Dream

    I dont want to come across all hippy here but, the more you dream about a subject the more you get to understand the subject.

    Passion

    Love what you do. Share what you do with anyone that asks for assitance.

    Do It

    the worse thing that can happen is you end up making a piece of crap.
    no one has suffered (except you), but the experience gained in making that piece of crap is invaluable, and the next one will be just that little bit less crappy...............

  7. #47
    Ultimate Tone Member Peter Crossley's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Quote Originally Posted by beandip View Post
    Are you strictly a builder, or do you repair as well?

    Do you offer your guitars through stores (possibly on cosignment?), or is everything built to order?

    You'd answered a question about SS fretwire and tone, but how do you like it's workability?

    What is your prefered method of crowinging frets? A fret file, or do you use the traditional 3 corner file and round?

    Do you build completely custom guitars as well (customer's body style, neck profile, nut width, etc)?

    You wouldn't happen to have any pictures of the first three builds, would you?

    What type of heel do you use to mount your necks?

    Do you use a negative neck pitch like the Les Paul, or is it more of a flat surface such as a Strat or Tele?

    You've mentioned breaking out and doing an archtop, have you given thought to a traditonal acoustic? I'm sure with the amount of tools you have, you'd only need a side bender, and possibly a good set of chisels.

    Thos Japanese pull cut saws are wonderful aren't they? I talk about them with my grandfather every chance I get (long, but funny story)

    Have you thought about expanding your opperation to allow other's to work with you as well? All building on the Crossley platform? Or possibly branching out to include other models?

    Are your instruments serialized? So that you can keep track of what guitar had what, who it went to and when?

    I don't care to know who the woman in your avatar is, but I would like to know where I might find a larger photo.
    I do repairs for friends, but mainly just build

    SS fretwire is a bit harder to shape, but not unmanageble, I press my frets in using a 1 ton arbour.

    I crown with a diamond fretfile, I have used the trad 3 corner, and I used to make my own files. but that was getting a little strange...
    I love the speed of the diamond files. I still use a tiny half round with dead sides for fret end rounding

    I like to get my customers idea's on neck profiles etc. this is important in the build process of customs.
    So far all my customers have gone with my body shapes. If that were to change then that would be OK, although I dont think I would be up for a copy of say a strat or LP

    mercifully no.. my mistakes have been eaten by the bandsaw.....

    yes the neck pitch is angled. depending on the bridge type it ranges from 1.75 degrees to 3.5 degrees

    "What type of heel do you use to mount your necks? "
    This one


    Thats a shaped tenon, Natural number angle so that its got the neck pitch and joint angle done in one cut.


    One day I hope to expand the business, but first I want to savour it a little before I am burdened with running a company....

    All the guitars are numbered and signed on the back of the headstock.

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    Ultimate Tone Member Peter Crossley's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Quote Originally Posted by BTMN View Post
    What a great idea Evan. THANKS!!!

    Thanks to you too Pete for the Q&A session.

    Recently I saw online an interview with Paul Hamer telling how his trip to Woodstock in 1969 eventually lead to his company Hamer Guitars. Was there an artist or musical event that made you pick up the guitar and eventually build them?
    In 1967 I was in bed with a transistor radio under my pillow...
    I used to like music, but it was more a soundtrack to my life rather than being a prerequisite for life.
    A song came on the radio call "The wind cries Mary" by a certain Mr J. Hendrix.
    That night music became a prerequisite for life and has been ever since. I was 12 years old.

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    Administrator Evan Skopp's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Still awake, Pete?

  10. #50
    Ultimate Tone Member Peter Crossley's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Quote Originally Posted by KeeperOS View Post
    Hey Pete, at first I was not sure whether I should post since I'm not that knowledgeable about all things luthier nor did I feel I had a question that wouldn't be asked by somebody else (and indeed most were both asked and answered already) but in the end I think I'll be a little selfish and ask about what I'm personally interested in

    So, as you might have gathered I am a Rock/Metal player at heart (albeit not a very proficient one...).
    Thing is if I were asked how my perfect guitar would be like I would spend an exhaustive amount of time describing the neck, a few minutes describing the wiring scheme but when the time would come to choose woods then there'd be a complete blank...
    I know some attributes of the famous woods that I like/dislike but I'm not really that sure that I'd be successful in choosing a right combo for what I have in mind.

    I like a fast attack (like with Ash/Maple) and the greatest definition/note separation possible, good sustain, a full but tight bottom and mids that never become overpowering but still cut through the mix with ease. I'm not especially fond of shrill highs but I always seem to reach for more treble rather than mids at the amp, resulting in a "hollow" EQ.

    Which woods would YOU choose for a trem HH guitar that would yield IYO the best results? (ANY woods)

    Also, while on the subject, I know your dislike for trems but I can't help it, a lot of my personal technique comes from use of the trem, either for flutter effects or diving before/after a bend. A trem however IMO must lie flush with the body and is only useful to me for dives - I don't need pull-ups when I can bend.
    On the other hand I always seem to like a Floyd Rose best, not so much for locking the strings (I HATE locking nuts with a passion because of what they do to the tone) but because of the added mass that improves sustain and lows as well as for the fine tuners (which even with a conventional nut I much prefer as they are much more precise that headstock tuners plus there's the added bonus of not fearing of a string binding at the nut during fine-tuning).

    What would be your trem of choice for a player such as I that you'd feel would have the best combination of stability, usability (see fine tuners) and tone?

    EDIT: Sorry for the long post but I couldn't find a quicker way to describe what I wanted...

    Probably the classic Mahogany capped with maple. I really believe that a blend of wood types adds more to the mix than a body made from just the one timber. I reckon it adds a bit of complexity or fullness to the tone.

    as far as the rose type trems go, I know a fellow luthier that swears by the licensed rose trems over the original ones. I dislike locking nuts, especially now that you can use locking tuners. Sperzel or Schaller are great for this.
    If you also team this up with a Trem nut, from graptech it would work OK.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker jimijames's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    How far into the neck do your tenons extend? I ask because it looks like they stop at the heel but what you said about neck angle leads me to believe they must be a bit longer...

    What kind of finish do you prefer on a guitar?

    Do you stick strictly to bone or have you used unconventional nut materials?

    I don't know if somebody already asked this, but what's your favorite tone wood and why?

    Are there any differences in making different scale length guitars? I.e. bridge placement, pickup placement, etc.

    Have you ever made a guitar with fanned frets?

    Why are your guitars so cool?

    Thanks again for doing the Q&A, its really informative.

  12. #52
    Ultimate Tone Member Peter Crossley's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Quote Originally Posted by 75lespaul View Post
    Hello Pete and thank you for donating your sleep time to us.

    A lot of guys are going to be sick of seeing this post but I guess one more time won't hurt, eh?

    I've got a 1975 Les Paul custom pancake and all the pickups I've tried (Super Distortion, Antiquity, Moe'Jo, Dragonfire Distortion, Brobucker) except for the Brobucker sound thin and bright in this guitar. When I put them in other guitars, they sound great. The Brobucker sounds very good but still not quite there. It has an ebony neck and one of the posts for the bridge just falls out due to an ill advised "repair" over twenty years ago. I'm going to plug up the hole and redrill it this week to get a tight fit, but is this guitar just a bad sounding guitar? I don't know what value the pots are because they don't seem to be marked, but it does have the serial number which shows the year. I've been given a lot a great things to try from forum members but right now I'm flat broke and can't really afford to take it in for repair or to keep buying pickups, pots, caps, stuff like that. I'd like to see what you think.

    Thank you sir,
    Mario
    Hi Mario,
    Its a bit hard to say without having the guitar in my hands, but it really sounds like electronics.
    I do a little trick with my electronics.
    The standard practice for humbucker pickups is to have 500k pots for the volume and tone.
    I use a 500k pot for the volume, a 250k pot for the tone, a .010microfarad cap on the tone pot and a 271 picofarad cap on the volume as a treble bleed.
    If you can borrow a multimeter or have one around its easy to check the resistances of your pots. If they are standard ones they would more than likely be 500k. the cap on the tone pot would be .047 microfarad.
    a quick trial is to wire up one of the pickups direct to the output jack
    See if the sound of the guitar improves by bypassing all the elctronics.

    I dont think the bridge post would make the guitar sound thin. It certainly wont help with sustain though.
    As you say the pickups sound OK in other guitars. I believe that the pickups are the greater part of the sound of a guitar, so locigally it would seem to be electronics.

  13. #53
    Ultimate Tone Member Peter Crossley's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Horse View Post
    Thanks for the reply, I have to second that Melvyn Hiscock book, it's great.


    How do you draw the body templates and such ? On a PC CAD software?
    No I use an old fashioned drafting tool called French curves.
    straight onto the template.

  14. #54
    Ultimate Tone Member Peter Crossley's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan Skopp View Post
    Still awake, Pete?

    yeah mate.....

    sortof

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    Mojo's Minions 75lespaul's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Thanks Peter! I never thought about wiring the pickup straight to the jack. Like you said, I think you are right about the electronics (as others have said) because the neck pickup (Antiquity) sounds fantastic. Time to annoy the wife with my fixin' and solderin' and cussin', hee hee.

    Mario
    My songs....enjoy! (hopefully )

    http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page...?bandID=652921
    or for older stuff too, but slower downloads
    http://www.acidplanet.com/artist.asp...=301569&T=7414

    Quote Originally Posted by DankStar View Post
    700 watts is ok for small clubs, but when you play with a loud drummer or at a medium-large sized venue, you really need 1,500-watts at least. no one should be left alive.

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    Mojo's Minions J Moose's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Which do you feel is more important to the overall tone of a guitar...

    Neck wood or body wood?

    And why?

    How about scale length and its impact on tone?

    Thanks!
    J. 'Moose' Kahrs
    mixer|producer|recordist
    mooseaudio.bandcamp.com

    Quote Originally Posted by the guy who invented fire View Post
    All you need to make a record is a mic, some tape and maybe some bad reverb...

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    Mojo's Minions KeeperOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Crossley View Post
    Probably the classic Mahogany capped with maple. I really believe that a blend of wood types adds more to the mix than a body made from just the one timber. I reckon it adds a bit of complexity or fullness to the tone.

    as far as the rose type trems go, I know a fellow luthier that swears by the licensed rose trems over the original ones. I dislike locking nuts, especially now that you can use locking tuners. Sperzel or Schaller are great for this.
    If you also team this up with a Trem nut, from graptech it would work OK.
    I figured as much, but what about Neck/Fretboard woods?
    (Right about now I'm hoping the answer isn't Mahogany/Ebony or Rosewood...)
    See the Mahogany/Maple combo has that EQ I like but alone it lacks certain frequencies that give that attack that say Ash has with a maple neck...

    As for trem, it doesn't necessarily have to be a Floyd (copy), I was hoping you had an alternative in mind...
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue_Fingers_Jay View Post
    I prefer cheaper guitars, nothing is as cool as a cheap guitar that sounds awesome.
    Quote Originally Posted by That90'sGuy View Post
    Not all guitars are created equal, so make sure it sings and if it does, you'd be silly to pass it up.

  18. #58
    Ultimate Tone Member Peter Crossley's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Quote Originally Posted by jimijames View Post
    How far into the neck do your tenons extend? I ask because it looks like they stop at the heel but what you said about neck angle leads me to believe they must be a bit longer...

    What kind of finish do you prefer on a guitar?

    Do you stick strictly to bone or have you used unconventional nut materials?

    I don't know if somebody already asked this, but what's your favorite tone wood and why?

    Are there any differences in making different scale length guitars? I.e. bridge placement, pickup placement, etc.

    Have you ever made a guitar with fanned frets?

    Why are your guitars so cool?

    Thanks again for doing the Q&A, its really informative.
    Because the tenon is angled, the tenon extends 55mm on the bass side and 30mm on the treble side the tenon is 45mm wide and 30mm deep

    all my guitars are sprayed in nitro, I love the way it feels, it also requires a little more skill to spray than poly, which keeps it interesting.

    Most of the nuts I use are the Graphtec trem nuts. I really like them, although I do bone nuts, I cut them myself from marrow bones that my dog leaves in the backyard, after being out in the sun for around 6 months they are perfectly "vintaged" and ready to cut into blanks,

    Tone wood, I just love the comination of mahogany and maple, its such a classic combo.

    Yes the scale length is one of the first things to get nailed down, second thing is the type of bridge.
    most of my guitars are 25" scale, although I have done 24 3/4, 25 1/2, 33 1/2 (Baritone) and 24" It all gives you a different space in which to mount the pickups. Also whether you are using 22 or 24 frets.

    No I've never made a fanned fret guitar. There is an awful lot of discussion about them both pro and con. I reckon I will wait for a couple of years and see what the upshot of the debate is.

    "Why are your guitars so cool?" Thanks!! I'm glad you think so.

  19. #59
    Ultimate Tone Member Peter Crossley's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Quote Originally Posted by J Moose View Post
    Which do you feel is more important to the overall tone of a guitar...

    Neck wood or body wood?

    And why?

    How about scale length and its impact on tone?

    Thanks!

    You know I actually reckon that the fretboard has more immediate impact on the tone of a guitar than either the body or the neck.
    Having just said that, I really like combining different timbers to get a balanced sound. I have found that the guitars I have made with 3 or more laminates in the neck sound a bit more balanced than single timber necks.
    Now to throw more confusion into the mix, the semi acoustic H series, with the rosewood tops are definately more jazzier sounding than the ones with the maple tops.

    Yes good point here on scale length.
    we all know how fenders sound "twangier" than Gibsons
    Fender 25 1/2"
    Gibson 24 3/4" also 24 7/8" 24 5/16" etc.....
    the longer the scale length, the sharper the tone. and also the more tension on the strings.
    One of the best sounds I reckon you can get from a Strat is when its tuned down 1/2 a pitch, in the same way Hendrix and SRV used to do it.
    It just relieves the tension on the strings a little and "feels" / sounds better.

    I use a 25" scale length as a standard, partially for the reasons outlined above.

  20. #60
    firstlessonologist guitfiddle's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    If you had to pick two guitars in the world that influenced you to build your own instruments, based on

    1. The one that you looked at and thought "I could do a better job than that"

    and

    2. The one you looked at and said "I Wish to be able to build that well one day."

    What were they?
    - Tom

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankly
    Some people make the wine. Some people drink the wine. And some people sniff the cork and wonder what might have been.
    The Eagle never lost so much time as when he submitted to learn of the Crow.

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