Re: Longer Scale Axes: Flat Top vs. Induced Arch vs. Carved Arch
I have one of Brian's "wee-bit" OM's. My understanding is that it is carved-- that the arch is closer in degree to what is accomplished by an induced arch, but that the wood is not a flat piece as in an induced arch, but carved with some of the same concepts as a fully carved top-- slightly thicker in the middle and with a thinner area paralleling the rim. It does not have a recurve on the outside. So from the outside it looks much the same as an instrument with an induced arch top. Incidentally, the back is flat... with no discernable arch at all.
Perhaps Brian will chime in re: his hybrid concept. I remember he had ideas about why he suggested this combo... but wouldn't want to misrepresent his thoughts based on my poor memory. FWIW, this particular OM is spruce over curly cherry, oval hole, with a 20.5" scale. I'd say that it has very good projection, responding well to a lighter touch as well as heavy handed driving and that tonally it tends to accentuate the low midrange and bass ends... it's not as "sparkly" or "jangly" as some I've played, but has a rounded, refined tone. Brian described is as "creamy". I played another of Brian's that was "flat" (slight induced arch) back and front and it had a bit more power, but a less refined tone. (it also was walnut and longer scale).
I fully agree with Graham re: lack of standardization in the OM/zouk world making it hard to characterize how the differences manifest tonally. There are so many variables, it's hard to know what is responsible for what.
Otter OM #1
Brian Dean OM #32
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Phoenix Neoclassical #256
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