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Thread: Hardwood tops

  1. #1
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Hardwood tops

    Have any of you tried to make a hardwood topped instrument?
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Hardwood tops

    I've never made one, but birch was widely used for inexpensive guitar tops. Harmony brand, for example.

  3. #3

  4. #4
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hardwood tops

    Interesting guys, thanks.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Hardwood tops

    Arik Kerman also used (before he retired - though his son is supposedly building in his style) a hardwood top paired with an internal 2mm thick spruce soundboard near the back of the instrument. The Labraid internal back is carved, I believe, and similarly thin, maybe 3mm or so.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Hardwood tops

    I make ukuleles, so most of them have had hardwood tops.

    If you're asking specifically about mandolins, I doubt there are many around with hardwood tops. Hardwoods tend to dampen out the higher frequencies, which helps to stop a uke being shrill. But one of the main points of a mandolin is that bright, treble voice.

    If you wanted a softer sounding mandolin with a hardwood top, then I think it would have to be a flat top or cylindrical. Carving an archtop would be challenging because the cellular structure of hardwood is quite different from softwoods - I suspect you'd have to make quite a few experimental tops before you got one which worked (if any of them did!) and didn't collapse.

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  8. #7
    I may be old but I'm ugly billhay4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hardwood tops

    Brian's instrument doesn't look like a hardwood top to me. If so, it's very clear grain hardwood.
    Bill
    IM(NS)HO

  9. #8

    Default Re: Hardwood tops

    The Grand Concert models have walnut or maple tops (at least so far... Who knows what he'll come up with next).

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  11. #9

    Default Re: Hardwood tops

    This is partial hardwood rather than all hardwood, rather visibly. I don't know that I can tell any difference in sound from it's sibling models that were all spruce.



    Thanks,

    Magnus

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