Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Tone bar placement on an A style

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Howell, NJ
    Posts
    212

    Default Tone bar placement on an A style

    I am building an A5 style using the GAL snakehead plans and Adrians A5 plans. I am looking at how to locate the tone bars for th A top. The F5 plans show the bass and treble bars located differently, but the top is obviously shaped different. What is the best way to determine the bar placements?
    Thanks a lot
    Bob Schmidt

  2. #2
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Saint Augustine Beach FL
    Posts
    5,454

    Default Re: Tone bar placement on an A style

    Adrians A-5 plans don't show the tone bar placement?

    Stew Mac has A-5 plans by Don MacRostie that show the tonebar placement.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  3. The following members say thank you to Charles E. for this post:


  4. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Howell, NJ
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: Tone bar placement on an A style

    Yes Adrians plans show the placement. They are asymetrical with the bass bar at a steeper angle from the centerline, and farther away at the bridge. I also have stewmac's plans and the asymetry is there but to a lesser degree which is causing me to question which is better.
    Thanks a lot
    Bob Schmidt

  5. #4
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Saint Augustine Beach FL
    Posts
    5,454

    Default Re: Tone bar placement on an A style

    You will probably be fine with either placement. I understand that when Collings first started making mandolins they had the bracing pattern reversed on their A models and a bunch went out the door before the error was noticed. Apparently they sounded good enough that no one could tell.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  6. The following members say thank you to Charles E. for this post:


  7. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Howell, NJ
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: Tone bar placement on an A style

    OK thanks, the information is sufficient on both plans, so either can be followed.
    Thanks a lot
    Bob Schmidt

  8. #6
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    15,199

    Default Re: Tone bar placement on an A style

    Quote Originally Posted by irishmando View Post
    OK thanks, the information is sufficient on both plans, so either can be followed.
    ...or not. Brace ("tone bar") placement is not critical. Anywhere in the ballpark will be fine.

  9. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to sunburst For This Useful Post:


  10. #7
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    2,315

    Default Re: Tone bar placement on an A style

    GAL snakehead plans...

    Drop the tonebars in the same spot as on Adrian's plan, use the F5 neck + plate specs, & you'll essentially have the Griffith L. Loar signed A5.

  11. The following members say thank you to j. condino for this post:


  12. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Howell, NJ
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: Tone bar placement on an A style

    Thanks everyone, I will take Johns advice and use the F5 placement.
    John, we discussed this in another thread, and it seems using the F5 neck with its 15th fret marker pulls the bridge quite a bit forward of the center of the dome on the A body. I could still do that, but I have been planning on splitting the difference on bridge placement and bringing the 15th fret marker up further. I will go back and re-read the threads where that was discussed. I have carved the top and back using Adrians plate specs, but have not set the F holes yet so my options are still open.
    Thanks a lot
    Bob Schmidt

  13. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Howell, NJ
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: Tone bar placement on an A style

    It has just been pointed out to me that I attributed A5 plans to Adrian when in fact His plans are for an F5. Sorry for the confusion. I may be confused, but I don't mean to pass that on to others. I have learned to live in that state of mind.
    Thanks a lot
    Bob Schmidt

  14. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    springfield,ohio
    Posts
    639

    Default Re: Tone bar placement on an A style

    I've been building A styles for only about 5 or 6 years and have been making F styles for almost 20.. My A style braces are pretty much the same as the F's .. I think that the braces are more to support the top then to add any change of sound.. I also thickness both in about the same manner.. Have noticed with A5's that there is change where the bridge is located with the F holes.. I need to pay attention more to the length of the neck and the angle of the peg head.. People still think the bridge has to be right in the center of the F hole, with no regard to the scale length... The bridge can move around a bit with not much harm to sound,
    kterry

  15. The following members say thank you to buckhorn for this post:


  16. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Howell, NJ
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: Tone bar placement on an A style

    For placing the F holes I want to align them to where I expect the bridge to be, but of coarse the bridge has to be set correctly for intonation regardless of the F hole location. I actually like the alternative shaping of the holes that some builders are using, but that is something to explore when I get more experience.
    Thanks a lot
    Bob Schmidt

  17. #12
    Adrian Minarovic
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Banska Bystrica, Slovakia, Europe
    Posts
    3,015

    Default Re: Tone bar placement on an A style

    The position of f holes and bridge is given by design and not result of random woodwork. Generally the bridge should be on the highest spot of top. f holes llok best when positioned so the bridge is between the notches. The shape of A and the neck length, especially on the original Griffith makes for some weird design choices. The bridge is so far forward that you cannot simply nudge the top arch that far without adding some funkiness to the region under tailpiece - on the Kentucky KM-900 the recurve is extra wide under tailpiece very flat arch towards bridge. Original Griffith doesn't have as wide recurve and the arch is somewhat lengthened towards bridge. But there are some deformations to the arch after 90 years so their original intention is hard to guess.
    Most modern A-5s are basicly F-5 with all the scrolls and points removed.
    Adrian

  18. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to HoGo For This Useful Post:


  19. #13
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Howell, NJ
    Posts
    24,986

    Default Re: Tone bar placement on an A style

    Quote Originally Posted by HoGo View Post
    ...Most modern A-5s are basicly F-5 with all the scrolls and points removed.
    I think that was one of Charlie Derrington's contributions to the manufacturing process at Gibson.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  20. The following members say thank you to MikeEdgerton for this post:


  21. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Howell, NJ
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: Tone bar placement on an A style

    That funkiness is what I have been pondering for the past week or so. It is becoming apparent to me that the bridge placement is critical to the location of everything else. I carved the top based on the F5 contours, but when I mark the bridge where it should be it just seems too far forward for the shape of the body. If I slide it back a bit it changes the fretboard location, and you have to move the 15th fret marker or use a different fret. This in turn changes the neck dimensions to place the fretboard correctly. I will not place the F holes until I finalize the bridge location so the bridge will line up with the notches. Perhaps I should just get over the perception of the bridge being too far forward, but I can't help but think it would be better for the sound to have it further back. Apparently many have pondered this and determined that following the F5 geometry is the way to go. If nothing else, looking at all of this has given me a better understanding of the constructon details. Thanks everyone for all of the guidance.
    Thanks a lot
    Bob Schmidt

  22. #15
    Adrian Minarovic
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Banska Bystrica, Slovakia, Europe
    Posts
    3,015

    Default Re: Tone bar placement on an A style

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    I think that was one of Charlie Derrington's contributions to the manufacturing process at Gibson.
    They took it to another level actually. They precarved all mandolin plates on CNC as F-5 shape and cut off the scroll and points to use on thair A models.
    Adrian

  23. The following members say thank you to HoGo for this post:


  24. #16
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Howell, NJ
    Posts
    24,986

    Default Re: Tone bar placement on an A style

    I actually knew that and was trying to be nice. I'm pretty sure those plates in the rough were farmed out. As a manufacturer it probably made more sense to just order and inventory one style and simply do the modifications as needed for the number of A's being built.
    Last edited by MikeEdgerton; Oct-30-2021 at 2:05pm.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  25. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to MikeEdgerton For This Useful Post:


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •