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0-00-000 different shapes
Author
Post
RayRay

Total Topics: 21
Total Posts: 190
It would appear to ME that the actual "shape" of the early models of all 3, say from the 20's are quite different from those being produced by Martin today..and most of the molds seem to shaped like the newer guitars...
Is is ME? Or is this a fact? The shape of the modern 00 for an example, seems to have a much more "Square" shoulder and are possibly a bit wider in the upper bout than the "Slope" of the early models...does anyone know of a mold or kit that holds to the earlier shape? Or am I just not seeing this correctly??
Ray

Nov 02, 09 | 4:23 pm
Freeman

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 668
MIMF and the Guild of American Luthiers have many plans accurately drawn from vintage instruments (for example, I used the plans for Segovia's 37 Hauser when I built my classical). You can compare those to currently produced versions.

The change from "sloped" to "squared" shoulders primarily occured when Martin and Gibson changed from 12 frets clear to 14 - in most cases they didn't move the neck "up" but pushed the upper bout down to 14. Obviously that changes a lot - air box volume in particular - but in most cases it also means a model name change (000 to OM, slope shouldered or "S" model dread to standard dread).

Also, as you probably know, these guitars changed a lot over the years within a model name - sizes, shapes, bracing, sound hole location, scale length, bridge location..... might change for the same model from one year to the next. Here is one article that talks a little about that as well as the change from 12 fret to 14 clear.

http://www.lutherie.net/12-14-evolution.html

FWIW, here is my short scale OM bodied 12 string and long scale 000 sixer - all built as close to 1930's shape as I could. The obvious sqared shoulder of the OM and bridge smack in the middle of the 000 are clues to their difference.



and lastly, here is the OM twelve compared to my very long scale copy of an old Stella - again, built from old plans. Check the fret spacing on that 26.2 inch scale neck LOL



Nov 05, 09 | 12:03 pm
Rick

Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 49
Freeman,

Both of your slope sholdered models are slot heads. Is that just coincidence?

Thanks,
Rick

Nov 07, 09 | 8:15 am
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
Martins shape will vary as much as 1/4 inch on some of the older models. Also the numbers you see on MIMF and even Martin's own website don't match. The 000 is actually larger than the stated size. The overall shape changes as Freeman stated is correct .
It wasn't till later that martin standardized the shapes with all new tooling. They used wooden building forms up to a few years ago . They now are using machined Aluminum molds that are Cnc'ed to eliminate the variability

John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars
Authorized CFMartin Repaircenter.

Nov 08, 09 | 2:54 am
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
It was not that many years ago that I watched in amazement as the Martin employees quickly and skillfully bent sides using a heated pipe. And as John indicated the fixturing was made of wood – a combination of plywood and “particle board”. I actually purchased some of those from Dick Boak in the mid 1980’s. So the finished product did vary to some extent (shape tolerances where not /are not a big deal) --- also by design some of the models changed slightly.

I would summit that if one were enamored by the shape and or sound of a particular instrument it would be a good idea to take the steps necessary to “clone” that instrument. Trace the profile, shadow the bracing, mic the thickness, match the wood species, finish type etc.

The problem is the main element “aging” of a vintage instrument cannot be synthesized. This takes real time --- during that period 50- 75 years? The natural and manmade components (wood resins, glue) go through changes – most would say they get more brittle --- this changes reflective and sound producing properties to some extent.

What I am saying is that while it is possible to match the appearance characteristics of a giving guitar --- the tonal personality of each guitar will be different and in the case of the vintage guitars, the full or expected development may be years in the future.

On the other hand --- if the minute details are not a concern, a guitar-building project becomes a unique and personal work ---- that is my preference.

Ken

Kenneth Michael Guitars est. 1978

Nov 08, 09 | 7:09 am
Freeman

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 668
Rick, both my slope shoulded gits are also 12 fretters. Traditionally 12 fret guitars have been slots, and I happen to really like that look. When Martin started switching to 14 frets clear (OM and standard D) they also changed to paddle heads (and narrower fretboards). I know there are exceptions to that, but my preference is that whole look and sound. I've also built an 0 sized 12 fretter that I gave to my daughter and a classical (also 12 frets clear) for my son - both were slots. Here is the little 0 next to my 000 and OM 12. Notice how far the bridge is pushed down into the lower bout (it is a short scale)



I also have two resonators - a 14 fret 1-11/16 nut with a paddle head and a 12 fret 1-3/4 nut slot - the second one is my fav to play (the are, of course completely different sounding). However you can also see that same thing we have been talking about - the 14 fret metal bodies one is a "sloped shoulder", while the woodie is more rounded


Nov 08, 09 | 7:53 am
Rick

Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 49
Thanks Freeman for the link and further explanation. They are all very beautifuly done.

Rick

Nov 08, 09 | 2:41 pm
RayRay

Total Topics: 21
Total Posts: 190
John, Ken...many thanks to you as well for your input and info on early Martin production..and re-creation.

Ray

Nov 09, 09 | 8:01 am
Freeman

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 668
RayRay and Rick, just one other minor thing to think of when you explore different sizes - if you go too far away from what is considered "standard" you may have trouble finding a case to fit.

I have been able to buy TKL cases to fit my 000, 0 and classical (fit fairly well in a 00 case) but both the OM and Stella twelve strings have required custom cases (at about $250 each and two months wait). When I asked Todd Cambio what cases he supplies for his ladder braced guitars he grinned and said "I put them in a dreadnaught case and stuff a couple of towels around them". And Leo Kottke talks about a custom baritone 12 string - he said he sawed the headstock off so it would fit in a normal case.

Nov 09, 09 | 3:03 pm



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