www.KitGuitarsForum.com

Learn to Kit Build a Guitar. Learn to Scratch Build a Guitar. Learn EVERYTHING Guitars Here!
It is currently Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:51 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 47 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2020 9:10 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri May 08, 2020 3:59 pm
Posts: 19
Hello all,

I have become interested in building an acoustic guitar kit recently. This would be my first acoustic guitar build.

Do you have any recommendations for a type of guitar (i.e. OM, jumbo, dread, etc.) I should build as my first kit? Is a particular body style more difficult to build or to make a good sounding guitar? Also, what are your thoughts on going with a somewhat customized kit for my first guitar? Would you recommend going with an established model like a normal OM or Martin J? I really like the look of the Gibson J-185 but dislike the scale length, and Mr. Hall at Blues Creek Guitars told me that it would be possible to make a long scale J-185 kit.

I have been looking online and listening to youtube videos and my main contenders are the OM style guitar and the Small Jumbo (Martin J, Gibson J-185) style guitars. I would prefer not to build a dreadnought because I already have access to one, and I would like variety.

I almost always play with my fingers. These are some of the things I like in an acoustic guitar (somewhat in order of importance):

1. Bass: I would really prefer a guitar with a defined, loud bass.
2. 3D sound: I would prefer a guitar that has a 3D sound that envelopes you rather than just projects from the top forward.
3. Reverb: I would prefer a guitar that has a lot of reverb/shimmer/overtones. More is better!
4. Volume: I would like a guitar that can get decently loud with a light touch. I don't need super high volume (I only play at my apartment and I don't want to get evicted) but I want a guitar that can get enough volume to get a full, 3D sound in a small room.
5. Long scale: I seem to prefer the sound of long scale to short scale guitars.
6. Treble: I would like a guitar that has thinner rather than thicker treble. I (probably incorrectly) associate thicker treble with a lack of reverb or shimmer on the notes.

I have no illusions that I will end up with a guitar that will satisfy all my wants, I just don't want to end up with a guitar that I hate.

Sorry for the huge text, and thanks for any replies.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2020 9:17 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:19 pm
Posts: 86
Location: Forest Ranch, CA
OK, that's quite a list for a first try (oh, there will be more).
My first was a Martin Jumbo from John, Rosewood. He had a mold too.
One of the latest was a J-200 shape that I milled the wood for, Walnut. The 200 is more of that rounder fuller sound I think you are describing, but it's rounder and fuller in shape too.
Anyway, Mr. Hall is the go to source for all things to get you started.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2020 9:23 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri May 08, 2020 3:59 pm
Posts: 19
carld05 wrote:
OK, that's quite a list for a first try (oh, there will be more).
My first was a Martin Jumbo from John, Rosewood. He had a mold too.
One of the latest was a J-200 shape that I milled the wood for, Walnut. The 200 is more of that rounder fuller sound I think you are describing, but it's rounder and fuller in shape too.
Anyway, Mr. Hall is the go to source for all things to get you started.


Thanks for the reply! I do understand that I will likely get none of what I want, and a good job may be having a guitar that doesn't fall apart and intonates correctly, without 1 inch action!

Would you recommend going with an established model (i.e. Martin OM, Martin J) or would it be okay to go with a long scale J-185, if I get it from Mr. Hall?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2020 9:01 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 8:03 am
Posts: 1355
Location: Chestertown Maryland
There is so much to know (see the recent thread on intonation) that there is no way you can dial in any one item let alone all those items on your first. Something to remember is that someone like Martin has built over 2 million guitars and they have a Martin sound. If you want the Martin sound, build like they do.

I heve a 1974 000-28 which has exceptional sound for any era let alone the 70's. I built a 000-18 12 fret but added 5/8" to the body depth and they sound almost identical across all strings. After 9 guitars, I still could not predict that.

I think an acceptable goal is to successfully make a guitar that is easy to play - anything else is a bonus.

Good luck, and I can't recommend John enough - he will make you any kit you want. I made an oak J-185 from him and it is a great size.

Ed


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2020 10:55 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:14 pm
Posts: 1328
You might consider building a deep-body OM, if John would be willing to put together a custom kit for you with wider sides and taller head and heel blocks. You *may* get more bass response out of it. I added about 1/2" to the body depth of my 4th guitar (see viewtopic.php?f=48&t=8894&hi ) and the bass is noticeably more pronounced than in the other OM-body guitars I built.

Of course. I also invented my own bracing pattern for the top as well, so who knows how much of the increased bass response is due to the body depth and how much is due to the top bracing. At any rate, I don't think an extra 1/2" of body depth would hurt anything, if you want to try it.

I would avoid building a cutaway body, if you want to keep things as simple as possible.

Keep in mind that nobody builds just one guitar :-) so if this one doesn't come out as well as you'd hoped, the next one may come closer.

_________________
Don't believe everything you know.
Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
When things are bad, try not to make them any worse, because it is quite likely they are bad enough already. - French Foreign Legion


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2020 3:03 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:04 pm
Posts: 265
Location: San Jose, CA, USA
If John can set you up with a long scale J-185 I'd go for that, since that is an instrument that you are interested in, and would fill the bulk of your desired attributes.

John's kits are excellent as is his support.

Part of the joy of building is to be able to create something that doesn't look, feel, and sound like a mass produced guitar.

_________________
- Randall Newcomb
10 fingers in, 10 fingers out - another good day in the shop


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2020 5:07 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:49 pm
Posts: 327
Many of the specifications OP lists are beyond anyone's capability to predict, much less how the builder treats the project. If OP is unwilling to being satisfied with however his kit turns out, I think he's better off shopping for a finished instrument. No one can predict how a pile of parts will sound after they turn into an instrument. ESPECIALLY a first project.

_________________
peter havriluk


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2020 6:48 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 8:03 am
Posts: 1355
Location: Chestertown Maryland
As I mentioned, I built a deep body 12 fret 000-18. The only problem is that no standard case will work so you are stuck with a custom case at $300++. Mine has been on a stand since 2013 and I have never needed a case. Building a popular shape will mean a case is readily available.

Ed


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2020 6:56 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri May 08, 2020 3:59 pm
Posts: 19
ruby@magpage.com wrote:
There is so much to know (see the recent thread on intonation) that there is no way you can dial in any one item let alone all those items on your first. Something to remember is that someone like Martin has built over 2 million guitars and they have a Martin sound. If you want the Martin sound, build like they do.

I heve a 1974 000-28 which has exceptional sound for any era let alone the 70's. I built a 000-18 12 fret but added 5/8" to the body depth and they sound almost identical across all strings. After 9 guitars, I still could not predict that.

I think an acceptable goal is to successfully make a guitar that is easy to play - anything else is a bonus.

Good luck, and I can't recommend John enough - he will make you any kit you want. I made an oak J-185 from him and it is a great size.

Ed


Thank you for your reply! It seems I may have been over thinking this. Maybe it might be best just to get any kit and get a start on this hobby. I think I was nervous because this would be the most expensive outlay I have ever made for an instrument (especially including tools), and because of the high degree of risk involved.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2020 6:59 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri May 08, 2020 3:59 pm
Posts: 19
MaineGeezer wrote:
You might consider building a deep-body OM, if John would be willing to put together a custom kit for you with wider sides and taller head and heel blocks. You *may* get more bass response out of it. I added about 1/2" to the body depth of my 4th guitar (see viewtopic.php?f=48&t=8894&hi ) and the bass is noticeably more pronounced than in the other OM-body guitars I built.

Of course. I also invented my own bracing pattern for the top as well, so who knows how much of the increased bass response is due to the body depth and how much is due to the top bracing. At any rate, I don't think an extra 1/2" of body depth would hurt anything, if you want to try it.

I would avoid building a cutaway body, if you want to keep things as simple as possible.

Keep in mind that nobody builds just one guitar :-) so if this one doesn't come out as well as you'd hoped, the next one may come closer.


That sounds interesting! I'll have to ask Mr. Hall about the deep body OM.
Would a deep body OM be okay for a total beginner? Especially when compared to a long scale J-185.
Also, I have to mention that I live in an apartment. Would it be possible to build any kit with basic hand tools and maybe something like a small router?


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 47 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group