Contemporary Acoustic Guitar Design and Build Books

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Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2022 8:19 pm

Contemporary Acoustic Guitar Design and Build Books

Post by scamp »

I'm interested in trying to take my guitar building to the next level.

I built a few guitars that I like but I must admit that I didn't feel like I knew what I was doing in terms for optimizing their acoustic performance. I more or less followed basic suggestions on the thickness of the sound board, some crude flex testing and tap testing etc. Bottom line is.... I feel like I need to improve my knowledge in this area before embarking on my next build.

That said, I recently came across the books "Contemporary Acoustic Guitar Design and Build Books" by Trevor Gore with Gerard Gilet and thought that the information in these books would potentially help fill in my knowledge gap.
I'm a retired engineer so the idea of a more scientific approach to guitar building really appealed to me. So.. I thought it would be good idea to get the books and give it a try. That said, the books are rather expensive and there aren't a lot of independent reviews of the books out there.

So I thought I would post this to see if anyone had purchased these books and had any opinions on the books they could share with me.

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Re: Contemporary Acoustic Guitar Design and Build Books

Post by Skarsaune »

I've got them.

As an engineer myself, I also appreciate the scientific vs the touchy-feely approach. I've always enjoyed researching / reading about anything I'm taking on, so buying these was right up my alley. Having said that - the part where they derive their equations makes my eyes blur nowadays. Skip ahead, just tell me what to measure and where to plug it in to the equation.

The books are good, the methodology is solid, there are any number of tidbits to be gleaned and adopted for your build process. However, I find myself actually using less scientific / more hands-on techniques for my builds (particularly voicing tops). If I'm not at work, I try to stay off spreadsheets. I've taken a top voicing class with Robbie O'Brien, both the recorded online version and a zoom workshop, that I found suited me very well and gave me good results.

Previously, the Stew Mac membership gave you 50% off on books - which on a set of $300 books was well worth it by itself, plus you got free shipping for the year. Checking just now, they have now knocked that down to 10%, and they no longer list these as available. I've considered selling mine, but I do like having a nice reference library.
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