I recently built a CBG for a serviceman--a very special order. In the first place, it was my second attempt at a fretted instrument, since I'm a slider and have little use for one myself. Additionally, I used materials I never had before.  I used a fretted neck from CB Gitty made of some very, very God-awful dense wood. What kind, I'm not sure. It was a shorter scale than I usually go with. I used brass box corners and a brass nut and bridge and a brass sink hole cover. What I discovered when I strung it up and played it was that it had a bigger sound than anything I'd built up to that point, and I couldn't help wonder what specific elements caused such a difference. Did any or all make the difference?

 

What do you think? Let's discuss. Give me your ideas and suggestions as to what YOU think made the difference.

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Everything. I think. Box volume, how stiff the box is, thinness of top, coupling of strings to saddle to bridge to top, finding the box's sweet spot, finding the tuning where that particular box resonates, finding the right strings and tension, neck material...all of it.

Thanks, Mr. Sprague!

Oh, I forgot to add, that indefinable something called "mojo." ;-)

It's all about vibration. More transfer of vibration from the strings to the box the better... not to mention a sound hole that allows those vibrations to escape the box. A nice thinner box top and bottom will help that, as well as how well the neck and all string contact points marry to the box/body.Simple things like gluing the lids shut to let the vibrations transfer from the top to the box body helps. Allowing for bracing that is not killing the tops vibrations. I would say that it's a combination of how everything fits together and how well the vibrations transfer from on part of the guitar to the other. Vibration = sound.   

I've heard it said that it is doing a lot of little things right.

I have found that the neck stiffness affects the sustain. I tried a couple with aluminum necks. the sustaion was awsome. OK, it wasnt so pretty, but it sounded good.

 

 

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