"Inside the Box"


Some of you might be interested in knowing a bit more about this instrument and perhaps
curious about what's inside the box. If so, then this section is for you!

Let me first start by saying that, because of the small plate thickness (1/16"),
this guitar presented some interesting challenges from both
the structural and tone point of view:

Structural: Both the top and back plates are so thin that the
conventional construction methods would likely have resulted
in the neck folding in within a few months (weeks?).

Tone: Traditional archtop X- and parallel bracings would likely not work with such
a thin top plate as the top would end up with large floppy and unfocused areas.
So, a different bracing pattern had to be used.

Weight balance: With such a light body, I wanted to make sure
that the guitar wouldn't end up neck heavy. So, maple and mahogany
were out of the question. A lighter wood had to be used, here Douglas Fir.

Electronics: From the very start I decided that I would use a suspended Bartolini pickup.
But without a pickguard, where do we locate the controls. Definitely not on the top!


Here's a pic showing  how I approached the whole thing.
The idea was to use a hollowed out center block as a buffer to the neck folding pressure.
With such a block (here made out of light Douglas Fir), most of the neck folding pressure
 is handled by this block, leaving the top and back to vibrate according to the string input.
In this prototype, I also used a cross-dowel to prevent any unwanwanted vibrations from the sides.
Not sure if it was required but, that's what prototypes are for...


Here's the type of bracing I chose for the top. Classical guitar builders will
immediately recognize some kind of hydrid Hauser/Bouchet bracing,
often used on classical guitars. This bracing provides adequate support at
the bridge location and nicely divides the top into
localized vibrating  sections.

Weight Balance

The neck is here made out of a 2-piece bookmatched Douglas Fir stock: Light and strong.
Two Carbon Fiber rods are used to help keeping this neck straight but most importantly to
guarantee that the tone will be even from the nut to the very last fret .


The controls are here located
in the upper bout.
(Schatten Vol & Tone pots)