|Guitar construction over the past 150 years has tremendous variety and has expanded greatly in the modern world with new innovation. No construction techniques are overlooked by today’s custom luthiers. Some of those techniques will be discussed here. Our choice for the methods we use are based on some of the earliest known techniques of violin and guitar makers and also from modern manufacturers and contemporary custom builders.
Banjo tuners are accessible from behind the harp peg head but have a lower gear ratio making them less precise in tuning the string. The right angle guitar tuners are accessed off the end of the peg head and have a higher gear ratio enabling more fine adjustment when tuning. The design of the Tonedevil S-12 harp guitar accommodates right angle tuners using Gotoh 16:1 ratio sealed gear tuners.
With the invention of the truss rod these issues were remedied, and its wide usage has become standard on most fretted instruments today. It also renders the connection bracket between the harp head and guitar head of the harp guitar obsolete and provides more contemporary adjustment to the guitar neck.
Tonedevil Guitars has capitalized on the tonal advantages of a “neck through” construction design that is gained by using a traditional “Spanish Heel” neck joint where the neck and the neck block are not separate but are integrated into the rim prior to the top and back being attached. This technique extends from traditional violin making. It has always been used on nylon string classical and flamenco guitars and is widely being used today by contemporary custom builders especially in the development of harp guitar designs. Tonal advantages occur by having the neck not separated from the body of the instrument.
Solid Lining Vs. Kerfed
Purfling vs Binding
Harp guitars from the early 1900’s including Chris Knutsen’s and the Dyer harp guitars by the Larson Brothers, have been copied by some of today’s top luthiers. While this is a fantastic way to capture the essence of these early relics, there are some contemporary design modifications that can greatly benefit today’s players like using truss rods and pickup systems as discussed earlier. Also the Dyer harp guitar has its bridge very close to the outside edge thus diminishing the lower harp strings (which are already difficult to get enough volume from). The design of the S-12 is similar to the Dyer, but balances the energy to all the strings equally by shifting the bridge towards the center of the top slightly allowing for better overall movement of the top. This shift along with the compensated bracing design is what gives it a richer and louder response from all the strings.